Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Picks, Packages and Pivots

Shane Manila

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. The dynasty season is on fire, so keep your questions coming!

Let’s pivot!

First off, kudos on the thought process behind wanting to pivot off Stefon Diggs here. While Diggs, Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, and Keenan Allen are an excellent wide receiver room, it is a little aged. Hill is 29 years old, Kupp is about to turn 30, Allen is 30 and Diggs will turn 30 during the 2023 season. Though this roster is set up well for 2023 and maybe even 2024, it’s never a great idea to build a roster in a way where all of your star players will age out at roughly the same time.

It’s not only the product that’s going to decrease. More importantly, the trade value of these wide receivers will also decrease as they age. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and check the DLF Dynasty Trade Finder and look up deals for Diggs in 1QB, 10-team leagues, there isn’t one trade that fits the mold of moving Diggs for another wide receiver and pick.

word image 1441133 1

None. If you can make a deal moving Diggs for that type of package, you would be blazing a new trail. The closest iteration of this type of deal I could find would be the first deal: Diggs, Davante Adams, and Brian Robinson for Drake London and the 2023 1.10 rookie pick. And the trade analyzer has the Diggs side crushing the London side of this deal.

word image 1441133 2

If at all possible, I would hope to move Diggs for anyone of Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, or London, straight up with no pick, but based on DLF’s most recent ADP, that’s likely not possible. If you want to move Diggs, you may have to get creative and work on something like Chris Godwin and the 1.10 for Diggs. Though you don’t get a drastic age discount, you do get a two-year discount and a pick.

You can also look to move down the wide receiver tiers, say a Michael Pittman type, while increasing the pick you’re looking for. The analyzer has Pittman, and the 1.05 is fairly even with Diggs.

word image 1441133 3

word image 1441133 4

Or you could try DeVonta Smith and the 1.10 for Diggs and 2023 2.02.

word image 1441133 5

The production drop from Diggs to Smith is significant (4.8 points per game), but if you’re making this deal, it’s more than just about production. The 1.10 is a liquid asset that can be used to tack onto another player to upgrade at another position, or you can attempt to move it for a random 2024 first.

word image 1441133 6

Get creative and decide what’s most important to you: the tier of wide receiver or the pick return you’re getting back for Diggs?

The package or Garrett Wilson?

Our trade analyzer has this deal close enough in both start 1QB and superflex leagues, but I don’t like it. On the DTi5 live streams, we’ll often discuss the philosophy of adding “hammers” to your roster, and I see Wilson as a hammer.

If you’ve read any of my recent mailbag articles there’s a good chance you’ve seen some variation of the below data pulled from Stathead.

word image 1441133 7

In the last ten seasons, there have been 24 wide receivers, including Wilson, who have scored at least 12.6 fantasy points per game during their rookie season. Except for a couple of exceptions, wide receivers who produce as Wilson did during his rookie campaign go on to provide WR1 and WR2 production.

I am admittedly aggressive, but I have Wilson ranked as my dynasty WR5, and there’s not a chance I move him for this package. The 1.05 is a valuable trade chip, but it’s also just low enough to be outside of getting the top two quarterbacks in this class and the flexibility/value that the 1.03 provides you. That and the two above are the only rookie picks I have ranked above Wilson. Though I like Elijah Moore, I like him if he can be acquired at a discount, and adding the 2.03 to the package doesn’t move the needle at all for me.

Shopping season

I don’t think we ever pivot from acquiring value/assets. This is something we should look to do during all seasons of the dynasty season. What this looks like clearly changes depending on whether it’s point-scoring season or if our team is a contender or a pretender etc. I also don’t think it’s ever especially pressing to look for depth at the tight end position, and I’m rarely if ever going to pay anything approaching full cost for running back depth.

That said, I think now is a great time to buy running back depth. There are a couple of factors that should lead to a buyer’s market at the running back position. First, the market is in flux with the incoming rookie class and some veterans still floating around in the free agency pool. Since we’re in rookie season, everyone wants picks instead of middling/replacement-level players, allowing you to acquire replacement-level players at a steeper discount. Second, everyone else in the world is telling you to wait to buy running backs until the summer or closer to the season. This is one of those times when you should zag when others zig. The competition for buying running backs right now is significantly lower than it will be as the season nears, in theory depressing the cost.

Tony Pollard or the Pick?

Coming off the RB8 season in PPG, Tony Pollard has seen his ADP rise to a career-high RB16 overall. Part of the allure is the belief that Pollard will see a spike in volume with the Cowboys moving on from Ezekiel Elliott, or that he’ll continue to be as efficient as he was in 2022 when he ranked tenth among running backs with 1.0 fantasy points per opportunity. Typically we see running back efficiency decrease with an increase in volume, though Pollard has bucked this trend in his career, and I find it unlikely the Cowboys go into the season with just Pollard, Malik Davis, and Ronald Jones. I think it’s more likely the Cowboys end up drafting a running back to pair with Pollard and we see his workload decrease to pre-2022 levels.

word image 1441133 8

I prefer the 1.06 over Pollard by a good bit, as does the DLF Trade Analyzer, with a fairly significant edge to the 1.06.

word image 1441133 9

Without even discussing the liquidity of the pick, I prefer both Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jahmyr Gibbs who are the probable players available at 1.06, based on our most recent rookie ADP, over Pollard.

word image 1441133 10

Both players are excellent prospects, and even if these players don’t hit, Pollard is closer to a replaceable player than an elite one. Even though Pollard was the RB8 last year, that ranks just 56th overall in the past five seasons, as overall running back scoring has decreased. I prefer the upside of JSN or Gibbs – or if I’m in need of a QB, Will Levis – over Pollard.

shane manila
Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Picks, Packages and Pivots