Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted May. 29 at 08:18 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.
How much do you take individual strength of schedule into positional rankings? I asked because I'm trying to decide between WR's on my team to keep, Braylon Edwards (who would cost me a 7th and 8th round pick to keep) or Marques Colston (who would cost a 6th and a 12th to keep.) Colston according to one site I use has the 32nd easiest schedule (so most difficult) against WR's while Edwards has the 9th. On the other hand, I'm already having nightmares about Edwards playing outdoors in 17 degree weather with 40 MPH winds during the fantasy playoffs. Any thought on where you have them ranked and which would be the better keeper in your opinion?
MICHAEL ROPER [GLEN ALLEN, PA]
I did an extensive study of strength of schedule for the 2008 magazine. I looked at every team and every schedule over the last 15 years. I won't spoil the article for you, but based on what I observed from that data, I wouldn't put any weight into strength of schedule charts derived from passing defenses or rushing defenses. The stuff changes so much from year to year, that data isn't reliable. My findings were that points and yards weren't reliable for strength of schedule. Wins and losses, however, are -- they do tend to have a measurable impact on player performance.
As for your particular case, I consider Braylon Edwards to be either a better or slightly better receiver. Colston, however, has a significantly easier schedule, so I feel he will outperform Edwards this season.
I'd like to get your take on Lee Evans in 2008. The word is that his production suffered because coverage was constantly rolled his way with no real prescence at WR2, and that now with the Bills having drafted James Hardy, that's all gonna change. Hardy's size clearly makes him a better red-zone target, as well as for short and intermediate passes, too. Another concern is Trent Edwards' predilection for dump-offs, combined with new OC Turk Schonert's reported intent to involve the RBs and TEs more in the passing game. It just looks to me like the right skill-set, wrong team. What do you say?
Paul Desimone [HAYWARD, CA]
I don't buy into the theory that Evans suffered last year because coverage was rolled his way. Early in the year last year, I saw a number of throws -- about one every week -- were he was open for a 30-40 yard touchdown and the quarterback just missed him. So I would say more bad throws than extra coverages.
As for 2008, I think your assessment is right on the money. I don't think Edwards and Evans are a good match. The young quarterback isn't a long-ball thrower, and that's what Evans needs. I was a little disappointed that I got stuck with Evans (albeit at a good price) in the mock auction we did in the magazine.
How do you forsee the potential abscence of Marvin Harrison affecting the Colts offense this year? Who do you think will benefit the most and who so you think will suffer?
Eugene Hitt [Garrison, NY]
If Harrison is playing and can stay healthy, I think it will be a crowded deal, with him dragging down everyone's stats. Reggie Wayne would catch a lot fewer balls, Anthony Gonzalez would be just a good No. 3 receiver, and Dallas Clark wouldn't get the same kind of looks inside the red zone. If you take Harrison out of the mix, then I'd love to get all three of those guys on my fantasy roster.
I'm in a dynasty league and am light on wide receivers. I have to start 3 and have Steve Smith, Santana Moss, and Kevin Curtis. Darrell Jackson, Laurent Robinson, and Nate Burleson are free agents I can pick up in my league. I'm leaning toward Jackson as the one with the most upside. What do you think?
WILLIAM ROGERS [CITRUS HTS, CA]
I think Darrell Jackson is done. I don't think he can run anymore. I know that he's only 29, but when I saw him last year, he looked like he was about 38. He may be like one of those Venezuelan baseball players -- somebody fudged on his birth certificate way back when. I'd rather have Nate Burleson. I don't particularly like Burleson, but I think he'll get a lot more looks in Seattle this year. I would also definitely put Laurent Robinson ahead of Jackson. If half of what they're saying about Robinson at the offseason workouts is true, maybe he should be ahead of Santana Moss as well.
It's that time of year again ... who do I keep? I'm in a league with no flex player (we start 2 RB, 2 WR) and I get to keep three of the following: S. Jackson, L. Johnson, M. Jones-Drew, M. Turner, R. Wayne and B. Marshall. I think Jackson and Johnson are obvious, but do I keep Jones-Drew as my RB3 or Wayne as my WR1?
Geoff Maleman [LOS ANGELES, CA]
I'm not a big Larry Johnson fan. No offensive line. Kansas City, I think, might be the worst team in the league. So I'd rather have Jones-Drew. So put me down for Jackson, Jones-Drew and Wayne. If you can package Wayne and Johnson together for a mega-player, that's something you'll have to consider. I don't consider Brandon Marshall to be significantly worse than Wayne. Just make sure you don't let any McDonald's bags blow onto your team's field.
I'm in a standard 12 team keeper league, we can play either 2 RB and 2 WR or 3 RBs, 1WR, I have last draw in the redraft. I need to keep 5 from LT, Frank Gore, Michael Turner, Ronnie Brown, Steve Smith and Marques Colston - also would consider trading strategies - help - thanks Vince
Vincent FitzPatrick [West Richland, WA]
I'm not sure of the exact scoring system, but I believe I'd cut bait with either Brown or Turner. Probably Brown. If you can package those guys together and turn them into a better player, more power to you.
I think you had an article or question about owner turnover in fantasy leagues last year. What is a good average amount of experience in a fantasy league? We have had 20 different people be in our league in 7 years of a 12 team league with 7 of the original owners returning. I think our league is quite stable and we seem to get more reliable people each time we have replaced an owner.
Jay Monahan [CINCINNATI, OH]
Leagues should stabilize over time, I guess. Each year, when you bring in some of those new owners, you have the chance to land a new, stable, interested owner. Over time, I would guess you would tend to fill up the league with those kind of guys.
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