Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Aug. 31 at 11:29 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.
Standard yd+td league qb 4pt td pass. 2nd overall pick in snake draft with the option to keep McGahee which would take over my 12th round pick. I assuming I would be in line for Foster or Rice. I think if I keep McGahee for 2nd round should the top 5 qbs are taken would I go for top te if available and then wr or wr-wr or even another serviceable RB and then WR?
Russ Neis [EAGAN, MN]
Sounds good. Probably a TE or WR in the second round.
Not a question, but a heads up that there is a great little video piece on ESPN today (Friday, 8-31) about one of the founding fathers of FF, Andy Mousalimas conducting his 50th and final Fantasy Football draft. Of note is that there is only one magazine that appears among his papers and it happens to be (and remain) the very best of the bunch: Fantasy Football Index. Enjoy the vid and thanks for the fantastic advice. I have won my 10 team league 5 of 11 years and finished 2nd twice thanks in large part to your fantastic products. Keep up the great work!
Jonathan Boba [WHEATON, IL]
Thanks for the heads up, Jon. Readers can see this by doing a Google search for “Andy Mousalimas ESPN”. It’s a nice little tribute to one of the founding fathers of this great game.
I play in a 12-team league (PPR) and can freeze 1 player from last years draft from rounds 1-8 and another player from rounds 9-16. It costs you that round pick in this years draft. We have Antonio Brown for a 13th rounder, easy choice. But we have to choose from Calvin Johnson (2nd), Forte (3rd), Romo (7th) and Stafford (8th). I think Stafford amounts to the biggest value, but could it possibly be Calvin Johnson? Players can be kept for three years but the draft position moves up one round each year. In other words Calvin would cost a 1st rounder next year and Stafford a 7th. Which way would you roll?
Shaun Sterner [NIAGARA FALLS, NY]
Picking the middle of the second round, I would expect to select a player worth about 100 adjusted fantasy points. Megatron is worth 135, so that’s a net value of 35. In the eighth round, I would expect to select a player worth about 50 points (again, I’m talking adjusted value points). I’ve got Stafford as the No. 5 quarterback on the board, worth about 66 points. So that’s just a value of 16 points. So for this year, Johnson seems to make more sense. And I think that’s fair. Stafford is a nice player, but you’ll be able to get some other good quarterback with a relatively inexpensive draft pick. I would go with Johnson and figure that I’ll find some other player to protect in 2013.
The custom scoring doesn't take into account our league's scoring for D/ST and Kickers. Our league assigns FG points based on yardage. 40-49 Yd = 4 Pts, 50-59 Yd = 5 Pts and 60+ = 6Pts. On D/ST we can gain or lose points based on Pts Allowed, for example, Shutout = +3 Pts, 40+ Pts allowed = -3 Pts. Also, we earn or lose points based on Yardage allowed, for example 101 Yds = 3 Pts, 400+ Yards = -3 Pts. How does that effect the K and D/ST rankings? Also, is there a possibility of expanding the Custom Scoring tool to allow for items such as these?
TONY CORRADI [AUBURN, WA]
I wouldn’t worry too much about kickers. I just plugged your scoring system into last year’s production. There are only two teams that move more than 3 spots in the rankings. The Raiders finished 10th in real-life NFL kicking points; they moved up to fourth in your format. And the Browns moved up from being tied for 28th to tied for 23rd. Not much difference there. You’ve got better ways to spend your preperation time. With defenses, please see the Excel stat projection download file. In there, we forecast the exact points and yards (rushing and passing) we expect each defense to allow. Also consult the team defense rankings that appear on the PPR cheat sheet (they include credit for allowing fewer points).
This is only the 2nd year my league has used an auction and I have a strategy question; I want to target Julio Jones as my #1 WR . I'm thinking I should be able get him for less than the other top-tier WRs. Do I nominate Jones on my first opportunity to force the hand of the others thereby leaving an opening to bid for C. Johnson, V Cruz and/or J Nelson just in case I don't get Jones? Or do I let Jones be nominated in the goodness of time, pass on those other guys, and hope I get Jones when he finally does get nominated?
Glenn Mason [COSTA MESA, CA]
It can go both ways. I have participated in auctions where everybody is sitting on their wallets for the first 10-20 picks. If it plays out that way, you’ll want to spend early. The more common outcome, however, is to see owners spend too much initially. I would advise you to throw out names of players you don’t want in the initial rounds.
I've been able to get Jason Witten in the 8th-13th round of 3 drafts so far in which he should out perform his draft position, I think. I've been able to pair him with Gresham, Olsen and Martellus Bennett so far. I'm not thrilled with Bennett, but it was a 12 team 20 round draft and the pickings left are pretty slim. 24 TE's were taken. I was wondering if they're are any DEEP sleepers worth consideration or do I just roll with Bennett until Witten's healthy?
JOHN RUPPE [FORT MYERS, FL]
I think you’ll be fine with those guys. With Bennett, you’ve got the added benefit that when you use him in Week 1, he’ll be going against his former team. We will have Bennett ranked higher than usual when our Week 1 draft board comes out next Wednesday.
I always look forward to your W-L projections. They're usually pretty good except for the occasional whiff like SF last year. Can we expect those in the coming days?
Brian Barrett [BOULDER, CO]
Yes. I will get those handled. We’ve got a lot of other, more pressing stuff that needs to be moved out the door right now. Most notably, the final update on Monday, then the Week 1 edition of the Weekly on Wednesday morning. But I will get a version of the W-L forecasts done before the first Sunday of action. Maybe before the kickoff of the Wednesday opener. I am annoyed that the NFL moved the kickoff of the opener to accommodate the convention.
Here's an original question for you: Do you find it difficult to be objective evaluating players with dreadlocks? With all that hair flying around, they always appear quicker, faster, and working harder and hitting bigger than everyone else on the field. I think there is a natural tendency to subconsciously slide players with long hair up the draft board. My league-mates think I'm crazy, but I am totally serious. Agents probably tell their players to grow their hair out because they know that NFL scouts unknowingly do the same thing. Food for thought.
L DALE GANDER [SUN PRAIRIE, WI]
I think we’re all subject to bias when evaluating players. For whatever reason, we like certain players because of the way they carry themselves and the way they look. With others, we’re perhaps turned off by their body language and demeanor (Jay Cutler). The volume of hair coming out of the bottom of helmets has certainly increased over the years. It seems like every team has at least one of those guys nowadays.
I appreciate you sharing your insight on many questions. I happen to be in a couple of leagues and had the draft for the first one today. I drafted Floyd as my third WR but I also drafted Wright a little later on. I'm kind of caught in a quandry of thinking here as to who to start (we start 3 WRs in our league) drafting Floyd in an earlier round he was ranked higher but in preseason Wright has had better performance and has been targeted more and it seems like Rivers is having some real issues perhaps because of his OL but I get this sneaky feeling like Wright might just be the better option.
KEVIN WEAKLAND [Tracy, CA]
Floyd will be ranked higher in Week 1. He’s traditionally played very well against Oakland, including a game with over 200 yards two years ago. I see no rapport between Rivers and Robert Meachem right now, so I think Floyd is the No. 1 receiver there for right now.
Long time no talk. Is it too early to pay a waiver fee to drop E. Royster and pick up A. Morris? With Shanahan, you never know about RBs! Thanks. Hope all is well.
MICHAEL HAMER [SPRINGFIELD, PA]
I think both Royster and Morris will start games this year. I would prefer to have Morris on my roster right now.
Trying to get accurate numbers into the auction values of customized rankings for my draft board (non auction draft). We are 8 team league, we start 2 qb, 3 rb, 3 wr, 1 te, and 1 flex (rb/wr/te). Still a little confused but I came up with 20 qb, 36 rb, 36 wr, 12 te...thoughts?
Kelly Salisbury [CENTREVILLE, VA]
Those look about right to me. With the double quarterback rule, I would probably go the Andy Reid route and add a couple more of those. What you’re trying to do is isolate a subset of players. About 80-110 players, depending on how many you will pick. For ballpark purposes, let’s call it two thirds of the players who will be selected. If you were going to draft that many players, how many at each position would be selected (maybe you can use previous drafts/auctions as a crutch)? Once you get those numbers in place, the custom rankings will be created by comparing each player to the best player at his position who wasn’t included in the subset.
Last draft of the season, 8 team league. We have a sliding PPR scale, where RBs get .5, WRs get 1.0, TE get 1.5 per catch. The scoring structure other than that is pretty much standard. Where, in your opinion, would this place the top 5 TEs in your overall rankings? I'm trying to decide if I should roll the bones on a TE earlier than normal.
Jeff Carter [FRANKLIN, TN]
A very similar scoring system is now part of the regular package in the main product. See page 7 of the Cheat Sheet Update – the “FFPC” rankings. That’s 1.5 points for tight ends and 1 point for the others. In those rankings, when you forget about positions and just look at the production of running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, Gronk and Graham wind up in the top 5, and Hernandez and Gates are in the top 12.
I'm Commish of a 2-player keeper league that's more weighted toward TDs but has bonuses for yardage and length of TDs. My options, besides Nicks, are: Eric Decker, Willis McGahee, Vincent Jackson, Stevan Ridley. Whaddya think about my 2nd keeper. By the way, my cousin Steve said to make sure I comment on your nifty photo. We both love the pose, Ian. Good stuff!
ED HAYES [LISLE, IL]
I think Decker will have a big year. Maybe you can still reacquire McGahee and Ridley in the draft?
I am in a 10-team standard scoring league (4pt passing TDs) where we are allowed 1 keeper per year (i.e. can only keep a player for 1 year at a time) but you can't keep a player drafted in the first 4 rounds. Our draft is Tuesday. I am keeping Cam and the following players are the other owners' keepers: Julio Jones, Hernandez, Gronk, Jordy, AJ Green, Ryan Matthews, Graham, Steve Smith (CAR), and Lynch. I have picks 10 and 11. Any advice on who you think I should target with those picks? I feel like the scoring potential of the players available at those picks isn't going to be significantly better than players available at the back end of Round 2.
Richard Cooper [NORRISTOWN, PA]
I think you’ll probably looking at a couple of wide receivers with those picks. That’s what the projections likely will recommend.
12 team serpentine draft, scoring is insanely predicated on distance per TD (1 pt per yard of TD, run are yds +10). I have the #11 pick, and suspect the available players I would consider at that spot will be Stafford, Eli, Julio Jones, Cruz, Nelson, McFadden, Lynch, and Steven Jackson. The website's program spits out Eli as the #3 QB in this league's scoring system, is he the logical pick at 11?
BRIAN BOUCHER [GLEN MILLS, PA]
Eli will be in the mix. I would be hoping for one of the butt-kicker wide receivers – Julio, Jordy, Cruz. There are other good quarterbacks, and my suspicion is if you take Manning at 11, you’ll be disappointed that you won’t be able to select some other quarterback (maybe Manning again) at 3.11.
I pick 9th in a keeper league and am guessing Richardson will be the top rb available on your yardage plus td list when its my turn.Bradshaw is next followed by McGahee.If i take Richardson,Im afraid i wont have a #2 running back for at least two weeks.He had knee surgery in Aug and is a rookie who will have missed all four preseason games. Do you have him ranked too high or should i grab him and then try to handcuff him with who?
BEN HOGEVOLL [SILETZ, OR]
Picking Richardson at 9th in a keeper league makes a lot of sense. Should be a good player for you in 2012, 2013 and maybe some other years – I don’t know your exact rules. He’s the guy I would pick. There are lots of other options to potentially start in Week 1 if Richardson’s not ready.
Maybe you won't see this in time to help me - we draft on Saturday night - but I'm taking over a team in a Keeper league that's pretty awful. I want to draft this year, heavily with the future in mind. Do you have a list of your top keepers by position, or something like that?
L.B. Graham [WILDWOOD, MO]
See the Aug. 27 version of the Cheat Sheet Update. It’s got the top 50 rookies ranked for a dynasty format (regardless of position). That info could help you.
Hello Ian, I apologize in advance, but I have a draft question for you. 10 team, non-PPR, 1 keeper league and I have the 2nd pick. I expect Brady, Chris Johnson, and DeMarco Murray to be available when I pick. I'm leaning towards Brady and thinking a RB like Doug Martin will be available in the late 2nd and confident that a top 10 WR will be there in the 3rd. The other plan would be to take a RB early, then two WR's in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and a QB like Romo or Rivers in the 4th or 5th. Which plan makes more sense?
Bob Heaps [PORTAGE, MI]
Murray isn’t in the mix for me. I would either select Johnson, figuring it might save me the grief of having to deal with the running back position later (plus there are lots of good quarterbacks). Or the combo of Brady & Martin looks good.
I'll bet you hate "who do I keep" questions, but I really value your insight. To keep it general: Have you seen anything in the preseason that would make you significantly change the dynasty league rankings in the magazine (perhaps Pierre Garcon has moved up)? I'm keeping J Charles, M Lynch, H Nicks and A Hernandez. I can keep 4 more of: Giants QB, Patriots QB, S Jackson (STL), K Britt, J Maclin, Andre Johnson, V Jackson, P Garcon, or V Davis.
JOHN MACHO [ELKO NEW MRKT, MN]
You have to keep the New England quarterbacks. Garcon looks strong to me. It’s the final two spots where it starts getting tough. Steven Jackson and Andre Johnson look good for 2012, but they’re nearing the end of the road. Britt could be more of a 2013 guy. I don’t like the offenses for the two V guys. Could you potentially trade the Giants quarterbacks?
Picking 9th in a 12 team league with 6 pts for all TDs. I'm ok with what I'd grab at 9, but 16 is the big question mark. On the custom rankings, victor cruz and jordy nelson are 14 and 15 respectively. Is that too high for them?
Bill Petilli [LARCHMONT, NY]
Not at all. Those are big-time players, and I think they’ll have big years.
Question 1: Standard yd+td league qb 4pt...
Posted by james nienaber | Sep. 02 at 03:54 PM
Ian, are you guys doing the Super League this year?
Question 1: Standard yd+td league qb 4pt...
Posted by Richard Spinella | Sep. 03 at 09:07 AM
Glen. In an auction I highly recommend that you put up players that you do not want in the early rounds so people spend money and use up roster spots on people you do not want In later rounds you can put up people you want if you have more money than most If you don't have a lot of money don't nominate anyone you really want until people are filled
Question 4: The custom scoring doesn't take...
Posted by JEFF FOSTER | Aug. 31 at 03:02 PM
Even one kicker moving 7 spots to 4th seems significant to me. I'll take any advantage I can get.
Question 5: This is only the 2nd...
Posted by James COSTELLO | Aug. 31 at 01:29 PM
If this is only the second year your league has done an auction you can bet almost all the other owners will be tweaking their strategy based on last years results and lack of results. Be prepared for ANYTHING! Be prepared to snag a guy like Cruz for example if you think he's going way too low, even if you had no intention of targeting him. Last year I got Brees early for $59 in a 300 cap league, then watched everyone fight for the last decent remaining QB Rivers who went for $81
Question 7: I always look forward to...
Posted by Troy Hopper | Sep. 04 at 05:49 AM
your weekly win loss projections. When are they coming please?
Question 9: I appreciate you sharing your...
Posted by FRANK LEE | Sep. 10 at 06:46 AM
up by 30 points..he has Rivers left...i have Aj green or malcom floyd...heavy points for QB's..what do you think of benching green for floyd to offset ... green vs. balt scares me
Question 13: I'm Commish of a 2-player...
Posted by ED HAYES | Aug. 31 at 12:00 PM
I ended up trading for Peyton Hillis before I got your feedback as I couldn't wait. I Hillis think is going to rebound in a major way. So I'm keeping Nicks and Hillis. Thanks for the info, though.
Question 20: Picking 9th in a 12...
Posted by Scott Trautsch | Aug. 31 at 12:58 PM
Just watch what other oweners do at QB. My strategy is to list the ones you'd be comfortable starting weekly and make sure you get one of them. In my 25-year league that's a strategy I've had a lot of success with because unless you hit on two aberative others scorers you'd better have a good QB and this year there may only be 9 I'd be comfortable going with.
Question 20: Picking 9th in a 12...
Posted by Scott Anderson | Aug. 31 at 03:41 PM
All depends on your scoring. If you get 6 pts for passing TDs, you pretty much HAVE to land Rodgers, Brady, Brees, or Stafford. Those guys give you such a head start that everyone else is playing catch up after that.
Question 20: Picking 9th in a 12...
Posted by Richard Spinella | Sep. 03 at 09:03 AM
Anyone want to join an Auction League? http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/tools/join?leagueId=1035372 Draft Sept 4 th 9:30 pm EST
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