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.) My salary cap league has a sliding scale for rookie contract amounts. Each pick is a little cheaper than the last. In this draft do you feel that paying the premium for the earlier picks is worth it or better to save some money with a later selection? – Nathan in the Great White North
While that’s not an uncommon salary cap rule, it’s hard for me to answer your question without a lot more information. In general, here are some things I’d consider:
- Regardless of the salary scale, Trent Richardson is worth every penny.
- For salary cap, T.Rich is in a tier by himself. The next five guys are all fair game for me. That’s Luck, RGIII, Blackmon, Floyd and Martin. People will have personal preferences and differing team needs but I like them all more of less the same. I do have Martin as the first among equals however. So, if you want to game the system and trade down in this range to save some money, be my guest. Just don’t trade below 1.06.
- After the top six, your guess is as good as mine. I haven’t seen any consensus in this range and players go 1.07 in one draft and 2.02 in another. That tells me you can absolutely trade down for value here as well. The one exception is David Wilson. He seems to have carved out a bit of his own tier right after the elite guys. Although not always, he seems to go 1.07 fairly frequently.
My word of caution would be not to be penny wise and pound-foolish. If there’s a guy you like or even just have a gut feeling about, take him. A couple of spare cap dollars never won a salary cap league championship.
2.) I’m in the third year of my dynasty league; I got frustrated and blew up my roster. All I have left is Bradford, Welker and Gresham (we roster 23). But I have the 1.01 through 1.05, the 1.07, 1.08, the 1.11, 1.12 and the 2.01. Also, I have an offer on Welker for Dez. What would you do? – Jason in Indy
You sure did blow it up! The good news is you have a slew of picks in a very juicy rookie draft. Let’s make the most of them.
I’d use all of the top five in this situation. My picks would be Richardson, Martin, Luck, Floyd and Blackmon. Please don’t fall victim to the RG3 temptation. The only circumstance where I have RG3 close to Luck is in salary cap. You aren’t going to contend in 2012 anyway, so take the long-term promise of Luck.
I’d try to move out of all the rest of the picks for young veterans. My guess is that people in your league will be chomping at the bit to participate in the draft and that works in your favor. I’d target guys such as CJ Spiller, Jonathan Stewart, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin, and Brandon Marshall. None of these guys carries the super elite prices of an AJ Green or Jimmy Graham, but they will be safe components of your team as it matures.
If you can’t move out of one of the later firsts, I’d consider taking Coby Fleener. I’m struggling to figure out any reason that this guy won’t be successful in the NFL. I don’t feel that he has elite talent, but I have his floor as about the TE8 in 2013 and beyond. He’d be nice to pair up with Gresham.
As to the Welker for Dez deal, yes I’d take it. I have Welker and Dez back to back in my rankings and given your unique situation age is a huge factor.
3.) Matt Schaub is my QB. I’ve been offered the 1.02 for Fitz/1.12. Is it worth it given I’ll be able to pick Luck? – Jeff in Louisville, KY
No! If anyone should be adding picks to the deal it’s the guy giving you the 1.02. Larry Fitzgerald is a borderline first round selection in start-up drafts. I don’t care how badly you need a quarterback – this isn’t the way to get it.
Anyone that you take at 1.02 (be it Luck or RG3 or even Richardon) needs to prove that they are fit to carry Fitz’s pads. You would be trading away one of the elite players in fantasy (and the NFL) for an unproven rookie. I don’t care how good these guys look, rookies bust. While I don’t think any of those three will, you shouldn’t have to pay like this for the honor of taking on that risk.
Separately, you have good reason to be concerned about Schaub. He worries me too. Those middle foot injuries are notoriously hard to shake. I’d wait until the 1.12 is OTC and see what sort of deal you can cut for a mid-level QB like Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers or Tony Romo. Play the committee game with these guys for a bit. You should be able to get one of them cheaper than what you’ve been offered and they probably out perform Luck in 2012 anyway.
4.) I dealt the 1.01 rookie selection for Dez Bryant and a 2013 first that will be middle of the pack. How’d I do? – Kevin in Colorado
Any other year this would be a slam-dunk in your favor, but with Trent Richardson on the board it’s murky. I have no doubt that Richardson’s ADP in start-ups will be at least a round higher than Dez Bryant’s. The question then becomes whether you feel the 2013 first makes up that gap. It wouldn’t for me.
First, Dez isn’t a legitimate WR1 in either fantasy or the NFL. He’s a high end WR2 and an every week starter, but he’s not elite. Dez is not in my top 15. I’ll take guys like Brandon Marshall and Percy Harvin over Dez. I know that I’m in the minority on this however.
Second, any capable RB1 is worth far more than a low end WR1. If Richardson struggles, I see his floor, in terms of value, as being similar to Ryan Mathews. Richardson is the only game in town in Cleveland and he will get every chance to succeed. Debate his skills if you want, but the opportunity is supreme. And of course not that many people are debating his skills anyway.
Finally, except in extremely rare cases, I don’t buy in to trying to predict where future picks will fall. You say it’s “middle of the pack,” but that doesn’t factor in for me. Right now a 2013 first is a 2013 first. Those are being traded in my league right now for 2012 seconds as people want to get back in to the draft. Not enough for me to give up a shot at an elite RB who I also believe has a high floor.
5.) I have the 1.05 rookie selection and I’m not sold on Blackmon. I like Martin but I doubt he drops to me. Should I trade out of the pick in favor of a couple of 2013 selections? – Adam in Minnesota
I think that would be a mistake unless you are getting at least two 2013 first round selections. And even then I’m not sure.
You shouldn’t trade out of the pick at all. If you don’t have pressing needs (which you must not if you are contemplating a picks only trade), I’d take BPA in this draft. The top six selections in the 2012 draft (Luck/RG3, Richardson/Martin and Blackmon/Floyd) would all rate as top three picks in most rookie drafts. If you were outside of the top six, I’d be okay with punting until 2013. Team needs change and you may not get a chance to get an elite level prospect like this by trading.
If I can’t dissuade you from trading out of the pick, at least trade for a proven veteran. Someone in your league will want the 1.05 I promise. Wait until it is OTC and then put it on the block. You may be pleasantly surprised by the level of offer you receive.
The 2012 class is strong, but got hurt a bit by the results of the NFL draft. That doesn’t change the quality of the talent. Remember Megatron went to the Lions, AJ Green to the Bengals with a rookie quarterback, and Fitzgerald to the Cards when they absolutely stunk. Don’t count Blackmon or Floyd out because of their situations. You’re selling them short.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.