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!
- On one of my teams I need to upgrade at receiver and I’m thinking of trading for Vincent Jackson. What do you think his worth is? Is he worth something like Charles Johnson and pick 2.12? I know he’s 32 but I still think he has a few good years left. On the flip side I think Johnson has some good upside to him. What do you think? – Michael in NC
Vikings receiver Charles Johnson certainly does have a modicum of upside, as evidenced by his late-season surge in 2014. With that said, I think we’re remembering his season that was with a bit more fondness than we should, largely based on the fact he essentially came out of nowhere. And while he put forth a few good weeks, it was hardly the stuff of legends.
Johnson exceeded 70 yards only thrice in 12 games, and while one of those performances came against a stout Detroit defense, the other two came versus the bottom barrel units of Chicago and the New York Jets. He also only caught 53.4% of his targets despite quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completing 64.4% of his passes. With the exception of the disappointing Cordarrelle Patterson, every other receiver and tight end on the team exceeded a 64% catch rate. So while the aggregate numbers aren’t bad, I believe the perception of Johnson’s upside lies with his size, speed and age.
Of course, Bucs’ receiver Vincent Jackson has two of those three qualities on his side, along with the fact that he’s achieved 1,000 yards in six of his past seven seasons. At 32 he’s no spring chicken, and he began to cede work to impressive rookie Mike Evans as the year rolled along, but he remains a very good football player. He likely won’t contribute touchdowns in droves as he’s averaged six per season over his career, but I’d also be shocked if he couldn’t best last year’s total of two.
Despite this, the masses appear to be leaning towards Johnson as a dynasty stash, as evidenced by a March ADP of 72. Some crazy how V-Jax is way down the list at 137, as the 67th receiver selected overall, so if you make this trade it should be you who’s on the “plus” side of the deal. I’m clearly in the minority here, but if you could swap receivers while picking up a second rounder in the process, that would be a massive win for you.
- It’s only the third year in our half-PPR dynasty league, and I own these tight ends: Julius Thomas, Travis Kelce, Dwayne Allen and Ladarius Green. Do I try to move Thomas now, or wait until he has one or two good weeks in Jacksonville (a gamble for sure) to try to salvage value from him, or try to sell another owner on the paper-value of him as a red-zone threat for a young quarterback? I know Thomas’ value has tanked with the move, but will his production? – Brian in CA
There are two opposing schools of thought when it comes to former Bronco and current Jaguar (not Jag-wire) Julius Thomas. The first argument that commonly comes from his proponents states that while he had great seasons in Denver, they weren’t because of volume. To that point, Thomas only averaged 4.0 looks per game over the past few seasons, and Jacksonville certainly didn’t pay him as much as they did for him to be a bystander in their offense – I’d be shocked if he doesn’t approach or surpass 100 targets.
The second argument comes from Thomas’ detractors, and states the following – though he might be getting the volume, there’s a difference between throws from the respective arms of Peyton Manning and Blake Bortles, the Jags’ second-year signal caller. This manifests itself not only in passing efficiency, but also in scoring ability. As we know, a huge part of Thomas’ value stemmed from his almost certainly unrepeatable 24 scores in 27 games, a figure that would even leave Patriots star Rob Gronkowski dumbstruck.
At the current moment in time I think the second set of voices is a bit louder, and as such it behooves you to simply let Thomas settle it on the field. If he plays well I’d look to sell since you already have Travis Kelce in the fold, and if he plays poorly I still don’t think his trade value will sink that much lower. If nothing else Jacksonville is making a commitment to getting better, and Thomas figures to be a huge part of that.
- I have been offered Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson for Colin Kaepernick and Odell Beckham. Should I make this deal 12-team dynasty league? – Jim in NM
According to both the afore-mentioned ADP, Giants receiver Odell Beckham carries the most value out of every player in that potential deal. Detroit star Calvin Johnson isn’t far behind, and even narrowly edges OBJ out in our consensus positional rankings, but there’s no denying Beckham’s place as dynasty’s off-season king. Simply put, it will take a fortune to pry him away from owners.
Of course the combination of Megatron and his quarterback, Matt Stafford, is hardly any sort of pittance. But as even casual readers of the Mailbag know, I just can’t get excited about second-tier quarterbacks in smaller league settings. Stafford is certainly a better dynasty (and real-life) asset than 49ers signal caller Colin Kaepernick, but at the end of the day neither was even a QB1 in 2014.
So I think I’d just stand pat. Beckham put together a historic rookie campaign (as I previously detailed here) and doesn’t carry with him any inherent warning signs to suggest he’ll slow down in dramatic fashion. So even though I would probably prefer Johnson as a “safer” player, the winds of change have removed him as dynasty’s top asset – the deal is close, but you should stick with what you have.
- My first pick in this year’s draft in my 12-team PPR league is 2.04, and I’m in desperate need of another serviceable running back. My league-mates are running back hogs and all the better rookies will be gone by that pick. I have been offered Denard Robinson for the pick, and I do already have Toby Gerhart. Do you think I should make the trade, or is declining the better option? – Brian in MA
I think I’d just keep the pick. Regardless of need, there’s still usually some decent talent available in the early second round of 12-team PPR drafts. And if you expect your league-mates to load up on running backs, that means guys like Jaelen Strong, Devin Funchess, Sammie Coates or Nelson Agholor could be available to you. It won’t satisfy your immediate positional needs, but when in doubt I’ll take the more talented player over the more “necessary” player nine times out of ten.
Not only that, but as much as I like Jaguars running back Denard Robinson, I can’t help but to think the team’s flirtation with DeMarco Murray doesn’t portend too well for his future as the lead back. Though he did play well in limited opportunity, I have to wonder if Jacksonville will spend a premium pick on a rookie runner, perhaps as early as the second round. Despite D-Rob’s moderate success last year, that would push him into COP-back territory in a hurry (and Toby Gerhart to special teams).
If you could snag someone with a bit more job security like CJ Spiller, Joique Bell, Jonathan Stewart or Doug Martin then I’d like it a big more, but perhaps you’d need to up the ante a little bit on top of your second rounder. Each has a significantly higher upside than Robinson while coming with a higher floor as well. If your league-mates balk, so be it – select a good player with the pick and worry about your ball carrying corps after the draft.
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