Football chat wrap: Trade Westbrook?

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John Juhasz

John is an Editor for the FOXSports.com Fantasy group.MORE>>
John Juhasz Fantasy Football Chat(08/06/2009) 
2:57 FOX Fantasy:  We're ready for yet another football chat with our boy, John Juhasz. Can you feel the excitement!?! So, get in there with any and all questions you have for this coming season. He'll try to get to them all...............................NOW!!!!
3:04 John Juhasz:  

Afternoon, boys and girls. Let's do this thing...

3:05 FOX Fantasy:  Randall from Fort Davis, Texas has our first question of the day, and it seems like a pretty legitimate one.........John, why do you rate Matt Forte so low (10th overall) when NFL Network has him No. 2 behind Adrian Peterson?
3:07 John Juhasz:  Hey, Randy. For one, my rankings are a lot cooler. Secondly, I'm concerned about a few things from the Bears offense this year. One, will Forte have a sophomore slump? It's happened to countless players who had big rookie seasons, and call me a pessimist if you lieke, but I have to see a player have more than one good season from a player before I completely buy into him as a top contributor. Two...will Chicago be so giddy they finally have a franchise quarterback that they may gameplan to throw the ball more often...even if Cutler is forcing passes?
3:09 John Juhasz:  If you take a closer look at his numbers, he did more damage in the first half of the season than the second (he only reached 100 rushing yards in one of his last eight games, and only three times the entire season). That could have happened for a number of reasons for that, but I'm wondering if defenses may have figured him out after seeing eight weeks worth of film. I'm just not ready to buy into his hype as much as others.
3:11 FOX Fantasy:  More RB questions come from Jason in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jason wants to know.............Is it smart to trade Brian Westbrook for Kevin Smith if I don't have LeSean McCoy as insurance? My team's solid everywhere else, and I could do without the boom/bust of Westbrook.
3:12 John Juhasz:  

Glad to have you aboard, Jason. Kevin Smith has been talking big this offseason, claiming the Lions will be playoff bound in 2009. Yeah, OK. I can respect confidence as much as the next guy, but hearing that coming from someone who just contributed to the first winless season in NFL history, I wonder if it's going to anger opposing defenses some. Maybe enough to hit him a bit harder when they collide (translation: injury candidate).

3:14 John Juhasz:  If you could somehow have added McCoy, I'd have said fine. Westbrook has roughly a 100 percent chance of missing some time with injuries this year, and McCoy is going to start some games for Philly. But when the season is all said and done, I think Westbrook's stats are still going to be better than those of Smith's. I wouldn't make that trade. Brian will miss time with injuries, but will make it up to you with those inevitable 200 all-purpose yard, three-TD games he likes to have.
3:15 FOX Fantasy:  One of my favorite people, and my favorite all-time New York playground hoop legend - The Goat - has an important injury concern.........John, with Tom Brady out for so long, what's your take on him now? Is he going to be able to jump right back into the offense, and can it adjust back to him? And just how big of a difference IS there between him and Matt Cassel?
3:17 John Juhasz:  I've seen Brady going in the first round of some drafts this year, which is pure madness in my opinion. We were all entertained by the 50 touchdown passes he threw in 2007, but did you know he never even reached 30 in any other season of his career? Not to mention, it's impossible to know how he's going to respond to such a horrific knee injury. We could spend hours reviewing the athletes who were once dominant, but never quite the same after picking up the dreaded knock to a knee.
3:18 John Juhasz:  I'd expect something much closer to the norm for Brady (maybe 29 TD passes and roughly 3,800 yards). As for the difference between him and Matt Cassel? Well, Brady is a layup to get inducted into the Hall of Fame whenever he's finished. Cassel has a bit of work to do to catch up to that level.
3:20 FOX Fantasy:  Good stuff gang, keep 'em coming! Of course, I was wrong when I said The Goat was my favorite guest on this show. Obviously, my favorite guest is "Guest" himself! "Guest" asks.............What's your opinion on drafting wide receivers in each of the first two rounds?
3:21 FOX Fantasy:  Don't take that the wrong way Goat. You know I've got nothin' but love for ya still!
3:22 John Juhasz:  Funny you should ask - I was just talking about that with a friend of mine this morning. In his league format, a wide receiver only gets points for touchdown receptions and games over 100 yards. That's it. If he doesn't score a TD and gets 99 receiving yards, he gives you a big, fat zero. If that's the case, then trying to land Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson with your first two picks is highly advisable. Your running backs may be pathetic, but those two guys almost always top 100 and score. So I guess what I'm trying to get at is it depends on your league format.
3:22 John Juhasz:  

In a standard league, I'd be against it. You need to take a running back with one of your first two picks if you have any hope of competing. But in a wacky scoring league, like my friend's, I wouldn't object. In fact - Chris, was that you asking that question?

3:24 FOX Fantasy:  Peter wants to know more about WRs...........What do you think of the Giants receiving corps now that there's no Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress?
Where should Matt Forte be drafted in your fantasy league?
Top 3
 ( 17% )
 ( 17% )
7th or lower
 ( 67% )

3:26 John Juhasz:  They'll be just fine. It's not easy to replace a guy like Burress, but I think the Giants have known he's not going to play for some time now. That's why they drafted Hakeem Nicks, who is pretty close to the prototypical WR1 size. Eli will miss his primary target, but he's going to spread the ball around to more of his receivers, Steve Smith in particular. I'm looking for a big year out of him.
3:28 FOX Fantasy:  

Jeff from Rhode Island has more drafting issues..........John, I'm in a 12-team league and was curious on your strategy in the first few rounds depending if you're drafting in early , mid or late in the first round. Just how much does it change depending on your position?

3:30 John Juhasz:  

Your situation absolutely changes. Let's label the "early" picks as 1-4, the "mid" picks as 5-8 and the "late" picks as 9-12. Again, keep in mind that in a standard scoring format, I think it's mandatory you draft a running back with one of your first two picks...

3:32 John Juhasz:  With the early picks, there's absolutely no way you should draft any position than a running back. I don't care if Drew Brees threw for 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns - you just can't draft anyone other than a running back with your first four picks since you'll be getting at least one "elite" guy somewhere in that range. I don't think there are many non-RBs I'd be too interested in from 5-8, but I wouldn't want to beat you up if you took someone like Brees or Larry Fitzgerald at No. 8 if you promised you were drafting a RB with your next pick.
3:34 John Juhasz:  But 9-12 is where it gets fun. You have a lot of flexibility and are really in position to draft the best player available. Maybe you want a guy like Brees or Fitzgerald there and can settle for a second-tier RB like Steve Slaton with your early second-round pick. Maybe one of the top RBs slipped down to your spot in the draft. I'm picking 11th in my upcoming big money league draft, and that's why I couldn't be happier with my spot. I'm in position to basically take the best player available.
3:34 FOX Fantasy:  It's all Giants all the time here at FOX apparently. Kyle has a question about the league's newest $90 million man.........Do you think Eli Manning is worth the contract he signed? And what kind of fantasy season do you expect of him?
Where does Eli Manning get drafted this year?
1st or 2nd Round
 ( 0% )
3rd Round
 ( 20% )
4th Round
 ( 80% )
5th Round
 ( 0% )
6th or Lower
 ( 0% )

3:36 John Juhasz:  

I don't think he's worth one of the biggest contracts in the NFL since he's not one of the best players (or even quarterbacks) in the league. He's semi-dependable, but has never been great.

3:38 John Juhasz:  His best fantasy season came in 2005, and it's kind of strange that some of his numbers have regressed in recent years. Sure, he's lost some top targets in Jeremey Shockey and Burress, but I don't think I'd really want Eli as my QB1 in most leagues. He's not a bad backup to have, but you can do better for your starter. Much better.
3:38 FOX Fantasy:  Matt may be living a bit in the past, but we'll have to see what John thinks............I still think LaDainian Tomlinson is the best RB in the NFL. Where should he be drafted this season?
3:42 John Juhasz:  Hey, Matt. I have him fourth overall, and that's kind of because the running backs who are ranked below him shouldn't be ranked above him. A captain obvious thing to say, but look at some of the other players who could be vying to get picked fourth - Clinton Portis (gets injured in the second half of every year), Brian Westbrook (gets injured every day), Maurice Jones-Drew (I'd like to see how he handles full-time duties when the offense can't pass the ball). LT may not break many more records, but he's probably still got a few solid years left in him. Own him while you can.
3:42 FOX Fantasy:  Jack in Chicago has a keeper league query.............Hey John, I'm in a 12-team keeper league and own Maurice Jones-Drew, Stephen Jackson and Chad Johnson. I'm short on receivers and have to keep two of these three.
3:44 John Juhasz:  I'd keep Jackson ahead of Jones-Drew. When he's healthy, S-Jax is an absolute beast and can be one of the best running backs in the game. If you're short on receivers, then why not keep Ochocinco? He's clearly insane, but a healthy Carson Palmer may be all he needs to get back on track, and they'll rely on him a lot more in the passing game now that T.J. Houshmandzadeh has moved out west.
3:47 FOX Fantasy:  One of the best names I've seen in a long time - Gob Bluth - has a question for us.......Who do you like best as a Flex back in the 4th-6th round range: Willie Parker, Darren McFadden or Derrick Ward?
3:50 John Juhasz:  I'm encouraged by what I read about Parker from Mike Harmon's Pittsburgh camp report. Not just for that reason though, I think Parker is the best choice of the three. McFadden is still highly unproven on an offense that could be a complete mess again, and Ward has some uncertainty going to a new system with a brand new head coach. Parker is staying in the same Pittsburgh system with the same Pittsburgh team and, like Steven Jackson who we talked about a second ago, can rock and roll when healthy.
3:51 FOX Fantasy:  Tom has another RB question...........Are there any Patriot RBs worth having on your roster this season?
3:54 John Juhasz:  Not as your RB1. Josh McDaniels isn't in charge of the offense anymore, but Bill Belichick is still RB-happy. Remember, they split carries between as many as four RBs in one game last season. Maybe Fred Taylor will become a decent RB2, but I'll have to see it to believe it. Thank heavens some preseason games are getting underway within the next few days and we can get a better idea of who fits in where. For now, though, I'd say avoid the Pats RBs until the later rounds.
3:55 FOX Fantasy:  OK, time for about 2-3 more quickies........get 'em in NOW!!
3:56 FOX Fantasy:  My man Logan Golden is an unimpressed Dolphins fan........My Dolphins were AFC East champs last year, but I don't think they have a single draftable fantasy player. Am I wrong?
3:58 John Juhasz:  I wouldn't draft Chad Pennington, and most of the Fins wideouts would probably be a waste of roster space. But I don't know about zero players on the entire offense: Ronnie Brown may not be a RB1, but he's still the team's primary back. He had 916 yards and 10 scores on the ground last year, and wildcat offense or not, he's still going to get the bulk of the carries. Now, if Tony Sparano gets cute and runs the wildcat up and down the field, then Brown, Ricky Williams and Pat White are all capable of busting big runs. But Brown is certainly draftable.
4:00 FOX Fantasy:  OK, this is gonna be the last one of the day. We've already talked about Eli Manning, so how about a Peyton question?! Vince has that one for us today......John, where do you see Peyton Manning going in the draft? And how about Anthony Gonzalez as a WR2?
4:02 John Juhasz:  Where do I see him going? Probably in the late second or early third rounds of most drafts. Would I take him there? Probably not, because there are a couple of other quarterbacks who have the potential to be serious sleepers (Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan to name a few) who you can draft a few rounds later without having to experience a massive dropoff in production. And yes, Gonzo is going to be the team's WR2, and he should end up being a decent fantasy WR2 as well. Marvin Harrison is gone, and the Colts don't have a great deal of depth at the WR position.
4:02 FOX Fantasy:  Great job everybody! We always appreciate everyone who steps in the chat room with us each week. Keep hanging out with John Juhasz and Mike Harmon each and every Thursday at 3-4pm EST/12-1pm PST - right here - for fantasy football advice. You all rock the most!!
4:03 John Juhasz:  Thanks for stopping in today, everyone! These are fun. I'll catch you guys soon.


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