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!*
- I’m a contender and own both LeSean McCoy and Justin Forsett. I already have Javorius Allen on my bench, but someone else just dropped Karlos Williams. Is it worth dropping Allen to pick up Williams? Which one is the better investment this year, and what about next year and beyond? – Mike in TX
I definitely prefer Bills rookie Karlos Williams to his Baltimore freshman counterpart Javorius Allen, and am surprised your league mate let him slip into the black morass that is the waiver wire. While regression can certainly be expected, the bottom line is Williams has been doing wonders every time he touches the ball. On the season he’s averaging a robust 6.6 YPC, and has even chipped in five receptions. Perhaps most impressively he’s scoring once every 9.3 touches, showing both power in the short-yardage game as well as an ability to bust the big play.
Though it’s true Williams remains behind starter LeSean McCoy, who has somewhat revitalized himself, he’s still managing to sequester nearly nine touches per game when he functions as the backup, and 21 in his lone starting effort. To that latter point, McCoy has been constantly getting nicked up, and given his age and workload, it’s not a huge stretch to believe he could miss more time as the year progresses. Given how coach Rex Ryan wants to “ground and pound” his opponents into submission, Williams theoretically has an RB1 ceiling should he lay claim to the starting role again.
As far as 2016 and beyond, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to essentially extrapolate the paragraph above as it relates to McCoy’s future prospects. This is a guy who relies on his speed and ability to cut on a dime, but seven years and 1,900 touches (and counting) are enough to begin to drag most any running back down. It wouldn’t surprise me if Williams begins to eat into McCoy’s touches even more starting as soon as next year.
As for Allen, he’s looked good enough at times that I believe he’s worth a spot on your bench if you can spare it. With that said, he’s only averaging 5.5 touches per game, never eclipsing ten in a single contest, suggesting he’ll need a Justin Forsett injury to provide any sort of sustained fantasy relevance this season. With Lorenzo Taliaferro returning next year, it’s no guarantee he’ll even hold onto the backup job. Again, he’s worth a stash, but certainly not at the expense of a player like Williams.
- In my 10-team league, due to some really bad luck, I’m 1-7 with a pretty solid team. I’m going into rebuild mode and my biggest hole on my roster is at RB2. I have Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan and am trying to flip Ryan to a contending team with a hole at quarterback. He has Melvin Gordon on his bench. What’s your thoughts on Gordon long term now? Good deal for me to give up Ryan for him, or if he presses me, Rivers? – Chris in OH
When watching Chargers rookie runner Melvin Gordon flounder against the Bears on Monday Night Football, I truthfully didn’t come away as unimpressed as his stat-line would’ve likely dictated. Though he bounced the ball outside more than I would’ve liked, it’s my belief this was due to the fact there weren’t any holes along the interior, which isn’t terribly surprising given the sorry state of affairs along San Diego’s truly offensive line. He looked like he ran hard, and showed more patience than hesitance, at least to my thoroughly untrained eye – I thought there were more than enough positives to believe he has a chance to be great moving forward, and I’m certainly not going to get upset that he gets benched for under-appreciated veteran Danny Woodhead whenever the Bolts fall behind.
So yes, given your league settings, if you have a chance to flip either Matt Ryan or Philip Rivers in order to acquire Gordon I’d do it in a New York minute. Both are very good to great players, but there should be more than enough signal callers available in a shallow format. Even if you have to add another piece to the deal, or a pick (think early second round) I’d be okay with it. In a 10-team league, the lure of a potential RB1 will outweigh a similar standing at quarterback.
- I have what was a contending team that’s sitting at 6-3. Unfortunately I lost Keenan Allen, Arian Foster, and now Dion Lewis. Should I limp into the playoffs and hope I get lucky, or start selling off old assets? If so, what sort of return should I request for Frank Gore? – Jacob in FL
Any time you lose three key starters on a contender, it’s going to hurt. When said starters were a pair of RB1s and a WR1, the cut is even deeper. I have no doubt the trio of Keenan Allen, Arian Foster and Dion Lewis were a large part of how you came to be 6-3, and moving forward without them is going to likely prove challenging.
With that said, you’re 6-3, and you haven’t had Foster for a few weeks now. This tells me you clearly have some other pieces that can help to get you by, and you likely only need one to two more wins to seal a spot in the playoffs. From there, who knows what could happen?
So instead of looking to ship off Colts ball carrier Frank Gore, I’d just plug him in and hope he’ll turn into the foundation of the offense given the recent injury to quarterback Andrew Luck. Keep rolling out with the rest of the guys who got you there as well. In a few weeks you can re-assess your situation and make moves as necessary, but I don’t see any pressing reason to make a snap decision at the current moment in time.
- Do you prefer Davante Adams or John Brown going forward? – WBBMoose in Canada
I think it’s John Brown and it’s not particularly close.
I’m not going to hold Davante Adams’ injury against him, as these things can happen to anyone. However, the thought process that Jordy Nelson was simply going to be replaced by the “next man up,” in this case Adams, was clearly folly. In fact, it’s fair to argue once-and-current Packer James Jones has actually done the best job of working alongside Randall Cobb, doing more to mitigate Nelson’s loss than any of Green Bay’s super-hype all-star young’ins.
This isn’t to say Adams can’t improve, and perhaps build off his strong week nine showing against the Panthers. But time is precious, and we just haven’t seen nearly enough to argue he’ll supplant Nelson when the veteran returns in 2016. At his current cost (ADP = 38), I’m staying away.
Conversely, Brown has done everything expected of him and more. Factoring out the week eight tilt where he was active but didn’t play a snap, “Smokey” currently sports a robust 5.3-80-0.4, good for nearly 16 PPR PPG. He’s older for a sophomore (25 as of April), but given his progression I don’t believe that will be an issue moving forward. He’s also proven to be able to do what Adams hasn’t, which is fight through an excellent stable of pass catchers to command enough targets to be fantasy relevant on a weekly basis. Long story short, Adams had the bigger name coming out of college, but Brown has shown the bigger game in the NFL.
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