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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 am considering offering the 1.03 rookie pick and one of AJ Green, Mike Wallace or Miles Austin for Aaron Rodgers.  What do you think? Ben via e-mail

It’s certainly a lot to give, but that may be what it takes to get Aaron Rodgers.  In order to answer this question definitively, I’d need to know your roster.

I like trading the 1.03 rookie pick in this deal.  It’s a very valuable piece, but because it is an unproven player it carries a fair degree of risk.  I see this as a “sell-high” move on your part.

The WRs you list are of varying value.  I think universally people would agree that Austin is the least valuable in the group.  I wonder if Austin/1.03 would be sufficient to entice the Rodgers owner.  Maybe you start with that offer and see what happens.

Take a look at your roster.  If you are otherwise going to be starting a low end QB1 and you have a reasonable option to slide in as your WR3, I think I’d work the deal.  Rodgers is a serious fantasy difference maker and he’s got plenty of gas in the tank.

2.)  Why is it that Eli Manning is the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL and Fantasy? When I try to make deals to improve my team, other owners seem insulted that I would even mention Eli in a deal.  – Ashley in Denton, TX

 

I like your sense of humor Ashley.

I don’t know why Eli Manning gets so little respect.  It was as if he committed a crime last year when he said he believed himself to be elite.  Would people rather him think of himself as mediocre?  And let’s not forget the trade that sent him to New York.  At the time, and for several years after, the consensus opinion was that San Diego cleaned the Giants clock.  Well Chargers fans, how many rings do you have?

Of course it’s possible to be a great NFL QB and not a great fantasy QB – think Big Ben and, for the older folks out there, Troy Aikman.  Let’s break it down:

  • Receiving threats:  I took a look at our partner 4for4.com’s rankings.  These guys are the best in the business of projecting near-term production and they have Victor Cruz as the WR3 and Hakeem Nicks as the WR4 for redraft.  Well if they are even close, that spells good things for Eli.
  • Durability:  Eli Manning is one of the most reliable players in the NFL.  He simply doesn’t miss games.  You can’t say that about Michael Vick or Matt Stafford or Tony Romo.
  • Price:  The price on Eli is reasonable.  He’s going off the board as the QB6 somewhere in the fifth round of start-ups –  that’s decent value because by then you have drafted your stud receivers and stud running backs.  If you want to take Cam Newton or Matt Stafford, you will need to sacrifice at receiver or running back.

Okay, so enough good stuff.  The problem with Eli is that he won’t win you many games on his own and he may lose you one or two a year.  In 2011 in a six point per TD league, Eli only had two games of thirty points or more (one of which was week 17).  Compare that to Tom Brady who had eight and A-Rod who had nine.  I have Eli ranked as my QB6 for dynasty.  Remember there’s a massive gap in perceived value between the top-5 and Eli.  He’s comes at a discount.  He’s the best of the rest.

3.)  I have a fairly solid team from top to bottom.  I’m debating between David Wilson and Justin Blackmon at the 1.06.  Leaning toward Blackmon, is that a mistake?  – Alex in Raleigh

First off, no, it’s not a mistake.  And second, how the mighty have fallen.

It’s been less than three months since the NFL draft and I don’t think a single player has taken more of a value hit than Justin Blackmon.  Pre-draft there was a raging debate as to whether he as elite or not.  Many, many people posted in our forums that he was a stud in the making.  I took strong positions against that and was in the minority.  Dynasty players wanted to believe Blackmon was the next Julio Jones or AJ Green.

Fast forward to today.  The buzz on Blackmon has all but died off.  Where are those people who said he was elite?  Going to Jacksonville doesn’t have any impact on him as a player.  Certainly it impacts his fantasy value, but if he’s elite, he’s elite.  Did going to Cincinnati seem like a terrific destination for AJ Green?

My point is that dynasty owners need to have courage in their convictions.  If you believed that Justin Blackmon was an up and coming stud, his going to Jacksonville shouldn’t have dropped him very far down your rookie board.

Alex, take whichever player of David Wilson or Blackmon you like better.  They are exceptional athletes and I think both will become solid fantasy contributors.

4.) Randy Moss is available in our rookie/FA draft.  Is the 1.07 too early to take him?  I have no picks after that.  Alan in New Jersey

 

Yes, that’s too early to take Randy Moss.  Sounds like you want him, but unfortunately the prudent move is to let him go to another owner.  Moss shouldn’t be selected in a rookie/FA draft until the late second.  And even that’s probably a reach.

For all intents and purposes, Randy Moss hasn’t played football since 2009.  I’m tossing out that strange 2010 season where he moved around the league and mostly sat out the second half anyway.  He’s 35 years old!  I know I preach that age isn’t as big a deal as a lot of dynasty owners think, but there’s a limit.  His dynasty value is very low.

Let’s say you could get him with a late second.  Would you even want him?  What would it take to make you comfortable putting him in your line up?  Randy Moss will have an exceptional game or two this year.  I’d bet on it.  But I’d bet against you being able to predict which week it will be.

 

5.) I’ve been going back and forth on this trade for a week.  I would give AJ Green and James Starks for Forte and two future firsts.  I am a contender.  What would you do? Ben in Holt, MI

James Starks should be in the AMC show “The Walking Dead.”  He just won’t go away.  He was over-hyped last preseason, disappointed, fell in value, but now he’s the cat’s meow again.  Let’s be crystal clear – James Starks is an average talent on a team that prefers not to run the ball.  The great news for Starks owners is that somehow they have the opportunity to sell him at high value once again.

AJ Green is a tremendous player, but so is Matt Forte.  I like the flexibility you’re getting by banking two future firsts.  They are very valuable as trade commodities and if you find yourself needing to make a mid-season addition before the playoff push, having them will be helpful.  This deal comes down to what you need more – a stud receiver or a solid running back.  Without knowing your roster, I can’t say one way or the other.  On value, I think it’s fine.

6.) My league is expanding from eight to ten teams, but we have no idea how to best go about it.  Expansion draft?  Something else?Milo in Massachusetts

This comes up from time to time in the DLF forums and usually the consensus is there isn’t a good answer.  But I think it would be fun to go through the process and see how it played out.  Regardless of what approach you take, there will be winners and losers.  That naturally creates a degree of tension in the league.

Option One:  Disband the league and start again.  Of course some owners won’t want to do this.  People have built up their teams, traded for (or away) future picks, etc.  The advantage, of course, is this gives the new owners an equal chance.

Option Two:  The most common approach I’ve seen is the expansion draft.  Each team exposes a few of their players and picks to the draft.  Then the expansion teams do a snake draft to build their rosters from that pool.

If you go with the expansion draft approach, you need to carefully consider how many players you force each team to expose.  If you don’t cut in to the muscle of the existing teams, you will put the new owners at a serious disadvantage for several years.  This is a philosophical question – should the teams coming in be in rebuild from day one or should they have a chance to contend immediately?

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

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Coach
10 years ago

miles austin and the 1/03 pick for Rodgers? If i was the rodgers owner id tell you to piss up a tree.

Warren
Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

I agree. Of those WRs, only AJ Green plus the 1.03 would get me remotely interested as a Rodgers owner. I’d pass on that as well as Freeman is my QB2 and Locker is my QB3.

Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

Agreed as well. AJG plus 1.03 would be in the ballpark for AR. Last year, I took over an orphaned team, and traded AR for Matt Ryan and two no.1 picks, then got lucky and used one on Cam Newton. AJG plus 1.03 should be fair value for AR, unless it is a league with a QB flex option.

Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

I wouldn’t touch Randy Moss unless he was still on the table in round 5 of a rookie draft. Then, maybe I would take a shoot-for-the-moon flier on him. I think Randy Moss is done as a significant fantasy contributor. If you want Moss as your WR4, that’s fine. But, we have to keep in mind that Moss missed a year of football, is 35 yo, will be playing in a conservative offense, and has Alex Smith as his QB. I think Moss has hitched his train to the 49ers to get a ring. I would be stunned if Moss is at best a flex play this year. Worst case is that Moss sulks on the bench when Alex Smith throws a few passes that bounce off his cleats. I’m not going near Moss, and taking him in round 2 of a rookie draft is akin to setting that pick on fire.

StevieMo
Reply to  Coach
10 years ago

You’d have to be a blessed fool to trade Aaron Rodgers.

sean mcguigan
10 years ago

Victor Cruz WR3???????……that must be a joke or a misprint…he won’t be in top 20 if you ask me and I am a huge Giant Fan who didn’t miss a snap…..the amount of fluky plays that went Cruz’s way last year was incredible at least 5 long TD’s came on plays that really should never have happened…..1000 and 7-8 is best he will do IMO….WR3 you have to be out of your mind to draft him that high….Nicks I do agree is top 5 the talent level of each is not even close

hvacman
Reply to  sean mcguigan
10 years ago

In a startup I was involved in recently, Nicks went WR3 and Cruz WR5 in the second round. I took AJ Green between the two, and I was thrilled.

VoiceofUnreason
Reply to  sean mcguigan
10 years ago

So he’s the Newton of wr’s–there’s no way he plays better and improves in his second year playing, it’s only bad things that can happen? I agree 3 is high but top 10 is very doable imo. I certainly see him as having more talent then Welker, he’s done okay.

Jared
Reply to  sean mcguigan
10 years ago

He is rated the WR3 on 4for4 in standard, no-par scoring. He is WR7 in PPR projections.

Kimo
10 years ago

I’m in a 10 team keeper league and have Matt Forte, Willis Macgahee, Benjarvus GreenEllis, and LaGarrette Blount. WR Bowe-KC, Green-Cin, Brown-Pit, Young-Det, Little-Cle. Have an offer to get pick 1.2 in rookie draft (with 1.1 gonna be Richardson), Torrey Smith, and Stevan Ridley for Matt Forte. If I did the trade I could take Doug Martin at 1.2 and I also have the 1.7 and 2.3 picks. So I could also try for Wilson who will pry be gone or maybe Hillman since I have MacGahee. But if Griffin or Luck are there might have to take one of them at 1.7 and RB at 2.3. Qb is Vick, Sanchez,Kolb and Locker. Any thoughts?

Josh Gans
Reply to  Kimo
10 years ago

I dont much like your RBs as a whole. I also have Forte and am not a big fan of his, but glad he was signed. Still, Bush is a capable handcuff. McGahee is getting older but still competent, Blount is likely to see a reduced role and I am not a fan of BGE. In your proposed deal you would be giving up the best player in the deal (Forte) for an up and coming WR, a RBBC player in Ridley and a potentially nice RB in Martin.

You dont need Torrey per se and Ridley is just the other owner getting rid of that headache. So it comes down to Martin (1.2). Do you value Martin’s potential more than Forte? For me, as much as I dislike Forte, and as much as he is the best player in the deal..I think I’d probably not do the deal..(and I dont really believe in handcuffs) but I admit to keep flip-flopping on it.

Kimo
Reply to  Josh Gans
10 years ago

great thoughts Joe…much appreciated. like that outlook.

Craig
10 years ago

6) If you are a league where only rookies and free agents are draft then… Option 3: We have made it so that expansion teams get the first and second overall pick and then 2 picks in the middle of the first round as well. Then after each round, they get 2 extra picks. This doesn’t make the teams content immediately but it gives the teams a big boost and also allows them to build a team of his/her own. The next year, they most likely will get 1 & 2 again so that is a lot of first round picks to play around with.

Luke
Reply to  Craig
10 years ago

I like that idea. When we expanded, we only protected 4 players each, and one of the expansion owners was horrible, so the other new owner got a great team and actually won in his first year.

Josh Gans
10 years ago

Milo, we expanded after our first year from 8 to 10 teams as well. In our league at the time we did not trade draft picks and had a snake order (now its worst to first each round and draft picks are certainly traded). At any rate, the 2 new owners got the first couple picks, plus each team was required to drop a few players. I want to say it was 2 or 3 per team. It worked out really well for one of the 2 teams who has since won the league, though the other owner has floundered more.

I like that approach more than blowing up the league and starting over. Even though we did it after our first year..your league may well have been more established and having to give up players that you have groomed and/or simply done research on and traded for..etc..seems a bit harsh to me. If there can be a way to ensure the new owners get early or extra picks and each team has to trim some extra fat..it makes it easier on all and the new owners should have contending teams soon enough.

sixshooter
Reply to  Josh Gans
10 years ago

I took over a Dynasty team two years ago and was left with a “trade-raped” team and had to rebuild like no other so I would be extremely upset if the league expanded and allowed the new team(s) to have the first few picks of the draft since I didn’t have a pick until the 15th pick (3rd pick in 2nd round) of the rookie draft so I would definitely have taken issue to this especially since the best players on that team were retiring that year (ie Kurt Warner) or near the end of their career (ie Ricky Williams/Derrick Mason/ Ocho/Carson Palmer/Jeremy Shockey).

In my opinion, in our 12 team league, if you are given the opportunity to join, then you take what you get! And, I would offer that each team forfeit four players and you get the last pick in round one and the last pick in each of the following rounds!

But then again, in our league, we would not have a problem finding someone who would take your spot! It doesn’t take as long as you would think to build a Dynasty team but if you join a Dynasty league and are competing for the title within two years….then there is something wrong in my opinion! How many NFL expansion teams are able to compete their first couple years? This is a Dynasty League not a Re-Draft!!!

BigD
Reply to  sixshooter
10 years ago

amen bro, amen

Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Let’s face it Eli Manning wasn’t great until last year. Being a Giants fan it was hard to watch some games because of the mistakes he made. In our league qbs score heavy and Eli pit up at least 40 pts in most weeks last season. I think now that we have Randle instead of Manningham plus Adrian Robinson waiting to play the sky is the limit for him. I think next offseason those owners refusing to take him as part of a deal will be kicking themselves. NY is a tough town to play in and Eli is finally showing why we gave up so much to get him. Jerry Reece hasn’t drafted a qb yet so if he thinks we r good then so do I.

sixshooter
Reply to  Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

And this is a perfect case why Eli is undervalued! He has simply flown under the radar the last three years….the media was beating him up while he was producing! Take a look at his fantasy production the last 3 years! It is one thing to watch a player as a fan of his team, but it is another to watch a player from a fantasy perspective and Eli certainly hasn’t let fantasy owner’s down over the last couple years especially if you consider the value they likely got him! Eli has been fantasy productive for three years running now and owners are just now starting to figure it out! This was a conversation a couple of owners had last year before the season started! Eli’s fantasy production has been very solid for the last three years!!!!

Alan Bauerle
Reply to  sixshooter
10 years ago

Yes it has.. I’ve been beggin an owner in our league for him. He’s got Eli n Cam.. He won’t budge. I’m bout to offer schaub and the 7th pick in the draft for him.

10 years ago

I don’t think there’s anyway that both Nicks and Cruz finish as top 5 receivers. I don’t think Eli can support them both

Alan Bauerle
Reply to  Luke Bouchard
10 years ago

Cruz had over 1500 yards recieving and Nicks was 8 yards shy of 1200. I think Eli will have no problem at all getting better and more accurate w/ his recievers. The Giants are moving from traditional smashmouth football to airing the ball out to these great recievers. Eli is finally getting it. He was statistically a top 10 qb last year and I believe he’s gonna get better n better.

Seth
10 years ago

What say you in response to this from today’s Pro Football Focus’ article on James Starks:

“Now I already know the first objection to this choice: the Packers don’t run the ball enough to have a reliable fantasy running back. Well that’s partially true. They have trended towards throwing more often each of the last four years, and finished 23rd last year in terms of the frequency of plays they called run on and 26th in total rushing attempts. But they still managed to finish above teams like the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, and Tennessee Titans in terms of rush attempts, all of whom manage to have (or would have had) 1,000-yard rushers. Not only that, but Ryan Grant had two 1,200-yard rushing seasons in 2008 and 2009 with an offense that ran less than 440 times each year. So it’s certainly not out of the question that a team can still have a viable fantasy running back despite not running all that often themselves.”

Casual Backhand Sauce
Reply to  Seth
10 years ago

The packers have moved on from the 2008-09 seasons and have since become an elite passing team. And the fact that they are holding 6 wrs on their roster this year says they aren’t changing that. I like that Tim put Starks down a few notch’s from where people are expecting him. He is the #1 back on Green Bay, but Green and Saine will get touches as well. Not sure who will become #2, but I am hearing alot of reports from camp that Saine is doing very well and is clamping down his 3rd down role. FYI, I am a die hard Packer fan and I sold Starks on the teams I had him.

Adam
Reply to  Casual Backhand Sauce
10 years ago

“the fact that they are holding 6 wrs on their roster this year”

I wasn’t aware that Ted had decided on his final roster prior to camp opening this year.

flyersfan1981
10 years ago

Ben, don’t even waste your time with a weak offer like that b/c the Rodgers owner will laugh at you…

Chris R.
10 years ago

In regards to the Rodgers offer it probably depends a ton of who his QB2 is. If he’s willing to negotiate it probably means he has someone good already. If he’s got Cam Newton or Matt Stafford. then a WR1 like Wallace or AJ Green + the chance to take Luck or RGIII isn’t a bad starting point at all. If he’s got Flacco as his QB2, and he’s trying to make the playoffs, it probably won’t happen.

That doesn’t have to be the deal that clinches it, but maybe spark talks. If I owned Rodgers AJ, the 1.03, + something else like a future 1st or a player of interest would have to be involved for me to be interested.

There just isn’t much incentive for people who own Rodgers to want to trade him unless they have another top 10 QB option.

10 years ago

James Starks runs like he is wearing stripper shoes. I’d rather take a shot with Alex Green.

Adam
Reply to  Scott Peak
10 years ago

I really have no idea what this means. The only real knock on his technique is that he runs high and could benefit from a lower pad level.

BigD
Reply to  Scott Peak
10 years ago

nice comparison……love it i laughed my a$$ off

Ben Clark
10 years ago

On the AJ Green/Starks for Forte, 2013 1st, and 2014 1st, here is the current starting lineup. 12 team PPR league starting 1QB, 2WR, 2RB, 1TE, 2Flex (RB/WR/TE).

QB – Big Ben / RG3 / Fitzpatrick
WR – Welker
WR – AJ Green
RB – CJ2K
RB – Ray Rice
TE – Pettigrew / Tony G
Flex – Torrey Smith / Malcolm Floyd
Flex – Mcgahee / Starks

Any thoughts are appreciated. Like my squad, but am a sucker for 1st round picks (especially if the potential to be mid/early 1sts) I like keeping my team a good mix of veterans and younger guys w/ upside. Added bonus… Since I’m giving 2 for 1, I get an open roster spot to gamble on a waiver guy that I’m interested in.

Scott – Couldn’t have put it better myself re: Starks. Haha!

Reply to  Ben Clark
10 years ago

Nice squad, BennyC! As much as I like getting Forte and two no.1s, Your depth at WR, if you traded AJG, might be an issue. Tough call. Maybe you could swing a deal for both no.1 picks for Hakeem Nicks. That way, the deal would turn into AJG for Nicks+Forte. I don’t know that I would deal away AJG in this deal unless I planned on leveraging the two no.1s to get a stud WR back in a separate trade, though.

Ben Clark
Reply to  Scott Peak
10 years ago

Thanks for the feedback.
I’m definitely worried about my depth at WR w/ no AJG.
Leaning towards keeping him unless I can swing something for a WR1.

Dave
10 years ago

Dave, Lancaster PA – I wanna trade roddy and tamme for Ingram and pick 2.02. Dynasty ppr idp with only 23 roster spots (not a lot, I know). Stacked at wr, need rb. Thoughts?

BigD
Reply to  Dave
10 years ago

not sure i’d do that deal for ingram if you need a rb. roddy is getting old, but you’d basically be trading roddy for ingram. the tamme/2.02 part of the deal looks good. roddy will still be a top 15 wr this year and ingram may not even start on his own team? and if you look at p.thomas and sproles, you’ve got a very crowded jam at best for production from ingram? i’d keep roddy 1 more year and hope for a better trade later in the offseason. or at least look for a better rb to trade roddy for? you should be looking for a rb in the top 15-20 at best to trade a wr like roddy for.

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