Fantasy Doctor: Turner a safe, smart play

The Fantasy Doctor
December 19, 2012
Falcons release Abraham, Robinson, Turner

Every Wednesday, The Fantasy Doctor ponders fantasy football dilemmas and prescribes advice with an eye on helping you win. Email your fantasy questions to Questions may be edited for clarity.

So I've made it to my league's Super Bowl, and I'm pretty confident in my starters, but I have a lot of options with my flex positions. Right now I have Jason Witten (who I'm pretty comfortable with) and Michael Crabtree in my two flex slots. My other viable options left on the bench are Michael Turner, Miles Austin, Danario Alexander and Cecil Shorts. All of them have better matchups than Crabtree, but Turner and Austin are sharing their workloads pretty heavily and my faith in Alexander was a bit shaken last week. Shorts, I have no real complaint about, and I could easily sub him in. Any input would be appreciated.

— Mike

It's a tough call. Let's start with the receivers. I would take Austin (vs. New Orleans) and Shorts (vs. New England) over Crabtree (at Seattle) and Alexander (at N.Y. Jets) on matchups.

Now we come to the case of Turner. We know the story: not many yards, but he's the goal-line back in a strong offense. He's not the most exciting of your options; those honors go to Austin and Shorts, given that they could be in high-scoring games. 

However, I'd take Turner over the wideouts in Week 16. To me, he's most likely to score a TD, and that is usually my tiebreaker when weighing multiple similar players. I'll go for the player that I peg to have the best shot at getting into the endzone, and I don't worry too much about the question of yardage. 

Overall, I'd rank your options this way: Turner, Austin, Shorts, Crabtree, Alexander. Good luck in Week 16. 

Dear Doctor,

I am in the championship in my sophomore campaign in fantasy football and could use some help with the flex spot. I have some horrible matchups this week, but here is what I am looking at for flex options: Bryce Brown, Alex Green, Greg Olsen, Brian Hartline, Anquan Boldin, Donnie Avery.

I am pretty solid with my starting WRs and TE being A.J. Green, Victor Cruz, and Aaron Hernandez, respectively. My RBs are Trent Richardson and DeAngelo Williams. Any help to secure my championship and infinite love of fantasy football would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all of your help this season.



Generally speaking, I prefer running backs to wide receivers as flex plays. To me, the decision comes down to whether LeSean McCoy (concussion) returns for Philadelphia. If he plays, Brown's tough to start, and Green becomes the play. If McCoy is out, then I would start Brown. Though Brown has struggled in the last two games (40 combined rushing yards on 28 carries), he has more upside than Green. Finally, thank you for the kind words. 

Hey Doc,

I really need some help here. I am in the championship game in my league, but I have a quarterback issue. Should I start Eli Manning against the Ravens or Andy Dalton against the Steelers?  I've gone through my whole season with this dilemma but I need some expert advice this week, especially since it's the championship.



I'd start Manning. He has the better matchup, as the Ravens' defense is more vulnerable than the Steelers' defense. What's more, Dalton has never played well against Pittsburgh. 

Super Bowl time. Four spots to fill. Standard scoring, Non-PPR. one RB, one WR and two flex. Options are as follows: Trent Richardson, Stevan Ridley, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Darren McFadden, Marques Colston, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown.

Julio seems like a no-brainer at WR. Richardson should be a lock, but he draws a tough matchup with Denver. The same can be said for Green-Ellis. Colston has been disappointing lately. McFadden and Ridley have great matchups.

Who should I start?

Thank you,


At running back, I'd go with Ridley. The Jaguars are not strong vs. the run, and Ridley has a chance to bounce back in a big way in Week 16. 

As you noted, Jones is a strong start at wideout against a Detroit defense that has had problems against the pass.

For your flex roles, I'd prefer Richardson, who's been very good near the goal line; and Colston, a key target in New Orleans' outstanding passing game. 

Doc! Please help me win my championship game! Jimmy Graham seems to be playing hurt and has not produced up to his standards over the past few games. I am fortunate to have a very quality backup TE (Jason Witten) in a 12-team league. Do I dare start Witten over Graham this weekend?


— Andrew

I'd go with Graham. The most important statistic in fantasy football tells the story here. Graham has eight TD catches, six more than Witten. I wouldn't bench Witten for many tight ends at all in Week 16, but Graham is one of them. Graham has been able to play through a wrist injury, and I wouldn't sweat the four-game streak without a TD. 

Hey Doc,

First-time poster but need some help making some decisions. Two-QB league, two RB, three WR, one flex, one TE:

QB: Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford

RB: Ray Rice, Doug Martin, Darren McFadden, Bryce Brown

WR: Demaryius Thomas, Victor Cruz, Pierre Garçon, Mike Williams, Jeremy Maclin

TE: Owen Daniels, Aaron Hernandez

Would love the input, and thanks for all your past postings. 

— Brandyn

Thanks for your note. Here's how I assess your options: 

QB — Romo is a must-start, with Flacco getting a slight edge over Bradford. 

RB — Rice and Martin are slam dunks. 

WR — Thomas, Cruz and Garçon are the plays. 

TE — Hernandez is too good to sit. 

Flex — I prefer McFadden to Brown, Williams, Daniels and Maclin.