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 in a 12-team, 16-man roster dynasty league, where I can keep or drop all of my players. I just won the championship this year because of the strength of my receivers, but my running backs moving forward are thin and aging. I am loaded at receiver with DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief, Stefon Diggs, Kevin White and Josh Gordon, but my running backs are thin with David Johnson, Jamaal Charles, C.J. Anderson and Karlos Williams being the only guys I would think of keeping. Which one of my receivers would you think of moving, and what would be a good return for them? I have already been offered Melvin Gordon for Stefon Diggs.– Jonathan in NC
Truth be told I don’t think you have any sort of glaring issue at the running back position. You certainly have question marks – Jamaal Charles is returning from another ACL tear, David Johnson remains without a track record of sustained success, CJ Anderson could never really move past Ronnie Hillman this year, and Karlos Williams remains firmly behind LeSean McCoy in the pecking order. However, you still have a quartet of above average players at what is inarguably fantasy’s most volatile position.
And honestly, at least to me, it’s that last point that remains key. 2015 was certainly more aberrant than normal, but we’ve seen for years now that investing heavily in the running back position is a fool’s errand, given both the turnover and longevity. I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek out stud ball carriers, but often times it’s talented backups that wind up winning seasons – to wit, every player you listed in your query was once a secondary (or worse) positional option on his team.
Your roster size certainly makes it a bit tougher to count on upside, but I think you’ve hit the right combination of youth and veterans, as well as proven production and upside potential. Charles is markedly more talented than the other options in the Kansas City backfield, and should resume his status as a do-it-all runner with goal line ability. Johnson has the inside track to Arizona’s starting job, and Anderson could possess that same ability in Denver should Hillman leave for greener pastures. Even Williams offers FLEX appeal right now, and could be a monster if McCoy misses time.
Even given that, however, I don’t honestly see an issue if you want to swap sophomores and nab Melvin Gordon for Stefon Diggs. I liked what Diggs was able to do this year, but it’s more likely than not that he won’t crack your starting lineup, and quite simply he might not possess the right type of upside for a shorthanded squad. Gordon proved very little in 2015, but he remains a first-round running back and will get his chances in 2016 – as stated above, that might just be more than enough to put him on the radar for fantasy viability next season, especially given the hellish landscape of the position.
- Entering the off-season I’m torn on what to do with my two tight ends, Tyler Eifert and Travis Kelce. Both are valued highly but I’m concerned about each. Eifert was a beast this year with 13 touchdowns but only managed 52 receptions and 615 yards in the process. Kelce was able to snag 72 for 875 yet only could muster 5 touchdowns, and I think he could be so much more if KC made him a bigger part of the game plan but his week-to-week usage made him completely unreliable on a weekly basis. Eifert’s value meanwhile seems entirely tied to touchdowns as he didn’t appear to get much love between the 20s. We certainly can’t expect another 13-score season. It’s frustrating when I see guys like Delanie Walker putting up 94-1,088-6 or Gary Barnidge’s 79-1,043-9 when I feel like each of these guys should be putting up similar numbers. I want to know what to expect from each of these players in 2016 and if a case should be made to sell one or both of them and what type of return each could fetch or if you think they will show more consistency and reliability as starters.– Jordan in Vancouver
[inlinead]While I recognize there are several similarities between dynasty football and the stock market, that doesn’t mean there needs to be an impetus to make supposed value-based trades. Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is a perfect example of this, as his seemingly unrepeatable 2015 season would appear to render him as a classic “sell high.” And given the fact you have another high-end option, the fates appear to be aligning for you to make a move.
That said, I don’t think you should. It’s imperative to remember that this was, for all intents and purposes, Eifert’s second season in the league. Had he never gotten injured as a “true” sophomore, we’d likely be talking about his upward dynasty trajectory instead of the likelihood of his continued success – so while I believe you’re correct in assuming his scoring will regress, I also think he’ll become an even bigger part of the weekly game plan between the 20s, especially given the chance that one (or both) of Mo Sanu and Marvin Jones will be moving on.
As for Travis Kelce, no, he didn’t have the continued breakout we expected, but he was still the PPR TE8 on the year. His points-per-game left something to be desired, but we’ve already seen the upside he offers. When it comes to the tight end position, that’s ultimately what we should be seeking, given the fact there are roughly 10-15 other guys who can fill the “low-end TE1” tier.
So seeing as your choices are either “sell high” on a guy who’s still growing, or “sell low” on a guy who has already flashed a high-end TE1 ceiling, I’d much rather go with Option C – do nothing. Even with the breakouts of guys like Gary Barnidge and Delanie Walker, there remains a massive chasm between those who have the potential to afford you a weekly advantage, and those who don’t. You have two guys who do, and I think you can give each another year to add some consistency to the promise they’ve already shown.
- I have had Jeremy Langford in my Taxi Squad spot all year, and now that our trading can resume I’ve gotten a couple requests of “how much” for me to part with him. I have told my league-mates that is won’t be cheap, as I consider Matt Forte gone and Langford getting the three-down work in 2016. I’m not hurting at the skill positions, so the question is, what do you think Langford is worth at this point? – Dan in WI
Last week Jarrett and I welcomed former co-host Tim Stafford back to the DLF Podcast, at which point we ran through a two-round, 2015 rookie draft “redo.” Tim wound up selecting Bears running back Jeremy Langford at the end of the first round, which I felt was both fair, as well as remarkable considering where he was going in rookie drafts last off-season. But, as I mentioned above, the state of the ball carrying union in the NFL is currently a dire one, so the chance to own a three-down players with goal-line ability is going to drive the price up substantially.
So if you were to trade him away, I think you should be looking in the range of players such as Ameer Abdullah, Breshad Perriman, Tyler Lockett and Diggs. You could even drop down a tier and try to snag a guy like Devin Funchess, and hopefully get a little bit of a sweetener on the side. If you were looking for draft picks, I see no reason to settle for anything less than a first rounder. Ultimately though, I don’t see anything wrong with standing pat for about the first month or so of the new season – when talented youngsters put some good things on tape, their respective values continue to rise, and that could and should continue when he likely wins Chicago’s starting job. At that point, there’s a significant likelihood you could cash out for even more.
- I’m in a 12-team, half-PPR keeper league with a cap system in place. I had a good year, so I’m looking to create some space. I’m looking to trade Devonta Freeman for Mike Evans and Dorial-Green Beckham. My other keepers would be Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown and AJ Green. Should I make the trade for some solid depth, or keep those top four? I do believe Freeman is going to regress a bit, but still be a solid RB1. – Rob in Calgary
Falcons ball carrier Devonta Freeman remains one of the more polarizing players in dynasty football, and with good reason. He was downright awful as a rookie in 2014, and coming into this season the coaching staff clearly favored rookie third round pick Tevin Coleman. However, as often happens in this league, Coleman suffered an injury and Freeman took the reigns and never looked back.
All told, the sophomore running back ended the season as the overall PPR RB1, a whopping 50+ points ahead of the nearest competitor (Adrian Peterson). In doing so he showed an elite ceiling (825 total yards and nine touchdowns from weeks 3-7), while also establishing a high floor with nearly five receptions per game. It was a true breakout for the presumed third-down running back.
But when looking at upside, it always remains prudent to look at a player’s potential pitfalls. Over the final half of the season he only exceeded 3.4 YPC one time, and ultimately his YPC on the season stood at a pedestrian 4.0. Given his sporadic usage in college (he never exceeded 195 touches in any given season), it’s fair to wonder if the 5-foot-8, 208-pound Freeman is meant to be utilized as a true bell cow.
Continuing, I think it’s fair to wonder if his passing game usage will continue in 2016 and beyond. Quarterback Matt Ryan had no one to throw to apart from Freeman and all-world receiver Julio Jones, leaving a pedestrian talent in Jacob Tamme as the second option in the passing game. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Falcons seek to upgrade their pass catching corps via the draft or free agency, at which point it seems reasonable that Freeman’s passing statistics could take a step back.
It’s also believable that Coleman could work his way into more of a timeshare moving forward, in an attempt to keep Freeman fresh. I still view Freeman as the 1a, at worst, but Atlanta spent significant draft capital on the 2015 rookie, and clearly liked what they saw enough to name Coleman the starter at the season’s onset. Though he had his share of injury issues, Coleman certainly didn’t embarrass himself on the field – even if he only siphons away 30-35 percent of the backfield touches, that’s a blow to Freeman’s potential output.
It’s for these reasons I actually have Freeman ranked as “only” my dynasty RB11. I’m significantly lower on him that my DLF compatriots, but I clearly still think he’s a fantastic dynasty asset. I’m simply trying to view things through more of a downside-based approach, since, as mentioned above, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses.
Given that I’d absolutely make the deal. I think it’s fair to assert Mike Evans is worth more than Freeman on his own, and while the half-PPR format hurts receivers, it also hurts pass-catching ball carriers as well. Adding the mercurial but talented Dorial Green-Beckham seals the deal for me, and I’d make the move. Of course, it will eventually come down to perspective – if you’re viewing Freeman’s season through a rosier lens, it makes sense to hang onto what could be an ascending talent. But if you have your reservations, there’s never anything wrong with swimming against the tide.
Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27
- Tactical Transactions: Moves to Make Before Week Three - September 19, 2023
- Tactical Transactions: Moves to Make Before Week Two - September 12, 2023
- Tactical Transactions: Moves to Make Before Week One - September 5, 2023