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The DLF Mailbag

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 constantly find myself wanting to add wide receiver “fliers” like Chris Conley, Jeff Janis, Jaelen Strong, etc even though I’m only allowed 20 roster spots and I am already loaded at wide receiver with Julio Jones, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, DeVante Parker, Braxton Miller and Michael Thomas (Saints). Am I overvaluing the position or is there such a thing as too many wide receivers? Should I continue with my strategy of loading up on receivers to use as trade pieces? My other starters are Drew Brees, Duke Johnson and Coby Fleener. – Joel in Florida (12 team, PPR, 1QB, 1RB, 1WR, 2 Flex, 1TE, 1Def, 1K)

This is a common strategy in dynasty/keeper leagues and one I often find myself following as well. The point of fantasy football is to collect the players who are going to score the most points and then find a way to get the weekly recipe just right to get the best possible lineup. In dynasty leagues the longevity of wide receivers make them the players worth stashing the most. The running back position has become so volatile and unimpressive as of late it makes it too difficult to invest in them heavily. Guys like Mark Ingram, Devonta Freeman and Doug Martin for example were all guys thrown to the wayside before last season and they had a phoenix-like rebirth while guys like Eddie Lacy and Jeremy Hill, guys with very high ADPs at this time last year, face planted.

The one thing I notice in your league specifically though is the relatively small starting requirements for a 12 team league. 20 roster spots times 12 teams minus the minimum required kickers and defenses means the top 216 skill position players are rostered at maximum. That means there’s probably a lot of very streamable quarterbacks on the waiver wire each week or there’s plenty of temptation to tinker with high-upside wide receiver stashes. I would bring up the possibility of adding two more spots to your weekly starting lineups so this wide receiver depth actually benefits you. Right now you’re not going to reap the rewards of finding that diamond in the rough knowing you’re pretty much locked into three of Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Maclin and Demaryius Thomas every week, barring injuries of course. I like what you’re doing and I agree with the strategy, now make it work for you.

My roster consists of the following:

Andrew Luck

Dion Lewis, Charles Sims, Lamar Miller, Jay Ajayi, Kenneth Dixon, Jordan Howard

Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, Brandin Cooks, DeVante Parker, Stefon Diggs, Corey Coleman

Zach Ertz, Martellus Bennett, Jared Cook

I also have picks #1 and 3 overall in 2017. My question to you is, I’m obviously in win now mode and I think I have a very solid team to do so. But to me I feel like I’m one RB1 away from having a really good shot at winning the title. What would you suggest moving in order to get that running back or would you suggest holding with what I have for now? Thanks! – Mark in Toronto (12 team, .5 PPR, 1QB, 3RB, 4WR, 1TE, & 2 Flex)

The feeling of euphoria and optimism runs rampant in August. It’s very easy to convince yourself you have the odds on favorite to win your league as long as everyone stays healthy. While there’s little doubt you have an elite stable of wide receivers and a solid group of tight ends, I would definitely agree you’re lacking in the running back department. Lamar Miller sure looks to be a sure fire RB1 in Houston but he’s the only guy on your squad I feel confident in today. Call me a “hater” but I have learned my lesson the hard way not to invest in New England running backs in dynasty leagues. Whether it be Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, LeGarrett Blount, Dion Lewis, James White, Jonas Gray, Danny Woodhead or even as far back as Laurence Maroney, Belicheck doesn’t give a damn about our fantasy teams or title runs. If he thinks “Bobby Nobody” selling nachos in section 213 gives him an edge against the Jets, he’ll sign him out of nowhere and Bobby will hang three scores on them before sliding back into obscurity. I’m done with the mind games and James White showed enough last year to be able to do a lot of what Lewis does. It’s a weekly game of Russian roulette in the Patriot backfield and I’m looking elsewhere if I’m going to make a serious run at the title.

If a couple things go your way, an injury to Doug Martin, the inevitable injury to Arian Foster’s hamstrings or Jordan Howard finds a way to seize the gig in Chicago, your running back situation will improve dramatically very quickly. I loved Howard at Indiana and think he’ll be a serviceable fantasy running back one day but you’re going to have to endure “the curse of John Fox rookies.” I fear we’re going to have to suffer through a season of Jeremy Langford and a stable of unimpressive running backs because Fox is a stubborn old goat who doesn’t like to play rookies until he has to.

My advice to you is be patient and don’t do anything just yet. With your starting lineup requirements you have the depth where you need it, at wide receiver and tight end. If it looks like you really are in a position to make a run at the title this year, don’t be afraid to move those picks near the trade deadline for a chance at glory. I have no issue in being aggressive to win a title. I’m not a fan of going down with ammo still in my gun. You’ve built a strong roster and it still has youth on its side. Good luck and I hope you bring home the trophy this year.

I recently traded Le’Veon Bell and DeAndre Hopkins for Kevin White, Lamar Miller and Sammy Watkins. I wanted to strengthen my flex options with White and thought Watkins and Miller would be solid replacements for Bell and Hopkins. I also own David Johnson, Keenan Allen, Latavius Murray, Matt Jones, Jeremy Langford, Larry Fitzgerald and Chris Johnson. I’m new to dynasty so any insight is appreciated. –Alex in Pittsburgh (10 teams, .5PPR, 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1 Flex, 1 Def)

Well Alex, first off welcome to dynasty fantasy football. At first glance my thought was “Yikes! He gave up way too much”, but then I looked at your entire roster and the starting requirements of your 10-team league. Any time someone gives up a top-five dynasty asset like Hopkins and a top -three running back like Bell you have to wonder why. To be honest though I am seeing Le’Veon Bell being moved quite a bit this offseason due his latest suspension. Owners seem to be fed up and are willing to sell at a discount instead of waiting for the next big suspension and his value really hits rock bottom. The fact you own David Johnson and Latavius Murray makes moving Bell a little easier to swallow. Getting Lamar Miller back in this deal will definitely soften that blow as well.

Downgrading from DeAndre Hopkins to Sammy Watkins and Kevin White depends on what kind of projections you have for White. He was a top six selection in early rookie drafts last year and could prove to be a steal once he hits the field. The only competition he has for targets at the moment is Alshon Jeffery and tight end Zack Miller. Watkins is a beast and a back end WR1 with plenty of room to shoot up the rankings. The bottom line is you moved two studs for two very slightly-less studly studs while adding a huge upside prospect in White. I think you did well.

With the recent reinstatement of Josh Gordon, what would you be willing to give up to get him in a trade? Seeing that he’s still only 25 years old, is he worth the gamble if you’re currently trying to rebuild your team by parting with your ’17 first? Or is the gamble just too much knowing your pick could potentially be a top 5 pick (granted anything could happen) and would be better off holding onto that pick? –Chris in Massachusetts

There’s been a lot of similar debate in the dynasty value of Josh Gordon lately. Gordon tore up the league over the second half of 2012 and all but the first two games of 2013 and had the look of a player worthy of a top five overall selection in dynasty leagues. Then the wheels fell off of Gordon’s personal life. He was arrested for DUI in July of 2014 and suspended for a year due to the substance abuse policy but only served 10 games after having it reduced. The team would also suspend him for the final game of the season for violation of team rules. 2015 started the same way 2014 ended, with Gordon in trouble. He faced another year long ban for testing positive for alcohol use, a violation of his plea deal. To make the situation even murkier, he was denied his initial application for reinstatement because of a rumored failed test again. He was finally reinstated on July 25, 2016 but must serve a four-game suspension.

That’s just a bit of a refresher to back up what I’m about to tell you. Using a future 1st-round pick for a player with his history is not good business. It’s possible by the time that selection comes around next year Gordon will be out of the league. That would be a tough pill to swallow but if he keeps his nose clean and returns to his 2013 self, it possible you could still move this same selection for him next offseason. At this time there’s no way I’d send a possible top-five selection in the potentially loaded ’17 draft for 12 games of Gordon. I’d be willing to risk no more than a high to mid-second rounder and that’s still pushing it.

Follow me on Twitter @OlingerIDP.

Eric Olinger
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