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The DLF Mailbag

Jjones

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’m in a 10-team non-PPR league and I’m proposing two trade opportunities. The first is Knowshon Moreno and Andre Brown for Cordarrelle Patterson. My trade partner’s only start-able running backs are Arian Foster and Lamar Miller, so this move would lock up his backfield on both teams. The second is Keenan Allen, Shane Vereen, and pick 1.07 for Julio Jones. Are these offers fair or how much more do you think I’ll need to come up with? Ben Tate and pick 1.05 are my only other chips I’d consider.Sam in CA

With regards to the first offer, I’m not going to mince words.  Despite running backs being more highly coveted in a non-PPR format, I don’t see any way that the combination of Knowshon Moreno and Andre Brown will snare you Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.  Though not everyone is on board with the young pass catcher, Patterson remains one of dynasty’s most coveted receivers.  I’m higher on Moreno than most, but you’ll need to pair him with a significantly better piece than the underwhelming Brown if you want to make this trade work – including Cleveland ball carrier Ben Tate instead could get the talks started.

With that said, I believe your second offer has a very real chance of being accepted.  In fact, depending on your opinion of the players in question, it’s quite possible to view it as an overpay.  Let’s consider all the elements of the equation.

Falcons pass catcher Julio Jones is widely regarded as one of the “Big Six” receivers, and is a lock to be a first round pick nearly regardless of format.  In fact, before his week five injury Jones was on a torrid pace of 14.1 fantasy points per game, a pace that would’ve seen him finish as the overall non-PPR WR4.  Still only 25 years old, the only thing holding Jones back is lingering questions about a persistent foot injury – despite that, he remains an elite asset.

Nipping at his heels is soon to be sophomore Keenan Allen.  Allen was a revelation as a rookie, and it’s my personal opinion that he’d be regarded more highly had he not been a third-round selection.  Regardless of the reason, Allen remains a tier below the Jones and the rest of the “Big Six,” but another excellent season could catapult him into their ranks.

Similar to Jones, Patriots running back Shane Vereen put forward a fantastic 2013 season that was unfortunately marred by injury.  Though he definitively loses value in a non-PPR format (he averaged 5.9 receptions per game last year), his efficiency on a per-play basis should mitigate those concerns.  Popularly viewed as a high-end RB2, Vereen is clearly the New England running back to own.

Adding on the first-round pick and I believe this is an offer likely to be accepted.  In fact, I think you might be coming in a little too strong – as such I’d replace pick 1.07 with a second round selection in your initial offer.  You’d still be giving up two starters, along with a mid-range lottery ticket, but I think Jones is worth that price.

2. This is a non-PPR keeper league keeping one player per position plus a rookie from last year at any position. The draft budget is $200, less whatever the keepers cost.  My options are as follows:  CJ Spiller ($17), Julio Jones ($21), Percy Harvin ($10), Zac Stacy ($5) and Cordarrelle Patterson ($5). Since I’m certain to keep Stacy, should I keep Patterson over Spiller? Also, is there any circumstance where one keeps Harvin over Jones?Jimmy in AR

If there was a DLF Mailbag All-Pro team, I think Bills running back CJ Spiller could very well function as the captain.  Indeed, it seems just about every week he seems to find a way into this space.  Clearly this speaks to the divisive nature surrounding the former first round pick, as owners are seemingly split down the middle with how to approach him.

For my money, I’m still a Spiller believer.  While I’m aware I probably sound like a broken record, Spiller’s “down year” was hardly such – his receiving prowess dipped and he didn’t score, but his 4.6 yards-per-carry despite playing through a high-ankle sprain remain impressive.  Given the non-PPR nature of your league, I’d have no issue devoting a combined 11% of your budget to Spiller and Zac Stacy, as that could very well provide you with two RB1-caliber ball carriers.

With regards to your second question, no, there is no way you can justify Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin over Jones.  Due to an injury wiping out nearly his entire first season in the Great Northwest, we still don’t have much of an idea as to how he’ll function within the confines of a Marshawn Lynch-led offense.  Conversely, as mentioned in the question above, Jones is an elite asset – more importantly he’s shown proficiency at scoring the ball, a huge boon in non-PPR leagues.  As a rule of thumb I don’t chase touchdowns, but at 10.5% of your budget you can certainly afford to do so.

3. The following is a trade that recently went down in my 12-team PPR league (return yards included):  Team One gives Larry Fitzgerald, Dwayne Bowe, Jordan Reed and picks 1.09, 2.08, 3.08 and 4.10, while Team Two gives up picks 1.01 and 2.01.  Another owner and I have been debating how even this deal is for both sides (not debating “fairness,” just value).  Team One finished third last year, and Team Two finished last.  I’m curious about your thoughts?Evan in NJ

From a pure value perspective, I believe Team One overpaid.  Larry Fitzgerald finished as the PPR WR16 last year, and while Dwayne Bowe underachieved Jordan Reed was one of the steals of the draft.  I view this trio of players as possessing more combined value than pick 1.01, and the rest of the picks on the Team One side are obviously much more valuable than pick 2.01.

That being said, no trade can ever be viewed solely in black and white.  Despite finishing third in the league, perhaps Team One didn’t believe its current roster was championship-caliber and didn’t want to finish in the league’s “mushy middle” – as Ricky Bobby has previously decried about losing, “if you ain’t first, you’re last!”  Conversely, Team Two might believe they suffered some bad luck last year and that their team is better than the record indicated – perhaps an influx of veteran talent can precipitate a “worst to first” scenario?

Continuing with the shades of gray, Team One might view Fitzgerald’s fall from the fantasy elite as permanent instead of temporary.  He could believe Bowe won’t bounce back, and Reed is only one concussion away from retirement.  In fact, it’s not a big leap to then view Sammy Watkins (pick 1.01) as the safest bet in the deal!

On the other hand, Team Two might not value rookie picks as much, and could very well plan on selling the four picks he received for proven talent.  He might not like this year’s crop of rookies, and could view Fitz and Bowe as excellent bounce-back candidates.  As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s not a trade I would have made (from Team One’s perspective), but that’s what makes dynasty football great.  The value isn’t terrible, and it could depend completely on team designs.  After all, if we all thought the same thing it would be a boring pastime indeed!

4. In my 10-team half-PPR league I’m in a rebuilding year, and as such I have picks 1.01, 1.02, 1.03 and 1.05. My running backs of note are Ben Tate, Andre Ellington, Rashad Jennings, Marcus Lattimore, and Latavius Murray. My receivers are Danny Amendola, TY Hilton, Stevie Johnson, Alshon Jeffery and Terrance Williams. For this year’s draft, I am thinking of going with Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins for my first two picks – based on my team who else should I be targeting for picks 1.03 and 1.05?Rob in Vancouver

By virtue of adding Watkins and Mike Evans, you’re theoretically improving a receiving corps that likely ranks as one of the bottom groupings in a 10-team league.  Alshon Jeffery is rounding into an elite player, TY Hilton appears locked and loaded as a low-end WR2 and Terrance Williams had a fine rookie season, but in a smaller league format you’ll need to do better.  Even if just one of Evans or Watkins hits it big, you’ll be in significantly better shape for the future.

Even given that, I’d still select another pass catcher with one of your next two picks.  However it’s tough to decide on who that should be as players like Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson and Jordan Mathews (etc.) are all very similarly ranked.  I generally advocate talent over situation, but when each of the players are similarly talented, situation could be the tying factor.  This glut of talent also provides you with an ability to wait until pick 1.05, as it’s a certainty one of them will be available for you there.

I think pick 1.03 is a great time to select a ball carrier.  Tate and Andre Ellington provide a nice one-two punch, but once again I think you need to upgrade the position.  Carlos Hyde and Bishop Sankey appear to be leading the charge in terms of potential three-down, workhorse running backs and either would be a fine selection here.

With that said, you can never discount the trade value of rookie draft picks, especially when you’re on the clock.  Everyone wants their shiny, new toys, and it’s entirely possible you could snag a player like DeMarco Murray with pick 1.03 (and maybe a little on top).  Given the bust rate of NFL rookies, this is another avenue I’d explore on your road to improvement.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27

Eric Hardter
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7 years ago

To respond to Evan (third question), there is another key factor — roster size and space. My hunch is that Team One has a full/overflowing roster and too many draft picks. To my eyes, this is a massive overpay. But, if Fitz is, say, his #4 WR and the rest of the guys are bench guys, then he is really giving up little to acquire 1.1 and given his simple need to unclog his roster: he’d have to dump some of those guys anyway. Again, just my speculation…

Chris in Chuck
Reply to  Moishe
7 years ago

This is my thought exactly and ties to an article from a week or so ago.
Open roster spots have some value in trades.
Cuts would have a negative value, I’d imagine.

Therefore, if Team One created roster space and won’t have to cut three players to make the roster size limit, there’s a lot of value in the trade that isn’t captured in the trade description.
Further, by sending players to the weakest team in the league Team One avoids strengthening another franchise that might be more league-championship competitive.

Evan
Reply to  Moishe
7 years ago

Thanks for the response Eric. To Moishe, i am the owner of team 1 and your guess is pretty accurate. My core wr group after the trade is Demaryious, Marshall, Crabtree, Justin Hunter and Boykin. I intend to draft Sammy with the 1.1 and will still have 1.7 and now 2.1 to work with. While i love Fitz as my wr 4, i would rather move him while he still has some value (i couldnt move him straight up for a first in my league) and really like my depth and age distribution once Sammy is added. my remaining TEs are Rudolph, Oslen, and Kelce so still feel really good about that and Reeds concussion history scares me. In a vacuum i agree it looks like i overpaid, but in real life i was absolutely thrilled this trade was accepted.

The real argument was whether team two should have accepted. he has a team of aging assets that obviously werent very good last year. should he have given up a chance at someone like sammy or evans in order to add more aging assets like Fitz and Bowe? he wanted to compete right away and not completely rebuild. i can understand that argument (though i disagree and would have never accepted the trade from his side) while my leaguemate who i was arguing with, cannot understand that line of thinking at all and thinks i killed team two in the trade. sorry for the extra long post but wanted to clarify.

Reply to  Evan
7 years ago

Hey Evan,

Thanks for the clarification. And great call on moving Fitz while he still has value…

If I am team 2 (unless the roster sizes are SMALL), then I absolutely make this trade, as well. Just to make life easy, let’s say that the 1.9 and 2.1 are close enough. For 1.1, he gets two legit players (Fitz and Reed) and four more players with potential in Bowe and three additional picks. For me, that’s a great haul for Watkins, who, as far as I know, has yet to play a down in the NFL. In a small league, it’s about singular studs, so I’d hang on to the 1.1. But, it most leagues, while it’s usually better not go give up the best piece in a trade, he traded a buck and got at least $1.25 in return. Good deal for him, IMO.

Back to you, Evan, clearly I’m in line with your thinking since I guessed into it. While, on paper, you gave up more than you received, (a) you got the best asset back; and (b) some of that change was going to the trash, anyway. So, you might have given up less than $1 worth of keepable assets on your team!

This looks good for both teams to my eyes. Thanks for posting this! Great discussion!

Chris in Chuck
7 years ago

Owning that many picks at the top of the draft (1, 2, 3 and 5) gives the team a lot of negotiating strength when the draft actually starts. Basically, you’re the only game in town — a monopoly — and other teams will have to bid the prices up.

I’d wait until the league is drafting and accept all offers. Set your valutions before the league drafts and if somebody offers enough for any of the four picks, pounce on a deal. Rookie fever will be your friend!!

Cringer
Reply to  Chris in Chuck
7 years ago

We’ll done c in c. We’ll done.

Rob Tubajon
Reply to  Chris in Chuck
7 years ago

That is really good advice Chris. The guys in my league get excited like kids in a candy store on draft days and there have been many questionable moves based on rookie hype. I traded Tavon Austin last year on draft day for what turned into the 1.02 this year, Terrance Williams and Andre Ellington. I’m going to take your advice and see what my picks can fetch me. THANKS!

7 years ago

Cool Trade scenarios.

Pleats
7 years ago

Julio’s chronic foot conditions are a major concern, as he is questionable almost every game. I flipped him for a 2015 1st in what I expect to be such a stud draft, oozing with elite skill players.

Ryan
Reply to  Pleats
7 years ago

That is selling crazy low though…

Bjorklunde
Reply to  Pleats
7 years ago

Julio could be missing a foot and you could still get more than a 2015 1st in return. I’ve heard of selling low, but this is nutty.

Dave
Reply to  Bjorklunde
7 years ago

I was offered Gordon for Julio. As much as I love Julio’s game I couldn’t jump on this deal fast enough. Feet problems are worse than knee issues.

Rob
Reply to  Bjorklunde
7 years ago

2015 is going to be the best draft in years, and Julio is a chronic gimp w a Q tag every week. I’ll take the 2015 1st

lostcause
Reply to  Rob
7 years ago

lol

JBFootball
Reply to  Rob
7 years ago

I wouldn’t trade Julio for the 2015 1.01, but it doesn’t even sound like you got that.

michael bellace
7 years ago

Every time I hear Julio Jones I grit my teeth and snarl. I traded him when he went down last season to stay in contention. I’m asking for some feedback here on the deal, please. I received Antonio Brown and David Wilson for him, was that a fair deal or was I robbed of a pick there? In my mind Wilson was in proxy of a pick? I hate beatting this to death but I need to hear the truth so I can get better at this!

Chris in Chuck
Reply to  michael bellace
7 years ago

Antonio Brown is good but he’s a high end WR2. Meanwhile, Wilson is a big gamble.
I think you should’ve gotten more but it’s not terrible.

Exit question: Did you win last year? If so, it was worth it!!

michael bellace
Reply to  Chris in Chuck
7 years ago

In that league there’s 2 rds. of post season play with 4 of 12 teams getting into 1st rd. and I lost, so it wasn’t worth it!

michael bellace
Reply to  michael bellace
7 years ago

I believe I got Wilson before he got injured so at the time it seemed decent?

JBFootball
Reply to  Chris in Chuck
7 years ago

I don’t know how you call Antonio Brown a WR2. He was second in the league in yards (1498) and receptions (110) along with 8 touchdowns. It doesn’t look like they are going to use a high pick on a wr so he’s not going where either. That with with the fact that he’s only 25 places him as a solid WR1, especially in PPR formats.

michael bellace
Reply to  JBFootball
7 years ago

I tend to agree with your thoughts on Brown, as I see him as a definite WR1 but just not one of the Big 6! Also I forgot to mention this is a return yardage league as well with .5 PPR.

Shcritters
Reply to  michael bellace
7 years ago

We have a combination of salary cap and contract length in our 12-team PPR dynasty league, and I traded Andre Johnson on a 1 year deal and a 2014 2nd rd pick for Julio (4 yr contract) right after he went down. Turns out Andre blew up and got the guy I traded with to the championship game, but I ended up beating him to win the league. In retrospect that means I essentially traded rookie pick #24 straight up for Julio.

It worked out well for both of us, as it got him to the championship game, but I couldn’t be happier with the way the trade played out on my side. Due to some trades that have played out for me I now go into this year with Calvin, AJ Green, Dez, and Julio as my WR’s and we can start 4.

michael bellace
Reply to  Shcritters
7 years ago

Nicely done Shcritters! I’m trying to acquire 1 of the big 6 in another league by a similar trade mentioned above. Alshon & Vereen for Julio? Think I should add a pick too?

JBFootball
Reply to  michael bellace
7 years ago

Phantasy5, you’re crazy. You want a big 6 WR, but Jeffery is 7th! 1400+ yards, 90 catches, 7 TD’s – all that and he didn’t start to do anything until week 4. Julio hasn’t gone over 80 catches or 1200 yards in a season yet. Hold strong with Jeffery as he becomes the focal point of that offense and while he has the advantage of playing with Marshall. Plus, he’s going into year 3 when WR’s are supposed to begin to reach their full potential. I would take the promise of improving on an already top 10 season over the comeback trail of a guy who hasn’t even put up the best numbers out of the two.

Rob Tubajon
7 years ago

Hey Eric,

Thanks for the advice on my question. You guys do really great work here and I now have a great idea of my strategy now going into this draft. One last question- how would you value Christine Michael? Worth on of my top 4 picks?

Rob Tubajon
Reply to  Rob Tubajon
7 years ago

I also forgot that I have Justin Hunter too!

Mercenaries
7 years ago

10 Team, PPR League

I’m in a situation that’s very similar to Question #1 but the inverse. I have Julio and was offered DeMarco Murray, Michael Floyd, and 1.07 (2014) for Julio and Ben Tate. I was very tempted to do it, but that would leave me with B. Marshall, V. Cruz, and Floyd as my starting WR’s. I currently have Forte, Foster, Lamar Miller, and Tate as my RBs. I also have the 1.03 this year, and will probably have a shot at Mike Evans. I turned it down, but I have a feeling that I could still make it happen if I wanted to. My other reason for not doing it was that the team I would be sending Julio to would then have Green, Gordon, Julio, and Keenan Allen for his WRs. Is it wrong to not do a deal because of who the other team already has?

Reply to  Mercenaries
7 years ago

@ Mercenaries…sheesh thats one hell of a WR core you will be giving em. I’m not sure that trade will benefit you as much it will benefit him. I do look at that when I make trades, however, he would have to pay a lil more for Julio then.

7 years ago

I need some thoughts on this trade?

My stable of Rbs are as follows:

Murray/Cj2k/Gore/Wilson/Randle

This owner wants Cj2k and Wilson and will give me Doug Martin and 2.4 in our upcoming Rookie draft.

I was big on Martin in the beginning but I like CJ going to the Jets and love the reports Im hearing about Wilson. Am I crazy for not hitting the “accept” button so fast? lol

JBFootball
Reply to  Brich732
7 years ago

I would see if you could get a better draft pick out of him if he proposed the trade, but I would do that trade even without the draft pick.

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