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Fake Teams fantasy football mailbag: An epic running back conundrum

Plus, Trey Burton or Cameron Brate?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints The Daily Advertiser-USA TODAY N

Welcome to the Fake Teams fantasy football mailbag! If you want to send in your questions for next week’s mailbag, here are the ways to join:

  • tweet @petemrogers or @Faketeams using #FTFFmailbag
  • email at
  • leave your question in the comments!

Onto the mailbag:

Q: 0.5 PPR: I need two RBs this week out of CMC, J White, S Michel, M Ingram, & A Jones? Thanks!

Also, in full PPR: I need two RBs and a FLEX out of P Lindsay, T Riddick, Duke Johnson, J Howard, G Tate, C Sutton, & MVS?

— @AndeTheEngineer

OH MAN THIS RUNNING BACK CONUNDRUM LAWDY! I have a similar conundrum haunting me in one of my leagues, debating between David Johnson, Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb. That’s got me all kinds of a pickle.

But enough about me, let’s talk about you. Mark Ingram has to be one of your starts. The Saints’ backfield is returning to that hyper affective two-headed rushing attack and they’re facing off against a Falcons’ D that’s giving up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing backs, almost 25 points per game.

As for your second guy..........have I said conundrum in this paragraph yet? Ultimately I think you can’t bench Christian McCaffrey. He’s the RB8 so far this season in 0.5 PPR and unless you have a blatantly obvious matchup—like Nick Chubb vs the Bengals dumpster fire run defense—you play CMC.

And finally, your second question. Start Phillip Lindsay, Theo Riddick and Duke Johnson. Don’t love Jordan Howard’s matchup, Golden Tate has been struggling (fantasy and football wise) since joining the Eagles, Courtland Sutton hasn’t seen the uptick in targets we expected with Demaryius Thomas out of the picture and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been MIA for the last three weeks.

Q: Burton or Brate at te , ppr

— Rob T.

It’s funny you ask this question as in one of my leagues I literally just dropped Trey Burton for Cameron Brate so I guess that’ll give you my quick answer to your question.

Some people might think Chase Daniels starting will increase the volume Trey Burton might see, but I’m not buying it. Even if Mitchell Trubisky was playing, I think I’d still go with Cameron Brate. There’s no O.J. Howard to challenge his touches (pour some out) and he’s got his boy Jameis Winston under center. Fun fact: last year Brate received 14 percent of Winston’s targets and caught 26 percent of his touchdowns. Brate eats when Winston plays.

Q: Who do i start at flex .50 ppr: lockett, jordan howard or kenyan drake or Danny Amendola? thanks

— James P.

Right off the bat, no to Jordan Howard. Yes the Bears will likely rely on the ground game a little more with Daniels but Howard’s averaging a sad 57.3 yards from scrimmage per game over the past nine weeks and the Lions run defense has gotten noticeably better with the addition of Snacks Harrison. Also no to Danny Amendola since Ryan Tannehill ruins everything fun and is now no longer injured kicked Brock Lobster to the bench.

I think Kenyan Drake is the way to go here. Hopefully the Dolphins will take advantage of the Colts’ inability to cover running backs in the passing game, a role which Drake has the clearl advantage over Frank Gore.

Q: Olsen or John Brown?

— Vincent T.

Greg Olsen certainly has the higher floor of the two this week as he’s an integral part of the Panthers’ passing attack, especially in the red zone given that he’s scored in four of his last five games. However, John Brown is a big play waiting to happen and we all know the Raiders defense is, as I like to say, HOT GARBAGE.

If your lineup can withstand a no-show from Brown, then start him and hope he just torches the Raiders defense for 100 plus yards and a touchdown. But he’s a pretty big risk. The smarter play is definitely Olsen.

Q: I’ve decided to take it upon myself to power rank thanksgiving sides. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

5. Gravy

4. Stuffing

3. Mac & cheese

2. Green bean casserole

1. Cranberry sauce

— Chris F.

A valiant effort Chris, but are you serious about this green bean casserole shit? Above gravy and mac & cheese and FREAKING STUFFING IS FOURTH ON YOUR LIST? No sir.

Here’s the proper rankings:

5. Mac & cheese: an excellent side to go along with the turkey and ham. It’s rich and creamy and gives you the cheesy goodness you need to feel just that little bit awful about yourself.

4. Bread rolls: there’s always so much goodness left on the plate that you need to have bread to soak all that up.

3. Cranberry sauce: LOVE me some cranberry sauce.

2. Gravy: when I did a first pass at this, I had gravy 3rd but then I reconsidered because of how useful gravy is. It can be used for anything. Have you had it on the mac before? It’s not bad. How about the ham on a bread roll? Super good. Gravy is delicious, buuuut, not as delicious as...

1. Stuffing: I mean, duh. It’s the single greatest Thanksgiving side and I don’t know how anyone could argue otherwise.

Have fantasy football questions? You can email them into or tweet them at @petemrogers or @faketeams using the hashtag #FTFFmailbag.