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 own both Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick. Should I trade one? My only top 25 WR is Eric Decker. What would be fair value for one of the QBs? – Scott in Wareham, MA
I would. I’m of the opinion that in a 12-team, 1 QB league having two solid starters at QB is a waste of value. Every week you have points sitting on your bench that could be converted in to a weekly starter via trade.
My recommendation would be to trade Colin Kaepernick not Cam Newton. Kaep is at a very high value right now with a relatively small sample size of games. I like him, but he carries some risk. Even Cam’s value has taken a significant hit since this time last year. He was typically a first round start-up pick then and now he’s a late second.
As I often say, what you will get in your league for a QB is a function of the other rosters. Unless several teams are hoarding good QBs, there should be six or seven teams besides yourself that have no interest in Kaep. Although maybe the Tom Brady or Peyton Manning owner is getting nervous about age and might want to buy their next QB.
On value, I think the range of WR that I’d want for Kaep would be guys like Kenny Britt, Jeremy Maclin, Marques Colston or Justin Blackmon. Just depends on your taste. Each has pluses and minuses in this range.
2.) I’m up against the cap in the second year of our league. I have the 1.03 which costs $12 of $200. Am I selling low to give the 1.03, 2014 2nd for Lamar Miller ($4, 3), 2014 1st? – Jeff in Jersey
It would be nice to get this deal done without having to include your second, but I’m sure you tried that already. Getting a 2014 first coming back is very nice.
If you are going to have to cut players you like in order to roster the 1.03, but not to roster Miller, this is an easy decision. Just go for it. Sometimes you have to make moves in SC leagues that look strange to people who play normal dynasty. But the cap is the cap.
If you don’t have to do that, this comes down to how strongly you feel about Lamar Miller. The buzz around him is good and he’s moving up draft boards rapidly. Still, he isn’t a player I’m targeting. As is evidenced by this trade offer, his price tag has climbed to a point where I don’t think he’s a buy. Others in the fantasy community strongly disagree with me on this topic.
Net/net: If you can’t afford the 1.03, chances are this is the best deal you’re going to get as other owners will prey on you too. If you can, then you need to make an honest assessment of how much you like Miller. Remember you can’t get totally killed in this deal because you have the 2014 first that will always have good value.
3.) We have a three spot practice squad. I’m drafting 13th. Do you feel Marcus Lattimore is worth the risk at that point? – David in Indiana
Marcus Lattimore would need to nearly go undrafted in the NFL Draft to fall to the #13 pick in leagues without practice squads. There’s no way he’ll be there for you at that point in your format. Remember, Lattimore was projected by most to be the 1.01 rookie pick. While his injuries were severe, others have come back to successful careers from similar ones. I’d take Lattimore any time after about the 1.06 based on what we know today.
4.) Should I give the rookie picks 1.08 and 2.01 for Kaepernick? My QB’s are Cutler, Flacco, and Alex Smith. – Chris in Vancouver, BC
That’s worth it to me.
Kaep has a good shot at being an every week starter in fantasy and almost surely is one for you. That’s good use of decent, but not great rookie picks.
The other thing I like about this deal is you free up two (if not three) roster spots. One from trading two for one, and at least one from cutting Alex Smith and maybe Joe Flacco as well. You then have the ability to scour the waiver wire and add prospects at other positions. And depending on how deep your rookie draft goes, maybe you can pick up some undrafted guys. Never forget that in a two for one deal you are getting the player, plus the ability to add your favorite free agent to your team.
5.) Is a combo of RG3 or Russell Wilson with 1.02 (would still have Flacco as my backup) enough to get a top tier TE or low RB1/high RB2? – Tony in Denver
Absolutely. You are offering up some high caliber dynasty assets in this deal.
If you offer RG3/1.02:
- At TE: I’d want Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski, plus a lesser first round pick. RG3 alone is arguably worth about the same as these guys, but positional scarcity will cause you to have to take a hit in the draft.
- At WR: I’d want Dez Bryant or Demaryius Thomas for the package. I don’t see getting AJ Green or Julio Jones, but you might.
If you offer R. Wilson/1.02:
- At TE: The only guy that would fit the bill is Aaron Hernandez. The top two are out of reach and all the rest aren’t worth your package.
- At WR: I’d be looking for guys like Mike Wallace, Vincent Jackson or Michael Crabtree.
If you are up for dealing RG3, I’d recommend seeing what I could get for him without the 1.02. You may be pleasantly surprised and then you have a nice trade asset for closer to draft time.
6.) How do I plan for a 12-team PPR startup that includes a QB flex position? – Jason in Louisville
Plan for a ton of QBs to be off the board early.
Here are some high level recommendations:
A.) Set Your Normal QB Expectations and Biases Aside
QB values in this format skyrocket. Generally QB is devalued in fantasy because there are plenty of starters to go around. Not the case in this format. Remember that on a bye week you could have only 26 starting QBs in the NFL but up to 24 starters in your league!
B.) Study the Math
The amazing thing about this format is that QBs who are considered fantasy garbage are every week starters. In non-PPR in 2012:
- Joe Flacco outscored every non-QB except ADP
- Christian Ponder was the 29th best scoring player
- Brandon Weeden only scored 15 fewer points than CJ Spiller
The point here is that you absolutely always want to be starting 2QBs in these formats, which means you need to roster three because of bye weeks. And remember – with 12 teams not everyone can have three starters.
C.) Draft QBs Early and Often
I’d want to come out of the first four rounds (maybe three depending on the flow of the draft) with two QBs. Even if I ended up overloaded, they are trade gold.
D.) Rookie QBs are Elevated Too
All the first round rookie picks are worth more in this format because extra QBs will be taken every year. Blaine Gabbert was a surefire first round rookie in all 2QB leagues, thus making the picks after him more valuable.
E.) Roster Some Backups
At the end of the start-up draft, grab a couple of backup QBs who might end up in starting jobs. Aside from the obvious ones (e.g. Matt Flynn, Michael Vick, Alex Smith), go after the likes of Ryan Mallett (FA ’15) and Kirk Cousins (injury risk to RG3).
Editor’s Note: Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.