I apologize for being a day late on this. Work has been hectic. But let’s dive right in.
What does the departure of Brandon Lloyd do to the Broncos offense as a whole? -Roger, Texas
I think we will see this week. I want to see Tebow throw to Eric Decker, Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas before I say the departure of Lloyd kills the passing game. I think we might be surprised.
Who would be your top 5 overall if you were drafting today? -Alexis, Colorado
Adrian Peterson would still be my #1. I’d probably have Ray Rice, Darren McFadden, Calvin Johnson and I’d have to put Aaron Rodgers #5. CJ and Rodgers have just been so far ahead of anyone else at their positions, I think Arian Foster would be in the discussion.
I’m sure you’re getting this question a lot, but where do you rank Carson Palmer? -Jason, Oakland
If I was ranking QBs, now that we know he is starting this week, I’d say between 15 and 20th. He has a bye week next week, so I think he’s closer to 15th after the bye and closer to 20th (if not lower) this week. I see him pretty close to Jason Campbell’s value before the injury.
What do you make of Christian Ponder? -Tyrone, Whyoming
I think his starting helps Adrian Peterson (as if he needed help). Ponder would do well to spend a lot of time handing off this week. That being said, Ponder should learn from McNabb’s mistake and get Percy Harvin involved much more heavily. There’s playmakers on that team if they get the ball to them.
Baseball question if you dont mind? Where do you see Pujols and Fielder landing and what does it do for their fantasy value? -Kaleb, Michigan
They are both top-15 overall picks in my book no matter what. I still think Pujols stays in town. If not, I’m looking at the Cubs, Angels and Yankees as front-runners. I’d say those same teams if Pujols stays in St. Louis.
Can you think to baseball for a second and tell me who will be your top player at each position next preseason? -Frank, Florida
I won’t commit to my preseason 2012 rankings, but I’ll say off hand I’d expect to have Carlos Santana, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun in the OF, Justin Verlander as my top starter and Craig Kimbrel as my top reliever. (Side note, keep a close eye on Aroldis Chapman, Neftali Feliz and Chris Sale and their roles. If they’re starters, they’re more valuable.)
You traded Stafford for Smith. But you say Stafford is legit and you still warn about Cam Newton. Can you explain the thinking a little more? -Marciello, Los Angeles
I hated making that deal because it was pretty even and I like to be handily winning trades. But with Tebow starting in Denver, I had a capable backup for Aaron Rodgers. I was unlikely to use Stafford for more than that one week anyway. And my receivers were a hole in the lineup all year. I was winning because of Rodgers and my backs. But all three of them have bye weeks coming (Fred Jackson this week) and I needed to get production from the receivers to survive. While Newton may have his ups and downs, you can bet Smith will stay one of the most targeted receivers in football. Add to that the Panthers lack of running game and I dont see catastrophic downside.
How do you feel about the ESPN fantasy writers? -Richard, Oklahoma
I read their work often. Some I agree with, a lot I don’t, but their statistical analysis is especially useful. I tend to agree with Karabell most of the group. Berry is more entertaining than informational, but they’re a good group overall. By the way, I’d encourage you to vote for their Fantasy Focus Podcast in the upcoming podcast awards. It’s pretty good.
Would you trade for Cam Newton right now or be trading him away? -Rebecca, Kansas
Yes. That’s the short answer. Would I trade for Newton if I was giving away Carson Palmer for him? Yes. Would I trade him away if I was getting Aaron Rodgers? Yes. It’s all about value. I wouldn’t send him away cheap. Think borderline top-5 QB, so I’d expect a top-10 player at another position for him, minimum.
I took your advice and made sure I got elite QB and TE in every league. I drafted either Antonio Gates or Dallas Clark in all three. I got Peyton Manning in two and Tony Romo in the other. Thanks. -Glenn, Minnesota
I’m sorry about those injury problems. I make projections and rankings based on expectations and even with the foot, Gates was the best TE by far when he played last year. And Manning hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year. That’s unpredictable. For the record, I drafted Clark in two leagues as well, so I feel your pain, but at least he scored last week.
Over/under 10 TDs for Mendenhall rest of season? Also, Chris Johnson ends up a top __ RB this year? And Jamaal Charles is a top __ RB in your 2012 preseason rankings? -Timothy, Puerto Rico
Under on Rashard, but I think he looks a lot better and should be very good going forward. If you can still buy low, do it. For Johnson, I’d say between 12 and 15. For Charles, as I said before, I won’t commit to 2012 ranking spots, but if I had to guess I’d say he’ll be at the back end of the top 20 RB, around 17 or 18 maybe. I expect Charles to be 75-80% next year and not be 100% until late 2012 or into 2013.
That’s all for now guys. Thanks for all the questions. Good luck this week.