Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: How Much for CeeDee Lamb? and Hoarding Rookie Picks

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).

Too much for Lamb?

Because the details of the league settings aren’t provided for this question, I’ve defaulted to a 12-team superflex league. I’m also assuming this is either a start 9 or 10-man league. If those are the league settings then the CeeDee Lamb wins this deal quite handily according to the DLF Trade Analyzer.

The analyzer suggests that the Jameson Williams side adds a later 2023 first or another 2025 first to equal the value on the Lamb side. Putting opportunity cost aside for one moment, I would be fine adding another late 2023 first to get the deal done, though I’d blush at adding another 2025 first.

word image 1445212 1

While in a vacuum the value is fine, let’s circle back to the opportunity cost of this deal, or what else could we do with these assets. Not knowing the rosters specific to this trade, I can only speak in generalities. But before making this deal you want to make sure you don’t need to upgrade at a more premium position, quarterback.

Unless you have two of the top-ten dynasty quarterbacks, you would be better served using these assets to tier up to an elite quarterback. If your league is a tight-end premium (1.75 or above) then I would like to see if I can upgrade to that position. Assuming your quarterbacks are set or are unable to make a move for an elite one, would it make more sense to try to upgrade at two wide receiver spots than just the one using the same assets?

For instance, can you pull off Jameson Williams and a 2024 first for Stefon Diggs? The value difference is about the same as the difference for a Williams and two firsts trade for Lamb.

You could add a second to the deal to further entice the other manager. Doing this would allow you to then utilize 2025 first in another way or hold onto it until in season when you have a better idea of your team’s needs.

word image 1445212 2

Again, in a vacuum, I would be fine sending away Willaims and a couple of future firsts away to acquire CeeDee Lamb, in a 12-team start 9 or 10. I would likely pass on making this deal if it’s a 14 or more-team league, or if it’s a 12-team start 11 or more setup.

Hoarding rookie picks

Too much of a good thing is not typically an axiom I buy into, but in this case, I might. At some point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in, and in a league with only seven starters, (I’m not counting kicker or defense as starters) the value of owning multiple rookie picks is lessened. There are a couple of reasons for this.

One, you can only start seven offensive players at one time. No matter how well you draft, the production these players can provide to you is limited. Let’s say that even if you hit on your draft picks at a 50% rate, that would still provide 3.5 starting-level players to your roster, while leaving you another 3.5 picks to either make or trade away (and we’ll get into that later)

Looking at the specific roster shared, unless you somehow draft a WR1, TE1, RB1/WR1, you won’t be upgrading your starting lineup from a production standpoint. And that’s if you hit on players at an elite level. What’s more probable is you’ll hit on players at the level of a WR2/WR3 or RB2/RB3, which is fine from a depth perspective. But this is a start-seven league so depth is largely meaningless.

In order for a player you draft to crack this starting lineup, you would need to draft a player providing at least WR23 or RB16 to better the production provided by DK Metcalf and/or Jonathan Taylor provided last year. The Taylor portion of this bet is more likely considering his current situation, but that ignores the fact that you also already roster Dalvin Cook, and Rhamondre Stevenson, who both were better than Taylor in PPG last season, so you don’t even need to draft a better producing running back because you already have two on your current roster. Put plainly the picks, if made, are unlikely to provide better players than you currently have on your roster.

Secondly, simply put, the rest of your league clearly doesn’t value rookie picks, because if they did you wouldn’t have been able to hoard seven of them. No roster that possesses four of the top 17 ranked players in dynasty (AJ Brown #3, Jon Taylor #11, Saquon Barkley #16, and DK Metcalf #17) should also be able to acquire seven 2024 firsts. The concentration of high-level assets on one roster (25% of the top 20 ranked players) also indicates that the trading pool is likely limited as well. The teams that have the players who would actually improve this roster are also likely on contenders and they have no impetus to trade those players to another contender. Conversely the teams willing to trade, likely don’t have players that would be appreciably better than the ones you already roster.

None of this is to say I wouldn’t try to improve this roster by trading most of the rookie picks. It just means I understand I might have to overpay or lose a deal to do so. If I could move DK Metcalf and three firsts for Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase I would do so, since again this is only a start-seven league, therefore the impact of one player is an oversized one.

shane manila
Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: How Much for CeeDee Lamb? and Hoarding Rookie Picks