Fantasy Football Mailbag: Answering your Dynasty and Keeper question about James Conner, Todd Gurley and more
Should you keep James Conner? Should you trade Todd Gurley? Heath Cummings answers those questions and more in this week's mailbag.
Two things we say every year is that we need to answer more of your questions and we need to talk more about Dynasty and Keeper leagues. Today, we're going to do both. As part of our (hopefully) weekly mailbag series, I took your questions on Twitter and I'm answering them here. Let's get started...
This has certainly been a hot issue lately. Even James Conner himself commented on how he expected the team to . There are a couple of things that keep me from caring too much about this. For one thing, the Steelers haven't done anything like this since before Le'Veon Bell. Not when Bell was healthy. Not when DeAngelo Williams was filling in for him. Not when Conner was the starter last year. So it's hard to believe they'll go full committee this year.
Also, I don't really care if Conner shares a little more. He was the No. 6 running back in 13 games last season. Even if he shares more, I would expect him to top his touch totals from 2018. Conner belongs in the first-round discussion on Draft Day and should be kept in most all circumstances.
Speaking of hot-button issues, I'm not sure it gets any hotter than the value of Todd Gurley. But this also brings up a larger point about how to handle buy-low players in Dynasty when you have them on your roster.
I have no inside information about Gurley's knee. We have comments from Gurley, comments from Sean McVay, even ... but I don't think any of them could tell you now what Gurley's long-term prognosis is. So this becomes about risk management.
Would I trade Gurley to the highest bidder regardless of how high that is? No. But I would be willing to accept a package with a higher floor and less upside. The best place to do that would probably be at wide receiver. If I could get a top-10 receiver, I would have to take it. Just don't give him away, because there's still enormous upside even with a smaller workload.
This is a good question because tight end is an interesting position right now. There's a clear elite three and a handful of possible (likely?) future stars. After that there's a whole lot of boring. It's not hard to find replacement-level production at the position because that bar is so low. So here are a few of my favorite high-upside options outside of the consensus top-12 tight ends in Dynasty:
Vance McDonald -- Enormous upside, but more of a short-term bandage than a long-term plan.
The thing I like about Chris' tweet is that it answers another question a lot of people have about high-upside buy-low candidates. Leonard Fournette and Corey Davis both fit the bill. The only thing I'd caution about either is that you can't forget why they're buy-lows.
I'd give up any pick in a rookie-only draft for Fournette and just about any combination of picks that doesn't include a top-three pick in this year's draft. I'd also trade any quarterback in a one-quarterback league and any tight end not named Kelce, Ertz or Kittle. I expect him to be a workhorse back this season who finishes among the top-12 at his position.
Davis is a little bit more troubling for me. I do think he's a buy low, but I'm not sure he pays off in 2019. For that reason I wouldn't want to give up a top-five pick in a 2019 rookie draft. In one of my Dynasty leagues, I traded Eric Ebron and 1.11 for Davis and Michael Gallup.
I go back and forth on this and think it really depends on the number of teams you run, the stakes, and the level of player we're talking about. If I was doing three start-up drafts this week, I probably wouldn't take the same player in the first or second round of all three even if I thought they were the best players available. But there is a very good chance I'd have some players available after Round 7 on all three teams. So yeah, I'm diversifying the studs I have, but probably not taking players I don't like.
Also, if you really hate the team, it shouldn't be that hard to trade one or two of the studs.
The easiest way to think about this question is like myor list. I certainly expect those players to have a higher value heading into next year. But here are a few specifics:
Kenyan Drake -- As long as he doesn't get any preseason hype.
Dede Westbrook -- He could legitimately be a top-24 receiver this season.
Hunter Henry -- I wouldn't be surprised if we're viewing the top tier tight ends as a "Big Six" next year.
My honest answer is that it's better to play without kickers or defenses. I prefer to replace kickers with another flex and replace DST with IDP, but that's probably not helpful here.
For the most part I don't like this strategy very much because I think it's getting a little too cute. How are you going to feel if you take the Bears defense and then watch your three favorite sleepers get drafted before you pick again? I will sometimes reach a round or two before the final round for a defense, but my final pick will be a kicker almost every time.
This question has a lot of levels and comes down to more than just an evaluation of the players. It's more about whether you take the value or the the best player. And that answer changes depending on the depth of your league.
In a 10-team league I would have a hard time throwing Saquon Barkley back unless I had the No. 1 pick in the draft. There is a big gap between the big four running backs and everyone else, especially in 10-team leagues, which are more about stars than deeper formats. In a 10-team league, I also care even less about quarterback because there are going to be multiple starters on the waiver wire each week. So Barkley would be my first choice and Allen would be my second.
So which Fantasy Football breakouts should you be all over? And which rookie running back is set to explode? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that has simulated the season 10,000 times, and find out.
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