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The DLF Mailbag

The kind folks here at DLF have allowed me to start a periodic article answering questions sent to me using the DLF Mailbag Form.  This is the inaugural edition of The DLF Mailbag and the hope is for it to become a weekly feature.  Send me your questions and I’ll include the best in future articles.  A couple of guidelines:  dynasty questions only, no start/sit questions, 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, please.

Hope you enjoy and shoot me your questions!

1. What is the value of the 1.02 rookie pick?  Kenny Britt, Antonio Brown, Peyton Hillis?AJ, Ishpeming, MI

Age old question – what is a top tier rookie pick worth in terms of a veteran player?  This varies based primarily on two factors:

  • Strength of the rookie class – This year is deep, but lacks elite fantasy talent other than Trent Richardson.
  • Your league format – In a 2QB league, the 1.02 is worth substantially more this year because of Andrew Luck and RGIII, for example.

In order to provide an answer, I’ll assume you play in a standard 1QB/PPR format.  In the recent #DLFMock, the 1.02 was “drafted” at the 4.02 slot, well behind Kenny Britt, ahead of Antonio Brown and miles before Peyton Hillis.  The 4.02 selection put the value of the 1.02 in the range of guys like DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, Jordy Nelson and CJ Spiller.  I thought that was about right given the values I’m seeing people get in trades for the 1.02.

I’m the holder of the 1.02 in two of my three leagues.  One is a rebuild and the other is a serious contender.  In both, I will be looking to trade out of the slot.  I’m absolutely convinced that Justin Blackmon will end up going as the first receiver in the NFL draft and also in nearly 100% of dynasty drafts.  I believe he is the best receiver in this draft class, but not close to the talent of an AJ Green or Julio Jones.  However, I suspect I will be able to get another owner to pay for the 1.02 (Blackmon) as if he is that level of a prospect.  I’m all about getting the value in a trade and I think the value will be on moving the 1.02 to a team that is over-amped about chasing the next Green or Julio.

2. AJ Green had an outstanding rookie season and many pundits are proclaiming him a future NFL star for the Bengals.  While I do like his skill set, does the CIN offense hurt his FF value to the point that he cannot be counted on for top 15 potential?JC, Newport News, VA

 You’ve hit the sweet spot with this question.  I think if I had a daughter, I’d want her to marry AJ Green – that’s how much I like him.  I currently have Green as my WR#3 for dynasty behind only Megatron and Larry Fitzgerald.  And if you frequent the DLF Forum, you’d know that I have been all in on AJ Green since before the draft last year.

Elite WRs are often drafted in to cruddy offensive situations.  Think about Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson.  Every one of those guys was drafted on to a weak team.  Generally, if you go in the top five in the NFL draft that’s what happens.  Most guys aren’t quite as lucky as Julio Jones, who got to be a high pick AND go to a playoff contender.

Cincinnati is an emerging team and will be able to add a lot of top tier talent over the next two years, in large part thanks to Oakland’s generous donations in the Carson Palmer trade.  You ask if the Cincinnati offense hurts him. Personally, I only see two weaknesses in this offense:  a lack of a legit WR2 and a solid talent at running back.  Cincy will likely draft a running back early and they can find another WR a variety of ways.  You don’t call out Andy Dalton specifically, but I suspect you doubt him.  While I don’t see Dalton ever emerging as an elite NFL quarterback or anything more than a fantasy backup, he is good enough to get Green the ball.

Finally, in preparing to answer your question, I went back and looked at all the touchdowns Green scored in 2011.  Only three of his seven total touchdowns were from inside the twenty.  It’s only a matter to time until Dalton will understand that a corner fade to AJ Green is like money in the bank.

3. What happened to Zach Miller (SEA) and is there any hope?Brandon, The Windy City

Brandon, that’s a great question because this one can be answered almost purely with stats.  While in Oakland, Miller was the primary passing option, getting over 85 targets every year since 2008.  His YPC was decent (not exceptional), hovering around twelve during that three year stint.  He then signed the massive free agent deal and packed his bags for Seattle.  Targets dropped to a four year low of 44 and his YPC plummeted to nine – ouch.  So, essentially we have a guy who “made it up on volume” in the past and now there isn’t a sufficient level of targets to support him.  Oh, and he also had zero touchdowns for the first time in his career.

I think there is reason for hope, however.  Miller was forced into blocking duty to help a young, developing offensive line that featured two rookies on the right side.  It’s not a bad group, it’s just inexperienced and hasn’t played together long enough to have a good rhythm.  As the line gels, Miller will be freed up to do what he does best – catch the ball.

Moreover, Miller is an extremely talented player who is being paid the big bucks to catch balls.  It isn’t like his success in Oakland was all a system thing.  Kevin Boss, a decent receiver himself, replaced Miller in Oakland and didn’t produce anywhere near Miller’s level.  I see Miller as an excellent stash for dynasty.  He passed through the waiver wire in a couple of my leagues this year – that’s how down on him people were.  If he can be acquired as a “toss in” in a trade for other players you may just get yourself a steal.

Editor’s Note:  Tim Stafford can be followed @dynastytim on twitter and in the DLF forums as tstafford.

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tidewaterjc
10 years ago

Thx Tim – I tried to get my 20 y/o daughter to move to Cincy and stalk him….hahahaha…. After she refused to move, I started thinking because I had offered Green/1.11 for Marshall/1.02 in a league as I have a known crush on Blackmon and was told, “The difference between Green and Marshall is minimal, mainly because of Green’s age.” This took me back and thought maybe I was overvaluing Green.

Warren
10 years ago

Excellent analysis, especially in regards to question 1. I almost think that Luck is the #1 or 2 pick, regardless of format. I believe he’s the BPA after TRich, as this years WR group doesn’t inspire much confidence. I want as close to a sure thing with the #2 pick and I think Luck qualifies. The WRs seem to be such a crapshoot this year and the #2 pick is no place to have a crapshoot. Luck or trading the pick would be my options if I owned the #2.

mangelo
10 years ago

Good article, look forward to more.

Melish aka Ken
10 years ago

Great article Tim…particularly the 1.02 Draft Pick valuation! I own that pick and am having similar thoughts…

10 years ago

Trade question for you guys. I am a team that is contending for a championship. Should I trade Miles Austin, Chris Johnson, 2013 1st rd pick for Calvin Johnson and 2013 2nd rd pick? This trade leaves me thin at RB but I could survive it. Does any one have a opinion on this?

Josh G
Reply to  Norman Bennett
10 years ago

Who are your other RBs and WRs?
Obviously you upgrade at WR…but we need more info to give a fair answer…

Reply to  Josh G
10 years ago

Matthews, MJD, Tolbert are my remaining RB’s and Britt, Marshall, Maclin are my WR’s

Reply to  Norman Bennett
10 years ago

I do have 2 high 1st picks to help replenish my RB’s

Greg G.
Reply to  Norman Bennett
10 years ago

If I knew I would be able to grab some promising young backs in the draft for arguably the best receiver in the game, I would pull the trigger. But I’m partial to Megatron. Running backs do have shorter shelf lives. Plus you have two good backs in MJD and Matthews. I would do it. You have bigger question marks at receiver than at running back. Looks like you can afford to move CJ…

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