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!
- I’m thinking about trading Jerick McKinnon. Let’s assume the Vikings trade Adrian Peterson, and we know Matt Asiata is not the future. What does this mean for McKinnon’s value? Should I hold and sell high if/when AP gets traded? – Jared in AL
[inlinead]I’m a big fan of Minnesota’s soon-to-be sophomore running back Jerick McKinnon. He’s one of the best athletes at the position in the league (no exaggeration, check out his NFL Combine numbers), but more importantly he made what appeared to be a relatively seamless transition from collegiate quarterback to NFL ball carrier. Apart from scoring the ball, he checked nearly all of the boxes I want to see from a perceived raw player.
The real intrigue in this drama, however, comes in the form of superstar Adrian Peterson’s future. While it’s entirely possible they’ll eventually swerve out of the way in this highly expensive game of chicken, at the current moment in time the Vikes appear steadfast in their refusal to part with the legendary running back. At the very least, their asking price is assuredly high enough that no team will want to bite.
Given that likelihood it stands to reason McKinnon’s value will stagnate, or altogether bottom out (on a relative level). If the majority of his touches are in the third-down or backup capacity, his physical gifts will disappear in the minds of dynasty owners trying to win now faster than you can say “C-Mike!” Given that, I can understand why you’d rather hedge your bets and attempt to cash out when the getting is good.
But unless you need some sort of immediate gratification, I think I’d hold onto McKinnon. He’s only about to turn 23 (in May), and has a bright future ahead of him even if said future won’t begin until 2016. I strongly believe he still has some part to play in the Minnesota backfield, and am not convinced whatever you’ll receive in trade will carry the same potential value.
- In my 10-team PPR league I can keep five to six of the following running backs or tight ends: LeSean McCoy, Jerick McKinnon, Lamar Miller, Terrance West, Charles Sims, CJ Spiller, Dan Herron, Brandon Oliver, Martellus Bennett, ASJ, Virgil Green, Owen Daniels, Ladarius Green and Dennis Pitta. McCoy, Miller and Bennett are obvious keepers. Thoughts on the rest? – Brian in PA
I think CJ Spiller is a great player to own right now. As I’ve stated on many occasions and across many mediums, I’m no fan of the Saints’ incumbent starter Mark Ingram – I think he benefited from a perfect storm last year, including a soft early schedule and a plethora of scoring opportunities. On the whole, whenever I watched him I saw a running back who lacked dynamic and was highly dependent upon game flow.
It’s my opinion Spiller is a significantly better player, and I think those who believe he’ll function as a “Pierre Thomas on steroids” are sorely mistaken. He’s carried the load just as well as Ingram has in the past, while affording a significantly greater efficiency. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if and when he finishes the season as New Orleans’ most valuable ball carrier.
As for your second keeper, I’ll once again extol the virtues of Denver tight end Owen Daniels. He’s been with head coach Gary Kubiak his entire career, and was recently proffered a contract worth just over $12 million. While I doubt he’ll approach Julius Thomas’ level of touchdown scoring, there remains a black morass behind Rob Gronkowski (and to a lesser extent, Jimmy Graham) at the position – even though you’re keeping Martellus Bennett, that’s no reason to throw another TE1 (albeit an aging one) back into the pool.
For your final keeper, I’ll advise you to simply ready my answer to question one above. Jerick McKinnon has a bright future, and if you have the room you should have him on your roster. I like much more than the other potential options you’ve listed.
- My team feels solid but my weakness is at tight end, with only Delanie Walker and Ladarius Green. Should I sacrifice some of my depth and/or picks to make a play for Rob Gronkowski? I might be able to get him for a first round pick and TY Hilton. – Jacob in TX
As I stated on the most recent edition of the DLF Podcast, I’m slowly but surely coming around to the possibility of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski being the most valuable asset in dynasty football. Sure, he has a bit of an injury history, but he also affords WR1-level output at fantasy football’s most barren position. Given the relative upgrade he offers on a weekly and yearly basis, as well as the fact he’s only about to turn 26 years old next month, it’s hard to argue against him.
So as much as I like Colts receiver TY Hilton, I’d give him and a first round pick up in a heartbeat to acquire the game’s biggest mismatch. Yes, Hilton is a great player, but wide receiver is arguably the deepest it’s been in years, and you can get 80% of his points with a guy like DeSean Jackson, who will more than likely come at a significantly reduced cost. The first round pick is also certainly valuable, but as with all rookies there’s no guarantee it’ll pan out to anything.
This brings me to an overarching point in trading rookie draft picks, especially at this point in the year when they’re very nearly at their peak value. The long and short of it is even fantastic prospects can fail – just ask Trent Richardson. But the potential of upside, combined with theoretical longevity can often seduce even the most steadfast owner.
For me, I’ll take the tried and true production of a guy like Gronk nearly every single time, barring a Godfather offer. He’s young, produces at the top of his position, and more importantly has a proven track record of fantasy viability. If members of your league are succumbing to the dreaded rookie fever, now’s the chance to strike – if you can snare a behemoth like Rob Gronkowski for what essentially amounts to hopes and dreams, do like Willie from Major League and “run like Hayes.”
- I’m in a deep 10-team PPR auction league with a $75 salary cap, that gives huge bonuses for running back reception touchdowns (i.e. 12 points instead of six points). I’m pretty much set on keeping Tom Brady ($10), Cam Newton ($1) and Teddy Bridgewater ($4.50) because we start three quarterbacks, as well as Matt Forte ($3.50) and DeMarco Murray ($3.75). With three keeper spots left, I’m considering CJ Anderson ($7.25) and Mark Ingram ($0.50) with one of Jeremy Maclin ($3.10), Keenan Allen ($2.30) or Mike Wallace ($2.35). I figure with the bonuses to PPR scoring, this makes pass catching running backs in high volume offenses much more valuable than wide receiver. I’m not crazy keeping four running backs, am I? – Robert in CA
First things first, I think this represents the first league I’ve ever seen where it’s mandated that three quarterbacks must start on a weekly basis, so kudos to you and your league-mates for bucking the trend and going balls to the wall. As such I’m in favor of your decision to keep all three signal callers, as the trio of Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Teddy Bridgewater should comprise one of the strongest passing units in your league. While quarterbacks are devalued in most settings, both Brady and Newton are perennial QB1’s, and Bridgewater appears on his way there – this is a weekly advantage that cannot be understated.
From there, the duo of Matt Forte and DeMarco Murray represent obvious keepers, as each was a top-three ball carrier last season. Sure, Murray carries with him concerns of usage and Forte is nearly 30, but I have no doubt in my mind they’ll once again provide high-end output next season. Much like with the quarterbacks listed above, these guys are no-brainers as well.
But that’s where I’m going to draw the line. Denver running back CJ Anderson is a great selection, especially given his usage in the passing game (two receiving touchdowns), but I once again don’t believe a guy like Mark Ingram is really going to do much for you. Sure, he caught 29 passes but didn’t record a score in that facet, and only averaged a paltry 5.0 yards-per-reception – extrapolating on my point in the question above, with CJ Spiller in town I’ll be amazed if he even does that well again.
Instead I’d look to your receivers. I’m higher on San Diego’s Keenan Allen than most, and still view him as a top-15 asset in dynasty, and I also expect a bounce-back season from Minnesota pass catcher Mike Wallace (I’m aware Jeremy Maclin would be the popular choice here, and perhaps you should keep him over Wallace – that said I’m long-outed as a Maclin critic, and believe he landed with perhaps the worst team for his skill set), who was actually better than many think last season (AIR = 1.15). These players might not offer you much in the way of a bonus system, but you still need to round out your roster – I’d toss Ingram back with the rest of the chum and hunt for bigger fish.
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Thank you for the mailbags, Eric — I enjoy reading them! I’m not sure that you answered the first question, though. Jared asked what you would do with McKinnon if Peterson were traded (hold onto him or sell him high). Your answer seemed to be about the here-and-now with AP still on Minnesota’s roster. I’m only writing because I’m curious to know what you would do if Peterson were traded today.
Thanks again for the mailbags!
Vernon David all over again!
Speaking of McKinnon…. Soliciting some thoughts from you guys. I’ve been offered McKinnon for the 1.12. I think this is fair offer. But not sure I’d get a better player/situation at 1.12. I may role the dice though, just because my earliest pick is 3.06. I have j. Hill, mason, and latavious as my top 3 rb. Solid at wr with Odell, j.mathews, Edelman, m.floyd, a.rob, Kelce. Would you do the trade?
Personally, I’d take the pick. The RB class is really good this year, and I’m not sold on McKinnon. I don’t see him as ever being a lead back, and you may be able to get that at 1.12. McKinnon is a converted QB, can he take the pounding inside? I have my doubts. The pick will be worth more than McKinnon when you are on the clock, too, so you could always put the pick on the block and see what you can get. Shopping the 1.12 around at this time of year will get you more than McKinnon, for sure.
Also, M. Floyd may have one year left where he is worth anything close to where he is right now. One more year like last year and his value is going to tank. I sold on the heels of that meaningless week 17 game. He was awful last year. Packaging the 1.12 with Floyd could get you something nice. I would recommend that, personally.
Thanks freak! I’m leaning towards taking the pick too. And will try to shop for sure. But not Floyd. I think he can rebound
Still holding onto the M. Floyd dream, huh?
I was huge on Keenan Allen when he was a rookie, picking him up in all 3 of my leagues. I saw him run some fantastic double routes and grabbed him. I kept him in both my keeper leagues last year and suffered with his slump. Why are you high on him? He may have profited in his rookie year by injuries to Floyd and Gates. Granted they are both in the latter years of their career but they were good enough to consign Allen to running underneath crossing routes all year long. I question whether he has the speed to separate on his mid routes. Anyhow, interested in hearing what you have to say. Thanks!!
Yeah. I’d like to see one more year with a good qb. Maybe his value jumps with a good year from Palmer. Not convinced, but maybe.
For so many different reasons you can’t give up on rookie wideouts after just 2 years. But I don’t think Palmer has the arm left to chuck it from Glendale to San Deigo.
just a good natured ribbing here.
a quick draft question….i have the 1.02 and 1.04. team currently rosters RBs – Charles, Forsett, Ellington, Murray, Crowell, Khiry
WR – Thomas, Marshall, White, Floyd, LaFell, Hunter, Adams
i’m thinking of grabbing Cooper and Parker w/ my picks and allow Gordon to fall to 1.05. i see my wr corp of Marshall, White, possibly Lafell and Floyd as potentially falling off a cliff, is this crazy?
I tend to agree with you line of thought. After Thomas there is a ticking time bomb on you WR roster. LaFell and Floyd just don’t count. Marshall & White … tick tick tick. White seems more a class act player that will work to stay in the game. Marshall doesn’t give me that feeling. (disclosure … I own him) I think his attitude is stronger than his body at this point, and not in a good way.
If you can then use the rest of your draft at RB and see what sticks. There are teams that will bring in later round low cost rookies that will get a legitimate shot. The Titans are still needy and the Rams have been promoting guys up since Jackson left as a couple of examples.