Fantasy Football Mailbag
Here at MyFantasySportsTalk.com we have two fantasy football experts (Dan Schalk and James Crook) that will take questions from MFST’s readers and answer them in a weekly segment, Fantasy Football Mailbag. Very original, we know. To read our previous mailbags you can check them out here. Or here.
1. Where is the ideal position/round to draft a Tight End?
-Chris, Raleigh, NC
Dan Schalk: It will depend what exact tight end(s) you want to target. I am a believer in waiting on a tight end like a quarterback, but I usually have one or two sleepers in my mind that I have a plan of attack in targeting later in the draft. To give you an idea, two years ago I had Jordan Cameron as my sleeper who I was going to target, and he fell to me in the 10th round of a 10-man draft. Great value for a tight end who had 80 receptions 980 yards and seven TDs that season. Last year I targeted Martellus Bennett, who fell to me around the same draft slot, and his production made me look like genius. However, this is a moot point if you want to target a preseason top five tight end who will be drafted within the first few rounds of any draft.
James Crook: I try to adhere to a strategy that is put forth by many experts, namely the Talented Mr. Roto himself Matthew Berry, in which I like to be either the first or one of the last teams to select a TE. It comes down to this: Behind Gronk, and to a lesser extent Jimmy Graham, the TE market is awash with solid-to-good players who simply don’t offer dominant stats or consistency week-to-week. Thus, I prefer to target a guy I have liked in the pre-season (I had Jordan Cameron and Julius Thomas two years ago for example) and am willing to cut them quickly for the waiver wire if that tight end doesn’t put up numbers.
2. Recently, you posted a RB Handcuff chart. Who is the most valuable handcuff to draft?
Pete, Augusta, ME
Dan Schalk: Tre Mason in St. Louis. If you draft Todd Gurley you are hoping and banking on his ability to come back from a devastating knee injury, but it was Mason who burst onto the scene towards the second half of last season. Rushing for over 700 yards in 12 games, Mason has the talent to be a reliable running back in the NFL, one of the reasons I was shocked in the drafting of Gurley. That being said, Gurley is a more talented back and will be the starter when healthy, but to have Mason in case Gurley doesn’t come back 100% is a necessity.
James Crook: First off, I strongly advise handcuffing any top 10 RB that has a clear-cut backup. I know it takes up a spot or two on your bench, but honestly, football is a risky game. If you lose your top pick to an injury and are not able to pickup his backup, you have now lost that risk. Of the top handcuffs, I really like Knile Davis because of his clear role in a very RB-dependent offense should something happen to Jamaal Charles. Anytime Charles has been hurt Davis has stepped in and filled up the stat sheet, proving himself a worthwhile NFL talent. When considering the fact that Charles will once again be a top-5 back in drafts this year, I highly recommend drafting his talented backup.
3. Where would you rank new KC Chief WR Jeremy Maclin?
Kristin, Omaha, NE
Dan Schalk: He is a top 30 WR who is a decent WR2, but I would prefer him in a PPR league. Alex Smith and the Chiefs passing game focuses on short, intermediate passes failing to stretch the field, Maclin’s forte. Now some may say with Maclin, the Chiefs will become a more down field passing game, but that is not Alex Smith’s style or game and he will not see success in doing so. Do not overdraft Maclin, who will rack up receptions, but not deliver the long TDs, or any TDs at all, the Chiefs did not have a receiver catch a touchdown pass all season.
James Crook: Jeremy Maclin went from quite literally one of the best offenses in the NFL for WR’s to one of the worst. Everyone has heard by now that the Chiefs couldn’t complete a single touchdown pass to a WR last season. Not ONE. That is insane in this era of passing football with all the gifted WR’s in the NFL. Now while I expect that to change, I don’t expect Alex Smith to suddenly become a competent NFL QB when throwing anywhere beyond 10 yards, and this hurts Maclin quite a bit. While I love his talent, and in PPR leagues he should still have value as a target monster, I don’t think he will be in my top 30 going into the season based on the above factors.
4. Are there any backup QB worth drafting in a 14-man PPR league?
Clay, Santa Barbara, CA
Dan Schalk: It is a risk to draft any backup quarterback, but in a 14-man league sometimes you have to take a risk in hopes it pays dividends. My choice would be Johnny Manziel in Cleveland. Yes, he had a horrid rookie campaign where he failed to throw a TD, but sitting behind Josh McCown and now sober he has a chance to be the play-maker the Browns thought they were getting last season. You can wait until very late in most if not all drafts to snag the former Heisman Trophy winner and see if he can take the field sometime in 2015.
James Crook: As a 2-QB savant, I love talking QB’s. While this seems to be a regular league, considering which backup to take is key depending on what the strategy with the first QB is. Personally, I like Mark Sanchez to be a contributor at some point this season due to the fact the Eagles offense is so strong, he has a little more experience in it coming into the season and Sam Bradford is, unfortunately, Sam Bradford. While we all know well Sanchez’ shortcomings, his upside as a potential starter for the juggernaut Eagles offense is enough to sway me towards him.
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Dan Schalk: @FFSportsTalk
James Crook: @ArtOfTheDeal11