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: I’m in a ten team league that starts 1QB. I’d like to trade for the 1.01 using my 1.06 plus a player or two. Is now the time to make that move or would you wait until right after the draft? – Devon in Canada
Devon, I think you are on the right track with moving up to get Trent Richardson. I believe success in dynasty comes from having convictions about players and then doing what it takes to get your man.
We’ve been lucky the last two years to have some truly elite players come out at the key positions for fantasy. I was all in on AJ Green last year and basically had to rework my entire salary cap team in order to move up to the 1.01 to ensure that I got him. I made a succession of trades each one designed to allow me to do the next. I think in total it took close to six weeks!
Trent Richardson is an elite level prospect that deserves the same type of effort and value. If you believe in him, it’s fine to overpay to get him. Moreover, to win in a 10-team league requires studs and it’s not that often that one comes along like this.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear cut answer to your question. My gut tells me that in most cases the team holding the 1.01 knows they are sitting on a pile of gold. If so, they’re going to make you pay regardless of when you open the dialog. And like I said, it probably doesn’t matter because he’s worth paying for.
I guess your one hope could be to wait and see if by chance he falls into a less than optimal situation via the draft. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that STL takes him at the 1.06 and he’s behind Steven Jackson for a minute. Maybe you get him a little cheaper that way. Personally, I think he’s gone by then (likely to CLE) and all you’ve done by waiting is increased his value. I’d go try to get the 1.01 now if that’s what you know you want for your team.
2: I have a pair of enigma wide receivers in Santonio Holmes and DeSean Jackson. Should I hold onto them or move one or both? – Jim in Maine
It’s important that you mentioned in your question that this is a non-PPR league. The values of both of these receivers get a bump in that format. Both Jackson and Holmes are low catch total guys but they still provide meaningful production in a non-PPR. D.Jax finished 2011 as the WR#27 and Holmes as the WR#35 for non-PPR.
As long as the NYJ offense continues to be what it’s been, you know what you’ve got in Holmes. He’s going to give you approximately 700 yards and seven touchdowns – good enough to be a low end WR3 for fantasy. And oddly, he’s rather consistent. In non-PPR leagues he scored 108 fantasy points, but never had a game with either 100 yards or two touchdowns. That may sound like a bad thing, but it’s not. It isn’t like 25% of Holmes production all came in one big game while he was riding the pine for your fantasy team. He’s a viable flex option but with little to no upside. But let’s be honest, how hard is it to find those guys? For example, the much maligned Pierre Thomas put up almost identical points and consistency.
D-Jax is going to get you more yards and more total fantasy points, but his inconsistency is going to annoy you to no end. Unlike Holmes, he’s boom or bust. Of his 117 fantasy points, 54% came in 25% of the games played. And to add insult to injury, his second biggest game of the year was week 17. D-Jax is wonderful in a Draft Master league where the computer selects your optimal line up based on what happened during the week. Unless you have a crystal ball, he’s a frustrating player to own.
Given my druthers, I’d rather these guys were on someone else’s team and I’m avoiding them in a start-up draft. But you shouldn’t undersell them because they do provide some degree of fantasy value. If I could get a mid-first for the pair I’d consider that and I’d send either packing for a late first.
3: I’m in a 20-team league with a four round mixed FA/Rookie draft. Can you give me your sense of where a few of the free agents should go? – Rich in Redding, CA
(Note: Rich provided an extensive list of free agents and his draft values. I’ll pick a few to comment on.)
After the truly elite prospects, I generally prefer to use my rookie picks for veteran players. Usually I accomplish this via trade because my leagues don’t tend to have the free agent depth that yours does. I like the certainty I get from a guy who has shown what he can (and can’t) do in the league. Plus you can usually find people in your leagues who are willing to overpay for rookie picks as we get closer to the NFL draft.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE DET
It’s frankly ridiculous that he’s on the wire in any league, let alone a 20-teamer. Pettigrew is an elite level pass catching TE on a pass happy team. Stafford finally showed us that he can in fact withstand the rigors of an entire NFL season which provided an immediate fantasy value boost to all the pass catchers. I’m a buyer on all things Detroit. TE values are of course diminished somewhat in leagues where they cannot be used in the flex. I’d begin to consider Pettigrew around the 1.06 or 1.07 rookie/FA pick.
Matt Flynn, QB SEA
Flynn is better than any of the rookie quarterback prospects after Andrew Luck and RGIII. He’s going to be a QB1 in a 20-team league, despite latching on in Seattle. My guess is that I’ll have him ranked around QB#14 or in terms of my expectations for production in 2012. I suppose his value will be somewhat lower than in might have been thanks to the Kevin Kolb effect, but he still needs to go off the board early in a mixed FA/rookie draft. Because this is a 20-team league, several teams need him as a starter. And every single team could use him as a backup. Realistically, the only players in this draft who you can safely assume will be week one starters in your league are Trent Richardson and the three quarterbacks – that’s worth a ton. I’d have no problem using a top-5 pick on Flynn in this situation.
Randy Moss, WR SF
I suppose for a contender in a 20-team league he’s an intriguing flyer pick, but I’m struggling to see why I want Moss on my fantasy team. He hasn’t been fantasy relevant since 2009. I see a lot of hype about his workout, but I never had the sense his conditioning was the issue when he was bouncing around the league in 2010. Someone in every league will get excited about Moss, especially if Peyton Manning lands in San Francisco. I just don’t think it will be me. He’d be a second rounder in a 20-team league for me, but I suspect he’d gone by then.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as tstafford.