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.
1. If you had first overall pick in a standard league draft. Who would you pick?
-Clayton, Chicago, Illinois
Dan Schalk: Eddie Lacy. With James Starks being the number two-man in Green Bay, Lacy will have plenty of touches in a dangerous Packers offense. Defenses will game-plan around Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay passing game, leaving holes for Lacy on the ground. I would expect an increase in rushing yards for Lacy who has topped 1,000 in each of his first two seasons. His receiving ability is underrated, he caught 42 balls and was targeted 55 times by A-Rodg last season, becoming a great screen-receiver.
James Crook: Jamaal Charles would be my first pick, purely because you can combine an incredible track record with the fact you can easily lock down this backfield with Knile Davis, a talented handcuff who has proven to be a good NFL runner in his first couple years as a backup. Andy Reid loves to get the ball to Charles, and with Alex Smith’s well documented issues with throwing downfield, Charles will get the lion-share of touches once again for the Chiefs. Between that ability to find the end zone, catch passes, have a run-based offense centered around him and a talented handcuff in Davis, Charles will be my top player for standard leagues coming into 2015.
2. Who is a sleeper tight end to target later in drafts?
-Gary, Boulder, Colorado
Dan Schalk: Kyle Rudolph. Yes, he’s everyone’s sleeper tight end every year, but I had a vision that told me he will finally live up to his potential and play an entire season healthy. That might be a lot to ask for, but with a young quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, who will look to improve on an impressive rookie campaign, Rudolph will be a large part of Norv Turner’s offensive system. Currently ranked outside the top 15 at his position, you will be able to grab Rudolph with a late-round flier and reap the benefits.
James Crook: Julius Thomas is my TE sleeper, as he has fallen off the fantasy map this off-season due to a combination of his injury plagued finish to last season and a decision to join a young Jaguar offense lead by Blake Bortles, who had a shaky rookie season last year. As understandable as it is to doubt that Julius can produce like he did for Peyton Manning over the past two seasons while healthy, he is still a red zone terror who creates a mismatch every time he lines up on the field and will be a target monster for a team dearth of a true #1 option (Allen Robinson is knocking on that door very loudly, however). If he can stay healthy, I expect Thomas to be a top 5 tight end with very real potential to be in the top 3 behind Gronk and Jimmy Graham, a great value compared to where he is currently being ranked, as barely a top 10 guy on most sites.
3. What is a good draft strategy to have in a dynasty league?
-Chris, Raleigh, NC
Dan Schalk: Do not over-value rookies. In a dynasty league, owners will reach early and draft the “next big-thing” like a Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon in the first couple of rounds. What if Gurley never comes back from his ACL injury? Or if he does, you do not know how he will be in the NFL. Rookies are valuable to any dynasty league, but instead of using such an early pick on a Gurley or Gordon, wait until later in the draft and grab a David Johnson from Arizona, who will not be as popular now, but could have a greater fantasy impact for years down the road.
James Crook: Don’t be afraid to draft vets and guys who are young but haven’t busted out yet. Everyone wants the shiny new toy but the veterans who have been doing it for years will win you leagues, especially when they come at a discount in dynasty leagues. While it is important to think of the future in every move you make in a dynasty league, finding the market inefficiency is important, and the whole object of fantasy football (like real football) is to win your league, not simply always hope for the greener pastures of next year. Use this advantage to not only draft veterans, but also pick up guys during the season in trades that may swap some of your youth for an established vet that will get you that win this year. Do not sacrifice the future and draft only older players, but I find this strategy helps me stay competitive early on and makes for a tough team to beat while other teams are constantly looking for the next big thing.
4. Who will be the first rookie drafted in most fantasy leagues?
–Todd, San Diego, CA
Dan Schalk: Melvin Gordon. I do not have Gordon ranked as my number one rookie, but most fantasy pundits do combined with his great situation with the Chargers. What worries me about Gordon, is the lack of receiving ability and pass protection, making him useless on passing downs. If he cannot stay on the field for all three downs his fantasy value will drastically take a hit, but he will enter camp as the full-fledged starter.
James Crook: Amari Cooper is my pick, as he will come in and should (hopefully for the Raiders faithful) become the clear #1 target for one Derek Carr; the young quarterback who showed a lot of promise last year leading a punch-less offense that had very little support whatsoever from its wideouts. With Latavius Murray breaking out towards the end of the year and going into the season with an improved Carr, that could make Cooper a fantasy stud from day one, as he has by far the most polished route running ability combined with incredible short-area quickness that helps separate the elite WR’s in the NFL. I am a big believer in talent+opportunity and there is no clearer path to fantasy stardom than Cooper’s in Oakland. Also keep an eye on Melvin Gordon, Kevin White and Tyler Lockett (sleeper) as rookies who could have a big impact early on in their NFL careers.
5. Who is your top QB heading into 2015 Fantasy Football season?
–Joel, Nashville, TN
Dan Schalk: Aaron Rodgers. I could have said a few QBs here (Luck, Manning, Brees) but I will go with Rodgers, who consistently get you top-level fantasy points every week. With an offense that will be even more dangerous in 2015, combined with an offensive line that will finally be healthy and protect Rodgers, he could put up another set of MVP-like numbers. He is capable of 5,000+ passing yards and 40+ TDs, number one QB material.
James Crook: Andrew Luck for the simple reason that I believe in his outrageous talent combined with the fact that he has even more weapons this year to spread the ball around, including a competent RB in Frank Gore and former superstar WR Andre Johnson, both free agent pickups this past off-season. The Colts still have a shaky O-line, which scares me, but also leads me to believe even with the acquisition of Gore that the run game will struggle. This leaves it to Luck to, once again, take his team to the next level as he continues his growth as a superstar QB. I love Rodgers as much as anyone, but with the ability that Luck brings to the table in both the passing and rushing elements, as well as the fact that despite getting hit more than any other QB in his first three years he has stayed remarkably healthy makes this decision a relatively easy one for me. I think Luck will be a dominant force for the next ten years, and this is the year he ascends to the throne.
To send your questions to Dan, James or MyFantasySportsTalk:
Twitter: Dan Schalk @FFSportsTalk
James Crook @JamesCooley24
Or via Email: MyFantasySportsTalk@gmail.com
Check back next week for our next Fantasy Football Mailbag!
https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/fantasy-football-mailbag/https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/a.png?fit=880%2C320&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/a.png?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1AnalysisFantasyFantasy Studs/DudsFF AnalysisFF RankingsFF SleepersFootballNFLRecent Posts#Melvin Gordon,Aaron Rodgers,Amari Cooper,Andrew Luck,Draft Strategy,Eddie Lacy,Fantasy Football,Fantasy Football Mailbag,Jamaal Charles,Julius Thomas,Mailbag,NFLHere 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. 1. If you had first overall pick in a standard league draft. Who would you...Dan SchalkDan Schalkmyfantasysportstalk@gmail.comAdministratorDan Schalk is a sports enthusiast with degrees in Sports Coaching and Sports Management. He founded MyFantasySportsTalk in July of 2014 to bring a new platform to the sports media industry and allow various sports fans across the country have their voices be heard. Hailing from Buffalo, NY the land of the real chicken wing, you can stay up-to-date with Dan on Twitter @ffsportstalk You can also check some of Dan's work at Fantasypros.com, as he covers the Houston Astros as a team correspondent.MyFantasySportsTalk