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.) In my 16-team PPR league, I have a trade in the works that would have me give up Dwayne Bowe and rookie pick 3.04 for Josh Gordon. I’m not in a position to win a championship this year, but should have a legitimate shot next season. Would you pull the trigger? – Nathan in AL
From a perception standpoint, this trade is about as dead even as can be. In fact, the Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe and the Browns’ Josh Gordon are being drafted back to back in the fourth round of startup drafts, as the WR14 and WR15 respectively. Let’s consider the case for each player.
Entering his seventh year in the league (all with Kansas City), Bowe is a household name in fantasy circles. The soon to be 29-year old has functioned as a career PPR WR2 with WR1 upside, all while being forced to deal with tragically bad quarterback play. Recently signed Alex Smith will easily be the best signal caller Bowe has ever worked with, and new head coach Andy Reid is known to prefer a high-volume passing offense. To complete the circle of dynasty value accumulation, the Chiefs recently signed Bowe to a five-year, $56 million deal ($26 million guaranteed), ensuring they view him as the team’s top option in the passing game.
On the other side of the fence sits Gordon. Cleveland’s rising sophomore set the league on fire in 2012, in the process becoming one of the few supplemental draft picks to ever pan out. Despite being only 21 years old, and almost two years removed from competitive football, Gordon nonetheless flirted with WR3-status, even with the Browns’ uninspired quarterback play.
The biggest issues with Gordon seem to stem from immaturity. He was recently suspended for two games due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, and is one misstep away from a yearlong ban. More recently, Gordon was seen arguing with fans on Twitter, and spending time “running with a different crowd” in South Beach. Concerns remain for the young wide receiver.
So even despite the age difference, in a vacuum I prefer Bowe and the pick. I understand you’re in a bit of a rebuild, but Bowe should offer WR1 potential for the next three to four years. Once he gets a few games under his belt in this new system, I believe his value only stands to increase. If you still want to make the trade, you should be receiving picks from the Gordon owner, not sending them.
2.) I am wondering who you would rather have as a stash for a quarterback of the future. I have Russell Wilson as my starter, Sam Bradford as my backup and Nick Foles as my QB3, but both Ryan Mallett and Brock Osweiler are available. While Foles has a chance to start now, I think that the other two might be more talented. Who’s would you take with time until they start not being an issue? – Jerrod in TX
Without sounding too cavalier, I don’t think I’d include Brock Osweiler in this discussion. Even though Broncos management seems to be high on him, he’s stuck behind Peyton Manning for the foreseeable future, and Denver recently selected fellow signal caller Zac Dysert in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. For a player with only one year of starting experience at the collegiate level, any type of competition is a big warning sign.
Moving onto Ryan Mallett, he’s arguably more talented than Nick Foles, and it’s rumored the main reason he fell in the 2011 draft is due to character concerns. He lit up the SEC during two years at Arkansas (cue Michigan fans screaming “Rodriguez!” in their best William Shatner-esque “Khan!” facsimile), exhibiting unparalleled arm strength and the ability to make every throw. Unfortunately, much like Osweiler, Mallett is also stuck behind a future Hall of Famer in Tom Brady, and it’s more than likely he won’t be seeing any meaningful game action until he’s a free agent in 2015.
So for me, I think Foles should be the choice. He was a three-year starter at Arizona, compiling some big numbers in the process, and many forget that, like Mallett, he was a third round draft pick as well. In fact, he showed enough promise when he was thrust into the fire in a lost Eagles’ 2012 season that former Philly head coach Andy Reid attempted to trade for his former pupil, but was rebuffed by Eagles’ brass.
Foles is rumored to have the inside track to Philadelphia’s starting job, and they very well could release incumbent Michael Vick outright. Rookie Matt Barkley is a decent prospect with limited arm strength, but is nothing more than an also-ran right now. As it’s likely you won’t be benching Russell Wilson anytime soon, why not go with the guy who offers the most immediate value? I’d hang onto Foles.
3.) I owned my 12-team, non-PPR league last year but all of a sudden I am thin at receiver and running back. A fellow GM is offering me DeMarco Murray and Torrey Smith for Dez Bryant. He also offered a different deal: rookie pick 1.04 and Torrey Smith or Danny Amendola for Dez. I’d be lacking an elite receiver but with 1.08 in my rookie draft and talking to the GM’s ahead of me I will have some choices. Would you make either one of these deals? – Michael in NY
Whenever you have a stud player like Dez Bryant at your disposal, your chances to win increase exponentially due to the combination of both a higher weekly floor and ceiling. Because of this, should you choose to trade a stud, you need to make sure you’re getting commensurate value in return. With the two deals you’re being offered, I’m just not seeing it, and the non-PPR format only amplifies my opinion.
Prior to 2012, Bryant had been nothing more than a tease to his owners, showing more immaturity than on-the field prowess. However, during an offensive onslaught during the second half of last season, Bryant finally made good on his potential, with five games over 87 receiving yards and ten total touchdowns. Though he’s never been notorious for high-volume production (4.7 receptions per game for his career), that doesn’t matter in a non-PPR format. More importantly, Bryant averages 0.63 touchdowns per game, and one per every 7.4 receptions. He’s locked and loaded as an elite WR1 in non-PPR formats.
The same can’t be said for the players you’d be receiving. Danny Amendola has only scored seven touchdowns in his career, and DeMarco Murray has only scored six. Factoring in the injury concerns both carry, and neither should be functioning as the primary piece you’d be getting in return for Bryant. Torrey Smith does have a nose for the end zone (0.47 touchdowns per game over his career), but also sports a career catch percentage under 50%. The first round pick is nice, but this is a draft devoid of any sure things. I’d rather hang onto Dez, and attempt to trade pick 1.08 for some additional proven talent.
4.) I just traded Randall Cobb, Steven Jackson, Martellus Bennett, A.J. Jenkins and a 2015 1st round pick to get A.J. Green. Did I give up too much? My running back depth is a bit thin now but I really wanted Green. – Jordan in Vancouver
To me, this represents perfection as it relates to trading prowess. Yes, at first glance it looks like a lot, but truthfully, what high level assets did you really give up? Randall Cobb is an aspiring stud and Steven Jackson offers RB1 upside for the next one to two years in Atlanta, but to quote Sterling Archer, the rest is “classic misdirection.”
Martellus Bennett was a revelation for the Giants last year, but even with the promise of Chicago’s improved offense, he still tops out as a low-end TE1 at best. AJ Jenkins is a bit of a “buzz” name due to Michael Crabtree’s injury, but he didn’t record even a single reception as a rookie. The 2015 first rounder looks nice, but in reality, it has little to no value right now due to how long your trade partner will have to wait before he’s able to use it. If you adhere to the belief that future rookie picks are worth a round “less” than current picks, that 2015 first round selection equates to merely a third rounder in 2013. Finally, you did yourself a big favor by clearing out a ton of roster space, which is always highly coveted around the time of any league’s rookie draft.
For your half of the trade, AJ Green is already a bona fide stud in any format. In fact, some view him as the most desirable dynasty receiver, even over the transcendent Calvin Johnson. I’m a big advocate of trades where you’re able to acquire the best player in the deal, so I sign off on this one in a big way. You didn’t overpay at all, and have more than likely increased your starting lineup’s output for the next six to eight years.
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You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.