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 have a contract league question.  Here’s the deal:  I have sufficient contract years to re-sign either TY Hilton or Colin Kaepernick to a one year deal only.  I’ve been offered nine contract years and Harvin for the 1.08, 1.10, 1.12 and the 2.10.  If I do this deal I can extend Harvin, Randall Cobb and then resign both Hilton and Kaepernick.  Should I do it or just make the picks? Jason in Indy

This type of dilemma is what makes SC and contract leagues so much fun.

It would help to know what benefits come along with taking the rookies – how long are the contracts, can they be placed on a taxi squad, etc.  But this deal is so compelling; that I think you’d end up making it anyway.

If I’m reading this right, you will be able to sign Harvin/Cobb and then have a few years to put on Hilton and Kaepernick.  If that’s right, I’d take that all day over the rookie picks.  More on Harvin in a bit, but starting off with Harvin/Cobb is a great WR situation in any format.  The ability to sign Hilton and Kaep is icing on the cake.

I’m not sure of all your rules nor how many contact years you’ll have to allocate; but my recommendation is to max out on both Cobb and Harvin and then deal with Kaep/Hilton.  Even if that means cutting or trading one.  Dynasty owners would die to have both of those guys anchoring their teams at this point.  You have two top-12 receivers.

2.) Would you trade Charles/Harvin for Megatron?  My other RBs are Rice, MJD and Lamar Miller.  – Willy in Chicago

I wouldn’t, but I think a lot of people would.  It’s certainly a balanced offer for both sides.

I don’t think you have sufficient running back depth to be dealing Charles.  Obviously Rice is a stud and MJD could bounce back to stud status.  But he might not.  If MJD comes back and is clearly in decline, you are in trouble.  Either way, you leave yourself without any meaningful injury depth.  You’re one play away from having to start Lamar Miller every week.

Separately, I’m of the opinion that Harvin is probably a buy right now not a sell.  Seems there are dynasty owners who are skeptical of him – they simply don’t have full faith.  Let’s remember that through week eight, Harvin was averaging over 80 yards a game (a 1,300 yard pace) and was right up there with AJ Green as the top WR in PPR.  I don’t see any reason he won’t return to form in 2013.  He’s a guy I’m holding or acquiring if I can.

I’d rather take the hit between Megatron and Harvin’s production but retain my depth and flexibility with Charles and MJD.  I think at the end of the year you’ll score more by keeping both backs.

3.) Pick two to keep: Ray Rice, CJ Spiller, AJ Green. – Jason in Cedar Falls, IA

Yikes!  That’s a tough one.

So first, the obligatory – “can you trade one of them for something?”  For instance, can you deal a player for a better pick in the draft?  Something such as AJ Green/10th rounder for a 2nd rounder?  If not, can you do a two for one?  Say AJ Green/Spiller for Megatron?  Of course that’s “overpaying,” but if you have to cut one of them who cares about overpaying.  You’re going to lose the player anyway so you may well get even a minor upgrade if you can.  I play in a similar format and dealt Stafford for a third rounder because I’m keeping both Spiller/AJ Green.

Let’s assume no one will deal with you or that you aren’t allowed to do these types of deals.  At that point you really can’t go wrong.  I suppose I would use my knowledge of the league to make the decision.  If you’re in a league where people hoard running backs, I’d probably keep both of them.  If not, I think I’d let Spiller go.  My guess is that all three of these guys are first round redraft selections in all formats.  And a keep-2 league with no penalties for keepers is close to a redraft.

4.) DuJuan Harris.  Do you see him as being GB starter next year?  What trade value does he have at this point?  Ryan in Minnesota

I’m not sure and I don’t think it matters.

My issue is less with Harris and more with Green Bay.  There are two tendencies that will always keep the RBs down from a fantasy perspective:  1) they like to go full on RBBC and 2) they think pass first in the red zone.  So you can’t count on volume nor can you project good TD production.

It’s been since Ryan Grant in 2009 that the Packers produced a 1,000 yard rusher.  And since then it’s been a carousel of mediocre players getting just enough touches to pique the interest of fantasy owners.

If you own him and can get a late first or early second for him, I’d take that with ease.  Remember that’s what people were paying for James Starks in the off-season after his late surge and playoff run.  Another player I had as a sell at nearly any price.

5.) Finished first in my league with Romo/Freeman QBBC.  Got bounced in week 15.  An owner has Brees/Luck and I think I can shake one loose.  Which should I target?  I’m asking because Luck went in the first round of the mock you did on a recent podcast. Charles in Toronto

My spidey-sense is tingling that maybe you started Josh Freeman vs. the Saints over Tony Romo vs. the Steelers!  If so, you’re probably quite down on this whole QBBC thing.  In fairness, Freeman was the sneaky start that week; hyped by a lot of analysts.  That didn’t work out too well at all.

I’m always a proponent of a quarterback upgrade.  Drew Brees is an immediate upgrade on Romo and Andrew Luck is a long term upgrade who probably projects to score similarly to Romo in 2013.  As to which to target, I’d rather have Brees on a team that is a contender.  You finished first in the league so my guess is you are in a championship window.  If that’s right, Brees would be my guy.

If the other team is also a contender it may be hard to get a deal done.  I wouldn’t trust a championship caliber team to Luck right now.  (No pun intended).  Brees should be the second or third QB off the board in redraft and rightfully so.

Bonus IDP Question: I think DLs are the key to winning, more than TE, K, S or CB.  With so few, they are more valuable than even LBs.  What do you think about this?  Also which DEs are about to break out?  Finally, will Desmond Bishop be of value next year? – Phil from Roseburg, OR

Steve Wyremski of DLF says:

DEs are the TEs of the defense. There are a handful of top performers followed by a significant drop-off. Granted, DEs collectively play more snaps than TEs each week and are more active in fantasy scoring, but the general premise holds. Because of that, there’s no question that DE’s can be a lineup differentiator. Lineup requirements are a huge determinant of these comparable values, but a stud DE (or two) can put your team over the top. However, I still believe that a guy like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, or Aaron Hernandez are more important than DE given the drop-off in talent and production after those three (assuming “average” IDP scoring), as well as the consistent top tier scoring they produce.

As far as the comparisons to K, S, or CB, there’s no question given the population of safeties and corners on the field on average and the inconsistent scoring at K.  Similar to CB and S, the large population of viable LB options which leaves little differentiation among the position. In many leagues, you can find a plug-and-play LB on the wire for a favorable match-up, while that’s not as frequent for DEs. So, in summary and in general, I agree DE is a differentiator and a key to a championship team, but would caution stating that it’s more important than TE.

As far as Bishop goes, I agree he’ll be of value in ’13. He was injured back in August and immediately had surgery. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be back for the start of the ’13 season. Of course, many people will continue to devalue him because of the injury. It’s a natural inclination, which makes for an appealing buy low situation.

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



  1. Ryan

    January 14, 2013 at 5:46 am

    I feel good about the value I got for Dujuan then. Last night a guy offered me a 2014 1st for him. The team is terrible so it will be pick 1.01-1.04.

    • Krcil

      January 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Wow that is a steal.

  2. Tim Stafford

    January 14, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Note: To all who read (and submit questions) to the mailbag. If your question isn’t answered here, there’s a decent chance @eyeofthegator and I will handle it during the podcast. So if you don’t see it here, listen in and see if we cover it on the air.


  3. Cyrus

    January 14, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I think that I would rank the positions as:

    Top TE
    Top DE
    Good TE
    Top S
    Normal TE
    Normal DE
    Normal S

    As in, Graham/Gronk are much more valuable than any DE except Watt. But then I would rather have someone like Calais Campbell than Vernon Davis or Finley. But I would rather have those guys than the best Safety. And on down.

    That is how I value positions… and it is tough, a normal S or DE can become elite so quickly, depth is crucial.

    • Steve Wyremski

      January 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      It’s heavily dependent on scoring, certainly, given the ease (like you said) that you can find S and place matchups, I’d still rather a “good” TE.

      The thing that is important to consider is that similar to Watt, people last year also said that Graham/Gronk were much more valuable than any DE except JPP. Now where is he?

      Watt leveled off quite a bit at the end of ’12. My view is that it’d be a mistake to take Watt an an exteremly high pick.

      • Cyrus

        January 15, 2013 at 7:33 am

        For the year, you are right– JPP “only” ended up #5.

        But I still value that consistency. If my DE is top 6 every year, that is worth a premium. Otherwise you are fumbling about at the position.

        (Agreed that Watt is unlikely to dominate the same way, and so you can’t predict who the #1 overall DE is each year. But Watt is worth a premium)

        • Steve Wyremski

          January 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm

          I’m not arguing that JPP wasn’t solid from a DE perspective, but comparatively to TEs. Watt and others are worth a premium for sure, there’s no question.

          Last year in many leagues several considered him above TEs. I have difficulty getting on board with that regardless of the DE. There’s much more consistent dominance from the TEs compared to DEs when we’re talking about guys like Gronkowski, Graham, etc.

    • Boomer

      January 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      I agree with this assessment mostly. Would just move normal TE above top DB though. To extrapolate I’d go….

      Top TE
      Good TE
      Normal TE
      Top DL
      Top S
      Good-Normal DL
      Good-Normal S
      Top LB
      Good-Normal LB

      I realize this is highly generic but still a starting point.

  4. Duck

    January 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I have J.Allen, E.Dumervil, C.Jones, B.Irvin in a 16 team dynasty, probably only going to keep 3 DL. Chandler Jones was looking like a future top 5 DE earlier this year, but what happened? Noticed he hasn’t been on the field as much. Still think he’s a keeper? I traded D.Murray, and now have the 4th overall pick next year. I could easily offer that to the owner of Campbell and get him? Or do you like either of my you DL?

    • voiceofunreason

      January 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      So you’re asking if you should trade the fourth overall pick for depth at DL? I can’t imagine that’s a good idea.

      • Steve Wyremski

        January 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

        I’d agree. No way I’d deal the #4 for a guy like Campbell. You have a nice crew with potential and some aging producers. That’s a solid DE crew for a 16-team league.

        If anything, I’d target another young DE like B.Graham or R.Quinn with other picks/depth you have to see if you can continue to add to the potential you have behind Allen/Dumervil.

  5. Duck

    January 15, 2013 at 5:22 am

    I’m loaded everywhere! Won the championship 3 of last 4 years. Guess I’ll wait til after the NFL draft and see if there’s anything good, but I too think DL is key, and I’m getting old there. With Brady, Bradford, Spiller, J.Rodgers, L.Miller, D.Thomas, R.Cobb, A.Brown, D.Alexander, J.Graham, you can see there’s probably not going to be anything that helps my team at #4. but adding a Calais Campbell would be an upgrade over Dumervil or Chandler Jones! I’ll just be patient and wait before I make a move!

    • Cyrus

      January 15, 2013 at 7:31 am

      I honestly think you could upgrade at RB, even in this weak draft class.

      Either Bernard or Lacy would be better than all of your RB’s other than Spiller IMO, unless Rodgers really comes on and becomes the starter. My expectation is ATL drafts a RB.

      • Duck

        January 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm

        Yea, the reason I even traded Murray for the 4th pick was because I felt like Rodgers or Miller one would become a starter, kinda depends on whether R.Bush and M.Turner stay. But we just start 1 RB per week in this league, and I think Spiller has a chance to possibly be the best fantasy RB in the league if giving the carries. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to keep Rodgers if I kept Murray. L.Miller is on my taxi squad, so he doesn’t count as one of my 17 keepers. We start 3- DL,LB,DB each, so IDP players are important and in a 16 team league scarce. Like I said, the smart thing for me is probably to wait and see if some like Benard or Lacy fall in a good situation, and also see what Miami and Atlanta do. Thanks for all the feed back, always helps just hearing from others!

        • Cyrus

          January 16, 2013 at 7:33 am

          Unusual starting requirements. With 1 RB, I agree that you don’t need much beyond Spiller, but I still think RB should carry a premium, especially in a 16 team league. Having a solid backup in case of injury is what keeps a Championship team going.

          If you could trade the #4 for several IDP, I would do it. Starting 3 DB shouldn’t be a problem, as there are always random DB who score a lot each year that are on the WW at the start of the season.

          Starting 3 LB is a little tougher, but all of my 12 team leagues start 3 LB and I use it as a position of strength, acquiring several top LB. Not worth the #4 pick, even in a 16 team league.

          Starting 3 DL can be difficult, but at the same time, it depends on the scoring in your league. In mine, after you remove the top 16 DL, the scores range from about 6.8-9.4 for the next 32 DL. Unless you can be guaranteed a top 6 DL with the #4 pick, I don’t think it is a comparative advantage over having a solid RB or WR.

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