Friday, August 19, 2022

Dynasty Fantasy Football Mailbag: Valuing 2023 picks, ranking 2022 wide receivers, and more

When I put out a call for mailbag questions this week, there were two things that weighed heavily on people’s minds; 2023 draft picks and wide receiver values. Because the questions were a little more sparse (and consolidated) this week, I also added a trade analysis from one of my colleagues, which just happens to be from a staff Dynasty league we all play in. 

But before we get to that, let’s start with the most commonly asked questions this week.

Valuing 2023 picks

While I do think the consensus opinion on coming year’s draft classes can get blown out of proportion, I do agree with the consensus that the 2023 class looks much better than the 2022 class, and that difference is greatly magnified in Superflex leagues.

As for the first question, I’d be very leery about trading what I viewed as a mid-2023 first round pick because, to me, that insinuates you don’t really think you’re a contender. Which means if things go bad, you could be trading away an early 2023 first-rounder, which is not going to feel very good at all. That being said, as a contender, I would give up a 2023 first for Dobbins, and I’d strongly consider it for Akers. Just make sure you’re good enough to contend with them.

The second question is more difficult to answer. If you’re telling me that you’re trading a pair of random 2024 firsts for a random 2023 first, I think I’m out. I don’t have a strong enough lean to believe I’d give up two first round dart throws for one. But if you’re a contending team and the team you’re trading with is an obvious rebuilder, I’d be more open to the idea.

Re-ranking the 2022 wide receiver class

Not a whole lot has changed in the rookie wide receiver landscape the past month, but it’s not nothing either. I’ve become more concerned that Jameson Williams should be left on your taxi squad for his rookie season, and Jahan Dotson lost a little upside due to Terry McLaurin’s extension. And, as the tweet suggests, Jalen Tolbert is getting a lot of hype as a Week 1 starter for the Cowboys. Here’s a quick breakdown of how I rank and tier the 2022 rookie wide receivers:

Tier 1 – Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Treylon Burks 

Tier 2 – Jameson Williams, Chris Olave

Tier 3 – Jahan Dotson, George Pickens, Christian Watson, Skyy Moore

Tier 4 – Alec Pierce, John Metchie, Jalen Tolbert, David Bell

Tier 5 – Wan’Dale Robinson, Tyquan Thornton, Romeo Doubs, Velus Jones, Danny Gray, Khalil Shakir, Calvin Austin

There are dart throws after those guys, but those are my top five tiers and all the rookies currently in my top 100 Dynasty wide outs.

Darnell Mooney over or undervalued?

The thing that’s so difficult about questions like this is knowing what a player’s actual value is. Mooney is WR23 in my Dynasty rankings, but that doesn’t help answer this question without more facts. So I ran a bunch of Twitter polls and consulted Dynasty Trade Calculator. Both sources revealed a surprising fact: I’m quite a bit higher on Mooney than consensus. The consensus appears to be that Mooney is somewhere between WR30 and WR36 in Dynasty.

So, my immediate answer to the question is that Mooney is not a sell-high; it’s more complicated than that. Like Dalton Schultz, I do worry that Mooney should be evaluated as if he’s older than he is. That’s because he could be replaced if the Bears take a No. 1 wide receiver or prioritize the position in free agency or trade. He’s just not established enough to be a surefire WR1 and his situation isn’t good enough to provide much for a WR2. 

So my modified answer is that I would consider dealing Mooney if I’m rebuilding. But as a contender, I think he’s far more valuable than his current price tag.

One final note: Even though he lost all but one of the polls I linked to, at least 10% of people chose Mooney in every poll. So if you can find the one manager in your league who values Mooney more than anyone else, I’d have no problem selling even as a contender.

Rebuilding in a stingy league

Boy, have I been here. This combines a few truths I know about Dynasty. It’s tough to trade players for picks in the offseason, and it’s tough to make trades when you’re new to a league. Also, most teams you take over need a rebuild.

One strategy that does occasionally work (but can be annoying) is to spam trade offers and tell everyone in the league you’re doing it. In other words, if you had someone like DeAndre Hopkins, offer him individually to every team in the league for their first round pick with a note that you’ve made the same offer to every other team. That can spur action occasionally.

But also, it’s important to remember you aren’t in a rush. You will likely get better offers once the season starts, contenders become obvious, and injuries start happening. There is some risk in that because the injury could happen to the player you’re trading, but it’s a risk worth taking if you’re only getting low-ball offers.

Finally, if you have some really old players, you may just have to accept less. Hanging on to Derrick Henry, Adam Thielen, Tom Brady, or Travis Kelce too long can result in getting nothing at all. Something is better than nothing. 

Grading a colleague’s trade

I think Dan knows how I feel about this trade, but I’ll take any chance to talk about one of my favorite leagues. Dan took over a team this year and is clearly in a rebuild. For reference, it’s a 14-team league with 0.5 PPR, one quarterback, and seven defensive starters. So the fourth-round pick is worth more than a normal Round 4 pick, but still not much. Dan is trading away Gordon in this deal.

I have a new trade chart coming out next week, but in the old chart Marshall and Golladay are worth 7.6 points combined. Melvin Gordon is worth 5.2. Haskins and the fourth don’t make my top 150, but they aren’t worth nothing either. I think it would be fair to say this trade is a near push in the trade chart.

So while Dan gave away the best player in the deal, I do think he did just fine. That’s before giving Marshall a little boost for Baker Mayfield. Next week’s chart will probably like the deal even more for Dan. Especially if you give him the two-point homer bonus for acquiring a Giant in the deal.

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