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!
*Editor’s Note – For total team evaluations, please be sure to use the DLF Newsletter Team Advice Form!*
- In my 10-team non-PPR league I own Andrew Luck and have had multiple owners inquire about him. I have a fairly deep team at receiver, but few options at running back and tight end. I’m confident that if I move Luck I could flip a piece or two for Russell Wilson, as that owner also owns Cam Newton. That said, my question is what’s the going rate for Luck? – Tanner in PA
According to the most recent ADP (courtesy of our own Ryan McDowell), Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is going as the ninth player off the board, with a range extending from seventh overall to 12th. While this assumes a 12-team league, truth be told there’s not a huge difference between that and your 10-man setting. Back to the point though, it’s the latter portion of that first sentence that could be most relevant to your question, as ultimately a player is worth whatever someone will pay for him – in fact our own Jeff Levy recently offered up his thoughts on what an average draft position really means as it relates to the potential overzealousness of a pool of drafters. As such, I think it behooves you to start strong and shoot for a top-six receiver, a top-two running back or even Rob Gronkowski. If that doesn’t elicit much of a response you can then move backwards a bit, but it will always behoove you to shoot for the moon – much like with many things in life, you won’t know if you don’t try.
- I’ve been offered Lamar Miller (I have Jay Ajayi) for Latavius Murray, Alfred Blue and a 2016 3rd round pick. I also already have LeSean McCoy, CJ Spiller, Isaiah Crowell and David Cobb. Would you pull the trigger? – Richard in NJ
In a New York (well in your case, New Jersey) minute. I already have my well-chronicled reservations about presumptive Raiders starter Latavius Murray, including running style, sample size and the presence of my man-crush Roy Helu, but I’d rather focus on the positives of Lamar Miller here. And quite simply put, it’s pretty much everything apart from being a bell-cow ball carrier – as I detailed in my 2015 Running Back Report he ran with sublime efficiency despite poor run blocking and a tough strength of schedule. I don’t believe he has any true competition for the starting gig this year, and has proven significantly more than Murray on the gridiron. This is an easy accept for me.
- I have been offered Julius Thomas and Devonta Freeman for Allen Robinson and Dwayne Allen. Is this a good trade for my team? – Ray in NJ
I’d rather stand pat. Though there appears to be a growing groundswell of support for Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman, I was underwhelmed by his rookie season, and the Falcons did nothing to alleviate that concern by drafting Tevin Coleman in the third round. At best, Freeman now appears locked into a timeshare, and at worst he’ll function as a change of pace guy. As such he’s not a significant enough piece to warrant the downgrade from Julius Thomas to Allen Robinson, at least in my book, even though the former is a definitive upgrade on the Colts’ Dwayne Allen. Again, I like Thomas well enough, but as the DLF faithful know I’m enamored with Robinson and have been since his days at Penn State. To me he’s easily the best piece in this deal, and I’d need significantly more persuasion to part with him.
- What do you think Calvin Johnson’s trade value is this off-season? In my 10-team PPR league I just was offered a trade of the 1.04 and 2.04 and a first next year (probably high) for CJ in my 10-team PPR league and I’m seriously considering taking it. With CJ coming off an injury marred season and his value substantially lower than it was last offseason, do you think this is a worthwhile deal? – Thomas in NY
Using available players as an example, this essentially breaks down to one of the trio of Kevin White, DeVante Parker and Melvin Gordon, plus a player like Duke Johnson, Devin Funchess or Phillip Dorsett, with a future first on top for the man who is arguably still the game’s best receiver, Calvin Johnson. In terms of value alone, especially at this juncture in the off-season, it’s quite a haul. We’re at the point where rookies move to the forefront and veterans, especially ones coming off of injury-plagued campaigns, become devalued. And you’re right, Megatron could become worth even less at this point this year, despite how he does this season. So ultimately I think it comes down to the state of your team – if you’re rebuilding this gives you some good ammunition to do so, both for this year’s draft and the next. If that’s the case I could see pulling the trigger, though it’s far from a slam dunk. Otherwise I’d stand pat.
- I’m on the fence about a trade I’ve been offered. This is a salary cap dynasty league, where my current receivers are Calvin Johnson, Jordan Matthews, Kevin White, Dorial Green-Beckham, Paul Richardson and Rashad Greene. Contracts are up to five years and Calvin is the only receiver with two years left on his deal, while everyone else 3-4 years left. The offer on the table is Charles Johnson, a 2016 first round pick and a 2017 first round pick for Matthews and a 2016 second round pick. Should I pull the trigger? – Jay in NY
As crazy as it might seem I think I’d rather stand pat. I’m not sold on Charles Johnson as the “next big thing” because of a couple decent games last year, and if you gave up Jordan Matthews you’d be incredibly barren behind Megatron. The two first round picks sounds nice, but you’d be paying the tax of time – one year for the 2016 pick and two for 2017. How many points will Matthews score by then? Continuing, giving up your clear cut WR2 will undoubtedly make your selection worse, thereby bridging the gap between your flip-flopping of first and second rounders next year. Ultimately I don’t think it’s enough.
- We have a 10-man keeper league, and my current roster has Colin Kaepernick, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, Alshon Jeffery, Randall Cobb, Alfred Morris and Carlos Hyde. I also have picks 1.03 and 1.04, and my targets are Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley. Beyond that I have the 1.10 pick and nothing until the 5th and final round. My thought is to look for the next quarterback for my dynasty, as I am putting Kaep on his last stand this year. Who should I target at 1.10, Ryan Tannehill, David Carr, or Jameis Winston? Is there somebody I should turn my focus on? – Scott in IN
I have Dolphins signal caller Ryan Tannehill well above the likes of David Carr and Jameis Winston, and actually currently have him valued as my overall dynasty QB6. In fact, he’s likely the last guy I’d consider trading off a late first round pick for, as I just can’t ignore the strides he made last season in a the Bill Lazor led offense. Still young and in an improving offense, as well as also a threat with his legs, he could anchor your squad for many years to come. Could you say the same about Carr and Winston – in my opinion, no.
- I’m in a 12-team IDP keeper league where each team can keep 13 players total, but only two per position. I have Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris and Latavius Murray as running backs, one of which I would have to drop. I currently have an offer to trade Morris for the 3.04 pick in this year’s rookie/veteran draft. Is this a reasonable trade for me to make, even though I value Morris higher, considering that I’d have to drop Murray otherwise? – Matt in Germany
It all comes down to whether or not you believe Alfred Morris will out-produce Latavius Murray this year, and if so, by how much? If you don’t believe the margin is going to be large, and that you could recoup those points using your new third-round pick, then it makes sense to do the trade. But if you believe Morris is likely to outscore Murray by a non-trivial amount, as I personally do, it makes more sense to simply cut Murray loose, or seek a trade using him as bait instead. As I stated above there are simply too many unknowns with the Raiders’ presumed RB1 for me to feel comfortable with him as an important part of my starting lineup, and I’d much rather have the steady Morris – but rational minds may differ. Ultimately though, given the players already off the board, the third rounder you receive as compensation might not yield anything in the way of guaranteed production anyhow.
- I was really set on taking Dorial Green-Beckham with pick 1.07 if he was there, but I am having second thoughts. I have a couple of weeks until my draft and am starting to think Nelson Agholor should be the guy, as he is almost a Reggie Wayne clone and we all know how that turned out. I am pretty sure that there will be three running backs and three receivers taken before my pick, but if any of Amari Cooper, Kevin White or DeVante Parker are there they would be my pick. I am just torn between DGB and Agholor at this point. Who do you like better and why? – DGB For Me in NJ
[inlinead]There’s an old saying that states “you can’t win your draft in the first round, but you can lose it.” Now I believe that adage is more applicable to a re-draft league, or even a dynasty startup, than a rookie draft but in my opinion some of the tenets still ring true. And with Dorial Green-Beckham, there remain enough red flags to suggest he could be a “losing” pick, including character concerns, lack of collegiate production, a year off from football and a questionable landing spot – in other words, if you spend a mid-first round pick on him you’re buying into his upside without baking in any chance of failure. Now I’m not saying Nelson Agholor is any type of lock for fantasy greatness either, but he was a first round pick by an offensive mind who knows how to utilize his playmakers in Chip Kelly. As such, I like his chances for year-one production quite a bit more, meaning if you select him instead there’s a good chance you could flip him for Green-Beckham+ at this point next year. He’d be my choice here, and truth be told I wouldn’t be comfortable taking DGB until the tail end of the first or the early second round – there are just too many concerns to not take notice.
- I play in a dynasty league that keeps every player and plays four IDPs. We are expanding from a 10-team league to a 12-teamer this year. The expansion format is to keep your top three guys, lose your fourth best player and then keep your next four. I’m faced with the choice of losing one of Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. I have DeAndre Hopkins and the 7th pick in a rookie draft. I initially thought to keep Dez, Lynch and Ryan but it hurts to lose Julio. If my only other QB is Rivers, what should I do? – Steve from Parts Unknown
To me this isn’t much of a debate. I like Falcons signal caller Matt Ryan more than most, ranking him as my dynasty QB4, but I don’t believe he’s in the same class as the three other assets. I’d much rather build a team around Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones with Philip Rivers at quarterback then lose one of the first three guys to keep Ryan.
- How much should need factor in at the top of a rookie draft? I have pick 1.03 in a league where quarterbacks often go early, so I may have a choice of more than one of Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper and Melvin Gordon. I could argue that I “need” running back depth more, but it may be difficult to pass on Cooper if he and Gordon are sitting there at my pick. Is it “best player available” even in this case? – Aaron in NY
It’s all about your tiers. If you have Amari Cooper and Melvin Gordon in the same tier, I have no issue with using position as a tiebreaker. However, if you have Cooper at the top of the draft as most do, you should simply take him despite your perceived needs. If the cream rises to the top you’ll have the player with more dynasty value, at which point you could always make a trade at a later date if need remains an issue.
- I have keeper question for my 12-team league. What are your thoughts on Travis Kelce this season as far as value goes? Our league is a keeper league and I drafted him late last year and this year he will take my 13th round pick if I keep him, whereas normally it looks like he is going fifth round or so? I am debating whether to keep him or keep Andrew Luck who will take my third round pick this year. Consequently I would only have one year of Andrew Luck as I would not be able to keep him after this year. My blind thought was to keep Luck, but the more hype I hear about Kelce it has me wondering if I would survive letting Luck go and ride the value of Kelce. Am I overthinking Kelce and should just stick with Luck, or is my decision truly a tougher one than I realize? – Steve in IL
In a vacuum Andrew Luck is definitely the better dynasty asset, but this decision is certainly more nuanced. If this was a larger league setting I could see a better case for Luck, but you should be able to find a worthy signal caller elsewhere during the dispersal draft. No, Travis Kelce might not bust out in the way many are expecting, but if nothing else he showed what his potential ceiling could be last season when he finished as the PPR TE6 despite playing limited snaps. Given the disparity between his upside and where you’re able to get him, it’s well worth the gamble that you can obtain your quarterback later on.
- I am primed to make a deep run in the playoffs this season. My running backs are Le’Veon Bell, Arian Foster, Latavius Murray, Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Alfred Blue and Duke Johnson. With Foster getting injured and Bell being suspended for two games, I am unsure of Latavius Murray being able to be a stable FLEX player all year. I have options to trade for either Justin Forsett or Matt Forte. Should I attempt to trade for either of them or stay put with Latavius? – Johnny in PA
If you’re a win-now team I’d absolutely look to add either Matt Forte or Justin Forsett. Continuing, if your goal here is to be cost-effective, Forsett appears to be the better option, as many seem to be discounting his ability to remain effective, despite the likelihood he’ll catch more passes in a Marc Trestman scheme, and his only opposition comes from the form of a pair of fourth round picks. Since you only need to get through two games while Le’Veon Bell is out, I think it makes more sense to start small with Forsett than attempt a larger deal with Forte. I’d look to part with a 2016 second round pick as a starting point, and work your way up from there if need be.
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