Uncategorized

The DLF Mailbag

vereen

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’m in a 16-team PPR keeper league. We keep 15 players from the previous year, and start one quarterback, two running backs, three receivers, one tight end and a FLEX. I just traded Mike Williams (Bucs) and Brian Quick for Kenny Britt and Jonathan Stewart (I was worried about my running back depth). What do you think of the trade?Tony in NY

You could undoubtedly ask this question to a hundred different fantasy analysts and receive a proportionate number of differing opinions and explanations – that’s what happens when a trade involves players like Kenny Britt and Jonathan Stewart, who are inarguably two of the biggest lightning rods in fantasy football.  It just so happens that I’m a huge believer in both players, and subsequently love the trade for you.

As I’ve already professed my undying fantasy love for J-Stew, I’ll focus on what Britt brings to the table.  Recently I penned a piece on identifying breakout receivers, and used three key efficiency metrics (the rationale behind each metric is provided there):  PPR fantasy points per target (PPT), yards per target (Y/T) and the percent change to a quarterback’s points per passing attempt when targeting only a single receiver (% change PPA).  When it comes to these metrics, Britt’s numbers are through the roof.  In fact, let’s consider Britt’s career data as it relates to the game’s best, Calvin Johnson:

Player

PPT

Y/T

% Change PPA

C. Johnson

1.81

8.9

40.8

K. Britt

1.88

8.9

49.0

Yes, the burden of proof is definitively still on Britt as he has over 600 fewer career targets than Megatron and has only put together one completely healthy season.  However, the raw talent is there, and speaks volumes to his upside.  This forecast isn’t for the faint of heart, but I truly believe Britt has top five potential at the position.

I don’t consider Mike Williams to be a player who possesses that type of upside.  He’s certainly capable of putting up steady WR2 statistics and was even recently rewarded with a new contract – but with that said, we’re still talking about a player who hasn’t appreciably improved since his rookie year.  Given that the other piece you parted with, Brian Quick, wasn’t even the Rams’ best 2012 rookie pass catcher (that designation goes to Chris Givens), I think we need to call the police – you just committed fantasy larceny.

2. Would you consider Shane Vereen as a good “sell high” option in a PPR league? With all of the talk about him this offseason pumping up his value, do you think now is a good time to try and move him?Shaun in the UK

Every year there are a few players whose values spike during the cold, dark football-less months.  Last year’s poster boy for this phenomenon was the Chargers’ Ryan Mathews, who instead of breaking through in 2012, just broke down.  This year represents a bumper crop of off-season all-stars, including but not limited to David Wilson, Lamar Miller, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen.  Despite a lack of evidentiary affirmation on the gridiron, according to the July ADP data these players represent second, third, fifth and sixth round selections, respectively, in dynasty startups.

Because this increase in cost is usually disproportionate to a player’s proven ability, I don’t generally advocate “buying” at these inflated prices.  However, with Vereen, it appears that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  The 2011 second round pick has averaged 6.0 yards per touch during his short career (including the 2012 postseason), and is stepping into a role that former Patriot Danny Woodhead, an inferior physical talent, managed to squeeze RB2-level value out of in a PPR setting.

Even more important to note is the current state of the rest of the New England offense.  In an off-season to forget, Belichick’s Boys have parted ways with four of their top five receiving threats from 2012 – receivers Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, tight end Aaron Hernandez and the afore-mentioned Woodhead.  The fifth, superstar Rob Gronkowski, is out for an indeterminate amount of time due to his recent back surgery.  With turnover comes opportunity, and Vereen should stand to capitalize as one of the primary beneficiaries.

Barring injury or a dramatic decline in ball security, fellow third-year back Stevan Ridley appears entrenched as the starter and goal line back.  With that said, he’s functionally useless in the passing game and poses little to no threat to the majority of Vereen’s third-down work.  With a dearth of proven pass catchers and a lack of competition for his specified role, I expect Vereen’s value to continue to climb through the early parts of the regular season.  At that point, not only will you be glad you didn’t sell him earlier, but you might not consider selling him at all.

3. In my ten-team, non-PPR league I have the first, fifth and tenth picks in this year’s rookie draft. I have been offered Chris Ivory and both the third and fourth picks for Alfred Morris. If I did this, I would go into the year with Ivory, Darren Sproles and Lamar Miller as my top three backs. Should I make the trade?Scott in MI

Despite entering the league in 2010, Chris Ivory still has a relatively barren resume.  In fact, his 256 career carries represent only 76% of the workload Washington’s Alfred Morris received – in his rookie season!  Now a New York Jet, Ivory is tantalizing dynasty owners anew with the promise of starters’ reps, but unfortunately, we still don’t have any reason to believe he’ll make it through the whole year functioning as the alpha dog in the backfield.

So, even though your prospective trade partner is willing to sweeten the deal with a pair of early first round picks, I still wouldn’t make the deal.  Taking it one step further, I don’t think it’s even close.  In non-PPR formats, Morris finished as the overall RB5, largely on the back of his 1,606 rushing yards, good for second best in the league.  Despite concerns of “Mike Shanahan this” and “Olandis Gary 2.0 that,” I sincerely doubt the Shanaclan plans on diverging from what worked last year – smash-mouth football with plenty of yards after contact.

Furthermore, if you made the trade, your ball carrying corps would be in a bad place.  The venerable Darren Sproles loses a huge amount of value without being rewarded for his otherworldly pass-catching prowess, and Lamer “hype train” Miller has yet to justify his lofty draft status.  Sure, you’d have more than enough first round picks to essentially play “rookie running back roulette,” but why pass up on a sure thing to do it?  Even with the overblown “risk” associated with ALF, I think you should focus on building your team around him as opposed to around the pieces you could get for him.

4. I just lost Dennis Pitta, Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin – should I jump off a bridge?  I have two options: I can either bring up Mohamed Sanu, Chris Givens and Rob Housler off my developmental squad or I can trade for Danario Alexander and Lance Moore by offering Vick Ballard plus second and third round rookie picks. Which option is best?Brigham in OH

As a child, whenever I encountered a string of bad luck, my mom always used the following phrase: “when it rains, it pours.”  Unfortunately, with regards to your current conundrum, it would appear a category five hurricane touched down directly on top of your dynasty roster!  Luckily, all is not lost.

First things first – there’s still no official word as to whether or not the Seahawks’ Percy Harvin is going to miss time this year.  He’s seeing a specialist this Tuesday, and there exists a best-case scenario where he’ll be able to play through the pain.  Should that happen, I expect Harvin to easily cement himself as the best receiving threat Russell Wilson will have had in his brief career.

Regarding Jeremy Maclin and Dennis Pitta, however, you have some damage control to do.  Each player leaves a sizable void in his respective offense (shown here and here), so it’s unsurprising your lineup is going to take a hit as well.  With that said, I still don’t like either of the two options as you’ve specifically laid them out.

I’m all for bumping Givens and Rob Housler up to your main roster, as I believe both are capable of putting up starter-caliber fantasy statistics.  I touched on Givens in an earlier question, and truly believe him to be the top receiving threat in the Saint Louis offense, despite the additions of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook.  He showed well as a rookie in 2012 when starter Danny Amendola missed time, and has more polish than any other pass catcher on the roster.  Housler, though relatively unproven, has immense physical talent.  In a year where the TE1 tier is wide open, he has as good a shot as any.

Having said all that, I don’t think I’d promote Mohamed Sanu to your active roster.  Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton has yet to show he can support multiple fantasy options and AJ Green is always going to be the primary target monster in that offense.  The group of Sanu, Marvin Jones, Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert and Gio Bernard will likely serve to cancel one another out, so if you can get another “free” year on the practice squad for Sanu, I’d take it.

So to fill that last hole, I’d still look to make that trade – well, part of it, at least; you should target Lance Moore.  He’s not a “sexy” name, but it’s more than likely he’ll put up WR3-level statistics or higher, and won’t come at the cost of someone like Danario Alexander.  You could likely get him for Vick Ballard or the second round pick alone, thereby solidifying your starting lineup and giving you the best chance to put this miserable off-season in the rearview mirror.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27

Eric Hardter

Eric Hardter

Senior Writer at Dynasty League Football
Eric is a Boston College chemistry grad school survivor with a minor in dynasty football, as well as the DLF Mailman and Podcast analyst.He prefers to utilize both statistics and sarcasm whenever possible, believes in process over results and thinks "Hot Takes" are the scourge of the fantasy landscape.

You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.
Eric Hardter

Latest posts by Eric Hardter (see all)

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Ariakis

    July 29, 2013 at 6:26 am

    You might get Moore cheaper than that. In a league I have too many roster spots taken by WR’s I couldn’t even get a 4th rounder for him during the draft so that I could snag Murray in case he hits behind my DMC. Murray went 4.12 and one owner even passed instead of accepting my trade as he had 26 players he’d rather roster than Moore.

    What’s funny is Moore has proved to be an almost elite option whenever Sproles, Graham, or Colston (already hurt) has missed time and still viable when they are all healthy. He gets no respect in fantasy however.

    • David

      July 29, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Eric,

      Stewart is done. Put a fork in him. The book is written. He had to withdraw from a GOLF!!! tournament in July because of his ankles. It’s sad when injuries ruin such a great talent, but people just have to let it go.

      Britt, while clearly a big talent, is one bone head move from a full year suspension. Locker has not shown anything thus far – his accuracy is still atrocious. The jury is still out on Locker, but I must say, even though I own him in a few leagues, it is entirely possible that Fitzpatrick takes over for him this year. Not looking very good for any Tenn WR at this point.

      So I would not do that trade – he has 15 keepers and I’d rather keep Tampa Bay Mike than Britt. If JStew is your hope for RB improvement, you are in a lot of trouble.

      • Eric Hardter

        July 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm

        I’m okay being in the minority when it comes to J-Stew. The golf story makes for a good headline, but he was never expected to be ready for the start of training camp – it doesn’t really change anything for me.

        As for Britt, yeah, he may be a knucklehead, but the talent is undeniable. Locker might not be the answer, and if he isn’t he’ll be replaced. Even despite all that, Britt might not even be a Titan next year if they don’t re-sign him.

        To me, TBMW is an above average talent, but you can find plenty of guys like him. Britt possesses elite ability, and adding my boy J-Stew is just the cherry on top.

        • David

          July 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm

          Fair enough. Let’s make it a point to review what the trade looks like in a year or 2.
          JStew/Britt vs Quick/TBMW
          I’ll still be a subscriber – love the work you guys put in

          • JohnnyD

            July 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm

            Good insights & great article. I’ve been a long term holder of JStew also. However, something seems different this time around with his health & ankles.

            Just curious, what would cause you to reconsider & maybe sour on JStew’s long term value? For instance, if his ankles delay his availability for the season & dog him all season long – would that finally do it? It just really feels like this guy has something wrong, inspite of the immense talent & potential. Hope I’m wrong, since it’s already way too late to sell him. Thanks.

  2. Chris in Chuck

    July 29, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Question #1:
    Are any of the rookie TEs projecting well for dynasty? I have Gronk and Pitta on one of my fantasy teams and need a TE2 going forward. Are Housler and Cameron better bets than Eifert and Ertz?

    Question #2:
    Where would Gio Bernard rank in non-PPR rookie drafts, especially given the suggestion that Gio could receive 50% of the carries (and I assume all the catches)?

    Question #3:
    With respect to the rookie RBs, Bell and Ball strike me as guys who have landed in the best situations (paging Daniel Thomas!) while Gio is the best RB talent to my eye. Given the competition between Lacy and Franklin, is there a reason to suspect one of them becomes a breakout rookie RB? In the late first or early second round are there non-PPR RBs you suggest readers target?

    • Chris

      July 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      I like Travis Kelce and Julius Thomas both working with the first teams but if Cameron was availible id take him quick he will be featured and a deep play guy in clevlands new offence plus Gordons suspention dont hurt

    • Eric Hardter

      July 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      1. Eifert in the long term, but I don’t see much in 2013. I know I’m on an island here, but I have the 49ers Vance McDonald as my TE2 from this class. He’s a name to keep an eye on IMO. I’d take Eifert, than Housler, than Cameron and then VMc.

      2. He loses value in non-PPR, but I’d still have him as a top 20 back.

      3. Not sold on either Bell or Ball. Bell has the most direct path to playing time, but he has always struck me as a guy who gets what’s blocked and not much else. I’d rather have Lacy than either. Once you get past that first tier, you’ll be looking at guys like Michael, Franklin and Stacy, any of whom are good picks at that spot.

      • Chris in Chuck

        July 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        Thanks, Eric.
        Point of clarification: Bernard as Top 20 overall dynasty back in non-PPR? OK by me!

  3. Tidecats

    July 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I have Big Ben in a 10 team non ppr league

    my Wrs are my strength Megatron,Julio, Cobb, Wallace, Fitz, Jefferies, Broylesvand Givens

    Ive been offered Cam Newton and above mentioned Britt.

    Im thinking its a lot to give but, they are depth.

    thoughts?

    Thanks in advance

    • Adam

      July 30, 2013 at 5:32 am

      It would help if you actually mentioned what you were giving up, as opposed to who you had…just a thought.

      • Tidecats

        July 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

        wow major brain fade

        I give Fitz and Wallace.

        • KCGuzz

          July 30, 2013 at 8:25 pm

          Don’t delay! Make the deal. Many like Fitz coming back with Palmer in AZ, but I don’t like that they have so few options and he will again be double and triple covered. Wallace has seen his ceiling. Cam will be playing long after either of those players and providing QB1 numbers. Britt has elite potential, but also risk. Unless you think you are cleArly going to win it all this year by standing pat, make the deal.

  4. Dray

    July 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I’d do that no doubt. Fitz is great but nearing his end, plus he’s arguably your #4 wr…wallace I don’t care for personally. Your gaining Cam, a sure fire young top 5 QB, plus Britt has top 10 upside himself believe it or not, even if he fizzles, you still get Cam for Fitz basically! I like it.

    • Kaleb

      July 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      I have to agree with this 100%. That’s a steal for Cam, especially with your depth at the position.

  5. Tidecats

    August 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I pulled the trigger. I hated to let Fitz go. I looked for Fitz to have a bounce back year. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • mike

      August 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      hey guys, great article, have to agree though with dave that i have given up on steward. he is a piece of glass. britt however i think is a solid sleeper this year in my books, and based on his adp, i will def take a chance on him as a wr 4.
      now for some help. im in a 10 team ppr league, 3 keepers. keeping megatron and graham, and i have trent and foster and julio. have to let julio go unfortunatly, but i need to choose between trent and foster. foster was my original gut choice, but im wondering if trent might be the better pick, especially for the future… no limit on how long you can keep a player… any thoughts from you guys??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top