Welcome back to the DLF Mailbag, the preeminent mailbag in all the dynasty fantasy football land. This year I’ll be answering questions from you via Twitter, Discord, or the old-fashioned way (via email). We’re creeping closer and closer to the NFL Draft, with the combine and all the data points it provided us now in our rearview. The mock drafts we will see in the next few weeks hold more water than the ones held pre-combine. With the Bears and Panthers pulling off a blockbuster all the off-season puzzle pieces are beginning to fall into place, and the dynasty season is on fire, so keep your questions coming!
With the combine behind us and the heavy lifting of free agency over what questions do you have for me for the next @DLFootball mailbag??
— Shane is awful (@ShaneIsTheWorst) March 18, 2023
Buying Rhamondre Stevenson
Was planning on making a play for Stevenson. Was considering some combination of D.Watson, C.Watson, and 2.02. What would be fair compensation?
— Patrick Kelly (@patrobkelly) March 18, 2023
As a point of fact, I followed up with Patrick and he confirmed this refers to a start 1QB league, not a superflex league.
In order to determine if Deshaun Watson or Christian Watson and the 2.02 would be a fair package to acquire Stevenson, I turned to the DLF Trade Analyzer. After first trying just Deshaun Watson and the 2.02 for Stevenson, the analyzer suggested that I add the 2.09 to the package side in order to make this a more fair offer. Depending on your league scoring (six-point vs four-point passing touchdowns), if there are any points per carry, I might lean toward the Deshaun Watson side of this deal, but it’s a fair deal either way.
Giving up Christian Watson and the 2.02 should be enough without adding anything to the package side to get Stevenson based on the analyzer’s results, which actually values the Watson side more than the Stevenson side.
For further context though, I wanted to attach some names to the 2.02 of the 2023 class, to help determine if this is a deal I would look to make to acquire Stevenson. In DLF’s latest rookie mock drafts, you would be able to select CJ Stroud, Sean Tucker, Kendre Miller, Marvin Mims, or Bryce Young.
In a start 1QB league, I’m not particularly interested in Stroud or Young this early in the draft. By the time most rookie drafts roll around it’s likely you won’t want to draft either Sean Tucker or Kendre Miller this high, as both are slated to be third/fourth round NFL prospects. Marvin Mims and Michael Mayer are also options, as of today, but it’s likely both will receive NFL Draft capital that takes them off the board once rookie drafts roll around. But all that is picking nits. There’s going to be someone valuable at 2.02, as evidenced by past drafts.
The question at hand is: would Christian Watson and the 2.02 be fair compensation for Rhamondre Stevenson be fair compensation? Yes, it is. If I have a competing roster and need an anchor running back, I would be okay dealing this package for Stevenson.
What about Gibbs?
Is there any size concern on Gibbs? We always hear size talk, but w Gibbs I have not heard it at all (or much).
— Andy Cook (@AndyCoo86255629) March 19, 2023
If Gibbs is Swift 2.0 and NFL drafted in Rd 2, should JSN and QJ be taken in 1QB leagues at 1.03-1.04 if they're NFL drafted in 1st rd?
— RossVerba (@RossVerba) March 18, 2023
There’s a bit of consternation over Jahmyr Gibbs‘ combine weight of 199 lbs. Would I have preferred he weighed in at 200 lbs or more? Yes, but that’s not enough for me to fade him as a prospect. You do need to understand when you’re drafting Gibbs you are relying on him being an outlier. The number of running backs who have weighed under 200 lbs and have been fantasy producers is few and far between. Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Danny Woodhead, and Austin Ekeler are the most prevalent sub-200-lbs backs who were able to overcome being underweight, but they are the exception and not the rule.
It should be noted that Gibbs’s BMI is actually well within range for successful running backs, as noted by Scott Spratt below.
Jahmyr Gibbs measured 2 inches shorter at the combine than his listed height, and that is a big win for his fantasy potential.
5'11 and 199 lbs = 27.8 BMI ~ J.D. McKissic (28.0) and Tony Pollard (28.3)
5'9 and 199 lbs = 29.4 BMI ~ Miles Sanders (29.4) and Travis Etienne (30.1) https://t.co/kHoiT6hreY
— Scott Spratt (@Scott_Spratt) March 6, 2023
While Gibbs will never be a 20-opportunity-per-game player in the NFL, he did average 15.7 opportunities per game during his college career, which would be more than enough for him to produce as long as he’s an efficient back.
A player Gibbs has been compared to is D’Andre Swift (though it should be noted Swift weighed in at 212 lbs at the combine), and it shows the upside Gibbs could possess in the NFL. Swift was expected to be a fantasy RB1, NFL bell cow but has instead turned into a hyper-efficient committee back. Though Swift only saw 12.1 opportunities per game last year, he was able to finish as the RB15 in points per game due to having the third-highest fantasy points per opportunity (1.13) among running backs. Though Swift isn’t an RB1, I wouldn’t necessarily consider him a bust. While Gibbs’ rushing work in college wasn’t as prolific as Swift, he was a much better receiver, and he boasts a 91st-percentile speed score.
I still like Gibbs no later than the 1.03 in rookie drafts, with JSN being the only receiver I would draft over him.
Buying the aging running backs
What are you valuing the older running backs at for draft pick wise? Ekler, D Henry, A Jones, Jamal Williams, Perine, etc
— Bruce Behrens (@bbehr2) March 19, 2023
If you’re familiar with any of my other fantasy football content, you know I’m all in on buying older running backs this off-season. The 2023 rookie class is deep at running back, and it’s depressing the prices for veteran running backs like Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Aaron Jones, Dalvin Cook etc. Their prices would likely already be depressed based on their advanced age, but the influx of young talent at the position has also made many fantasy managers feel like these running backs are expendable. You are able to acquire them in most leagues for a 1.10 or later, and that’s a steal in my estimation.
What you’re buying with acquiring these players is expected production, and as long as you understand there will be no resale value for these players, you should be buying. You should only be looking to add these players to specific rosters, contending, and generally whichever you can acquire cheapest is the one I like the most. If you’re able to acquire Aaron Jones for a couple of second-round rookie picks, as opposed to giving up the 1.10 for Derrick Henry, then make the move for Jones.