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Fake Teams fantasy football mailbag: Start John Ross or Calvin Ridley?

Plus is James Conner worth picking up and a little RB draft strategy.

Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Welcome to another week of Fake Teams fantasy football mailbag. If you want to send in your questions for next week’s mailbag (it comes out every Thursday, just in time for football), here are the ways to join:

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

Onto the mailbag:

Q: Was looking for a bit of advice. I need my 2nd rb and a flex for this week ppr scoring. Need 2. Hyde, Burkhead, White or Carson. Gonna be great for byes and injuries but a headache for now.
— @robq50_robert

Right off the bat, start Carlos Hyde. Hyde has looked excellent in the preseason, is the unquestioned starter in Cleveland and playing behind a strong offensive line. Plus you can never doubt the Tyrod Taylor running boast that LeSean McCoy has been taking advantage of for the last three years. And if you need MORE reason to start him, check out Paddi Cooper’s Week 1 warriors article.

So there’s one down for ya.

For your flex, I like both Sexy Rexy Burkhead and James White this week. I’ve already put on record my big plans for Burkhead this year—I think he’s going to be a top 10 fantasy back—but the Patriots have said they’re going to ease him into the game this weekend, hoping not to re-aggravate his knee. That being said, “ease him in” could mean give him five carries all at the one yard line which leads to five touches for six yards and three touchdowns. On the flip side, the Texans defense has always struggled covering pass catching backs out of the backfield meaning James White could be in for a hefty workload. Since it’s PPR, my gut says start White.

EDIT: Sexy Rexy is healthy. START HIM!

Q: Ross or Ridley for WR3 week one?
— @NE_9_10_26

John Ross. First off, the Colts’ secondary is hot freaking garbage so the entire Bengals offense should eat this weekend. More so than just matchup, the Bengals showed in the preseason that they’re going to utilize Ross and will find ways to get him the ball. I don’t trust that Calvin Ridley, despite how good he looked at times this preseason, is going to get enough looks in that offense to register any real fantasy production this week. I’ve been burned by too many rookie receivers to trust any more.

Q: 1.How’s my team in our RB1 league? 2.Also is John Conner worth a week one start if leveon doesn’t report for week 1?
— Ben Q.

You went bold in our RB1 league and I like it! Obviously Todd Gurley, Tom Brady and Gronk are all great pieces to have but you drafted Gronk AND Travis Kelce back-to-back. I actually kinda like the move since Kelce will get you just as much production, if not more, as most FLEX guys and if all else fails, he’ll be great trade bait. It was a bold strategy and I’ll be curious to see how it plays out.

Second question: YES. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. A BILLION TIMES YES. Get James Conner right the flip now.

Q: How did I do? 14 team auction keeper. Have had Bell and OBJ since they were rookies and kept Cook this year. Bench is a bit speculative & need a healthy Wentz...
— @afern401

It’s a bummer about Guice because he would’ve been a real asset this year for ya. I like holding onto Dalvin Cook, part of me feels like people have forgotten just how good he was last year. My biggest worry is Le’Veon Bell. With his holdout seemingly being legit this time and him threatening to miss serious time, you’re gonna need to snag yourself another running back (might I suggest James Conner?) asap. Also LOVE the DJ Moore get, he could become a must start later in the year.

Q: Would you draft a great Second string RB without having the first string to handcuff? I’ve done it before, it burned me. For instance Gurley’s back up...but Gurley is not on your team.
— @doubleyoushaw

If you’re in a deep league with a lot of bench space, yea I think it could make sense. Obviously it’s worked out for any of those few people who drafted James Conner.

I would treat them more as insurance rather than a viable start. If you do add John Kelly for instance, I wouldn’t start him until we see how he’s used in the Rams offense. But if Gurley God forbid gets injured, you’ll be the lucky man with Kelly already on your roster. And then you start him like a mad man.

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