Del Pilar's Mailbag: Wednesday edition

Posted Dec. 28, 2011 @ 1:46 p.m.
Posted By William Del Pilar

Congratulations on making it this far and though there are only a few questions, as the majority of the championships have played, there are some legitimate concerns entering Week 17.

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Does Randall Cobb have any value this week with the backups playing.
— Ronald via email

Cobb had a horrible game in Week 16, going 2-22, but yes he has value. In Week 15, for example, he went 4-53. He plays the slot and it's a high statistical target position. But remember, outside of Greg Jennings (knee) and Jordy Nelson, the Packers' WRs are boom or bust. Cobb could benefit this week, as he plays in the slot. But it was James Jones who went 4-50-2 with the huge game last week, so there is some risk here. They don't call it high-risk, high-reward for nothing. 

So I'm in my final week of my championship game and I have a small lead. I'm trying to stick with my guns that got me to the championship, but they all seem to be going down so I have to change my strategy. It looks like Peterson is done for the season. I got Blount going against a good Falcons' run D and Benson against the Ravens D. So I don't want to start either one. The RBs I have left are Spiller and Felix Jones. Do you think that will be enough to get me the championship? Or should I go get Toby Gerhart, who is going against a tough Bears D, and Khalil Bell who looked good and has a good matchup against the Vikings. Also at WR I got Colston and Marshall, and I'm not too sure about Marshall on Revis island. So do you think I should go get Floyd on the waiver wire, who has a better matchup? For defense who should I start? Falcons, Seahawks, Broncos. Once again, thanks for all the advice this season.
— Alejandro via email

First, I agree with your assessment of LeGarrette Blount, as he's been terrible recently and I believe it has more to do with the team around him than his own talents. However, he does need to improve his pass-receiving skills. Once again, I agree on Cedric Benson, who is one of my writeups in a report this week. Be on the lookout for it. I believe he's in the start/sit report that will be published Friday. The breakdown shows his matchup is not favorable.

I like Spiller against the Patriots and the 164.3 yards from scrimmage they're allowing to running backs over the past four weeks. He can take advantage and is a must-start based on his previous play. Felix Jones will play, but his health is the issue. He did well against the Giants in Week 14, going for over 100 yards, and he could do so again. I like Gerhart based on touches and the Bears are allowing 115.5 yards from scrimmage and one TD to running backs to the position over the past four weeks, so he has an opportunity to post some numbers here as he's the primary back and will see most of, if not all, the utilizations. He does have value, but not as much as Jones, and Jones is expected to start and appears to be over his injury. If your opponent needs RB help, consider picking him up for a scrub to block him.

It's a risk to start Bell, but he's playing outstanding ball right now and the Vikings are allowing 178.3 yards from scrimmage to opposing running backs over the past four weeks. He has value, but over Jones? I would pick him up over Gerhart and consider starting him if Jones has a setback.

I can't argue Floyd over Marshall, as the last time Marshall played the Jets he went 6-109-0. Floyd did not play in the first meeting with the Raiders this year, but he did rack up 13 catches for 285 yards and one TD in his two games vs. Oakland in 2010. He can exploit the matchup. Listen for news throughout the week, and if it's determined that Revis won't be on Marshall the whole game, start him. However, I'm not sure we'll find that out, so you should go with Floyd as the safer play. You have to start Marques Colston, as the Saints are red-hot and still playing for a bye week in the playoffs.

Defensively, you should go with the Falcons, who want to enter the playoffs on a high note after a devastating loss to the Saints on Monday night. That was a game that didn't show how good the Falcons really are with some game-changing turnovers, so look for them to come back strong against a struggling Bucs offense.

Do I go with the law firm of BGE or Ben Tate? The Texans seem to be falling apart and I'm not sure if he'll see any time. However, Green-Ellis has been a bust for me recently, so I don't know what to do. Please help.
— Dave via email

First, Tate rushed for minus-one yard last week. He's too inconsistent to predict his playing time. That's the primary reason you bench him. At the end of the day, you're counting on something beyond his control, so you should just live with the fact that his best value is as a handcuff to Arian Foster. BenJarvus Green-Ellis did go 3-10-0 last week, and it wasn't his worst game of the season with two performances worse than this. At this point, you can't count on him. But with the Bills this week, he does have some value, although it is diminished. That said, I still like him better than Tate because you know Green-Ellis can at least be in position to score a TD. View him as the one you go with but with minimal upside.