Your Dynasty Questions Answered, Part VI

We roll on with your dynasty questions. If you have a question, be sure to email us at dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail(dot).com. In the meantime, Chris asks:

“Should I give up Gio and Flacco to get Russell Wilson, Arian Foster, Stevie Johnson, Shonn Greene, Dennis Johnson, and #14 pick in this years deep draft.

Never a fan giving up the best player in a deal but this one I’ll admit has me scratching my head…

.5 PPR, 12 team, and my team is capable of winning now. Eli and Flacco are my only current QB’s, Stevie would be my WR4, Greene and Johnson would have roster spots on my squad also. Your thoughts with limited info?”

While I tend to agree with your assessment of not wanting to give up the best player, I think this might actually be worth it. Let’s break it down by position:

  • Getting back Russell Wilson is a huge upgrade over Joe Flacco. At just 25, Wilson is still reaching his prime and is surrounded by good, young talent. Flacco just turned 29 and, while he’s surrounded by talent as well, is now under a run-first offensive coordinator. And I don’t believe the difference between upgrading to Russell Wilson from Joe Flacco is superseded by the downgrade of…
  • Giovani Bernard to Arian Foster. Bernard is a 22-year old coming off a rookie season in which he had over 1,000 total yards and 50 catches. He should take on an even bigger role going forward and could be a top five running back in dynasty leagues for at least a few years. But running back is one of the most replaceable positions in football, both dynasty and in the NFL. And it’s not like you’re getting scraps in exchange as you’ll be getting an Arian Foster that’s still at the top of the Houston depth chart. Adding his backup in Dennis Johnson means you’re trading for an entire team’s running game instead of just one player. Adding Shonn Greene is fine for depth but his addition is inconsequential.
  • Adding Steve Johnson is not a bad addition either, especially if he makes it as your fourth receiver in a 12-team league. However, be sure to temper your expectations as he’s already 27 and the Bills have a couple good, young options behind him in Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. He also is likely to be cut after 2014 when the Bills could save over $8 million.
  • However, I think this trade still favors you thanks to that 14th overall pick. This year has an extremely deep draft in several positions including quarterback, receiver, and tight end. Adding that extra pick could allow you to take a young running back to replace Bernard while still adding a young skill position player.

There you have it. Without that draft pick I might reconsider but adding a potential difference maker, in addition to upgrading your quarterback position, makes this trade work to your advantage.

Remember to send your questions to dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail(dot)com.

Updated Dynasty Running Back Rankings – February 2014

Click here for the complete updated dynasty RB rankings. 

  • Top seven remains the same with LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Eddie Lacy, Adrian Peterson, Giovani Bernard, and Matt Forte. 
  • The big risers this month include Denver running back Montee Ball. With it becoming increasingly unlikely that Denver brings back incumbent Knowshon Moreno, it will be Ball’s job to lose. Another riser includes Oakland running back Latavius Murray. Currently at the top of the Oakland depth chart now that both Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings are free agents, Murray is 6′ 3″, 223 pounds, and ran a 4.38 40 in the combine last year. Murray could be special.
  • The big drops include the previously mentioned Moreno along with the previously mentioned McFadden. It also includes BenJarvus Green-Ellis of the Bengals. With Giovani Bernard expected to shoulder more of the load in 2014, BJGE’s role is going to diminish further.

Your Dynasty Questions Answered, Part IV

Another question, this time about the value of a pick in dynasty rookie drafts against a proven commodity. Don’t forget to send your questions to dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail.com. Chris says:
“Unique format – 1 QB, 1 RB, 1 WR, 1 TE, 3 FLEX. 12-team full point PPR. To me this format is all about having quality WR depth. Would you give up the #3 pick in this years rookie draft for Torrey Smith? I have a roster that is able to win now and in favor of making the deal but would like another opinion.”
That is a tough call. Just going off of that information, I’d be inclined to do that trade as well. While this draft has a ton of depth at nearly every position, there are no slam dunk prospects such as Andrew Luck a few years ago. You’ll still be able to get quality talent in later rounds even at the receiver position. Rotoworld recently had a great piece on the second-tier of receivers in this years draft who all will most likely be available in the second and third rounds.
For Smith, he’s still just 25 so it’s not as if you’re trading for a 30-something receiver. He set career highs with 65 catches and over 1,100 yards this year while being the only effective Baltimore offensive weapon which, subsequently, forced defenses to focus more on covering him. Should Baltimore upgrade at the opposite receiver position or along the offensive line so they allow less than three sacks a game, Smith’s value with only increase.
At the end of the day, built to win or not, getting Torrey Smith for the third overall is worth it.

Your Dynasty Question Answered, Part III

We roll on with more of your questions. Be sure to get your questions in at dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail.com.

Ben asks:

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:

QBMatt 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.

Your Dynasty Question Answered, Part II

boldenWe have another question from the audience. Nick asks about his roster and when cut time rolls around:
I am in a 12 man, PPR Dynasty League – and will need to cut my roster down to 17 players over the summer. I’ve begun thinking about who I might cut and was hoping to get your advice. By the time our rookie draft rolls around in August, my roster must be 17 players or less, including at least 1QB, 2RBs, 3WRs, 1TE, 1K, and 1DEF.
My team is listed below.
Wilson, Russell SEA QB
Bolden, Brandon NEP RB
Davis, Knile KCC RB
Ellington, Andre ARI RB
Lattimore, Marcus SFO RB
Miller, Lamar MIA RB
Pierce, Bernard BAL RB
Spiller, C.J. BUF RB
Wilson, David NYG RB
Blackmon, Justin JAC WR
Dobson, Aaron NEP WR
Hartline, Brian MIA WR
Hopkins, DeAndre HOU WR
Jeffery, Alshon CHI WR
Johnson, Calvin DET WR
Moore, Denarius OAK WR
Randle, Rueben NYG WR
Cameron, Jordan CLE TE
Green, Ladarius SDC TE
Hauschka, Steven SEA PK
Rams, St. Louis STL Def
Titans, Tennessee TEN Def

Looks like a solid team so far, especially for a 12-team league. I’d kill to have guys like Calvin Johnson, Alshon Jeffery, and Jordan Cameron on the same team. Let’s see who needs to go to get from 22 down to 17.

  • First things first – the defenses. To me, this one is pretty easy. While both the Rams and Titans were middle of the pack in terms of yards allowed, the Rams were third in the league in sacks and led the league in forced fumbles. They have a good young corps with end Robert Quinn, linebacker Alec Ogletree and could draft another with one of their two first round picks. To top it off, they hired Gregg Williams, and his super aggressive scheme, to run the defense. Meanwhile, the Titans have a new coach, new defensive coordinator, new scheme and will have several new players. Cutting the Titans will get you down to 21.
  • The first skill position player I’d cut is running back Knile Davis of the Chiefs. Heading in to the season, Davis’ only value was as the primary backup to Jamaal Charles. Even in that position, he managed only 70 carries on the season and a 3.5 YPC. He also only caught 11 balls for 75 yards. Davis just didn’t flash anything that indicates he’ll be a dynasty contributor or starter in the NFL. He also had a reputation as a fumbler in college at Arkansas. Don’t be surprised if the Chiefs draft or bring in a free agent to provide more spark behind Charles. The fact that you don’t already own Charles makes it even easier to let him go. This gets you down to 20.
  • The next cut I’d make is Brandon Bolden for New England. Bolden only saw action in 2013 when Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount couldn’t hold on to the ball. However, he didn’t show enough to make coach Bill Belicheck keep him in  there. Should Blount leave in the off-season, Bolden will still be only the backup in an offense not known for its commitment to the run. Besides Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski (when healthy) there’s just no consistent options there. Running backs have a notoriously short shelf life and even more so in New England. In fact, the remaining New England backs have only been there since 2011 with Bolden due to hit free agency in 2015. Bolden is the least reliable option at this point and cutting him should get you to 19.
  • This is where it starts getting difficult because you’re making decisions on guys that are starting compared to those that aren’t but have the potential. For me, the next cut would be Lamar Miller of the Dolphins. Aside from playing in a complete circus, the Miami offense just wasn’t good and doesn’t project to be anytime soon. Miller himself took a step back from his rookie year in 2012, where he averaged 4.9 YPC to averaging a very average 4.0 YPC. Furthermore, according to any metric used by Pro Football Outsiders offensive line rankings, the Miami line just wasn’t good. Given, they had to replace two starters due to the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin incident, those are still two spots they’re going to have to replace this off-season. To me, we’ve seen what Miller is and it’s not very good. I would take the potential of Bernard Pierce in Gary Kubiak’s run-heavy system or even David Wilson’s explosiveness returning over Miller. This will get you down to 18.
  • Since we’ve picked on the running backs, let’s look at the other possible positions. Quarterback is a non-starter as you must keep at least one, so Russell Wilson it is. On the tight end front, you have two young, high-upside guys in Cameron and Green. Both will be ranked as TE1’s heading in to 2014 and I see no reason to cut either of them.
  • Which brings us to your strongest position: wide receiver. With proven entities like Calvin Johnson and Alshon Jeffery to high-upside guys like Justin Blackmon and Reuben Randle, you have a good mix in there. To me, it comes down to Brian Hartline or Denarius Moore. Since you’re in a PPR league, I’m going to lean towards cutting Moore. While Hartline is the second oldest of your receivers, he’s proven to be quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s safety valve and has racked up the catches in a poor offense. Furthermore, Hartline just signed a hefty extension and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Meanwhile, Moore has missed seven games in his three years in the league and hasn’t had more than 51 catches or 741 yards in any of those. He’ll also have competition for targets with the emergence of Andre Holmes down the stretch. Moore’s potential is greater but he has yet to cash it in. This cut gets you to 17.

There you have it. Not surprisingly, most of the cuts were at running back, the most replaceable position in dynasty and the NFL. No doubt you can use one of your first rounders on a running back. The only tough choice was whether to keep Hartline’s catches or Moore’s potential. Since this is a PPR league, I went with catches.

Don’t forget to submit your dynasty questions to dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail.com to see them answered here!

Your dynasty question answered!

julius-thomas-denver-broncos-baltimore-ravens.jpg?w=600&h=425Here at DFFC, we try to answer any and all questions we get about your dynasty roster – trades, drafts and more! Be sure to email us at dynastyfantasyfootballcentral (at) gmail.com to get yours answered. Today we have a question from Shawn. Shawn asks,

I have to keep four of the following: Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon, Aaron Rodgers, Julius Thomas, and Giovani Bernard. Is it dumb to keep Rodgers and all 3 WR? Keeper league (keep 4), 10 teams. Non-PPR with 6 points for any kind of TD. Starting roster is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE/WR, 1 TE, DEF, K.

First off, how you managed to get all those guys is incredible and in a 10-league team no less. Kudos to you.

Secondly, I don’t think that’s dumb considering your starting roster requirements. However, it wouldn’t be my first choice. Let’s break this down:

  • Giovani Bernard will be a good running back but the position is one of extreme turnover. Additionally, with your league being a non-PPR, Bernard’s best asset (pass catching) is neutered. Not keeping him is an easy call.
  • Next, let’s look at the three receiver set you accumulated. Every dynasty ranking will have Bryant, Gordon, and Thomas as top five wide receivers. Using any two of those three will give you an advantage over every other team in your league. All three are young (26 or younger) and are the focal points of their respective offenses. Bryant and Thomas play with elite quarterbacks and Gordon did  amazing things with some of the least production at the position in the entire league. Unless someone managed to get Calvin Johnson and AJ Green together, you’ll always have the advantage. Furthermore, by process of elimination, that third receiver will be better than any flex option a team may have after filling their own WR and TE requirements. Those three simply can’t beat.
  • Which brings us to decision time: Aaron Rodgers or Julius Thomas. For man years, Aaron Rodgers has been the top quarterback in dynasty leagues. However, with the emergence of Eddie Lacy after Rodgers’ collar bone injury, it’s fair to wonder if the Packers might shift more towards the run. They will never be a run-first team but might want to utilize Lacy in order to lessen the load on Rodgers. For dynasty owners, this means less production than they’re used to from the Packers quarterback. Meanwhile, Julius Thomas could make a case for the 3rd best tight end in dynasty leagues. He plays on a top-rated offense with an elite quarterback with one of the receivers he shares targets with (Eric Decker) possibly leaving via free agency. Also consider the depth at each position. The differences in the best quarterback and the 10th (approximately 150 points in my own league) compared to the differences between the best tight end and 10th tight end (nearly 200 points) show that it would be a lot easier finding a replacement for Rodgers over Thomas especially considering your league only starts one quarterback.

So there you have it. While you certainly can’t go wrong with your original strategy of Rodgers, Bryant, Thomas, and Gordon, you might also consider keeping Julius Thomas. Hope this helps and keep the questions coming!

Updated Dynasty Wide Receiver Rankings – January 2014, 2.0

Click here for updated dynasty wide receiver rankings.

  • A new entry in the top five with Josh Gordon at #4. Gordon did a lot with little to work with on offense so anything should be an upgrade in 2014.
  • You can certainly see a trend in the biggest risers: the Bears Alshon Jeffery is up to 9th from 15th; Steeler Antonio Brown is up to 11th from 14th; Chargers rookie Keenan Allen makes the biggest leap to 15th from 24th; and the Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson to 17th from 21st. All are under the age of 26.
  • Drops include the Seahawks Percy Harvin from 9th to 12th primarily because he can’t seem to get on the field; Bucs Vincent Jackson goes from 20th to 26th since Lovie Smith was hired as coach; the enigma Hakeem Nicks drops from 23rd to 29th and could fall further depending on where he signs.  

Updated Dynasty Running Back Rankings – January 2014, 2.0

Click here for updated dynasty running back rankings. 

  • Nothing new at the top. LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles will be your consensus 1-2 dynasty running backs heading in to 2014. 
  • A slight drop for Alfred Morris from 11th to 13th, possibly due to concerns with new coach Jay Gruden’s offense. Morris is probably not an RB1 in dynasty leagues but is an ideal RB2. 
  • Other drops include Darren McFadden from 23rd to 26th. There’s a lot of uncertainty with McFadden heading in 2014 – injuries, free agency, etc. There’s also BenJarvus Green-Ellis from Cincinnati who will take an even bigger back seat to Giovani Bernard
  • The biggest riser (again) is Cardinals running back Andre Ellington from 31st to 23rd. Ellington could be a RB1 in dynasty leagues when (if) he takes the reins. 

Updated Dynasty Running Back Rankings – January 2014

Click here for updated dynasty running back rankings.

  • The top two remain the same as the Eagles LeSean McCoy takes the top spot with Jamaal Charles of the chiefs not far behind.
  • After that, rookies are making the most noise with the Packers Eddie Lacy shooting up to 4th from 10th. He proved he could carry the load in Aaron Rodgers absence. The Rams Zac Stacy enters the top ten after bursting on the scene halfway through the season. He’ll be the lead back in St. Louis in 2014. The Steelers Le’Veon Bell also moved up to 13th from 17th. He might be the focal point of Pittsburgh’s offense next season.
  • The big drops include the Ravens Ray Rice dropping from 8th to 14th largely due to his steep production drop this season. The hope is this season is an anomaly for Rice and not the norm. Colts running back Trent Richardson continues his fall from 12th to 17th. Don’t expect that to be the end for Richardson as I predict he’ll drop even further as the off-season goes on. Lions running back Reggie Bush also had a drop thanks to late season injuries and backup Joique Bell‘s emergence as a solid contributor.

Updated Dynasty Wide Receiver Rankings – January 2014

Be sure to check out the updated dynasty wide receiver rankings here

  • Top five stays the same with Calvin, AJ, Dez, Demaryius, and Julio in order.
  • A couple of NFC North receivers make big leaps with Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery moving up to 15th from 22nd. Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson moved up to 21st from 26th. Fellow rookie receiver Keenan Allen also moved up five spots from 29th to 24th.
  • Dropping this month is Ravens receiver Torrey Smith drops from 12th to 16th. Bigger drops include Broncos receiver Wes Welker dropping from 23rd to 27th and Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace from 24th to 30th. Welker has been dealing with a concussion this season while Wallace has been toiling away in Miami. The hiring of a new offensive coordinator could help.