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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.)  Lestar Jean, Keshawn Martin or Devier Posey?Bobby in Atlanta

Bobby – First off, thank you.  Your question was short, clear and to the point.  Dramatically increases the chance that I’ll answer it!

I’m not going to own any Houston receivers others than Andre Johnson.  It’s been since 2008 that any receiver other than AJ has eclipsed 700 yards.  In 2011, he missed ten games and the leading receiver on the team was Owen Daniels with a whopping 677 yards.  This offense runs through Arian Foster and I don’t think there are enough targets and yards to support the WR2 being a viable fantasy option.

If forced with a gun to my head to pick one of these guys, I’d take Lestar Jean.  My rationale would be that in the event AJ goes down yet again, Jean would likely step in for him and therefore might be a flex option.  But I have to think there are better options on the waiver wire than any of these guys.

2.)  Most, if not all, dynasty leagues draft defensive players, yet your top 400 does not include a single non-offensive player.  Why?Bill in Ontario

As you probably have seen, DLF has dramatically increased our coverage of IDP.  We have added several IDP experts to the staff and feature IDP rankings, articles and other content on a regular basis.

In my experience, most dynasty leagues don’t include IDP.  If you join the forums you’ll find that the vast majority of questions and discussions are about offensive players and that IDP is a niche within the niche of dynasty.  Assembling the top-400 is a major undertaking and we want it to appeal to the broadest audience.

3.)  What’s up with Philip Rivers?  He’s coming off a disappointing season, his best WR left town and his stud RB (Mathews) is banged up.  Where do you have him for 2012 and forward?  John in Baltimore

Darn good question.  Honestly, I’m not sure.

When you look at Rivers’ numbers in 2011, they weren’t that bad.  The problem is other stud quarterback’s numbers were really, really good.  He basically got passed by.

As you point out, the offseason has been fairly unkind to Rivers as well – Vincent Jackason was replaced by Robert Meachem, Vincent Brown is out, Ryan Mathews is banged up, etc.  Not a lot of good going on here at all.

I don’t have high hopes for Rivers at this point.  I have him ranked as a low end QB1 for a twelve-team league and I don’t see a lot of upside in him at all.  He’s moved out of the surefire every week starter zone and in to QBBC territory for me.  I don’t mind him late in a start-up if I can pair him with a high upside alternative like Jay Cutler.  I enjoy playing the quarterback match-up game but only if I can get the players at a discount.

4.) I drafted Trent Richardson, Adrian Peterson, DeAngelo Williams and Peyton Hillis.  Since AP and Trent are injured, should I trade for a running back or do you think i can ride D-Will and Hillis till my backs get healthy?Vamsee in Austin

You mention in your note that you are new to dynasty, so first off welcome.  Second, this is part of dynasty.  Unlike redraft leagues, you need to be patient through injuries.  In redraft, losing a single game can be a problem, but in dynasty you have to think long term.  You’ll have Trent Richardson for seventy or eighty (or more) fantasy games not twelve or thirteen.

You’re probably going to struggle in week one.  I don’t expect either Adrian Peterson or Trent Richardson to play and if they do, they won’t be at full strength.  That’s okay.  So you lose week one, but you keep your team together for the year.  The most important thing in fantasy (dynasty or redraft) is to simply make the playoffs and have the healthiest team at the time.  Week one is somewhat unimportant.  Sure, we all want to start off on the right foot, but Richardson and Peterson are going to be an excellent one two punch come crunch time.  I’d advise against making a trade simply because of injuries to your two stud running backs.

5.) How can the Cowboys put these restrictions on Dez Bryant and do you find it ethically wrong?

Football related: This probably will affect free agents that would ever consider going to Dallas, wouldn’t it? Ryan from parts unknown

This is a somewhat unusual question to find in the mailbag.  But I find it interesting and I want to weigh in on it.  Plus, I’m sure this will get the comment thread fired up!  Enjoy, that’s what DLF is all about.

A Collective Bargaining Agreement governs the players and league and if this was in violation of the CBA, I can guarantee that the NFLPA would have filed a grievance already.  So that tells me that the Cowboys are on solid legal footing imposing the restrictions on Bryant.

But you asked whether it is ethical, not legal.  I do think it’s ethical.  Bryant’s contract pays him nearly $12 million dollars over five years and just shy of $3 million this year.  As a business owner myself, I can assure you that if I was compensating someone to that degree I’d expect a lot out of them.  It’s quite reasonable to expect them to come to work on time, put in max effort, be in reasonable physical condition, etc.  These restrictions weren’t imposed on Bryant from day one.  They’ve come about because he has a pattern of misbehavior.  The vast majority of NFL players are professionals and don’t find themselves in this situation.  Dez earned this.

What I do think is stupid about this is that it became public.  Essentially this is an HR issue and should have been a private matter between the team and the player (employee).  This was unnecessarily embarrassing for Bryant and also boxes management in with respect to how to handle a violation.  Now if Dez is seen minding his own business, being polite, and having a cold beer after work the publicity will be ridiculous.  The team is then forced to react even though leniency might be the right approach.  There’s no reason to limit oneself as a manager in this type of situation.  Keep your private things private is my advice.

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

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Bret Farestad
9 years ago

I’ve not ever been on the Dez bandwagon, loaded with talent and the attitude of Pac Man. Granted he’s not making it rain, but we saw this from the start as a rookie. I think JJ has every right to try and protect his investment, I personally don’t think it will work. Until Bryant understands how society works, and recognizes how to function within it in, I see the babysitter 2 project doomed to fail. Better to invest in a counselor/mentor who can help Bryant deal with real life. I wonder how many babysitter projects are around the NFL, is this common? or JJ the only one who’s tried it.

Chris R.
Reply to  Bret Farestad
9 years ago

Yea, because we should all assume that any guy who gets into any bad press is Pacman Jones right? Oh no he didn’t pay off his jewelry tab, oh no his pants were sagging, oh no he didn’t carry Roy Williams shoulder pads(the guy who doesn’t even have a job right now) so let’s paint him in with guys who religiously go to strip clubs, carry weapons, get DUI’s, fail drug test, and show up late for meetings.

Yes, those are obviously all the same type of offenses right?

I think the fact that Dez obliged and was more then willing to accept those terms says more about his character then anything. He signed up to do no drinking while not having 1 incident involving alcohol ever. He could have easily made a bigger deal out of the ordeal but you didn’t hear 1 peep about it.

People should take the time to look into the situations more and not assume everybody is Pacman.

Jo Cat
Reply to  Chris R.
9 years ago

And you know he was more than willing to accept these terms…how? Close personal friend?

Chris R.
Reply to  Jo Cat
9 years ago

Dez Bryant approached his advisor about setting up the rules and restrictions that have been put in effect for the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, David Wells said during a radio interview.

Wells, a former private investigator and bail bondsman who serves as Bryant’s advisor, said the third-year pro is “100 percent” behind the so-called “Dez Rules.”

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000055888/article/dez-bryant-advisor-cowboys-receiver-100-percent-behind-rules

We can laugh, assume, and think he’s the worst character player ever, but maybe had something like this been done for Kenny Britt after the 2nd arrest there wouldn’t have been 6 more to follow? All I know is it at least SEEMS like Dez is taking accountability for his actions and seeking help, it’s not like he had the perfect household to grow up in either so for all we know it’ll help him.

SJ
Reply to  Bret Farestad
9 years ago

Just from your comment, I recall Jerry Jones doing this for PacMan when he was with dallas. Other than that, I cant remember any team/owner doing something like this, but I’m sure its happened before. There’s millions of dollars at stake, I’m sure every owner, GM wants to protect themselves and win and that may take some one-on-one time with players with character flaws.

I dont think Dez necessarily is a bad guy though. I think he has a bad rap, more so a bad attitude. This should only motivate him into a good year. He doesnt come off as someone who will back down.

Lotto4Life
Reply to  SJ
9 years ago

I don’t think Dez has a bad attitude, either. He just doesn’t have very good filters, mainly due to any semblance structure in his life from the time he was a small child.

He’s also hyper competitive.

His first order of business if he had any sense would have been to dump Wells as his advisor. Most of Dez’s troubles have come under the advisement of Wells.

No filter + hyper competitive + terrible “advisor” = less than ideal things happening.

MarkFF
9 years ago

Another word of encouragement to the guy with injuries for week one. J-Stew hasn’t practiced yet. My guess is they give stewart another week and dwill becomes a rb1. You should be fine.

SJ
9 years ago

Generally, I think most FF owners mistakes (in Dynasty too) comes from overzealously abandoning ship from early season injuries/ineffectiveness. I say its 50/50 most times if giving up on a player like this after week 1 – 4 is the right thing to do. But for every “right” time, there is definitely some wrong’s. Just look at how Percy and Julio came on late last year after a slow start and injuries. Sometimes patience pays off. I always want to finish strong. That is where the money is anyway.

StevieMo
9 years ago

You guys going to have weekly positional rankings before each week’s games to help readers make lineup decisions?

Mike Rapolas Jr
9 years ago

Just a quick note regarding the Houston WRs. I would tend to lean in the direction that the reason why no other receiver has eclipsed 700 yards is because nobody on that roster has been talented enough to do that. I’m sorry, but I still can’t understand why Kubiak and the Texans keep someone like Kevin Walter in their plans. At least they wised up about Jacoby Jones, but Walter is still a head-scratcher.

This group is arguably the most talented young set of WRs this team has seen in a long time, and none of them were very heralded recruits at all. Jean had that monster preseason lasy year, then headed to IR. Who knows what he could have done had he been healthy…? I’ve been stashing all 3 of them on as many rosters as I have room. Heck, this is why diamonds in the rough are called diamonds in the rough…

Sensei John Kreese
9 years ago

Im not usually the one to do this, but my second team is in trouble over here.

PPR.

Kendall Wright
Steve Smith (Car)
Jeremy Maclin
Austin Collie
Peyton Hillis
Marshawn Lynch
Trent Richardson
Ridley
Royster

Need THREE, one of them has to be a running back. Right now, I’ve got Maclin, Smith and Ridley.

MarkFF
Reply to  Sensei John Kreese
9 years ago

I think you got it right.

Dave
9 years ago

i have to drop gresham or tamme. who do you think i should drop. ppr dynasy

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