Welcome to the DLF mailbag; the article series that answers your questions in long-form. It can be difficult to give a detailed response to your questions on twitter so this series is designed to do just that. Each week we’ll do a deep-dive on the questions you have been rolling around in your dynasty mind. If you have something you’d like discussed in this format, please send me a message on Twitter @MattPriceFF and include #AskDLF in your tweet. Let’s get into it!
What is Cam Akers’ value if Darrell Henderson is also on your roster?
I don’t think already having Henderson on your roster really matters in terms of Akers’ value. I’m assuming you think it might be higher since it would mean you pretty much have the Rams backfield locked up, but I don’t think it changes with or without Henderson.
My general philosophy on handcuffing in a dynasty is that it’s nice if it happens but I never try to force it except for in a few situations where it’s an elite asset and it’s clear the backup is talented enough to produce similar numbers and get the opportunity to do so.
The running back situation that immediately comes to mind is Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. If Cook is on my roster, I’d really like to have Mattison. Cook is an elite asset but has a long history of injury and has never played an entire 16-game season in the NFL. Mattison looked great on his 100 carries and ten receptions and I’m relatively confident he will be the bell cow and be productive should Cook miss time again.
So back to your question about Akers with Henderson. In this case, I really don’t think it matters for two reasons. One, Akers’ only injury was in 2018 and it was an ankle sprain that he played through and two, Henderson’s role is unlikely to change if Akers were to get hurt. Malcolm Brown would likely see the early-down work with Henderson seeing a change-of-pace workload in addition to receiving-down snaps.
@kyleprodzinski also asks…
What are your thoughts on the rookie quarterback landing spots for superflex and two-quarterback leagues?
Honestly, I think they all ended up in great situations. In terms of surrounding talent, I think Justin Herbert probably wins. The Chargers are a likely playoff team even with Tyrod Taylor as the starter, so if Herbert can win the job outright before week one, or more likely takes over at some point mid-season, he will have starter value in these formats.
Joe Burrow also gets a decent spot with Cincinnati and is the locked-in starter now that Andy Dalton has been released. Opportunity plus talent equals fantasy points and Burrow possesses plenty of both in his first season.
Tua Tagovailoa might have the worst situation in year one, but long term, he may have the best. Brian Flores and his staff continue to rebuild the Miami Dolphins. They have a ways to go but they are on the right track by installing a winning culture which is something the Dolphins haven’t had in a very long time.
Consensus rankings for these three are Burrow, Tagovailoa, and then a decent gap to Herbert as the third guy. I personally have Tagovailoa as my top-ranked rookie quarterback, but it’s unlikely you’ll go wrong with either of those top two as the first quarterback off the board in your rookie drafts. In May superflex rookie drafts, Burrow is going at 1.01. Tagovailoa at 1.04, and Herbert at 1.10.
Which veteran players are you targeting on the cheap after the NFL draft?
For the owners of contending teams with modest draft capital, It’s possible going after some veteran value while everyone has rookie fever is the better move.
Let’s start at the top with Todd Gurley. Most people, including me, thought the Falcons would spend a premium pick on their running back of the future. Devonta Freeman was cut and Atlanta brought in Gurley on a one-year prove-it deal but has little behind him in that backfield.
I like Qadree Ollison, but he isn’t a threat to Gurley’s touches. I’m not afraid of Ito Smith or Brian Hill either so this truly looks like Gurley’s backfield for 2020 and he’ll be just 26 when the season begins. If he can redeem himself in Atlanta, it’s possible we have a rare situation where an older running back can regain some of his lost value.
Kerryon Johnson is also an interesting buy. He’ll only be 23 years old entering the 2020 NFL season and because he has only played in 18 of 32 possible games he has less wear on his tires.
The Lions drafted D’Andre Swift and it seems most are assuming he will have a bell-cow role. I’m not so sure that’s the case. Are we *really* sure Swift is more talented than Johnson? I’m not.
Johnson is a well-rounded running back and if not for multiple injuries, we could be talking about him as an RB1 in dynasty. Another feather in Johnson’s cap is the system in Detroit. We are talking about Bill Belichick disciple Matt Patricia running the show. Given that history, it’s entirely possible Swift was not brought in to be a true feature back. Sharing the backfield could be the best thing to ever happen to Kerryon Johnson’s ability to stay healthy and on the field.
I’m reaching out to the Johnson owner in most of my leagues to see what the price tag says. He seems like a great buy right now while we are in the midst of rookie season.
That will do it for this week’s mailbag! Send in your questions to @MattPriceFF for next week’s piece and include #AskDLF in your tweet.