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The DLF Mailbag

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.

Let’s get to it!

1:  What one position do you feel you should build your dynasty team around?  Keith, via Twitter

I’m a man.  I’m 40.  Translation – I’ve been playing fantasy football long enough to have drafted the likes of Emmitt Smith and Elvis Grbac.  In the old days, things were very simple – you built your team around stud running backs and anyone who didn’t was playing with fire.  Sure the Kurt Warner’s of the world would come along and shake things up, but Marshall Faulk and L.T. would remind us that it was easy – just draft running backs.

Times have changed and now we have to think in order to win fantasy leagues.  Of course, it’s even more complex in dynasty.  After much gnashing of teeth, I’ve come to believe that you build around wide receivers first.  This is absolute anathema to me.  And I struggle with it constantly.  However, what I see repeatedly is the teams who are in it consistently all have one of the top echelon wide receivers.  Here’s the thing – it really needs to be a top, top guy.  Only a select few produce year in and year out.  This is probably why I’m higher on Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White than many other writers.

Also, you need to be willing to hang in there with receivers as they get past the 30 year old mark.  Everyone will be telling you to dump them so you aren’t left holding the bag.  Before 2010, everyone said Reggie Wayne was toast – he went for 111/1,355/6.  Before 2011., they said it about Roddy White – he went for 100/1,296/8.  Point is, aging wide receivers still can put up big numbers.  Reload behind them using the waiver wire and your rookie picks rather than dumping them for cents on the dollar.

Note:  If you don’t understand the “I’m a man I’m 40” reference, I recommend watching this below:

[vsw id=”pZU5AnxwIAg” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

2:  Would you trade the 1.04 rookie pick for the 1.09 and the 1.11?  Does the end of the first round have enough talent to trade a top four pick?Ben, Parts Unknown

Ben, in your question you go into a lot of detail about who will be there at these picks.  I’m going to caution you against trying to project the draft in your league.  No one’s draft board is set right now, nor should it be until we see the pro days and the NFL draft.  Besides, people do strange things in rookie drafts.  You just never know.

So, rather than get in to all that speculation, I’ll answer the question more generally.  No, I wouldn’t do this deal.  On value it just isn’t enough.  This is a deep, deep draft and there will be tremendous prospects at the end of the first round.  Much, much better than last year, but not good enough to deal away what will be an elite level prospect.  I think the 1.04 is a sweet spot in the draft.  You should get better value than this if you move out of the pick – at least a proven player and a pick.

3:  How do you feel about Kenny Britt?  Is his being valued appropriately in dynasty right now? BG, Chicago

I love him and I do think he’s carrying the right value at the moment.  The “buy-low” window closed very quickly.  Usually you will have your skeptics who just won’t pay full value until they see some live action.  But Britt didn’t suffer as much of a value decline as I would have expected.

The deals I see going across in the forums basically have him valued as a high end WR2 with WR1 upside.  He went off the board at the 3.04 (WR#11) in the #DLFMock.  So, that was roughly the same.  I was surprised he went ahead of Brandon Marshall and Roddy White, though.  That draft position is pretty consistent with the trade values people are getting.

Word on the street is that his rehab is going well.  I expect Britt to be near full speed for opening day.  He’ll just need to get over the mental hurdles that come with a severe knee injury.  Expect a down year for him, but his long term prospects are excellent.

4:  When you are managing your team, how far out in the future are you thinking?  Sometimes it’s tough to balance win-now vs. build for tomorrow.Andrea, Nashville

There probably should be an entire article on its own in relation to this topic.  But the quick answer is I only think two to three years down the line.  That horizon has real implications in how I manage my team.

I’m convinced that the most active owners – those who trade, those who comb the wire, etc., are the most successful.  My teams generally look extremely different in December than they did in May.  So, planning way in advance just doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.  So much can change so quickly.

What this means is that I generally go against the grain in three key areas:

  • Rookie QBsI devalue them.  For example, I’d have a hard time drafting Andrew Luck or RGIII with a top-4 pick.  I know that will happen in most leagues, and that’s fine.  It’s just not for me.  I’d rather move that pick to the guy who wants to take the rookie than use it that way myself.  I’d rather get a Matt Ryan plus something little because I expect Ryan can help me win now.
  • Aging WRsI love them.  I like to deal with the owner who is getting nervous about an older wide receiver.  They generally have more in the tank than people give them credit for.  Again, I’m trying to buy near term production for below market value.
  • Reloading/RecoveryI like to hedge my bets by acquiring future firsts.  This seems counter to my main point, but it’s not.  More often than not, I end up dealing the firsts later for impact players.  Example:  During the season this year, I turned a first into Dwayne Bowe and another first and DeAngelo Williams into Cam Newton.  Of course, I missed on Newton during the draft because of point one, but I recovered because I had a bank account of firsts to draw on.

No approach is fool-proof.  But if you have a system that you are confident in and can follow, you probably have a leg up.

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

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the clarion contrarian
10 years ago

well done great article
– at 1:4 WITH NO GLARING NEEDS – and luck richardson and blackmon off the board ; is it prudent to trade the selection , take griffin or a flyer on one of the other rbs based on situation.

Sensai_John_Kreese
Reply to  the clarion contrarian
10 years ago

I think the consensus would be Lamar Miller. That being said, rookies don’t pan out like they are supposed to 100 percent of the time, as im sure you know. Ultimately, its your call. I’ve been coming here for two years. I saw the posts put up by people last year whining about why we told them to choose Mark Ingram at 2 and not Demarco Murray.

Mike. B
10 years ago

I think the way the league is now you have to build your dynasty team around an elite Quarterback.There is tremendous depth at WR.

Paul
Reply to  Mike. B
10 years ago

I agree with QB. Their shelf life is the longest. WR is next. If you don’t have a stud QB but you own Larry Fitz or Megatron you’re still fine.

I also disagree about the point on rookie qb’s. Posted in an earlier article was something about taking two rookie WR’s in the same draft. Taking two of one position in a draft is hard. But if you realize that you need one more young QB and WR than you think hedges your bet that at least one of them will pan out.

Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Hey guys I have the 1.3 pick and the 2.2 n 2.3. My qbs are Hassleback n Tebow w Kaepernick stashed. I need a qb. Most likely in our draft it’s gonna go Luck then Richardson. Should I grab RGIII? I could always grab Blackmon but qbs score so heavy in our league.

Reply to  Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

yes grab rg3!!!!!!!! yes qbs will go threw growing pains, but the premiss here is dynasty. which means time. over time rg3 will develop into a quality fantasy qb. everyone seems to knock guys like tebow. but the bottom line is they score for fantasy football. rg3 will be in that catagory as well. yes we want to win now, but dynasty is about building that balance that will winn years down the road as well. i’d love to have rg3 stashed on my squad.

Josh G
Reply to  Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

I am guessing you started Tebow, had Hass as a backup and Kaepernick was maturing on your bench. Without knowing the rest of your lineup, I’d likely draft RG3 in your situation and look for someone to maybe replace either Hass or Kaepernick or both. I am not sure who is available (or how many teams are in your league), but perhaps Locker, Freeman, Sanchez or “similar” might be had. I’d also watch Alex Smith..and if he flames out early, Kaepernick is worth holding onto, but if Smith somehow starts off hot (especially if they pick up another WR or 2), then perhaps you could dump him for a Kirk Cousins or other QB who isnt as highly touted (or one of those mentioned previously).

Paul
Reply to  Josh G
10 years ago

I agree with taking RG3. You don’t want to draft for need but at pick three your realistic options are Blackmon, RG3, and whichever second tier RB lands best. Point is your not reaching on RG3. Also, do you realistically see Tebow or Kaepernick starting for real NFL teams in two more years? Personally, I’d offer one of your second rounders for Locker and hope that one of your four young guys work out.

TJHollywood
10 years ago

Nice article. I agree a lot on your point about dealing 1sts for existing players. I see a ton of posts on the board where guys are looking to draft Luck/RGIII with the expectation of Cam numbers their rookie year. It’s more likely they get Bradford year 2 numbers as they go through growing pains.

Reply to  TJHollywood
10 years ago

if you deal 1sts for existing players, they best be young upside….because your 1sts will be your bloodline in dynasty. 2nds, and 3rds are the bait for obtaining the producing vets. thats how you build a long lasting championship competing squad.

Coach
10 years ago

I’m still old school. you need a stud running back. Plenty of serviceable QBs. WRs are still a crapshoot unless you have Calvin. Arian Foster, MJD, Ray Rice, Lesean Mccoy will rarely disappoint.

Sensai_John_Kreese
Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

I agree, you need ONE stud RB to anchor your squad. That being said I do prefer playing with 1 rb and 4 wr in ppr, simply because of wr longevity relative to that of rbs.

If you choose to anchor your team around WRs, it is obviously best to choose young receivers who are tied to young, prolific qbs. If the Panthers or Colts, for example, select a wideout in the draft, I would be inclined to move whoever that ends up being up my draft board.

Josh G
Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

Agree depending on the scoring and who the serviceable QB is, as well as who your other players are. Obviously, everyone wants a top 5 QB. However, those 5 QBs rankings are fluid in that..after Rodgers, Brees and Brady..its a little bit more murky who the others 2-3 best are..Newton? Eli? Stafford? Romo? What about Tebow? Rivers? Ryan? Vick? Schaub? Big Ben even? and this is leaving Peyton off the list as well…

Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

with that said, yes that is old school. we used to have to build that way. the problem is there are no more stud rbs. foster will give plenty of carries to tate next year. rice, mccoy, and mjd will not be able to sustain 300+ carries and continue to produce at that level. the game is changing and unless we adapt with it we become like the dinasaur. the rb is becoming a product of he short passing game and thus almost a 3rd of his total fantasy points will come from those passing teams. unless it reverts back to Ocords. wanting to run a ground game first, the wrs and tes will be the first targets and the rbs will be the 2nd checkdowns in the passing game. look at ne and hernandez this year. he was used as wr. te and rb. my philosophy has changed. i’m in 3 leagues and my idea is you need 3 top wrs. a top qb and servicable rbs……i won 2 out of the 3 leagues i was in this year. my team….qb romo, mcfadden, mathews, calvin, welker, wallace….see?

Reply to  bigd
10 years ago

my replacement for mcfadden was wells?

Coach
Reply to  bigd
10 years ago

nah. i can guarantee that foster, rice, mccoy, mjd, peterson etc will get the ball at least 20 times a game. unless you have calvin johnson, the other receivers are pretty much hit or miss. you’re relying on QB play, weather conditions, other teams corners. you bring up mike wallace… he wasn’t even the best WR on his team the last half of the season. Look at the top bunch of receivers. Victor Cruz you could have picked up. Jordy Nelson was a late round flier. Steve Smith was on the scrap heap coming into the year. You can always find a fill in WR. Meanwhile a stud running back will consistently score big for you. Very rarely does someone pull a chris johnson…

Sensai_John_Kreese
Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

or a steve slaton…

Chris Johnson was all that awful in ppr last year, Slaton was an unmitigated disaster after 2008.

Mark
10 years ago

Yeah well I had Rodgers, Foster and Tate, J. Stew, Megatron, steve smith, Percy harvin and jimmy graham and finished 6th. Sometimes its just chance, but overall you gotta think WR in dynasty. Longer shelf life in a more and more pass heavy league.

Fife
10 years ago

Hey all – I need some draft opinions and I am in a rebuilding process
16 team league – 40 man rosters, IDP, PPR

Notables QB – Dalton, RB – Mendenhall, Blount, WR-Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson, Defense-solid at all positions

I have the 1.3 and 1.12. Richardson and Luck figure to be gone before us. Do you trade down to maximize picks, take RG3 or Blackmon or stretch for a RB at 1.4?

Interested on your thoughts….

Josh G
Reply to  Fife
10 years ago

In a 16 team league with 40 man rosters, I’d take RG3 at 1.03, especially since your “notable” QB is Dalton.
You need major help at RB too however.

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