The DLF Mailbag (Bonus Edition)

Eric Hardter


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!*

  1. I have a bad dynasty team, and I’m shopping Rob Gronkowski. I received an offer of Travis Kelce, Nelson Agholor and 2016 first round pick for him. I know he’s the Gronk, but am I over thinking the value here on a bad team?Brett in FL

There’s nothing wrong with considering such an offer, especially if your goal is to diversify and multiply the assets on a rebuilding team. Unfortunately, trading stud players for multiple “pieces” possessing upside isn’t always guaranteed to actually make your team better. While I’m not saying it’s likely, or even that I believe it myself, what if last season represented Kelce’s fantasy ceiling? What if Nelson Agholor never becomes more than Philly’s WR2? What if the 2016 first round pick winds up being 1.12 due to how much better your trade partner became by obtaining Gronkowski? It’s not popular to adopt such a line of thinking at this point in the off-season, as it’s infinitely more difficult to see the downside in unproven players with “sexy” names, but it’s my conservative nature to simply want more in the way of guarantees if I’m parting with arguably the greatest asset in dynasty. While I’m sure I represent the minority I’d choose to stand pat here, and seek out a higher floor.

  1. We’re heading into the second year of our 10-team PPR dynasty league, and my team happens to be in the uncomfortable position of being a fringe playoff team. I’ve been debating a complete rebuild, and since the season ended, I’ve traded away a good portion of my receiver corps (Calvin Johnson and Brandin Cooks) for the 1.01, 1.02, 1.03 and 2.04 picks this year, as well as two first rounders next year. I’m dead set on taking Todd Gurley and Amari Cooper with my first two picks, but I’m torn over whether to pick Melvin Gordon or Kevin White with the 1.03? With the state of my roster I could see a couple of young players playing well enough for me to make a run for it again, but I could easily finish at the bottom of the leaderboards. If I picked White I would also most likely try to trade Jordy Nelson for a player like DeAndre Hopkins or another draft pick.Thomas in NY

As I stated earlier, my second tier essentially has Gordon, White and Parker all ranked roughly equally. As such, I might give the tiebreaker to positional need, but if I’m rebuilding I’m probably not worrying too much about anything other than simply adding value to my roster. With that said, if you truly want to go through with your rebuild I’d lean more towards White, as he plays at the position of greater longevity, and was picked just a bit earlier than Gordon in the NFL Draft. If you believe a downstream effect of this is that you would be able to turn Jordy Nelson into DeAndre Hopkins, that’s all the better, although I would imagine you’d be looking to make that deal regardless. But as I’ve stated multiple times throughout this “silly season,” first and foremost it’s always going to come down to your personal preference – be it Gordon, White or Parker, I don’t see a bad choice in the bunch.

  1. I have a rookie/FA Draft trade question:  I have picks 1.07, 1.08 and 2.02 in our upcoming draft, and have the opportunity to move 1.07 and 1.08 in a three-team trade where I would receive pick 1.03, most likely Melvin Gordon. Is there any reason I shouldn’t make this trade?Courtney in SC

Even though I just finished espousing Gordon’s virtues in the question above, I wouldn’t do this deal. As I just mentioned on this past week’s Podcast, my third rookie tier consists of three players – TJ Yeldon, Ameer Abdullah and Nelson Agholor. Though I don’t believe any possess Gordon’s ceiling, the fact is you can get two of them guaranteed, and I view all three as potential fantasy starters. It’s not a bad consolidation trade, but I think it’s just a bit too much. If there’s a way you can ship off 1.07, 2.02 and a sweetener, I’d prefer that route instead.

  1. In a vacuum, who wins this trade: 2015 Rookie/Waiver pick 1.01, Keenan Allen, Jordan Matthews and TY Hilton for Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas and Mark Ingram. My dynasty league has three contenders, and I am one of them.  I was the team selling young assets to “win now.”  Did I give up too much mortgaging my future for a shot at winning in the next two years?Travis in AZ

[inlinead]I view it as an incredibly fair deal. To me, Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson are (fairly easily) the top two assets in the deal, while the next the next four reside on your trade partner’s side. Mark Ingram is a fine throw-in, as while I’m not personally a huge fan of his upside I recognize that many are. While you did give up quite a bit in terms of relatively unproven talent, sometimes that’s what it takes to win it all, and as such I admire your boldness. Your new duo of receivers will likely be tops in the league, making your roster that much stronger and enhancing your chances of winning it all.

  1. I’m in a non-PPR league that keeps ten players and drafts five. I’ve managed to be runner-up three times in five years and have a solid team, but need to cut two more players. Between Gio Bernard, Isaiah Crowell, John Brown and Charles Johnson, who should I keep? Frank in FL

I’d roll with Gio Bernard and John Brown here. Despite being relegated to more of a “Pierre Thomas role,” Bernard retains his RB2 upside, even in a non-PPR setting. Jeremy Hill is the better option, but Bernard will still get his opportunities. As for John Brown, I actually view him as the Arizona receiver to own, especially given his price point relative to Michael Floyd. He appears to be next in line for the role of Bruce Arians’ short, quick WR1, and showed well as a rookie – even despite the hype, I’d much rather own him than either Charles Johnson or Isaiah Crowell.

  1. I was offered a trade for Demaryius Thomas and am trying to get an idea on fair value when attaching picks and players.  The offer was Kelvin Benjamin and pick 1.04 for Thomas.  I want to counter to ask for more, but I don’t know where to draw the line between fair and greedy/insulting.Oswald in PA

I’d absolutely ask for more. Demaryius Thomas is one of the best receivers in the game, and not only is this reflected by his output, it was recently shown in the blockbuster deal to which the Broncos just signed him. In order to acquire such a talent, your trade partner had better be prepared to ask for more than an inefficient, touchdown-dependent receiver in Kelvin Benjamin and an expensive lottery ticket draft pick (even if it has a good chance of hitting). Either the pick has to improve to the 1.01, or the player need to be someone along the lines of a Sammy Watkins or TY Hilton type for me to consider making this deal.

  1. I am in a league with some unique quarterback scoring, where they get one point per 50 yards passing, 4 points per touchdown, 0.5 points per completion, and -0.25 points per incompletion. The scoring system rewards accurate passers and high volume passers. Are there any quarterbacks that gain or lose significant value given the scoring system?Phil in NCPresented without commentary, here are the stats using your scoring system. “POINTS” are the fantasy passing stats using your format, “NORMAL” is how each player scored in a standard setting last year (solely from passing) and “DIFF” is the subtractive value was between the two quantities. Note that I removed rushing points from the equation, and did not account for interceptions as they were not explicitly mentioned in the question – have at it!


  1. In a fairly standard 12-team PPR dynasty league, which side of this trade do you prefer: Lamar Miller, Brandin Cooks and Marcus Mariota for Mike Evans and a future second round pick. It’s on the table and I would be the one acquiring Evans. Right off it seems a bit steep, but Miller is my RB3 and I have Gore to step in, and Cooks is my WR4 with Evans obviously sliding into that WR4/FLEX spot. Being a Bucs fan, do I just have a dude crush on Evans or is he worth this price?Tim in FL

It’s worth it to me. The fact is, if not for Odell Beckham taking the league by storm, this off-season would’ve been full of stories talking about how rising Tampa sophomore Mike Evans just put together one of the best rookie seasons of all time. Brandin Cooks is solid, and I’m a bit higher than most on Miami ball carrier Lamar Miller, but Evans flat out arrived as a supposedly raw 21-year old rookie last season. Considering you’re essentially trading depth to acquire him, I have no issue with it.

  1. My first question is who should I keep for my last keeper (we keep four total) between DeAndre Hopkins or Andre Ellington? The second question is my draft strategy for this year, as I’m short on early draft choices. I don’t have a second or third round pick, and only have a late first. I was going to go all in on rookies (unless a stud just happens to fall to me) but was not sure on who to go for or if my “rookies” idea is worth the gamble?Gabriel in Myanmar

For the first part, I’d definitely roll with DeAndre Hopkins. I’ve professed my undying love for Andre Ellington on more than one occasion, but the simple fact is his former Clemson brethren is the better asset. As hard as it may be to say goodbye to my homie, it’s the right choice here.

As for your second question, I don’t agree with the idea of trying to select rookies. With Hopkins as your last keeper you’re clearly set at the top of your roster, and as such I have to question the likelihood of a group of freshmen supplanting them at this point next year. Given that you’re league more closely resembles a re-draft setting than a dynasty, I think you should simply pick the guys who will score you the most points – if that means selecting rookies, so be it, but I definitely wouldn’t enter the draft with any preconceived notions.

  1. I’m the defending league champ and feel a shift in the NFL will greatly impact my chances of repeat.  I load up on running back talent and churn them in trades frequently so I never really in a position to lose a guy because he bottoms out of the league. Our league scoring is predicated on the length of a touchdown, so the longer the score, the more points you get. RBBC is thinning out my chances of this keeping up the touchdown scoring, but receiver are hit or miss in this league until they break out and start scoring. I pick at 1.10, but traded my second round pick away, so it’s critical I get this pick right.  My gut tells me running back, as it always does to continue to churn the top of my depth. Given my receiver position and the crop this year, I might need to rethink my strategy and potentially switch my focus to a starting more receivers instead. Who is a good target at 1.10 for me?Gary in CT

I can certainly understand the dilemma, and I personally agree that it’s somewhat easier to predict running back touchdowns versus those stemming from receiver. As such, I see nothing wrong with attempting to continue your ways of steamrolling your competition largely via your ball carrying corps. Moreover, I’m not necessarily sold on the receivers in that range – Phillip Dorsett had a great season scoring the ball last season, but it represents the exception to the rule with regards to his collegiate production. Instead, I’d see if you can snag a guy like Tevin Coleman, who appears likely to function as his team’s goal-line back over the underwhelming and smallish Devonta Freeman. If you need to go receiver, perhaps Breshad Perriman will be available, as he profiles as a reasonable scoring threat. But ultimately I think you should keep going with what got you to where you are in the first place.

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eric hardter