Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted May. 20 at 05:36 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.
I just finished reading an interesting story by John Clayton and I wonder if the numbers bear out his hypothesis. That is, does it make fantasy sense to start a big back against 3-4 defenses and a more agile, faster back against a 4-3? If the numbers indicate that this makes sense, are there teams with big backs that will face lots of 3-4 defenses this year and/or teams with scat backs that will face predominantly 4-3 defenses?
Geoff Maleman [LOS ANGELES, CA]
There are some interesting ideas there, but there are too many moving parts for me to want to put in a bunch of time to try to test out the various theories. How are we defining big and small backs? Arian Foster weighs 224 pounds; is he big? I think of Felix Jones as a small back, but he’s listed at 220; what class are we putting him in? Pittsburgh and Baltimore play great run defense and use the 3-4; without trying to add up all the numbers, I don’t think that big, bruising running backs have tended to put up good numbers against them. Peyton Hillis had one big game against Baltimore early last year – the “blind squirrel” game – but he didn’t do anything against them later in the year. Minnesota had a great run of success against the run a few years back, using the 4-3, and it wasn’t my sense that small, quick backs were successful against them. Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles are both under 200 pounds, but I don’t sense they struggle against the 3-4. A team that has been surprisingly good against Johnson, in fact, has been the Colts, but they use the 4-3. In rough terms, therefore, I’ll say that some interesting points are raised, but that I am confident there are many exceptions. I’m not sure there will be a lot of fantasy value to utilize there. Most notably from the article, however, I will monitor how Detroit uses its two backs (Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure) this year.
I know Arian Foster had a monster year, but giving the magazine cover to these one-hit wonders seems a tad premature. I would think from a marketing standpoint that you would want to lure the casual fan with an athlete with more star appeal. I've been buying Fantasy Football Index for over 10 years and you know who hasn't been on the cover? Peyton Manning! He'll probably retire as the best QB ever! (And that's coming from a huge Dan Marino fan.) So what's the deal? Is Manning just not photogenic enough?
Cody Hager [ALOHA, OR]
Manning has been in the mix a few times. We’ve put together sample covers with Manning that have looked just fine. With all the gesticulations he does in the shotgun, it’s easy to get a good photo of him. He came closest in 2005. That was the year he was coming off the year with 49 touchdowns. But I pushed for Tatum Bell instead. The Bell choice, of course, didn’t work out particularly well, but philosophically, that’s the way I prefer to go. My preference is to try to put a breakout player on the cover, rather than honoring a guy for what he did the previous season. I would prefer to have somebody other than Foster on this year’s cover, but I don’t see that breakout Tatum Bell-type guy out there.
I hope you’re not to busy to answer this email. We are moving to a 25-player keeper league this year. It is point per reception dynasty league with no waiver wire pickups. We start 1 qb, 2 rb, 2 wr, l flex player, 1 te, 1 pk, and one defense. It seems to me that the prudent thing to do would be to stock up on younger players and have them on your 25-player roster. Any insights or suggestions?
JOHN SHELBROCK [FRANKENMUTH, MI]
Receivers, I think, will be undervalued. There will be enough quarterbacks to go around. There are a few elite running backs, and those guys are nice to have. But with that flex player and the PPR rule, you should proceed as if everyone is starting three wide receivers and only two running backs. In this kind of format, with receivers getting the extra 85 points when they catch 85 passes, they’re going to be very solid. Also note that receivers tend to stay healthy and have longer careers than running backs – there’s less turnover at that position.
Praying we'll get a 2011 season. Anyway, in our 12-team league, we get to keep 1 player from the previous year in the same draft slot we drafted him. All TDs are 6 points, 1 pt per 10 rush/rec vd, 1 pt per 25 passing. I have Peyton Manning in the 1st, Calvin Johnson in the 3rd, and Peyton Hillis in the 13th. Leaning towards Hillis. thoughts?
Scott Anderson [LAKEWOOD, CO]
Hmm. The Browns are moving Hillis into more of a time-share role this year. I think he’ll be their main back, but he’s not a star or a big-time player. It would be nice to pick him up in the 13th round, but I’m not sure he’s your top guy. I don’t even know if he’s your No. 2. If you don’t protect Manning, where would you pick in the first round? Because with 6 points for TDs, Manning is a top-3 pick in that format. If you’re picking late in the first round, probably best to select Manning. If you have an early selection (allowing you to draft Manning, Brady, Rivers or whoever), then maybe Calvin Johnson in the third round.
First I would like to say that your magazine is the best one out there and I have bought it every year since 1994. There is one thing that I think you should add to the magazine because no one has it. Have an overall top 25 rankings of the rookie-only players for keeper leagues. Every year you have a keeper league list, but that is really only good for the leagues starting their keepers this year. How about all of us like me who started it in 1997 and now we just draft rookies only? I would like to know who you project has the best talent is for an overall top 25 list? It makes a lot of sense to me since everyone will only use your overall keeper list one time. Still keep that but also have that new rookie only list for all of us who draft rookies only.
Henry Muto [GENEVA, OH]
All of the analysis in the rookie section is based on the dynasty format. In that part of the magazine, when we rank Newton v. Locker v. Gabbert v. Kaepernick, it will be based on their long-term value – not what they’ll do in 2011. It’s been that way for a lot of years now, so that should move you well down the road in terms of identifying which players you’ll want to pick in your draft. The Keeper League Cheat Sheet lists all those guys in terms of how they would fit in at their position. That should get the job done for you, shouldn’t it? In text of that article, Andy Richardson typically will spell out the order for the top half dozen rookies. In his writing, he’ll identify how many backs and wide receivers should be selected before that first quarterback, and he’ll talk about whether the top rookie overall should be A.J. Green, Mark Ingram, Julio Jones or perhaps somebody else. With trying to put together a top-25 type list, you start running into issues. Different leagues use different scoring systems, so should we be putting out three or four or five lists? Some of those dynasty leagues, I imagine, give points for receptions, while others are based solely on touchdowns. If you start two or three wide receivers can play a big role. And ultimately, for your personal team, I imagine your existing roster is a big factor. If you’re stacked at wide receiver already, that may cause Green and Jones to drop on your board. If you’ve already got Frank Gore, that will greatly enhance the value of Kendall Hunter. Let’s do this: After you read the rookie preview article, you put together your top 25 overall list. At that point, contact me directly with your roster and scoring system, and I will be happy to look it over and suggest any revisions. Can you work with that?
Question 1: I just finished reading an...
Posted by DAVID DIGREGORIO | May. 21 at 07:55 AM
I played in a league called Fantasy Football Tounament of Champions. I won it 2 years in a row. Nice money. It allowed you to play any player, but only once a year. There were 6 team leagues with the winner doubling his money and the top two teams advancing to the playoffs. Your advice was extremely helpful to me. Do you or any of your readers know of any place using that format?
Question 1: I just finished reading an...
Posted by Chris Gilcrest | Jul. 09 at 08:30 PM
will you still print your cheat sheets this year
Question 1: I just finished reading an...
Posted by Patrick Fergus | Jul. 22 at 05:21 AM
Ian: I understand why you won't have a hard copy this year but it will be the first time since 1988 that I don't have your magazine in my hand! How will you handle ranking players once free agency starts and signings come fast and furious?
Question 5: First I would like to...
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | May. 20 at 07:08 AM
Henry - In addition to what Ian says, I suggest you look at a couple of my recent columns -- one previewing my dynasty league's rookie draft, and one recapping it. The first one is a combination of how I think things should go and would go, the second a recap of what actually happened, with analysis/criticism. (Granted, since that draft happened in early May, and the rookie piece will likely be finalized ...well, later ... it's just an early snapshot that's changing even as we speak. But some of that gives a preview of the rookie piece, which as Ian notes is based on long-term value -- and will give you a top 7-8 at each position as well as a sense of who the top players overall should be. It is true, though, that a lot of dynasty league drafting is affected by existing rosters. Unfortunately for the Frank Gore owner picking at 2.01, I happily selected Kendall Hunter two picks earlier.
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