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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 pick 1.05 in our rookie draft and I’m debating between Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd. Although I like Floyd slightly better, I also already have Larry Fitzgerald on my team. I am nervous about having two Cardinals WRs with such a horrible QB situation. Should I let the fact that I have Fitz on my team impact my decision on who to draft? Matthew in Eagan, MN

This question comes up all the time in fantasy football.  In this case about rookie drafts and repeatedly about start-ups.  Do you want to own both Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, both Roddy White and Julio Jones, etc.?  Interestingly, people seem leery about owning two receivers on the same team, but there are many owners who seek to own both a quarterback and a wide receiver on the same team.

On Floyd vs. Blackmon, you say you are close on them anyway, so why not just break the virtual tie by not having the anxiety of owning both Cardinals?  I have them in the same tier, which means for me that I let things other than the fundamentals about the player help me decide.  Things like my team needs, my gut feeling, character concerns, whatever.  So I’d have no problem with someone taking Blackmon over Floyd for this reason or simply because the magic eight ball told them to.

I’m very stats-oriented when it comes to fantasy.  I tell myself if Roddy White is the BPA and I already own Julio Jones, I should take him.  I must admit it doesn’t feel good.  At the end of the day, it’s your team – you’ll own it for years so you ought to like the guys you have.

2.)  Who would you rather have as a sleeper:  Kendall Hunter, Brandon LaFell or Vincent Brown?  I maybe squeeze two on to my roster. – Jordan in Vancouver, BC

The first pick is easy – Vincent Brown.  I liked him as a rookie selection and thought he was a legitimate option at the end of the first round.  He’s on a short list of wide receivers who didn’t do much as a rookie, but has seen their stock climb – same for Randall Cobb.  I wouldn’t count on Brown being a weekly starter, but his path to playing time is fairly clear.  Malcom Floyd is older than you think he is and Robert Meachem hasn’t demonstrated to me that he can be a consistent player.

The second pick is much tougher.  The fact that at least one of these three players is on the waiver wire right now tells me you are in a shallow league.  All three of these players are well within the top 200 on DLF’s overall rankings.  In fact, the DLF rankers have Hunter inside the top 100.

I’m not one to argue with the experts, but I’m nowhere near that high on Kendall Hunter.  My argument against him is that his path to fantasy relevance is murkier than LaFell.  I could easily see LaFell being the day one starter at WR2 for Carolina.  In a league as shallow as yours, this matters.  You don’t have sufficient roster spots to sit around waiting on too many prospects.  Remember, however, that the WR2 in Carolina is destined to be the fourth option in the passing game after Steve Smith, Greg Olsen and the running back.  But at least he’s going to be on the field.

Someone should own Hunter.  He doesn’t belong on the wire in any format.  He has the advantage of positional value over LaFell.  If I’m swinging for the fences, I’d rather do it on a running back than a wide receiver.  However, the selection of LaMichael James just really hasn’t set well with me for Hunter.

3.)  I have the 1.06 pick in our rookie draft. I have needs at running back (Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, Fred Jackson, Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster & Taiwan Jones) and tight end (Kellen Winslow and Owen Daniels).  I am considering using my pick on Coby Fleener over the likes of Ronnie Hillman, Lamar Miller or possibly David Wilson.  Is this a bad strategy?  – Kathy in Chicago

and

I have the 1.06 and 1.07 picks in rookie draft.  At this point I’m leaning towards David Wilson and Coby Fleener.  Is this too early?  Michael Floyd and/or Justin Blackmon will be there, but I’m good at receiver with Julio Jones, Percy Harvin, DeSean Jackson and Torrey Smith. – Matt in Sacramento

Thought we’d do a two for one here since Kathy and Matt are faced with similar situations.  Seems like the more we learn, the less we know about this section of the draft.  Justin Blackmon is misbehaving, Andre Roberts is lurking, Coby Fleener is creeping up and Ronnie Hillman is officially getting more hype than Doug Martin (which I didn’t think was possible).  Maybe ignorance was bliss when it seemed clear that you took either Blackmon or Floyd and which one of the two was all we debated!

I’ve been consistent about two things this nonplaying season –  go best player available (BPA) and Floyd/Blackmon are in a higher tier than the rest of these guys.  I still feel that way.  I’m also in the camp that Ronnie Hillman is being drafted too early at this point.  I’m not going to contradict myself now.

Kathy, I think you’d be wise to take the BPA over David Wilson.  A player will fall in the “big six” to you and all of them are higher on my board than Wilson, who is in turn higher than Fleener.  If you feel you must reach for a running back or tight end, then take Wilson since he fits your team needs.

Matt, same advice.  I’d take BPA and if somehow you get both Blackmon and Michael Floyd, I’d be whistling Dixie.  Team needs change quickly and your best bet is to always have the most valuable fantasy assets.  My guess is your decision will be easy and you’ll get a receiver plus Wilson.  The only way I’d take Fleener is if you are a risk averse player.  I believe that Fleener has the highest floor of any of the guys we are talking about.  It’s hard for me to see him busting.  I think his floor is as a low end TE1 which isn’t especially exciting, but it means he’ll be on your roster.  Think guys like Jermaine Gresham and Dustin Keller.

4.) I am trying to trade Denarius Moore, Shonn Greene and Colin Kaepernick for Mark Ingram and a 2013 second.  I think Moore is going to be huge and I’m hoping the same for Ingram.  What are your thoughts on this trade offer and Ingram specifically?  Brian in Victoria, BC

Quickly on the trade, I think you’re asking for too much by including the second.  Shonn Greene vs. a second is close to a push for me and therefore Kaepernick wouldn’t make up the difference between Ingram and Moore.  I might give you Ingram for those three players, but I wouldn’t include the pick.  However, it’s close enough to make the offer and see how the other team responds.

Ingram is a bit of a fantasy annoyance to me.  First, the owners who drafted them are ticked at guys like me who recommended him as a top three pick (and top overall in many cases).  Apparently all top three picks have to be studs or they are busts.  Heaven forbid you use a top three pick on a dependable RB2 who will be on your team for years and years.  Remember this in the future when you are trading up to this range in the rookie draft – disappointments do occur.

Off the soap box.

The problem is that I am concerned about his injury history now.  My recommendations about him last year were predicated on my belief that he was going to a consistent offense, would get a modest, but sufficient workload and would be a grinder.  It’s impossible to ignore the injuries are piling up.  So now people could have a legit beef.  He might not even be that year in and year out RB2.  That would be a bust in my book.  And I’d have to admit that my recommendation was bad.  I’m not there yet.

His value has fallen quite a bit.  The consensus point of view is that he is a level below guys like CJ Spiller and aging studs like Steven Jackson and Darren Sproles.  There’s no way you would have been able to trade Spiller for Ingram at this time last year.  I’m still cautiously optimistic about Ingram.  All of the guys in this range (Ahmad Bradshaw, Roy Helu, Fred Jackson) have something that will concern you.  Ideally, Ingram is no more than your RB3.

5.) I was wondering how you valued Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford now and in the future. I’m looking for someone to take over for Drew Brees in next couple seasons. Josh in Iowa

I’m not particularly high on either Josh Freeman or Sam Bradford.  I’d like to find another option to layer in behind Drew Brees if at all possible.  Is Jake Locker an option, because I’d strongly prefer him to these two!?!  Your quarterback of the future might not be in the league yet and that’s okay because you’ve got time.

My concern with Bradford is that Jeff Fisher doesn’t produce fantasy relevant quarterbacks.  Vince Young clipped 2,500 yards one time and Steve McNair never had a 3,500-yard season. As far as I can tell, Jeff Fisher knows how to win one way – controlling the ball and having a dominating defense.  LenDale White was fantasy relevant when Young wasn’t.  Maybe that was personnel driven, but it’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.

Freeman at least has some upside.  He is also going to get you a few points per game on the ground.  He already had a far better set of receivers than Bradford and the addition of Vincent Jackson shouldn’t hurt.  I expect the new offense in Tampa Bay to be largely run-oriented, which tempers my projections.

Locker on the other hand is all upside.  The Titans look to be developing a high-octane offense, which for long time fans will be a real adjustment.  Having Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright and Jared Cook makes for a special group.  Not to mention that CJ2K is a quality receiving threat out of the backfield.  The issue of course with Locker is he has a very small body of NFL work from which to project.  The work he has had was from a backup role, meaning defenses hadn’t game planned for him.

I’d avoid paying much in a trade for either Freeman or Locker.  If you can get Locker at a decent price, I’d go that direction.  If none of that can be done, just hang tight.  We have some nice options entering the league next year.

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

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SJ
9 years ago

RE: Ingram – Let me be the 100th person to say I told you so 🙂

Always felt like he was a possible bust coming out, now he looks more certain for that. Obv no point in going into specifics, as you’ve stated them very well (although the Saints backfield philosophy of using a 3 back system year long, is more of a concern in my book).

But anyways, there are many fantasy soapbox topics, so I digress.

Boomer
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

What happened to the virtue of patience? He can be had real cheap if the same owner who picked him still has him. The value here is still really good if you can flip a late first in this years draft for him.

Invisibulman
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

Way, way too early for “I told you so.” You could have been doing the same dance after Ryan Mathews rookie year.

SJ
Reply to  Invisibulman
9 years ago

No, I wasnt with Mathews. Each player’s situation is different and Matthews always had the chance to be the featured guy. I dont think Ingram will ever have the opportunity no matter his “talent” level. I think thats something people can agree upon. We’ve all seen this story before with JStew.

Since were talking about just Ingram here, comparisons arent really necessary. However, I guess you could say I felt that way about a few guys after their rookie years namely: McCoy, McFadden, Stewart. Each of them have lived up to some expectations (if not surpassed), but I dont think Ingram will ever have that privilege – especially considering Julio and Green were lumped in the rookie top 3 with him.

I think Ingram could be a special case. A significant bust. Thats my stand. Obv he could change, and I’m sure people will disagree, but so far its been spot on.

SJ
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

(if not *majorly surpassed) — McCoy of course.

Scott
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

I was never really a fan of Ingram, but I can’t fault anyone for recommending him as a top 3 option. Last year, I would have clearly put Julio Jones and AJ Green ahead of Ingram. I felt uneasy about Ingram’s situation, and the RBBC in New Orleans. I also felt Ingram was more of a grinder rather than big-play RB, which isn’t bad, but might limit his upside. Still, when you consider other available options last year, it’s hard to fault placing Ingram no lower than third in a rookie draft. Retrospectively, Cam and Murray belong ahead of Ingram, but that is an easy call now, but harder to do last year.

Ray Voeller
9 years ago

Ingram. Always been of the believe in a RBBC situation the cream rises to the top. Case in point Chester Taylor had a great season for the Vikings , AP drafted, everyone spoke of a time share. AP talent was undeniable and he quickly took over. Ingram didn’t show much when he got opportunities. That worries me more than the injuries. If Ingram had shown more play making ability I believe Thomas would of been extremely limited with touches and Sproles would of been primarily a 3rd down receiving back. Ingram didn’t show much Sproles did and so did Thomas to a lesser degree but still looked better than Ingram. Sell or stay away IMO.

SJ
Reply to  Ray Voeller
9 years ago

Thats true. Injuries, timeshare, offensive philosophy and a very good back in Sproles really does limit Ingram to a latter career bulldozer McCallister type of opportunity. Thats what most people pegged he would be when he was drafted, but so far hes definitely not done anything close to that. Doesnt that limit his upside? Will he be that eventually?

Those questions are enough for me to pass for someone better.

Scott
Reply to  Ray Voeller
9 years ago

Problem is, Sean Payton has his own way of doing things, and he has proven to be hard to predict. Maybe he will feature Ingram, but based on his coaching history, it’s hard to call that definitively right now. PT Cruiser and Darren Sproles will be around long enough to cap Ingram’s fantasy value, IMO.

SJ
Reply to  Scott
9 years ago

Exactly. No one wants to admit that Peyton is just as much at fault for RBBC loving as Shanny or the NE offense. There can be studs there, but it takes something special to make it happen. I guess he could hit P.Thomas like Rb2 upside, but people will want more

Meens
9 years ago

i just bought him, league consensus says i lost the trade but i like it so who cares.

paid fitz and the 21 pick for Maclin, Ingram and a future 1st. I know i gave up the best player but maclin/ingram youth and upside make it worth it to me. my league is not PPR.

i like to buy the guys that everyone else is over-selling and sell guys right before they hit 30 because even if they keep producing their trade value really dips. and im always moving

ingram makes or breaks this deal. i have no idea what will happen but its more fun that way

Why Not Win Now?
Reply to  Meens
9 years ago

Wild move, but I say always be trading. Even more than Ingram, the 1st rounder can make he trade…. IF it’s a high one. I’m not huge on Maclin or Ingram, but taking your chances is what it’s all about. Maclin may not be doing that much less than Larry already. And, Larry is not at the team carrying, solo game winning stage of his career anymore (thanks to QB), but not old either.

BTW, I’m NOT an Ingram fan. He looks like just a guy out there. I know the “looking good in the uniform” test is not a foolproof system, but he fails it.

StevieMo
9 years ago

I wouldn’t give up on Ingram after one year. He’s an ideal “buy low” candidate to hold as a perceived RB4 for now. I think he will end up being a TD scoring machine if your league is more oriented to TD’s, like ours is currently constituted.

When he’s finally healthy, I think he’ll be a top 15 fantasy RB. Just my opinion, of course.

Scott
Reply to  StevieMo
9 years ago

I agree, he would ideally be a buy low right now. The problem is, I really doubt most owners will sell him low. Most owners are probably going to hold onto Ingram, given the price paid for his services, and hope he becomes a feature back. I doubt anyone would sell Ingram for anything less than a top 5 pick, and I wouldn’t call that buying low.

holy_stromboli
9 years ago

Ahhhh…. the Ingram debate continues….. muahahaha!

SJ
Reply to  holy_stromboli
9 years ago

Lol.. Ingram is a touchy subject isnt he?

I remember having this debate about him last year, before he even played. People wanted to chew my head off. Some people just really love the guy and his possibilities. I dont, but it definitely makes for a lively debate.

Thats one reason why his value isnt really that cheap right now. He’s got backers, and is going for pretty close to fair market value. You either believe in him and take the chance. Or dont. This will obviously be a big year for him.

Chris
9 years ago

When deciding between Blackmon and Floyd, I wouldn’t use having two players on the tiebreaker, I’d investigate the twin horrors of alcoholism and Blaine Gabbert and move having two guys on the same team waaaay to the back. Having a .24 BAC and being conscious in remarkable. Getting behind the wheel is something Captain Haddock would do. Do not draft Captain Haddock.

Why Not Win Now?
Reply to  Chris
9 years ago

I WOULD use the same team tie-breaker. Also, consider the “trade value” tie-breaker. Blackmon wins it. Blackmon is valuable. He has the resume, the hype, and the draft position to back it up. People remember that for years, Crabtree is still worth more than his production (residual hype value + positive), while most of the Floyds out there around the league are worth less than their production (natural discount because of bias against trading – neg. ).

THEY BOTH HAVE DUI’s!!!!!!!!!!

Blowing a .24 doesn’t make you an alcoholic, and neither does DUI. Just makes them careless and/or dumb! They are both young, give’ em a break.

Chris
Reply to  Why Not Win Now?
9 years ago

Having the physical ability to walk to a car, get in and turn the thing on with a .24 indicates a level of tolerance for alcohol that is not typical of people who don’t drink a LOT.

witdog67
Reply to  Chris
9 years ago

Almost all 22 year olds drink A LOT. 😉

.24 does not = crack cocaine
alcohol does not = heroin

I say gamble on him, perspective folks.

Why Not Win Now?
9 years ago

Blackmon vs Floyd?

I want in on this debate. DON’T over think it! Blackmon is the man, if he misses, you still did the right thing. If he hits, you have a new favorite player! Blackmon is smooth, natural, and instinctual. PLAYMAKER! Parsing through his 40 time/height/whatever is dumb.

Floyd is all measurables and hard to watch, frankly. He’s got a DUI too, is stiff, and has just as bad a QB as Blackmon. Gabbert may end up OK, is his ceiling/production really lower than SKELTON! I’m actually rooting for Skelton, he looked OK in tough situation last year, but seriously? Kolb you say…. Larry can’t even get back to elite levels with him alone, so why pile on the Card’s?

SJ
Reply to  Why Not Win Now?
9 years ago

Floyd. For so many reasons. A ARI qb upgrade is slim in happening anytime soon, but if it ever happens he could be a top 20 ppr wr

Why Not Win Now?
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

Gabbert and AZ QB’s will be replaced around the same time, if at all….. 2 more years. Maybe, maybe AZ changes after this year. But who? Jax will have higher draft pick if Gabbert really stinks it up OR if he gets hurt, you’re looking at a top pick. But, AZ has a decent team, 2 QB’s and picks in the middle lately.

We’re all just guessing. There is ZERO chance that anybody knows who will put up the numbers. PPR is not my style, but how on earth can Floyd be projected to catch more passes than Blackmon? All else equal, how?

I might open my mind to Floyd if you can sell him to me, I pick 1.12 and would probably take him there, but I’m leaning Jeffrey or Quick. Why am I wrong, he may slip in my league.

SJ
Reply to  Why Not Win Now?
9 years ago

Yeah uh well I wouldn’t worry about it then. No way Floyd will be there at 1.12. His ADP is around 1.6

Con Fused
9 years ago

C.Fleener and B.Quick?

U guys agree w/ Tim Stafford on Coby Fleener? How big do u consider the drop off is from Blackmon/Floyd to Fleener? And to Brian Quick?

Why Not Win Now?
Reply to  Con Fused
9 years ago

Pretty big drop off IMO. I don’t know about Floyd, but Blackmon is valuable. He has the resume, the hype, and the draft position to back it up. Quick looks good on paper, Floyd too, but future is cloudy. Predictions are difficult right now. They are riskier. Fleener is safe for a rookie pick. That’s the best to be said on him. I

F you are desperate at TE, or play super deep league, or are already stacked at WR, then do it if you must. But otherwise, TE’s are not that scarce of a commodity league wide, possible #1 WR’s are though. So we roll the dice every year and take WR’s we know might bust, over TE’s who slip to the 2nd round. That’s the market that I see.

Con Fused
Reply to  Why Not Win Now?
9 years ago

Thanks for the input Why Not!

SJ
Reply to  Con Fused
9 years ago

I dont consider it a major drop off at all, and have seen Fleener taken higer than Blackmon in a league. I dont think thats crazy at all.

All in all I think they will have a close career path. But I personally like Fleener more long term, maybe for this year too.

witdog67
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

Oh, IT IS crazy to take any TE over THE TOP WR in the draft. Some have let him slip over the DUI is all that is. I remember an article earlier this offseason about WR’s taken in the top 5 of the real draft being very successful fantasy players, with a very high non-bust rate. Maybe I’m wrong, but no way do I take an athletically average, great hands, decent situation rookie TE — over a possible franchise WR. I like Fleener, but I doubt he carries your team to thee playoffs someday! Maybe a guy with Vernon Davis hype and talent out of the draft, but not Fleener. Surely other TE’s can be found in any league that approach his #’s, gamble on FA’s or trade a WR of much lesser value than Blackmon for any TE that get’s Fleener’s 800 & 7 TD’s.

Blackmon = You have to gamble, or have faith every once in a while, don’t you?

Ches
Reply to  witdog67
9 years ago

But we are not talking about taking Fleener over the top WR in the draft. We are talking about taking Fleener over the second best WR in the draft. (Floyd>>>Blackmon)

The way I see it, Blackmon is one of the, if not the, biggest gamble in a first round fantasy draft. Blackmon could become elite, or he could become a WR3 in a deep league. Fleener is by far the safer choice. He will be catching passes from his buddy Luck for his entire career! Fleener will be at least a fantasy starter, and may even end up as one of the top TEs in the league in a few years. I can’t help but feel like the TE position is still being undervalued despite the seeming renaissance of the position. Did you know that in many leagues, Gronk scored almost as high as Megatron? He might even pass Megatron this next year! I say Floyd > Fleener > Blackmon.

Josh Gans
9 years ago

I also wouldnt give up on Bradford so quickly either. An amazing rookie season, followed by a season where he was injured, his receivers all either split via FA or were injured, and had no O-line.
And now has another new coach.

SJ
Reply to  Josh Gans
9 years ago

But what’s really gotten better for Bradford? Still injured, still terrible oline. Your not telling me two rookie receivers are going to change everything?

Id sell while you can.

Josh Gans
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

Its DYNASTY.. you’d be selling while his value is low. Why not see what the kid can do when healthy again?

Reply to  Josh Gans
9 years ago

He didn’t have an amazing rookie season, unless you consider a sub 6 YPA to be amazing.

Josh Gans
Reply to  Luke Bouchard
9 years ago

Ah yes..all rookie QBs look like Elway, Peyton, Rodgers in their primes..I have forgotten.

By most every account, people were extremely high on Bradford after his rookie season. This includes the fact his biggest name WR was Laurent Robinson (Lloyd wasnt there his rookie year). He had no O-line, no TE, no respectable QB to mentor him, threw for 3500 yards, set the record for most consecutive passes without an interception for a rookie with 169, most completions for a rookie with 354 and yet all he is getting graded on is his regression in his second year when he was injured and only played 2/3rd of the season, lost basically every WR to injury (including some from GAME 1), still didnt have an O-line..etc..

And now he is healthy, the Rams have amassed some picks and some talent (albeit its all young..LIKE HIM)..so why sell now? What has changed? Because they didnt land Blackmon? Seems like theres 1001 questions about Blackmon now. Do you not see the Rams on an up-tick over the next 2-3 years? Isnt this a dynasty question..I am not talking about taking him for this upcoming year as your QB1…and I am not saying he is the next Aaron Rodgers, or what Andrew Luck might become. By sell now? Ok, well..I am happy to buy.

witdog67
Reply to  Josh Gans
9 years ago

I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the Bradford basket, but I would hang in there a few more years. Especially if my starting QB has a few years left. BUT, if I got an offer that was decent, would I trade him for anybody, at any position, that starts for my team……. in a second.

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