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Foles

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-man, non-PPR keeper league we only keep four players, so I have a difficult decision to make between the following:  Aaron Rodgers, Giovani Bernard, CJ Spiller, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon, Dez Bryant and Julius Thomas.  We start one quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, one tight end and a WR/TE FLEX. Is it insane for me to keep Rodgers and the three receivers?Rex in NC

When you have the chance to hang onto three of dynasty’s most valuable wide receivers, as well as arguably its top quarterback, I can’t think of any metric that would qualify that as “insane.”  With that said, given the requirements of your league, I’m not sure it’s prudent.  Having the weekly boost provided by Green Bay signal caller Aaron Rodgers would certainly benefit your starting lineup, but as I alluded to last week there’s an opportunity cost inherent in glorifying the position.

In smaller league formats such as yours, where only ten quarterbacks will be starting every week, it just doesn’t make sense to place a premium on signal callers.  There were 18 players who averaged more than 20 fantasy points per game, and it’s a stone-cold lock that you could snag a player like the Cowboys’ Tony Romo, the Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill or Atlanta’s Matt Ryan in the dispersal draft – and that’s assuming you don’t re-acquire Rodgers.  By de-emphasizing the position now, you’ll undoubtedly increase the value of your keepers while still keeping your options open at quarterback down the line.

As for the second part of your plan, I agree whole-heartedly.  The trio of Josh Gordon, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas represent three of the “big six” options at receiver, and will afford you an immeasurable advantage relative to the other pass catching corps in the league.  Given the longevity of the position, you’ll more than likely be set up here for the long haul.

Therefore the decision of your last keeper selection comes down to a pair of running backs in the Bills’ CJ Spiller and the Bengals’ Gio Bernard, as well as Denver tight end Julius Thomas.  I’d rule out Thomas for the same reasons I ruled out Rodgers – he’s certainly a top-tier player, but there will be other options (Dennis Pitta, Kyle Rudolph and Martellus Bennett, to name a few) available in your dispersal draft.  Outside of a few elite players, tight end is another position where waiting is key.

So, ultimately this one comes down to Bernard versus Spiller.  While I firmly believe Spiller is primed for a bounce-back campaign in 2014, Bernard has already arrived as one of dynasty’s most valuable assets.  He functioned as a mid-range RB2 on just 226 touches, and nominal “starter” BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn’t owed any guaranteed money for 2014.  Though the lack of the point-per-reception slightly diminishes his worth, Bernard should provide a strong foundation to your ball carriers for years to come, and he makes the most sense for your final keeper selection.

2.) My team finished seventh in our first year in our PPR league. I feel like I was fairly unlucky with injuries this year, but managed to trade my way into an extra lottery pick going into next year (I have two picks in the top four). I feel like I am stacked at the receiver position with Josh Gordon, Randall Cobb, Percy Harvin and Keenan Allen, while my running backs are much weaker (Doug Martin, Alfred Morris and Jonathan Stewart). My question is, who would you move from my receiving corps in order to target a stud running back, and who would you target?Gregory in Australia

Between Gordon, Randall Cobb and Keenan Allen, you have three of the 12 most desirable PPR wide receivers according to the January ADP data.  All three possess the combination of youth and skill that typifies what the masses look for in a long-term WR1, and as such I think you should choose to build around them instead of through trading them.  Instead, I’d focus elsewhere.

The Seahawks’ Percy Harvin is currently one of dynasty’s biggest lightning rods, but has taken a backseat amongst we dynasty aficionados due to the “out of sight, out of mind” nature of injuries.  However, due to that train of thought we’ve seemingly forgotten that as a Minnesota Viking in 2012, Harvin was a legitimate MVP candidate through nine games, with 773 total yards and an additional 574 (plus a touchdown) on 16 kickoff returns (35.9 yards on average, a figure which led the league amongst players with more than ten returns).  He was supposed to be the missing link for the Seahawks in 2013, but thus far has only appeared in two games (including the playoffs).

With that said, Harvin appears primed to play in the Super Bowl versus Denver.  A strong showing against a defense missing cornerback Chris Harris will dramatically rehab his stock and make everyone remember how good he truly is.  As he’s currently being valued as the WR21 according to the ADP data, he really has nowhere to go but up.

Therefore I think you should wait a little bit and then attempt to pair Harvin with one of your picks in order to nab a stronger RB3.  With Harvin’s value likely on the rise, and the price of draft picks constantly increasing as your league’s draft approaches, I don’t see why you can’t target a ball carrier such as Eddie Lacy, Le’Veon Bell or CJ Spiller.  You’ll then have a strong foundation of proven players, and can still take the best player available with your other pick.

3.) I just completed my first year in a 12-team non-PPR dynasty which ended in disaster. I inherited my team from a friend but finished pathetically in second to last. I have the 1.02 and 1.11 picks in the upcoming draft and I’m not sure of what position I need to focus on. My team right now is RGIII, Eli Manning, Christian Ponder, Ryan Mathews, Alfred Morris, Bernard Pierce, DeAngelo Williams, Mark Ingram, Mikel Leshoure, Pierre Garcon, Torrey Smith, Robert Woods and Danario Alexander. I need to start turning this team around and need some advice on what holes to patch up.Joe in CA

First and foremost, I think you need to cut bait with some roster deadweight.  There’s absolutely no reason to hold players like Christian Ponder and Danario Alexander, as you should be rostering players with any shred of discernible upside instead.  Mikel Leshoure is also a borderline player, although he could re-gain some value if he finds a new team or Lions’ backup Joique Bell isn’t re-signed.

Next, I’d attempt to sell off guys such as Mark Ingram and DeAngelo Williams.  Believe it or not there are still people out there who believe in the beleaguered Saints’ ball carrier, despite the fact he’s a one-dimensional player who has yet to string together any sort of consistent and persistent success – see if you can snare a late second round pick and count yourself lucky.  You might need to wait until Williams resolves his contract issue, but he should present at least a modicum of value as well.  Ryan Mathews is also an interesting sell-high candidate, as his value is arguably at its apex over the past few years.

Once you’ve accumulated as many picks as you can, I’d look to hit both the running back and wide receiver positions hard.  Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon and Torrey Smith are legit starters, but you lack depth at those two positions.  Your roster could benefit from an influx of youth and upside, or you could use the picks as trade bait to acquire more proven players.  Finally, you didn’t mention any tight ends in your roster rundown – pick 1.11 could be used to acquire a rookie, or a player like Greg Olsen or maybe even Jordan Reed (depending on his injury concerns) via trade.  I think the totality of these moves will give you a much better team in 2014.

4.) I find myself at a crossroads with Nick Foles and Zac Stacy.  Quarterbacks are highly valued in my league and the numbers Foles put up this year combined with his crazy lack of interceptions puts his value sky high.  Running backs, and especially volume running backs, are not as valuable in my league but everyone is always clamoring for the next young back. So my question is should I shop around Stacy and Foles because their value is so high or should I keep them on my roster?  I would love to combine them in a trade to get someone truly elite – do you have any ideas on who I should target?  I don’t have a stud RB or WR on my current team.Jordan in NY

I’m extremely high on Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles, and view him as a long-term fantasy QB1.  He commands one of the league’s most exciting and efficient offenses, and the fast pace desired by head coach Chip Kelly is a recipe for fantasy success due to the volume it presents.  However, even the most starry-eyed optimists see room for regression to the mean – after all, even in Peyton’s Manning’s record breaking 2013 campaign, his touchdown to interception ratio of 5.5:1 was dwarfed by the 13.5:1 value put forth by Foles.

So while Foles clearly possesses the look of a viable QB1, if someone is willing to pay for his 2013 statistics I think that’s something you need to look into.  Given the desirability of the quarterback position in your league setting, he should command a relative ransom.  If you couple that with the Rams’ Zac Stacy, who’s currently viewed as the RB10 according to the ADP data, any potential trade proposal becomes that much stronger.

However, instead of targeting one elite player, I’d suggest something different.  You’re still going to need a QB1, so why not sell high on Foles in order to snag a signal caller coming off a down year?  If you include Stacy in the deal, you should be able to get an upgrade at running back while really only downgrading your signal caller on a hype-based level.

As such, I’d target the owners of players like Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III.  Each player has undeniably lost value during the course of the 2013 season, but these can be explained – Ryan and Kaepernick lost their top targets in Julio Jones and Michael Crabtree respectively, and RGIII clearly wasn’t himself following a torn ACL last January.  I firmly believe all three of these signal callers will rebound in 2014.

If the owners of those quarterbacks also own running backs like Doug Martin, Matt Forte or CJ Spiller, see if this “demotion” at the quarterback position can lead to an upgrade to Stacy.  You’ve already mentioned that ball carriers carry a relatively lesser value than quarterbacks, so this shouldn’t be too much of an obstacle.  The aggregate of this transaction should help you better your starting lineup while also enabling you to make value-based moves at the right time – in the stock market that is dynasty football, what more could you want?

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

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Michael

    January 27, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Just a quick thought on the idea of trading Percy Harvin and a draft pick for a RB – “Eddie Lacy, Le’Veon Bell or CJ Spiller.” RB’s are valued so heavily in my league that the 3 players above could never be had for ANY WR even if coupled with a draft pick. There just aren’t that many legit RB1’s out there and GM’s in my league get extremely attached when they find one. Last season, I appeared stacked at WR so I decided to float my most valuable wide-out, Demaryius Thomas in search of a RB. Lynch, Martin, Spiller, Richardson, Morris, Rice, and even Reggie Bush offers were all rejected before I finally traded him for pick 1.02 and drafted Eddie Lacy. That was the best I could do for a consensus top 4 WR. For various reasons, I am happy I made the move but the risk that I had to take reflects the inherent difficulty in acquiring young RB1’s coming off promising seasons. Is this a problem in all dynasty leagues?

    • chris in chuck

      January 27, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Your league appears to value RBs more than average. But the sentiment you express is held in other leagues out there (and a couple of mine).

      Still, the Reggie Bush owner should be whipped!! Bush is aging, he’s had injury issues and he’s in a RBBC. I would’ve had to defend the trade in E-mails in at least one league if I could’ve stolen Thomas plus a pick for Bush.

      And the Ray Rice owner wishes he had pulled the trigger! You have to watch those career carries numbers with 27 year old RBs. 1800 touches is a lot of wear and tear.

      You dodged a couple of bullets.

    • SJ

      January 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      No this is not a problem in a leagues, but I will state that prioritization of featured RB’s should be something all owners aware of, especially 14+ team leagues where you must start 2 backs each week. You absolutely need 3 featured backs to count on there, and anything less, in that format, your risking your team starting Kuhn, Tolbert and the likes. Acquiring RB’s and their handcuffs becomes inherent to winning in that format. You can always scrape together a TE and WR corps.

      • SJ

        January 27, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        *in all leagues

      • BAMNation

        January 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm

        meh – I was in 2 finals and made the playoffs in most of my 15 leagues with the likes of Ridley, Veeren, A Brown J Bell etc on my rosters going heavy on WR and TE. Ryan Mathews was a savior in 2 leagues at the end of the season, but that is anomoly for him!

        The 4 leagues where I had studs – McCoy, Charles and D Martin (each in one league and Charles&Martin in the 4th league) I made the playoffs but it was poor QB play that stopped me short of winning it all.

        In none league I had Schaub, Freemen, Locker and had to settle for McCown who was benched in time for the champioships…

        I agree with you 2 RB leagues are tough without a RB1, but most of those leagues start 3-4 WRs so you have to really find a balance. Even with depth at WR in the leagues you have to have the right WRs.

        No one wanted Den Moore, A Roberts but they got me points and won me games…. Hunter, Woods stepped up in other games as needed too and should be better where I picked them than most RBs

        • Aaron

          January 27, 2014 at 1:38 pm

          2 out of the last 3 years for Mathews is an anomaly? We must have different definition of anomaly.

    • Vince

      January 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Our league isn’t quite as bad as yours, but they seem to value RBs more than they should. It’s one of the reasons we’re considering turning our 2nd RB position into an RB/WR flex to even things out a bit. That way you can part with an RB and have it not cripple your starting lineup if you get a WR in return.

    • Luck

      January 28, 2014 at 2:12 am

      First, I love this site. I’m also in a league where RBs are greatly valued. Out of curiosity, I checked my league’s rosters after reading about potential trade interest for Harvin. He’s not owned in my 12 team, non-ppr league. In other words, his owner didn’t think enough of him to keep him rostered, and the rest of us didn’t bother picking him up, therefore none of us have the option to make him one of our 3 keepers next season. That would not have been the case at all, had Lacy or Bell been dropped. As for trading away either Lacy or Bell, I wouldn’t be too interested in Harvin (even packaged with a top 4 pick) because landing a RB like Lacy or Bell would be exactly what I would hope to obtain for my keeper or dynasty team anyway. I would need Gordon in return for Lacy or Bell, and I’m not sure I’d be willing to do that.

      • Paul

        January 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        Why on earth would someone trade Gordon for Bell? I know I wouldn’t. I like to build around young WR talent. I wouldn’t trade Calvin for McCoy straight up, I wouldn’t trade Calvin for AP, I wouldn’t trade AJG for Charles, and I wouldn’t trade Julio for Forte – and I certainly wouldn’t move Gordon (whom I have as a top 4 overall dynasty wr) for a rb like Lacy or Bell whom are each more likely to get injured and to have shorter careers. I love taking advantage of leagues that overvalue rb’s. I stockpile elite Wrs. Then draft my rb’s – which sets me up for continued success. Then I watch other teams start wrs like Hartline, A.Roberts, J.Simpson, (insert any other avg – to below avg wr) while I start Calvin,Julio,Dez,AJG,and Gordon… That is a major long term advantage. Rb’s don’t last long – wr do.

        • Luck

          January 28, 2014 at 6:56 pm

          Paul, while I can understand why you would rather have Gordon over Bell, why on earth would you value WRs over RBs? Starting WRs are plentiful compared to starting RBs. The fewer of them there are, the more you need one. I’m wondering what caliber RBs you end up with on your roster. Especially once the injuries start mounting at that position, as you noted. Not that WR Julio didn’t get injured, as you didn’t note. Bell is undervalued. He’s a big, 21 year old pass catching RB with nowhere to go but up. He may move ahead of Lacy next year, who is ranked #5 (based on his rookie season, no less) among RBs in the dynasty rankings here. They’re both going to move up the chart not only as they excel, but as those ahead of them age. Would you also dismiss an offer of Lacy (I mentioned Bell OR Lacy, btw) for Gordon? I wouldn’t trade either young RB for Megatron (29 in September)in my keeper league. Nor would I trade either of them for Adrian Peterson. But the frustrated owner who has been trying season after season to add a young stud RB capable of double-digit TDs (for years to come) might not be able to pass up Bell or Lacy for Gordon.

  2. Matt

    January 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Great Article. I had some questions regarding whom I should target in this years upcoming rookie draft in my league. This is a 12 team non PPR league in which we start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF and roster 17. Currently my team as is stands is: T. Brady, L. McCoy, A. Foster, D. Bryant, M. Colston, J. Reed, (No Kicker rostered), Cardinals D, with my bench consisting of K. Cousins, A. Ellington, J. Todman, J. Maclin, S. Johnson, D. Hopkins, J. Hunter, K. Wright, M. Bennet, D. Allen. I have picks 1.03 & 1.06. I will have to drop 2 players. Can you tell me whom you would drop and whom you would target in the draft?

    • Ross

      January 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      I would probably drop one of Bennet and Allen and Todman. As for who to choose at 3 I would take the best WR still on the board (whoever drops from watkins, lee, evans) and then, depending on situation, an RB like hyde or sankey

    • verb

      January 28, 2014 at 11:28 am

      I would drop Stevie Johnson ad Jeremy Maclin. I think they offer the least amount of potential of all the players you have and during the offseason, potential is all I value from non-garaunteed starters. Conversly, I would consider WR with either of your first two picks but I would also strongly consider monitoring the QB situation. I actually believe this is a strong QB class this year and with Brady aging and no garuantee from Cousins, now may be the best time to invest in a future QB.

    • vixen

      January 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      I would drop cousins first. no reason to hold him. then I would drop either bennet or d allen.

  3. Wes Anderton

    January 28, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Hey Eric,

    Struggling over an offer, and wondering if I’m overthinking it…PPR 16 teamer, start 8. Been offered Demariyus Thomas, for the 1.7/1.12 Rookie pics, plus Rishard Matthews,G.Tate and Marques Wilson. Main Players in my team are Rodgers, Chris Johnson, Harvin, Britt, Miles, Jimmy Graham, and some other WR4s…Do I take this or do I need help in too many positions to deal away both my firsts? Cheers

    • Jeff Haverlack

      January 28, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Hi Wes,

      I’d take that in a heartbeat. 1.7 and 1.12 aren’t sure bets by any stretch and DT is a top receiver that you’ll have for a long time.

      I wouldn’t even lose sleep over accepting that.

  4. Kris

    January 28, 2014 at 6:03 am

    You shouldn’t even be asking about this deal, you should have taken it already. If you have to rely on two guys that shouldn’t even be rostered (Britt and Austin) as starters then you are in trouble. And it isn’t like Percy has been anything other than totally unreliable for the better part of two years. You are getting an unquestioned stud for 5 prospects…take the stud and work the wire for your depth moving forward. In a 16-team league you will have a nice core with Rodgers, DT, and Jimmy G. And it will be even better if Percy ever decides to show up for you to give you options to trade him.

  5. Wes

    January 28, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Cheers for the reply Kris, I did think i was over thinking it a little….decision made then I guess :)!

    • Jeff Haverlack

      January 28, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Good!

      • Wes

        January 28, 2014 at 11:57 am

        :)..feel better for it 😛

  6. Joe

    January 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Hi,

    I am in a 10 team Dynasty PPR league which starts 3 QBs, RBs, and WRs, and 1 flex, TE, DEF, and K and keep as many players as you want. Here is my roster as of the end of the season:

    Matt McGloin
    Jason Campbell
    Keenan Allen
    DeAndre Hopkins
    Josh Gordon
    Eddie Lacy
    Donald Brown
    Montee Ball
    Delanie Walker
    Cordarrelle Patterson
    Andy Dalton
    Chad Henne
    Chris Givens
    Jermaine Gresham
    Robert Woods
    Jeremy Kerley
    Brian Quick
    Joseph Randle
    James Starks
    A.J. Jenkins
    Kenny Britt
    Ryan Mallett
    Andre Roberts
    Johnathan Franklin
    Sidney Rice
    Vick Ballard.

    I blew up my team at the beginning of last year because all the “experts” indicated it was a weak draft class. Needless to say I was proved right in acquiring all the picks I did. However this meant it is two years running in last.

    I want to know who you think would be good to unload from the team. So far I think:

    Sidney Rice
    Vick Ballard
    Jeremy Kerley
    Brian Quick
    Joseph Randle
    Chris Givens
    Jermaine Gresham
    A.J. Jenkins
    Kenny Britt

    But I am unsure what would be a good trade for them.

    The QBs, save Dalton, are roster filler until draft hoping something happens with them. I have 2 first, second, and third round picks this year.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  7. Joe Kuhns

    January 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    In our 10 team, Non-PPR league I made a bunch of moves during the 2013 season in hopes to win it in 2014. My team is stacked at receivers, but not as potent in other areas. What would you do with my team in order to make it a better/more balanced team. We start 1-QB,2-RB,3-WR,1-TE,1-K,2-DE/DT,1-LB,1-CB/S

    Here is my team. We roster 25 players throughout the year, but have to cut it down to 15 players before the rookie draft.

    here is my team.

    QB – RG3, Roethlisburger
    RB – Reggie Bush,Chris Johnson,Trent Richardson,Darren McFadden, Rishard Jennings
    WR – Josh Gordon, Julio Jones,Justin Blackmon, Hakeem Nicks, Michael Crabtree
    TE – Jimmy Graham
    K – None
    DE – J.J Watt
    LB – Paul Posluszny
    S/CB – Morgan Burnett

  8. jb

    January 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Thoughts on this trade. Basically giving up depth/benchwarmers for Gio, a handcuff and an upside player. But mostly for Gio.

    I give:
    Sam Bradford
    Montee Ball
    Bryce Brown
    Mike Wallace
    The rights to Brandon Coleman

    I get:
    Gio Bernard
    Knile Davis
    Justin Hunter

    My lineup before trade
    QB – Wilson, Tannehill, Bradford, Mallett
    RB – Charles, Spiller, Stacey, Ball, Brown, L. Murray
    WR – Green, Gordon, Jeffery, Hopkins, Maclin, Wallace, Wheaton

    • Kris

      January 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Giggity!!!!!

  9. Jacob

    January 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    30 Team PPR Keeper league but I’m wondering what you guys think of this offer sent to me today regardless of league or team make up:

    Him send:
    Percy Harvin
    Eddie Lacy

    I send:
    Dez Bryant
    DeMarco Murray

    I love Lacy and the idea of getting him now in a keeper league is definitely blinding me but can any of us trust Percy? I’ve good depth at WR in case the injuries come back but needed to bounce it off some knowledgeable guys who aren’t as biased as I am.

    • Luck

      January 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I didn’t know they made 30 team keeper leagues. Anyway, as much as I like Lacy, I’d rather have Murray and Bryant than Lacy and Harvin. Lacy and Murray are closer together than Bryant and Harvin are. Your team is more balanced as is.

      • Jason

        January 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm

        Thanks, every time I think to myself “I should sell high on Murray since Im worried about his health” I look over at Harvin and talk myself right out of it. I think you’re right and have rejected it.

        • Luck

          January 29, 2014 at 6:53 pm

          Jason, (not Jacob, eh?) selling high on Murray is different than letting Bryant go as part of a deal to get Lacy. The only thing even about that proposed trade is that it’s 2 for 2. Also, if I was a Murray owner, I’d think twice about selling high anyway. He only missed 2 games this season, and led all RBs (with at least 200 attempts)in yards per carry. The guy who owns him in my main league isn’t letting him go anywhere, Murray was 1 of his 3 keepers going into the season.

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