Welcome to the latest edition of the weekly mailbag.
Send me your questions using the DLF Mailbag Form and I’ll include the best in future articles. Remember the guidelines to have the best chance at seeing your question get posted:
1.) Dynasty questions only, no start/sit questions
2.) Help me help you by providing sufficient information about your league (e.g. line-up requirements/PPR or non-PPR/etc.), and include your first name and where you’re from.
3.) Your chance of getting your question answered is inversely proportional to the length of the question.
Let’s get to it!
1.) Was offered Stevan Ridley/Shane Vereen/2014 first for Torrey Smith and Pierre Garcon. I thought this was a no-brainer, but the hit he took in the Baltimore game is concerning. Should I take it? – Bill in Uniontown, PA
I still think it’s a no-brainer for you.
I’m not aware of Stevan Ridley having a history of concussions. The NFL is a hard hitting game regardless of what defense players say. Plays like that are going to happen and fantasy owners need to resist the urge to overreact.
Ridley is going to go in the mid to late third round in start-up drafts this year. He’s emerged as a weekly starter at RB2 in all formats. Pierre Garcon and Torrey Smith are nice players for sure, but they don’t carry the same fantasy value as a weekly starter at running back. You are getting the handcuff as well, which many owners tend to like.
The 2014 first is icing on the cake. While its value is somewhat low right now, that’s an asset that is guaranteed to appreciate over time. This time next year you’ll be glad you have it.
2.) Will Celek have any value now that Chip Kelly is running the show? – Eric in PA
There are several ways to interpret your question. One, that you think Celek had no value in the past and you’re asking if Kelly will help that. Or two, that Celek had some value and Kelly might ruin that. Not sure which.
Anyway, I think a couple of things. First, people overreact to coaching changes in dynasty. There isn’t a whole lot going on right now in the NFL for dynasty owners other than coaching changes, so we talk about it a lot. Does it matter? Sure it does. Is it going to drastically change a player’s value? Most times, probably not.
Second, Chip Kelly isn’t going to come to Philadelphia and simply slap the Oregon playbook on the table and say “Let’s do this!” He’s going to tailor the offense to the players, the other coaches and to the NFL itself. The track record for college coaches trying to implement their college system in the pros is not good. Kelly is smart and he knows that.
As to Celek specifically, I don’t think Kelly hurts him, that’s for sure. I’d still have him ranked as a mid-range TE2 who has a bit of upside. The problem is there are plenty of players just like Celek. Tight end has become very stratified in fantasy. There are the two elite guys, then a tier of solid players (e.g. Aaron Hernandez, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis) and then a bunch of guys. Once you’re outside of the top five or six TEs, it’s simply owner’s preference and Celek is near the end of that mix for me.
3.) I have LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, DMC, David Wilson, Andrew Luck, Matt Stafford, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Jeremy Maclin and Josh Gordon. I have the 1.02 and can keep only five players. What should I do? – Mike in Royal Oak, MI
You have a lot of solid players to choose from, but I’m guessing injuries dragged you down in 2012. I’m interpreting your comment that you have the 1.02 to mean you pick second a mixed FA/rookie draft after each of the teams has selected their five keepers. If that’s right, that’s nice for you.
Barring a trade, I’d keep Andrew Luck, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Jordy Nelson and Antonio Brown. Although in this format I could make a strong argument for keeping another running back or wide receiver over Luck. I believe you mention in your question that it’s non-PPR, so I’d lean RB if you choose to toss Luck back.
I do think trying to construct a trade with a team that has fewer keeper options is worth your time. None of your players would be off the table for me. While I like them, there aren’t any uber-studs that you just have to hold on to. Remember, if the only other option is to toss a player back, you may as well include him in a deal for an upgrade. It’s win/win. Example: Why not bundle Charles/Matt Stafford and see if you could get Arian Foster or Adrian Peterson in a keeper league like this.
4.) I start Arian Foster and Matt Forte weekly. I’m worried about my RBs after them – Jacquizz Rodgers, Ben Tate, Michael Bush, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory. Do you think I could trade a combo of Stevie Johnson/DeSean Jackson to get a buy low guy (say DMC)? – Brandon in Lexington, KY
If you have the depth at receiver to do that, then sure. Neither Stevie Johnson nor DeSean Jackson is going to make or break a fantasy team. They are nice players to own but generally you’d rather have them riding the pine most weeks. At best they are low end WR3 options.
What I’d actually recommend is packaging them with one of your running backs – probably Jacquizz Rodgers – and seeing if you could do a little better than DMC. If you add a solid third running back, you don’t need all of that developmental depth at the position. I’d recommend including Rodgers because he’s getting some hype these days and is probably the only one of your guys who any owners would put much value in.
I think you’re on the right track about trying to make something happen here. Arian Foster/ Matt Forte is a very nice combination, but if either goes down (esp. Forte) your weekly production will drop. If you do pull a trade and let one of your running backs go, know that this rookie draft class has a wealth of running back depth. No elite players, but a lot who could add value down the road. You may get someone in the late first or early second who becomes a nice asset for you.
5.) How do you see DeMarco Murray’s value these days? Doesn’t get much pub these days. Is he maybe a buy-low? – Braxton in LA
DeMarco Murray certainly seems to be a forgotten man. 2012 was rough on his owners with the injuries – he left teams high and dry from week seven through week twelve. He came back strong in the playoffs, but I’m sure many of the teams he was on didn’t make the playoffs.
He’s a player I like quite a bit and I’m surprised by the negative comments about him from fantasy analysts. Murray has a number of aspects I like:
- He’s one of the few bell cows in the league. When healthy, he doesn’t get pulled in favor of Felix Jones much at all.
- He participates in both the running game and the passing game. He averaged 3.5 receptions per game. While that’s not a ton, it adds points in PPR leagues.
- He gets a decent number of touches per game – generally twenty or more. What he lacks in yards per carry, he tends to make up for in volume.
I’m not going to go out on a limb and say I expect Murray to light the fantasy world on fire in 2013. What I expect is that Murray will help teams who have several RB2 options to choose from each week. I don’t think he’s a “set it and forget it” RB2, but he’s a nice choice to have depending on your other players and the match-up.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.