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So I’m in a 12 team standard dynasty league. We keep 15 and play with IDP’s and our cut down is 10 players. We start: QB, RB, WR, TE, WR/TE, two (2) WR/RB, K, three (3) LB/DB spots, 1 DL. One (1) point per 15 yds rushing/receiving; one (1) point per 35 yd returning, Six (6) points TD, One (1) point per tackle, 0.25 points per assist tackle, two (2) point per sack, three (3) each for picks, FF, or FR, one (1) point per PD
QB – Matt Ryan, Mathew Stafford
RB – Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, Shane Vereen, Steven Ridley, Marcus Lattimore, Andre Ellington, Bernard Pierce, Chris Ivory, Latavius Murray, Jonathan Stewart
WR – Demaryrius Thomas, Josh Gordon, Randall Cobb, TY Hilton
TE – Jason Witten, Ladarius Green, Dennis Pitta, Kyle Rudolph
DL – JJ Watt
LB – Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner
I have a pretty stacked roster but I’m at a loss on prioritizing the last couple of keepers. My thoughts on the obvious keepers are: Ryan, Stafford, AP, Lynch, Vereen, Ellington, Lattimore, Ridley, Thomas, Gordon, Cobb, TY Hilton, Watt
This leaves me with having to choose two tight ends, or Kuechly and one of those TE’s. With the importance of game changing tight ends being the edge in FF, where do I look for upside in this situation?
You’re right, that roster is pretty stacked and you’re spot on with your tight end assessment. But I’d be inclined to look at your running backs again. Let’s dive in:
QB – Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford are about the same tier in terms of dynasty rankings. You can only play one a week but with injuries always a concern, keeping both is the safe play. So you’ve got 13 spots left.
RB – Let’s get the two obvious out-of-the-way: Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch are staying. Both are approaching the expiration date for running backs but are still top ten options. You off-set the age issue with those two by keeping dynasty prospects Marcus Lattimore (22) and Andre Ellington (25). Both will play a big role in their offenses next year and their potential is too great to let go now.
However, I’d seriously consider releasing Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Ridley has been a constant in Coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse due to his fumble issues. Furthermore, New England has passed on 57% of their plays the last two years, limiting Ridley’s rushing opportunities. Which brings us to Vereen. If you were in a PPR league, Vereen would be a no-brainer. But if we’re just going off yardage, Vereen is no better than any of the four stellar receivers you have. Plus, Patriot running backs don’t seem to last with Vereen the most tenured at three years. Now you’re at nine spots left and I’m more interested in some of your guys on defense but more on that in a second.
WR – I think it’s fair to keep all four of Demaryius Thomas, Randall Cobb, Josh Gordon and T.Y. Hilton. All four are their teams #1 target (or soon will be), all are just not PPR machines (which does you no good) but get big chunks of yardage. This one’s easy and takes you down to five spots.
TE – Jason Witten is the obvious choice but what about after that? You can only start two, at most, so I think keeping four is a waste. Furthermore, that second spot is a flex position with a wide receiver and I don’t think any of the three remaining tight ends will be better than any of your receivers. So we have to look for upside. Jason Witten isn’t getting any younger at 32 so youth is a priority. That’s why I eliminate Dennis Pitta. Pitta will be 29 entering 2014 and is a free agent which brings us Ladarius Green and Kyle Rudolph. Both will be 24 entering 2014 and offer huge upside. Rudolph has been woefully underused and hasn’t had a decent quarterback to catch balls from. With the addition of Norv Turner as offensive coordinator and, presumably, a quarterback in the draft, Rudolph will be in the best position of his career to be successful. However, if forced to pick one, I’m going with Ladarius Green. Green is the heir apparent to Antonio Gates in San Diego and has, possibly, the most talent of this entire group. As a rookie last year, Green averaged over 22 YPC. If Gates’ career with Philip Rivers provides any clues, Green (who is taller and faster), will have a few 1,000 yard and 10+ seasons. Witten and Green bring you to three left (by design).
DL – J.J. Watt. No further commentary required.
LB – You have two of the top five linebackers in Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner. Both are under 25 and play the middle linebacker position for very good defenses. Since you’re limited by the number of running backs and/or tight ends you can play and you need three linebackers / defensive backs, having Kuechly and Wagner on your team should give you an advantage at the position every week in your league. This gets you to the 15 you need.
There you have it. Imagine a lineup of Ryan/Stafford, AP, Lynch, Thomas, Gordon, Cobb, Witten and a defense that includes Watt, Kuechly, and Wagner? With dynasty prospects Lattimore, Ellington, and Green. I’m a fan.