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.In my non-PPR league I’m trying to upgrade at running back (I have Matt Forte, Gio Bernard, and Duke Johnson) and am strong at receiver (Antonio Brown, Allen Robinson, Jordy Nelson and John Brown). I’m in discussions with another contending team that is strong at running back (Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy, CJ Anderson and Ryan Mathews) and weak at receiver (DeSean Jackson, Michael Floyd, Davante Adams and Devin Funchess). He has offered Anderson for Jordy, and I feel I need more. Do you agree? If so, is a first rounder (he has the fifth pick overall) too much to ask? What would make this a fair trade? – Johnny from Parts Unknown
While I’m relatively bullish on the prospects of Broncos running back CJ Anderson bouncing back (he’s currently ranked as my dynasty RB13), according to the February ADP (courtesy of Ryan McDowell) data you’d be on the losing end of this deal. While this is subject to change, especially if backfield mate Ronnie Hillman leaves town, Anderson is currently checking in at the end of the sixth round, with an ADP of 72.33. Conversely, even despite his ACL tear, Packers receiver Jordy Nelson is halving that value, with an ADP of 35.17.
The path to equality here is the non-PPR format, which tends to favor running backs, but with a total of 43 receiving scores over his past four healthy seasons, Nelson truthfully isn’t a receiver to be fazed by the lack of a point-per-reception. As such, I think you should aim a bit higher, but convincing your potential trade partner to throw in his early first round pick is likely a bit much to ask, especially given the perception of aged veterans at this point in the off-season. So instead of pursuing that route, I’d suggest a flip flop of cheeseheads – see if he’ll sell you Eddie Lacy instead of Anderson. Despite the naysayers I firmly believe Lacy is primed for a bounce back, as his raw numbers weren’t bad at all this year. No, he didn’t score as much or catch as many passes, and he hit up McDonald’s a bit more than we’d like, but this is a guy who’s functioned as an RB1 in two of his three years in the league. Lacy would slot in as your RB2 at worst (with Matt Forte in the fold), giving you a more-than-respectable pairing at the position.
- I’m in a Reality Sports Online salary cap league and looking at Franchise Tag decisions for 2016. I have $99M in cap space and my relevant options are: Jamaal Charles ($21.565M), LeSean McCoy ($27.772M), Dez Bryant ($16.184M), Travis Kelce ($7.952M), or Delanie Walker ($7.952M). Other players under contract for the 2016 season include Jerick McKinnon, Matt Jones, Ameer Abdullah, Donte Moncrief, Martavis Bryant, and Julio Jones. I am leaning towards either Jamaal Charles or Dez Bryant. What do you think? – Jay in Ottawa
I think it has to be Dez Bryant here. Not only is he cheaper, but he’s the most valuable asset of the bunch. Continuing, he and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce are likely the only two who would wind up costing more if you let them hit the open market, and I’m not convinced Kelce can offer the same positional advantage Dez can. Even if you can’t re-sign Kelce, reacquiring Delanie Walker for a short-term contract should afford you the same level of upside. As for the running backs, both are facing perceived red flags and should come at some sort of a discount – I think Bryant has to be your guy.
- Trade talk: Le’Veon Bell for the 1.01 and 1.02 rookie picks. There will be some other ancillary pieces in the deal, but the real heart of the question is would you consider dealing the 1.01 & 1.02 for Bell + (something)? I generally prefer production over potential so I am intrigued by the offer, but I’m wondering if that is too much. – Jeff in NJ
I think it’s a little too much, but that’s more based on the court of popular opinion than anything. Much like you I tend to lean towards proven production, and typically don’t get quite as scared off by things like age and ligament/hard tissue injuries. Given that, I still have Le’Veon Bell ranked as my dynasty RB1, and wouldn’t hesitate towards selling out to obtain his services.
However, what essentially amounts to the combination of Laquon Treadwell and Ezekiel Elliott is going to be overvalued simply because they possess the allure of the unknown. This is the time of year when the affliction known as Rookie Fever effectively turns into a plague, and many owners do whatever they have to do to load up on early picks. As such, unless you’re able to get back another useful piece such as an Eric Decker type, I’d stand pat. Production always trumps potential to me, but the valuations of our league mates always need to be taken into account – unless the deal gets sweetened a bit, I’d hang onto the picks.
- In my 12-team, 1QB league I came in last in 2015, mostly due to eight players on IR throughout the season. I have made trades that give me these picks in the upcoming 2016 rookie draft: 1.01, 1.04, 2.01, 3.01, 4.01 and 5.01. The quarterbacks I have are Big Ben, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, and Brian Hoyer. In which round do I pick a young quarterback, and who? I also am not against drafting two quarterbacks. With the 1.01 pick I am taking Ezekiel Elliott to replace Arian Foster.– Larry in AZ
In a 12-team, 1QB league I don’t think you should even consider quarterback until the early-to-mid second round. Continuing, I’m not at all convinced you should even be in the market. Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo are high-end starters when healthy, and Joe Flacco is a legit QB3. None of them are spring chickens, but the quarterback position is unique in its longevity. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a 2016 rookie quarterback who’s likely to outscore who you have now over the next three years, affording you numerous possibilities to get younger at the position via either trade or the draft. Simply put, you can maximize your draft value in the other positions.
- I am going into year two of my 14-team dynasty league where we keep 13 players from a 20-man roster. I have no draft picks until round three and I need advice on which players I should keep going into our draft day, as we aren’t allowed to make offseason moves until then. My quarterbacks are Eli Manning, Teddy Bridgewater and Alex Smith. My running backs are Duke Johnson, Matt Jones and Tevin Coleman. My receivers are AJ Green, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Jaelen Strong, Josh Gordon, Devante Parker, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Keenan Allen. I also have Maxx Williams. Positions aren’t really a priority and I’m looking to keep the players with most values. – Scott in LA
With 18 players listed, we’re looking at five cuts. Let’s jump right to it…
For starters, I’d keep Eli Manning and dump your other two quarterbacks. 14-team leagues place a little more importance on the position, but you can essentially see my thoughts regarding the question above. When spots are limited, you just don’t need to carry multiple signal callers into the off-season.
From there, I think you have an easy cut in Jaelen Strong. Don’t get me wrong, he carries some value and could potentially be the WR2 of the future in Houston. But you’re absolutely stacked at the position and there’s no chance of him even sniffing your starting lineup. He’s gone.
Finally, I’d get rid of Tevin Coleman and Matt Jones. I know this seems counter-intuitive as you’d then only have one running back rostered, but I simply don’t see the upside. Coleman would need an injury to starter Devonta Freeman, and it doesn’t appear as if the Redskins are comfortable handing the keys to the kingdom over to Jones. Moreover, even though you need help at the position, the receivers you’d have to drop are infinitely more valuable. Worst case scenario, you can trade a guy like Jordan Matthews (overrated in my opinion) and get some help in your backfield. All told, these moves should maximize the value of your roster, thereby enabling you to make future moves as needed.
- Should I trade Jarvis Landry and get Dorial Green-Beckham and Eddie Lacy? Keeping Landry would be conservative play, and I have AJ Green and Mike Evans as my top receivers. Thoughts? – Alex in OH
As much as I love Jarvis Landry, and find him to be massively underrated within the dynasty community, I think I’d make the deal. I provided my thoughts on Lacy earlier, and still view him as a high-end dynasty RB1, regardless of the transpirings of the 2015 season. And while I’m not a huge backer of Titans sophomore receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, I full well recognize I represent the minority here – many owners are ready to view him as a future WR1, and disregard his collegiate transgressions. Again, I’m a conservative dynasty owner, and these types of red flags scare me, but the majority of owners have bought into his upside. Given that, I think the value lies in what you’d be receiving here.
- I was offered Tyler Eifert for Devante Parker straight up. I am pretty thin at tight end with only Richard Rodgers and Maxx Williams for next year. I need to start at least three receivers and its looking like Parker would be the FLEX play. Eifert worries me that he was touchdown dependent during a season Andy Dalton will most likely not repeat. We only keep 14 of 20 roster spots so some middling tight ends might be available to draft after the rookies. – Oswald in Gotham City
While I can understand the hesitance surrounding Cincy tight end Tyler Eifert, especially as it relates to his touchdown dependence (one of every four receptions was a score), I believe this is exactly what we’re looking for as it relates to the tight end position. Outside of Rob Gronkowski, there truthfully aren’t any players who can afford a decisive advantage at a position where the top tier is remarkably barren, especially as it relates to quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Perhaps more importantly, this was, for all intents and purposes, Eifert’s second year in the league – considering many tight ends don’t break out until year three or later, I’d choose to look at what Eifert was able to do at such an early age as a positive instead of a negative.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Dolphins sophomore Devante Parker as well. But despite his late-season flourish, his rookie campaign was actually statistically worse than Eifert’s, meaning there’s even less certainty he’ll break out as Eifert was able to do. So while the value is fair, I think positional scarcity has to function as the tiebreaker here – I’d make the deal.
- In my 16-team league where we only have to start one running back, should I trade Mark Ingram for Travis Kelce? I have Maxx Williams and Dwayne Allen at tight end, and essentially the Buffalo running backs handcuffed, among other pieces. – Tony in MN
I think I’d do the deal, largely for the reasons I stated in the question above. I spoke earlier about Kelce, and how he was a legitimate option for the franchise tag in an RSO setting. I stated this because, much like with Eifert above, Kelce is one of the few options who can potentially afford a weekly advantage at the barren tight end position.
Mark Ingram certainly functioned well as a do-it-all running back last season, but you only need to start one ball carrier, and in this scenario I believe you could find starting-caliber viability for cheaper. Moreover, as good as Ingram looked, it was disconcerting to see street free agent Tim Hightower come in and essentially do the exact same things as the purported stud. With Hightower, as well as potentially CJ Spiller and Khiry Robinson all returning, it’s fair to wonder if Ingram sees his workload lessened, especially given his proclivity for finishing an NFL season unscathed. Given the aggregate of this situation, I’d take my chances with Kelce and look to be a bit more spendthrift in your starting backfield.
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You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.