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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.) I’ve earned the 1.03 pick in my first year dynasty league.  Waiting until draft time to shop it, but what can I reasonably expect for it?  I think the Spiller owner might be willing to deal. Patrick in NYC

Sorry for what sounds like a tough first year in this league.  But at least you get the consolation prize of a top three pick.  It sounds like you are settling in on dealing the pick which I think is wise.  Those who follow the mailbag know I’m down on the upcoming class.  No need to belabor that point.

With regard to CJ Spiller, I’m stunned anyone would even consider dealing him for the 1.03.  I can assure you that I wouldn’t deal him for the 1.01 or any set of rookie picks.  I’d need a stud player coming back in a package before I’d even entertain an offer.  If you sense that a deal can be had on Spiller, I’d work that deal right now.  My reason would be that the Spiller owner will be hearing the hype next spring.  I think it’s quite likely that the major re-draft sites will have Spiller ranked as a high second round pick next year.

Let’s assume you can’t get Spiller.  What then?  First off, I agree with your plan to wait on dealing the pick.  Rookie picks tend to peak in value right around the NFL draft.  The 1.03 carries a lot of value.  It generally yields an “elite” level rookie.  It’s of course too early to predict who that might be, but history tells us it will be a coveted player.

It’s always hard to predict what one might get in a trade.  That depends on how your league-mates value picks, what their rosters are like, etc.  What I can say is that if someone put the 1.03 on the trade block in my league I’d offer question marks like Quizz Rodgers, Daniel Thomas/Lamar Miller, Isaiah Pead and if I really wanted the pick, I might offer Kendall Hunter.  If I was rebuilding, I’d offer aging players like Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Michael Turner, etc.

A word of encouragement:  My guess is that I am one of the most bearish people on this rookie class.  It is extremely possible you will get more in return than what I’d be willing to pay.

2.) Looking to grab a couple of WRs from the WW for 2013.  Which of T.Y. Hilton, Sanu, Gibson, Edelman or Golden Tate has the most upside?  – Michael in Ann Arbor

This is a good time to clarify something.  I get a lot of questions like this that ask for who has the “most upside.”  That’s a different question than if I was to get asked who out of this group I would want to roster.  And I answer accordingly.  When I hear “most upside,” that means the player who if all things broke well would be the top fantasy producer and that you’re willing to run the risk that he is a total bust and clogs up a roster spot for the duration of your ownership.

For example, I think that Julian Edelman is the most likely player in this group to provide some degree of useful fantasy production.  But I don’t think he has the most upside, nor do I think you’ll ever be all that excited to put him in your line-up.

The player I’d want to roster the most would be Mohamed Sanu.  I think he provides the best blend of upside and risk.  I can foresee how he could emerge in 2013 as a low end WR2 and I think worst case he’s a dependable emergency/bye-week player.

The player I feel has the most upside is T.Y. Hilton.  He’s already flashed his amazing speed and is emerging as one of Luck’s go-to guys (he’s been targeted 57 times so far this year).  The problem is the receiver group in Indy is rather crowded.  There’s a decent risk that Indy becomes something like New Orleans of past years where you never knew who you could start beyond Colston.  One week it might be Hilton, the next Donnie Avery, the next LaVon Brazil, etc.  Also it wouldn’t surprise me to see Indy bring in one of the stud WRs who will be on the market next year.  It’s time to have a plan for the era after Reggie Wayne.

3.) In my 16-team, keep six league I’m pretty certain on five of six keepers.  I’ll be holding on to ADP, Hillman, Cobb, D.Moore and Tannehill.  For my last slot would you keep Mathews, J.Gordon or Vick? – Brian in Philly

Wow.  How the mighty have fallen: Tannehill a keeper, while Vick may be tossed back in the pond.

First off, I think you have to keep Ryan Mathews.  To me he’s the clear cut keeper out of the guys you list and I’d be hanging on to him before Tannehill, too.  Obviously it’s been a disappointing season, but he’s still a workhorse back and that’s worth something.  He almost has to be a weekly starter in a 16-teamer.

I will say that I think your odds of winning this league with Tannehill at the helm are rather low.  I suppose you probably need to keep him because of QB scarcity in 16-team leagues.  But yuck.

I’ll be curious to see reader comments on this question.

4.) Should I trade Stevie Johnson/Isaiah Pead for Jeremy Maclin/Ben Tate?  Francis in Toronto

Amazingly, that’s a tough one.  When I first looked at it, I thought maybe it was so obviously the Jeremy Maclin/Ben Tate side that I might not include this question.  But the more I thought about it, I’m not so sure.

I’m really worried about the Eagles passing game under Foles.  It seems all but certain that Vick (and Andy Reid) are both done in Philly – that leaves Foles as the captain of the ship.  That’s just not good for Maclin, DeSean Jackson or Brent Celek.   I’ve never really liked what I saw from Foles.  While he’s clearly an athlete and possesses a powerful arm, he makes head scratcher decisions all the time.  I think Philly has really bungled things recently – they brought in top free agents to surround a young group of studs and got zero results.  So then the pendulum swings all the way the other direction and they plug in a rookie quarterback who everyone knew was raw when he was drafted.

Tate has much more dynasty value right now than Isaiah PeadStevie Johnson isn’t exactly electric, but he is a solid WR2/3 who produces consistent results.  He’s good for thirteen to eighteen points most weeks in PPR – that’s nice to have locked in.  I own him and have started him every week except the game against the Texans.  He’s been good to me. This deal would turn on Johnson for me, and I’d rather own him than Maclin.

5.) Looking to free up a roster spot.  Who would you jettison between Matt Schaub and Jake Locker?  My other QB is Luck. Brendan in Boston

I’m assuming you’ve been eliminated from the playoffs?  Because if not, I wouldn’t do this quite yet.

If you have been eliminated, you can say goodbye to Matt Schaub.  Depending on your league, it might be worth trying to deal him for a second or third round rookie pick.  But if there are guys you like on the waiver wire, then by all means cut him.

Here’s why I’d keep Jake Locker:  With Andrew Luck you are almost certainly set at QB1.  Schaub has zero chance of developing into a valuable dynasty trade asset – those days are behind him.  All he’d be for you is a backup quarterback for injuries and byes.  With Locker, there is an outside chance that he breaks out and becomes a top-8 guy.  At that point you can deal him for something you really want/need, plus a suitable QB2 (say Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco or Carson Palmer).

6.) Which under the radar DSTs can provide a lift in the week 15 and week 16 playoff games? Keith in Tennessee

In order to get the best answer on this, I called on the most accurate weekly rankers in the business (www.4for4.com).  In a tweet Josh Moore (@4for4_Josh) said the following:

“I like Panthers schedule the best for W15/16 (SD, OAK), but CIN has great schedule until W16 vs PIT (assuming ben back)”

So what I take Josh to be saying is that he really likes Cincinnati week 15 vs. the Eagles.  And he’d like them vs. Pittsburgh as well if either Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich is playing.  But I think most of us expect Big Ben to be back by then, so he’s recommending Carolina vs. Oakland in week 16 championship games.  The gamble is whether you play Cincy in week 15 and hope that Carolina is there for you still in week 16.

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

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Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

Correct me if I am wrong, but #4 says: 4.) Should I trade Stevie Johnson/Isaiah Pead for Jeremy Maclin/Ben Tate? – Francis in Toronto

Doesn’t that mean he is giving up Stevie Johnson and Pead for Maclin and Tate?

And if so, I would do the deal. Not sure what Tate is right now, but I like him more than Pead. Maclin is younger than Stevie and hasn’t been consistent, but I like him.

Danton Goulet
9 years ago

There is not even a thought about whether to keep Mathews IMO. Yes his situation is uncertain with likely changes to the coaching staff and possibly GM coming next season but if you do not save a RB with that much talent and he finally puts it all together next year….you are not going to be happy. I have him on my team and he has been a huge disappointment this year. But he is still the RB25 in my non ppr league so I would not be dropping that.

Mike D
Reply to  Danton Goulet
9 years ago

Agreed, Mathews is the 6th keeper for sure. And I’d seriously consider Gordon over Tannehill.

Reply to  Danton Goulet
9 years ago

I like Tannehill. I’d rather keep him than Gordon. The Cleveland situation is a mess, and while Gordon is a nice dynasty asset, I think Tannehill has the ability to be a top 10 QB in fantasy. Tannehill probably won’t win you any titles next year, but if he reaches his potential, he could be a top dynasty QB prospect in 2-3 years. I’m less certain that Gordon will ever reach his potential playing for an organization that is dysfunctional, to put it mildly.

9 years ago

In reference to the keeper question (Mathews, Vick or Josh Gordon), as much as it pains me to say it, Mathews has to be it. I am a long-suffering Chargers fan, and I can honestly say I don’t like Mathews. He is unreliable, mostly from a long injury history. Running back is already a position of attrition, and that is made worse for players like Mathews who seem to get hurt climbing aboard the team bus. That said, I also recognize that, ever since Mathews fumbled at the goal-line earlier in the year, Norv Turner doesn’t seem to trust Mathews at all. I think Norv has misused Mathews all year long. There is no way Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle should ever be used ahead of Mathews except when he needs a breather. Norv has definitely earned a pink slip ASAP, and there is the possibility that greener pastures are ahead for Mathews. Still, I would keep Mathews for the simple reason that he still carries the most value of those three players, and I would trade him for near-value ASAP.

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