Burning Questions

Jeff Miller


I had an interesting conversation today with DLF’s own, Nick Whalen. What started as a discussion about how baffling people can be in trade talks ended with Nick concluding some people play dynasty football for reasons other than to win. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I suppose he’s right.

There are guys who love to build young, sexy rosters, trading players before they get their second contract. Others are in it just to wheel and deal, even if it is detrimental to their title hopes. Folks like me play for one thing and one thing only: to win. Yet many more do it socially, without much of a care for any of the above.

Every single one of those reasons, and plenty I didn’t mention, is as valid as any other. So while I personally don’t identify with any motivation other than to compete to win, I am also beginning to recognize that as long as the owner is enjoying themselves, I shouldn’t really care how they go about things. Neither should you.

So that wasn’t the most Jeff intro ever. I don’t like it, but I do have a softer side that occasionally says, “Hi.” Hopefully this week’s self-asked questions will serve to make me hard again.

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How does your running back strategy differ in start-one and start-two RB leagues?

This question comes to us courtesy of a Twitter discussion with Ryan McDowell and @horn_ff, and the timing couldn’t be better. As we transition from the early-season honeymoon period to the mid-season what the heck do I do with my team part of the year, it’s a great time to look at how our rosters are set up for 2016.

As with many (most?) dynasty owners in PPR leagues, I prefer to build around wide receivers, especially in start-one RB leagues. All you really need for ball carriers are three or so RB2 types you can rotate in and out as you see fit. A good example of this is my first place team in Mr. McDowell’s Hyper Active 4. I entered the year with four players in the RB2 discussion, giving me a gob of opportunity for something good to happen, which it did in the form of Chris Ivory. If it hadn’t, I still would have been fine mixing and matching based on their opponents each week.

That tack is much more difficult to pull off in a start-two RB league. If you take a look at my 2-4 mess in Dan Meylor’s fantastic Dead Presidents Salary Cap League, you’ll see what I mean. I would be content starting one of these guys every week, especially considering it means I could have spent cap money elsewhere, but playing two is incredibly difficult.

In such leagues, my best advice is to find yourself a top-notch back to hold down your RB1 spot. If you are built around WR and one good running back, you’re free to rotate your second RB hole among a hodgepodge of lesser talents.

While we are talking about running backs, how do you navigate the mess after Le’Veon Bell and Todd Gurley?

If you can’t land a true stud, look for aging, still productive players or buy-low candidates.

I wish I had followed my own advice this fall while acquiring C.J. Anderson. Instead, I paid a premium for a non-elite player and got burned. If I had gone after Matt Forte, I would have spent less and been much happier.

Different rosters at differing stages of competitiveness could have me going different directions, but as a rule, RB is a position to play it safe by going for proven players or targeting cheaper talent with room to improve their production, and with it, value.

How do you decide what questions to ask yourself every week?

I have no idea what I am going to write before I sit down and write it. For example, I had no clue I was going to ask myself this question until I did. Does this make me a savant?

Where are you on Stefon Diggs?

Coming in to the season, my comment on him in my rankings was something like, “Destined to return kicks and punts.” After two big games, one of them against the imposing Broncos’ defense, Diggs has made me look silly. Not only is he stuffing the stat sheet, he looks fantastic doing it.

A quick 30-minute film session revealed all sorts of goodness for the highly recruited former Terp. Diggs has exceptional feet, runs a nasty out route, displays soft hands and good catching technique, and has no problem releasing against press coverage.

I wish he worked more inside the numbers, where, by my count, he’s been targeted only twice this year (out of 19 total). I also would like to see a more diverse route tree. But these are both things we have plenty of time to see develop into a part of the rookie’s game.

Based on his performance and what I saw on film, I’ve moved Diggs from 69 to 45, just below Phillip Dorsett and right above Tyler Lockett, in my rankings. All three of these guys have WR2 upside with the ability to sprinkle in huge games.


jeff miller