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’ve been offered Dwayne Bowe and Ryan Fitzpatrick for DHB and Jake Locker. I initially turned it down because I only have Matt Schaub as my other quarterback. My receivers are Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, DHB, Kendall Wright, Randall Cobb and Ramses Barden. I just don’t trust Schaub to stay healthy. Would you make that trade? – Alan
No, I wouldn’t do that deal.
But it wouldn’t be because of Matt Schaub’s health risk. It would be because the Houston offense has changed dramatically since Schaub’s terrific 2009 season. I expect you will see many games like he put up this week: approximately 30 pass attempts, 1 TD and no picks. This is fine if you are the Houston Texans and run the offense through Arian Foster, but it won’t win you any fantasy leagues.
Jake Locker has the chance to become a legit fantasy QB1 or at very worst be a decent QBBC guy when paired with Schaub. As deep as quarterback appears to be, after about the tenth quarterback, things start to get pretty spotty.
As to the receivers, I’m on record as saying that I think Dwayne Bowe is undervalued in fantasy. I understand the arguments against him, but I don’t have an issue owning him. That said, he’s not all that exciting either. He’s certainly not enticing enough to lose the upside of Locker given you don’t desperately need him. Randall Cobb is going to be a fine upside WR3 option, I’m holding out hope for DHB and you can go ahead and cut Ramses Barden when you feel like it.
2.) I have two trades lined up. In the first one, I would give Julio Jones for Russell Wilson, Randall Cobb, Martellus Bennett, a 2013 first and three seconds. In part two, I give Antonio Brown for three more seconds. Would you make these two trades? – Grant in Portland
No and no.
Trade one isn’t worth it to me.
As I mentioned above, I like Randall Cobb, but not this much. And Russell Wilson is a nice prospect, but is probably overhyped. Julio Jones is a proven stud at this point. He’s quickly vaulting up the list of most valuable dynasty assets and has to be in the conversation to be in the top-5 of all players. Whether you are a contender or in a rebuild, Julio is a cornerstone of your team. (Credit to Brian Fontaine at PFF and friend to DLF for the cornerstone term.)
DLF has done extensive analysis on the bust rates for draft picks and it’s unbelievably high. After the 1.03 pick, your chances of striking gold are pretty low. It happens of course, but it’s rare. I’ve said this repeatedly this year – the success of Julio, AJ Green and Cam Newton has caused dynasty players to overvalue rookie picks. 2011 was an aberration. It should be seen as the exception, not the norm. Just ask the Knowshon Moreno owner (if he’s even still owned in your league).
Trade two is even worse.
In that deal, you’re not even getting a legit prospect like Cobb – all you are getting is three lottery tickets in return for a player who has demonstrated he is capable of success in the NFL. There aren’t many receivers who put up over 1,000 yards in their second season. Why give that up in return for three guys who might or might not ever become fantasy relevant. Here you should go chat with the Jon Baldwin owner and ask how he (or she) feels about Baldwin getting ZERO targets in week one.
I’d encourage you to read this article from Jaron Foster about his approach to the rookie draft. Jaron is one of the new writers who joined DLF as part of the Writer’s Contest.
3.) I’m getting pretty sick of owning CJ0K. What’s he worth in a trade? – Jason in San Francisco
Sunday was a rough one for the Titans fans and owners of Chris Johnson. I anticipated a loss, but not utter domination and complete inability to run the ball. The Titans O-Line is actually above average, but it was manhandled on Sunday. I’d wager that the Patriots allow the fewest rushing yards in the league this season after that game. Mark my words – the Patriots will soon be a feared matchup for fantasy running back owners, much like Baltimore and Pittsburgh have been for years. If for some reason you were planning on starting Beanie Wells or Ryan Williams next week, don’t.
So net/net: I’m telling you to hang tight. CJ2K is still a bell cow and that’s unusual in the NFL. The Titans line is better than Sunday would suggest. And the backup backs aren’t much of a threat to vulture carries or goal line work. I will say that the Titans overall probably have a subpar schedule in 2012 to rush against. They have the juicy match-ups against Indy, but some rather tough ones as well against teams like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago and the New York Jets.
Plus on a practical note, what could you get for him at this point? I can’t imagine someone is going to give you a player like DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte or DMC and those are the comparables.
4.) I’m new to dynasty, but have played redraft for years. How should dynasty owners react to things that happened in week one like Kevin Ogletree, Alfred Morris and Blaine Gabbert? – Eric in South Florida
Eric, this is a great question. Thanks for sending it in.
If you are like me, you can’t get enough fantasy football coverage. That means you read a lot of material (or listen to podcasts) that are oriented toward redraft. This week will be packed with shows and articles saying who to pick up and who can safely be dropped. Most of this you need to let go in one ear and out the other. You’re in this for the long haul not in a sprint to see who can churn the waiver wire for the player who might put up numbers for a week or two.
Here are some ways I try to gain an edge coming out of early season surprises:
Push the Bids: If you are in a salary cap league or use FaAB to do your waivers, push the bids. Example: I have no interest in Kevin Ogletree. I think he was a product of a perfect storm – a decimated Giants secondary, a gimpy Jason Witten and limited tape. Others will surely disagree with me on this. That’s totally fine. In my auction leagues, I will push Ogletree up just like I would price enforce in a start-up auction. This does two things – it eats up other peoples’ budgets and it makes it painful to put Ogletree on a multiyear deal meaning I get another crack at him next off-season if I’m wrong about him.
Trade on Good News: If you happen to have Alfred Morris (amazingly I do in one league), trade him. There is a high likelihood that Morris had his best game of the season this week. Maybe you can get a running back desperate owner to bite. If I could get a future first for him I would because I simply don’t trust Mike Shanahan to back a single running back. As much as Morris might have won some people games this week, he will cost them down the line. Note: Morris does have a fantastic match-up against St. Louis next week.
Consider Position: The flukiness of a week one performance is somewhat related to position. I have more confidence in a quarterback or running back performance than I do a wide receiver. There are many, many examples of receivers putting up amazing numbers for a week or two and then vanishing in to oblivion. Example: In my main league, Blaine Gabbert happens to be on the waiver wire. I’ll go after him. I currently own Tom Brady and Andy Dalton and I think Gabbert could be a superior back-up option to Dalton. Gabbert showed poise in the fourth quarter, he’s solid in the job and he was highly regarded coming in to the league. Gabbert may stink, but he’s going to get the chance to prove that. Ogletree may simply not get targeted much going forward. Not his fault maybe, but doesn’t do a thing for you in fantasy.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.