Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Aug. 07 at 05:55 AM
Publisher Ian Allan fields your questions on strategy, how to run your league, player ratings -- and whatever else you think of. Updated every Friday during the season; Tuesdays and Fridays during the last two months of the preseason. You must be registered and signed-in to submit a mailbag question. After you sign in at the top of the page, the link to submit a mailbag question will become visible.
In a keeper league, in what round do you think it's acceptable to take a flyer on Michael Vick? Not knowing where/if he will land and whether he will be viable makes it tough, but at some point in the draft don't you think it's better to grab a talent like Vick than a scrub wide receiver?
Geoff Maleman [LOS ANGELES, CA]
Vick isn’t much of a passer. I’ve mentioned previously that among quarterbacks who’ve started at least half of the time over the last five years, he ranks last in completion percentage and last in passing yards per game – at 157 yards per game, he’s 20 yards behind every other quarterback. But Vick can run. Factor in his considerable rushing production, and he’s the No. 10 fantasy quarterback over the last five years (again, in production per game). So he’s worth a later-round flyer. I imagine he’ll start for some team in 2010. If he gets in the right rushing, where he’s got the green light to run often, he should be an above-average fantasy player (at least in those formats where players get twice as many points for rushing yards).
Using your custom rankings, I don’t see how I can enter number of players we start per position such as three wide receivers. I’m guessing your format use a standard two wide receivers start? If I could enter three, it would change the rankings considerably. Also why doesn’t custom rankings offer top 50 or 100 players in order? I guess I go for three wide receivers first three rounds.
BEN HOGEVOLL [SILETZ, OR]
The Custom Cheat Sheet feature can be difficult to use, so I addressed it in detail on the front page of the website on Thursday. Basically, you need to click on the “Custom Cheat Sheet” link at the top of the page, then work in two different areas. Click on the Scoring Profile, where you put in your league’s scoring system. Then click on Auction Profile (even if you’re not in an auction), where you tell the computer how you want to weight the different positions. And the auction deal assigns an exact dollar value to each player, allowing you to see if we consider the No. 34 wide receiver to be more valuable than the No. 32 running back. In the Auction Profile section, you are not asked how many wide receivers are starters. Instead, you’re asked how many will be purchased for more than the league minimum. In a 12-team league that starts two wide receivers, my guess is that about 48 wide receivers will be selected and about 28 of them will go for more than the league minimum. In a 12-team league that starts three wide receivers, my estimate is that about 68 of them will be selected, and about 38 of them will go for more than the minimum. We did a poll a few days ago. We asked if people started 2 or 3 receivers. Far more people start three receivers. So on the pdf file (and it’s spelled out in the fine print), we assume you’re in a league that starts 3 wide receivers.
My 16-team league has been reduced to 15 at the last minute. What is your recommended number of divisions/teams? And number of teams for playoffs? 16 works great, 15 not so great.
Ray Phillips [CORNELIUS, NC]
How about a double-header approach? Have each team play not one, but two games each week. That would allow each team to every other team twice during a 14-week regular season. 28 games. Top four teams make the playoffs, which would be held in weeks 15-16. It would be tough to make the playoffs, of course, but having double games would reduce the impact of luck in the schedule. Maybe you could have a second four-team tournament for the teams finishing 5th to 8th in regular season (and also a Toilet Bowl tournament with the bottom 4 teams).
It's that time again. Can you refresh my memory on setting the auction profile. I know you touched base on this last year, but I'm a little fuzzy. 12 team league. We start 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1Flex, 1TE, 1K, 1D. Also, how would you change the numbers according to number of RBs and WRs being played?
JOHN RUPPE [FORT MYERS, FL]
I would guess about 26 quarterbacks will be selected with 14 being worth more than the minimum (Trent Edwards, Matt Hasselbeck and Joe Flacco have value, I think, but in fantasy league, their value isn’t enough that you would want to take away resources from getting the big-time players. Instead, you’d focus on the star guys, then settle for whichever one of those quarterbacks you could get for the minimum). The flex players would spill into the running backs and wide receivers, of course. So maybe 32 running backs are starters and about 40 wide receivers. So for RB, so I would go with about 60 being selected and 36 going for more than minimum. At wide receiver, I’d go with about 70 being selected and about 40 being worth more than the minimum. At tight end, I’ll go with about 24 selected and 12 worth more than the minimum. Maybe 22 kickers drafted and 1 or 2 worth more than the minimum. At defenses, 22-24 selected and maybe 4 worth more than the minimum. Those are just starting points. If you don’t like the look of the overall board, you can tweak the numbers (if quarterbacks appear to be overvalued, lower the number to be purchased for more than the minimum from 14 down to 10).
I have questions about two players -- Larry Fitzgerald and Frank Gore. I rode Fitz last year to my sixth title, and he is a fabulous talent. But I can't shake the suspicion that he had a career year. You seemed to suggest the same thing in the magazine. Do you think it's wise to bet again on Fitzgerald, taking him late in the first round and hoping he comes close to last year's stats, or would it be better to go after another receiver slated to have his career year? As for Gore, you wrote in the magazine that he could become an elite runner again. But you also criticized the 49ers' passing attack as probably one of the league's five worst. If that's the case, don't you think Gore will see a lot of eight-man fronts and struggle to put up decent fantasy numbers?
Paul Owers [RIVIERA BEACH, FL]
With Gore, you have to like that Mike Martz is gone. Martz simply doesn’t call enough running plays. With him gone, Gore can get back to being the type of elite runner he was a few years back. Sure, he’s on a lesser team, but the 49ers have an easy schedule. I think he’s a top-10 running back. As for Fitzgerald, I’m a little nervous about the crowding issues there. They’ve also got Anquan Boldin, and they’re going to run the ball more this year (the team passed the ball on a league-high 66 percent of its plays last season – no other team was at more than 62 percent). But Fitzgerald will be 26 on opening day. If you look at the other great receivers in recent years – Randy Moss, Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens – and consider how they did when they were 26-year-olds, you’ll definitely want to take Fitzgerald. Is it fair to say Fitzgerald is that type of a receiver? That he’s going to be one of the great ones? I think it is.
Yards + TD league. I have Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson and Brandon Jacobs. I know Jackson has a good SOS against the run this year, but with no help at QB and WR, do you really think he can have a great year on a poor Rams team? I have seen him ranked as high as No. 2 in RBs. What is your opinion on Mr. Jackson's chances? I also have the oft-injured Jacobs and the versatile Johnson on my team. If you had to pick 2 of the 3, who would you choose?
JIMMY MOSCOSO [NEWBURY PARK, CA]
I’d go with Jackson and Johnson. Jacobs probably will score more touchdowns than either of those guys, but they’ll both be a lot more productive as receivers. Jacobs caught only 6 passes for 36 yards last year. Jackson and Johnson, on the other hand, are both candidates for 400-plus receiving yards. That’s 40 points in your league – equal to about a 6-TD head start. Of those three, Johnson is least likely to get hurt. With Jackson and Jacobs, you’ll have to pick one and hope it’s not the one who goes down early. I do think Jackson will do just fine. The Rams have been working on upgrading their offensive line. They signed Jacob Bell to the big free agent contract last year. Now they’ve drafted Jason Smith and signed Jason Brown to the big free-agent deal.
I play in a league that uses team quarterbacks and team kickers. Most of the owners stick with the "standard" draft board for QBs. For my 2nd QB, I'd like to take a flier on a team QB with an unsettled QB situation. Where would you rank team QBs on teams like the Lions, Jets and Browns? Same question for team kickers.
BILL YATES [CHURCHVILLE, NY]
We publish projected points for kickers every week. And the vast majority of those guys are slated to play 16 games, so no big changes there. The one interesting team would be the Ravens. It’s unclear who’ll kick for them – probably Steven Hauschka but maybe Graham Gano or somebody else – but that’s the type of team that should rank in the top 10 in kicking points. For team quarterbacks, our current projections for passing production appear below. For this chart, yards are passing yards per game. TDP is expected number of touchdown passes that will be thrown in the 16-game season. And the Pts is the fantasy points per game, using the scoring system of 6 points per TD pass and 1 point for every 10 passing yards.
Yds TDP Pts
290 31.5 40.8 New Orleans
280 33.1 40.4 New England
270 28.6 37.7 Arizona
260 30.9 37.6 Indianapolis
255 26.7 35.5 Philadelphia
245 29.3 35.5 San Diego
250 26.7 35.0 Green Bay
255 23.7 34.4 Houston
234 23.0 32.0 Atlanta
233 23.2 32.0 Cincinnati
230 23.6 31.8 Dallas
221 24.5 31.3 Pittsburgh
222 21.3 30.2 Chicago
220 20.8 29.8 Denver
215 21.9 29.7 Seattle
213 22.4 29.7 NY Giants
222 19.0 29.3 Miami
212 20.8 29.0 Buffalo
212 20.2 28.8 Carolina
212 18.5 28.1 Jacksonville
208 19.6 28.1 Detroit
205 20.2 28.1 Minnesota
210 18.5 27.9 Kansas City
210 18.4 27.9 Tampa Bay
205 18.6 27.5 Baltimore
208 17.8 27.5 Washington
200 17.3 26.5 Cleveland
200 17.3 26.5 San Francisco
200 16.8 26.3 Tennessee
195 17.9 26.2 Oakland
190 16.6 25.2 St. Louis
190 15.5 24.8 NY Jets
Focusing more on keeper value than this year's production, how do you compare RB's in backup/committee situations from last year's rookie class to this year's rookie class? Specifically, how would you rate Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, compared to Donald Brown, LeSean McCoy and Shonn Greene?
JASON WILHELMSEN [SMYRNA, GA]
All six of those guys, I think, are in very good positions. Brown and Stewart will share time with the backs ahead of them right away. Of those two, I'll go with Brown as being more valuable -- I think he might be just better than Joseph Addai. I like the spots than Mendenhall and McCoy are in. Westbrook keeps breaking down and is 30. Parker is in a contract year. Both Mendenhall and McCoy, therefore, might be starters next year. I give the slight edge there to McCoy. Felix is an explosive change-of-pace runner; he'll be a factor for the Cowboys. And I think Shonn Greene will be a productive player this year for the Jets. I expect Green will run for more touchdowns this year than either Leon Washington or Thomas Jones. Greene is a physical, hard-nosed runner.
I need your help (don't we all!). I am in a keeper league that started last year. I can keep Chris Johnson and Pierre Thomas for the cost of my 15th and 16th round picks or I could keep DeAngelo Williams instead of Thomas for the cost of fourth rounder. My question is, which way would you go?
Troy Frerichs [NORMAL, IL]
I think I’d keep the two cheap guys. They’re both very good players – maybe better than Williams – and they allow you to keep that valuable 4th-round pick. I will concede, however, that a case can be made for instead picking Williams. He’s a first-round pick. And it also wouldn’t be bad getting him for just a fourth-round selection (and that actually might be more of a fifth-round choice, with some of the marquee players – like Chris Johnson – sucked up by protections with lower-round picks). But Carolina has a tough schedule and Jonathan Stewart is also on the team; I would keep the other two.
I am starting a keeper/dynasty league. Last year you had some great ideas on this type of leagues. Next year for keepers we want to have a salary cap, what value should we used for those keepers, (the price that an owner paid for or the yearly update value given by the website. After the first year how many players should we auction? Is an 8 team league, 2QB, 3WR, 2RB 1RB/WR ... 18 player roster.
gilberto baca [FRESNO, CA]
If you're having a keeper league, I like the auction format. Gives everyone an equal chance at each player -- the guy who gets Adrian Peterson will be the guy who outbids everyone else (as opposed to having his name pulled from a hat).
There are dozens of routes to go with keeper leagues. You can either protect everyone, allowing teams to try to pick up injured players and youngsters who could develop into something in the future -- receivers like Darrius Heyward-Bey and Kenny Britt, for example. Or you can limit teams to protecting only 1-3 guys each year.
I'm in a PPR league where the QB gets 6 points for a td, but 25 yds per 1 pt. The receivers get 1 pt per 15 yds. And the running backs get 1 pt per 10 yds. Both RBs and WRs get 6 pts per TD. This is seriously confusing my draft priorities. In a draft where we won't be trading draft positions, which position is at a premium?
Mark Bond [Nashville, TN]
Such a scoring system works against wide receivers. Why they get 1 point for every 15 yards, while running backs get 1 for every 10 yards, is beyond me. On my board, I would have only six wide receivers in my top 20 – Fitzgerald (8), Moss (9), Welker (12), Andre Johnson (14), Steve Smith (17) and Calvin Johnson (18). I’ve got the top 3 quarterbacks in spots 1, 3 and 6 overall, and the No. 4 quarterback (Philip Rivers) at 19th overall.
I'm in a league with a strange scoring system. Starters are 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex. TEs are grouped with WRs (No TE required). Here's the strange part. RBs receive 1 pt every 20 combined yds, WRs 1 pt every 15, and TEs 1 pt every 10 (even though TEs are essentially WRs, our league basically "rewards" you for starting TEs as WRs). Last year Tony Gonzalez was the clear No. 1 WR under our scoring system. I've tried for years (to no avail) to convince the other owners to abandon this quirk, but I've given up and just gone with it. I almost always wait to take WRs (or TEs) in this league because the market is basically flooded due to our scoring system, but I'm wondering how it would affect the rankings once the numbers are crunched. Is round 4 even too early to look at taking a receiver? Our draft is always pretty RB heavy early, but the closer I look, the more I think it's almost a no-brainer to take 3 RBs and a QB in the first 4 rounds.
Michael Kessler [MADISON, WI]
I disagree. In this scoring system, you’re reducing the value of running backs. They get only 1 point per every 20 yards. While wide receivers get 1 point for every 15 (and tight ends even a bonus beyond that). And with the flex, you can essentially intermingle these positions. According to my stat projections, the top 15 players (among RB-WR-TE) in this format, after you account for the likelihood of injuries, would be: Moss, Peterson, Fitzgerald, Jones-Drew, Calvin Johnson, Turner, Jackson, DeAngelo Williams, Steve Smith, Clark, Andre Johnson, Jennings, Wayne, Jacobs and White. That’s 8 wide receivers, 6 running backs and 1 tight end.
Question 3: My 16-team league has been...
Posted by ERIC SCOLNICK | Aug. 10 at 06:04 AM
We have a 12 team league and one year one person did not show up and we had to work with only 11 teams. We kept everything as if we had 12 teams but the 12th team was simply a dummy team. The dummy team always scored the average of all the other scores that week, therefore if you played that team you had to score better then average.
Question 6: Yards + TD league. I...
Posted by DAVID GARRICK | Aug. 07 at 07:54 AM
If you are so upbeat about the Rams offensive line and schedule, why are you so down on QB Marc Bulger? You have him ranked below Culpepper, Leftwich, Kerry Collins and Brady Quinn.
Question 10: I am starting a keeper/dynasty...
Posted by ERIC SCOLNICK | Aug. 10 at 05:50 AM
The question is do you want a keeper league or a Dynasty league? If you want a keeper league the value of the plays should increase each year to stop one person from holding a player for 8 years. The other question is how complicated do you want the keeper rules?
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.