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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’d like your take on Brandon Myers.  I have Jason Witten, Jordan Cameron, and Brandon Myers. Brent Celek is on waivers right now and was wondering if you would cut Myers to pick up Celek? Eric in the Commonwealth of PA

I’m not all that high on Brandon Myers.  I think a lot of his strong season was situational more than talent driven.  Carson Palmer was the king of garbage time and Myers was often the beneficiary.  Could continue, but that’s a gamble.  If you look at his total production, Myers looks great, but his individual game numbers were rather hit or miss.  To sum it up, I think he’s “just a guy”.

I don’t think this matters for your team anyway.  Judging from the fact that Brent Celek is on the waiver wire, I’m guessing there are other TE prospects and also valuable players at other positions sitting out there.  While Witten is aging, he’s still got some gas in the tank.  Rather than burn a roster spot on either Celek or Myers, I’d swing for the fences and add another prospect TE or WR.  If Rob Housler, Lance Kendricks or even DJ Williams is out there that would be more attractive to me.  I’d want to hold any of those guys to see what happens this off-season and then through camp.  Much more upside.

2: I am commish of a salary cap league that allows multiple year contracts.  How do you recommend we handle a player who has been awarded a multiple year contract in our league who decides to retire?  Recent news of S Jackson possibly retiring after this season has made this a possible issue.  Should the owner of the player have to honor the contract or should the contract be voided?  – Rob in Minneapolis

Good question.  As you know, I love the salary cap questions.

It’s a fairly unusual occurrence that a solid dynasty player retires.  Most recently it happened with Randy Moss after the year he bounced around the league and produced zero fantasy results.  It sounds like Steven Jackson is considering it, although I have my doubts that he actually hangs it up.

Any time you find yourself as commish in a situation that isn’t covered by the rules, it’s difficult.  My advice would be to do the following:

First, I’d use my commish authority to set a rule that allows for any currently rostered player who remains under contract continuously to be cut for free in the event they retire.  Basically a “grandfather clause”.  If a player is cut and re-signed after you impose this rule, he’s no longer protected.  If he’s traded while under contract he remains protected.

Second, I’d conduct a league vote and establish a rule that the majority of owners support.  This would be the rule going forward.  There’s a decent chance the vote just institutes the “free cut” anyway and then this whole thing goes away.

I’d take this approach for several reasons.  One, I wouldn’t want to penalize teams who rostered and signed players without there being clarity in the rules.  That’s the reason for the grandfather clause.  And two, the best way to establish the rules is league vote.  My opinion is that commish’s are responsible for ensuring fair treatment not setting the rules for the league.

3: My RBs killed me in 2012 (MJD, Mathews, Wells/Williams).  I salvaged what I could be grabbing Moreno off the wire.  I am deep at WR.  Do you think it’s wise to try to package MJD/Nicks for Rice? – Eric in Minnesota

Sure.  Any time you think you have a shot at getting a top-5 dynasty asset it’s wise to take a swing.

Remember that you are putting an offer out there with two players at their position (MJD/Nicks) that have very depressed values right now.  Arguably they are at their all-time career low points in perceived dynasty value.  My point is don’t expect the Ray Rice owner to jump on this offer – which he might have done before the start of 2012.   I certainly don’t think it’s an insulting offer; it’s just not as compelling as it once was.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think your RB situation is completely dire even if you can’t get this deal done.  I’m optimistic that MJD can recover and become a solid RB2 for fantasy and I’m also hopeful that Ryan Williams will finally begin to produce with Beanie Wells likely gone and a new coaching regime.  That’s one to watch carefully in the pre-season.  Of course the problem you face is that you have the “All Risk” team at RB.  You don’t have a single go to guy and the whole thing could turn messy at the drop of a hat.  Probably a good time to stock up on Alka-Seltzer.

4: I have Alf, Turbin, Bryce Brown and Hillman.  I can afford to move Andre Johnson.  Would you stick with the rookie RBs or look for a trade?  I missed the playoffs by one game this year.  Dave in Indiana

I’d look to make a trade for sure.  You got the most production imaginable out of this bunch in 2012.  Alfred Morris had a tremendous year and you were able to start Bryce Brown in a couple of games.  That is the absolute best you could have hoped for – and you still missed the playoffs.  Barring a wave of injuries, the odds are strongly against you winning a league with these RBs.  I’d argue that 2012 was a false positive for this group of RBs with respect to near-term production.

That said, I’m not sure now is the best time to make a deal.  Why not wait until the pre-season?  By then you will have added your rookies, NFL free agency will have occurred and owners will begin to get fired up about their teams.  If you want to get a decent RB2 for Andre Johnson, you’ll need an owner who truly believes he is a championship contender.  Seems to me that mid to late August is the time to put him on the block.

5: I made it to the championship even though my QBs are Schaub/Dalton in the first year of our 12-team league.  I’d really like to make an offer on either Brady or Romo.  My key RBs and WRs are Foster/T.Rich/Spiller/Moreno and Bryant/Nelson/D.Jax/both Floyds/Jeffery.  What would I need to give up to get the QB upgrade? Steve in Maui

This is what happens in start-up dynasty leagues.  Teams are very balanced, they all have holes and no one has a ton of depth to trade from.  Teams like yours are able to make strong playoff runs on the back of better than expected seasons from one or two guys – in your case CJ Spiller and Dez Bryant.

It’s always difficult for me to suggest what it’s going to take to get specific players in a league because I don’t know what other QBs either the Tony Romo or Tom Brady owner has.  Obviously if one of them is sitting on RG3, they’re going to be more likely to do a deal!

Speaking in general in terms of their value, Brady should cost substantially more than Romo.  The Brady owner took him in the start-up draft or traded for him this year so that means he’s okay with Brady’s age.  For owners who aren’t bothered by that, Brady is viewed as a set-it-and-forget-it cornerstone of a serious contender.  Again just a guess, by my bet is Brady will be prohibitively expensive given your lack of depth.

Romo on the other hand should come at a more reasonable price.  He had a strong season but still came up in the middle of the pack of QB1s.  He’s not a stud fantasy QB.  Depending on your scoring system, he only outscored Dalton (who you have) by a few points.  I suppose you could offer Nelson and a choice of either of your QBs.  That seems like a reasonable offer and if the Romo owner has another viable QB and is okay with QBBC, you’ve got a shot.

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

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