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 12-team non-PPR league, I have picks 1.06, 1.07 and 1.11. I’ve been trying to get 1.03 and take Amari Cooper but my trade partner isn’t giving the pick up cheap. I’ve offered him 1.06, 1.11 and a 2016 third rounder for the pick and he rejected the trade. Should I offer him more or just take DeVante Parker at 1.06, and take a gamble with a player like Dorial Green-Beckham, Jameis Winston or a flyer on one of the running backs? Or would you do 1.06, 1.11 and a second round pick for 1.03? – Craig in WA
I’m fine with your final offer of picks 1.06, 1.11 and a second round selection for 1.03, but wouldn’t offer anything more than that. To me, there exists a fairly sizable drop-off after the first nine picks (we’ll call it the Breshad Perriman line) and whoever you’d be able to obtain at 1.11 doesn’t carry enough value that I’d hesitate giving him up for arguably the draft’s best talent in Amari Cooper. Anything more than that, though, and it begins to border on an overpay, especially when you can still nab two fine players at 1.06 and 1.07. Cooper is a beast and I’m a firm believer in getting the player you want, but you can still make out quite well even if you choose to stand pat.
- Do you prioritize a certain position in a full rebuild or just roll with the best player available? I have pick 1.04 in my 12-team PPR league and as it is now my receivers are not a total need but I have some older vets I am trying to sell to contenders so I hope they won’t be on my roster for long. I don’t know that my first next year will be as high as 1.04 so I’m torn on whether to take a receiver, a quarterback, or a guy like Ameer Abdullah or TJ Yeldon. – Matt in TN
[inlinead]To me the most important thing you can do when ranking your players, be it in a rookie draft or with a full player pool, is setting up tiers. Once you do that, and especially in a rookie draft, I think you need to stick to your board regardless of the position. If you’re within your tier than I wouldn’t hesitate to mix and match positions, but there’s no sense in reaching outside your tiers due to need – the smart money (and precedent) suggests rookies aren’t likely to help you out in year one, and as such using a positional tiebreaker doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you have players like Ameer Abdullah and TJ Yeldon rated as top-five assets, I’d be all for selecting them, but if not, I’d roll with a receiver and let the subsequent cards get dealt as they will.
- I have a 12-team PPR startup dynasty draft next week and I have two picks in the top 10 overall. Who should I target with picks 1.06 and 1.10? Based on what the first five guys have told me, the projected first five picks are Andrew Luck, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Le’Veon Bell and Odell Beckham. – Nolan in KS
For me Rob Gronkowski is a slam-dunk pick at 1.06 – I’ve espoused his virtues in many a Mailbag past, and firmly believe he’s in the conversation for the top pick overall given his production and relative positional advantage. I also believe his injury concerns are overblown, especially considering their random natures. At your next pick I’d look to the receivers, as you’ll be able to nab one of AJ Green, Calvin Johnson, Alshon Jeffery or Mike Evans. There honestly isn’t a bad choice in the bunch there and you’ll be well on your way crafting a top-tier starting lineup.
- In a 12-team, 2QB, half-PPR league with a draft that essentially starts in round six (keeping five from the current roster and adding five keepers after this coming season), what is the round value of Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Amari Cooper, Jameis Winston and Kevin White? I’m targeting those players as guys to draft and add as next year’s keepers, but wondering where to take them. Guys like Mark Ingram, Travis Kelce, Michael Floyd, Allen Robinson, and Keenan Allen will be available. – Thomas in NY
With the exceptions of Mark Ingram and Michael Floyd, each player you listed can essentially be considered as a viable first round pick, given the 60 players already off the board. To that point, they all carry high value according to the most recent ADP data, as well as in our 2QB rankings. For my part, I’d rank them in the following order: Jameis Winston, Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Keenan Allen, Kevin White, Melvin Gordon and Travis Kelce.
- I’ve always thought dynasty bench players should be all about youth, upside, and potential. Sure, you need a quality backup for bye weeks or injury replacements, but most players on a deep bench will never crack the starting lineup. Well, I recently put my money where my mouth is when we held a startup auction draft for a 10-owner superflex IDP league with deep rosters: we start 16 and have 39 reserves. After I secured what I thought was a good (albeit young) starting lineup, I filled my IDP bench spots with only rookies. I couldn’t secure them all, but to give you an idea of potential, I got 15 of the 25 listed in your rankings. Assuming my starters continue to excel, was this a good long-term strategy? Would something like this be more or less successful on the offensive side? – Reno in CO
With regards to the IDP side, I’m of the belief it’s easy enough to fill out your roster with “run of the mill” linebackers and secondary players, so if you need to churn your roster during the season that shouldn’t be much of a problem. The defensive line is essentially JJ Watt or bust, so I’m okay with your strategy of shooting for upside there. You might need to perform more than the average amount of in-season roster maintenance, but I think you’ll be able to get by.
On the offensive side of the ball, “shooting for the moon” certainly would’ve worked out well last year, but I’m of the belief the 2014 rookie class will go down as the exception, not the rule, as it relates to the preponderance of both immediate and long-term fantasy viability. There’s nothing wrong with building the “second third” of your roster out rookies and younger players who haven’t proven anything, but the fact remains they’re roughly equally as likely to crash and burn as they are to pan out. I’d prefer to have some proven talent on my roster, largely for when times get lean (i.e. injuries and byes), but also because even players with finite ceilings could still have more fantasy value over the years than the unknown. While I won’t ever tell someone how to construct his or her roster, I still believe balanced is best.
- In my 10-team 2QB league I’ve recently been contemplating upgrading my QB2 from RGIII. In my league I’ve been trying to get an offer going with the Jameis Winston owner that would send me Winston and Randall Cobb for my Julio Jones and potentially my second round pick next year. The second round pick is inflated in this league because tight ends and quarterbacks go earlier and it’s a snake rookie draft. Is the downgrade from Julio worth it for Winston, or should I stand pat and hope to get a quarterback in next year’s draft? – Michael in MD
I have Falcons receiver Julio Jones ranked as my top overall dynasty asset, but I’d still do this deal in a heartbeat. Randall Cobb is a top producer in the league and while I don’t believe he possesses Jones’ ceiling, getting Jameis Winston as a “throw-in” in a 2QB setting easily mitigates that. I like the potential deal for you.
- I’m in a touchdown heavy scoring league (six points per TD, one per 25 rushing/receiving yards). I hold the fifth pick in my draft and was wondering after Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, who’s your third-ranked running back with this scoring system in mind? Joseph Randle and Doug Martin are also available, would either of them rank higher than that rookie? – Chris in OH
[inlinead]Despite the strong preseason performance from Ameer Abdullah, for me the RB3 of the 2015 class is still TJ Yeldon. No, he’s not walking into a premier offense, and as such touchdowns are a concern given your scoring system, but he’s likely the only three-down guy guaranteed to get goal-line touches. Moreover, at some point you simply have to trust in the likelihood of a team (and more importantly, an offense) turning it around – with the moves the Jags have made over the past year, I think they’re on the right track, and Yeldon will be a big part of it.
- I have the sixth pick in a 10-team dynasty league rookie draft. Assuming the top five is in some order Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper, Melvin Gordon, Kevin White and DeVante Parker, and running back is my biggest need I’m probably looking at TJ Yeldon or Ameer Abdullah. My starters are LeSean McCoy and then hot hand out of Frank Gore/Andre Ellington/Joique Bell. I’m also trying to trade it and so far have offers on the table for either CJ Spiller or Gio Bernard for the pick. Right now I’m leaning towards trading for Gio over CJ and the rooks. Right decision? – Alfredo in FL
No thanks. I’ve said it before in numerous articles and Podcasts, but I’m simply not a fan of Bengals RB2 Gio Bernard. In fact, I currently have him ranked as my dynasty RB24, and am wondering if that might be generous. Long story short, Jeremy Hill is the far superior talent, and both Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert are returning to siphon away targets in the passing game – more importantly, when the Bengals are behind, Bernard doesn’t get on the field nearly as much, highlighting that his fantasy viability is tied to game script. If he’s still going for a mid-first round pick than to me the time is to sell, not to buy – I’d much rather have Yeldon or Abdullah over Bernard (or CJ Spiller).
- I am inheriting a dynasty team and have the option to keep one player from last year’s roster. I need help deciding on CJ Anderson (3rd round) or Keenan Allen (15th round). Where is the best value THIS YEAR? I’m not worried about next year….yet. – Jeff in OH
Even with the massive price disparity, if you’re only worried about this year then I think the choice has to be CJ Anderson. I believe, if healthy, he’s a shoo-in for RB1 production, with an outside shot at finishing as the overall top scorer at the position. As much as I like Keenan Allen, I just don’t think he possesses that same likelihood. Yes, a 15th round pick is basically stealing to get him, but one spot is one spot and tough decisions have to be made. A third round pick is still great value for one of the game’s up-and-coming ball carriers.
- I’m the auction bucks leader coming up to our rookie draft, with $74. The next highest has $58, and down significantly from there. I need help at running back, and will not be contending this year, and so my plan was to draft two of LeSean McCoy (who’s in the rookie pool), Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon (or perhaps Amari Cooper, as I’m a Raiders homer). But pre-draft offers are flying, and I’ve received the following: give Donte Moncrief and $25 draft dollars and get Jeremy Hill. From another owner, I’d give Dez Bryant and get CJ Anderson. Obviously the second offer is way too light – I like CJA a lot but he hasn’t proven anything. My first thought is that CJA plus Jordan Matthews wouldn’t be a bad return, and then I could still draft McCoy/Gurley and Cooper. A further point to consider is it’s a $200 cap league, and Dez has a $47 hit. Hill, CJA and Matthews are all in the $10 range. So what do you think? Should I consider either of the offers, or stick with my draft plan? Right now I’m thinking of staying the course. – Dookmariot in Toronto
I actually prefer the first offer, even though getting Dez Bryant’s contract (nearly a quarter of your cap) off the books wouldn’t be a bad thing for a team that’s not contending. But back to the point – to me, Jeremy Hill is an ascendant talent in a plum situation for fantasy production, and you’re basically giving up a guy who might be fourth at best on his depth chart (Donte Moncrief) as well as some auction bucks. Moreover, it sounds like you’d still have the second-most money heading into the auction even if you made the trade, meaning you should have no problem ensuring you get at least one of your targets. I’d make that deal (maybe see if you can get it down to $20 instead of $25), keep Dez and hit the auction hard – this should ensure your rebuilding path isn’t a long and winding road.
- I’m firmly in the win now contingent. A perennial second-place finisher. I have two aging quarterbacks with Tom Brady and Drew Brees, and two young bucks with my boy Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. As with most teams I’m lacking at running back with Carlos Hyde and Latavius Murray holding down the position. I also currently hold picks 1.09 and 1.11 and have doubts that TJ Yeldon, Ameer Abdullah or Tevin Coleman will reach me. What should the play here be? Should I trade up (currently pick 1.07 is the highest I think I can get to reasonably), continue to bolster the quarterback future with Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston or stick with the best available (likely a receiver)? – Tony in Montana
As I mentioned earlier I believe this draft goes nine-deep in terms of guys who basically round out the top three tiers, so all is not lost if you need to stand pat and go BPA (likely Breshad Perriman or perhaps even Nelson Agholor). Of course, if you really like guys ahead of you then I would certainly attempt to jump up to pick 1.07 – I’d try offering a second round pick, or perhaps swapping your 2016 first with his 2016 second rounder (especially since you’re perennially strong) as a sweetener, but if that doesn’t get it done I’d probably stand pat and take whoever’s left. Neither represents a bad decision here, and both should yield a fine player. Ultimately I firmly believe the only bad thing you could do in this scenario is to reach for a quarterback – they’re just too easy to find, and your stable is more than good enough.