Week One Fantasy Doctor: What is Martin's true value?

Posted Sept. 05, 2012 @ 3:07 p.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Every Wednesday, The Fantasy Doctor ponders fantasy-football dilemmas and prescribes advice with an eye on helping you win. Email your fantasy questions to fantasydoctor@pfwmedia.com.

Hey there,
I look forward to another year of the mailbag and the added info that helps fantasy players everywhere.

I just have a concern with my roster. I am strong at my positions but my QB situation is iffy. I ended up getting Jay Cutler in a 12-team league with Russell Wilson as my backup.

My RBs after the draft were: LeSean McCoy, Matt Forté, Steven Jackson, Ryan Mathews, Doug Martin and Donald Brown. Crazy right? I already traded off Donald Brown to acquire Fred Davis. As of right now, I am sitting on five running backs and five receivers. My receivers are Brandon Marshall, Brandon Lloyd, Demaryius Thomas, Torrey Smith and Kenny Britt.

With all of the Doug Martin hype, I was considering trading him for a Rivers/Romo/Ryan. I feel like Martin could be a bust, especially with Tampa Bay trailing most of their games. Is this a smart move or should I ride Cutler to see how he performs? All of the teams are extremely thin at running back because they reached on QBs and I took advantage. Help!

Thanks Doc.
— Scott

Thanks for the kind words, Scott. That's quite the RB depth you have there.

I would be open to dealing Martin for a good QB — Matt Ryan is the most appealing of the passers you've mentioned, in my view. However, would Martin alone be enough to get a deal done? And would you want to take away another layer of your enviable backup depth? RB injuries are something every fantasy owner has had to deal with at some point. To wit: Mathews (clavicle) is no sure thing to play in Week One.

Taking a wait-and-see approach might not be a bad idea if you can't get the deal you want before the season begins. In other words, I wouldn't rush to dump Martin. Cutler has a fine matchup in Week One and should be a solid starter. You can likely get by with him if need be. However, I'm less sold on Wilson, and I'd agree that your QB play is something that could stand to be better. The good news? You're in a good spot with the RB and WR depth you've built to make a deal.

Should I start Josh Freeman, Russell Wilson or Matt Schaub?

— William

I prefer Schaub in Week One. The Dolphins are in rebuilding mode. They traded CB Vontae Davis — who can be tough to beat at his very best — in August. Moreover, Schaub has very good skill-position talent surrounding him. Freeman wouldn't be a bad play, either, but I believe the Buccaneers will be able to run on the Panthers, which could limit his value ever so slightly. I don't advise starting Wilson; he had a strong preseason, but I wouldn't have him in my lineup in his regular-season debut against an Arizona defense that did show some improvement late last season.

Doc,

I'm in a standard-format league and need some help selecting my two RBs, two WRs and a flex player. I think I'm a lock penciling in DeMarco Murray at one RB spot and Wes Welker at one WR spot. I also have RBs DeAngelo Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin and Rashad Jennings and WRs Hakeem Nicks, Percy Harvin, Antonio Brown and Denarius Moore. I would normally be inclined to start Lynch and Nicks but they are "nicked" up and not certain to play Week One.

As for my other RB, I'm also iffy on Williams even though Stewart has a sprained ankle and Jennings now that MJD is back. Martin will start but he plays for Tampa Bay whose offense doesn't instill a lot of confidence just yet. So, which of the three RBs should I start along with Murray? Also, do I take a chance on Nicks or should I start Harvin or Brown at my other WR spot? Finally, who is the best flex player from the RBs and WRs I don't start? Thanks for helping me get off to a good start this season!

— Mike from Maryland

Let's look at this position-by-position:

At running back, I'd lean toward Martin if Lynch (back spasms) is limited or out. I'd rank your options thusly: Martin, Lynch, Williams, Jennings.

At wideout, I'd play Harvin. Here's how I'd stack your WRs: Harvin, Brown, Nicks (foot, check status), Moore (hamstring, check status).

At the "flex" spot, Lynch gets the nod if healthy. If not, Williams is the suggested play. My "flex" rankings: Lynch, Williams, Harvin, Brown, Nicks.

I am just trying to get some advice for the upcoming week. Here's my dilemma. I have five great receivers as listed below:

1) Roddy White
2) Julio Jones
3) Marques Colston
4) Dez Bryant
5) Pierre Garcon

At most, I can start three of them, which is my plan since my ground game isn't that strong. What should I do here?

— Edwin

I'd start both Falcons wideouts, and I also would go with Colston, who gets a slight edge over Bryant. (Doctor's note: The reader also has Matt Ryan, which could lead to some boom-or-bust weeks depending upon how the Atlanta offense fares.)

Overall, you've built strong WR depth, which is great to have in a pass-first NFL. For Week One, I'd rank your wideouts just the way you have them, though I might lean slightly toward Jones over White on big-play ability.

You are the best in the biz, thanks for all the great info online. I am trying to decide who to play at flex: DeAngelo Williams or Miles Austin (rules are typical fantasy league).

Thanks.

— Robert

I usually go with the running back in these RB vs. WR toss-ups for a "flex" spot, and this one's no different. I prefer Williams.