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 10-team PPR league, I am being offered Vernon Davis for Sam Bradford. However, we have an offensive flex which essentially makes it a 2-QB league. I have Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick as well, so Bradford is on the bench. The only remaining starting quarterbacks on the waivers are Mark Sanchez and Blaine Gabbert. – Walter in FL
In my opinion, Sam Bradford is one of the ultimate gambles in dynasty football right now. On one hand, his proponents like to point out that he’s yet to have the same offensive coordinator for two years in a row, his offense has received massive upgrades this off-season and, of course, he’s a former number-one overall pick. Conversely, detractors merely need to focus on one thing – his actual in-game production which, suffice it to say, has been lacking.
However, regardless of the side of the fence on which you stand, the most important detail in Walter’s question is the scope of the league. Though there are only ten owners, the fact each team has the ability to start two quarterbacks places an extreme emphasis on the position. Therefore, even middling signal callers like Bradford carry value disproportionate to their statistics.
Continuing, though the 49ers’ Vernon Davis has received ample hype due to the injury to teammate Michael Crabtree, he has yet to show a tangible connection with quarterback Colin Kaepernick outside of the cozy confines of training camp. Already 29 years old and playing in a run-first offense, it’s more than fair to wonder what Davis will bring to the table, and for how long. With plenty of other potential TE1 options such as Jermichael Finley, Fred Davis and Jordan Cameron out there, it just doesn’t make sense to overspend on the position unless you’re targeting a truly elite player.
So even though Bradford has plenty left to prove, I don’t think I’d make the deal. He might be a bench player right now, but you can’t predict injuries, and Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger – moreover, should something happen, there’s absolutely nothing left on the waiver wire. If he’s willing to add another player or pick to the deal then I’d reconsider, but as it stands now I think you need a little more.
2. I am in a touchdown-only, 12-team dynasty league. I have been offered a trade where I give Daryl Richardson and the #25 pick in the 2013 draft for a 2014 1st round pick. Do you see any upside with Richardson in a touchdown-only scoring format? Am I overpaying for an unknown first round pick next season? – Jared from Parts Unknown
The Rams’ Daryl Richardson is an interesting case. He’s arguably the best pure runner on the team, plays well between the tackles and also knows how to catch the ball out of the backfield. Unfortunately, none of these things help you in a touchdown-only format.
Taking it one step further, despite amassing 122 touches as a rookie in 2012, Richardson didn’t score a single touchdown. Though it’s true workhorse Steven Jackson has left for the greener pastures of Atlanta, rookie bruiser Zac Stacy was drafted to presumably fill the short-yardage and goal-line void left by the longtime former Ram. Additionally, St. Louis will carry two more ball carriers on the active roster, Isaiah Pead and Benny Cunningham, both of whom could siphon away carries and subsequent scoring opportunities.
Because of this I’d be inclined to make the trade. I like Richardson as a player and could see him carving out a nice niche as a committee and receiving back, but your league value sucks away nearly all his potential value. While it’s true you don’t know what you’ll be getting with a future pick, you’ll at least have a premium selection in next year’s draft, maximizing your opportunities to find your next touchdown-maven.
3. In a 16-team non-PPR league, would you trade Russell Wilson for Matt Forte and a first round pick in 2014? We start one quarterback, two running backs and a combination of four receivers/tight ends. – Travis in WI
There are several factors to account for in this trade offer. These include your opinion on the age of your key players, the amount of “studs” involved in the deal, and finally your league’s format and starting requirements. Let’s walk through these one by one.
In terms of age, I actually view this as a wash. At 27 years old, Chicago’s Matt Forte is no spring chicken, especially factoring in the longevity at the running back position – but you would be getting a coveted 2014 draft pick as well, in what appears to be a loaded draft class. Having the ability to combine Forte with a potential young stud makes age a non-factor as far as I’m concerned.
As for the “studs” involved in the deal, I’m always of the belief that large league formats are won by having the largest proportion of elite players, especially at the quarterback position. In this case you’d be giving up an ascending young signal caller in Russell Wilson, which would undoubtedly be a big loss, but you’d at least be receiving a high-end RB1 in return in Forte. This especially comes in handy when your format is considered.
Yes, Forte loses value in a non-PPR setting, but he’s still going to be an asset due to a likely uptick in offensive efficiency in new head coach Marc Trestman’s offense. Perhaps more importantly, each team is required to start two running backs, meaning on any given week 32 ball carriers will be inserted into starting lineups. This arguably makes the running back position even more important than quarterback, and Forte’s value increases equivalently. Throwing in the draft pick once again, and this is a move I think you have to make.
4. In my 16-team non-PPR league, I have a team that has a chance to win this year. I have Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy as my two lead backs, but was recently offered Steven Jackson and Wes Welker for Foster. I’m close to doing the trade but wanted your opinion. – Dave in IN
What appears to be an easy accept on the surface is muddied by your league’s non-PPR scoring parameters. Though former Patriot Wes Welker has been one of the preeminent PPR receivers in the game, he definitively loses value when the bonus generated by his otherworldly volume is mitigated. Coupling that with the fact that Welker is likely to receive a reduced workload in Denver and he has more the look of a low-end WR2 than a surefire WR1.
However, despite the fact Welker loses value due to his change of scenery, Jackson benefits immensely from his move to the Falcons. Though he’s been one of the better all-around ball carriers in the league, Jackson has only scored double-digit rushing touchdowns once in his nine years in the league. On the other hand, former Falcon Michael Turner has averaged a whopping 0.8 touchdowns per game during his five-year stint in Atlanta – if Jackson can achieve a similar level of output in addition to the rest of his overall game, we could be looking at a high end RB1 in 2013.
Should Jackson receive a Turner-esque workload while also being presented with goal-line carries, he effectively nullifies any sort of advantage that the Texans’ Arian Foster has over him. I know it seems like I’m beating a dead horse by now, but I’m worried about Foster’s production given his declining efficiency as well as the presence of contract-year player Ben Tate. Taking it one step further, I wouldn’t be comfortable projecting Foster to outscore Jackson by much, if any, this year.
With that said, I now want to get back to Welker for a second. I’ve already mentioned that he loses value in a non-PPR setting, but there’s one final hidden statistic I’d like to discuss – the potential for an increase in his touchdowns. Last year in a Peyton Manning-led offense, pedestrian slot receiver Brandon Stokley scored five touchdowns on only 58 targets. Dating back to his days as a Colt, Manning was also generous to his slot receivers, as Austin Collie racked up 15 touchdowns on only 161 targets between 2009 and 2010. It’s entirely possible that Welker, a player who has never scored double-digit touchdowns, could actually improve his scoring prowess.
So yes, I’d take the deal and run. Jackson should afford you a reasonable facsimile of Foster circa 2010-2012, and Welker, even with a lesser volume, will definitively be start-able. In a 16-team league, trades like this are how you push yourself over the top.
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