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The DLF Mailbag

VJax

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 was offered a trade in a PPR dynasty league where I would receive Keenan Allen and Vincent Jackson for Da’Rick Rogers, Hakeem Nicks and picks 1.03 and 1.06 in our rookie draft. What are your thoughts?Joe in CA

As DLF’s own Jacob Feldman has pointed out in our recent Post-Draft Rookie Mock, there appears to be a distinct second tier of freshmen consisting of Brandin Cooks, Carlos Hyde, Jordan Mathews, Bishop Sankey, Odell Beckham Jr. and Eric Ebron.  Obviously the way these players are ordered within the grouping is subjective, but the takeaway is that two of them will be available at picks 1.03 and 1.06.  Given that these picks represent the key pieces with which you would be parting, you need to decide how to valuate them relative to the veterans you’d be receiving.

For my money, Chargers’ receiver Keenan Allen is worth well more than any rookie pick.  As I’ve previously chronicled my affinity for the young pass catcher in great detail I won’t do so again, but suffice it to say I view him as just a hair below the “Big Six.”  He’s an emerging star and should be treated as the headliner of the deal.

Continuing, you’d also be receiving Tampa receiver Vincent Jackson.  Having turned 31 in January, V-Jax showed no signs of slowing down last year en route to posting 78 receptions for 1,228 yards and seven touchdowns, despite catching passes from the uninspiring combination of Josh Freeman and Mike Glennon.  With Josh McCown’s arrival stabilizing the quarterback position and rookie Mike Evans affording a second credible threat on the outside, Jackson’s 2014 targets should be of the significantly more efficient variety.  Furthermore, given his massive stature I see no reason why he can’t function as a WR2 for the next four years.

Given the totality of the above I’d gladly accept this deal.  Losing the picks hurts (I’d include Hakeem Nicks and Da’Rick Rogers, but they’re more name than game at this point), but you’re gaining two high-end, established players.  I recognize there are many schools of thoughts as it relates to rookies, but I’ll take the proven talent nearly every time.

2. I have pick 1.03 in the rookie draft of my 10-team 2QB/PPR league and was offered Shane Vereen and picks 1.10, 2.06, and 2.08 for it (plus Matt Schaub). I am a legit title contender but am stacked at running back, and have little depth at receiver behind Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson. I also have Peyton Manning and a few older quarterbacks. Do I trade the pick or keep it?Joe in NY

In a 10-team, 2QB league it’s certainly not unreasonable to expect at least one quarterback to be a top-three selection.  Sure, Sammy Watkins and the afore-mentioned Mike Evans remain all the rookie rage, but it’s not difficult to envision Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater sneaking into that top tier.  When 20 signal callers will be starting on a weekly basis, the number crunch essentially dictates the value under center will spike.

[inlinead]?With that said, it’s not as if you’ve been offered a poor return for the rights to draft the third most valuable rookie.  You’ll still be picking in the first round, albeit at the end, and will also be gaining a pair of mid-to-late second rounders for your trouble.  Given the depth of the 2014 class, I have no doubt these selections can yield quality contributors.

Ultimately though I think this one comes down to how you feel about New England running back Shane Vereen.  There’s little question he possesses a Darren Sproles-ian skill set, one that meshes perfectly with the PPR setting of your league – unfortunately, his abilities have been matches, perhaps even bettered, by his inability to stay on the field.  Coupling that with the fickle nature of head coach Bill Belichick and there are just no guarantees for the young ball carrier.

Even given these question marks I’d make the deal.  Vereen is worth an early-to-mid first round pick in his own right, so you’re basically receiving four excellent picks for one (once again, note I’m refusing to recognize roster deadweight – in this case Matt Schaub – as part of the deal).  You might be well off at running back now, but ball carriers remain as fantasy’s most unpredictable position – I’d pull the trigger.

3. In my 10-team PPR league I need to choose keepers soon and am in a bit of a pickle. In my league, you must choose two or three players to keep. If you choose two (which is the minimum), you surrender your first two draft picks. If you choose three players (the maximum), you surrender your first three draft picks. In general, about half of the teams keep two and the other half keep three. My choices are Arian Foster, Jordy Nelson, Percy Harvin, Wes Welker, Jimmy Graham, and TY Hilton.Ethan in MD

When it comes to decision making for these types of situations, I prefer utilizing the philosophy taught to me by my high school basketball coach, summarized by the acronym KISS – keep it simple, stupid.  While this was mostly a reference to my lack of prowess on the hardwood, I believe it works here as well – make the simplest decision first.  In this case, you’re obviously going to be keeping New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham.

For your second selection I like Packers’ receiver Jordy Nelson.  Despite only having superstar signal caller Aaron Rodgers available for half the season he still finished the season as the PPR WR13.  With Rodgers back and healthy I expect Nelson to improve upon that status, easily justifying parting with your second round selection.

As to the question of whether or not you should keep a third player, I think you just need to ask yourself a simple question – would you draft any of the remaining players in the third round of a re-draft league?  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, shallow keeper leagues can essentially be viewed on a yearly basis with little regard to a long-term forecast.  If you believe a player can help you immediately, that’s really all that matters.

In your case, the only player I would place a third-round grade on is Seattle receiver Percy Harvin.  However, that’s based more on his talent alone than it is on his track record with the Seahawks, especially given that injuries completely wiped out his 2013 season.  Therefore, I think I’d just bank the pick and see who’s available – in a ten-man league there should be plenty of options, and I don’t see anyone on your roster worth locking into.

4. In my 12-team PPR league I’ve been offered picks 1.05 and 3.05 for Chris Johnson and either Wes Welker or Marques Colston. This would leave me with Adrian Peterson, Le’Veon Bell, Johnathan Franklin and CJ Anderson at running back and also Antonio Brown, Kenny Stills, Stedman Bailey, Mike Willams, Emmanuel Sanders and Kenbrell Tompkins at receiver. Would you do this?Sean in ME

As everyone knows by know, former Titan Chris Johnson was recently signed by the Jets to ostensibly form a one-two punch with presumed starter Chris Ivory.  Though unlike Ivory, Johnson has been the standard of healthy throughout his career – however his 2013 numbers saw the aging ball carrier dip below 4.0 yards-per-carry, and my advanced metrics weren’t any kinder to him.  Even if/when Ivory goes down, I don’t believe CJ?K is a lead-pipe lock for starter-level viability.

As such I think this trade is ultimately going to boil down to how you view your duo of aging pass catchers, Denver’s Wes Welker and New Orleans’ Marques Colston.  I’ve been bullish on both for several years, but the warning signs are difficult to ignore.  Welker is likely to be moving on from the cozy confines of a Peyton Manning-led offense, and Colston has emerging threat Kenny Stills and rookie Brandin Cooks to contend with.  Both will undoubtedly continue to function as fantasy starters for 2014, but the future is murky.

So given the rest of your roster I think I’d take the deal.  I don’t believe your team has the looks of an immediate contender, so I have absolutely not problem shipping off your elder statesmen in return for an injection of talented youth.  You already have several promising young assets and I’d just as soon prefer to build around them.

5. With Josh Gordon’s looming suspension would it be a good idea to try and trade for him?  I’ve looked into it and the owner is currently asking for two first round picks. I currently have the third and fifth overall picks which I feel is giving too much for a suspended player seeing as I can easily see myself ending up with Mike Evans and Brandin Cooks.  My question is what do you think is fair value for Gordon right now assuming he gets a year-long ban, and what else should I offer instead if two first round picks.Mike in NY

Unsurprisingly, I could’ve turned this into an all-Josh Gordon Mailbag had I wanted.  Given the rumors of his looming drug-related suspension, owners are looking to either abandon ship or pounce depending on their dynasty worldviews.  In a vacuum it makes sense to consider the options, as Gordon is one of the NFL’s most talented receivers.

However, I believe I can summarize my opinions on Gordon in one brief, two-word thought – just wait!  We don’t know for sure that Gordon will be suspended, and if he is we don’t know for how long.  Given the range of potential likelihoods, I don’t believe it makes sense to speculate.

If you’re a Gordon owner, just hold tight unless you’re offered 90 cents on the dollar.  As a prospective buyer, I’d hesitate to make a big deal, as there’s a real chance he could end up as the next Justin Blackmon.  Dynasty football remains an exercise in patience – let’s see the facts play out before we rush to judgment.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27

Eric Hardter
Latest posts by Eric Hardter (see all)
28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Josh Gordon

    May 12, 2014 at 3:41 am

    I don’t know. You will have to ask my agent.

    • Drew Rosenhaus

      May 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Next question.

  2. Bill

    May 12, 2014 at 5:54 am

    What kind of bump in the rankings would you give Amaro & ASJ in a TE heavy league? Thanks!

    • Eric Hardter

      May 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      In TE-premium I think each is worth a late first round rookie pick.

  3. Gilbert Apodaca

    May 12, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I have one roster spot left in my keeper PPR league, which of the following players should I choose Torrey Smith, DeAndre Hopkins, or Michael Floyd?

    • Jordan Spires

      May 12, 2014 at 9:31 am

      I would pick Michael Floyd but that is just my opinion. Hopkins hasn’t flashed enough yet I think to warrant being kept over the other two. Torrey would be the safe bet but unless that offense gets a lot better somehow I don’t see how he does much better than he did last season. Floyd on the other hand has the chance to pass up LFitz a little bit and become the #1 in that offense. My choice would be Floyd.

    • Eric Hardter

      May 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Definitely Floyd for me.

    • ChiefsHonk

      May 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Floyd finished the year strong and seems the safest pick. Nuk has some added value with the whole A Johnson thing happening but it would be a major gamble to choose him over Floyd at this point. Torrey Smith is well, I think we all know what he is. He is a lightning in a bottle guy that only gets TDs on long bombs.

  4. Tony

    May 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I an in a 16-team PPR league. We have to keep 15 players. Starting 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, and 1 flex (RB, WR, or TE)

    I have the following:
    QB: Andy Dalton and Geno Smith
    RB: C.J. Spiller, Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram, Steven Jackson, David Wilson, and Denard Robinson
    WR: Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Rueben Randle, and Jermaine Kearse,
    TE: Travis Kelce, Rob Housler, Levine Toilolo, and Brandon Bostick
    and then…
    Texans D/ST

    I have a solid 10 keepers. This leaves me to choose between my RBs (except Spiller and Richardson), all my TEs (except Kelce), and Jermaine Kearse. Who should I keep?

    Part 2 of my question, should I keep the Texans D/ST? Pretty solid with the addition of Clowney.

    Thanks!

    • Eric Hardter

      May 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      1. Ingram/S-Jax/Wilson/Toilolo/Bostick
      2. No – unless it’s a crazy scoring system, there’s no reason to keep a defense.

      • Tony

        May 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm

        Thanks Eric. I was thinking along the lines of that.

      • Tony

        May 13, 2014 at 11:51 am

        Hi Eric,

        I have another question for my same team.

        I have been offered 1.5 and 3.5 picks for the upcoming drafts (rookies and whoever not kept from last year) for Cordarrelle Patterson and 4.14 pick. Should I take it?

        Thanks again!

        Best,
        Tony

        • Eric Hardter

          May 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm

          No thanks – it should take at least the 1.02 to get the conversation started.

  5. Baker Boys

    May 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for the Great work you guys do!

    My league contains IDP so a little help please, scoring is as follows:

    Tackles Solo – 1 point/solo tackle
    Tackles Ast – 0.5 points/assisted tackle
    Sacks – 2 points/sack
    INTs – 2 points/INT
    Fumbles Forced – 2 points/forced fumble
    Fumbles Recovered – 2 points/recovered fumble
    Passes Defended – 1 point/pass defended

    We start 1DB, 1DL & 2 LB plus 1 IDP flex from any of those designations.

    We have our Rookie Draft starting soon for IDP players only and I have managed to get the 1.01, 1.02 & 1.09 picks. Obviously I had been eyeing up both Clowney & Mack but after reading the IDP report by Steve, I am not sure this would be my best option. Can you give me any other insight based on the scoring above. I do have other IDP already on my Roster and am willing to hold the Rookies for a year, but with our small rosters I can’t afford to stash them much longer, they will have to play on Bye weeks and/or if someone gets hurt.

    Thanks

    • Karl Safchick

      May 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      Hello Baker Boys. Eric has asked me to step in as he’s not fully comfortable answering IDP questions.

      You have a league in which LBs are more important than any other position. You could essentially start 3 LBs, 1 DL, 1 DB. I believe this would normally be your best case scenario as sacks only net 3 points (which is a little lower than I’m used to). We call this a “tackle heavy league”. In this format, tackles are key, which means LBs are key.

      To take this a step further, there are two different “types” of LBs you can take. You can select “sack heavy” or “tackle heavy”. As I’ve already explained, tackles are very important in your league. When possible, you should be targeting tackle heavy LBs.

      I was a huge fan of CJ Mosley coming out of college, and despite joining a crowded Baltimore LB corps, I believe he found a great spot. He becomes the most talented LB in a city that seems to churn out IDP studs. In most leagues it is a toss up between Mosley and Clowney for me. If Clowney landed on a team in which he was considered a DE, he’d be the sure fire best IDP option. In your league, the DE position is devalued by only having to start one, and by the 2 points per sack scoring.

      All this being said, I believe Mosley is EASILY the 1.01 in your league. With the 1.02 I say you kind of have to draft Clowney. Despite all of the reasons he will be devalued in your league, he’s still the most talented guy.

      Mack will be gone by your 1.09, but there are some interesting LB options that will be available there. If you take one thing away from this, just remember that LBs are KEY in your league. DL is secondary at best, and DB is a distant third (which is the case in most leagues, but even more so in yours). If I’m you, I’m trying to build depth at LB, get a nice DL, and stream DB.

      Good luck this year, and feel free to contact me or any of the IDP team via twitter.

      • baker boys

        May 13, 2014 at 11:37 am

        Thanks

        By your responce

        1.01 Mosely
        1.02 Clowney
        1.09 Best LB Available

        Given the preference for LBs in this league, I would have thought you would recommend Mack over Clowney.

        Thank you, I will stock up the LBs

    • Jeff Beran

      May 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      A scoring system like that (non-big play) really favors high volume tacklers. For that reason, Mosley’s gotta be up there amongst the top IDP options.

  6. brich732

    May 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hey Eric,

    I’m in a 14 -team Dynasty league with IDP players. I may have chatted with you on this trade request before the draft. My Current Rbs & Wrs are:

    RB: D Murray/CJ2k/Gore/D Wilson/ J Randle
    WR : AJ Green/D Thomas/T Austin/ D Moore

    I currently have draft picks of 1.11 and 1.12 respectively. The owner who has 1.10 wants to deal

    D Martin/D Trevathan/A Brown and his 1.10 2014 rookie draft for my

    Cj2k/D Wilson/ T Austin

    I was big on Doug Martin pre-draft but since they draft Charles Simms I think he could eat into D Martin’s production. I still love with what I’m hearing about D Wilson and Tavon is something special. He’s definitely taking a lot of upside from me but I am also getting players who are young and could help me win. Is this a could deal? Could I get more from him or this is about as good as it gets?

    If I decide to take this deal my lineup wld be as follow

    QB – Kaep/Big Ben/ EJ Manuel
    RB – Murray/Martin/Gore/Randle
    WR – AJ Green/D Thomas/A Brown/D Moore
    TE – Graham/ Z Ertz
    DE – Watt/Dunlap/McCoy/M Williams
    LB – Lauranatis/BWagner/Mayo/A Brown/D Trevathan
    DB – MBurnett/Cyprien/Vaccaro/Sherman

    with 1.10/1.11/1.12/2.3/3.1/3.8/4.12/5.12/6.12/7.12

    Should I do this deal?

    • Big B

      May 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      All day and twice on sundays. i would personally take Martin for CJ (he has lost his 2K moniker, sorry) Wilson, and Austin alone. Throw in Brown and a late 1 it’s robbery. Accept and don’t look back!

    • Eric Hardter

      May 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      Run, don’t walk!

      • terryvelcro

        May 14, 2014 at 10:00 am

        Ha, plus 4 picks in the top 17? Tell that guy to contact all the guys (and one lady) in my league and have them offer me trades.

  7. Aaron

    May 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I’m in a 10 team, half PPR, 2 QB league. I’ve been offered Pierre Garcon for my first pick, #9 overall.

    Should I do it?

    • Kyle

      May 13, 2014 at 1:04 am

      Hell yeah!

    • Eric Hardter

      May 13, 2014 at 5:54 am

      Definitely.

      • Aaron

        May 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm

        I just have a hard time thinking he’s worth it with D-Jax in town. Don’t you think he’ll steal a ton of targets from Garcon? Maybe most of them?

  8. Eric

    May 13, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Late in the second round of our rookie draft, which of these players would you take that will likely be available, ASJ, Amaro, or Crowell? There is an outside chance Allen Robinson or Davante Adams is still available. My team is strong at WR, would you still take one of these WR if available and leverage for future trades over taking the TEs or RBs?

    • Eric Hardter

      May 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      1. A-Rob
      2. ASJ
      3. Adams
      4. Amaro
      5. Crowell

  9. joeshelley530

    May 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Hey Eric, I’d love to pick your brain if you have a few minutes. I’m in a bit of a pickle.In my 12 team PPR double superflex league, my team is stacked at WR (AJ, Julio, Jeffery, Allen, Harvin, Dobson and Cooper) but lacking in the QB and RB department (Bradford and Geno Smith are currently my only QBs on roster.) I also have 1.02 which ensures me another solid WR in this draft, most likely Watkins because the guy at 1.01 is heart set on Manziel. With that being said, I think it would be prudent for me to move one of these great WRs in an attempt to grab a QB. My thoughts are to target a low end QB1 and potentially a 1st round pick as well for Harvin. With that being said, who do you think I should target? The guy who has 1.06 has Romo, Tannehill, and Rivers; I feel like this would be a nice starting point. What are your thoughts? Do you think this is the right route or should I be targeting a different QB or not be doing this at all?

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