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Fantasy Football Index publisher Ian Allan answers your questions about fantasy football. Click here to submit a question.

Mailbag

Mailbag for July 26, 2023

Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. Draft a good wide receiver before they're all gone. Light pickings with rookie pass catchers. Juggling keeper selections. And more.

Question 1

In a TD-dependent Dynasty League and seeking an opinion on drafting a player. Would you draft an established player with high upside but injury prone (Kadarius Toney, Mike Williams etc.) or gamble on a first-round rookie on a high-volume passing team? (Jordan Addison, Quentin Johnston, etc.)

Howie Fishman (Hermosa Beach, CA)

I don’t think it’s a great year for rookie receivers. I see Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but not much else. I don’t know that Johnston (and thank you for spelling his name correctly) will get on the field all that much. They’ve got Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Josh Palmer, and I think they’ll be the three main receivers. Allen and Williams both make about $20 million per year, so I believe the thinking with Johnston is that they’ll to transition to somebody cheaper in 2024, when Justin Herbert gets more expensive. For 2023, I’d be a lot interested in Toney (foolishly hoping he might stay healthy).

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Question 2

Pick 2 keepers: Rhamondre Stevenson (6 round), Mike Williams (9 round), Trevor Lawrence (10 round), Khalil Hebert (11 round).

Bill Heeney (Philadelphia)

Stevenson and Lawrence, and I don’t think anybody would suggest otherwise. Stevenson is a good candidate for top-10 running back numbers; that makes him a real nice value in the sixth round. And I’ve got Lawrence on the edge of the top quarterback tier. I’ve got him just behind Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson, but some like him even more than those guys. It would be nice to lock him down with a 10th-round choice.

If you commit to selecting Lawrence in the 10th round, you’ll be fine at quarterback, while retaining the ability to put together an awesome one-two punch of quarterbacks if one of the elite guys slips a few rounds in the draft. Protecting Lawrence would allow you to be the price enforcer at quarterback during the draft.

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Question 3

In a half-PPR Yahoo public league. I was curious about who you would pick first overall –McCaffrey, Jefferson, or maybe even Chase. Part of me knows that picking running backs first overall has been very mainstream in the past and is reluctant to go against this. However, running backs are much more injury prone, making a case for a WR like Jefferson. On the other hand, it is hard to find startable running backs in later rounds.

Tom Fini (Manhasset, NY)

I think you have it mapped out properly. Those are the two and half guys I’d be looking at. For me personally, I think I’d go with Jefferson. The way other guys are picking, I think things would fall more favorably at 2.12-3.01 and 4.12-5.01 if take a wide receiver first.

If you open with McCaffrey, you’ll need to select a wide receiver with one of your next two picks. But I don’t know that there will be one there that you’ll be excited about. The way my board is stacked, I would be worried about potentially be left mulling whether to select a receiver at 3.01 who easily could last another round. I’m participating in an ongoing Fanex draft online. That’s full PPR, but the thinking is similar. Had I started with McCaffrey in that draft, I would have been left thinking about forcing a pick on Keenan Allen or Christian Watson at 3.01. Had I started with Jefferson, I likely would have chosen Kenneth Walker and Najee Harris with my next two.

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Question 4

My question pertains to draft strategy from the number 2 spot in a 12-team half-PPR league. Assuming Jefferson goes first, is it worth snagging JaMarr Chase over McCaffrey? By my second pick (23) the only WRs left are Higgins, DeVonta Smith, and maybe Metcalf. What’s more attractive and why, Chase-Etienne-Stevenson or McCaffrey-Metcalf-Stevenson?

Jeffrey Traczewski (Nashville)

Funny you should ask … I was just kicking around some of those same issues with Tom Fini (who’s in the No. 1 spot). There does seem to be a pinch at wide receiver, with the guys you really like being gone before the end of the second round. If you open with McCaffrey, you may be left somewhat forced to take a receiver at 2.11 or 3.02 who’s not really what you were hoping for there. If you open with a receiver, you will have more ability to punt that position down to 4.11 and 5.02, if necessary. On my board, there are a couple of running backs I’d like to take in that range (Pacheco, Montgomery), making my preference to select two wide receivers with my first three picks.

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Question 5

I can keep two players. Below are my options with the pick the player would be taken at. Garrett Wilson (11th round), Christian Watson (13th round), Kenneth Walker (9th round), Rhamondre Stevenson (9th round). Which two players would you keep?

Chris Clay (Santa Monica, CA)

I think we all need to consider hiring Chris Clay to be the general manager of our fantasy teams. Those are four excellent choices. I’d be happy with any two of them. While I don’t feel strongly about it, I think I would pick Wilson and Walker. The Patriots have been sniffing around running backs; that makes me feel a little bit better about Walker. And with Aaron Rodgers quarterbacking the Jets, I’m a little more optimistic about Wilson (rather than Watson) turning into an elite receiver – maybe one of the top half dozen players at the position.

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