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 drafted Thomas Rawls at 4.05 in our Rookie Draft and added him directly to my taxi squad. I got a few emails and messages saying that UDFA Rookies aren’t eligible in our Rookie Draft. I called shenanigans, people got angry, blah blah blah. It turns out it has been an unwritten rule from long before I joined the league. What are your thoughts on drafting UDFA in a rookie draft? I am gutting this team so it’s cool, but if I was making a run I would have really been steamed. Thoughts? – Michael in KS
Yeah, that’s insane. No offense to the charter members of your league, but UDFAs are people, too! A rookie is a rookie, and if said rookie is picked up by an NFL team I see no reason why they can’t be picked up by your team as well, regardless of whether or not they were drafted. I understand the nostalgia as it relates to age-old bylaws, but at some point it just becomes unreasonable – at the very least, this should be put to a new vote, and hopefully the rule can be overturned.
- We are entering the second year of our dynasty league. We currently have Aaron Rodgers, LeSean McCoy, AJ Green, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson and a handful of mid-level TEs. We also have picks 1.04 and 2.04 in the upcoming rookie draft. The top three picks will likely go Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper and Melvin Gordon, and so we anticipate taking Kevin White or DeVante Parker at 1.04. We have been offered picks 1.07 and 2.01, along with CJ Spiller, Cordarrelle Patterson or Kendall Wright for AJ Green. What are your thoughts on this deal? – Josh in CA
I’d pass. Despite his “down year,” Bengals receiver AJ Green was actually incredibly efficient despite missing a few games. So I’m not entirely sure what contributed to his recent downturn in dynasty value (even if only relative), but it shouldn’t be the case. Getting mid-first and early-second round picks, plus a mid-level player just isn’t enough. I think you need to stand pat and supplement your team with the picks you already have.
- I need help finding a quarterback in a league where passing touchdowns are worth six points and 25 passing yards are worth one point. It is a contract league where you are allowed to sign players to a three-year max contract. Only three teams have starting quarterback needs, so I think the market may be soft. I’ve tried trading for Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck, but their owners aren’t budging. So can you help me rank these free agents/rookies over the next three years? My order is Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matt Stafford, Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Jameis Winston and Mariota. Additionally, Brady, Big Ben and RGIII will be restricted free agents where I would likely have to give up a second (Brady), third (Ben) or fourth (RGIII) round pick in our August rookie draft if I sign one of those three. – Ryan in SD
Apart from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the draft pick capital you’d be spending to pick up any of these guys is in no way prohibitive. Continuing, given the max contract of three years, I think it would make more sense to lean towards a veteran here. As such I think you should target Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers first, Lions gunslinger Matt Stafford second and finally Steelers signal caller Ben Roethlisberger third. The other guys are more of ancillary pieces who I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting on a weekly basis unless it’s a larger team setting. As a reminder, you can always find my full positional rankings, plus commentary, here.
- I am in a startup PPR league and we have done our draft and our rookie draft. There was some confusion about how many players we got to keep and when the dust cleared I had to shed 10 players! I still have to get rid of five more players, one of whom will be either Josh McCown or Brian Hoyer at the last minute as I need one of them to cover my bye week. So which four out of the following should I send packing: Brock Osweiler, Javorius Allen, Malcolm Brown, Josh Robinson, Roy Helu, Jerick McKinnon, Charles Johnson, Tyler Lockett, Josh Hill, Richard Rodgers, or Austin Seferian-Jenkins? – Mike in SD
To me, the two easiest cuts are Denver backup Brock Osweiler and Rams cave-diver Malcolm Brown (seriously, you have to go spelunking to find his spot on the depth chart) – there remains a strong likelihood neither will help you out in either the short or long-term. Next, I’d cut ties with Packers tight end Richard Rodgers. He showed fairly well as a 2014 rookie, especially given the learning curve at the position, but I believe there are just too many mouths to feed at Lambeau Field, and you already have better options in Austin Seferian-Jenkins and perhaps even Josh Hill.
The final cut is always the deepest, and truth be told I don’t think there’s a clear option amongst the group. So ultimately I’m going to side with the NFL General Managers on this one and suggest you get rid of Colts running back Josh Robinson. Yes, it’s easy to romanticize his situation given the only players in front of him are NFL Highlander Frank Gore, and the overachieving but nevertheless underwhelming Dan Herron. However, he was a sixth round draft pick, and a late one at that, meaning all 32 NFL franchises passed on him five to six times apiece – that tells me that not only is he considered an underwhelming talent, but it’s more than likely he’ll be replaced as soon as the 2016 draft rolls around. Robinson remains a solid end-of-bench stash in larger formats, but unfortunately you just don’t have that luxury – I’d toss him back.
- I draft in the middle of the second round and I’m looking at David Johnson or Jay Ajayi if they’re available. I have Andre Ellington so Johnson makes sense, but I really like Ajayi. My question is should I play it safe or take the risk with Ajayi? – Jason in TX
I don’t truthfully think you can go wrong with either here, but I’m going to side with Dolphins backup Jay Ajayi. He was the decidedly better prospect coming out of college, and the only reason he fell in the NFL Draft was due to a potentially long-term knee condition. Moreover, said condition isn’t viewed as a short-term detriment, and if Ajayi is able to play out his first contract without issue he’ll have already exceeded the average NFL lifespan for a running back. Finally, despite an exceptionally good 2014 campaign it’s glaringly obvious the ‘Fins don’t view starter Lamar Miller as a true bell-cow, meaning all Ajayi needs to due is surpass the underwhelming Damien Williams in order to achieve 2015 viability. Coupled with the fact Miller is a free agent come 2016, and Ajayi could very well be “the guy” sooner rather than later. As a massive fan of Andre Ellington, I just can’t say the same for David Johnson, and as such I think the Miami ball carrier should be your guy.
- I own pick 1.01 in my upcoming rookie/FA draft after winning our non-playoff bracket. My league puts an emphasis on rookies who produce, as each year we are able to keep any four players on our roster, plus one rookie. Given that, would you go for safe in Melvin Gordon, or take the risky potential that is Todd Gurley? – Alex in IA
While I like Chargers rookie running back Melvin Gordon quite a bit, I’m not convinced he’s the lead-pipe lock for production many assume. Don’t get me wrong, I believe he’ll function as the lead dog in the San Diego backfield, but passing-down maven Danny Woodhead returns from injury, and he collected 76 receptions (on 86 targets) as recently as 2013. In fact, just from receiving alone, Woodhead’s stats (76/600/6) would’ve had him finishing as the PPR WR34 – that’s absolutely incredible, and essentially the long way of asserting he’ll still get his.
Continuing, even though Todd Gurley will likely miss part of the season (still not a lock, for what it’s worth), I believe he’ll get enough done come November and December to justify a selection as the 1.01. He was long-viewed as the top positional talent in this year’s draft, and an ACL tear to a 21-year old transcendent athlete isn’t nearly the red flag it used to be. Judging by their draft strategy it seems apparent the Rams have a vision of the future for their offense, one that’s centered around their first round pick. To quote Shania Twain, he’s still the one for me.
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