Welcome to the latest bonus edition of the weekly mailbag. We just keep getting bombarded with great questions, so we won’t stop!
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 took over an orphan team that isn’t ready to contend and I’m thinking about trading Eli Manning and Brandon Marshall for more young talent. Is this a good or bad idea, and what should I expect in return? – Brandon in TX
This generally isn’t the time when I trade veteran players, as it’s my opinion they won’t reach the pinnacle of their respective values until the lights come on and they start producing again. Now there are some schools of thought that suggest a “true” rebuild should look to trade any and all aging players before the season, as owners shouldn’t want them on their team scoring points, thereby lessening the chance of procuring a high rookie draft pick next year. I personally think that’s hogwash – a true rebuild should seek to maximize roster value, and you simply can’t do that by getting only 75 cents on the dollar right now. I’d give it a few games and sell then (after all we’re talking about a likely QB1 and the top receiver in a Chan Gailey offense), but if you really feel as if you have to sell now, I’d want a first round pick and another young player (think along the lines of Cody Latimer or Kenny Stills) at the minimum.
- I loaded up on young receivers for a start up dynasty league with 22 roster spots and did not pick up a kicker or defense, so I will need to drop a couple players. I will be watching the preseason so this could become easier but my question is who do you think has the higher future ceiling out of these rookies: Rashad Greene, Tre McBride, Stefon Diggs, and Ty Montgomery? – Matt in MN
Of the group you mentioned I’m highest on Stefon Diggs – he had some injury issues in college, but many forget he was one of the highest rated players coming out of high school. If you believe the training camp rumors (and have watched his preseason punt returns), he’s supposedly showing well and could have a year one impact on special teams. If Jarius Wright leaves come 2016, he could be the slot man of the future there as well. After him I’d prefer Ty Montgomery next (a third round pick by a team that knows receivers), followed by Tre McBride (apparently metrics guys liked him more than the NFL) and lastly Rashad Greene (likely the fourth receiver at best there).
- Through a few trades, I acquired pick 1.02 and know for a fact that Amari Cooper will be there, and it is my intention to take him. I recently received a trade offer of Julio Jones for the 1.02 and Latatvius Murray. I also own picks 2.04, 3.02 and 5.01. I’m tempted, but wanted some objective advice. – Justin in CA
Yes, yes, a million times yes! I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest the best-case scenario for Amari Cooper is to one day become as prolific as Falcons dynamo Julio Jones, but the odds are against that happening given the transcendent nature of the latter’s talent. Moreover, Jones is already a known commodity (meaning there won’t be any growing pains to suffer through) and he’s tied to a much better quarterback in Matt Ryan. In other words, Jones’ short-term future dwarfs that of Cooper, and he’s still young at just 26 years of age. My thoughts on the overrated-ness of Latavius Murray are well known by now, so he’s about as much a roadblock to this deal happening as a banana peel. I’d absolutely get it done.
- I have my first dynasty draft coming up and as far as I know it’s the first for everyone in the league as well. Somehow the league found it’s home on ESPN where the rankings aren’t set up for dynasty leagues. I have done my research and know receivers are the way to go early on but ESPN standard rankings are RB heavy through the first 15 picks. I was hoping to land a mid round draft pick to see how the other guys would play it. Run with the ESPN rankings, with the older running backs slipping a bit or did they do their research and will the top tier of receivers be gone right away? Unfortunately I landed pick 1.01 and will watch it unfold waiting for the end of round two to come around. I’m wondering how you would approach that first pick with the chance that a duo of stud receivers is left for the second and third picks? – Justin in CO
[inlinead]I think you can talk to your league mates and try and figure out how they’re leaning prior to the draft, but it’s more than likely those conversations won’t yield anything substantive. As such, I don’t think I would spend much time predicting what they’re going to do and simply stick to your board, especially since you pick first overall. The bottom line is there’s far too much variance to try and figure out what’s going to happen in the next 18 picks, and you don’t really want to let “common wisdom” influence what you’re going to do anyhow. Much like with ADP, it’s a guideline, but not a decisive course of action. Besides, even if you take a receiver first overall and a bunch of running backs go off the board after that, it just means you’ll have more quality players in addition to whoever goes at 1.01, and won’t be any sort of indictment of your selection.
- I am in a 12-team PPR dynasty league, and have been rebuilding a team. I have a great core of young receivers, but my question is should I target a quarterback with pick 1.04? Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Sam Bradford are out there and I don’t have a second round pick. – Arthur from Parts Unknown
Absolutely not. Barring some sort of crazily non-standard scoring system, or an obscene talent like Andrew Luck, I have a hard time justifying taking a quarterback anywhere in the first round, let alone with that high of a pick. You should have your pick of any of the tier-two guys (Kevin White, DeVante Parker and Melvin Gordon) and I’d vastly prefer any of them to any of the incoming rookie signal callers.
- I have pick 1.04 and was set on taking Kevin White if he’s available. How do you see his updated dynasty draft position considering his injury and time missed approaching? I guess what I’m asking is what should he now be drafted at? – Kyle in MA
I have yet to adjust Bears receiver Kevin White in my rankings and have no plans to do so. As of now he’s “only” slated to miss the first six games of the season, which is certainly not ideal, but also far from a death knell for a newly minted 23-year old. No, you don’t ever want to sacrifice production, but it’s my belief expectations should generally be tempered for rookies anyhow. I could see going with DeVante Parker or Melvin Gordon over him at 1.04, but I’m not ready to anoint the next tier of guys as better fantasy values. Again, the injury hurts, but this is still dynasty league football.
- How would you rate the rookies this year on a “must have” scale? For example, it’s two picks before you and Amari Cooper is on the board, so you move up if you can. Conversely it’s two picks before you and Jaelen Strong is best available, so you sit tight. Who else, outside of the top tier, are guys that are worth going up and getting as opposed to hoping they falls to you? – Aaron in NY
To me, what this question is essentially asking is who are the guys I have at the end of my rankings tiers? As such, I’d say the following players are worth “jumping” a few spots to go get: Ameer Abdullah, Phillip Dorsett, Devin Smith, Sammie Coates, Matt Jones and Stefon Diggs. Now remember, this is all relative. For example, if you’re sitting at pick 1.08, I think it’s definitely worth exploring around pick 1.05/1.06 to hunt for Abdullah. With Dorsett, I’d want to jump from the early second round into the late first. The other three are probably third round guys at best (Diggs is likely even later), and as such I wouldn’t hesitate to vault up half a round to “get my guy,” since the price points are lesser there and the players available present less of a chance of future success. But that’s just my opinion – to see how our rankers view such “outliers,” click it here.
- Who should we be targeting in the New England backfield and the Raiders backfield? I’m leaning Roy Helu and LeGarrette Blount but am unsure. – Pat in Ontario
[inlinead]I think you nailed it. Oakland’s Roy Helu is a known man-crush of mine, but he also continues his existence as an extreme dynasty value, as well as an arbitrage play on Latavius Murray. To that point, Murray is mind-bogglingly going 29 spots ahead of Helu in the running back pecking order (RB22 versus RB51) despite his lack of use across two seasons, as well as Helu’s proven abilities – for comparative value alone I think Helu should be the guy.
With LeGarrette Blount, there’s simply no other guy in New England I’d want to count on. The role of “passing down back” seems destined to be a three-headed monster, and Jonas Gray basically has one week of greatness attached to his name. Bill Belichick doesn’t trust a lot of players, but he seems genuinely attached to Blount, who appears to be a lock for double-digit touches on a weekly basis. At the price of the dynasty RB47, he continues to represent a bargain.
- In my 12-team PPR league I have some aging (or possibly already over the hill) stars at receiver in Roddy White and Marques Colston. I am pretty set for this year and the near future with Jordan Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Golden Tate and Breshad Perriman. I have some high upside, yet questionable depth behind them in Marquess Wilson, Marqise Lee, Corey Washington, Duron Carter, Sammie Coates and Jeff Janis, not to mention Josh Gordon. I am in win now mode too. Is it premature to drop Roddy or Colston and gamble on a hype guy like Brandon Coleman for the future? My league tends to value youth so I’m not sure I could trade them either. – Cashdad in KS
I think Saints receiver Brandon Coleman is certainly worth rostering, but not at the expense of either Marques Colston or Roddy White. Yes, they’re both aging, and no, neither possesses the ceiling they used to, but these remain a pair of players who functioned as a WR3 and WR2 (respectively) in 2014, and at worst should be able to help you out in a pinch at some point this season. Continuing, we simply don’t know what’s going to happen as the weeks drone on – unfortunately for you and other owners (as well as just fans of the game in general), it appears you might already be without the services of Jordy Nelson, making the maximization of your depth that much more important. Given your win-now status, I just can’t see making either of those moves.
- I have one more spot open for a keeper. I can keep one of the following: Steve Smith, Stevan Ridley or Donte Moncrief. Which of them holds the most value? – Ray in NJ
It all depends on the makeup of your team. If you’re in a win-now mode I think Steve Smith makes the most sense, as I’d be shocked if either of your other two options comes close to matching his 2015 output. However, if you’re attempting to rebuild, I could see keeping Donte Moncrief instead – despite the fact the Colts seem to be doing anything and everything to add pass-catching talent to rise above him in the pecking order, he still carries a reasonable amount of dynasty value, thereby maximizing the “worth” of your team. Metaphorical gun to my head though and I’d take Smith – after all, the goal of this hobby of ours is always to win, and he gives you the best chance of doing so.
- In my half-PPR keeper league, I can keep three players that will each cost a draft pick. I’m definitely keeping Jeremy Hill for an eighth round pick, but which two of the following receivers would you keep for the draft pick listed: Alshon Jeffery (10th), DeAndre Hopkins (10th) and Jordan Matthews (14th)? Note that this is the last time I can keep Alshon. Hopkins, Mathews and Hill can all be kept in 2016 for the same values. Also, if I keep Alshon and Hopkins, I would need to use a 9th for Alshon. – John in RI
This is an extremely nuanced question that also, in my opinion, has a surprisingly straightforward answer – it has to be DeAndre Hopkins and Jordan Matthews. Yes, I believe Alshon Jeffery is the best player listed above, but he only provides you with the ability to essentially game the system for one more year. Yes, that’s extremely useful, and he will also provide value far above his current price tag, but I believe both Hopkins and Matthews can provide 85-90% of Jeffery’s ceiling while also doing so for an additional year. If you still really want Jeffery you can nab him in the first round as part of your dispersal draft. Ultimately though, keeping Hopkins and Matthews makes your roster more flexible for a longer period of time without sacrificing much upside – it’ll be tough to cut Jeffery loose, but I firmly believe it’s for the “greater good” to say goodbye.
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To #3 – Justin in CA
I have to be a voice of dissent here. I have disagreed on Mailbags before in regard to Murray
But here’s what I think it ultimately comes down to, you have to make the decision you believe in personally, because I truly think it could go either way.
Julio is 26, a proven elite NFL WR talent with many good years left.
In Cooper and Murray you get a 21 year old and a 25 year old. I think we all know where they stand, Cooper’s ceiling could get as high as Julio, but his floor is also very high even if he doesn’t reach those heights. I personally am buying the Murray hype this year so I do not think this is a throwaway part of this trade.
The fantasy community is split on whether Murray has the chops to avoid injury and translate his huge measurables to the field. I would say you have to make the call. Look into him closer, and if you are a believer in Murray, hold pat (as you could end up with two very good players, who are younger, and who you could even flip for more later if you so desired). If not, take the sure thing elite option in Jones. I don’t think there is a losing side to this trade but the Murray and Cooper option has more risk, so it depends on where you fall on that scale. Also, I hate to point out but Julio has had foot issues and those sometimes can be a lingering career problem. Just by simply having the two players in this deal you are less likely to be wiped out by injury as if one goes down, you still have the other.
If it’s me I hold pat with Cooper and Murray (but then again I own them both, so I already have made this decision). You should write back and let us know what you decide
I agree with Eric and I jump on Julio if I get the chance. Cooper can become Julio, or he could be a bust; with Jones you have a top 5 WR in a system that could have him at the top WR spot by the end of the year. If Murray hits he can be a high end RB2 at best until Oakland improves to win some games. As of now, I expect they will be behind enough to limit his opportunity.
As a Julio owner I’d not even consider a Cooper/Murray offer without another pick in the mix. With Cooper and Murray you are gambling on not only their talent/upside but Carr’s as well. Floors are well established for Julio/Ryan. When in doubt, assume the Raiders have failed at talent evaluation/development…they generally do.
As a Julio owner — I would never consider the Cooper Murray offer. Take it and run. Julio is a top 5 (Top 2?) asset. Thos tend to be impossible to acquire ever – much less for unproven assets.
I recognize I am on the side of the gamble. The Murray and Cooper option has more risk, so like I said, it depends on where you fall on that scale of how much you want to gamble/play safe. It also depends on the rest of your roster (as I have Dez and Mike Evans I feel more capable to gamble on keeping Cooper and Murray and still feel solid at WR without Julio). The team structure plays into whether he takes the trade (who are his other RBs?).
I understand that we have our projection models and the likelihood of players reaching elite status, but I think these are also somewhat flawed in that they overly label some players injury-prone while giving others a pass.
Gronk and Julio have had the types of injuries to give some decent pause and yet it all gets washed away. It’s almost like once a guy has reached an exalted status people look the other way because it’s tough to choose a guy to start a dynasty franchise around such as Gronk or Julio and acknowledge that they have a decent amount of injury risk.
We also like to make the Raiders a punching bag and they have earned it, but the NFL system is designed to redistribute and create parity. It was not too many years ago that Seattle was a punching bag and Russell Wilson was nobody and Marshawn Lynch was a red flag running back coming from Buffalo. I think you win big by taking risks and sometimes going against the grain. Adrian Peterson was labeled a big injury risk out of college for running high and getting hurt. Murray has not had a chance yet to be healthy and play an actual season, not to mention the Raiders as a whole are improving and that helps all of their production. Murray goes top 10 in production and everybody can point to why he wasn’t supposed to do that for why they don’t own him, yet someone banks it.
Though the whole community may look at Julio the better side of this trade it is not implausible at all for it to go the other way and by then this debate will be washed away and there was safety sticking to the pack. I take the gamble on Murray and Cooper, the majority takes Julio. That’s why my advice was to go with what he ultimately believes in because then he will have made his decision rather than to be swayed one way or the other.
Also, acknowledging Murray’s risk, just lock down Helu to handcuff him and you are hedged if the gamble goes South. He should be cheap enough to get.
Cuts are looming in my TE premium PPR dynasty league (1.5 for TE).
Can you rank or tier the following roster stashes? Team composition is irrelevant. I’m looking solely for upside. Chris Conley, Corey Washington, Josh Huff, Dontrelle Inman, Clive Walford, Crockett Gillmore, Jesse James, Derek Carrier, Rob Housler, CJ Fiedorowicz
Chris Conley is in a tier by himself in that list.
Next tier I’d say is Clive Walford, Josh Huff, Corey Washington
Next Inman, CJ Fiedorowicz, Carrier, Housler
Bottom tier: Gillmore, James
I could see moving a guy here or there up or down but Gillmore and James woudl be easy cuts for me regardless of TE premium.
For Dynasty keepers, should I keep Lacy at $19, or Jeremy Hill at $2. Also factoring in is this would be my final year to keep Lacy, and only the first time to keep Hill. $200 draft budget, keeper values are deducted at draft, cannot keep same player more than twice (meaning three seasons total service time).
Hill, no doubt about it.
Hill very easily. Better salary, can keep him an extra year AT the better salary. No brainer.
Hill. When you luck into a cheap stud – keep him.
To question 3…I’ve slipped on a banana peel before
#7: David Johnson, no doubt. I would burn a late 1st on him easily or move up to snag him. The fact that he is going a full round after TJ Yeldon (on the Jags!) is blasphemy. I don’t understand how people are still sleeping on him especially after his strong showing week 2.
#11: I go Alshon for the win and don’t look back. Half PPR makes him even more valuable as I see 10+ TDs. Hopkins will be lucky to get 5+. Even though I only have Alshon for a year I think his production will blow Hopkins away and it’s not like Houston’s QB situation will change drastically in a year.
I was #11 and that’s what I did. I had to lock in my keepers before this mailbag was posted. (Thanks anyway, Eric for answering my question. It was my fault for not sending it in a week or so earlier. I almost did what you suggested) I actually went with Hill, Alshon and Matthews. I was torn between Alshon and Hopkins but went with the better player this year. He obviously has the better QB situation. And also, the way I look at it is that I want to win this year. It’s only a 3-player keeper. My options this time next year may be very different anyway. And I’m sure I’ll have at least 3 good options next year too. So I just wanted to go with the best players this season.
Good! I think you made the right move. I see Hopkins a tier below Mathews & Jeffrey!
Sunday is my complicated keeper/dynasty league draft… Its a league where the 1st 2 rounds are players that cant be kept and any rookie drafted in the 3rd or later you have a lifetime contract on. 3rd and 4th round u can keep any player drafted regardless of whether or not they are rookies. Each year you are allowed to keep 1QB(RG3) 1RB(Tre Mason) 2WRs(d.Hopkins, J.Matthews) 1TE(Jordan Reed.) Im probably a year away from competing and i have the 3.12, 3.15 and the 4.06. By the start of the 3rd usually theres 5or6 rookies already gone, so my question is this: Who should i have on my radar for those keeper picks? I don’t necessarily need production this year but it would be good bc top 6 teams get into the playoffs and then team 7 gets the no.1 pick, team 8 gets no.2 and so on. Any advice appreciated, cant wait too long for guys to develop though, need players that’ll be productive going into the 2016 season.
Thanks for answering my question, great article as usual. Although after I had sent that in I ended up trading Steve Smith for Ronnie Hillman (I’m a CJ Anderson owner). So that fills up my last keeper spot. I had no use for either WR as I have Keenan Allen, Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, John Brown, Charles Johnson, and I am currently trading Jeremy Maclin for Martavis Bryant, so since I have almost every breakout WR out there I figured a handcuff would be more useful
Trying to upgrade my RB core..the strength of my team is at WR (Dez, Antoino, TY, Jordan Matthews, and Cooks- we start 3 WRs and I flex the other 2). Who should I try to deal and who would be a good target straight up?