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.