Fantasy Football

by Joseph P. Flood

Byline: Sonny Amato

The Post's Sonny Amato was online Monday, Aug. 22, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss his Sunday Source article, How to Win at Fantasy Football .


Sonny Amato: Hi everyone. I'm glad that everyone is as pumped up about their fantasy drafts and seasons as I am. It was fun writing the article and I'm excited about answering your questions. Hopefully I can be of some help and I'll answer as many questions as I can. Good luck with your seasons (unless you're in my league).


Kensington, Md.: Sonny,

I am in a 12 team league that is doing an autodraft. It consists of a QB, 2 WR's, RB, W/T, W/E, Def and 2 DL, 2 DB, 2 D's.

With the players spread so thin, what advice can you give me to make sure I do well?

Sonny Amato: Wow, that's a very defensive league. Without having a chance to see the scoring system, I don't think your strategy is going to alter much from a more traditional league -- get your running back and focus on the offense first. Also, if you save those team defenses for last, take a close look at their opponents. Matching average defenses against poor offenses will usually earn you more points than good defenses against good offenses.


Arlington, Va.: What are your thoughts on Jamal Lewis? He had a rough season last year, but he also had a lot going on outside the league! I am considering picking him.

Sonny Amato: As an avid Steeler, fan I'll keep my real Jamal Lewis thoughts to myself. Seriously, though, I don't think that Lewis is as much a risk as everyone is making him out to be. His ankle injury is more of a worry to me than his time in a halfway house. However, the Ravens may have a legitimate passing attack for the first time in his career, which will keep teams from crowding the line of scrimmage as much as they did last year. Combine that with memories of a 2,000 yard season in 2003 and you still have a solid Top Ten pick.


Washington, D.C.: I'm having trouble figuring out where to rank Jamal Lewis amongst running backs. His injury and off-field problems diminish his value a bit, but how far does he slide? Right now I have him eighth, but I could see him below K. Jones, J. Jones, R. Johnson... What say you?

Sonny Amato: See my other response re:Jamal. But I think you have him slotted just about right at No. 8 among running backs. Of the guys you mentioned, I can see possibly sliding Kevin Jones ahead of him, but his success will hinge on how well the Harrington/Garcia passing game comes together. Jamal's got the perfect blend of speed, size, and strength. Don't underestimate him.


Washington, D.C.: Hello Sonny, Thanks for taking my question. I would like to know why so many leagues do not do individual defensive players. The league my team is in we use this format and it is a lot more exciting to follow as opposed to an individual team. We are in our 15th year doing this.


Sonny Amato: Congrats on the longevity of your league. Impressive. I think that most leagues don't like to put the extra time and effort it takes to research defensive players individually and some think that stats like tackles are kind of a crap shoot--who's in the right place and who doesn't get double-teamed by blockers? I disagree. I think it adds a fun twist to the game and I'm glad you enjoy it too.


Clark's Summit, Pa.: Keeper league Q: who's the better QB to keep on my roster for this season -- Pennington or Carr?

Sonny Amato: Pennington. He is so accurate and has a better offensive line and weapons--Coles and McCareins. Plus, his offseason surgery seems to have been successful and he'll be able to get the ball downfield better.


Springfield, Va.: Hi Sonny, I am drafting number 6 in an 8 team performance scoring league. My guess is that McCallister, D. Davis and J. lewis should all be available. Who would you pick?

Sonny Amato: The toughest choice in the draft this year are between those running backs right outside of the Top 4. Since you put me on the spot, I'll have to go with Davis. He might be the best pass-catching RB outside of Tomlinson and Houston's offensive line zone blocks well for him.


Arlington, Va.: I'm hearing contradictory things about Kurt Warner's potential value this year -- some fantasy "experts" say he's a sure bust because it's been ages since he's had a 300-yard passing game; but then guys like Chris Mortenson of ESPN say he's looked sharp in camp. With his talented young receivers, will Warner be a viable #1 fantasy QB?

Sonny Amato: From what I've seen, Warner has actually looked pretty sharp in camp, but picking him as your #1 QB would be a reach. While he probably has the most talented young recievers outside of Detroit, he is also the most immobile quarterback around. He would be a solid #2 guy and I would give him some starts against those weak NFC West secondaries.


Washington, D.C.: Fifth pick in a 10 team league, touchdowns and yardage. I expect the top 4 to be Tomlinson, Alexander, Holmes and Manning in some order. So I am torn. I'd like to take Culpepper here and RB on the way back, but then my second RB and likely both recievers will pretty weak. SO do I go for two RB in the first two rounds with this pick or take McGahee and then go for Moss/Harrison/Owens at 16? Hard to pass on Culpepper though.

Sonny Amato: What you need to consider is the gap between your first and second pick. With most teams likely to take RBs in the first round, if you don't take a RB first, they will get thin very fast. My advice is to go with someone like McGahee first and then reevaluate at 16. If someone else jumps on QBs or WRs you'll probably be able to add Green, Dillon, Jordan or Martin in your backfield, too. Not too shabby.


Colesville, Md.: Great article yesterday! Is The Post going to have a weekly FF column?

Sonny Amato: Thanks. Rumor is that the Post will have a weekly fantasy football column. With