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.) I would like your opinion on Ryan Williams’ value. I just got him cheaply to fill my last RB position. My hope is with Arians there and a renewed offensive approach that Williams might have some decent value? – Dave in Indiana
Ryan Williams’ issues haven’t been the offensive system, they’ve been his knees. He’s played five games in his two years in the NFL. It’s hard to put up numbers when you aren’t on the field.
You say you “got him cheaply” and I like that. Because of the injuries, Williams should come at a deep discount in a trade and like you I’m buying at the right price. My expectation is that Arizona will give him right around 15 touches per game to start out the season. If he performs well with those and his knees continue to hold up, they’ll build on that a bit. Even at 15 touches he’s going to be a low-end RB2 option.
It’s easy to forget that Williams was a very dynamic prospect coming out of Virginia Tech. He was the clear cut choice at 1.04 in rookie drafts that occurred before his preseason injury. Unfortunately for owners, they’ve had to be extremely patient with Williams. Hopefully that patience pays off in 2013.
2.) I need a TE. Are there any worthy of a first round rookie pick in a 12-team league? – Jason in Oregon
You don’t mention whether this is a “TE premium league,” so I’ll assume it is not.
Generally speaking, I’m resistant to taking a TE in the first round of a 12-team rookie draft. However, it depends in part on your starting lineup options. I play in a league that has a WR/TE flex slot, so that boosts TE value to some degree.
The reason to avoid TEs in the first round is simple – positional scarcity at RB and WR. In leagues where each team only starts one TE, there are plenty to go around. This is the same argument used for waiting on QB in redraft formats.
Additionally, there are a ton of developmental TEs floating around fantasy leagues right now. Robert Housler, Taylor Thompson, Lance Kendricks, Jordan Cameron and I could go on and on. My bet is that most of those guys could be had for a second round (or later) rookie pick, so why use a first on a guy just joining the league?
Last but not least, this is a deep class at RB, WR and TE. I’d rather use my first round rookie pick to get the best available RB or WR and then see where I could get a tier two TE prospect. Most of the talk right now is about Zach Ertz and Tyler Eifert. I’m going to tell you not to sleep on Travis Kelce. Just remember who told you about him when he becomes a steal in the late second or early third of your rookie draft.
3.) Can I count on David Wilson to be my RB2 in a non-PPR, 12-team league? – Braxton from L.A.
I don’t think you can count on David Wilson as a RB2 in any format. I can’t recall more of a spike in a player’s value than what we’ve seen with Wilson over the last several months. He went from a spot starter in fantasy to being projected to be a set-it-and-forget-it level stud.
While Wilson has tremendous athletic talent, he has some issues as a player – most notably his inability to pass protect. Wilson owners need to understand Eli Manning is considered the franchise asset in NY and if Wilson can’t protect him he will assuredly lose snaps to the other RBs on the team. It’s that simple.
As a Wilson owner myself I am excited to see what he can do in 2013, but I think we need to temper our expectations. If he gets 15-18 touches per game he’ll be a solid RB2 simply because of his big play upside. I want to see him get that number of touches in a couple of games before I could tell owners that they can “count on him.”
4.) I have the 1.01 and need a RB. I want to trade for a veteran. Who can I expect to get? – Chris in Nashville
I like your thinking. If you are targeting a specific position of need in the rookie draft, it’s always best to explore a trade before making your pick.
While this draft lacks a Trent Richardson, you’ll still get premium value for the 1.01. It carries a lot of cache and I have a sneaking suspicion that people will become enamored with either Cordarrelle Patterson or Eddie Lacy pretty soon.
My advice would be to start high and work your way down your list. My first tier of players that I’d target would be Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles and CJ Spiller. Then I’d drop to Matt Forte, Alfred Morris and Stevan Ridley. This would be followed by CJ2K, David Wilson and DeMarco Murray. But set your own tiers, those are just mine and I’d probably target them in a different order in every league depending on my roster and the rosters of the other owners.
Last thing; remember to wait until closer to draft time to offer up the 1.01. It will be at peak value in early May.
5.) Our league is considering moving the rookie draft further back. When do you think is the best time to hold it? – Sean in Dublin
Always a dynasty conundrum – owners are anxious for some off-season activity, but patience is rewarded with a clearer picture once training camp and the preseason games are underway.
It strikes me that the only two times that make sense for rookie drafts are either right after the NFL draft or sometime during the preseason schedule. Very little information of any meaningful value comes out in between those times.
My leagues all conduct the rookie draft right after the NFL draft. I think this is mostly because we crave some sort of fantasy activity after five months are relative dormancy. I enjoy the rookie draft tremendously and therefore I tend to like this approach.
On the other hand, the downside is what happened in 2011. Owners picked the aforementioned Ryan Williams and Mikel Leshoure in May only to enter the season with them already IR. While that’s a part of the game, it also kind of stinks.
I’m old school, so when this comes up for vote in my league (and it does nearly annually) I always vote to keep it right after the NFL draft. Give me some fantasy action ASAP!
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.