Welcome to the latest BONUS 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!
*Editor’s Note – For total team evaluations, please be sure to use the DLF Newsletter Team Advice Form!*
- I got a chance to trade Mark Ingram for TY Hilton in a superflex PPR league! What are your thoughts on Hilton given the addition of Phillip Dorsett, as well as his looming contract? – Vince in NV
First and foremost, I love that trade for you – it’s my firm belief you managed to flip the Saints’ RB2 for the Colts’ WR1, which is something that will only look better as this season plays out and CJ Spiller asserts himself as the New Orleans ball carrier to own. As to your questions – I think the selection of Phillip Dorsett (along with the signing of Andre Johnson) says more about Donte Moncrief than it does about Hilton. Despite his size/speed profile there remain many holes in Moncrief’s game, and it’s troubling to see Indy attack the position in the off-season. Sure, the obvious comparison can be made between Dorsett and Hilton given their respective statures, but Hilton was a much more refined player in college with a larger route tree – I don’t see why the two can’t function symbiotically.
To the latter, sure, the contract is a concern. But much like we saw with Randall Cobb and Green Bay this season, it’s folly to assume free agency is a foregone conclusion. Yes, the Colts have contracts to address (Andrew Luck is obviously going to command a King’s ransom), but Jim Irsay has already expressed interest in bringing Hilton back. I expect a deal will get done at some point, with Hilton continuing to post robust statistics for years to come.
- There is one member in my league who just got married and our dynasty league now seems pretty low on his priorities list. His inactivity as the draft approaches is dragging the league down and we would like to have an active member. However, he is our lifelong friend and wants to be included in the group. The thing is, he simply does not like football. As commissioner, how do I handle this situation? He wants to be part of the group, but has no idea what he’s doing and clearly lacks interest. – Andy in MD
I think you just need to have a heart-to-heart with your buddy and explain to him the current dynamic of the league. There are a bunch of hardcore guys who live and breathe this wonderful hobby of ours, and reciprocity is expected. “Bum” owners can poison a league, as they can drag down the pace of drafts, not properly set their lineups and not respond to trade offers – you simply can’t have that in a competitive setting. Perhaps he’d be more comfortable co-owning a team with one of the current owners – this way he could remain part of the group, while not holding anyone back. But the fact remains real life will always come first, and that’s the way it should be – I don’t see any reason why you can’t sit him down and tell him there’s no problem with his shift in priorities, but it’s just not good for the wellbeing of the league.
- The rookie/FA draft for our 12-team, non-PPR league is later this month and notable free agents like Teddy Bridgewater and Josh Hill are available. In what round and range should I be looking to pick these players up? – JB in AZ
I’m a big fan of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and currently rank him as my dynasty QB8. His numbers didn’t jump off the screen, but I thought he showed plenty of poise and definitively improved as the season went on last year. I’d have no issue spending an early second round pick on the young signal caller.
I’m a bit lower on Saints tight end Josh Hill. As I mentioned on last week’s Podcast, this isn’t The Lego Movie and everything isn’t awesome. Not every single player on New Orleans’ revamped roster is going to break out, and recent beat writer chatter suggests Hill is only going to be a part time player. I’d use a late third round pick on him as a dart throw, but suffice it to say I think the early reports of him functioning as “Jimmy Graham 2.0” were beyond overstated.
- I had two owners upset at two trades I recently made in the league I am commissioner of. In the first trade I received Le’Veon Bell, picks 1.04, 2.04, 3.04 and 2016 second and third round picks, while giving up Dez Bryant, Teddy Bridgewater, Jordan Cameron, Shane Vereen and my 2016 first and third round picks (likely late). In the second trade I flipped pick 1.04, Cam Newton, Charles Johnson and 2016 second rounder for Andrew Luck and a 2016 third. They think the deals swung heavily in my favor, what are your thoughts? – Joel in KY
I don’t see a reason for anyone to be upset here. In your first trade I view Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant as the best asset in the deal, slightly above Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell – the ancillary pieces on your side seem better solely because of the early first round pick, but it’s not as if Bridgewater, Jordan Cameron and Shane Vereen are chopped liver. You also gave up a future first round pick, easily bridging the gap. It was somewhat of a “consolidation trade” where you gave up a group of relatively lower-tiered assets, but these are all good players and picks. I think it’s a solid deal for both sides.
I definitely like your side of deal two, but again, there’s nothing egregious here. Andrew Luck is the most valuable asset, but Cam Newton is popularly viewed as a top-five dynasty quarterback, and Charles Johnson has been getting some run as a dynasty WR3 (even though I don’t particularly agree here). Pick 1.04 obviously carries a huge amount of value as well, so I’m really not sure what the problem is. These were good deals for everyone involved, and I believe your league mates simply wish they had the nerve to swing some big-time deals themselves.
- I created a 10-man salary cap league, and we are entering our second year. It’s quickly become our favorite league, and lots of our friends are asking to join. How do you think it would be possible to expand to 12 teams from 10 in a salary cap league? It seems like they could just start the league in a rookie draft, and then see what they can get in free agency. But they might be at a disadvantage unless they have earlier picks. – Sean in NY
I honestly don’t think it needs to be terribly different than a standard expansion. Each charter team should have the ability to protect a certain amount of players, and the expansion franchises can then pick the best of the rest. Sure, there’s the added element of the salaries, but that’s simply another variable to take into account. From there the expansion teams should be able to bid against each other on the remaining free agents, and then the rookie draft can proceed as per normal. It’s somewhat hairy determining where the new teams should be slotted into the rookie draft – they need to build their rosters, but the teams that “earned” their early picks this season have a claim as well. Perhaps you could place them in the middle of the first round, while also giving each team an additional pick at the end of the round as well. This should ensure they could get up to speed just a bit more quickly, while also receiving a small handful of good salary cap hits.
- I have picks 1.06, 1.07 and 1.11 in my 12-team, non-PPR league. My team consists of Matt Ryan and no backup right now because of Kyle Orton’s retirement. I’m also weaker at running back. I figure Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Amari Cooper and TJ Yeldon will be the first four gone, so my thought was to take either Kevin White or DeVante Parker, and then Ameer Abdullah with picks 1.06 and 1.07. I’ll then hope for one of the rookie quarterbacks at 1.11. What do you think? – Craig in WA
I like your plan. Obviously, running backs will go a bit more quickly in a non-PPR setting, but that simply means one of the tier-1b receivers (Kevin White and DeVante Parker) will be available for you at a lower position than normal. Sure, the receiver position loses a bit of value given your setting, but these are players who were selected within the top-15 picks of the NFL Draft – more importantly, I don’t see any other running backs worth reaching for at that point in your draft apart from Ameer Abdullah, who you already plan on taking with your next selection. Again, given the nature of the relative valuations, I have no issue with that.
This means picks 1.08 through 1.10 will likely be whichever receiver you don’t select, followed by guys like Atlanta running back Tevin Coleman, Philly receiver Agholor, Baltimore receiver Breshad Perriman or Titans pass catcher Dorial Green-Beckham. In other words, there should be some serious talent available. If you’re dead-set on taking a quarterback I’d much rather look to trade back a few spots, as I’d rather have any of the guys above over either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. Or you could just trade the pick outright for some veteran talent at the position – regardless, I think it’s a bit of a reach to take a signal caller here, and would rather seek alternative options.
- Through trade I have acquired picks 1.08, 1.12 and 2.09. Are all three picks too much of a price to pay in trade for 1.01? – Alan in KY
Not at all. Though this draft is deep, there remain definitive tiers of players, and I’d argue you’re already arguably into the third tier by the time pick 1.08 rolls around, and potentially tier four at 1.12. Pick 2.09 is the definition of a dart throw, and effectively stands more as window dressing than anything else. If you can get a guy like Gurley or Cooper through this mechanism, it’s absolutely something you should look into.
- I am in a 10-team non-PPR dynasty league and have no idea how to feel about my team. Would you make any of the following trades, or would you rather stand pat: Le’Veon Bell for CJ Anderson and Sammy Watkins, or Le’Veon Bell for Mike Evans, or Rob Gronkowski for Travis Kelce and Brandin Cooks? – Mike in MD
I’d do either of the first two trades in a New York minute. No, Watkins didn’t light the world on fire as a rookie, but I believe he showed more than enough for us to believe he has a future as a low-end WR1. I doubt he ever becomes an elite asset like Calvin Johnson, but there are only so many players in the NFL universe who possess that sort of upside. However, adding in CJ Anderson (a legitimate RB1 in his own right) easily pushes the deal in your favor.
As such I’d prefer it just a bit more than the second proposition, where you would receive Tampa receiver Mike Evans. Evans is extremely good and there’s no doubting that, but I don’t believe he’s that far above Watkins to mitigate not getting Anderson as part of the deal. However, if the first deal doesn’t come to fruition, I’d still accept this offering.
As for the third deal, I’d rather hold pat and hang onto Gronkowski. Simply put, he’s a difference maker at a position bereft of them, and I don’t believe we’ve seen enough out of the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce to believe he’ll ever be able to even approach Gronk’s historical output. Adding in Brandin Cooks is nice, but put me in the camp that suggests his ADP is a bit too high right now, and doesn’t adequately represent his likely future output. This trade isn’t nearly compelling enough to consider throwing Gronk “out of the club.”
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You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.