NFL Fantasy: Week 4 mailbag

Each Wednesday, we take a peek into our fantasy mailbag and answer your burning questions about all things NFL fantasy. Here’s this week’s edition.

Welcome to our weekly mailbag post where we answer your NFL fantasy questions. Let’s see what you wanted to know this week:

My IDP fantasy league administrator says a sack counts as a tackle and a sack. Isn’t that double-dipping?

– Pete, Joliet, Il.

Most fantasy leagues do not have the resources to watch every game and manually determine what tackle is a sack or a tackle for a loss. Instead, they award points based on what the official box score lists as a statistic. In the NFL, a sack will show up in the box score as a sack, a tackle for loss (TFL), a tackle and possibly a solo tackle. Therefore, your IDP player scores points for all four items on one play.

This is the argument against “big play” IDP scoring which awards more points for sacks and fumbles and less for tackles. Original scoring gave a full point for a tackle and added half-points if that tackle was a loss or a sack. That avoids seven-point (or more) plays. There is no standard IDP scoring model, but with big play scoring, a strip-sack, fumble recovery in the end zone can be worth 12 points or more.

Which rookie quarterback should I add to my roster?

– Isaac, Barcelona

Dak Prescott succeeded last season because he was a good talent in a great situation. He had good coaching, a good offensive line, and he was surrounded by good skill players. Neither of the true rookies in 2017 has a situation like that. Deshaun Watson needs a better offensive line and DeShone Kizer needs wide receivers. Both could use coaches more attuned to the limitations and needs of a rookie quarterback.

First-year starter Jacoby Brissett needs a better offensive line, but his time under Bill Belichick’s team puts him ahead of the others intellectually. Trevor Siemian has the best situation in Denver. I would add him before any of the rookies. If Mitchell Trubisky enters the game in Chicago, he jumps ahead of Deshaun and DeShone, as would Patrick Mahomes should something happen to Alex Smith.

Trevor Siemian killed my Week 3 game. Is that reality or did Garett Bolles’ injury matter that much?

– Jim, Miami, Fl

Possibly and yes. Buffalo was the best defensive team Siemian faced so far. Dallas got pressure on the quarterback, but their secondary was decimated by injuries. The Chargers played Siemian tough, which shows he can battle and play well against a good defense. But a great defense on the road might be a challenge. It is too early to tell for sure, but I am cautiously optimistic that Week 3 will be a glitch in a fantastic season for Siemian.

As far as Bolles’ injury, losing their starting left tackle definitely impacted both pass protection and runs. Bolles is only a rookie, but his energy and passion make him an outstanding and important part of the Denver offense. He is out at least another week and may not return in Week 5 to take advantage of Denver’s Week 6 bye. Denver will continue to work on filling in the Bolles-shaped hole they have in the meantime.

How can I find out if a statistic was changed after a game ended?

– Hakeem, Hertfordshire, UK

Decisions that affect NFL fantasy point changes might include addition or removal of yards, deciding a sack was actually a rush for a loss or awarding credit for a tackle to a different player in IDP leagues. If you belong to a major web-based, sponsor-managed league, they almost always have a process to alert you to the ruling, change the affected point totals, and leave a message for the owners on the league’s main page. All rulings come from the NFL officiating office. No league can change an NFL ruling on their own.

These managed fantasy sites offer so many variables and personalization that there is no reason to not use them for your league. If you have an independent league, you can contact the NFL league offices to see if there were updates, but that could take a couple of days. A better idea might be to join a free fantasy site and enter the players from your league. If you run a ten-team league, you can make a fake 14-team league and add that many more names. Then take advantage of their notifications.

By the way, it is extremely rare that rulings change after the game.

How do you decide what kicker to stream?

– Michael, Cardiff, Wales

All I look for is a team that is likely to score or need lots of points, preferably kicking indoors or in Denver. Good weather is vital if the game is outdoors. Any high-scoring team has a potentially worthy kicker. I’d rather see a 50-yard field goal, but 4-5 extra points per week offer a good floor.

Many folks make the mistake of looking for a recognizable name. The owners of Justin Tucker can tell you how that works out. If the offense can’t get the ball into field goal territory, even the most accurate kicker in the world isn’t worth a roster spot.

When I want to pick up a waiver player or stream a skill position, it always seems like the fantasy web host assigns a projected point total much lower than what I expect. Is that to scare me away or make me think twice?

– Julie, Atlanta, Ga

Certainly, if the ‘experts’ project a much lower point total than you expect, it is worth double-checking your thoughts. That being said, you would be much better off reading start ‘em or sit ‘em, top waiver targets, and must-start articles on RealSport or… RealSport.

Once you do your research, trust your gut. This is especially important if the move involves a team or player you have intimate knowledge of. Coaches are more likely to tell a local sportswriter about a planned change in workload or scheme than they are a national (or international) sports organization. If you heard something about your favorite team, trust it. I regularly search for articles written by each team’s local sportswriters to gain better insight. So… you can read and trust RealSport.

You have a question, too? Send it to [email protected] so we can answer it in next week’s Mailbag post

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