The DLF Mailbag: Bonus Edition

Eric Hardter


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!*

  1. 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.

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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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eric hardter