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.I was wondering if there were any deep sleepers you were really high on already in the league? For example, a guy like Roy Helu? – Brian in MA
When it comes to someone I consider a sleeper, I’ll simply go to our aggregate DLF dynasty rankings and look to see who I’m a bit higher on than the rest of the crowd. So without further preamble:
Mike Davis, RB SF (My rank – 61, Aggregate Rank – 75) – I’ll be the first to admit Davis didn’t do overly much to lead me to believe he’s entitled to anything other than a backup slot come 2016. However, he was productive in college, has bell-cow size, and can play all three downs (70 receptions in college). I think Carlos Hyde is a good running back, but he’s certainly not devoid of question marks. Moreover, new head coach Chip Kelly has shown he’s not averse to spreading it around amongst his ball carriers. For the price of a firm handshake, he’s worth the gamble.
Stevan Ridley, FA RB (55, 74) – Much like Davis above, Ridley showed next to nothing this year. However, he’s proven NFL RB1 material in the past, and should have at least some say in where he winds up come 2016. Still just 27 (in 10 days), and with plenty of tread on his tires, I’ll take the shot in the dark that he could find his way into some sort of timeshare in 2016.
Sammie Coates, WR PITT (77, 83) – I’m not diverging much from my brethren here, but still think the Auburn product warrants mentioning. Though he was inactive more often than not in 2015, he has the size and speed to complement superstar Antonio Brown – moreover, his direct competition is comprised of a player with off-the-field issues (Martavis Bryant), and a soon-to-be free agent (Darrius Heyward-Bey). Coates has his own warts (rawness and drops), but proved he could make spectacular plays against top competition in college. If you view 2015 as a pseudo-redshirt campaign, it’s easy to believe Coates has a brighter future.
Vance McDonald, TE SF (22, 39) – If you know me at all you had to see this coming. I’ve been extolling McDonald’s virtues since he was a rookie, and it seems he finally began to realize his potential at the end of 2015. After returning from injury McDonald averaged a weekly 3.5-44-0.5 over his final six games, functioning as an every-down player. The arrival of the aforementioned Kelly is somewhat worrisome, as McDonald could potentially be relegated to the Brent Celek role, but his competition for fantasy viability is hardly fierce in the respective forms of Garrett Celek and Blake Bell. Tight end is all about upside, and McDonald has the size and speed to be an athletic mismatch at the position.
- Today I traded away Andy Dalton (I have Russell Wilson already), Tavon Austin, Willie Snead, and Nelson Agholor, and in return I received Eddie Lacy and this year’s third overall rookie pick. I already have the first overall pick and I am now left with Keenan Allen, Martavis Bryant, Jordan Matthews, Randall Cobb, and Phillip Dorsett as receivers. I also have the one-two punch combo of Adrian Peterson and Lacy at running back now. Thoughts on the trade? Suggestions on any future moves? – Richard in CA
I love the trade for you. While I’m a fan of both Tavon Austin and Willie Snead, and view both as startable assets, I believe you (rather easily) obtained the best two pieces in the deal. All told I think you were able to turn a few quarters and dimes into a pair of fifty-cent pieces.
Perhaps more importantly I like that you didn’t sell off any of your starting receivers. I expect Keenan Allen to return to his 2015 (and rookie) form as he comes back healthy next season, and Randall Cobb certainly isn’t as bad as he’s looked at times this season. That puts you well on the way to a solid starting trio.
Unfortunately, I remain concerned about your WR3 slot. I’ve already expressed my concerns about Bryant above, and Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews simply looked overwhelmed at times attempting to function as Philly’s WR1. Not only were drops a year-long issue for the sophomore pass catcher, but much of his output came in garbage time – yes, these points count just like any other points, but it can’t possibly inspire much confidence seeing a supposed top asset shut out of multiple games while they’re still competitive.
As such I’d look to pair one of Bryant or Matthews with pick 1.03 and see if you can obtain another bona fide WR1. Players like Julio Jones and Odell Beckham are likely out of the equation, but moving only a half-tier down to someone like Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, DeAndre Hopkins or Alshon Jeffery could be within reach. This would alleviate the uncertainty on your end, while adding yet another top-tier asset to your rapidly improving lineup.
- In a 12-team dynasty league I can keep 12 players. I was offered a trade for Jordan Reed, John Brown and 1.05, where I would receive Dez Bryant. I wouldn’t be able to keep Reed since I have Rob Gronkowski at tight end. My other Receivers are Antonio Brown, Alshon Jeffery, Allen Robinson, Stefon Diggs and Marvin Jones. I also have a decent stable of running backs and quarterbacks. Would you take this deal since it would be hard to keep Reed and Brown anyway or am I paying to much? – Robert in IN
I think it’s asking a bit too much. I understand that keeper limits can often force one’s hand when it comes to consolidation trades, but you’re giving up three extremely valuable pieces. Bryant is certainly a player every owner should look to acquire if possible, but I still think the potential offer highlighted in question two above is more of an acceptable price.
Continuing, just because you already have Rob Gronkowski and can only start one tight end, you shouldn’t feel compelled to effectively cheapen Jordan Reed’s value. He’s shown a Gronk-ian ceiling this season, and I’d much rather bury him on my bench than have a competitor obtain the advantage he affords, all because I was worried about positional requirements. I understand you want to maximize value, especially in this setting, but you don’t want to give away any handouts.
When you add in John Brown (the PPR25 this year) and the early first round pick, it just seems like too much to me, especially when you consider Bryant might not even upgrade your top three pass catchers. I have no issues trying to trade here, but would rather see you target a different owner, or give up a little less. Perhaps you could substitute Marvin Jones for pick 1.05, or get an early second thrown back your way as well – either way, as the deal stands now I’d rather stick with who you have.
- I’m sitting on next year’s rookie pick 1.12. While I’m in no hurry to trade it (and will likely wait until draft night), I am curious what I should be able to get in return. Maybe you could expand this with examples of what each first round pick (1 through 12) should yield? – Joe in NM
Truth be told it’s nearly impossible to put a firm value on each pick, since there are many factors that enter the equation. We still have yet to see where the rookies wind up (this shouldn’t matter, but often does in the minds of owners), and value is always going to be subjective to whoever your trade partner is. It’s the perfect storm of mystery.
With that said, I think there’s something I can do to help. Our ADP data, courtesy of Ryan McDowell, can effectively show the value of rookie players (or taken one logical step forward, rookie picks) as it relates to veterans. It’s not perfect (ADP reflects team building a bit more than it shows “tradeability”), but it’s something.
Now I understand this is an imperfect science, as you essentially have to think back to last year’s values. And while I could’ve used this January’s ADP, I’m a firm believer that the NFL Draft changes the way owners valuate players (i.e. if the NFL likes them, owners tend to like them more as well). Since you stated you’re looking to sell when your draft is occurring, having the latest summer data made sense to use as well.
So what are you looking at? The earlier picks should yield talented youngsters with a large, perceived upside, and veteran stalwarts. The middle picks will be worth guys who have a few more question marks, including the next tier of younger players, as well as veterans with less of a track record of success. The end of the first round gets you a little bit more of the same, with perhaps more of a focus on age (i.e. older), or lack of consistent production (i.e. multiple years in the NFL, with only one year of success). So while I can’t put an exact value on each pick, I think this should be a solid starting point for extrapolating your own values.
Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27
You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.