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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 June 21, 2024

Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. Will Rashee Rice race to the front of a crowded receiving corps in KC? Or is Xavier Worthy the up-and-coming pass catcher on that team? Addressing the format changes in the 2024 edition of the magazine. The risk of stacking players in a fantasy draft. And more.

Question 1

I am in a TD-dependent dynasty league and have two questions. Mahomes is my QB so would you stack him with the Xavier Worthy or Marquise Brown? I currently have TE Jake Ferguson so would you replace him for Trey McBride or Brock Bowers?

Howie Fishman (Hermosa Beach, CA)

I don’t think there’s a world of difference between those two KC receivers. (I would take Rashee Rice, despite his off-field baggage, before either of them.) Brown has more experience, while KC traded up to select Worthy in the first round, indicating they think he’s going to be pretty good. I would go Worthy over Hollywood.

At the same time, I am not a big Worthy proponent. He’s awfully small, and note that Andy Reid doesn’t have a great track record of picking wide receivers. During his lengthy coaching career, he has chosen 10 other receivers in the first three rounds of drafts. Roughly three of those receivers have panned out (Jeremy Maclin was solid for a while, DeSean Jackson was a brilliant second-round choice, and Rice looks like he’ll be good if he isn’t consumed by off-field issues). In the chart below, I’m listing Reid’s wide receivers in the order they were taken (along with their stats as rookies).

RECEIVERS PICKED BY ANDY REID (first 3 rds)
YearPlayerPkRecYdsAvgTDPPRRk
2009Jeremy Maclin, Phil.195677313.84156.635
2001Freddie Mitchell, Phil.252128313.5154.989
2024Xavier Worthy, K.C.28??????
2000Todd Pinkston, Phil.361018118.1028.1109
2008DeSean Jackson, Phil.496291214.74186.830
2022Skyy Moore, K.C.542225011.4049.4118
2023Rashee Rice, K.C.557993811.97214.527
2019Mecole Hardman, K.C.562653820.77123.559
2015Chris Conley, K.C.761719911.7142.9120
1993Reggie Brown, Phil.9523015.005.0129
2003Billy McMullen, Phil.95122.001.2172

Of those tight ends, McBride looks like the best player. I’ll take the guy who’s shown he can do it over the potential of Bowers. McBride seems to be the best player. But if we’re talking just touchdowns, Ferguson might outscore both of them this year.

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Question 2

Long-time subscriber - got my digital copy yesterday and I've already started in on it! You've made some changes this year, I see. Curious those changes weren't addressed anywhere (like when you changed the cheat sheets). I will miss the "offseason moves" section – that's my refresher for who went where, and to get your "at a glance" take on those moves. I also used the stats at the end of the magazine - they've always been my starting point for the upcoming season's stat projections. I even read the postseason box scores to see how trends did or didn't continue into the playoffs.

WAYNE WILLIAMS (Mechanicsvlle, VA)

Three notable pieces didn’t appear in the on-paper version of the magazine. The stat tables in the back of the magazine, the free agency report, and the offensive line grades. But all three of those sections will be available online before the end of the month. The stats should be showing up momentarily, and they’ll be put together exactly as they have appeared in the magazine in previous years. (Those who really love them will be able to print them out, slipping them into their magazine). Andy Richardson has been working on the free agency report and the offensive line ratings. He just sent over a draft of that article, and we’ll be debating and fine-tuning those grades today and over the weekend. The OL piece will be coming a few days later. Those articles will be appearing on the website soon. Additionally, the depth chart pages were removed from the magazine. That was my idea. Note that in the 32 team stories, those pages no longer include final cumulative stats from last year. Those stats are available all over the web, so we instead are listing our detailed stat projections for each player in that space. It seems more meaningful, and it allows the reader to see how we’re ordering and projecting the players on each team at each position, available on the same page where the team write-up occurs. Those projections, I think, make the depth chart pages unnecessary. I like the revised approach on depth charts a lot. (We probably should have made that change years ago.) It makes more sense to look for the team-by-team ordering at each position on those pages, rather than having readers jump to a separate section where they’re all listed. (Note, however, that depth charts will continue to appear as usual in our weekly Cheat Sheet products.)

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Question 3

3-keeper league. I can protect either Rashee Rice or Zamir White with my 7th-round pick. I’m keeping Drake London with my 6th and Zay Flowers with my 8th. Whoever I keep with my 7th, I can keep the following year with my 6th. Who would you recommend? 12 team 1/2 ppr.

Kyle Kintner (San Marcos, CA)

You’ll be better equipped to make this decision after the league decides how long it will suspend Rice. If he can get back to focusing on being a football player, I think he could be a top-10 receiver when he’s out there. (On the other hand, you’ve already got two other players at that position – you’ll need to obtain some running backs at some point). For ballpark purposes, I would be leaning towards keeping Rice if the suspension is a month or less.

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Question 4

To stack or not to stack? What are your thoughts about stacking (QB to two or more receivers or QB to TE and receiver? I love the idea of tying Stroud to Collins and Dell or Schultz. What could be wrong with that drafting idea?

Craig Leedy (Sacramento, CA)

Nothing wrong with picking good players. If you can pick Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, I’m all for it. But in a general sense, I prefer to diversify my portfolio. If there’s a week that Nico Collins catches 4 touchdown passes, you’re going win your game that week. If we add on C.J. Stroud throwing for 340 yards and 5 TDs that week, you’re just going to win by more. I would rather have those huge weeks by my best players occurring on different weeks.

If stacking players, I would more likely do it because I think an offense in general is underrated. Perhaps, for example, you believe Cincinnati’s passing game is going to be a lot better than the ADP suggests. And before using two of my most valuable picks on the same NFL team, I would consider who that team is playing in the key late-season weeks. If Week 14 is important in your league, note that six teams aren’t even playing that week: Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Colts, Patriots, Commanders.

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Question 5

Did i miss it or no Offensive Line ratings?

STEVEN GROSS (Bronx, NY)

The magazine this year doesn’t include an offensive line article. It also doesn’t include a free agency roundup article. Those articles, however, are in the works and will be appearing on the website soon. Those player ratings and grades are being finalized as we speak.

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Question 6

Why no NFL stats in back of magazine this year? What is Index thinking? I use those many times to set up my draft choices! Bring the stats back!

Craig Leedy (Sacramento, CA)

We opted to streamline the magazine, reducing the page count. In weighing the pros and cons of each section, the stats in the back of the magazine ended up on the cutting room floor. That section seemed like it wouldn’t appeal as much to most readers. The stats, of course, factor into our decisions and analysis; that’s apparent in the writing. But probably few readers are picking through those numbers themselves. But fear not, we still have all of those numbers, and they’re still all available to you. We’ve received some requests for those stats, so we’ve put together those 10 pages; they’ll be available at the website shortly (maybe even before this Mailbag is published). They’ll be available in the subscriber area (anyone who’s purchased the magazine will be able to access them).

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