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.
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