Fantasy Mailbag Part I: Matt Ryan or Brett Favre?

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Wow, we asked and you responded.

Due to the high volume of emails, we're going to do this week's mailbag in two parts.

So in the interest of saving time, here we go.

This is a big game with playoff implications. I have Ryan and Favre but Favre has killed me the past couple of weeks. Still, I got Lavernues Coles in a trade and would hope that combo fires off against the hapless Rams.

What to do, what to do?


Olsen responds: That's quite the quandary Brian, but one that I'm sure plenty of our readers out there would love to be faced with every week.

I love Ryan's potential this week, but for your situation, I don't think he's the right play.

Favre is going to deliver in this game and the fact you have Coles only solidifies my position on this point. The Rams are giving up an average of 246 yds through the air and 12 TDs this season.

The Jets are tied for first place in the AFC East with Buffalo and New England (who play each other this week) and are in desperate need of a win here to remain there.

Favre is going to play smart, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to walk away with only mediocre numbers. With a defense like the Rams, look for Favre to hit Coles on the slant routes early on in the game for big chunks of yards after the catch.

The old man is your play here.

Hey Matt, I'm trying to decide if I should start Plaxico Burress or Reggie Wayne this weekend. No matter what I'm starting Anquan Boldin and Calvin Johnson, but what do I do for the third one?


Joe H.

Olsen responds: How in the world did you end up with that receiving corps during the draft? That's amazing.

Now that I've stopped drooling, let's look at these two guys.

Recently Plax has looked like a little kid who hasn't gotten his way and has looked disinterested in playing at a high level.

Wayne has been quietly battling a knee injury and has contributed to the struggles of this once vaunted Colts offense.

But when it's all said and done, you have to go with Wayne this weekend. The Colts are desperate for a win this weekend and Wayne and Manning are going to be the lynchpins if they have any chance of making it happen.

The Giants have been rock solid throughout and heading to a hostile environment in Philly, I smell an upset in the making.

Go with Wayne.

I'm in a bind with Portis and Barber off this week.

I have Donnie Avery, Brandon Marshall, Chris Chambers, Lavernues Coles, and Kevin Curtis at WR. I resisted picking up Mark Bradley, probably to drop Coles.

My RBs are Ryan Torain, Deuce McAllister and Marshawn Lynch.

I can start 4 WRs and two RBs, or 3 of each. Right now, I'm sitting Curtis and Lynch because of the matchups and taking a flyer on Torain. There's not much else available. What would you do?

Greg H

Olsen responds: Assuming you stuck with Torian and Marshall, I'll try and help with the remainder of your lineup.

Torian looked sharp and everything as advertised throughout most of the first half, gaining 67 yds on 13 carries. So he probably got you somewhere in the neighborhood of ten to twelve points. Not a terrible day, but nothing spectacular either.

Marshall finally resumed his role as a premier fantasy receiver last night, in what was an incredible game to watch if you stayed up for it.

Chambers and Coles are definite starts for you this week, so we can forget about dealing with them. The two you need to make a serious decision on are Avery and Curtis.

Avery has been an incredible surprise lately, blowing past corners and safeties and reminding everyone of how potent a good offense in St. Louis can be on that stadium's fast track.

That being said, he's still a rookie going against perhaps the most underrated defense in the League. Granted, Curtis also has a tall task ahead against the Giants defense.

But between the two, I'd take the veteran on a good team over a rookie on a bad team any day of the week. And people forget that Curtis had an 1,100 yd, 6 TD season in 2007 because he's missed most of this year due to injury.

But you also need to question yourself as to why you'd start Deuce over Marshawn Lynch this week.

In the six games he's played, Deuce is averaging a paltry 43.8 yds per game and has only hit paydirt twice.

And while Lynch's yard totals may not be too much better at 58.2 yds per game, he has scored at least one touchdown in five out of the eight games he's started. The matchup against the Falcons looks great on paper for Deuce, but the Saints primary focus is throwing the ball with the running game merely an afterthought. Go with Lynch.

So, I'm tired of waiting for Joseph Addai to score some points. He's been such a bust I'm thinking about jst dropping him completely and finding someone else.

Choose two: Addai, Mewelde Moore, Kevin Smith, Steve Slaton, McGahee.

Thanks in advance,

Jerry T.

Olsen responds:Jerry I know you're upset and I know that Addai has been a bust, but you can't drop him. He's finally getting healthy and after this week's affair against the Steelers, the schedule becomes your best friend for the fantasy stretch run.

In order he plays: Houston, San Diego, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit. Those teams are ranked 23rd, 16th, 26th, 24th and 31st in rushing defense respectively.

So bench him this week in favor of Mewelde Moore - now that Willie Parker is officially out this weekend - and Steve Slaton.

I have Matt Forte and he's been so awesome this year that I hate not playing him even if he is playing such a good def.

I'm already starting Adrian Peterson, so Im not worried about that. I need to know if I should start Forte or Tim hightower (the rook). This is a big game and I really need some help.

Anthony W.

Olsen responds: As much as it pains me to say Anthony, you've got to sit Forte against the Titans this weekend. But that's not an indictment of his play or anything like that.

This game between the Titans and Bears is going to be ugly, real ugly. The kind of ugly that ends up with a score of 9-3. Forte is going to have a very tough time finding holes in that nasty Titans defensive front led by Albert Haynesworth and is in for a very long day.

Hightower has a great match up against the 49ers and will have a much easier time finding room to run and more importantly the end zone.

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Hey Matt,

Can you help me on a trade offer?

I am being offered Lee Evans and Kevin Smith for Marshawn Lynch and TJ Houshmanzadeh.
It's a 2RB/ 3WR league no flex.

I just declined but told the guy to ask me again on Monday.

My RBs are Chris Johnson, Brandon Jacobs, Steve Slaton, and Lynch.
My WRs are Housh, Bernard Barrian, Lavernaeus Coles, Antonio Bryant, Isaac Bruce and Donnie Avery.

Evans would appear to be an upgrade over Housh and I could use a consistent WR. Evans has good stats although I'm worried about Edwards declining a bit. I think Buffalo plays a lot of teams with low-ranked pass defenses coming up.

However, I would have to give up Lynch. Even tho I usually bench him for Johnson, Jacobs, or Slaton he's good to have for matchup purposes or in case anyone gets injured. K Smith seems to have slightly improved, but I still dont trust him and feel like there a guys on the waiver wire with similar upside.

Do you think I should consider it to get Evans? Or should I stick with what I got?

Olsen responds: Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, had to think about this one for a tick.

The first thing you should do at this point when evaluating the trade is look at each individual player's remaining schedule. This will give you an idea as to what you can expect for the most crucial weeks of the fantasy season.

Houshmandzadeh has a brutal five week stretch in which the Bengals face, in order, Philly, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indy, and Washington. Safe to say Harvard alumn Ryan Fitzpatrick will struggle in a few of those contests, if not every single one of them.

Lynch has a tempting upcoming three weeks with Cleveland, Kansas City and San Francisco up ahead. However, in weeks 14 and 15 (playoffs for most leagues) you'll have to suffer through some tough matchups against the Dolphins (89 yds rushing per game) and the Jets (76 yds rushing per game).

Bottom line Dan is that I think you have to make this move.

Because your running back corps is so deep, you can afford to lose Lynch and a very mediocre Houshmandzadeh to get the game-breaking Evans.

Westbrook, Hightower, DeAngelo....start 2 of 3.


Olsen responds: Westbrook without question and Hightower. The 49ers are still a huge question mark and not a very good football team.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for and editor of He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on November 7, 2008 8:18 AM.

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