Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Mar. 11 at 02:36 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'm joining a start-up Dynasty League this off-season, and I was wondering if you could offer some insight as to any relevant fantasy players who are scheduled to become free agents next year so that I can try to target them as value picks in this year's dynasty draft. Examples that I was able to pick-up in a similar situation last year were Michael Turner and Bryant Johnson. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
ERIC WOSICK [INGLEWOOD, CA]
Things are kind of fluid right now, with players getting cut and unsigned guys potentially signing one-year contracts. But right now, I believe the list would go something like this ...
David Garrard, Kyle Boller, Jeff Garcia, J.P. Losman, Rex Grossman, Chris Simms. Garrard is really the only significant name, and he could sign an extension before opening day.
Steven Jackson, Brandon Jacobs, Kevin Jones, LaBrandon Toefield, Najeh Davenport, Tatum Bell, Maurice Morris, Chris Perry, J.J. Arrington. I don't see a Turner-type guy here.
Terrell Owens, Roy Williams, Marques Colston, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Ronald Curry, Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd, Bobby Engram. Lots of talent here, of course. You could see a contract-year push out of Williams, Colston or Curry.
The only significant one I see is L.J. Smith, who's been designated a franchise player by the Eagles. After an injury-marred season last year, my guess is that he'll play under the one-year tender this season, looking to stay healthy, put up big numbers and make himself a pot of money.
Hi Ian: I know that it is way, way too early to think about rookie
RBs, but this is the best year I have every seen. With that in mind who of the lesser RBs excites you. I mean that after the big 3 are gone who do you like the most. I play in a pt per reception league and pick 8th. J Charles, F Jones, C Johnson, R Rice, K Smith, M Forte,& S Slaton are the RBs I am referring to. The two players that could surprise for me are Ray Rice and Matt Forte. Rice is smaller but can run up the middle and Forte has very good size and pretty good hands. I mention these two because one of the two will be there I think.
JOHN SHELBROCK [FRANKENMUTH, MI]
I believe Felix Jones will separate from that group. He was overshadowed at Arkansas by Darren McFadden, but he definitely has first-round talent. He's not a real big guy (200-205 pounds), but he's got the speed to run away from people. And that could elevate him into the first round. With the Razorbacks, he averaged 7.66 yards in his career, which is the best by anyone in the last 60 years. Will be a threat on kickoff returns as well. I expect some team to select him, then use him as part of a one-two punch at tailback.
Jones probably will be one of the four first-round running backs in this draft (along with McFadden, Mendenhall and Stewart). For those other guys, who winds up making the biggest impact in the next couple of years could be based primarily on who gets selected into the best situation.
Sleeper team for a running back: Indianapolis. Tailbacks take quite a pounding, and Joseph Addai hasn't proven himself to be an iron man. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see Bill Polian take a running back in the first or second round.
I would like to see what your thoughts are on what David Carr's life might be like now if he had chosen Seattle over Carolina last year. Would you consider his choice a screw up?
I don't know what the deal is with quarterbacks. If you look at the 29 that have been selected with top-10 picks in the last 20 years, over half of those guys have been busts. By my count, seven turned into stars -- Manning, Manning, Palmer, Bledsoe, McNabb, McNair and Aikman. And eight didn't really fit a category -- either it's too early to judge them, they perhaps played serviceably for some team other than the one that drafted them. I put Trent Dilfer, Kerry Collns, Michael Vick, Philip Rivers, Matt Leinart, Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell in that group.
Regardless of the precise numbers, the overall success rate with quarterbacks hasn't been very good.
My question -- and I don't know the answer -- is how much of a role does coaching and surrounding talent play? If, for example, Rick Mirer or Tim Couch or David Klingler or Heath Shuler had been drafted into a different situation, would have they still fizzled? I remember, for example, that Mirer actually played pretty well at times as a rookie. Looked like he was going to be pretty good. Maybe if some other coaching staff had worked with him, and he hadn't been thrown to the wolves right away, he might have been OK.
Carr, I see, as another Mirer. He was OK as a rookie. Looked like he might develop into a decent quarterback. But for the last few years, it just hasn't looked like he knows what he's doing. He hangs onto the ball way too long, resulting in too many sacks, and he seems to be too willing to settle for short, harmless passes underneath. Now he's taken to playing with those ridiculous gloves on. I don't see Mike Holmgren -- or any other coach -- fixing him.
My league is auction-based and we sign players to 3-year deals. We also have a 1 round rookie draft where salaries are fixed based on draft position. The fixed prices make it unlikely that any teams draft rookie WRs or QBs. I have the 4th pick in my league's rookie draft this year. Based on rookie RB talent in this year's draft and likely landing spots on NFL teams, do you think there will be a rookie RB worth taking at my 4th pick or should I try to package my pick and current players and trade up to #2 or #3 (#1 isn't moving - he'll take McFadden)?
JASON WILHELMSEN [SMYRNA, GA]
I would consider trading up to the No. 2 or No. 3 spot, but only if the price is right. You might be just fine with the No. 4 spot in this draft. It will, by the way, definitely be a running back that you'll be selecting, probably Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Stewart or Felix Jones.
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