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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: Sixteen team SC league.  Key guys on my team: Big Ben, T-Rich, Mathews, DMC, Megatron, Cobb, AJG, Maclin and Olsen.  I’m going to be light for the auction.  Choice One: Overpay for one of Ridley, ALF, Cruz or Amendola and be done.  Or I could go light on a handful of prospects to see what might happen.  Choice two also gives me better odds of retaining some of my RFAs.  Thoughts? Kyle in Saskatoon

In reading your entire (rather lengthy) e-mail it sounds like your league is set up a lot like my primary SC league.  I hope you’re enjoying it.  Best format I’ve ever come across.

The general question of how to approach the FA auction is the most complex question in the game.  We have people in our league who attempt to almost play redraft by assigning very short contracts, making sure they have the most free cash every year and then bidding up the FAs who are high on seasonal rank lists.  These owners also tend to trade their rookie picks – we have one who has never made a round one selection.

On the other hand, we have owners who have more of a dynasty orientation and therefore are looking for diamonds in the rough either on the WW or via the rookie draft.  We had an owner make six of the twelve first round picks one year.

What I’ve seen is that the most effective approach is to somewhere in the middle (but probably closer to approach two).  In the last two years we have had three rookies in Julio, AJG and T-Rich who we were reasonably confident would be fantasy difference makers.  What I like to do is overpay to get up to the 1.01 when I see a player like that and then use the excess cash I have to buy a stud or two in FA.  (Note: For those who are screaming “what about Luck and RG3”, SC leagues tend to devalue the QBs.  Because the contracts are short, you often don’t get as much benefit from a QB.  Although RG3 and Cam have bucked that trend.)

To answer your question Kyle, I’d toss out Ridley immediately in the auction if I had one of the very first nominations.  People tend to be skittish on the first couple of FA auctions and you might get a steal.  If that failed, I’d revert to Choice Two.  I don’t particularly like any of the other names you list given your roster, so I’d use my cash and roster slots for upside players on cheap/long contracts.

2: I can keep up to five players (and must keep three).  I’m for sure keeping RG3 and AJ Green.  If I keep the fourth I lose the 1.04 pick and for the fifth I lose the 2.04.  Who should my third keep be?  Are any of J.Stew, D.Murray, Nicks or Hernandez worth losing the picks?  – Scott in Minnesota

In your situation, I’d likely be using all five keeper slots.

The first guy I’d keep is Murray.  I’m having trouble imagining how in a 12-team league the 1.04 pick would ever yield a demonstrably better RB than Murray.  So why risk it?  He’s a low end RB1 – certainly better than nothing.

I’d then keep Nicks.  One way to think about this is if every team were to keep the league minimum (three players); the 1.04 is the 40th overall selection.  I think when we see some 2013 redraft mocks; we’ll find that’s more or less reasonable for Nicks.  Plus many teams will be more than three players, of course.

On the fifth slot, it depends on league rules.  If you have to make this choice now I’d keep Hernandez.  My hope is that isn’t the case.  Ideally you wait and see what happens with J.Stew.  Ultimately you’ll use this slot, but on who is still in flux.

3: Assuming that the Falcons win the big one and Gonzo retires, who do the Falcons go with and are they worth a first round pick?  – Chris in Indiana

I’m honestly not sure I totally understand your question.  There are several ways to interpret it.  So I’ll answer each!

If the Falcons have a very late (maybe 1.32) selection in the NFL draft, are there any players worth that selection?  I believe so, yes.  Assuming he declares, Tyler Eifert would be a nice late first round selection in the NFL.  Also, he’s quite a nice fit in Atlanta.  He’s not much when it comes to blocking but he’s an excellent down the seam pass receiver.  The thing is I wonder if he’d really make it to the Superbowl winner.  My bet is he goes off a few picks earlier.  But the draft is hard to predict.  And Atlanta isn’t averse to trading up as we well know.

Another way to read your question:  The Falcons will add someone at TE in the draft; will they be worth a first round rookie pick in dynasty?  First off, if the Falcons draft Eifert he is easily worth a first round pick in dynasty.  After Eifert there aren’t any NCAA TEs who would merit first round NFL selection so now you’re looking deeper in the draft.  I can’t foresee a TE going to Atlanta in the later rounds but still be worth a first round dynasty selection. But the draft process is a long one and another TE may emerge. It is rare for there to be multiple first round dynasty TE selections.

4: What is going to happen to McCoy now that Brown is busting out? Will it become a situation like in Buffalo and will McCoy lose his RB1 status?  Alex in Canada

I’ve seen this comparison on Twitter as well and I can’t disagree more.  The only similarity between the situations in Philly and Buffalo is that both have multiple NFL capable running backs.  But the similarities end there.  Fred Jackson is nothing like either Bryce Brown or LeSean McCoy.  He’s an aging player, gets his yards the hard way and isn’t especially elusive.  F.Jax is averaging 4.0 YPC behind the same line that Spiller averages 6.6.

I think the more apt comparison for Brown/McCoy is Foster/Tate (when Tate is healthy).  I say this because here both RB sets they are more similar to one another than different (in contrast to F.Jax/Spiller).  It’s going to be impossible for Philly to put the genie back in the bottle at this point so McCoy is likely to lose touches.  The question is how many.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say I wouldn’t make any effort to trade for Bryce Brown right now.  When McCoy is healthy, Brown will become a bye week/injury guy – just like Tate.  Everyone says Tate has special value to the Foster owner, so the same will be true with Brown for McCoy owners.  If I owned McCoy I’d want him, but now is absolutely the worst time to make that deal.  Wait until week three of 2013 after Brown has gotten ten touches or less in all three games.

5: Currently in a wimpy 8-team league.  Several of us want to expand to 10 teams if we found the right people.  As commish, I am curious on what some basic practices are for expanding a league? Krcil in South Dakota

Age old dynasty question.  Same age old answer:  only really good way is to can the league and start again.  Of course, your owners likely don’t want to do that.

If you’re going to try to add the two teams to the existing league, then the decision becomes how much you want to disadvantage them vs. the rest of the league.  You’ll need to come up with some sort of dispersal draft methodology.  My advice would to make it less complicated than not.

Here’s an example.

Let’s assume rosters are 20 players.  So the dispersal draft will end up moving forty players and picks on to the new teams.  Allow each existing owner to protect say six players (and rookie selections) and then just let the new owners do a snake draft that includes all the unprotected players, unprotected rookie selections and WW players.  This ensures that the existing teams will keep the players they really, really like but also allow the new teams to be competitive pretty quickly.

Some existing owners will get pilfered more than others and that stinks.  If you want to make it a harder process for the new teams just increase the number of protected players.  The good news is you are in a shallow league so the WW will be robust with players to help everything return to equilibrium in a year or two.

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

This is more of a dynasty question, but I am intrigued by Lattimore in rookie drafts.

http://nfl.si.com/2012/12/12/marcus-lattimore-enters-2013-nfl-draft-hoping-some-team-will-roll-the-dice/?sct=hp_wr_a1&eref=sihp

He is planning on taking 12-15 months to recover– so while Peterson was able to recover in time for the season, I expect Lattimore to be on IR his rookie year.

Where do you see him falling in drafts? I think he would have been the 1.01/1.02 with Allen prior to the injury. Do you think he will fall to late first? What about early second?

I am in several dynasty leagues with different picks in each, but one of my favorite leagues has a RB roster limit of 5 with a taxi squad for 2 years. In that league, I would be happy to let Lattimore sit on IR or taxi for the first year or two to recover. How high a pick do I need to use on him?

Fife
Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

I am a rebuilding team, with 4 1sts in 2013….we have the 5,9,15,16. My plan is to take him with 15 if he’s there since we aren’t ready to compete next year anyways. Someone like us or a championship caliber team without a lot of holes will take a chance on him with a late first in my opinion……

Ray White
Reply to  Cyrus Miller
9 years ago

imo there will be no player in this draft with a wider range of value. He is the ultimate high risk/high reward prospect and will be picked up by the gambling type owner much earlier than other owners are willing to bite

ManuManu
Reply to  Ray White
9 years ago

Honestly, I thought Lattimore was pretty overrated even before this latest injury. I doubt I would take him in any draft before round pick 20 or so.

Admin
Reply to  ManuManu
9 years ago

…and I’ll be surprised if he makes it out of the first round in most drafts – there’s a gambler in every league. It’s hard to say where a “good” range will be until we see where he goes.

Fife
9 years ago

I am a rebuilding team, with 4 1sts in 2013….we have the 5,9,15,16. My plan is to take him with 15 if he’s there since we aren’t ready to compete next year anyways. Someone like us or a championship caliber team without a lot of holes will take a chance on him with a late first in my opinion……

tidecats
9 years ago

Ive been in a Dynasty league for 10 years. Built what I feel is a solid team.. QBs Big Ben/Jake Locker RBs Trent Richardson/Matt Forte/Hillman/Bryce Brown WRs Megatron/Julio/R Cobb/Mike Wallace/Fitz TE Jimmy Graham

Ive been thinking about trying to aquire Cam.. Trying not to get to excited over the past few weeks. His matchups have been great.

The Cam owner is insistant on Jimmy Graham. Ive been inlinced to say No.. Position just to hard to fill… Thoughts?

Reply to  tidecats
9 years ago

I’d say that Big Ben, Fitz and Bryce Brown should get it done for Cam. Brown has a lot of value now that he’s not going to have next year IMO. It’s at least worth a shot. You could substitute Wallace for Fitz if your trade partner is hesitant about Fitz’s awful season. Graham straight up for Cam is a win for you though. You have enough ammo to trade for another high end TE if need be. Who is your backup TE?

Cyrus Miller
Reply to  tidecats
9 years ago

I personally wouldn’t trade Graham in the only dynasty I have him in, but I am lucky enough to have Brady as a QB. With Locker and Big Ben, an upgrade at QB could be helpful.

I would look at what the difference in average points between Big Ben to Cam is and compare it to the difference between Graham and your backup TE.

Example– in my league, the difference between Cam and Big Ben is 26 points to 24.5 points (and some missed games). Last year it was from 28.4 to 20.2.

Difference between Graham and a WW type player (or a player who can be traded for cheaply, we’ll put this value as the #15 TE) is 15.2 to 9.8. Last year it was 18.4 to 9.4

So… 1.5 points (8 last year) to 5.4 points (9 last year). I’d say you should keep Graham and hope that Big Ben continues to produce.

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