Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. Are the Panthers planning on expanding the role of Christian McCaffrey? Is Joe Mixon headed for a bounce-back season? Who invented PPR scoring? And coaching changes that could make a difference.
How does cut of Stewart affect McCaffrey’s value?
BOB MCKINLAY (Casselberry, FL)
I don’t think it changes McCaffrey all that much. McCaffrey isn’t a starting, featured back. He’s not big enough or a good enough runner between the tackles. He’ll be playing on third downs, or they might even transition him into a slot receiver role. he might be a tweener. They released Stewart, so they’ll need to bring in somebody to handle that role, but I don’t think we’ll see McCaffrey running the ball 15 times per game.
I have 2 teams in PPR keeper leagues that are almost identical (one team has Gurley, the other has Gronk). I know it's early. But just making the rash assumption that nothing changes from here on out, I'd like your thoughts on who you'd keep (we keep 5 out of 15). TEAM A: Garoppolo, Bell, Hyde, Crowell, Mixon, Watkins, Gronk. TEAM B: Garoppolo, Bell, Hyde, Crowell, Mixon, Watkins, Gurley. Thanks!
Paul Desimone (Hayward, CA)
Gurley and Gronk will be protected; then you’re looking for four guys. Bell is a certainty. I’m not a huge Watkins fan, but I think you also need to cross your fingers and hope he can do it. He’s your only wide receiver, and this is PPR. Mixon was disappointing as a rookie, but I’m not giving up on him. They’re working on putting a better offensive line in front of him, and he’s got a year of experience. Mixon is a good pass catcher, which helps in this format. For the fifth keeper, I will go with Garoppolo. He looked good at the end of last year, and I believe in Kyle Shanahan’s ability to put an offense together. Hyde and Crowell, I guess, are on the outside looking in right now.
Hi Ian, prepping for 2018 in my dynasty league. The draft is still two weeks away, but we're getting to cut downs and I'm noticing that a LOT of the underperforming 2017 rookies are going to get cut and therefore be available in the rookie draft. Not the big-name guys like Ross, of course, but there are a lot of other guys that we were all kind of excited about just eight months ago - Everett, Joe Williams, Gallman, Josh Reynolds, Darboh, Taywan Taylor – who will be there for the taking. Of all those 2017 rookies who didn't make much of an impact last year, do any jump out at you as potential breakouts for 2018? Would really appreciate your thoughts, as we draft long before the magazine comes out! Thanks as always!
BILL REHOR (Culver City, CA)
Of the guys you mention, I would say Gallman and Taylor belong on rosters. I’m not a big Jonathan Stewart fan, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Gallman ends up being New York’s best running back. As for Taywan Taylor, I just liked what I saw from him in the preseason last year. He looked like a guy who’ll be playing in the league for a lot of years. Similarly, their tight end from that draft (Jonnu Smith) I’m figuring we’ll eventually replace Delanie Walker (but probably not this year).
The story on your website about the invention of fantasy football got me thinking about who "invented" PPR scoring. Somebody somewhere must be taking credit. It's kind of a bold innovation. I'm sure whichever league started using it had a lively debate before taking the plunge. I started playing in 1992 and there was no mention of it in your magazine or anywhere else. But a league or two here or there could already have started using it. Do you know what year Fantasy Index first mentioned PPR scoring?
DAVID GARRICK (Coronado, CA)
I’m not sure where PPR scoring came from. I started playing in the Fanex experts league in the late ‘90s, and I think they’ve always used it. Paul Charchian (LeagueSafe) and Joe Bryant (FootballGuys) have been in the industry forever, but neither remembers where PPR came from. Flipping through our previous editions, I see that we didn’t make it part of our magazine until 2007. That’s the year we added a PPR cheat sheet. That was one where the readers let us know that it had to be added.
Do you have a link to the Fantasy Index Open final results? I missed seeing that last year, just want to see how badly I missed on everything!
Rob Dammers (wellington, FL)
They’re on the website. Click on the blue box at the top of the page “Your Stuff” and select the “Fantasy Index Open” link.
There SEEMS to be more coaches on the move this year then usual. Not sure that's true but last year we saw three franchises exceed expectations in terms of winning and scoring. Minnesota, LA and Philadelphia. All three lost their OCs. How much do you think these losses will effect these teams? What team or teams, league wide, do you think will be most positively effected, in terms of generating fantasy scoring, by their new hires , be it OC or HC?
MATT JACKSON (Norwalk, CT)
Coaches can make a big difference. We saw that last year, especially with Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. McVay more than anyone else helped to energize the offense, while Shanahan dramatically impacted two teams (the 49ers got a lot better, and the Falcons really struggled without him). For the 2018 season, I see Bruce Arians as probably be the the most-missed coached. He’s really good offensively, and I think the Cardinals will miss him. Mike McCoy is running that offense now, and he’s not chopped liver, but Arians was one of the best. With the Rams and Eagles, I don’t see those coordinator losses are particularly crucial – both of those teams have other, more important coaches. The Vikings, losing Pat Shurmur, are more likely to be adversely affected, I think. As far as positive changes, I am most excited about Matt LaFleur in Tennessee. I’m not sure how good he will be as a coordinator, but I’m figuring he’ll have to be an upgrade over last year, when the offense was poorly handled. Also put the Giants on that list. They had really lost their way under Ben McAdoo, so Shurmur should be a big upgrade.
Long time reader and player ... been in one 3-player keeper league since 1993 and using you since 1994 ... you're the best, and my only source. I joined my first full dynasty league last year and this is my first offseason. It's a unique league ... 48 teams, but 4 copies of each player, so in theory it's really a 12 team league. My team was good last year, and made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs. It's standard scoring except 0.5 points per reception. There is a 3 round rookie draft (48 picks per round), and I traded my three 2018 picks last season, so I have no picks coming up. I'm looking to upgrade my RB at the expense of my WR depth, and I'll spare you my whole team and stick to RBs and WRs here. We can start 2-4 of each of these positions, but it can only be 2 RB/4WR, 4 RB/2 WR, or 3 of each. I have two stud RBs: Elliott and McCoy. My others are Blount, Mike Davis, Ellington, Aaron Jones, Doug Martin, and Charcandrick West (had Woodhead but he retired). I have depth at WR, and while I don't want to trade Josh Gordon, I know you have to give up value to get a good starting RB, so Gordon is on the block. My others are: Edelman, Bennie Fowler, Marquise Goodwin, Rashard Higgins, Tyreek Hill, Rishard Mathews, and Jordy Nelson. I was offered Jordan Howard (stud RB in up and coming offense, but with limited catching skills), Quincy Enunwa (if healthy, a decent low-end WR), and pick 2.24 (of 48) this year (gives me a pick in this rookie draft), for Josh Gordon, West, and Aaron Jones (part of major committee in great offense). Should I do it? On face value and what I want (3 stud RBs), I think I should.
SCOTT BRADY (Collegeville, PA)
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the value of pick 2.24 in such a league. Seems like that would be the 72nd pick, but with there being four of each player, does that make it like pick 18? Or no? Anyway, I’ll work under the assumption that pick 2.24 has some value. I don’t think West or Ellington has any value; you’ll be cutting those guys. You’ll probably be cutting Mike Davis, and Doug Marting might not be far behind. Three key pieces (I think) are Gordon, Howard and McCoy. McCoy is an older back on a team that could be getting a lot worse. I would look to dish him off, if possible, and would be nice to replace him. Gordon is really talented, but Browns also have Jarvis Landry and questionable quarterbacking situation. So I would think it would make some sense to make the swap of giving up Gordon and getting Howard and that draft pick.
I have been reading your magazine since my first year in Fantasy Football in 1993. Your depth of information far surpasses all other magazines or fantasy sites. I had no idea what I was doing, but thanks to Fantasy Index, I landed Tim Brown, Herman Moore, Randall Cunningham, and Natrone Means in the draft. Moore had a breakout 2nd season and Means led the AFC in rushing for most of the year. I finished 8-5 and made the playoffs my first year! Now I am the commissioner of two leagues. One league is on espn.com (free) and one is on myfantasyleague.com ($69). This is the more "serious" league. One of the reasons I chose myfantasyleague.com is that it is the only site I have found that offers the option on defensive scoring of only counting your opponents' offensive points against your defense. Nothing is worse than losing because your defense held the other team to 13 points, but they got 2 defensive/special teams TDs and it counted against your defense. Unfortunately, twice in the last 3 years I have had problems with myfantasyleague.com, and everyone wants to use a new site next year. Are you aware of any other sites that allow customization to the defensive scoring so that your opponents' defensive/special teams TDs do not count against your defense?
Mike Lovins (Mesa, AZ)
Real Time Fantasy Sports could be worth a look. Like MyFantasyLeague.com, they’ve got some ability to get in and adjust how the games will be scored. On the MyFantasyLeague site, there is a commissioner override button, allowing you to adjust scores after the fact. With that feature you could have the commish go in on Tuesday morning and remove points from defenses allowing return touchdowns. But those are common enough that it would be a little bit too much of a hassle; I don’t think that’s your long-term solution. With both Real Time Fantasy Sports and MyFantasyLeague, they have tech support guys that let you know if there’s a way to set it up the way you want.