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.) Should I trade Victor Cruz for CJ Spiller? I also have Dez, Colston and Austin. – Craig in Raleigh
Probably not, but it’s close. I suspect this question gets a lot of responses in the comment section so you’ll get even more advice.
While I love CJ Spiller, Victor Cruz has vaulted up the board this year. He has to be in the discussion with second tier elites like Julio Jones, his teammate Hakeem Nicks and Percy Harvin. While I think I could make a compelling case for any one of them, Cruz might be the easiest one. Quickly:
- He’s not the health risk that Nicks is and he seems to have no issues producing when Nicks is out
- He’s the top option for Eli Manning – he leads the NFL in targets
- He scores TDs, but isn’t TD dependent – he has solid yards and catches in most/all games
- There is no sign that 2011 was a fluke. Frankly, he looks better this year than last
Spiller is a nice player, but is capped by Fred Jackson. The most you can reasonably hope for is a consistent diet of 16-18 touches per game – that translates in to solid production and great numbers when he happens to find the end zone. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but it isn’t quite the same as having a stud receiver like Cruz. Spiller is a RB2.
I understand that running backs are tough to come by these days, but I cling to elite receivers like gold because they are cornerstones of an enduring dynasty team. If Cruz stays with Eli, he’s going to anchor your squad for five or more years. Let’s all hope for a nice long contract extension for Cruz.
2.) I have a rebuilding team in a league with only 20 roster spots. I already have a lot of rookies – Luck, Wright, Fleener, Gordon and Hillman. Pead and Quick are both on the wire. Are they worth owning? – JJ in Manitoba
My main league is a 20-roster spot/12-team league as well. For those who don’t play in any short roster dynasty leagues, they are quite different. Both Isaiah Pead and Brian Quick being on the waiver wire isn’t all that astonishing. The short rosters cause one to have to be a bit more demanding of immediate production. You can’t take up too many roster spots with purely developmental or speculative players.
JJ, I don’t know if you should pick them up or not because I don’t know who you’d cut. If you have any easy cuts – a second kicker, a second DST, an aging player who isn’t a stud, etc. then obviously pick one or both of them up.
If you don’t, I’d probably leave them out there. I like all of the rookies you list more than either Quick or Pead. Quick is a player I talked about last week – he’s not someone I had highly rated and he’s definitely tough to own in this format. Pead has been disappointing, of course, and my guess is that’s why he’s on your waiver wire. I’m sure someone drafted him and cut him after his tough start and the emergence of Daryl Richardson. I hate to leave potential running back talent on the wire, but you only have so many roster spots. If you have to pick one of them, I’d rather own Pead.
3.) I’ll ask you again, what do you do now with Chris Johnson? He looks like he might be back to his old form. – Jason in SFO
First off, thanks again Jason. I feel like we’re old friends. Apparently no matter what I say, you aren’t going to trade CJ2K anyway!
For the benefit of the other owners out there…I will admit CJ2K’s box scores look much, much better than earlier in the year. But having watched the games, the box score belies the actual play. In his career game against Buffalo, he still exhibited all the same tendencies that dragged him down against better rush defenses. He’s hesitant to hit the hole and he’s constantly dancing around in the backfield. Let’s remember that Buffalo is possibly the worst rushing defense in the entire NFL.
CJ2K is likely to have another strong outing this week against the Colts. Like the Bills, they’ve struggled to stop even average NFL running backs – Shonn Greene owners know what I’m talking about. On the other hand, the Titans lost left tackle Michael Roos to an appendectomy, which is a rather big blow to an already questionable line.
I’m still selling CJ2K at the right price. I’m asking a bit more now that his stock is on the rise, but I’d rather he was somebody else’s headache.
4.) My team is out of it for 2012. I’ve been offered a surefire top-2 rookie pick for Dez. Worth it? – Patrick via Twitter
No way. But I’m glad you asked this question because I’m sure there are other frustrated dynasty owners out there. It’s that time of the year. Teams probably know at this point if they are truly in contention or not.
Dez Bryant may not be the uber-elite stud that owners had hoped for when they drafted him early in 2010 rookie drafts, but he’s a solid dynasty asset. I also believe that Dez is a superior physical talent to any of the receivers coming out in this draft. Plus, Dallas isn’t a bad situation. Net/net: It’s hard to see how you could win out trading Dez for a top rookie pick. He’s as good as or better than anything you might get.
And “might get” is the key phrase.
Pivoting from Dez to the rookie draft in general, this would be a terrible dynasty gamble to make. First of all, you say it’s a surefire top-2: maybe so and maybe not – we still have half the season to go. A lot can change. Injuries, players who emerge, blind luck, etc. Second, even if it is the 1.01 rookie pick, it’s a crap shoot. At best, the 1.01 is a tad better than a 50/50 proposition. Recent 1.01 picks in many leagues: Knowshon Moreno, Ryan Mathews, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson. Mixed results for sure.
I understand the allure of hitting the jackpot with a guy like AJ Green (who some probably took over Ingram), but the odds are very much against you. For every AJ Green, there are probably a dozen Michael Floyds and Justin Blackmons. If you have a player who is a solid every week starter (such as Dez) and who is young (such as Dez), in almost all cases you want to keep him rather than take a rookie pick in return.
5.) Who will be the beneficiary of the injury to Nate Burleson? More for Megatron maybe? – Bruce in Kentucky
I don’t think Burleson’s injury will have much impact on Megatron. Megatron gets his targets and catches, he just needs to score some touchdowns and he will. Nothing to worry about with the stud.
I think the short term beneficiary of this situation is Titus Young. I probably wouldn’t want to start him this week because I’d like to see a game before I trusted him. But there are a ton of solid players on bye so maybe he’s worth a WR3 start.
The x-factor in all of this is Ryan Broyles. He’s gotten limited playing time and even more limited targets, so it’s hard to get a read on him. The obvious question is whether or not he’s close to 100% after the ACL surgery. Broyles is a reliable pass catcher and could serve as a perfect complement to the homerun hitter (Megatron). Long term I think it’s Broyles who is the value play because I don’t trust Titus Young to behave himself. And in my opinion, that’s the message the Lions were sending when they took Broyles with a second round pick.
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.