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.