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.) Looking for a young, upside WR stash. Who do you like out of Greg Childs, Brian Quick, or Lestar Jean? – Bobby in Atlanta
This is a tough one. You’ve picked players who people have vastly differing opinions on.
Brian Quick: He’s the most expensive of these players to acquire and I’d be shocked if he is on any waiver wire. Quick has a ton of support in the dynasty world because of his situation and his raw talent. I stress the word RAW. I’m skeptical of Quick and I think people are wrong to expect immediate production from him. He hasn’t played much against top talent and when he has he struggled. I expect a rough transition for Quick. There have been plenty of examples of small school WRs succeeding in the NFL and I hope for the best for Quick. He’s just not going to be on any of my teams.
Greg Childs: Unfortunately, this question hit the mailbag on the same day that Childs tore both of his patellar tendons. He’s obviously out of the mix now that his career is hanging by a thread. In case you missed it, we wrote up a post right after it happened.
Lestar Jean: Call me skeptical. I’m no draft guru, but I have a hard time getting all amped up about a guy who I’ve never heard of. I trust Matt Waldman and Scott Wright when I need to go really deep and as far as I know this guy wasn’t anywhere on the radar. Matt writes the most comprehensive pre-draft guide (close to 1,000 pages) and I can’t find any reference of Jean. Clearly we need to see the guy in action before we know. Every year there is some guy we hear about during mini-camp and OTAs who is the next big deal. Ask me again after I see him in a couple of preseason games.
Note: For more on Jean, check out Ken Kelly’s article.
2.) Keeping Foster, Stafford and Stevie Johnson. I have three picks in round two. Looking at Redman and two of Maclin/Decker/D. Thomas/Torrey Smith. Good plan? – Kris in New Zealand
I think it’s a fine plan. You have pretty nice keepers although I’m concerned about Stevie Johnson as a WR1. However, he’s what you’d likely get in a redraft league if you took Foster and Stafford in rounds one and two.
You know your league so let your experience guide you. I’d be very focused on getting Maclin and one of Decker or Thomas. I like Torrey Smith, but he is a weak WR2 and not a good pairing with Johnson.
I’m not especially interested in Redman in dynasty, but in this format I think he makes a decent low end option at RB2. Depending on when your draft is happening, I’d keep an eye on Jonathan Dwyer during the preseason. His career has been a disappointment so far, but he has skills.
3.) Been offered J.Stew and Harvin for Charles and Decker. I’m a contender, but weak at WR. Which side for now and the future? – Scott in Tucson
My read on your question is that you think the loss of 2012 production from Charles to Stewart is a problem for your team. Because if you’re concerned about Harvin, you shouldn’t be. Barring injury, I have him projected as a top ten guy in PPR. That said, I don’t think his production over Decker will make up for the loss at running back.
If you believe you are a serious contender you are probably wise to pass on this trade. While anything can happen, the odds are that Charles/Decker is the better 2012 duo. The other thing is that Charles’ value seems depressed right now (not that this deal is a bad one). I think there are many owners who need to see him produce before they feel comfortable trading for him. It’s quite possible that you could end up getting a better deal than this one.
4.) You mentioned in a recent mailbag that you advise against handcuffing. In my 25 roster spot league it’s common practice. Can you explain why you don’t like it? – Mike in Austin
That’s correct. I did say that. And I’ve written extensively on this topic in the past. But I’ll give you a quick summary.
First, we have to establish the definition of “handcuff.” To me, a handcuff is a player who basically has little to no value unless the starter goes down. Ben Tate isn’t a handcuff, nor is Peyton Hillis. Both of these guys will have value regardless. Sure it jumps if the starter goes down, but that’s not the true definition of handcuff. People want to own Tate regardless of whether they own Foster.
Second, it’s extremely hard in many cases to know who the handcuff really is. Is the handcuff to Chris Johnson Javon Ringer or Jamie Harper? It would really stink to burn value in a draft or trade just to find out you have the wrong guy.
Third, generally the back-up is a back-up for a reason. We’ve had great examples of this in recent years. Two years ago, Ryan Grant went down week one. The race was on to acquire Brandon Jackson. Last year Jamaal Charles goes down, same race to grab Jackie Battle. In redraft, people burned huge portions of FaaB money getting these guys and for what? In both cases these guys had to chance to be the true bell cow from early in the season yet produced no fantasy results. In fact in the Jackson situation, it ended up that James Starks was the better player.
Finally, the big problem is it causes you to artificially overvalue certain players. And if people in your league know that, it’s even worse. Let’s say you take Trent Richardson and I own Montario Hardesty. If you approach me about him, I’m going to make you overpay if I know you are a handcuffer. Hardesty ought to be on the wire in most leagues but in a league that handcuffs he probably won’t be. Oh and Hardesty also isn’t the clear cut handcuff because guess who else is there – our old friend Brandon Jackson.
5.) Our league voted to add five roster spots (from 24 to 29). Rather than make people cut a player in order to make a rookie FA/selection, the commish has decided to let people add until they hit 29. Seems to benefit the good teams. I feel we should have our rookie draft under the old roster limit followed by a FA draft to go to 29. This would cause the good teams to have make choices about their current players in order to draft their rookies. Shouldn’t this be put to a vote? – Joey in NJ
First off, I think all changes like this ought to be put to a vote. But I will say it seems short sighted of everyone to vote yes on the change without first discussing how it might be implemented. I think the commish has good reason to think this was left up to him (or her) after the league approved the change.
As a practical matter, I don’t think this is all that big a deal. Are there teams in your league that are really so stacked that you want them to cut their last three or four guys? If people are carrying 24 players now aren’t the rookies likely more valuable than any cuts they might make? Maybe you get a few good players tossed back in favor of the rookie selections, but it hardly seems worth the fuss.
6.) I drew the 1.01 in our start-up. If I choose to trade it, what’s the going rate? – Jess in Buffalo
Suffice it to say the sky is the limit.
While nothing in life is guaranteed, I’d bet heavily in all leagues that there will be at least one owner who simply must have Calvin Johnson. While the rest of us can debate who to take with the 1.01, this guy is laughing at us saying we’re wasting our time. All you need to do is suggest to a few of your league-mates that you are going to take Calvin if you can’t get enough value for the pick. Then post on the message board that it’s for sale.
There’s probably a huge gap between what you will get and what I think is “fair value.” In a recent article on the premium side of the site, I broke down a start-up done by DLF members. The 1.01 was traded for the 2.04 and 3.09. That’s something like giving up Julio Jones and Demarco Murray. That move might be okay in an established league – maybe you’ve build such a strong team that you can afford to “lose” a trade in favor of getting the uber-stud. But that can’t possibly be the case in a start-up. I’d never give you that trade, but you’ll get something like it if you work your league a bit.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.