Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Aug. 24 at 12:59 PM
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.
Why did you just drop Ridley down and elevate Vereen in the NE Backfield? TD only league here.
JOHN ZELUSKEY [MOUNT CARMEL, PA]
Let’s see how they use them in the game against the Bucs. I thought Vereen looked OK against Philadelphia. He’s got some speed, and he catches the ball well. He’s faster and more elusive than Ridley. I was confused about how Ridley was used in the Eagles game. They had him come in as the third back – entering the game in the third quarter. Most of the starters got the night off entirely. And they had Ridley return a kickoff. How many starting tailbacks return kickoffs in preseason games? But again, let’s see what happens tonight. Ridley is bigger, but Vereen seemed OK punching in a 1-yard TD against Philly.
Do McCoy's stat projections change if QB Vick is out for some or most of the year?
MARK COLON [CALEDONIA, MI]
I am not tying McCoy to Vick. I am not sure whether he would move up or down when Vick is out. Maybe the overall offensive production would go down, hurting McCoy. Or maybe with a younger, less experienced quarterback in there, they would rely on McCoy more – he carry the ball more and catch more passes. Vick is a running threat, so there’s always that possibility he’d run for 30-50 percent of the team’s rushing touchdowns. That would be removed with Foles in there. I think McCoy will be fine either way.
Thanks for a fantastic product! I will draft Sunday with the 8/23 Cheat Sheet in hand, meaning I'll be updating the rankings myself based upon the week 3 games. I wondered if there were any specific players you targeted for significant moves if this weekend revealed anything?
MARK CLURE [MOUNT SHASTA, CA]
The New England game will be the first one I’ll watch tonight – need to figure out if it will be Ridley, Vereen or a combo of the two at tailback. David Wilson supposedly has looked good in practice this week for the Giants; we’ll want to see what he does – can he move up into the No. 2 spot (past D.J. Ware)? And the situation with Seattle’s quarterback and wide receivers should become clearer. I will also be interested to watch Alfred Morris and Jonathan Dwyer.
What pick/round is the gamble of AP's surgically repaired knee, MJD's contract dispute and Trent Richards' knee worth it? When are they projected to be drafted as of late?
Anthony Cillis [LAGRANGEVILLE, NY]
I have no problem with Jones-Drew and Richardson. Jones-Drew will show up. He’s a football player – that’s what he does. He might miss a game, and he might be in less than ideal shape. But he’ll play. And Richardson might play on opening day. I see both of those guys as worthy of consideration about 10 running backs into a draft. I am more concerned about Peterson’s knee. I just don’t think he’ll be quite the same guy this year.
I've always maintained that your last two picks should be on a Defense and a Kicker, and in that order. I know I'm not alone in that strategy. This year, I decided to take it one step further, though. I got to the second to last round and said to myself, "every other team has a defense already; why not just get one off the free agency list before Week 1? It'll be just as good as the pick I could make here." I went with Kyle Rudolph instead of a D. Next round? Same scenario with the kickers, so I took Laurent Robinson instead. It's a no-downside gamble right? Wost case scenario is that I end up dropping them and adding the K/D that I would have drafted anyway. Tell me I'm right for totally passing on D and K at taking a flyer on these two guys.
ADAM HOLTZ [ROCHESTER, MN]
That’s fine. Clever strategy. There’s some value there. You could, for example, take a flyer on a backup running back like Jonathan Dwyer and see where he’s at next week. But if I’m in a league with 11 Adam Holtz, knowing that they’ll all take defenses and kickers with their last two picks, I will select other players in the final two rounds. That was, in rounds 17 & 18, I will ge the No. 1 kicker and the No. 1 defense, and at a very low cost. The regular players I’ll wind up with in the final two rounds will probably be the same two guys I would have selected in those rounds anyway.
Would you consider doing tiering for your draft rankings ? it really makes it easy to decide what the best values at each position that are left, especially in a 12 team league. I play in a PPR league.
KEVIN RIGGLEMAN [WILMINGTON, NC]
We’re doing rankings for a half-dozen scoring systems. Really, it’s an infinite number, since readers come in and create their own rankings system. So it’s not really practical to try to go in by hand and say this “this is a tier” or whatever. Different people define tiers differently as well. But I can point you in the direction of identifying tiers. Using the “Custom Cheat Sheet” feature, you can create an overall top 100 for your draft board. As you look at that list, you can spot clumps and spaces at certain positions. Maybe there are five quarterbacks in the top 20 and then none again until a burst at about No. 45. So that’s kind of tier. So that’s one way to put the “tier” label on a group of players. We also have exact stat forecasts for each player. So you can look at those output numbers and see where the big dropoffs are at each position.
Our league made the switch to an auction format 2 years ago and it seem that everyone enjoys the new format. I really like your rankings, but I was hoping you could clarify a little more of your auction strategy. Using your auction material seems to lead to missing out on top end talent in favor of depth. I often find myself waiting for the deals only to wind up with a team full of 2nd tier players and really good backups. I understand that depth is important, but part of why I look your products is because of the insight into guys that could be had much later/cheaper in drafts. Why not advocate to spend for the elite talent and then use your analysis to find those guys ready to break out? Obviously, your lists can be tweaked to get to that point, but that doesn't appear to be your default.
Don Schroeder [EDINA, MN]
You make it sound as if you can’t land any good players. That you’re going to get stuck with Matt Cassel and Jake Locker as your quarterbacks because everyone else is spending more. But it’s a zero-sum game. There’s a controlled amount of money. Maybe, by sticking to your board, you can get shut out of buying a top-10 running back if everybody else in your league really craves that position. But I don’t buy the complaint that you’re stuck with a bunch of second-tier players. You’d be getting a bunch of guys like Julio Jones, Victor Cruz, etc. Those aren’t second-tier players. My only other suggestion would be to check your setup options. When you look back at least year, where are the areas where the other owners AREN’T buying? On your board, were all of the quarterbacks or tight ends vastly underpaid (relative to your value). If so, then adjust the settings in the scoring profile area. There are those key questions where you’re asked, “How many quarterbacks will go for more than $1.00?” If you want to lower the amount of money that gets allocated to quarterback, make that number smaller.
What's the strategy for bidding and acquiring players in a PPR auction league? It seems like it could be a lot more complicated, given that there's no guarantee of how much you spend at each position. Yet you don't want finish with any spare money, right?
Richard Weber [FORT MYERS, FL]
Put a player value board together. That is, decide what you think each player is worth. Then you try to buy as many guys as you can get for far less than those “values”. The value is the price to pay if you want your team to be worth $100. But you want a team that’s worth $130-plus. You’ve got to find the guys who are underpriced. The opponents in your league, by how they bid, will determine whether you should buy early, late or in the middle.
subscribed to the updates & I use to get customized cheat sheet for our scoring system each update....now nothing...is there something I'm missing?
Tod Denison [BAKERSFIELD, CA]
We made a couple of changes in the delivery format. Eliminated a couple of the duplicate products. But there’s a pdf file that got emailed to you on Thursday. It should have everything in it. And you can access that same pdf file via the home page of the website.
In your magazine in the auction draft section it looked like you were targeting a couple of players you liked back in June. During the past couple months I'm sure things have changed, so if you were in an auction today which players would you be targeting the most? Thanks
Jason Howes [STEWARTVILLE, MN]
I don’t generally go into an auction targeting a specific guy. I just decide on values, then take whatever the rest of the league gives me. The guys they don’t spend on, that’s what I end up with. Looking back at the magazine, I see a number of my buys have decreased in value. Joseph Addai got cut, Denarius Moore isn’t worth $10 (out of $200), Jacob Tamme is overpriced ($7) and Josh Morgan doesn’t belong on a team. But others have increased in value – Luck ($4), Ridley/Vereen (combined $14), Danny Amendola ($2). I’ll do fine in that league. I am justing finishing another auction online as we speak. I have a different group in that one. QB: Brady, Luck. WR: Nelson, Harvin, Austin, Decker, Blackmon. TE: Gates, Olsen. I didn’t like any of the buys at running back and settled for a bunch of lower-value guys (Bush, D.Brown, Morris, P.Thomas, Vereen and I think R.Jennings).
just a quickie. in 10 team 6 for all tds league. got stuck in the 9 hole on draft day. what do you think aboot trading down. try to get 19th and 22nd for my 9th and 49th pics. ive been burned on my 1st rd late pics too many times. and i usually go qb late and have had much sucess. i enjoy reading your articles very much. thanx
jim gilhausen [SANDPOINT, ID]
It’s a fair offer It will earn you street cred in the draft room – who doesn’t respect an owner with the stones to trade away his first-round pick? According to my projections, picks 2.09 and 3.02 are worth 147 “relative” fantasy points, 5 more than picks 1.09 and 5.09. But realistically, as I look at the draft board, my hunch is that it will be about a wash. You’ll probably end up with about 160-165 points with either pair of picks (adjusting the numbers upwards to account for the other owners working off different boards).
Thanks for all the great advice over the years:) I play in a standard 12 team auction league and I hate spending more than the minimum on Kickers and TE's. We draft two and play one at each position. Give me a few Ks and TEs that you believe could outplay their low-ball auction value.
Scott DENHAM [MILLBROOK, AL]
I believe a handful of kickers worth more than the minimum – definitely Akers, Gostkowski and Crosby. You can’t convince me that there isn’t some value there. If you don’t want to go over $1 for those guys, then I suggest you look at how many kickers in your auction typically go for more than $1.00. If it’s 5, then start nominating kickers who are about either 5th, 6th or 7th on your board. Either you’ll get them for $1.00, or somebody else will waste money. At tight end, you’ll be taking a big loss statistical if you refuse to bid more than $1.00 on Gronkowski, Graham, Gates, Gresham, etc. You don’t think you could find it in your heart to go up to $2 or $3 for one of those guys? If you must get a $1.00 tight end, I suggest you consider Lance Kendricks and Kyle Rudolph.
I am playing in a 10 team PPR league where QB's are penalized 6 points for Pick-6's. Can you tell me how many interceptions were returned for TD's last year? I think there were something close to 50 defensive TD's but I don't know how many were from fumble recoveries.
Michael Hess [DENVER, CO]
I think you can plan on teams giving up about 3 of those per season. Get one of the better quarterbacks and you can get it down to 1 or 2. In the last four years, there have been 52, 48, 57 and 49 TDs scored on interception returns.
I am in a 24-team keeper league, I traded up to the third pick from 18, yet I have 5 picks in the top 100. Which QB will have the better year; Rodgers, Brady or Brees? I know the top two picks will be Foster and McCoy. The last 4 winners all had a stud QB so i am going QB. (no worries on bye weeks we get their average).
William Stoud [MEDFORD, NJ]
I would hook up the wagon behind Rodgers. Unlike those other guys, he can run. That also increases the risk of an injury, but this is a 24-team league – I think you take some chances. One other thought: can you trade down 4-7 spots and pick up another pick in the top 60? I would much rather have Brees, Stafford or Newton and an extra top-60 pick than Rodgers.
Have been doing some mocks with your customized auction sheet that i made. I find that many people spend a majority of there $'s on their starters and little on their bench. That results in the top players going for more than the cheat sheet and the bench going for less. Do you find that in a real draft as well, or do you think people in the mock just focus on the first few picks and then leave.
ERIC FEINGOLD [GARDEN CITY, NY]
People are going to want to focus on those starters. Those are the guys who are playing every week. Most, I think, tend to overshoot it at the top of the draft, and those mid-range guys (starter/bench players) tend to get undervalued. But you also want to make sure you’ve got some $1 players. You need to keep in mind that you’ll want to release some players in September and October, so you’ll need to make room for those guys. If you’re in a $100 league buying 10 players, I would advise against trying to buy 10 valued at about $10 each.
Did my first auction draft last night. Was hit and miss I believe. I tried to be conservative and not over bid. My two RB's are Trent Richardson ($35) and Michael Turner ($23), I also have Bennie Wells and Roy Helu on bench. Someone offered me a trade of Jacquizz Rodgers for Detroit D which would still leave me w Steelers D. Good trade?
Mike Haskins [EARLSBORO, OK]
I’d jump at that one. You have Turner. You definitely want to add the handcuff.
my question centers around Andrew Luck and what his value is. I am in a 10 team PPR league and my quarterbacks are Rivers, Roethlisberger and Bradford. My RBs are Rice, MJD, J Charles, and the NE RBs. The team that is drafting Luck will accept either MJD or Charles in return.
JOHN SHELBROCK [FRANKENMUTH, MI]
If it’s a 2012 league, I would have no interest in Luck. You’ll be fine with R & R. If it’s a dynasty league, then I would do whatever it takes to get Luck. He’ll be a great asset for the next 15 years.
Would your PPR strategy of drafting mostly receivers early change significantly if receiving TDs got 7 pts while rushing TDs got 10 pts under 25 yards, 15 pts from 25 to 50 yards and 20 pts for 50-plus yards? It's an 8-team league with standard yardage scoring (in addition to the PPR.)
ANDREW THURMAN [LAKE FOREST PARK, WA]
The website is set up so you can plug in that scoring system. Go to “Custom Cheat Sheet”, then click on “Scoring Profile”. There’s a distance-scoring feature that you can utilize. Keep in mind that while you’re awarding more points for rushing touchdowns, the vast majority of those are shorter. Over half of rushing touchdowns last year came from 1 or 2 yards. (I’ve got the spreadsheet open in front of me right now; running backs ran for 399 TDs last year, and 200 of those came from 1 or 2 yards). Of those 399, only 41 of them (10 percent) came from over 25 yards. If you also give bonus points for longer touchdowns on receptions, receivers will be picking up a lot more of those extra points. I grew up in Kenmore. Always nice to talk wiht somebody in the same neighborhood.
Okay Ian, you're on the clock and wanting to draft a WR with upside. You already have three solid starting receivers and a top quality back-up. Sure, the top 35-40 receivers are off your board. Feeling good about your WRs so far, you disregard your current rankings and allow your intuition and instincts to take over - who are these high-upside receivers you are considering?
Joseph Russo [SAN DIEGO, CA]
In that situation, I’d probably look at the two St. Louis receivers, Steve Smith and Danny Amendola. I’d look at the two New Orleans receivers beyond Colston, Lance Moore and Devery Henderson. Justin Blackmon.
Picking 9th in a 12 team snake. all TDs are 6 pts. I’m looking at Brees. Is he clear cut there? The custom rankings have Julio at 10, right behind brees. Is Brees a no brainer at 9 or could Julio be a surprise pick there? Just something about the Saints this year that scares me a bit.
Bill Petilli [LARCHMONT, NY]
I think you’ve got it scoped out perfectly. The numbers suggest Brees is the guy. But the spider sense tells me to stay away from the Saints. If it were 4 points for TD passes, I would go with Julio. At 6 points for TD passes, I would begrudgingly select Brees (or look to trade).
I always love seeing the Glamour Shot! I've got the 9th pick in a 12-team PPR league where we start 1QB, 2RB, 3WR/TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE). Our league drafts RB heavy early. Last year, 9 RBs went in the first round. I'm not a big believer in selecting a QB early. What strategy would you take? What numbers would you put into the Custom Sheet for this type of league? Thanks for all the great years!
Mark Peterson [MESA, AZ]
It’s always nice in a PPR league to load up on guys who catch lots of passes. I like the 90-plus reception guys. Julio Jones, Roddy White, Victor Cruz: these are guys who should be on your radar. Maybe you can trade down into the second round and pick up an extra fifth-round pick?
Who are your top breakout players for this year? By breakout I am referring to guys like V. Cruz who came out of nowhere to have a great season. I am looking for players in the mid to late rounds that can become stars.
KEVIN ANGEL [KATY, TX]
I find myself interested to see what happens this weekend with Alfred Morris and Jonathan Dwyer. Those guys like intriguing late-round picks to me.
I need a little help on a decision. I'm in a 12 team ppr league with the 7th pick. with how I think things will fall I will have either Chris Johnson, McFadden,Brady,and a very slim chance like of Megatron being there who do you think I should target. your advice would be very helpful thx. chris sicklerville nj
chris wagman [SICKLERVILLE, NJ]
I’d hope for Chris Johnson. I think he’ll have a bounceback year.
Question 3: Thanks for a fantastic product!...
Posted by MARK CLURE | Aug. 25 at 05:22 AM
So it seems safe to plug Ridley in around RB 11ish. After watching the games, where would you slot Bensen, Doug Martin, NYG Wilson and Sea Wilson? Julio looks like a steal in round 2. Drafting Sunday.
Question 3: Thanks for a fantastic product!...
Posted by t d | Aug. 25 at 09:41 AM
David Wilson looked great last night. I think he will play a big role on the Giants offense. I have him targeted now in the 6th round of a 12 team draft. Where would you slot him?
Question 5: I've always maintained that your...
Posted by Steven Schindler | Aug. 26 at 01:38 PM
in leagues that don't require you to draft a full roster I suppose that would be OK. Personally I wouldn't participate in a league like that. In our leagues you are fined $10.00 for not drafting a complete lineup.
Question 9: subscribed to the updates &...
Posted by JEFFREY KOZLOWSKI | Aug. 24 at 02:21 PM
Previously you offered a traditional cheat sheet which offered top 50 overall. The PDF only covers the top 35 overall. I understand you offer custom rankings but the overall value seems to jump with similar scoring systems as the defaults used in the PDF.
Question 9: subscribed to the updates &...
Posted by Joseph Smith | Aug. 25 at 02:22 AM
Jeffrey, what I do is download the excel stat projections and make a new subtotal in column 'Z' based on the scoring system in your league. Then, I sort the subtotals in column 'Z' by position. After that, I run the auction values from the custom auction cheat sheet and paste those in another empty column. (Be sure you actually set up your scoring profile with the roster sizes and other parameters of your league.) Finally, I sort ALL positions in excel by the pasted auction values. Using this method, you could get a top 360 for all 360 position players in the stat projection sheet. However, I only really need the top 200 or so for my 10-Team league. A bit of work ... yes. Will I actually run my live snake draft strictly on these rankings ... no. However, it's nice to have a top 200 to at least set up the pre-draft rankings. Give it a try if you're willing to crunch a few numbers.
Question 17: my question centers around Andrew...
Posted by CHRIS DEL VALLE | Aug. 25 at 05:42 AM
if that guy isn't in a keeper league, that has to be one of the stupidist fantasy questions ever asked...
Question 20: Picking 9th in a 12...
Posted by Jeff Schwarze | Aug. 26 at 02:05 PM
Given just those two as potential choices, you have to take Brees first, because there is a greater than 50/50 chance Jones is there in the 2nd. There is almost a 0% chance Brees comes back to you. (I've drafted Jones on both my leagues later than pick 2.4).
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.