Chris Wesseling

Offseason Low Down

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Offseason NFL Mailbag

Wednesday, April 20, 2011




Q: @Bennett911 How about top guys to move now while they have good value before they start to decline in the near future?

A: The most obvious candidate is Steven Jackson, who has several factors working against him. S-Jax has more touches than any back in the NFL since 2005, is exiting his prime at age 28, and is coming off a career-low 3.76 YPC -- including 3.38 from Weeks 12-17. Perhaps just as worrisome, the tea leaves suggest the Rams will draft a second-day back to ease Jackson's workload the next couple of years. He's certainly capable of bouncing back in Josh McDaniels' offense, but I think the smart money screams "sell now." It's rare for big backs with heavy career workloads to post career years beyond age 27.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has three factors working against him: He's a mundane talent, his output hinges on the Patriots playing dominant football week-in and week-out (i.e. last year's second half vs. last year's first half), and New England will add a rookie back to the mix. … The breakout seasons of Chiefs duo Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe came against the softest pass defense schedule we may ever see. Neither player will repeat their 2010 performance, which is especially problematic for Cassel. Even with that 27:7 TD-to-INT ratio, completion percentages of 55.0 and 58.2 in Kansas City the past two seasons are red flags.

Moving from the league's pass-heaviest head coach to one of the most offensively conservative, Brandon Lloyd won't sniff WR1 status again. Throw in the possibility (probability?) of Tim Tebow replacing Kyle Orton, and Lloyd's fantasy outlook is even more bleak.

Other candidates: Kyle Orton, Ryan Torain, Michael Turner, Peyton Hillis, Ahmad Bradshaw, Knowshon Moreno, Steve Smith (NYG), Marcedes Lewis, Chris Cooley, Brandon Pettigrew

Q: @rocktop15 How do trades work in keeper leagues? What's the preferred etiquette? Asking because I'm in one in the 2nd year.

A: I've always believed a good, fair trade should hurt both owners just a little bit to pull the trigger. Not only is there no challenge in pulling the wool over a lesser owner's eyes, it's just downright inartistic.

My usual M.O. for keeper-league trades? Create a spreadsheet for every roster in the league with separate columns for each position. Do your homework, target the player(s) you covet, and see what the owner might need from your roster. Alternatively, target the player(s) you want to shed from your roster and see which owners might have a need at those positions. Send a fair offer that provides a reasonable solution for both teams. If you have five or six players worthy of keeping in a four-keeper league, target an owner with two or three elite players and no depth.

Keep in mind, also, that some weeks just don't lend themselves to your pieces fitting in another owner's puzzle. Wait a week or two and revisit the respective rosters once the landscape changes.

A word on etiquette: If you receive a fair offer from another owner but simply don't want to part with your player(s), offer an explanation. Don't let the other owner bully you into doing a deal even if he's giving up more value in a quantity-for-quality scenario. On the other hand, if you receive an absurd offer, resist the urge to lash out. You don't owe an explanation if the other owner is either clueless on player values or unwilling to begin talks with a fair initial offering.

Q: @Rubideaux1 Thoughts on ADP for Jahvid Best and Ryan Matthews. Is Shonne Greene now a keeper league value pick? Go get Dez still?

A: Best's ADP is 3.02 at Pro Football Focus and 3.10 at Fantasy Football Calculator. Mathews' ADP is 3.11 at Pro Football Focus and 4.01 at Fantasy Football Calculator. Again, these ADPs are artificially inflated by the type of drafts that are typically held this time of the year. Both players are coming off disappointing rookie performances, and that's going to weigh heavily on the average drafter come July and August. I love Best as a "buy" in Dynasty and keeper leagues, but he's certainly not a tremendous redraft bargain at this rate. Mathews is even riskier because Mike Tolbert is looming in the event of injury or slump. If I had to choose one in mid-April, it would be Best.

If Shonn Greene was on my roster in a keeper league, I'd package him to a true believer for an upgrade. I don't think he's a special talent, and backs without a role in the passing game often lack week-to-week consistency. The Jets clearly envision a bigger role for Joe McKnight, and LaDainian Tomlinson may not be out of the picture as a goal-line vulture.

Run -- do not walk -- to get Dez if his owner is a Nervous Nelly.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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