Rotisserie By The Numbers: Questions From The Crowd

Nov 9, 2006 - 9:54 PM By Craig Rondinone SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - I have been inundated with more questions this week than Bill Parcells, Terrell Owens and Borat combined.

Rather than just send simple responses back to the loyal readers of my column who have e-mailed me this week, I have decided to take the most popular questions I have been asked and answer them in this column.

Many fantasy owners around the world might have the same questions and be in need of the same answers. This way I can kill hundreds of birds with one football.

Because these are questions coming from multiple e-mailers, I have done some paraphrasing, so please excuse me.

Question - Craig, is it worth me spending a waiver pick on Anthony Thomas? It looks like he might start a game or two for Buffalo with Willis McGahee injured.

Answer: There are two things you can never have enough of in life - money and fantasy running backs. And now with word that McGahee's rib injury is more serious than first reported, Thomas could be a starter for several weeks instead of just one or two.

Thomas does not try to do anything special when he runs. He takes the handoff and just runs hard and straight. Just like a train, hence the A-Train nickname. This makes Thomas good around the goal line, but does not normally lead to long runs or 120-yard efforts against staunch defenses.

A-Train's schedule the next four weeks is interesting. Buffalo plays at Indianapolis this weekend, a team that cannot stop the run to save the world but, if Indy blows Buffalo out of the building, Thomas will only get 10 carries anyway. Then Thomas would probably start at Houston, a team he should be able to run on no problem.

Buffalo follows with home games against Jacksonville and San Diego, which look like 20-carry, 70-yard games for Thomas if McGahee is not back yet. I think when there is a starting running back available, you pick him up no matter what. Take Thomas.

Question - Craig, my trading deadline is this weekend. Give me a couple players I could probably get for a cheap price because their values are as low as they can go.

Answer: Buy low, sell high. Just like the stock market. Here are a couple of players or teams frugal fantasy owners should focus on.

I like the Kansas City defense. Sure, they give up millions of yards and a good amount of points, but the Chiefs play Oakland twice (pencil in 12 sacks, five turnovers and 15 points allowed) and do not really play against an unstoppable offense again this season.

I also think Cincinnati loudmouth Chad Johnson is a good guy to get now while his value is below average. Crying for the football gets you the football. Ask Terrell Owens.

In keeper leagues, you could probably get Tiki Barber for a WalMart-like price as his owners assume he is going to retire and they will not be able to hold on to him, so they might want to get something for him now.

Question - Craig, my trading deadline is this weekend. Give me a couple players I should probably trade now while their value is at its highest point, along with other players I should stay away from because their value can only go down from where it is at.

Answer: You know the deal. There are definitely some players you should cut bait on now before they start declining fantasy-wise.

I have a bad feeling about Chicago's Thomas Jones. He is not running particular well, Chicago has a killer schedule coming up (on road at both New York teams and New England the next three weeks) and Cedric Benson is still waiting in the wings.

I think people should trade Buffalo's J.P. Losman while he still has a starting QB job, because he might not have it two weeks from now. I think dealing K.C.'s Damon Huard while he is channeling the spirit of Johnny Unitas is probably a solid idea as well.

Question - Craig, what is the deal with Shaun Alexander? Is he coming back? If he is, when? Should I hold onto Maurice Morris? Why is the sky blue and the sun yellow? Why are parkways called parkways and driveways called driveways when obviously the names should be switched?

Answers: The deal is that Alexander has been so healthy over his career (had not missed a game in his first six NFL seasons) that even with all the praying Alexander does, God had to lay the hammer down on his foot. Hey, everyone in sports gets injured eventually - except Cal Ripken Jr. and Brett Favre.

Right now I am wondering if we are ever going to see Alexander at all. I would put odds on him being placed on injured reserve at 50-50 at this point with the way things are headed.

In my heart (and I have Alexander in two leagues and own his jersey, so I reserve the right to get emotional), I believe Alexander will return in three weeks. I am no doctor, spiritual leader or Seahawk mole. It is just a gut feeling.

No doubt, you must hold on to Morris. He will certainly be the starter for the next couple weeks, and maybe he has finally figured out how to break tackles judging by his 138-yard outburst against Oakland last Monday night.

As for your questions about the sun, sky, parkways and driveways, I have no answers for you. You should seek the answers from a higher power. In other words, go ask Bob Costas.

RUN AND SHOOT: I think one thing this season has proven is that it is easier for quarterbacks to come back from shoulder surgeries than torn ACLs. Miami's Daunte Culpepper's season has been a sham because of his 2005 knee injury, and Cincy's Carson Palmer just came out this week saying that he is not throwing as accurately this year because his knee still is not right.

Meanwhile, after a preseason where fantasy pundits claimed he could not toss a pass over 10 yards, New Orleans' Drew Brees has four 300-yard games. And Jets' leader Chad Pennington has played much better than expected, and he is returning from not one but two shoulder procedures.

Maybe San Francisco signal caller Alex Smith is not going to transform into Joe Montana after all. He played like a new man early in the season when he threw for 814 yards and no interceptions in his first three games, but since then Smith has only thrown for more than 165 yards once in five games and has thrown more INTs than TDs.

For more information on Craig and his columns, visit www.publishedauthors.net/craigrondinone






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