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Friday tweetbag: Rest-of-season value for Dolphins, Cam, Beanie

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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Giant plush Dolphin!

One of the nice things about fantasy Q&A on Twitter is that the format tends to produce very specific questions and unambiguous answers. There's enough space for people to provide context — scoring settings, names of free agents, etc. — but no one ever gives a cut-and-paste of every roster in their league, then asks, "What should I do?"

And of course there's very little room for me to waffle in a tweeted response. Even though I might prefer to bury a weak, unfelt sit/start recommendation somewhere in the middle of a 300-word reaction, I don't have that luxury. I pretty much have to give you a name, even if it's one I don't trust.

So I've been spending a fair amount of time on Twitter, fielding questions, trying to justify answers. It's quick, it's easy, hopefully it's useful. My colleagues are there, too: @YahooNoise, @scott_pianowski, @1befun, @YahooFootball. We've pushed these accounts before, we'll push 'em again. You know the drill.

Every Friday, my plan here is to highlight the 4-5 subjects that have come up most often in your tweets (or maybe the 4-5 subjects that are most interesting to me). We'll dive into these topics in somewhat greater detail. This week, despite the fact that Miami is on a bye, there's been a fair amount of Dolphins discussion, usually involving this guy's rest-of-season fantasy value...

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tweet - Marshall

I understand the frustration with Marshall's recent performance — the numbers from Weeks 3 and 4 look like they belong to his 2010 game log — but this hardly seems like the right time to sell or drop, if you can afford to wait. His value right now is as low as it's going to get: No game in Week 5, Revis looming in Week 6, quarterback on IR. I suppose if you're a Marshall owner with an 0-4 record, you have to take immediate action, you need someone who can help now. But the rest of you should hang on, because there are decent match-ups ahead for Marshall — long-range planners will note that he'll face Buffalo and New England in Weeks 15 and 16, during the fantasy playoffs.

Also, I can't downgrade Marshall too severely just because he's lost Chad Henne, a guy with a 17-game turnover streak. This does not qualify as a massive value-impacting event. Henne was the guy at the controls of the offense last year, you'll recall, while Marshall was disappointing you. Matt Moore can perhaps be something like a more reckless version of Henne; that might not be great for the Dolphins, but it isn't terrible for Marshall.

Here's another question that deals with a receiver you can't start for a couple weeks...

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tweet - AJ


This owner is obviously in a decent situation, because he'd still have Chris Johnson and Fred Jackson on the roster, following a Peyton Hillis trade. Andre Johnson is exactly the sort of player you should target right now, if you've gotten off to a strong start. (I would have entered the bidding in the Friends & Family League, but it all went down too fast). There's clearly uncertainty with AJ's situation, but everyone knows the potential payoff. He's twice topped 100 catches and 1,500 yards.

The flip side to the proposed deal above is the sale of Hillis, a player who closes the season with what looks like a rough stretch of games. Here's Cleveland's schedule, beginning in Week 11: JAC, at CIN, BAL, at PIT, at ARI, at BAL, PIT. Of course it's tough to forecast December results in early-October, but to me, that end-game seems tough.

Bottom line: I like the idea of adding AJ, I like the idea of flipping Hillis.

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tweet - Beanie

There's a clear difference between being a sell-high candidate, which Beanie Wells arguably is, and a must-sell. Few of us think Wells will maintain his current position as the top per-game scorer at his position, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't rethink his place in the RB hierarchy. He's completely unchallenged for the lead role in Arizona and he hasn't rushed for fewer than 90 yards in any of his three games this season. Also, when evaluating the proposed exchange above, we have to consider team context. Arizona has averaged 10 more points per week than St. Louis.

If you can use Beanie in a package to acquire a top-tier back, great. But don't simply flip him for a guy who happened to be a few slots higher in the preseason ranks. His early success is not a complete fluke.

This was probably my favorite Twitter exchange of the week, even though it went on for a full day...

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tweet - Cam

..and it didn't leave either side convinced of anything. The discussion was about the rest-of-season fantasy projection for Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers. We know what a healthy Rodgers can do (and it's awesome: 4,400-30-350-5), but Newton is trickier to project.

If asked to handicap the entire player pool right now, I'd give Cam the best chance to finish as the No. 1 overall fantasy scorer, at least in standard leagues — ahead of Rodgers, Brady, Vick, McFadden, Foster, Peterson and everyone else.

This, of course, is not the same thing as saying that I think Newton is the best real-life quarterback in the game, but I can't find fault with him as a fantasy asset. You basically couldn't invent a better set of circumstances. Newton has an excellent O-line to protect him (Gross, Kalil, Otah, et al) and dangerous receiving weapons at his disposal (Smith, Olsen, Stewart). He also dominates the carries inside-the-10; the Panthers have rushed for four TDs as a team, and Cam has 'em all. And Carolina's defense can't stop anything, allowing 5.2 yards per rush attempt and more than 8.5 yards per pass. Every Panthers game, including the Week 5 contest against the Saints, offers shootout potential.

I'll concede that Cam isn't likely to maintain his 5,000-yard passing pace (actually 5,544), but at this point I'd be surprised if he didn't deliver double-digit rushing scores. He needs just six more, and he has 12 games in which to do it. If he stays healthy, he's your top scorer. I'm prepared to wager. For me, this is not a sell-high situation.

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