The DLF Mailbag

Eric Hardter


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. In a half-PPR league is David Wilson worth keeping?  The latest I have heard is that he is 50/50 to be able to play next year.  I believe in his talent but I am just not sure if he will play or be the same player. Players I could pick up if I drop Wilson are Jarrett Boykin, Kendall Wright or Dwayne Bowe.Kevin in MN

Giants’ running back David Wilson will likely go down as a cautionary tale as to why you shouldn’t place an enormous value on a largely unproven player.  Sure, by virtue of not getting in on the ground floor of a theoretically talented young player you’re eliminating yourself from reaping the rewards if that upside manifests itself into fantasy greatness.  However, should that not materialize you could be left holding the bag on a guy like Wilson (or Miami’s Lamar Miller) whose second-round ADP undoubtedly tanked many an owner’s quest to thrive in the first year of his or her startup.

Now let me be clear – in most all cases you’re not going to be able to predict an injury like Wilson’s.  But what many people forget is that he wasn’t playing all that well before he got hurt.  Through five games he was averaging a miniscule 3.3 yards-per-carry, a number which would rank behind the output of teammates Andre Brown, Brandon Jacobs, Peyton Hillis and Da’Rel Scott.  His pass blocking was subpar, he didn’t function as a receiver and perhaps most importantly he couldn’t hang onto the ball (two fumbles lost through 46 touches).  His neck injury was merely the rancid cherry on top of an already melting statistical sundae.

So given that I wouldn’t hesitate to look for an upgrade.  Situations are fluid and always subject to change, but it’s looking likely that the dynasty masses were wrong about Wilson’s talent and the injury added to that insult is yet another red flag.  Ultimately, you’re not going to want to double down on your mistake by leaving better talent on the waiver wire.

As such I’d dump Wilson and snag Titans’ receiver Kendall Wright.  Just a second-year player, he’s already established himself as the best receiving threat on the Tennessee roster, and currently ranks as a solid WR2.  He’s a player I’m surprised is available at all, and someone who will be much more useful than the disappointing Wilson.

2. What are the dynasty prospects of tight end Brandon Bostick in Green Bay with Jermichael Finley’s career in doubt?Luke in MA

A few weeks ago I touched on Jermichael Finley’s career outlook, and since then it has been revealed that the once-promising tight end would indeed require spinal fusion surgery.  As Luke mentioned, his career likely hangs in the balance, and Green Bay lost one of their best receiving threats.  They’ve since attempted to counterbalance the loss of Finley with more targets to their receivers and a greater focus on the run game, but thus far the returns from the backup tight ends have been minimal at best.

That’s where Brandon Bostick comes in.  The second year pro (he didn’t see game action in 2012) wasn’t well known before Finley’s injury, but possesses the physical traits (6’3”, 250 pounds and runs a 4.60-second 40-yard dash) teams seem to covet at the “move” tight end position.  Perhaps more important is his current opportunity, as the only option in front of him is Andrew Quarless, who excels more as a blocker than a pass catcher.

That last point is key, as it seems like many of Green Bay’s receivers over the years have needed only a chance in order to eventually thrive.  Players like Finley (third round), James Jones (third round) and Jarrett Boykin (undrafted) weren’t as highly touted in the draft community as several of their compatriots, but have nevertheless produced in the Packers’ well-oiled machine of an offense.  Given a similar chance, could Bostick be the next man to succeed?

The early returns (five catches for 92 yards and a touchdown) haven’t been great, but Green Bay has employed three different signal callers (Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn) since starter Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.  The bottom line is continuity has been hard to come by for the whole of the Packers’ pass catching corps.  Simply put, if Rodgers remains sidelined it’s hard to expect much, if anything, from the entire Green Bay offense.

Regardless, Bostick is a player I’m stashing if I have the room.  Rodgers will be back next season and if the Packers don’t address the tight end position via the draft or free agency (Fred Davis anyone?) he’s the one who stands to benefit most.  Given the high rate of turnover immediately following the top tier of tight ends, as well as his situation, Bostick could very well be the next Green Bay success story.

3. Can we talk about Hakeem Nicks? We have a 16-round draft and he will be a seventh round keeper next year. I am considering dropping him and picking up a tenth round free agent quarterback. I have other good keepers (Victor Cruz in the eighth and Rueben Randle in the 11th) but if he goes and becomes WR1 on a new team he will have good trade value. Is he worth keeping?Greg in Canada

I’ve spoken about the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks on a couple of occasions before, and truthfully not much has changed in the past few months.  Put bluntly, if Nicks was an author his bestseller would undoubtedly be titled “How Not to Play in a Contract Year.”  Indeed, with a second straight poor season, Nicks’ value is arguably the lowest it’s been since he was a rookie.

Because of this the most likely consequence seems to be that he won’t be re-signed by New York in the off-season.  With both Victor Cruz and an improving Rueben Randle already in the fold, as well as glaring issues elsewhere, it wouldn’t seem prudent for the G-Men to spend excessively on the declining receiver.  Sure, he could very well recoup value, but if not a seventh rounder is a fairly steep price to pay, especially considering you’re already keeping two other receivers.

Therefore I’d advocate for you to cut the struggling pass catcher.  In a 16-team league you can’t afford to miss on your relatively high picks, and if you can find a signal caller for the cost of a tenth rounder I’d much rather do that – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, quarterbacks are king in large league settings.  Much like with David Wilson above, it doesn’t make any sense to disregard available, proven talent just for the chance to win the “what if?” game.

4. In my 10-team, non-PPR league I just completed a trade that I am excited about. I sent a 2014 second round pick, Michael Floyd and Andre Brown in exchange for Josh Gordon and Riley Cooper. I like the deal, what are your thoughts? – Keith in TN

To the best of my knowledge there’s no such thing as Dynasty Jail, and that’s a good thing for you my friend.  Because if there was, I have no doubt in my mind you’d be doing a long stint in the joint for what can only be described as some epic fantasy larceny.  Let’s take a look at what you made away with.

To say that the vast majority of the fantasy universe covets Browns’ receiver Josh Gordon (note that I don’t regard Riley Cooper or your second round pick as major pieces in this deal) is an understatement akin to positing that Popeye occasionally enjoys a can of spinach – in other words, he’s all the rage right now and for good reason.  Gordon currently sits as the non-PPR WR2, despite missing the first two games of the season due to suspension.  Additionally, he’s achieved this feat in only his second year in the league (he’s just 22 years of age) while catching balls from the likes of Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell.  Bottom line, as long as Gordon keeps his head on straight the sky is the limit.

That last point remains the only real roadblock on Gordon’s road to superstardom.  His drug issues are common knowledge and date back to his college days and he’s only one strike away from missing a full year of football and essentially becoming the next Justin Blackmon.  In my opinion though, fortune favors the bold – for a talent like Gordon, the risk you assume is easily worth the potential reward.

As for what you gave up, Michael Floyd is a very good player who has a chance to be great, but I don’t feel his ceiling is anywhere near that of Gordon.  I think it’s more than likely he’ll settle in as a high-end WR2.  Similarly, Andre Brown is a good player and can definitively help teams win the title right now.  With that said, he’s still an injury-plagued ball carrier who’s going to be stuck in a muddy situation come 2014.  I like him more in re-draft than I do in dynasty.

So ultimately you got the best player in the deal, and you didn’t even have to shell out top dollar to do so.  These are the types of deals that win championships and help build dynasties, so I have no problem whatsoever providing my stamp of approval.  Just make sure you don’t tell anyone I did so – I’d prefer not to be an accessory to your dynasty grand theft.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27


eric hardter