Welcome to the latest edition of the weekly mailbag.
Send your questions using the DLF Mailbag Form and we may answer them 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 us 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!
- I’ve been offered Dez Bryant and Ryan Mathews for Randall Cobb, Mark Ingram and a 2017 1st Round pick. It would leave me fairly thin at RB but having Dez and Gronk together is very tempting. I also feel it is an overpay but I’m already competitive. Thoughts? – Alfred in Toronto
Alfred, you can look at this trade from many angles. What it will come down to is how you personally view the players involved as they are some of the more polarizing options in dynasty. I’ll see if I can help break down the trade, and your specific scenario, to give you some direction on how to approach the offer.
Without knowing the rest of your roster, aside from being all set at tight end, you are already in pretty good shape. Starting Ingram as your lone required running back and Cobb as your WR2 (at worst) is a nice foundation for a roster that can win now as well as in the future. Along with Gronk, you have 60% of your non-quarterback starting lineup age 26 or younger with proven track records of production.
Whether you trust Cobb is one of the aforementioned opinions that will dictate your view on the trade, but I see him as a reliable WR2 assuming Jordy Nelson is back to full health. Even if Jordy isn’t Jordy the Packers now know that Cobb is a great complementary piece but not THE guy and will shape their offense to maximize his skill set. Additionally, your view on Ingram and concern over his health will be a factor. I don’t see him as any more of a health risk than Mathews, and his increased usage as a receiver out of the backfield will only give him more opportunity to put up fantasy points. I really like both this year.
On the flip side of the deal, Dez recorded at least 88 catches, 1,230 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in each season between 2012 and 2014. Injuries and a low reception rate (43.1%) dropped those stats in 2015, but a (currently) healthy Romo and (what appears to be) a great schedule should bring him back into elite production this year. He’s only 27 and has several years left in Dallas, though his quarterback situation will perennially be a question mark. While Mathews is in line for a huge workload in 2016, I doubt he can stay on the field long enough to help you in the playoffs.
I place similar value on the players involved in each side of the deal for dynasty, so with the (albeit likely late) 2017 first I would either reject the deal or counter with a lower pick. If you want to go all-in for this season and don’t mind taking the risk with Mathews, it’s not an unfair offer and I can’t blame you for taking it. I would just rather stick with the consistency of Cobb (he still had better fantasy production on a per-game basis than Dez in 2015) and Ingram for the next few years and keep the pick.
- After a terrible startup draft 2 years ago, I’ve traded to build up my WR core. I have ARob, Hopkins, Keenan, K White, Treadwell, DGB and some fliers like Kenny Bell, Smelter and Mike Thomas (Rams). My TEs are Eifert and Ebron but my RB situation is dire. I have Rawls and then guys like Keith Marshall and Shaun Draughn. Most owners overvalue RBs and want a king’s ransom. How do I deal with this dilemma of overpaying for RBs in my league? I do have 4 2017 1sts and a 2017 2nd as well. Do I just wait it out and draft RBs? I’m new to dynasty and thought you draft for talent, trade for need but it’s nearly impossible it seems. – John in Orlando
John, this is a great question as it goes to a higher level than one specific roster. To your advantage is a great young core of wide receivers and high-upside tight ends, but where the 16-team league highly values running backs due to the need to start at least two of them each week there is a clear disadvantage to not having a couple top-32 options at the position.
While I excluded the running backs you listed that don’t appear to be viable options, it helped to know how limited your team is in making moves. Given the premium placed on the top backs, I would consider offering a receiver plus one of your 2017 first round picks. If you open discussions with the owners of those players, there may be an agreeable deal involving a combination of these assets.
In general, given the format you need to be willing to overpay based on ADP. For example, many are low on Eddie Lacy but July ADP still puts him at 44th overall. You mention the Lacy owner won’t take less than Kevin White (27th overall) for him. If you believe in Lacy (and could also acquire Starks), I’d strongly consider that deal. He’s still only 25 and has proven production whereas White has a ton of question marks.
Also, do your homework on the other teams in your league. Who has been hoarding running backs? Who has the players you covet and what are their needs? Perhaps you can buy low on young players who may have been highly regarded but have yet to produce, such as Melvin Gordon or Carlos Hyde. On the flip side, if the Peterson or McCoy owners aren’t in win-now mode, they would like to flip a couple years from an aging back for a young wide receiver or package.
You are in a position where you can wait and draft running backs next year, but a lot can happen between now and then. Potential injuries, bad landing spots and so forth could take some of the shine off the blue-chip running back class. I’d have the picks in my back pocket as a worst-case fallback option but would proactively see what I can do now.
- This is my 2nd year in the league after taking over a team via dispersal draft. I have never won a dynasty football championship and am looking to have a balanced team that can win both now and later. After numerous trades and waiver pickups, my roster is:
QB Carr, Romo
RB David Johnson, Lacy, Forsett, Draughn, Prosise, Smallwood
WR Allen Robinson, Evans, Tate, Michael Floyd, Coates, Hardy, Braverman
TE Walford, Hooper
I also have Fournette on my taxi squad.
I often hear that if you are not a contending team or you continue to finish 4th-6th place that you might want to start to rebuild. I went 5-8 last year. I am coming into year 2 with my off-season acquisitions of Evans, Floyd, Hardy, Coates, Forsett, Draughn and the rookies. Do you see my team as a contending team, rebuilding team, or a balanced team that has a chance to win this year but has a core to be good moving forward? Being that I have never won before I’m looking for advice on where my team stands as a whole. – Norman in California
Norman, there are many ways to approach a dynasty roster and identify the line when a rebuild is necessary. While I agree that you don’t want to perennially be in the middle of the pack, therefore missing the playoffs or being eliminated early while also missing out on the top rookie picks, there are many circumstances that could put an otherwise solid roster in that position. Generally, it makes sense to rebuild with an “average” team, but this needs to be taken on a roster-by-roster basis.
Specifically to this situation, your roster looks to be a contender to me. With your starting requirements, you currently would have the following lineup: Derek Carr or Tony Romo, David Johnson, Eddie Lacy, Justin Forsett, Allen Robinson, Mike Evans, Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, and Clive Walford in addition to your defense and kicker. This isn’t a team you want to break apart and sell the pieces.
What stands out are your needs at tight end and bench depth. I like Walford long-term as a low-TE1, but don’t expect he will be a reliable starter this season. Also, if any of your starters get hurt, you don’t have much depth to fill in. I’d look to add a cheap veteran tight end and a couple high-floor receivers using some combination of Prosise, Coates or picks (I’m not as high on these assets as others).
Without knowing other contenders in your league, I would say you have a solid shot at the playoffs and a couple minor moves could make the difference. Your core of Johnson and several good young wide receivers should also keep you relevant beyond this season.
- 3 keepers kept at round drafted. TE premium (PPR for TE, 1/2 PPR for other positions).
Potential keepers/rounds (draft position each round = 11/12). 16 round draft.
I’m pretty solid on keeping Gronk and Gurley. Wanted to hear your thoughts about keeping White in round 16 instead of Robinson in 4. Am I overthinking the situation? What do you think about White’s prospects for 2016?
Thank you for your consideration. – Zane Wei in Canada
Zane, I agree that I would keep Gronk and Gurley for sure. I would go with Robinson as my third keeper, though there can be a solid argument made for either side.
I’m not personally a believer in White. Given his limited college production against questionable competition, and that he has had zero snaps at the NFL level, there are many red flags. Meanwhile, Robinson caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in his second season, and he won’t even turn 23 until August. Even if there is a decline in production for the Jaguars’ offense, I don’t expect that to impact Robinson, and see him with both a high ceiling and high floor. Robinson is still a great value in the fourth round.
It is unclear if you can keep these players indefinitely or there is a limit, but if the former Robinson will be a fixture on your team for years while White is a far greater risk. If you are a White believer, he’s a fantastic value in the 16th round and could prove to be the value of the draft. However, I wouldn’t pass up Robinson to see if that works out.