Fantasy football mailbag: Considering a second D/ST, ranking running backs and a special ranking!

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You have questions, we have answers.

The season is past the mid-point and the playoffs are quickly approaching. Moves you make, or do not make, now could affect whether you will be playing in those final games. Many of you had questions about which mediocre RB to roster, what to do with an elite D/ST and more. Let us look at these questions as I answer your most pressing questions.

Who has the highest upside moving forward this year: Kareem Hunt, Joshua Kelley, Tyler Allgeier or Jaylen Warren? — Mark V.

I would love to answer Warren for this question, but Mike Tomlin is stubborn and will not allow Najee Harris to fail. Therefore, Warren seems stuck in a complimentary back role.

With the up-to-date news coming out of Cleveland that Jerome Ford will miss at least one game and maybe more, Kareem Hunt must be the choice. He will have no competition for the lead role with Ford missing time and Nick Chubb out for the season. He is also well versed in this offense having played in Cleveland for the past four seasons. We saw Sunday that the Browns trust him at the goal line as he scored the winning TD in the 39-38 win over the Colts.

In four games, Hunt has 32 rushes for 103 yards. But he already has three TDs on those carries. He is also a major receiving threat out of the back field with 137 receptions and 7 receiving TDs in his Cleveland career. Any attempt to keep Hunt from being overworked went away with the injury to Ford. He will be counted on to be a workhorse, and this will include plenty of receiving to go along with his rushing. Expect Hunt to be the best of the bunch you have mentioned when it comes to ROS results.

I’ll need to pick up a backup for the Chiefs defense for their upcoming bye, and I’m debating whether to drop Amari Cooper, Brian Robinson or Deebo Samuel on waivers. Thoughts? — Niko K.

Why drop anyone? Amari Cooper is the WR1 for Cleveland, Brian Robinson is the RB1 in Washington and Deebo Samuel, although injured now, is going to be a huge weapon down the stretch for a Super Bowl contender in San Francisco.

D/STs are a dime a dozen for fantasy. Through seven weeks of games, the Chiefs are a middle-of-the-pack fantasy D/ST, better in reality than in our virtual game. Drop the KC D/ST and pick up another D/ST in its place. If you really want them back, there is a good chance you can pick them back up the following week.

Could Myles Gaskin be a legitimate stash option going forward ? The Rams’ backfield committee seems unpredictable, but Gaskin should be the best pass-catching option of the bunch, I guess. — Simon

Be careful with Gaskin. In a week where the Rams were pulling players off the practice squad and the scrap heap, they still decided to have Gaskin not dress.

Darrell Henderson is likely to be the lead back for the moment in Los Angeles. But even he is a risk as the Rams are just 15th in the league with 112.0 yards/game on the ground. The Rams also rush the ball just 26.3 times/game, which ranks 18th in the NFL. With a committee approach in Los Angeles being a problem for all involved, Gaskin is not a risk worth taking… unless another injury occurs.

What is the Denver WR trade situation, and is Marvin Mims a solid stash candidate assuming Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton are dealt?  — William E K

Unfortunately, I do not yet have any sources inside the Broncos complex. This said, I am not sure what the trade situation is, other than to say reports have Jerry Jeudy being considered a trade candidate. But he has been carrying this tag for over a year and is still on the team.

On the other hand, I would love to tell you Mims is a good stash. He’s the most dangerous receiver in Denver. But he is not getting used to his potential with 10 receptions for 246 yards and one TD on the year.

If Jeudy or Sutton get dealt, Mims will slide in nicely. But with both on the team, Mims has only started two of seven games and has only been on the field for 28% of offensive snaps. Not to mention, do you really want to rely on Russell Wilson?

Who do you start out of the following RBs on my roster in Week 8? Three spots to fill: Alvin Kamara, Javonte Williams, Rachaad White, Gus Edwards, Zack Moss — Dan

The only certainty is Kamara. In four games since returning from suspension, Kamara has rushed 69 times for 261 yards and one TD. But he is a true dual threat — near the level of Christian McCaffrey — and he has shown it again with 35 catches on 39 targets to go along with his ground work.

Derek Carr has found his security blanket in Kamara, and he will continue to count on the versatile back to move the offense, something that has been a struggle in 2023.

Gus Edwards also seems destined to be included as he takes on the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals started the season competitively, but it finally looks like they have decided to show their true colors, losing four straight games by 10+ points.

The team opened the 21-day practice window for Kyler Murray. But this will not help them in Week 8. It will also not help them on defense against a run game in Baltimore averaging 145.0 yards/game — good for fourth in the NFL. For Arizona, their run defense ranks just 25th in the NFL and allows 130.7 yards/game. With J.K. Dobbins out, Edwards has taken the lead back role in Baltimore. This has led to Edwards having 86 carries for 346 yards and two TDs. Although not much of a threat in the pass game, Edwards does have four catches for 93 yards in 2023. He is the lead back on a team that wants to run the ball. Of the rest of your roster after Kamara, Edwards would be the next best option.

Finally, I would have to choose Javonte Williams in Denver. While Zack Moss had a remarkable start to his season, with Jonathan Taylor back, Moss will continue to lose work. He had 57 yards on 18 attempts against Cleveland. But this came just one week after having only 21 yards on seven carries against the Jaguars. This inconsistency leads me to want to take a wait-and-see approach on him. With Rachaad White taking on Buffalo and playing on Thursday, this immediately disqualified him for me, leading me to Williams by process of elimination.

Williams is coming off a game in which he rushed the ball 15 times for 82 yards against the Packers. He also caught three passes for 14 yards. Williams is the lead back in the Denver offense. If the Broncos have any plans of remaining competitive against the Chiefs on Sunday, they will need Williams to play a key role. This makes him my final choice for your lineup. Good luck in your matchup.

And finally, we have the most important question for this time of year:

Everyone debates what is the best candy. But everyone is different. Give me Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers, Three Musketeers, Caramello, Cadbury Eggs and many others. But what is the worst candy to give out for Halloween? Or to eat any time of year. Well, here are my top five worst candies. Again, this is subjective. If you happen to like one or more of the following candies, it is alright. No one is perfect. And no, candy corn will not be on my list. Why? Because I love candy corn.

5. Wax (anything) — Soda bottles, lips etc.

4. Candy Canes — Unless they are the old-time rainbow flavored ones.

3. Sugar-Free chocolate — As a diabetic, I know they want this to be good. But it is not. Besides that, it also says right on the package that it can cause you to have to use the bathroom. Just eat less of the real stuff and stay away from the laxative which is sugar-free chocolate.

2. Peeps

1. Good and Plenty — Really any black licorice

(Photo of Kareem Hunt: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

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