September 22, 2010

Each week I'll attempt to bring some clarity to your questions about the pigskin and the men who throw, catch, run and kick it. To reach me with questions, drop me a note anytime. For more fantasy analysis, check out

Brett Favre is awful, and I'm thinking he is totally washed up. I was offered Josh Freeman for him, and it seems like a no-brainier to accept the offer, doesn't it?-- Mike, Pittsburgh

Coming off arguably the best season of his career, it was unreasonable to expect the 40-year-old Favre to once again go for 4,202 yards, 33 scores and just seven interceptions. However, it's also unreasonable to think that he simply lost "it" over the last five months. The truth is that Favre simply had a magical 2009. The yardage total was his best since 1999, the TDs his most since 1997, and the seven INTs were a career-low.

I'd look at his '08 season as the type of effort I would expect this season (3,473 yards, 22 scores, 22 interceptions). At the same time, he has gotten zero help through two weeks. Sidney Rice is sidelined with hip surgery (he hopes to be back in Week 8), Percy Harvin is dealing with his own hip injury that has limited him and Bernard Berrian looks about as interested as a farmer at an Internet technology convention. Until Favre has someone reliable to throw to on the outside his performance will likely be variable.

Freeman has battled through a thumb issue to have a solid start to the year with four touchdowns and a 95.0 QB rating through two games. At the same time he has thrown for 36 fewer yards than Favre while completing eight fewer passes. He also doesn't have many top flight weapons to chuck the pigskin to other than Kellen Winslow Jr. (if he can stay healthy). Freeman certainly has plenty of upside, but he hasn't completed even 55 percent of his passes in his career and his TD:INT ratio of 14:19 is awful. He certainly is on his way up, but he is far from a polished product at the moment.

Heading into the season Favre had an ADP of 90, while Freeman was down at 298. I'm certainly not going to let two weeks wipe away that difference, especially when a case can be made that Favre is one of the five best quarterbacks in league history.

I took Maurice-Jones Drew in the first round this year. What's his problem? I was offered Jahvid Best from a guy who loves the Jaguars. Does that sound like a fair trade?-- Brad, Florida

Here we go again. It's been two weeks, people, have some patience and don't be like flip-flopper Andy Reid, who went away from the organizational plan in Philadelphia by switching from Kevin Kolb to Michael Vick (you can read about that in the NFL Daily Dose).

Heading into the season, MJD was a universal top-5 pick even with concerns about his knee, whereas Best was lucky to sneak into the top-20 running backs off the board. Has MJD disappointed through two weeks? Certainly. At the same time he touched the ball 26 times in Week 1, clearly putting to rest any concerns about his knee being a factor. Yes, he was limited to 13 touches in Week 2, but that was only because the Jags were getting it handed to them by the Chargers 38-13. Show some patience, MJD will be fine. Over his career he has averaged 0.83 scores per game, so the fact that he has been held off the score sheet the first two times on the gridiron this year should be seen as an anomaly. Believe in his substantial history and have faith in the decision you made less than a month ago when you drafted him as your top back.

Best has been amazing in showing the elite speed that he flashed while at the University of California. The man is a top talent, and he likely would have generated much more buzz if he hadn't been sidelined with a concussion in his last year in college. As I wrote about in the NFL Player Rater: Week 2), Best has been the most valuable performer in fantasy through two weeks, thanks most to his five touchdowns and 170 receiving yards. At the same time, he has averaged only 49 yards a game on the ground with a meager 3.2 yards per carry, and it's not like the Lions have an easy schedule this season (especially during the fantasy playoffs in Week's 14-17: Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Miami and Minnesota).

Stick with MJD. As they say, you want to buy low and sell high, and you would be doing the exact opposite here.

Try this deal on for size. Dwayne Bowe and Clinton Portis for Beanie Wells and Mike Sims-Walker. Which side comes out ahead?-- Rodney, New York

Bowe has been a disappointment so far, as has the entire Chiefs' passing attack. Through two games Bowe has five catches on 10 targets, far below his potential as a fantasy WR2. At the same time the guy has averaged 74 catches, 947 yards and six scores per 16 games in his career. He simply must be more involved in the offense, and the Chiefs damn well know it.

Portis scored twice in Week 2, but come on now. He has averaged 3.1 YPC on his 31 carries, and he is already dealing with some sort of wrist injury. Don't overlook the extreme nature of his career workload either as he is much "older" than a normal 29-year-old back because of his more than 2,200 career carries. He also hasn't averaged more than 4.3 YPC since 2003. He might not make it to 3.4 this season.

Wells' situation is as confounding as the hunt for the lost city of Atlantis. Wells was supposed to have a little knee bruise, and now he has missed two games with Week 3 also in doubt. There's no telling what's going on there, so it's exceedingly difficult to count on him in the short-term. At the same time Tim Hightower has fumbled a few balls, and if you remove his 80-yard TD scamper he has averaged 3.9 YPC, far from an elite mark.

MSW was invisible in Week 1 but he reasserted himself in Week 2 with an impressive game of 10 catches, 105 yards, and one score. The Jags have no one else to turn to as a potential difference maker in the passing game, so look for him to be heavily utilized, even if he is a bit of a hit or miss option from week to week.

Bowe and MSW are similar options, some might even call them interchangeable. As for the running backs I'm going to suggest that Wells is the better option the rest of the way. Portis is certainly safe if he can stay healthy since there is no one in that Redskins backfield who appears capable of challenging him for touches, but there is zero upside there. I don't have a clue when Wells will be healthy, but if you can afford to be patient, I wouldn't be at all shocked to see him have a very impressive second half of the season.

Ray Flowers is Managing Editor for Owners Edge and His work can be found weekly, exclusively at the home of fantasy football: To e-mail Ray a question for next week's piece, drop him a line at You can also hear Ray's thoughts at the Sirius XM Homepage (Ray is the co-host of a daily radio show on XM 147 and Sirius 211 satellite radio).

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