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Fantasy football mailbag: Kolb shows fantasy value is no theory

Since our heads are still spinning from a crazy Sunday of NFL action let's get right to the questions for this week in the Fantasy Football Mailbag:

In a standard-scoring league I was offered Josh Freeman and Ahmad Bradshaw for Michael Turner. My QBs are Peyton Manning and Kevin Kolb. Your opinion?-- @Paul_Demsko

There are two keys to this deal. First, Turner is the best player in the trade, so that's a negative for you. Since you're in a standard league his lack of pass-catching ability is not a concern. Despite the Falcons' anemic showing in Chicago, Turner rates well ahead of Bradshaw in terms of touchdown potential. The second part of the equation is how much of an upgrade will Freeman be over Kolb? With Larry Fitzgerald and a healthy Early Doucet at his disposal, and playing against an NFC West schedule, Kolb has a chance to be as good if not better than Freeman. He certainly started off well with a 309-yard, two-score game against the Panthers. So although I like Freeman and Bradshaw, I prefer the combination of Turner and Kolb more. Don't make the move.

Who wins? Team A receives Tim Hightower and Arrelious Benn. Team B receives Shonn Greene.-- @robreg2 (Robby Regalado)

Although the early returns favor Hightower (with 97 yards and a touchdown vs. Greene's 33 yards and no scores), don't give up on Greene. He is slated to get two-thirds of the carries for one of the league's top rushing teams and playing behind a strong offensive line. Benn is a nice add, but would have trouble making anyone's lineup on a regular basis, so I'd side with Team B in this one. But it's not an unfair offer.

Slim pickings for a TE2. Chris Cooley, Visanthe Shiancoe, Ben Watson, Daniel Fells, Celek, Zach Miller, Anthony Fasano. Any worth picking for bye week/flex fill in? Drop Javon Ringer and pickup Steve Smith (PHI), A. Benn, or Mohammed Massaquoi To stash on bench?-- @pliberatore (Paul Liberatore)

Unless you play in a league with a flex tight end, don't worry about a backup to stash on your bench yet. You need the flexibility of roster moves at other positions, so why clutter your bench with unusable bodies who aren't exciting in the first place. However, if someone like Fred Davis, who has a chance to start for you on a regular basis is available (and I bet he is), then it's not a bad idea to grab him.

At wideout, forget about Smith and Massaquoi for the short term. You can probably improve on Ringer, but don't feel rushed to make a move. Only pick someone up if they can be of specific value to you, either in your lineup or as trade bait. I fall into the trap sometime of making a move for a move's sake and then regret it when CJ2K gets hurt and Ringer is getting regular carries.

When is it OK to drop P. Manning? I'm losing faith by the day.-- @mjonovis (Matt Novis)

Last week Manning had successful but painful surgery during which doctors grafted bone from his hip to his vertebrae in an effort to accelerate the healing process. It's a valiant effort by Manning to try to get back in a couple of months, but what's he coming back for? The Colts look like it'll be lucky to be 2-6 after eight games, a hole even Manning in perfect condition would be hard pressed to reverse. And there's no way that the Manning we have come to know and respect would be the Manning who takes the field in 2011. So yes, it's time to cut bait, either by trading him if you can find a taker with faith in his return, or by simply releasing him to the waiver wire. Let someone else worry about it.

Is Daniel Thomas a good play?-- @wilkentj (Tommy)

The rookie had a lackluster preseason and has had Reggie Bush anointed as fulltime running back ahead of him with the Dolphins. Barring the inevitable Bush injury, it's better to look for other alternatives to insert into your lineup Monday against the Patriots and for the immediate future.

Injuries! Roy Williams, Davone Bess, Nate Washington, Denarius Moore, Earl Bennett for WR3 long-term?-- @thomas_felton (Thomas Felton)

That's quite a group. I guess I would eliminate the always disappointing Williams and the under-utilized Washington from the list, leaving Bess, Bennett and Moore. Bess easily gets the nod in PPR leagues, while Bennett (Jay Cutler's Vandy teammate) is the safest choice. But Moore is the one with the most upside. The fifth-round rookie from Tennessee dazzled in the preseason and has caught the attention of Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell. This early in the season, I think the gamble on the player with the most upside is the way to go, so I'd take Moore. You can always grab a vanilla receiver later on if your needs dictate.

Free agents worth picking up? Willis McGahee? Greg Little? At expense of cutting C.J. Spiller?-- @MikeOnofrio (Mike Onofrio)

It's a choice between unproven youngsters like Cleveland wideout Little and Buffalo running back Spiller versus the long-in-the-tooth McGahee (who for the record is only 29) who likely will serve as the Broncos' goal-line back. While the NFL is a young man's league, McGahee has a good season left under his belt, and Spiller is bound to make as many bad plays as good. And as a receiver, Little's immediate upside is limited, especially at a position that is chock full of serviceable candidates. I'd make the move for McGahee.

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