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 Scouting 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. All the off-season puzzle pieces are beginning to fall into place, and the dynasty season is on fire, so keep your questions coming!
Hey you, yeah you. I need questions for the next @DLFootball 📬. Bring it!
— And I'm not waving………….. (@ShaneIsTheWorst) March 25, 2023
First up we have a question about an aging running back facing a possible suspension:
What's Kamara worth in dynasty right now?
— Andrew Hall 🐅 (@AndrewHallFF) March 25, 2023
In general, a player’s worth is whatever the market will bear. In Alvin Kamara’s case his value is complicated not just by his age (he’ll turn 28 in July), declining production (his 14.1 points-per-game average in 2022 was the lowest of his career), but also by an expected looming suspension for an assault caught on video.
If you can use these questions to your advantage and acquire Kamara for second-round rookie picks, or random (replaceable) back-end WR3s, I don’t mind trading for him. As disgraceful as his actions were, Kamara will likely see an in-season break, which in theory should mean he is fresh for the stretch run of your fantasy seasons (assuming the suspension is in the beginning or middle of the season).
As always, each league is its own economy, but using the DLF Dynasty Trade Finder, I found a few trades I’d be willing to make if able to do so. The 2.08 for a high-end RB2 is a smash, though I must note last year’s rookie ADP Dameon Pierce was going off the board at 2.08, and Amon-Ra St. Brown the year prior went at 2.08, though the players around that ADP essentially busted.
I was also able to find a couple of other trades with Kamara being acquired for a late second and a sixth-round pick, and the 3.01 in another.
Considering the real-world cost exhibited by these deals, Kamara is a player I would look to add to all of my competing rosters, and with his cost so low maybe even non-competing rosters as a piece to resell during the season.
Would you rather?
Would you trade Chris Olave for the 1.03 assuming JSN is on the board.
— DoubleBlue (@doubleblue2) March 26, 2023
One caveat: @doubleblue2 did clarify that this question pertains to a start-one-quarterback league.
There is a less than zero chance I would trade Chris Olave for the 1.03 assuming the pick is going to be used on Jaxon Smith-Njigba. There are a couple of reasons for this.
I am philosophically opposed to one-for-one deals for the same position. I am not a scout, and player evaluation is not my strong suit, so I’d rather not rely upon my evaluation of who the better football player is. If you’re going to deal a WR for another WR, you need to get something back on the back end so you can mitigate the risk on your side.
With Olave checking in as the WR10 in DLF’s latest rankings (and I’m even more aggressive, ranking him as my WR4), and as the WR5 in DLF’s most recent ADP (non-superflex), and a significant delta between their trade value, I would a significant kicker on top of JSN to move Olave.
The second reason I oppose this deal, as you may have guessed based on my WR4 ranking of Olave, is that I’m aggressively high on his outlook. There’s a reason for this optimism of course. Besides his high draft capital and excellent collegiate production profile, Olave came out and smashed as a rookie. In the past ten seasons, there have been 20 rookie wide receivers to score at least 13 PPG (Olave scored 13.21 as a rookie), and the names on that list are some of the best wide receivers over the past decade.
There are a few misses on this list (looking at you Kelvin Benjamin) but for the most part, these receivers have gone on to put up great production. Among the wide receivers listed above, they’ve gone on to play 78 seasons collectively, and have produced WR1 seasons in 41% of those seasons, and WR2 seasons in 36% of those seasons. That means these wide receivers scored as a WR2 or better 77% of the time.
I often rely upon historical comparisons when trying to value a player, and Olave’s historical comps are off the charts. I’m not opposed to trading Olave, but I’m going to need more than JSN to do so. I would need an additional first-round pick (at least) for JSN to consider moving from Olave. If I’m in single quarterback leagues, I would give the 1.03 or the 1.02 to acquire Olave.
Late-round rookie running backs!
Third round RB gems. I need an RB breakdown. Tyjae? Kendra? Izzy? ROSCHON??
— Troy VanRiper (@ffyinzer) March 25, 2023
This is an excellent class if you need running back depth, and you happen to hold multiple third-round rookie picks. I would temper my hopes on drafting any of Kendre Miller, Roschon Johnson, or Tyjae Spears as they are currently being drafted in the second round of DLF rookie mock drafts. But the third round still has NFL Combine darling Chase Brown, Israel Abanikanda, DeWayne McBride, and another combine winner in Evan Hull, available.
The names will change once we have real-world draft capital attached to these players. You can assume any of these running backs with day two capital will be off the board by the third round of your rookie drafts, but the process should remain the same. Any running back on an NFL roster is a player you want to roster on your dynasty roster due to the fragility and volatility of the position. The path to fantasy relevance, and more importantly fantasy trade value, is infinitely easier for a running back than a wide receiver (or quarterback or tight end for that matter).
Specific to this class, any running back who gets fourth round or better draft capital (right now that would be Eric Gray, Israel Abanikanda, and Deuce Vaughn) are ones I would eye for my rookie drafts. Mohamed Ibrahim is another running back to keep an eye on, though right now he looks to be a fifth-round pick in the NFL Draft. But again, and not to be flippant, any running back who is drafted to an NFL roster is worth taking in the third round of your rookie drafts.