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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.

3.) Your chance of getting your question answered is inversely proportional to the length of the question.

Let’s get to it!

1.)  I have the 1.05 and the 2.02 in a 12-team league.  I know Andrew Luck, RGIII, Trent Richardson and Doug Martin will be gone.  Who do you take at 1.05?Alan in New Jersey

It’s either Blackmon or Floyd.  Between the two, it’s owner’s preference.

The majority of dynasty players and sites have Justin Blackmon rated as the WR1 in this draft class.  If you had the opportunity to see any OSU games either in 2010 or 2011, you had to be impressed by him.  Teams knew what was coming – a healthy dose of Blackmon – but couldn’t stop him.  Brandon Weeden should give Blackmon a commission on his rookie signing bonus.  There is no doubt he is a polished receiver, solid route runner and reportedly an excellent locker room guy.  I think the ceiling is somewhat low, but the floor is quite high.  My bet is that Blackmon is a dependable WR2 for fantasy for years to come.

In my opinion, Floyd is the upside play.  If you are a gambler, you take him.  He has the prototypical size/speed combination to be successful in the NFL.  Unfortunately, he brings with him a fairly checkered past.  Remember at this time last year we all wondered if he might have to enter the NFL supplemental draft after being tossed off the team at Notre Dame.  Since being reinstated (and catching 100 balls in 2011), all reports are that he’s on the straight and narrow.  Plus, being under the watchful eye of Larry Fitzgerald can’t hurt.

The advantages of Blackmon are opportunity (he’s the clear cut WR1 in JAX), character and a high floor.  The advantages of Floyd are superior measurables and the influence of the hardest working man in football.

You make the call.

2.)  I’m in an 8-team league and in rebuilding mode (need both QB and RB help).  I have picks 1.01 and 1.03.  Which QB/RB tandem should I rebuild around? Christian near Juniata College

Well as tough as that is, it’s an enviable position to be in.  By the way you ask the question, your choices are either Andrew Luck/Doug Martin or Trent Richardson/RGIII.  Either way you are getting two stud rookies.

Since this is an 8-team league, I take the Trent Richardson/RGIII combo.  In a 12-team 2QB league, I go the other way and force the hand of the guy at 1.02 to pull the trigger on Richardson.  I’d figure I’d have a 25% chance or better that he actually takes RGIII.  However, an 8-team 2QB league is basically the same as a 16-team 1QB league, so the scarcity isn’t as severe.

Adding Richardson to your team is going to be a very nice thing indeed.  You are getting a day one fantasy starter which is largely unheard of in a rookie draft.  Barring injury, he is going to be a top-24 pick in redrafts this year.  He’s an elite talent and all indications are that he will have a long and productive NFL career.

RGIII isn’t Luck.  Still he’ll be a solid fantasy asset and I suspect he may eclipse Luck in scoring in 2012.  The fall off from Luck to RGIII is sizeable, but not close to the chasm between Richardson and Doug Martin.  Richardson would have been the RB1 (and consensus 1.01) regardless of his landing spot, Martin vaulted up draft boards because of his situation.  Consider that.

3.)  I’m pretty set at WR but a little weak at RB.  Is trading Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal for Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman a good move?  Eric in PA

Sure.  You get the Steeler backfield in return for two underperforming receivers.  Plus, you say it fits with your team needs. Go for it.

Since answering your question was relatively easy, I’ll take this opportunity to say that I’m confused by the new found love for Robert Meachem.  Here’s a guy who has been on a prolific passing offense for his entire career, but has never broken either the 50 catch or 750 yard barriers.  Let’s admit those are low bars.  His entire fantasy value has been predicated on his touchdown production – not my cup of tea.

Now he’s on Chargers and all of the sudden he’s a hot commodity.  If he has WR1 potential in him, why didn’t the Saints ever give him the chance to show that?  Say what you want about the New Orleans coaching staff, but I believe they can identify and exploit offensive talent.  No evidence they had much more than replacement level confidence in Meachem.

Opportunity is wonderful and maybe Meachem steps up sort of in the vein of Brandon Lloyd, but the prices are too high for my blood right now.

4.) What’s your general philosophy on trading picks prior to the draft in a start-up?  Do you try to acquire additional early round picks or sacrifice an early pick for more mid-rounders?  Jeff in the Garden State

This question depends a lot on with whom I’m drafting.  If I know I’m in a shark league, I always stay on the sidelines until the draft is underway.  If I’m drafting against guys I think are less experienced, I’m more aggressive in putting out offers.

My shark league approach is to use my early picks and then trade later picks for future rookie selections.  The sharks are generally too savvy to let you get any real value by trading down or using future firsts to pick up selections in the top-60.  However, inevitably there are players still on the board in the later rounds that people covet and you can put some money in your rookie draft bank during that part of the draft.  I’m open to trading any pick after about the thirteenth or fourteenth round for a future second unless a guy has dropped that I really want.

My guppy league approach is different.  Here I pepper the league with offers to trade out of the first round, especially if I am in the middle of the round.  I’m looking to increase the number of picks I have in the first five rounds of a 12-team league.  Every player in this range is a projected day one starter – I want as many of them as I can get.  I’m willing to deal future firsts, trade down and add in picks from the mid rounds, whatever.  I want as many guys in the top-60 as possible.

For a primer on start-up drafting check out this article from the Archive:  Start Up 101.

5.)  How does a 2QB league change player valuations and draft strategy?  Cody in FLA

Changes it a ton.  I’m currently drafting in a league that allows for a quarterback in the flex spot, so this question hit at the perfect time!

You have to get quarterbacks right away in this format.  If you’ve been playing fantasy for a long time (say more than ten years), this will make you queasy, but you have to do it.  In my start-up, 12 quarterbacks were gone in the first 36 picks, RGIII and Luck both went in the mid second round and Andy Dalton went off the board at 6.11!

If you play in a standard PPR (4-pts per passing TD and 1 PPR), here are the stats from 2011:

  • Of the top-10 scorers, 5 were QBs.
  • Of the top-30 scorers, 10 were QBs.
  • Mark Sanchez was a top-30 scorer.  Yep, that Mark Sanchez.

Additionally, the quarterbacks are super reliable.  They touch the ball every play and the NFL is protecting them maybe to a fault.  How often have you really started your stud running back or wide receiver every single fantasy game?  That’s a miracle.  Injuries befall running backs and wide receivers, but you can pretty much count on your quarterback.

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

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Scott
9 years ago

Who would take Meachem and Royal for Redman and Mendy? I’d MUCH rather have Mendy/Redman. But, if an owner can make that deal fly, good for them.

Alan Bauerle
9 years ago

Tim decisions, desicions… Thanks for answering much appreciated. Have another one for ya. I approached an owner for his 1.2 pick. He counters with the 1.2 and the 1.7 for Antonio Brown the 1.5 2.2 and a first rd pick in 2013. I’m not that deep at reciever. He’s askin way too much right..thanks again any input greatly appreciated and if you haven’t already get the premium package people support these guys they do one hell of a job.

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Alan Bauerle
9 years ago

Yes, Alan. Way too much, sir.

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Sensei John Kreese
9 years ago

It appears to be a lot, but lets think it through…

1.05 is equivalent to 1.07. Blackmon, Floyd and Wilson are in that tier and you take based on personal preference. So he is just trying to move up and have the right to choose. (If you think Blackmon goes in the top 4 picks, don’t make this trade)

So he is asking for the 2.02, a future 1st and Antonio Brown for the 1.02. It depends on how you value Antonio Brown– if you think he will replace Wallace and be a stud, that is too much. If you think he is a good WR but will never be a top 15 guy, I think that is fair value.

I would counter without the dropping from 1.05 to 1.07 and with a different WR or player from your team.

If he balks, sit tight at 1.05 and pick Blackmon or Floyd to fix your WR.

James Young
Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

I think thats a more than fair offer. I’d likely take it. Martin and Floyd would be the one’s I’d take there. and I feel they both will out produce the guys your giving up. IE: Martin out-scoring A.Brown, Floyd outscoring Blackmon or whoever the 1.5 is there (as long as its a non-qb pick).

Only problem would be is if Floyd is gone, but most drafts have him lasting till just that pick. Blackmon/Wright/Wilson would be the other alternatives, which isnt bad either.

Id take it.

James Young
Reply to  James Young
9 years ago

The 2.2 and next year first will hurt to lose, but I think its worth it. You can always try and trade for a 2013 1st next year. and the 2.2 is not a pick that should be a deal-breaker. Given its likely a flier/developmental WR/RB

althomasonjr
9 years ago

Floyd will be nothing more than a WR3 or 4 for as long as Fitz is alive. If you are targeting a WR in the mid first why not trade back to the back end of the first and take Brian Quick. Sure theres risk there but he has the most upside of any WR in draft coupled with a perfect situation and opportunity. I would consider Blackmon but theres no way I would pick Floyd over him.

Mike D
Reply to  althomasonjr
9 years ago

I’m in the same situation. I’m at 1.5 and need a WR and have been going back and forth for weeks over whom to take. Blackmon reminds me of Boldin whereas Floyd remind me of Vincent Jackson, which certainly speaks to Tim’s analysis that Blackmon has a higher floor but lower ceiling as a fantasy #2. So the question is, which WR, at his best, would you rather have: Boldin or Jackson? To me, it’s Jackson, and that’s why I’m leaning Floyd with my pick. He does have a higher ceiling and playing opposite Fitz will create more space for him. In today’s NFL, there are plenty of balls to go around.

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Mike D
9 years ago

The Jags are terrible. They are an early front runner for the “Suck for Barkley” contest next year. If you have a year or two to wait, Blackmon could find himself in a better situation than Floyd.

althomasonjr
Reply to  Mike D
9 years ago

I was saying that I would trade back to 1.11 or so and take Quick who I think could be better than both.

Bob Ray
Reply to  Mike D
9 years ago

If Blackmon is like Boldin then I don’t agree that he’s capped as a WR2.

Boldin has finished in the top 12 in receiving yards 5 times and finished 14th another year. One of those years he missed 4 games and still finished that high.

I know there is the Kurt Warner factor, but Warner wasn’t there for all of those seasons and he didn’t play significant portions of some of the seasons he was there.

Ryan Krcil
Reply to  Bob Ray
9 years ago

I agree with you Bob Ray, and I think it is fair to assume that the Jags will EVENTUALLY get a decent QB with in the next 10 years…. right?

Brunel is still in the league… just bring him back :p

Bowser
9 years ago

Thank you for the insight on two QB leagues. I only play in 16 team leagues that happen to all start 2 QB’s. When I read rankings I avoid the QB ranks completely and have to make separate lists for the QB’s. I like this format because it tries to mirror the true NFL. QB is more important than any other position – other than the O-Line unit but I have asked major sites to include that to no avail. I have sold the farm for Sam Bradford and Cam in my main league. It’s worth it if Bradford turns it on, if not I’m totally screwed just like a real NFL franchise that misses on a young QB. Love it! THank you

Steve
Reply to  Bowser
9 years ago

16 teams, 2 QBs? What do you do during bye weeks?

James Young
Reply to  Bowser
9 years ago

I play in 2 Qb leagues too. The second one is in the Flex so you could swith out a RB/WR there, but almost always a QB is a better choice. And it does change up the drafting league dynamic by a TON. Usually there’s 10 QB’s gone in the first Round and a half. They go faster than RB’s and that makes sense, given that RB and TE/WR’s are deeper.

I’d also advise selling on Bradford. I’m not a believer, and think his value is cosiderably high on just one average season. He never finished a top 15 season, and was beyond bad last year. I think hes due for somewhat of a better season, but after another full year of being exposed as not a true elite talent, his value will tank. But if your okay with taking that risk go ahead. I just think theres too much riding on this year, and not enough track record to give confidence in an improvement into 2 or 3 tier QB territory – which is what he’s being considered as in most dynasty’s.

Aaron
Reply to  James Young
9 years ago

Why would you sell Bradford now after last season??? He has never had any weapons and should bounce back some this year…

Scott
Reply to  Aaron
9 years ago

Because you can get more than hes worth. He’s saying Bradford’s value will get lower by seasons end.

His “new weapons” only include two rookie WR’s. None of which were considered top 5 WR’s in this years draft. They could take some time to develop, or worse yet, they could never develope. And considering how badly their offensive line is, Fisher’s tendancy to run a run-oriented offense, and Bradford’s reocurring leg injuries, you’d be taking an awful leap of faith thinking he’s a shoo-in for QB1 status.

I think that there’s more going against Bradford than not. Atleast he had J.McDaniels so called *brilliance* of a play-caller there last year.

bowser
Reply to  Scott
9 years ago

i sold the farm for him as a rookie – I have to wait – no way to get that value back- I have to hope he becomes the stud he is supposed to be. With Fisher and weapons I see him being elite (remember when Eli wasnt elite?)

Aaron
Reply to  Scott
9 years ago

Scott…I get what you are saying, but his original statement was that he expects Bradford to have a better season (which would increase his value). I don’t know anyone out there who holds Bradford as a desired player to own, but selling him after last season would seem silly since he has no value in my opinion.

James Young
Reply to  Scott
9 years ago

Aaron,

I said hes going to have a somewhat better season. He has to, since last year was the bottom of the barrel – but by years end I believe his value will be less than what it is now.

Reasoning is that people believe he has a lot of “upside” currently, as we can all agree he’s getting a pass for last season. But, after another year of being exposed as a non elite talent, ie: a non-top 15 finish, perception could change. Do you think he will really be a top tier QB this season. I think Scott pointed out so serious factors against him – mostly the offensive line (he was sacked the most times and they were ranked dead last in pass protection last year by PFF). Nothing’s really changed there.

I think theres a lot going against Bradford. Id sell while his dynasty value is still high in peoples minds. You could get a lot of good value for him now.

Eli took 5 years to develop into a top guy. Interesting case but would anyone really want to wait that long. Could be frustrating

Aaron
Reply to  Scott
9 years ago

I guess what I fail to understand is that Bradford has any value right now. I don’t think he has any value.

I don’t own him, I have never owned him, but if you drafted him to be your future (as the original poster did), then you have to bite the bullet and how he increases his value to play or to trade…you can’t win in fantasy football by selling low on all of your players…

Sam I Am
9 years ago

I am at a crossroads of how to use my 2.03 pick. I know usually at that point you go BPA and with this crop of rookies that most likely is a wr. Here is my dilemma.

My current wrs are Green, Nicks, Jennings,Harvin, and Cobb. My rbs are McCoy and RBush. Starting requirements are 2 rb and 2 wr. We also have short rosters (18).

I tried offering Jennings and Bush for upgrade at rb, but no takers. Do I still take BPA OR best rb available? If I pick a wr then 33% of my roster is tied at the wr position.

Thanks

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  Sam I Am
9 years ago

Go BPA. You have stud WR’s but always go BPA, it adds the most value to your team. Hopefully you can trade one of your guys for a RB.

You say you tried trading Jennings for an upgrade– but Jennings doesn’t have the most value. If you are willing to move Harvin or Nicks (keep Green unless they give you a stud RB) you should be able to get a very good RB, while keeping Reggie Bush for depth.

And BPA will depend entirely on how your draft plays out. In my league, Hillman, Pead and Miller were gone by 2.02. Floyd and Quick were gone as well. The BPA at 2.02 was Fleener or Jeffrey or Lamichael James. In my league, they went in that order.

I would much prefer Jeffrey to James, even though James fills a need. I just don’t trust him and he isn’t guaranteed anything, whereas Jeffrey can still be productive as the WR2 in Chicago.

Scott
9 years ago

I see your point on Meachem, but disagree a bit that NO gets the most out of its offensive players. Actually, I think its quite the opposite at times. I think the problem is that they have too many viable, talented players, and they spread the ball around too much. R.Bush, P.Thomas, D.McCallister, L.Moore and yes Meachem are all examples of guys that have had good stretches of production over the years, only to see their volume of workload decrease at a given time. I guess thats what makes the NO offense such a donminant NFL one, but for fantasy its just too diluted. You could even make that case that Ingram & Shockey – when he was still decenltly good – as guys that deserved more opportunities. Bush left and hes now a solid RB2, low RB1, and you could make an arguement that any of the other players listed could do the same, even Meachem, given a change of scenery.

I think most will tend to agree that only Brees and Colston are viable weekly starters over the past few years – now Graham also. But on an offense like that, you’d expect more studs, more consistency, more players with higher values.

Craig
9 years ago

I am in a 10 team league and I have pick 1.09. My WR and TE positions are deep but I have needs at QB(J. Freeman and J. Johnson only) and RB(McCoy, Forte, and F. Jones). Should I try to trade up to ensure I get one of the better QBs or RBs or stick where I’m at and hope that Tannehill/Weeden drop to me and pick up a QB in the second?

James Young
Reply to  Craig
9 years ago

I’d trade given the choice here – I DO NOT believe in Tannehill, and Weeden is okay, but not someone id target that high at all.

You could always take a Fleener, Quick, Hill, etc. guy there. They should be available and could provide immediate impact – particulary Fleener.

I think Freeman will be better than you give credit, but can understand wanting an upgrade. But those two QB’s do not offer that in my book. Not by a longshot

Fife
9 years ago

I am going to flat out stink this coming year. I am in a complete rebuild mode.

It is a 16 team league with IDP (40 man rosters).

Noteable Players:
QB – Dalton, Colt McCoy
RB – Mendenhall, Redman, Blount
WR – Bowe, Vjax, Shipley

I have the 1.3, 1.12 and 2.3 in the upcoming draft.

Do I take RG3 at 1.3, maybe Miller/Pead at 1.12, best available wr at 2.3?

or

Martin at 1.3, Quick/Jeffrey/Hill at 1.12, and Weeden at 2.3?

Basically I am trying to set myself up for next year…..Which scenario does that best?

James Young
Reply to  Fife
9 years ago

As much as I like Martin, Take Luck/RG3 at 1.3, then BPA for the rest of your draft. Doesnt have to be any particular position, just guys you think will end up being good. If you end up with more of a good thing at a certain position – just trade. You always want the best guys. No one tries to get the bad rookies

James Young
Reply to  Fife
9 years ago

BTW thats a redic deep league. Congrats on the guston on that. I hate to think whats on the waiver wire. Just real life FA’s id suspect

James Young
Reply to  James Young
9 years ago

*gusto

Fife
Reply to  James Young
9 years ago

Yeah thats probably what I was leaning towards. Thanks.

It is a ridiculous league, but very fun. Pretty much your #3 wr is a #3 wr in real life.

You really have to be paying attention to the waiver wire to find those hidden gems.

Brian W.
Reply to  Fife
9 years ago

I like Martin, Quick, Jeffrey. Forget Wheedon, he may turn out good, but Suck it up with Dalton for now. I just believe in getting a good team overall together. You’ll get 2 handcuffed RB’s and hoefully good young depth at WR (VJ isn’t getting any younger), plus it takes time for them to pan out. That’s why I’d make QB the final piece of the puzzle. If you get enough RB’s & WR’s together, you can trade for a QB or hope 1 slips in the draft next year.

In a 16 team league, Dalton won’t get you beat, but not having a RB2 to play will. In fact, that’s the key to a consistent point scoring, week in- week out method of winning you need in a 16 teamer. As we see this year, you have to be in the top 4 or 5 pix to get a starting RB, why risk not being able to get 1 next year?

These QB’s are very sexy, but the tortoise beats the hair (or at least makes the playoffs)!!

Cody
9 years ago

Dont be dumb take luck/rg3/trent @ 3 whichever falls, this year’s top 3 is a no brainer, don’t over think it.

Brian W.
Reply to  Cody
9 years ago

What’s dumb is hanging around hoping that a rookie QB is the messiah, while Mendenhall and VJax get too old and/or replaced. What if Mendy gets hurt again, or is slow to recover. He’s not 22 anymore. Maybe the Steelers draft a RB next year and then he has benchwarmers Blount and Redman left? I don’t care how good a QB MIGHT be, someday, because you need 9 players to produce points every week to win in fantasy. Points from the 2 RB slots is kind of important.

If RG III will win win you the league by himself, take him by all means.

** I agree to take the QB in real life obviously, but Fantasy is a #’s game, math – math – math

damon barnes
9 years ago

I believe that no matter what, u take the QB over the second RB ny day

Kwil
9 years ago

In our rookie/FA draft, somehow Meachem and Redman are available. Where in line do these players fit with the incoming rookie class?

Brian W.
Reply to  Kwil
9 years ago

I never cared for Meachem…..until now. If your in win now mode, take him over all the rookie WR’s except Blackmon. It sounds crazy, but you know what your gonna get, and rookie WR’s bust way to much. That being said I love Jeffrey and Quick situation, Hill’s talent, and as for Floyd ??? he doesn’t get me excited for some reason.

Redman is the same deal, except the threat of Mendy coming back and he is probably a 1 year rental with lesser talent. I’d use him in games before Mendy joins the scene, but I’d wait longer in the draft on him unless I owned Mendenhall. I take rookies with potential over him until we get to the LaMichael level.

TR/Martin/Wilson/Pead/Hillman/Miller/Redman?????

Mercenaries
9 years ago

I have an offer on the table to the team in my league with the 1.01 rookie pick this year and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth doing or if I should revoke it before he accepts it. Here’s the offer:

Jamaal Charles, Jermichael Finley, 2012 3.07, 2013 1st rd pick

for

2012 1.01, Jonathan Stewart, Ryan Fitzpatrick

My goal is to get RGIII, but I can’t decide if I’d be better off just going with what I have.

My roster:

Roethlisberger, Flynn, Pryor
Foster, Charles, Bush, Greene, Ridley
Calvin, Andre, Julio, Little, V.Brown, Lafell, Tate
Finley, Bennett, Stocker

Any thoughts?

Brian W.
Reply to  Mercenaries
9 years ago

DON’T do it!!! Your team is stacked, surely you are competing for title now. Who would your RB#2 be? What if RGIII busts? All to replace big ben? He ain’t that bad and RGIII ain’t that good.

Uncle Phil
9 years ago

Robert Meachem might be the best kept secret and here is why: each of the last three seasons he has been targeted between 60 and 66 times. He has converted those targets into roughly 45 catches for 650 yards and 6 touchdowns. Given the opportunity at a more featured role you might assume he will be targeted around 125 times like most starting receivers. If his history of production(which is very consistent)proves the same you are looking at 90 catches for 1300 yards and 12 tds. If that is too much to expect and you want to split the difference you get something like 75 grabs for 1100 yards and 9 tds which would still be pretty nice wr2 production. Rivers may not be Brees but there is not a huge drop there so you have to feel good about that. Meach is just turning 28 this season so he is entering his prime and at 6’2″ offers the size for a true #1 guy. Like it or not the Saints used him as a decoy to allow Colston and Moore to tear it up on the intermediate routes. He is also arguably one of the best blocking wideouts in the league and that factored into his snap counts as well. Go get him cheap while you can(even if his price tag has increased a little….it’s warranted).

9 years ago

Great site. Thank you for posting this. I’ll return again to read more and inform my coworkers about your writing.

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