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 am a new owner with the sixth pick in the rookie draft. Sterling Shepard, Michael Thomas, and Kenneth Dixon are going to be available there. I need receiver help but Dixon looks like a great option in 0.5 PPR. Of those three who gives me the best fantasy production this year and best potential beyond? – Dewey in TX
To me it’s Giants receiver Sterling Shepard and it isn’t close. He has the best draft pedigree of the three (narrowly edging out New Orleans rookie Michael Thomas), and a significantly better collegiate resume than Thomas as well (it’s close between he and Kenneth Dixon, as well as challenging to compare production across positions). As to the last part of your question, in my opinion he easily has the best immediate path to fantasy stardom.
The not-so-secret secret in New York was that theoretical NFL WR2 Rueben Randle wasn’t overly good at that football thing. Despite playing across from one of the best receivers in the league in Odell Beckham, if “Roob” wasn’t scoring touchdowns he wasn’t helping you. This helps explain why the Giants wanted nothing to do with his return, and he ultimately signed in Philly for a deal that was barely higher than the league minimum. Shepard should immediately take over his role and then some, and in a high volume offense he has an outside shot of WR3 output year one, with room to grow moving forward.
Michael Thomas is on a better offense, but is arguably the fifth option in the pecking order behind Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, Coby Fleener and <insert pass-catching running back here>. I find it particularly laughable that many assume he’ll immediately surpass Snead, who had a downright phenomenal “redshirt rookie” season, one that was even better than Cooks in many regards. I view Thomas’ ceiling is being highly touchdown dependent, and more of a siphon on the offense’s other fantasy relevant players. To me, he’s one to two tiers below Shepard.
As for Dixon, I see next to no reason to assume he’ll be handed anything. The Ravens backfield is currently a seven-man committee, and while attrition will occur, Baltimore didn’t spend significant enough draft capital on the rookie to assume he’ll be able to carve out a useful role. Both Justin Forsett and Buck Allen can catch passes, and Lorenzo Taliaferro was solid before getting hurt. I’d much rather target Dixon in the 12-15 range, and definitely not at pick 1.06.
- I am trying to look at how I can obtain draft picks for the 2017 draft. I don’t believe anyone in my league would do a straight up swapping of 2016 for 2017 draft picks. I am looking at my group of tight ends as a possible trading chip as I have Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Ladarius Green, and Clive Walford. One of the owners in my league is a huge Chiefs fan and I feel he would go for a trade involving Travis Kelce for a 2017 1st round pick. Does this sound like a good trade or am I getting caught up in the 2017 draft hype? – Phil in MO
I touched upon the hype of the 2017 draft class last week, and the moral of the story is I believe many owners are getting ahead of themselves when it comes to sacrificing the present for the future. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with that in general, much of the trades I’ve seen involve younger veterans, as opposed to the classical “win now” guys. This is a very similar example.
Of all the tight ends you listed, none are older than 26. Two of the four also represent possible, if not likely finishers for being a top-five PPR tight end in 2016, with Ladarius Green also having an outside shot and Clive Walford functioning as the wild card. With so few tight ends possessing elite upside, they guys you could possibly be trading should be treated with a bit more reverence.
If your league mates aren’t willing to do that, so be it. You’ll have an ability to essentially stream a top-end TE1 all season long, while they’ll be starting the likes of Crockett Gillmore and Jared Cook. When the points start raining down, I’d then look to revisit trade talks, when you can hopefully fetch a bit more than the current price.
- I took over for the last place, winless team in a salary cap/contract league mid-season and pulled off some good trades that left me with a two win team that won the consolation bracket. I still have the 1.01 pick this year where Ezekiel Elliott would have a cap hit of $45 out of $500 cap. I do not have a 2017 first round pick currently.. I’ve been offered two trades for the 1.01 and wanted to get your thoughts on them. The first offer is Kevin White ($16/4 years), pick 1.05 ($24) and a 2017 first, while the second offer is Devonta Freeman ($1/1 year,) Melvin Gordon ($38/4 years) and a 2017 first. Would you take one of these trades or stay with Zeke knowing your only rostered running back is Duke Johnson, but free agents available at auction include Mark Ingram, Ryan Mathews, Dion Lewis and Jeremy Hill? – Robert in OH
I’m not in love with the second deal, as it involves too much uncertainty. I know Devonta Freeman was the overall RB1 last year, and it wasn’t particularly close, but it’s fair to wonder if he will receive the same type of volume this year, especially considering how he faded down the stretch. Melvin Gordon also showed precious little as a rookie. I remain keenly aware that Ezekiel Elliott remains unproven, but the fact is value, if only perceived, remains on his side.
With that said, I like the first deal quite a bit. While it’s true Bears receiver Kevin White is every bit as unproven as Elliott, he was also just as highly drafted, and on a team with a target vacuum behind all-world Alshon Jeffery. Pick 1.05 is the last of the elite picks, and you’d also be getting the 2017 first thrown in. This would leave you barren at running back still, but you’d have the ability to either trade pick 1.05 for a ball carrier, or win an auction for a remaining player. Regardless, to me, rebuilding is all about stockpiling assets – the first deal gives you the best chance at doing exactly that.
- I’d like your take on a recent trade I made. It all started at the end of last season when I flipped Marshawn Lynch for Jamaal Charles and Devin Funchess. Today I flipped Jamaal Charles for a first rounder (#7 overall) and a second rounder (#19 overall). I already hold the 5th and 17th picks, so I figured that I can now take some chances and reach if necessary to get my guys. Do you like what I received for Charles? I looked at it like I got a first and second for a retired player after this went down. – Michael in NY
As the masses undoubtedly know by now, I typically err on the side of conservatism, quite possibly to my detriment at times. So even though Jamaal Charles missed the majority of last season, and will be 30 come December, I simply can’t look past the fact that he still hasn’t had a season where he didn’t average at least 5.0 YPC. Ever since Andy Reid came to town, Charles has also averaged 19 weekly touches (including 3.7 receptions) for 110 total yards and 1.1 touchdowns – aged and injured, he’s still a stud.
As always though, it remains prudent to look into the value. According to the May ADP data, Charles is virtually in a dead heat with the seventh rookie selected (Derrick Henry), which is actually highly intriguing to me. Given all that I listed above, as well as the time of the year, when rookies carry a great deal of value, it’s surprising to see Charles so close to the youngster. Perhaps it says more about the perception of this draft class than anything, but maybe Charles isn’t quite as devalued as one would think.
With that said, this is where I believe the ADP data and trade values will diverge. I have a tough time seeing many owners giving up a mid-first round selection (and a back-end second rounder as well) for a 29-year old ball carrier, especially when the rookie draft draws near. So in terms of market value and perception, I think you did quite well. But at the end of the day, I’m still a believer in Charles’ talent, and don’t view the dual signings of Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware as anything more than an NFL team ensuring its depth at the position. I’d expect another great year from the veteran, and firmly believe his transcendent talent could lead to a few more years of stardom.
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