The DLF Mailbag

Eric Hardter


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!*

  1. Our draft (12 man non-PPR) takes place very soon and I need help with my fifth keeper after I lost Kelvin Benjamin for the year. For sure I’m already keeping these four: Eddie Lacy, Rob Gronkowski, Alshon Jeffery and Lamar Miller. I’m undecided amongst Joseph Randle, Jarvis Landry, and John Brown. Thoughts?Zach in Toronto

To me, this has to be Jarvis Landry in a landslide. I know the non-PPR nature of the league partially mitigates what he does best, which is rack up receptions, but to me he easily has the best situation and most clarity of the trio you mentioned. He’s also shined this preseason, which to me is notable – not because of the numbers he’s produced, but because of the usage. He’s clearly established himself as Ryan Tannehill’s favorite target, and he’s even getting looks in the red zone. As such I don’t think it’s out of the question for him to not only clear 1,000 yards, but also to approach 8-10 touchdowns. Ultimately, he not only has the highest floor, but also the highest ceiling of the players you’re considering.

  1. In a 14-team league with two keepers, none of which can be players who were drafted in the first five rounds the previous year, would you recommend using my sixth round pick to keep Brandin Cooks, or my 12th round pick to keep Keenan Allen? Also, I have the first overall pick, so the sixth round pick would be 6.14. Does that come close to offsetting the better value in keeping Allen?Jason in Canada

While I’m of the belief Saints sophomore Brandin Cooks is a bit overrated in a dynasty setting, your league is much closer to re-draft given the low amount of keepers. Given that, I think it’s prudent to operate in a one-year window, so you just need to ask yourself who you think will produce more in 2015, given that the cost is low for either player. While I remain high on Keenan Allen from a dynasty setting, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll approach the volume Cooks is likely to receive, effectively limiting his opportunity to climb to the league’s upper echelon of fantasy talent. So while the price is right on Allen, I think Cooks is still the better bet here.

  1. I have Colin Kaepernick, Jeremy Hill, Mark Ingram, Doug Martin, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen, Jordan Cameron, Von Miller and Telvin Smith.  I’ve got pick 1.02 in next week’s rookie/FA draft and was wondering if I stay put and draft Todd Gurley or Amari Cooper, or trade down to grab someone in the next tier?  This is a 16-team PPR league with 25-man rosters, and 0.15 points per rush yard – the other scoring is standard.  Is Gurley still the consensus 1.01?Michael in OR

I believe he is, and the 50% increase in points per rushing output should only cement that. As such I think you should stand pat and see what your league-mate does at pick 1.01 (he could very well take Amari Cooper) before making a move, as there’s a possibility Todd Gurley will be there. Even if he’s not, I think I’d still rather stand pat and nab Cooper – to me they’re the two best players in the draft and this is a scenario where you don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. I can understand the desire to trade back and accumulate additional assets, but the simple truth in deeper leagues is that studs win championships – as it stands now, you’re all set to add one to your roster.

  1. I’m very deep at receiver and very light at running back. I traded AJ Green and Alfred Blue for Victor Cruz, as well as David Cobb, Matt Jones and David Johnson. How bad did I do? A side note: Cruz will be my number WR5, even with the loss of Green. I’m still four studs deep at receiver.Brian in MA

[inlinead]Given the way you phrased the question, I’m sensing a bit of seller’s remorse here. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to agree with that sentiment and think you sold low on Bengals receiver AJ Green. Readers of the Mailbag know I like to use the “money analysis” from time to time, and despite his missed time last year I still look at Green as a solid dollar bill. Perhaps the trio of rookies you received will pan out, and perhaps Victor Cruz will return to his previous glory following last year’s catastrophic knee injury, but at the current moment in time none of the above can be viewed as anything more than quarters. I would’ve much rather seen you exchange dollars (think Le’Veon Bell or Eddie Lacy), and generally don’t like selling studs for multiple pieces with little guarantee of future viability. I’m just not convinced you made your ball carrying corps that much better and even though you had depth at receiver, I think you could’ve done better.

  1. How do you feel about TJ Yeldon? He wasn’t particularly someone I was high on going into the draft but I just got him via a trade that was a good value in a position I needed. My team is in not great shape, and I’m expecting finishing in the bottom three or four. Would you suggest looking to move Yeldon for something I can be more excited about, or take a wait and see approach?JRVike in WI

If you can move him for commensurate value (think along the lines of LeSean McCoy, Lamar Miller or Ameer Abdullah), I see no reason not to make a deal. No matter what consensus opinion might dictate, fantasy football ultimately comes down to gut reaction, and if you’re not comfortable with TJ Yeldon I don’t think you need to wait and see. His value has been on a steady climb this off-season, but if you’re predicting a rocky rookie year, it would be prudent to strike while the iron is hot.

  1. I have watched every snap of Jarvis Landry’s career and believe in his talent.  His usage last year is the minimal of what he can do.  However, I have been getting a lot of offers for him in the last two weeks.  Taking his usage into consideration and the drafting of DeVante Parker, is now the time to sell high on Landry?Lsutino in LA

As I mentioned above, I’m much more bullish on Landry than the consensus. Much like you I believe he’s only scratched the surface of what he can do, and believe the “non-athletic” profile belies what makes him a great receiver. Yes, DeVante Parker was drafted to presumably function as the team’s WR1, but Tannehill has improved every year and will soon be at the point (if he’s not already) where he can support two viable fantasy pass catchers. Long story short, I’m still buying Landry where I can, not selling.

  1. I need to make some unsexy bottom-of-the-roster decisions in order to field a complete team when the season starts. I’m in complete rebuilding mode, so I need to keep guys with the most upside a couple years from now when I can be competitive, but could also try to flip guys that pop this year for picks. Which four (or more) of these guys do you think I should drop? Branden Oliver, Chris Polk, Thomas Rawls, Andrew Hawkins, Albert Wilson, Tre McBride, Rashad Greene, Allen Hurns, Ty Montgomery, Corey Washington, and Leonard Hankerson.Marty in CA

I’d get rid of Andrew Hawkins and Corey Washington off the bat – we’ve seen the former’s ceiling (and it ain’t pretty), and the latter might not even make the Giants roster. Next I’d ditch Chris Polk, who still doesn’t appear any closer to fantasy viability than he did before the Arian Foster injury. Again, dumping roster cloggers is the name of the game here, and I believe Polk fits the bill. The last cut is always the deepest, but I’d look to sever ties with Branden Oliver. I think he might have a future in the league, but he’s firmly blocked off by rookie Melvin Gordon and veteran Danny Woodhead and would need an injury to even approach a RBBC-type of scenario. Ultimately, he simply lacks the type of upside you crave.



eric hardter