Welcome back to the DLF mailbag. If you’d like your question answered please submit it in one of two ways:
- This mailbag form.
- On Twitter, send a tweet to @MattPriceFF and use the hashtag #DLFmailbag. Don’t forget to include league settings in your question!
Let’s get to your questions!
1. Theory question: how do you evaluate your prior draft performance? Drafting JuJu Smith-Schuster and Saquon Barkley are obvious “wins.” Is Laquon Treadwell at an average of 1.02 in 2016 now an obvious loss? How many years do you need to evaluate a pick? Example: drafting Tyler Boyd in the late first round in 2016. That would have been a “loss” prior to this year, but is that now a win based on this year? Great work on the podcast, by the way! Easily one of my favorites.
Eric M. in Wash, DC
12 team PPR, start 1QB, 2 RB, 4 WR, 1 TE
Interesting question Eric. I think it depends on many things, to be honest with you. Are you gauging your wins and losses based on the market value of a player? Production? How useful he’s been to your lineup? Is your team a contender where the disappointing young players are clogging up your roster or are you rebuilding and can afford the roster real estate to take shots on their value bouncing back?
It’s a multifaceted question, but using the wide receiver position in your example, I’d say I try to give those players at least three seasons before I’ll “give up” on them. Prior to the 2014 class, it was a well-accepted rule of thumb that wide receivers generally break out in their third NFL season. 2014 brought a number of rookies that produced well in their first season and because we’re a reactionary species, we started giving up on wide receivers that took more than a season or two before becoming producers we can use in our lineups.
Many of these players require patience for talents to become fully realized or opportunities to open in front of them. Boyd had decent opportunities prior to the 2018 season but his abilities hadn’t quite caught up to the NFL game until this season. Players like Treadwell and more recently, James Washington require a different kind of patience. Both of those are players we really liked but ended up in situations where they are buried by two elite talents in front of them. Both have flashed when given opportunity but have also been inconsistent and difficult for their teams to trust. In both cases, it seems they will need a change in scenery where they can be a bigger part of the offense.
I think ultimately how you determine if you’ve “won” or “lost” is how you still feel about that player. Are you confident that your guy is still talented and he just needs his situation to change? Probably not a loss. If you hate what you’ve seen so far and can’t tell yourself a story about a way he becomes a consistent producer for your fantasy team then maybe that’s how you count a loss. But what if there is still someone in your league who believes and you can flip him to recoup some value? Is it still a loss? I think these are all things each individual dynasty owner needs to decide for themselves.
2. I have the 2019 rookie 1.01 and 1.02. My team needs more help at RB than WR but could use help with both positions. I won in 2017 and came in last in 2018 (injuries, underperforming players, etc.).
Would you go RB-RB with those picks in the 2019 draft or RB-WR? And who would you target there? I know, it’s early.
Richard in Chicago
12 team PPR, start 1 QB 2 RB 3 WR 1 TE 1 FLEX 1 K 1 DEF
You’re right, it is early. Does your league draft before the NFL draft? If not, my guess is dynasty rookie draft boards are going to experience extreme fluidity between now and when we know what teams these players will begin their careers with. The 2019 draft class isn’t like the 2018 class where we knew for over a year that Saquon Barkley was the clear 1.01.
As it stands right this moment, I’d probably want to try trading back on at least one of those picks and acquire more picks later in the first or in 2020. Actually, if I’m being completely honest, since I’m typically always a win now guy, I’d probably trade one or both picks to get a running back or wide receiver I feel better about than one of these rookies.
None of those things answer your actual question though, which is; if you keep the picks, what should you do with them? The answer is you take the best two players available regardless of position. I never use my rookie picks to draft based on team need. If you are strong at wide receiver and the best player in the draft is a wide receiver, you take that wide receiver. Building strength on top of strength gives you a position that you can use in trade negotiations for other players you need without causing a weakness. Draft for talent or situation and trade for your team needs.
If you are looking at names to place in those buckets this early I can tell you the top two on my board are both wide receivers: N’Keal Harry and Kelvin Harmon. That could easily change though if D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, or Hakeem Butler land in a better spot. At running back, my number one is still David Montgomery and my number two is Damien Harris. Again, this could easily change based on the landing spot.
Looking at our DLF consensus 2019 rookie rankings, the 1.01 is Metcalf and the 1.02 is Harmon. Ask five different rankers and you may get five different answers to ranking the top two in the class.
That will do it for this week’s mailbag. I look forward to answering more questions throughout the off-season!