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. With Christine Michael practicing with the first team in Dallas (as of the time of this question), are the much maligned group that is the “Michaelvelians” in for some redemption from the naysayers or is this more fools’ gold? If he gets in and happens to have a big game, do we keep the faith with this huge opportunity or immediately flip him?Yeti in the North

[inlinead]Obviously we now have the benefit of hindsight on our side as it relates to this query, and as we all know the man they call C-Mike finished the game with all of one carry for negative yardage. Meanwhile, Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden combined for 21 touches, and Lance Dunbar chipped in another three totes before he went down with a torn ACL and was lost for the season. In other words, Michael was able to sequester all of four percent of the running back touches.

Perhaps the more important point is Dunbar’s injury, as Dallas has done a good job finding touches for three running backs on a weekly basis. Of course, with all of one career reception to his name, Michael appears to be far from a natural fit to fill the “third down back” role. Regardless, team owner Jerry Jones claims the ‘Boys have no plans to bring another ball carrier into the fray.

Though this would seem to imply Michael could become a more integral part of the offense, I remain just as hesitant as I’ve ever been on his future prospects. He’s big and fast, sure, but it’s my belief too many owners are clinging to the fact he was a former second round pick, ignoring the more recent data that he was traded for a conditional seventh round selection. When it comes to the NFL, all the physical talent in the world and 75 cents will buy you a diet coke and not much else – you still need to perform between the white lines, and for whatever reason the Seahawks didn’t believe C-Mike had the potential to do so.

Teflon-coated as he is, however, Michael’s value still hasn’t seemed to dip these past few weeks. To that, all I can say is give it time. I struggle to see him carving out a role and would use this opportunity to sell while you still can. As I said recently on Twitter, C-Mike is the gift that keeps on giving – in this case, it’s one more chance to get out while you still can!

  1. I was offered Julian Edelman and Kendall Wright for Brandin Cooks and CJ Anderson. Cooks and CJA have a ton of potential, but both are at low values right now and I’m thinking they have been over-hyped coming into the season. Plus, Wright seems to have some good chemistry with Marcus Mariota. I would appreciate your thoughts on this trade!Gabe in WI

I’d absolutely make the trade. While Brandin Cooks and CJ Anderson were busy “winning the off-season” (I was definitively guilty on the latter, as well), Julian Edelman has just kept piling up big PPR statistics. To that point, despite being on bye in week four, Edelman currently stands as the PPR WR14, a whopping 21 spots ahead of the next guy who’s missed a game (Eric Decker) – to me, Edelman is clearly the crown jewel of the proposed deal.

As to who’s the third best PPR receiver with only three games under his belt? Look no further than the other piece you’d be receiving, Kendall Wright. Wright has always been a good player stuck on a bad offense, but last season achieved well above his expected production. Now that he finally has a proper quarterback in Marcus Mariota slinging him the rock, it’s no surprise he’s already been able to achieve 20 PPR points twice so far this season.

I honestly don’t think it’s out of line to posit you’re receiving the two best assets in the deal. Edelman is a proven PPR stud, and Wright is currently doing what we expected Cooks to do. With CJA floundering as well, and in danger of losing his starting job to Ronnie Hillman, it’s beginning to seem like we’re far more than a month removed from August.

To that point, we now have enough evidence under our belts to begin to revise our expectations. Do we still think Cooks is good enough to ever justify his August ADP of the WR12? Do we believe Anderson will return to the form he showed at the end of last season? Perhaps these remain possibilities, but we also still need to take what we’ve seen into account – and simply put, one side of this deal has players achieving at least expected production, and the other has players underperforming. If you’re interesting in winning, the choice is easy.

  1. In my dynasty league, there is a lot of hesitancy to trade. It comes down to most owners either doing nothing at all, or only being willing to trade if there’s an absolute clear winner. Is there anything that can be done with complacent owners in a league?Kyle in MN

Ultimately, I believe owners are going to do what they believe is best for them. In some cases that involves not trading, and in others it means only accepting deals where they believe they “win” the deal. The real question might ultimately be if you can change human nature?

The one thing I’ve always found that helps me navigate turbulent trade waters is to not lead off by offering a trade. Instead, send an email or text to your prospective trade partner, and keep it light:

“Hey man, crazy season so far – I thought I was set at the <insert position here> position but all my guys are <injured, bad, etc.>!”

If you’re in a fantasy league, it stands to reason you like talking about football. From there, you can try and build up some of the guys you’re interested in trading:

“Yeah, I’d definitely be in trouble though if not for <insert player name here>!”

This can help your trade partner achieve a sense of how you value your guys, and you can gauge his or her interest level.

At this point, what started as a conversation has now become a trade dialogue. It’s also a lot more natural than the “cold call” that is an automated trade message, and shows your league mate the type of vested interest you have in getting something done. If you do it right, you’ll already have a deal in place before you even go to your league’s website.

  1. I’m 0-4 with players like Andre Johnson, Rueben Randle and Darren McFadden on my roster.  I’m also not loving my bench and am looking to rebuild.  One guy I do like is Martellus Bennett, and I have some decent depth at tight end as well.  A guy offered me a trade of Darren McFadden and Martellus Bennett, and I’d get DeVante Parker and his second round pick.  He’s currently 3-1 and the fifth highest scorer in the league. I’m thinking of countering with him throwing in his fourth rounder as well.  How fair is the deal he’s currently offering me?Nathaniel in MN


I’m as big a fan of Martellus “The Black Unicorn” Bennett as anyone, and even currently have him ranked as my dynasty TE6. However, if you’re serious about rebuilding, DeVante Parker is a great piece to acquire. No, the Dolphins offense hasn’t come anywhere near their lofty preseason expectations, but they have the bye week (along with the recent canning of former head coach Joe Philbin) to get right, and hopefully get their promising playmaker involved.

Even if Parker doesn’t get much going this year, all it generally takes with highly drafted rookies is a few flashes of greatness to keep their value up. When you’re rebuilding, the name of the game is acquiring as much value as you can, and the younger the better. To me, Parker checks both of these boxes.

So no, I wouldn’t hold out for any more. In fact I’m surprised he’s even offering you the second round pick on top, as I consider it far more valuable than Darren McFadden. Even if giving Bennett away makes that pick just a little bit worse, I still think this deal works out in your favor.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27


eric hardter