Fantasy football mailbag: Rodgers headlines top fantasy performers

Monday October 24th, 2011

We've reached the midway point of most fantasy league seasons, so before we dive into this week's mailbag I'm going to reveal my first-half all bust and boom teams. Please send me your choices along with any other fantasy football related questions to @SI_DavidSabino on Twitter and we'll publish a bunch in this space next Monday. To be fair, please exclude injured players because we're of the view that it's really not their fault they got hurt. We're simply looking for underachievers. Here are my honorees:

QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers RB1 Matt Forte, Bears RB2 Fred Jackson, Bills WR1 Calvin Johnson, Lions WR2 Wes Welker, Patriots WR3 Mike Wallace, Steelers TE Jimmy Graham, Saints W/R Darren Sproles, Saints K Jason Hanson, Lions D/ST New York Jets

QB Philip Rivers, Chargers RB1 Chris Johnson, Titans RB2 Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers WR1 Roddy White, Falcons WR2 Mike Williams, Buccaneers WR3 Reggie Wayne, Colts TE Dallas Clark, Colts W/R DeAngelo Williams, Panthers K Matt Prater, Broncos D/ST New England Patriots

QB Peyton Manning, Colts RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis, Browns WR1 Andre Johnson, Texans WR2 Kenny Britt, Titans WR3 Danny Amendola, Rams TE Antonio Gates, Chargers W/R Julio Jones Falcons K Nate Kaeding, Chargers D/ST Pittsburgh Steelers

QB Cam Newton, Panthers RB1 Fred Jackson, Bills RB2 Jackie Battle, Chiefs WR1 Steve Smith, Panthers WR2 Jordy Nelson, Packers WR3 Victor Cruz, Giants TE Fred Davis, Redskins W/R Willis McGahee, Broncos K Dan Bailey, Cowboys D/ST San Francisco 49ers

I've been offered Aaron Hernandez for Philip Rivers. My reserve QBs are Cam Newton and Andy Dalton, TE is Dallas Clark. Is it a fair trade? Should I ask for more? -- @RaulCamarena (Raúl Camarena)

Despite missing two games, Hernandez is on pace for a 1,000-yard season and could be the best receiving tight end in the league in the second half as the Patriots often line him up on the outside. He's the main reason Chad Ochocinco is waiver fodder. Rivers will bounce back from a rough stretch now that Antonio Gates is back, but with Newton already in the fold it makes sense for you to make the move. Ask for more but don't push it too far if it jeopardizes the deal.

Darren McFadden and Nate Washington for Maurice Jones-Drew and Hakeem Nicks. Is Nicks a WR 1? I can get Deji Karim on the wire to back up. -- @azpob

Even with the sprained foot he suffered early in Week 7 and the chaos that plagued the Raiders offense I'm not too excited by the prospect of dealing a potential fantasy MVP for anyone, let alone the disappointing Jones-Drew. I do like Nicks and he's a borderline WR1 but McFadden is simply too valuable to give up. I'd try to offer your second-best back for Nicks instead.

I was offered Tony Romo, Miles Austin and BenJarvus Green-Ellis for Tom Brady. I have Wes Welker and Roddy White at WR and Shonn Greene, Felix Jones and Jackie Battle at RB. Yes or no. White for Mendenhall make sense? -- @ljr_85 (Luis J)

That is a nice offer, but I can't see trading Brady at this point in the season, especially when you have him paired with Welker. You certainly can use an upgrade at running back, although you did a great job grabbing longtime special teams player Battle off of waivers. Although he's only had one good game this season, it makes sense to trade White for Mendenhall and then pick up the best available free agent receiver (say Michael Jenkins or Jason Avant) off of waivers.

I have a trade proposal in which I would give up Roddy White and Mike Tolbert for Darrius Heywood-Bey and Jahvid Best. Go or no go? Thanks. -- @MattySuzuki

Apparently there is a lot of interest in White. The key to this deal would be Best. Sidelined by his second concussion of 2011, reports are that he will return this year and likely sooner rather than later. However, who's to say that his next hit won't sideline him for the rest of the season so I'd be careful in what I'd give up for him. Tolbert is still getting a lot of goal-line carries for the Chargers, making him valuable in his own right. And until the Raiders figure out how to keep their quarterback from throwing interceptions, whether it's Carson Palmer, Kyle Boller or even Terrelle Pryor, I'm not sure how much I'd want to give up for DHB. I'd pass.

I was offered Chris Johnson for Michael Turner straight up. Thoughts? -- @BrianShearer

Neither player is lighting up the fantasy scoreboard but at least Turner can be counted on for touchdowns, as he's outscored CJ2K six to one thus far. I was a firm believer that Johnson would bounce back with better conditioning and timing with the rest of his offense, but now, weeks later, he's still putting up mediocre fantasy scores. Coming off of back-to-back 120-plus yard games, it's hard to give up Turner, especially with the Colts, Saints and Titans coming up following the Falcons bye this week.

Should I trade Steven Jackson for Jermichael Finley? I have Ryan Mathews, Ahmad Bradshaw and Marshawn Lynch. Or should I platoon Jake Ballard/Ben Watson/Jared Cook? -- @metjetsfan81 (Henry Strawder)

It's hard to play tight end roulette, so simply put, yes, I'd make that deal. The Packers are rolling and Finley is a Top 5 tight end talent. With Mathews and Bradshaw in the fold you can afford to give up Jackson. However, keep your eyes peeled for another running back to supplement your bench as Marshawn Lynch's back injury is a concern.

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