Key free agents: C.J. Wilson, defensive line, Sam Acho, edge rusher
Weakness: The Bears are wafer thin at the cornerback position as they trot out Tracy Porter as their top option. They have practically nothing behind him after seemingly souring on former 14th overall selection Kyle Fuller. Furthermore, he’s coming off a lost 2016 season which he missed due to an August knee scope. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio even went as far to question Fuller’s desire to play the game.
Fangio is a great defensive coordinator but still lacks the pieces to succeed in the Windy City. Losing inside linebacker Danny Trevathan to a torn patellar tendon in November was a critical blow to this unit. He’s likely to start 2017 on the physically unable to perform list. I’d be shocked if we see him before this November, if at all.]]>
Welcome to the latest edition of the weekly mailbag.
Send your questions using the DLF Mailbag Form and we may answer them 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 us 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.
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Let’s get to it!
1. Going into the offseason my team currently sits with the following players under contract:
QB – Mariota
RB – Tevin Coleman, CJ Anderson and Jerrick McKinnon
WR – Dez Bryant, AJ Green, Allen Robinson, Stefon Diggs
Notable Practice Squad players – Kevin White, Kenyan Drake, Keith Marshall, Leonte Carroo and Alex Collins
I have picks 1.3, 2.3 and 2.4 in the upcoming rookie draft. I think I could trade Dez Bryant to acquire Todd Gurley. Do you think that is a wise move to trade WR depth for Gurley? If so, should I then replace Dez with Mike Williams and go two RBs in round 2 in the rookie draft or reach for another RB like McCaffrey at #3 (the last two rookie drafts owners have gone nuts reaching for RBs! I got Leonte Carroo at the end of the 2nd round)
Brad in Pittsburgh
(12 teams, PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1FLEX, 1TE, 1K, 1DST)
Brad, in this situation I would absolutely deal Dez Bryant for Todd Gurley. Actually, even if I wasn’t the Gurley truther that I am, I would recommend it. In January ADP, Gurley (14.50) is one spot behind Bryant (14.33) so in this respect the value is essentially a wash.
While age is already a factor in the mock drafters’ minds, I like the idea of getting a top young running back to start in a 2-RB league over a wide receiver who would push another deserving player to the bench. You wouldn’t be able to start Bryant, Green, Robinson and Diggs at the same time, so while bye weeks and injuries are always a factor, I’d prefer to acquire the running back.
With this in mind, you are in a great spot to use the 1.03 draft pick. You can try to package it with a player to move up, you could trade it for a veteran, or you could use it on your choice of remaining rookies (if I infer correctly, you would prefer Williams over Davis here). Keep in mind the possibility that a wide receiver is taken in the first two picks and you could be looking at a running back.
As we have not yet even reached the Combine, the draft board is still very much in flux so it is difficult to recommend second round picks, but I generally go best player available (regardless of position) with all of my draft picks. If you have a core of starters with Mariota, Gurley, Coleman, Green, Robinson and Diggs, you’re in great shape to not worry about positional needs in the draft.
2. I’m in year 2 of a total rebuild. I’m fairly happy with my depth and talent at all the offensive skill positions with one exception: WR. Through trades and high draft picks, my depth chart shakes out like this:
I also have picks 6, 8 and 10 in the first round of this year’s rookie draft. Should I stay the course with this group or spend one or multiple picks on another rookie WR to pair with my stable of inconsistent ones?
Matt in Chattanooga
(12 teams, PPR, IDP, 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1FLEX, 2DL, 2LB, 2DB, 1DFLEX, 1K)
Matt, I’d love to see the rest of your roster if this is your area of weakness. There are certainly some 2016 disappointments in this group, though it is still an extremely young core with high upside. That said, I can see why you would be looking for more consistency from the position.
Directly to your question, I don’t think you should reach to take a wide receiver if the best player available at 1.06 is a running back. Even in an IDP league, I would only consider taking a running back or wide receiver in the first round of a rookie draft, so you have a lot of flexibility with three picks in the top ten. What I’d probably try to do first is to move up to get a top four pick to land Davis or Williams (though not until closer to the draft).
Alternately, depending on how many rookie picks you have and how many bench spots you can create, I’d look to move one or more of the rookie picks for a reliable veteran. Many rookies, even in the first round, do not pan out (based on your perception of your boom-or-bust receivers I am sure you agree) I would target a “boring” receiver (Jamison Crowder?) who has shown something in the NFL. A late first could even net you something in addition to a player like Crowder.
You’re in a good spot, with many young wide receivers who still have trade value if you choose to go that route as well as lots of picks to work with. Contact other owners to see who is interested in making trades and what is available. You have lots of time before the rookie draft to figure out which direction you’d like to go.
3. Where do I find the 2017 rookie ADP data? It was there a while back and now it’s gone.
Victor in Vermont
Victor, great question I’m including as a general FYI. Rookies are added to DLF’s mock drafts in February, so with the next ADP update here you will see 2017 rookies included.]]>
1.) Player Name – John “Juju” Smith-Schuster
2.) College – University of Southern California
3.) Height/Weight – 6’2”, 220 pounds
4.) Birth Date – November 22nd, 1996 (20.3)
5.) Class – Junior]]>
Dan and George are joined by Shane Alexander of Inside the Pylon and the Pylon U Podcast. They discussed his methodology for scouting, an overview of the 2017 NFL draft, and dive deeper into skill positions from the class and some guys to keep an eye on.
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However, there exists a flip side of that coin. Many of these breakouts will wind up as one-hit wonders (Steve Slaton says hi), leaving you with nothing more than some temporary production and a bitter taste in your mouth when you were counting on them as core components of your team moving forward. Knowing when to cash out on a player who gained a significant amount of value is every bit as important as identifying him in the first place.
As always, 2016 was no different in providing us with several of these “gatecrashers.” After combing through the PPR Top-50 lists, I’ve created lists of players who, to varying degrees, came out of nowhere to crash the fantasy party. From here, it’s time to determine how they should be valued moving forward.
I got started with the wide receivers, and then continued with the running backs (Parts One and Two). Now it’s time to move onto the inglorious tight end position! Please note that due to the lack of scoring at the position, I’ll only consider the Top-30 PPR scorers here.]]>
1.) Name: Derek Barnett
2.) College: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
3.) Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 265-pounds
4.) Birth Date: June 26, 1996 (20-years-old)
5.) Class: Junior, (Started 10 games as a freshman, in 2014)
6.) College Stats: Three-year Totals – 198 Tackles, 131 Solos, 52 Tackles For Loss, 32 Sacks. Junior Stats – 56 Total tackles, 40 Solos, 19 TFLs, 13 Sacks
7.) NFL Draft Round Projection – Early-to-Late First Round]]>
1.) Player Name — Christian McCaffrey
2.) College — Stanford University
3.) Height/Weight — 6-foot-0 inches, 200 pounds
4.) Birth date — June 7, 1996
5.) Class — Junior
6.) Basic college stats —]]>
1.) Player Name — Joe Mixon.
2.) College — Oklahoma.
3.) Height/Weight — 6-foot-1, 227 pounds
4.) Birth date — July 24, 1996.
5.) Class — Redshirt Sophomore.
6.) Basic college stats — For his two-year career, Mixon carried the ball 300 times for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns, gaining 6.8 yards per carry. He also caught 65 passes for 894 yards and nine scores. After picking up 1,109 yards from scrimmage (753 rushing) and 11 total touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2015, Mixon racked up 1,812 yards (1,274 rushing) and 15 total scores this past season.]]>
We covered 33 rookies throughout the season, including two tight ends. Let’s put a bow on the season by taking one more look at those pass catchers’ first shot playing on Sundays. As well as a quick glimpse into their futures.
Jerell Adams, TE NYG
Season Stats: 16 receptions, 122 yards, one touchdown
Adams caught the eye of some dynasty owners during his rookie season, catching 16 passes for 122 yards and a score and earning more and more playing time for the Giants as the season went on.
Armed with good size (6’-5”, 247 pounds) and above average speed, Adams outplayed Will Tye and Larry Donnell for much of the season but that’s really not saying much. Due to rounded-off routes and limited burst out of his breaks, he struggled to get open in man coverage and appeared to give up on routes from time to time.
Despite making a few plays as a rookie, Adams doesn’t profile as a starting NFL tight end, let alone a useful fantasy asset. New York is a prime landing spot for one of the top tight ends in the 2017 NFL draft and if the Giants take one, Adams will instantly become a special teams player.
Although he shouldn’t be dropped just yet, Adams should be on the roster bubble during the off-season.
Hunter Henry, TE LAC
Season Stats: 36 receptions, 478 yards, eight touchdowns
Despite sharing time with veteran Antonio Gates for much of the season, Henry had an impressive rookie campaign. Catching 36 passes for 478 yards and an eye-popping eight touchdowns, he proved himself as a seam stretcher with the ability to make contested grabs – particularly around the goal line. His big frame along with his athleticism and soft hands make him an ideal red zone target.]]>