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
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.