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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 Big Ben and just traded Eli and a 2013 first round pick for the 1.03.  I’ve been catching some flack in the forums for this move, but I don’t know that Eli will ever be elite (i.e. Rodgers, Brees, Brady, etc.).  I intend to take Luck or RG3 with the pick.  What do you think? Dan in Sarasota, FL

Well what’s done is done.  Taking RG3 or Luck with the pick is smart.  They’re going to be the best player available at 1.03 in a typical dynasty league.

I’m not surprised the forum is reacting negatively toward this deal.  I would have advised against it as well.  There are a number of reasons:

  • Value:  Purely on market value, you overpaid.  Eli currently has a start-up ADP of player #50 while Luck is player #60 and RG3 is player #63.  This means that if you wanted to make this deal, you shouldn’t have had to include the future pick.
  • 1.02 vs. 1.03:  I’d at least have liked to get the 1.02 in this deal rather than the 1.03.  I find it difficult to buy that you can have such a strong feeling about both players that you are willing to overpay to get one.  If you said, I have a really great feeling about Luck and I believe he’s going to be super elite. Then okay maybe you overpay.  I’m all for reaching for your guy when your gut tells you to, but not reaching for the leftovers of the two guys.
  • Risk:  You’ve taken on a much greater risk profile doing this deal.  Dynasty owners don’t like to acknowledge that rookies bust at a high rate.  The statistical odds are that one of Luck or RG3 busts.  Eli isn’t going to bust.  He’s compiled 4,000 plus yards and 27 plus TDs in three straight years.  Remember, the difference between Eli and the elite guys was purely TD production.  You are counting on the Colts or the Redskins to add weapons and run a certain type of offense that produces that many passing TDs.  Maybe your bet pays off, maybe it doesn’t.
  • Big Ben:  You’ve pretty much handicapped yourself for two years in all likelihood.  Neither RG3 nor Luck is going to pull off a Cam Newton and rush for 14 TDs.  I suppose you’ll play QBBC with Ben and the rookie, but you’ll be lucky to get better production than say the QB#10 in your league.  Maybe the new offense in Pittsburgh will bail you out.

Finally, I hope Luck falls to you.  I think if that happens you can at least feel somewhat safe that in a year or two you’ll have a quarterback who is at least as good as Eli.

2:  I was recently offered Andre Johnson for Brandon Marshall.  On the DLF rankings, Johnson is quite a bit higher but I find myself concerned with last year’s injury plagued season as well as his age.  Is this a legitimate concern or should I get this deal done? – Brady in Alaska

I’m higher on Marshall than the DLF ranking.  You can see from the individual rankings that the partners also differ somewhat on Marshall as well.

Both players come with risks.  Clearly, Johnson is an injury concern at this point.  Not only does he get nicked up, but he also seems to come back slowly from the injuries.  Marshall carries the off-field risks and also the uncertainty of joining a new team.

For me this would come down to the rest of my team, if I’m a contender I lean toward Johnson because I think he could be a difference maker.  I’d be more comfortable taking on Johnson if I had another elite WR who has a strong track record of playing most/all of his games.  Guys like Bowe, Wallace or Roddy.  I don’t think I’d want to pair him with Julio Jones, Harvin or Steve Johnson for example.

3:  I’m in a contract league and will have the choice to select either Trent Richardson or Ray Rice in our FA draft.  Richardson is five years younger than Rice and I could easily give him a ten year contract. Is ten years of Richardson better than four or five years of Ray Rice?  – Chris in Montclair, NJ

Hang on – ten years?

First off, you shouldn’t plan in ten year horizons in much of anything (except investing) and especially not dynasty football.  It’s quite possible that Trent Richardson will have a ten year career.  But the net present value of the production in years four and on is minimal.

Just for fun here are the first round backs from some drafts around ten years ago:

  • 2002:  William Green and TJ Ducket
  • 2003:  Willis McGahee and Larry Johnson
  • 2004:  Steven Jackson, Kevin Jones and Chris Perry

While there are some nice names on the list, there are also some guys who outright busted or had relatively short careers.

But that was a bit of a digression.  The way I’d recommend making this decision is based on what you think will happen over three years or four at most.  If you believe that Trent Richardson will outscore Ray Rice over that horizon, then take him for sure.  If you think otherwise, or believe that because he’s a rookie he carries some risk that Rice does not, then take Rice.

4:  I’ve read where Isaiah Pead might be the next “Chris Johnson” for Jeff Fisher, and that certainly has me salivating.  If I don’t select Pead at 1.8, there’s no way he falls to me at 2.8.  Should I just go with best player available in rookie drafts or is it okay to reach for a player who might just as well be a bust?  Kaleb in The Hague, Holland

I can’t comment on the article you mention because I’m not familiar with it.  Chris Johnson is an elite athlete and I’m not sure I’d say that about Pead.  Pead is an agile player with above average speed.  But he brings some uncertainty with him when it comes to carrying the full load, blocking skills and pass catching.  The good news for Pead owners is that S.Jax is declining and has a lot of wear on him.  Plus Fisher has a proven track record of running the ball.

As to your question, I don’t think 1.08 is excessively early to take Pead.  No one blinked when he went 1.09 in my salary cap league.  And you’re right; he won’t be there at 2.08.  After the top six players, I’m fairly open to people making a gut decision.  I think Wilson is clearly the next best player and if he was there at 1.08, I’d have a very hard time passing on him.  But after that, it becomes a bit less clear.  This is especially true if you happen to be in a non-PPR.

Which will you regret more:  having Pead and seeing him bust or not having him and seeing him hit?  It’s your team, have some fun with it.  Chances are your 2012 rookie selection isn’t going to make or break you.

5: I am trying my hardest to obtain Julio Jones, but his owner is coming off a championship and has no real needs.  I offered DeMarco Murray and a 2013 first but he hasn’t bitten on that.  Would it be too much to offer Murray/Jordy Nelson for Jones/Shonn Greene? Josh in Westland, MI

You aren’t alone in trying to acquire Julio Jones.

I’ll say this:  in 90% of the situations it’s a waste of time and energy to try to acquire Julio Jones.  That’s certainly the case when he’s on a team that just won the championship and has no real needs.

A good team isn’t going to trade him.  Why would they?  He’s likely to produce at least high end WR2 numbers this year and he’s only been in the league for a year.  It’s worth trading him for an aging veteran in a win-now move because he could easily out produce the veteran.

A bad team probably isn’t going to trade him either.  They will properly demand extraordinary compensation and rarely can a team justify paying that price.  I suppose you might get an inpatient owner in a rebuild who wants to trade one for two or for a player and a pick.

As to the question, yes you’re overpaying.  You’ll need to in order to get him.  If you can sustain losing two high end weekly starters for Jones, then go for it.  But you’d need to have a stunning roster to make this deal sensible.  I’d bet that Murray/Nelson will outscore Greene/Jones in 2012 and 2013.  That means you need to have a player on your bench to replace Murray in your line-up who isn’t Shonn Greene.

6: When a team drafts two excellent or similar style players at the same position in the same or consecutive years (Gronk/Hernandez in NE, Hunter/James in SF) is this an indication that management has made a philosophic strategic decision regarding that position and is “insuring” it, or is it just the team drafting BPA?  When should dynasty leaguers pay attention? – Sam in Wisconsin

It could be a lot of things.  It depends on the general manager, the head coach and the state of the NFL team.  The two examples you give are quite different in my opinion.

Gronk/Hernandez:  This signaled a change in offensive strategy coming from Belichick.  Good dynasty owners understood this and capitalized.  I think people understood that Belichick wasn’t hedging his bets but rather that he saw a creative way to work both of these elite players in to his offense.

Hunter/James:  We don’t really know yet what this means, so for now it’s speculation.  My read on this one is that it’s a combination of SFO taking BPA and not being totally bought in to Hunter.  I’m of the opinion that Hunter is a player who has lost a ton of value this off-season.  I wasn’t especially concerned about the Jacobs signing – when Gore is your lead back, you need some options.  But the James pick is bad for Hunter.  He’s gone from looking like the heir apparent to being another guy in a crowded backfield.  If SFO was convinced that Hunter was the guy, James was a wasteful selection.  And SFO is a well-run organization.

So I think the answer is “it depends”.  You need to analyze each situation individually taking in to account the players, coach, front office and the team composition.

Guest Question: When is the soonest to take a veteran in your rookie draft? I have a big need at LB and #25 ranked Perry Riley is available.  Is the fifth round too early? – Matt in Chattanooga

Occasionally I get a question that I can’t handle, but that deserves an answer.  In these cases, I call in the experts on the staff at DLF.  Matt, today’s your lucky day.  You get to hear from not one, but two of our IDP experts.

We currently have Riley ranked as our 23rd overall LB on the DLF LB rankings so I’d say taking him in the fifth round of a rookie draft isn’t a stretch at all! I’d even consider him in the third or fourth. It’s tough to get an LB ranked that high and in a rookie draft most guys in the fifth will never break your roster anyway! – @TheFFGhost

And

I’d agree.  Fifth round would actually be some nice value, though he only starts 2 LBs, so I’m not sure I’d take him earlier than the fourth. – @SteveWyremski

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

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Andrew
10 years ago

Follwo up to Question #6 in the article: what do you make of Fleener & Allen in Indianapolis? Do you see them creating a scheme the two like New England did, or is that more of a BPA? I don’t recall a lot of TE production in the Bruce Arians offense Pittsburgh has run in recent seasons.

Scott Land
Reply to  Andrew
10 years ago

I think it’s more of a BPA and depth scenario in Indy. I don’t see them making the TE a focal point of the offense. And projecting which will be the bigger receiving threat (Fleener or Allen) is a crapshoot. I’ve read articles advocating both as the future play maker. I don’t think it’s necessary bad to own both of these guys, but I wouldn’t expect anything close to what New England has with Gronk and Hernandez.

Brian
Reply to  Scott Land
10 years ago

As a Colts fan I agree. At the time we only had 1 TE that really deserved to be on the roster and he was 100% a blocker. When Allen was there in the 3rd round they couldn’t pass up giving Luck another weapon and a guy that could fill in as the blocking TE as well. I expect both to be productive but not at the NE offensive level. Also I wouldn’t look at the TE production in past Arians’ offenses as I believe he will mold a system to the weapons he has. Luck seems to be pretty comfortable throwing to TE’s and that will probably continue as he adjusts to the Pro game.

SJ
Reply to  Scott Land
10 years ago

Nicely said Scott.

And I agree with your take on it. Given that info, it has to be considered that Allen is the greater value pick given he’s going in the Late 2nd, 3rd or even 4th rounds of dynasties, and *could* have just as much or more production than Fleener. Again I emphasize *could*, as we all know Fleener’s talent, higher draft expectation and familiarity with Luck.

I will say that, when compared to other later dynasty round picks, I’ll take Allen’s upside over just about anyone. He could break out, or just be a mildly used blocker. Either way worth the gamble. Although I dont expect too much from Allen this year. Rookie TE’s are very unlikely to make a big splash. Few do in fantasy, but he could be a guy that increases by next year. I never like to see guys injured, but if Fleener goes down, watch out. Allen can do it all as a TE

Andrew
Reply to  SJ
10 years ago

I agree completely about Allen. I saw portions of several Clemson games last season, and Allen was fairly routinely making plays downfield and looking much more quick and nimble than a man his size should. I was both excited and disappointed when the Colts drafted him – excited because I’m in Indy and a Colts fan, but disappointed because being in an Indianapolis-based dynasty league, a couple of the homers end up pushing any Colts players up the board. A couple years ago most people projected Hernandez as the NE TE to own, but look how that’s turned out so far. I wont’ be surprised if the same happens in Indy, with Allen outperforming Fleener.

Ken Dogson
10 years ago

I too have the question about Fleener and Allen in INDY.

I picked up Fleener at 150 in a start up, 12 team/27 roster dynasty league and then moved up and took Allen at 260. I thought both were BPA. I am hoping we see Allen as a 3 down TE/HB with a hand in the dirt and Fleener as at least a 2 down guy who stands up and moves around.

Mercenaries
10 years ago

Trade question in relation to #1:

PPR Dynasty League

Should I trade Roethlisberger and Jamaal Charles for Eli and Marshawn Lynch?

I consider Eli an upgrade on Big Ben, but I can’t quite justify the Charles/Lynch side of the deal. Definate pros and cons for both backs. I have Foster as my RB1, so this would be my RB2 and we start 2 RBs each week. My other backs are R.Bush and Ridley. I also have Cutler at QB. Is the deal worth doing, or should I just go QBBC with Cutler and Ben?

Scott Land
Reply to  Mercenaries
10 years ago

I would do it. Eli is a nice upgrade at QB. You are giving up some upside with Charles but also eliminating a little bit of risk. Nobody knows for sure how he’ll look or hold up after tearing an ACL. Lynch doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he will continue to be the workhorse in Seattle and produce solid RB2 numbers. Given that you have Foster and don’t really need the upside of Charles, I say go for it and improve your QB situation.

SJ
Reply to  Mercenaries
10 years ago

If I wasnt so down on Lynch (count me as a Lynch non-believer) coming out of a contract year, I would say make the deal. But I worry about that dude’s long term value, especially compared to Charles. But to me, their close enough to warrant taking the Lynch/Eli combo.

Eli is an upgrade no doubt, and Lynch did act as an RB1 down the stretch last year.

Very even trade and if your interested and thinking about it enough to put in on here for opinion – Id say do it

Karl
10 years ago

I have my draft next weekend and need some thoughts on Lamar Miller… I expect Richardson, Martin, Wilson, and Pead to all be gone…. My thought is I loved him before the NFL draft and am not sure how far we should bury him after it… I know he has Bush and Thomas in front of him but Bush is injury prone and Thomas has yet to prove himself… thoughts on Miller please

SJ
Reply to  Karl
10 years ago

I dont like him at all. He seems like a poor mans Ronnie Brown, and a career tweener back who never establishes himself, or provides consistent enough value to be more than a long term RB3. I just dont see it. Him and Hillman, who’s close enough to be similar to me, have me questioning their futures. I just dont like their frame frailness w/o the elite lateral movement and hands to back up being a smaller back.

Maybe I’m wrong and both end up getting a workhorse load of touches per game. But really doubt it. They both seem like committee backs.

I know you would be covering your Reggie Bush spot, so it wouldnt be all bad, but there could be possibly better WR’s there with that pick.

Krang
Reply to  SJ
10 years ago

While I agree that Hillman and Miller are both sketchy prospects at best, how is Miller considered a “small” RB? He’s 5’11”, 212lbs. That isn’t huge, but it’s not small.

Karl
Reply to  Krang
10 years ago

If you guys had to choose between Miller and LaMichael James and Ronnie Hillman who do you go with?

Ken Dogson
Reply to  Karl
10 years ago

Lamar Miller

Drew Elsberry
10 years ago

In response to #5, I also desired Julio Jones this offseason and had to give up Larry Fitzgerald to get him. Final deal was Fitz/Spiller/Holmes/Ponder/2.7 for Julio/Beanie/SRice/MRyan/2.3. As much as I hated to part with Fitz, I feel very strongly that Julio will be Fitz-like very soon, if not this year. I upgraded my QB position by getting Ryan and couldn’t stand owning Holmes, so I’m looking forward to see if Rice can return to form. This was done before the Beanie knee rumors came out so we’ll see how that goes. And a slight pick bump never hurts. All in all I feel really good about the deal and can’t wait to see how my new players pan out.

Just thought you might like to see a Julio trade and my thought process.

Amoo
Reply to  Drew Elsberry
10 years ago

I would take your side of the deal 100 times out of 100. But that’s with my league’s scoring rules.

chumway6
Reply to  Drew Elsberry
10 years ago

I got Julio for (what I think is) a steal. It is a salary league, and I got Julio (4 yrs, $13) and Ced Benson (1/$3) for Eli (2/$15) and Antonio Gates (1/$13). This was right before the Bengals signed BJGE, but I was getting rid of him anyway (and did). That being said, it would take a helluva lot more to get me to part with Julio (and his contract) than what I got him for!

10 years ago

I’m a big fan of Isaiah Pead, but I also happen to own SJax in the dynasty league that I just got him in at 1.12. I like what I see in Pead, and his situation is very nice. SJax probably has a couple years left, and has some injury history. I like Fisher’s ability to get the most out of a rushing attack, and I think Pead has a shot at being a top 15 RB, possible top 10, in the future. Plus, proving you never know for sure, Demarco Murray was available in most leagues in the second round of most rookie drafts last year, and now he is highly coveted. I’m not saying Pead will become another Murray, but he is in the right situation, has intriguing talent, and an aging veteran in front of him.

10 years ago

Regarding Julio Jones, I targeted him in one of my dynasty leagues. I traded CJ1k, Arrelious Benn and 1.12 for Julio Jones and 1.09. I then traded 1.09 for 1.12 and a second round pick. So, all told, I got back Julio Jones, 1.12 and a 2013 second round pick. I was ecstatic to get a player like Julio, but I agree it will be really, really hard to trade for him. Still, it is worth a shot.

Dan
10 years ago

Would you trade ingram and david wilson for A Johnson and Kendall hunter?

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