Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag

Eric Hardter

Welcome back to the DLF Mailbag, the preeminent mailbag in all the dynasty fantasy football land. As a reminder, there are multiple ways to pose your burning questions! I’ll be soliciting weekly feedback via X/Twitter (look for a new pinned tweet each Monday), and you can also reach out using our Discord channel, or the old-fashioned way (via our online webform).

NFL off-season, free agency, impending NFL Draft, blah blah blah. It’s UFL season now! Let’s go DC Defenders, shields up, defend the district!

(I promise I’ll have better intro material when something actually, you know, happens!)

Let’s get to it!

From Twitter…

Who at 2.02?

This is certainly an interesting place to be, given the likely available options as compared to who you’re currently rostering. In general I devalue the quarterback position in a 1QB setting, but in a year where signal-callers will likely be the top three picks in the NFL Draft, it’s hard to argue that the value wouldn’t be about right there. To that point, consider the below graphic while I attempt to explain the “fuzzy math.”

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As the rookies don’t yet have trade values in the DLF Dynasty Trade Analyzer, I instead crowdsourced from the March 2024 ADP. Veteran quarterbacks Kyler Murray, Brock Purdy and Deshaun Watson represent the “ADP twins” to incoming rookies Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye, respectively. While acknowledging that ADP and trade value are not inherently dealing in the same currency, it’s at least something of an approximation.

As can be discerned, if Williams is available he seems to be a value at pick 2.02. Daniels is roughly equivalent, and Maye would not represent good value. But this is where you’d have to use your own subjectivity as to how much you like each player. Personally I’d be fine taking any of them with the pick, given your current state at the position. Russell Wilson seems more or less cooked, Watson hasn’t looked like himself for years, and Bryce Young was an abject disaster as a rookie, albeit one who was placed in a league-worst position. You could probably cobble something together on a weekly basis, but you would be receiving low-end QB1 play at best, and more likely QB2 output. A rookie probably wouldn’t do any better immediately, but he will have time to grow as you move closer to contention.

This assertion is supplemented by the current DLF rookie rankings, which show good quarterback value in the pick 1.10-2.03 range. But when it comes to the running backs, this is one of the poorer classes in recent years. To that point, our current rookie rankings only have one player in the top 12, though there may be a few reasonable options at pick 2.02.

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Unfortunately it’s simply too early to advise on the relative running back valuations, with the reason being that I need to see how the NFL values them (we already know the quarterbacks are likely the first three picks in the draft). If a ball carrier is selected in the second round of the draft, I could see using a late first or early second-round pick – but if the NFL draft capital is in the third round or later, I just have a tough time selecting those types of players over those who teams used an early first-round selection on. But if for whatever reason it doesn’t work out at quarterback and you’re not thrilled with the ball carrier options, there’s always the potential to work something out via trade.

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If you added a sweetener to your end, or if your prospective trade partner succumbs to rookie fever, you could wind up with a guy like David Montgomery or Rhamondre Stevenson, both of whom would likely find a place in your starting lineup (I recognize you already have Jahmyr Gibbs, but there’s enough meat on the bone for both he and Montgomery). Regardless, it seems like you’ll have options with your pick.

Pick the Picks?

First things first, this is a classic example of a good problem to have! Being flush with early picks at a time when rookie fever hits hardest gives you multiple ways to off-ramp each. Before that, let’s start with the birds you already have in hand.

I touched on two of your quarterbacks, Watson and Young, in the question answered above. Obviously having Patrick Mahomes puts you in an enviable position for your QB1, but I just don’t think you’re getting a difference-maker at QB2. That’s certainly fine if you’re just looking to tread water there, but I believe having a second signal caller who is either very good or elite gives you a massive advantage in a superflex setting.

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Stats courtesy of FFToday.

To that point, Joshua Dobbs finished 2023 as the QB20 by total points, despite only playing in 13 contests. He scored 90 points fewer than the QB10, Trevor Lawrence, and 130 points fewer than Jordan Love, who finished as the QB5. I recognize there is nuance here – players got injured, and also came out of nowhere to go on a heater like Joe Flacco. So the final numbers don’t always tell the whole story. But the fact is you can aim higher at your QB2.

Given this, I see an argument for taking either Daniels or Maye at pick 1.02. Unless you’re able to get a quarterback in return via trade, I think this is a selection you should make. Marvin Harrison, Jr. is always an option, and certainly wouldn’t be a bad pick – but market value in a superflex format is always going to skew quarterback.

Pick 1.05 is where things get interesting, as you’ll have the ability to corner either the quarterback or receiver market depending on what happens at picks 1.03 and 1.04. Truthfully it almost doesn’t matter to me, as either Malik Nabers or whoever the QB3 is would be available. While I understand you’re well off at receiver, the case isn’t yet closed for either Drake London or Tee Higgins. The former has been very good, if not great, though massive upgrades at both signal caller (Kirk Cousins) and head coach should unlock his potential. With Higgins, it’s been a minute since he’s put up good numbers, and truthfully he’s never really flashed elite upside. Nabers is likely already more valuable than he is, and I’d have a hard time turning him down.

If this indeed winds up being the case, let’s get creative with your players and remaining picks.

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Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but per the DLF Trade Analyzer, something like this should be possible. If the Robinson owner isn’t looking to sell, you could also look towards players like Breece Hall or Jahmyr Gibbs. Though the value says you’re overpaying, this is often the case in “consolidation trades” where you’re getting the best player. This would also ensure you’re getting some young, proven talent at ball carrier, and still walking away with draft capital. Sure, it’s for next year, but then that means you could be in a position to do something similar in 2025. You also might be moving on from a player who is somewhat on the decline in Higgins, while still bolstering your receiving corps with Nabers.

All told these are just a few of the avenues you could explore. You could pivot and take Harrison at pick 1.02, and then trade your remaining picks to upgrade quarterback and running back. You could take two quarterbacks followed by Rome Odunze still keep those two positions strong, and then maybe seek a lower-tier ball carrier like Isiah Pacheco with pick 1.08. You’re in a great place, and given the heightened valuation of draft picks this time of year, you should be able to control the narrative.

Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27.

eric hardter