What is the value of Marshawn Lynch right now? You were dead right about Clinton Portis -- man I wish I hadn't drafted him! Luckily I did land Lynch off the waiver wire last week. What do you think he'll do in Seattle? -- L. Parkita, Lafayette, La.
Michael Fabiano: The move to Seattle is an obvious improvement for Lynch's value in fantasy land. While coach Pete Carroll won't committee to him as his top runner, he also called Lynch "a guy who can carry the load" in an interview with the Everett Herald. With scat backs like Justin Forsett and Leon Washington on the roster, I'd be shocked if Lynch didn't become the team's bell cow runner in the near future. In fact, I expect Forsett to fall into more of a third-down role behind the former Cal Bears standout. Don't expect Lynch to become a No. 1 fantasy back -- after all, the Seahawks' offensive line needs to improve. But he's now a worthwhile No. 2 option in most formats. Surprisingly, he's still a free agent in over 90 percent of NFL.com leagues.
Which running back will be the better fantasy option going forward: Fred Jackson or Ryan Torain? -- C. Hanson, Minneapolis, Minn.
M.F.: Jackson and Torain both figure to be part of backfield committees, but I'll side with the former because he has more of a track record. Jackson was one of the best running backs in fantasy football last season while Lynch was suspended. With Lynch now in Seattle, I see Jackson as the favorite to start and see the greatest rise in touches. Sure, he'll lose some looks to C.J. Spiller in what will be a shared workload. But Torain is in the same boat, as he'll split carries with Portis once the veteran is back at 100 percent. Jackson is available in more than 30 percent of NFL.com league, so be sure to grab him if possible. Torain is a free agent in over 99 percent of leagues.
First off, I want to say thanks for all of your advice. It led me to two championships last year! Anyways, here is my question. A winless team in one of my leagues has offered me Michael Turner straight up for Austin Collie. Everybody knows Collie has been an animal, but I cannot decide if this is a solid move. My running backs are Ray Rice, Cedric Benson, Joseph Addai, Forsett and Torain. At wide receiver, I have Collie, Reggie Wayne, Mike Wallace, Mario Manningham and Mike Sims-Walker. Should I pull the trigger on this deal? -- J. Roberts, Pennsylvania
M.F.: I'm always glad to help. There is no way in the world that Collie can continue to put up such enormous numbers in my opinion -- especially once Pierre Garcon is back in the mix -- so I would make this trade. However, I would turn around and quickly start shopping Addai and/or Torain to improve your wide receivers. You'll be set at the running back position with Rice, Benson and Turner, so look to package one of your runners and a wideout other than Wayne to get an upgrade. For example, you can find a team that needs a runner and has a nice wideout, like DeSean Jackson, and offer that team Addai and Manningham. Once you get the Burner, don't stop wheeling and dealing.
M.F.: I do think Bradford is a nice option this week, but I'm not starting him ahead of Flacco this week. The Ravens signal-caller has a nice matchup himself, facing a Broncos defense that's allowed an average of 17.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. That's more than the Lions, who have surrendered 16.8 points on average. What's more, Flacco is playing at home while Bradford is on the road. Sure, Flacco has been inconsistent, but he's been able to exploit favorable matchups. I think he'll do the same against Denver in Week 5.
Would you trade Aaron Rodgers for Adrian Peterson straight up? I was able to pick up Michael Vick off the waiver wire, and I also have Kyle Orton. I think I can live with him for the next two weeks while Vick is out. If I made the trade, I would have Peterson, Arian Foster and Frank Gore at running back. I can start all three of them too, since our league has a flex position. Am I nuts to trade Rodgers, though? -- S. Ratcliff, Lincoln, Neb.
M.F.: Just the thought of having a backfield that includes Peterson, Foster and Gore is enough to make your mouth water. I would make this deal in a heartbeat. Orton has been solid this season -- he's scored a mere 0.84 fewer fantasy points than Rodgers after four weeks. While I don't expect him to keep up with Rodgers all season, he's a nice interim option until Vick is back on the field. Plus, did I mention that you would have Peterson, Foster and Gore on your roster?
M.F.: As I mentioned in the previous answer, Orton has been fantastic. The Broncos have become a pass-laden offense under coach Josh McDaniels, and those fantasy owners who grabbed Orton off the waiver wire are reaping the rewards. But based on this week's road matchup against the Ravens, Romo is the better option. No defense in the league has allowed fewer fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks than the Purple and Black, so Orton could be in for a down week. Romo's matchup against the Titans isn't overly favorable, but he will be playing at home after a bye week. What's more, the Titans allowed 341 yards and two touchdowns last week -- ironically, to Orton.
I'm in a standard NFL.com fantasy league and need to start two running backs from Foster, Peyton Hillis, Matt Forte and Torain. Foster is a no-brainer at this point, so I guess the real decision is between Hillis, Forte and Torain. Who would you start? -- J. Thorne, Maryland
M.F.: Honestly, I think your second running back is a no-brainer as well. Forte has been horribly inconsistent, and while I like Torain he isn't on the same level as the runner you should start, Hillis. After the first four weeks, he's eighth in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com. He even has more fantasy points than Chris Johnson! Hillis has also proven to be matchup proof, as he ripped the Ravens for seven catches, 144 rushing yards and one touchdown in Week 3.
M.F.: I would cut ties with Palmer and pick up Big Ben -- and I would do it right now. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has confirmed that Roethlisberger will start in Week 6 (as if there was some doubt), and he'll be motivated to make a positive impact after serving a four-game suspension for some ugly off-field incidents. In fact, I think you're getting a viable No. 1 fantasy quarterback off the waiver wire. At wide receiver, I would start Sims-Walker ahead of Holmes. I know he's done squat in three of his first four games, but it's hard to pass on him against the Bills. Their defense has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
M.F.: I would hold tight with Witten, though you do need to keep tabs on his status this week. Though reports do suggest that he'll play against the Titans, Witten is dealing with a MCL sprain so you need to monitor him. At the quarterback position, I would start Manning. As I mentioned earlier, Orton has a tough matchup against the Ravens. On the flip side, Manning faces a Texans defense that is allowing an average of over 20 fantasy points per game to opposing field generals. I have him ranked in the top 10 at the position this week, ahead of Ryan, Orton, Palmer and a host of other quarterbacks.
Is LeGarrette Blount now worth a roster spot in a 12-team league? I've been reading reports here in Florida that he's going to see more carries moving forward. I don't really need a running back, but I was thinking that Blount could be trade bait down the line. Thoughts? -- J. Anjuaro, Orlando, Fla.
M.F.: Right now, I would say no to picking up Blount. Cadillac Williams will remain the starter in Tampa Bay, but he's going to lose carries to both Blount and Kareem Huggins in what could be a messy backfield committee. I think the bigger question is whether or not Williams is worth a roster spot in a 12-team league. If he doesn't see 12-15 carries in the offense against the Bengals this week, I'm not sure any of the Buccaneers' running backs will be considered even in reserve fantasy roles.