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.) What’s the suggested investment in Jonathan Stewart? I’m thinking of acquiring him because he’s in a contract year and could end up in a favorable situation in 2013. Even though Newton gets the goal line carries, J-Stew is still a valuable fantasy asset, right? – Will from Long Island
To J-Stew or not J-Stew that is the question – there are basically three schools of thought on Stewart.
Group A: “To heck with him”
These are the people who drafted him as a rookie or traded for him during his second or third year in the league. Frustrated by his lack of a breakout, they’ve washed their hands of Mr. Stewart.
Group B: “He’s a value”
These are the people who just traded for him during this off-season. They got very, very excited when it was rumored he was on the trade block. When that didn’t work out, people from Group A said, “I told you so.” Now the Group B folks are satisfied to sit back and wait for the “inevitable” better situation in 2013. Group A is lurking in the shadows waiting to laugh at them when that doesn’t come to fruition.
Rest of the World: “Not interested”
These are the people on the sidelines who have never owned him and never will because they think the whole J-Stew soap opera is a fantasy joke. They pride themselves on not picking risky players that bust and they see the prices once paid for J-Stew as justification for investing in lower risk/lower return options.
Enough psychology. What’s J.Stew really worth and should you go after him?
I’ll come clean – I’m in group B and I think he’s a value . I traded for him this offseason and I tried to resist the temptation to get excited about the trade rumors. I wasn’t surprised (though maybe a little disappointed), when he wasn’t traded.
Note: I gave the 1.02/Matt Flynn and got the 1.05/J.Stew.
It’s time to buy on Stewart. In the past, he was overpriced and sometimes heavily so. It’s hard to gauge what you will have to offer up right now to get him. If he’s being held by a Group A owner as a top-six first round pick, will likely get a quick accept. If he’s on a Group B guy’s team, you will probably need to make that the 1.02 or 1.03. You could also try to deal him for one of the sexy players right now like Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown or Jordy Nelson.
I’m a buyer for a few reasons.
First, I don’t think Newton’s goal line carries have much impact on Stewart. He had five total TDs last year (with Newton) and three the year before (without Newton). The biggest single factor about Stewart’s production is DeAngelo William’s health. D-Will played every game in 2011, so J-Stew’s upside took a hit.
Second, Stewart is productive already. He finished as the RB18 in PPR last year, thus making him a legit RB2. I see no reason to think he won’t repeat those numbers. He finished the season tied with Ahmad Bradshaw for fantasy points. People seem to be fine with Bradshaw as a RB2.
And, of course, the big reason to buy J-Stew is the hope of greener pastures in 2013. This is the worst reason to buy him, but the most fun reason as well. What could be more fun than checking the Internet seven times a day when free agency starts up to see if Stewart is going to Cincinnati to replace BJGE or if he is going to Tampa to be in a time share with Doug Martin? Stewart is either going to become the lead back somewhere in 2013 or he’s going to destroy the fantasy value of some other running back. No telling which it will be, but I want a piece of that action.
2.) I’m a huge believer in Trent Richardson and I’ve been offered the 1.01 for Hakeem Nicks straight up. What do you think? Also how do you rank Alshon Jeffery, Isaiah Pead, Coby Fleener, Ronnie Hillman and Stephen Hill? – Tim in Clearwater, FLA
In any other year, the answer would be a resounding no. Not this one. I’d have no problem with someone deciding to trade Hakeem Nicks for the 1.01. And I’d have no problem with the other owner’s decision to offer that deal. It’s a serious risk for the side that is getting Trent Richardson because we haven’t seen him play a single down. Yet, it could well be a risk worth taking.
Think of it this way – right now, Nicks is probably worth a tad less than guys like Matt Forte and Ryan Mathews. So, all that needs to happen for this deal to work out is that Richardson gets to that level in a year or two. Seems like a reasonable bet to me.
As to the second part of your question, I like to rank rookies in tiers and then break ties with team need. Here’s the way I would rank the players you list:
Coby Fleener, Stephen Hill. Fleener is my man-crush for 2012. I see a player with a low bust potential and I like that in the late first or early second of a rookie draft.
Alshon Jeffery. Like Lamar Miller, I think he’s been bashed down too much. He deserved to fall, but I think he’s now undervalued. This is a risky pick, but one that could pay off.
Isaiah Pead, Ronnie Hillman. I’m not excited about either running back. Plus, I think Pead is getting over-drafted fairly regularly. Note: I believe I’m in the minority in my point of view on these players.
You asked for my ranks – those are my ranks.
3.) I’ve been offered the Dallas backfield and Carson Palmer for the 1.02, LeGarrette Blount and Delone Carter. Is it worth it? – Bryan from Saginaw, MI
Assuming this isn’t a 2QB league and that Trent Richardson is going 1.01, yes this is worth it. Frankly, I think that DeMarco Murray alone would be worth that price. The fact that you are getting Felix Jones and Philip Tanner (I guess) in the deal is icing on the cake. Murray is probably overvalued and I’m not especially high on him, but his market value is solid right now.
My gut feeling on Murray is that he is DMC-light. What I mean by that is he can win you games when healthy and handcuff you because he will be gimpy. Owners of DMC have a huge advantage when he is in the lineup. The numbers he puts up are staggering. I see a lot of the same risk/reward in Murray. Murray averaged a very respectable 5.5 YPC on enough carries to make that statistically significant. Dallas has also begun to understand that he is a legit threat in the passing game.
I traded for Murray on my most serious contender this year because I wanted another option at RB2 behind Forte. I have a sinking suspicion that this decision will either make or break my season.
4.) I’m looking for a WR1, but I don’t want to pay the price for a proven one. Which WR ranked 19-36 by DLF has the best chance at being a number one WR for 2012? – Rich in Redding, CA
I love this question, thanks for submitting it. It captures the essence of what makes fantasy fun.
While I don’t currently rank for DLF, my assessment is that my colleagues have ranked for a “balanced team.” There are top ten players that will likely not produce top ten numbers (e.g. AJ Green) and there are top ten players that a rebuilding team should probably avoid (e.g. Andre Johnson). So, these ranks are for contending teams that are looking to assemble rosters with maximum balance and value.
That means there are absolutely some receivers in the 19 to 36 range who can put up WR1 numbers for 2012. My guess based on your question is that you are a serious contender and you are looking for a receiver to push you over the top. I’m all for that type of aggressive move.
In looking at the ranks, these are the guys I think could fit the bill for you and why:
Steve Smith (CAR)
Why couldn’t he put up top-12 numbers? He was the WR7 in 2011. I see no reason that he can’t repeat his performance, or maybe even top it.
I think he’s the most underrated receiver in dynasty. I’ve never understood it. Ok, so 2009 was a bust, but look at his stats outside of that year – you’re going to get 75 catches and 1,000 yards. All you need for him to break in to the top-12 is about seven touchdowns. That’s not unrealistic.
See Steve Smith above. If Colston stays healthy, he’ll produce top-12 numbers with ease. I probably should have him above Bowe, but the knee stuff has begun to weigh on me a little, but just a little.
You can’t ignore him. The good news with him is that his price tag is pushed down in most leagues because of peoples’ fixation on Dez Bryant.
Honorable Mentions – Stevie Styles (Johnson) and Tampa Mike
I’d test the market for the top three on my list and see which one is the best bargain.
5.) I’m in a ten team league that has a rookie only draft. I want to trade out of my 1.09 for a future first because I feel I’m set right now. What should I expect in return – just a future first or a little more? – Craig in Minnesota
First off, if you can find a roster spot for a 2012 rookie I think you should. In my opinion, this is the deepest draft class since 2009. When I say it’s deep, I mean there are players who have a reasonable chance of having meaningful dynasty impact well in to the second round. Rookies take time to acclimate to the league before they produce fantasy results. The best time to be reloading with quality talent is when you don’t need it.
If you want to trade out of the 1.09 because the players you particularly liked are already gone, that’s fine. My advice would be to offer up the 1.09 for a future first and a 2012 second. That’s a reasonable deal on value and this draft class will have quality players throughout the second round in a ten team league.
Should you decide to trade out of this draft all together, I’d want more than just a future first. On one hand, the 1.09 is almost the worst first in a ten team league, but value of the pick being right now is significant. And while I haven’t done all my homework yet, I don’t much like the way 2013 is shaping up for rookie drafts. I’m a seller on my 2013 first round picks right now.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.