Dynasty Experts Q and A: Offseason Week 1

Each and every week we will ask our dynasty experts several questions regarding fantasy football. Our expert panel will answer anything you throw at them. We’ll look at buy-low and sell-high players along with trade questions we receive during the week from our followers as well as other general dilemmas and draft questions. Here we go:
1.) Broken Leg Dynasty Dilemma: Derek Carr vs Marcus Mariota?

Luke Grilli -Ranking these players is pretty much 1a vs 1b. Both players have the ability to put up 30+ each week, albeit they do it totally different ways. Carr is more likely to get it done with his receivers, while Mariota is able to find the end zone with his feet more often. Since I think it is so close between the two players, I am going to go with strength of schedule for the not too distant future. Tennessee is in the weaker division (AFC South) and will play a much easier schedule since they missed the playoffs. Oakland has to contend with a pesky Chiefs and dominant Denver defense four times a year and will have a harder SOS due to them making the playoffs this year. For scheduling reasons, give me Mariota over Carr.

Brian Hawkes – I don’t think this injury impacts either players long-term Dynasty value, and if I owned either player, I would hold. At this stage, most have Carr as the superior Dynasty asset because he has outperformed Mariota (albeit slightly), and he has superior talent around him. This could change, however, with the 2017 draft. The Titans have some premium picks early in the first round and most expect them to use at least one on an elite level prospect like Mike Williams or Corey Davis. When this happens, each of these young signal callers will have a nice compliment of weapons. Both players are nice, young assets for the long haul.

Josh Johnson – Some may think coming off that major injury will hurt the mobile Mariota more than Carr. I disagree, when a computer is refurbished often it is better than one that comes of the line. Why? Because in a refurb or rebuild every nook and cranny is gone through to assure stability. The same will be the case more so with Mariota because of his mobility. Carr is a more traditional QB who relies on standing tall in the pocket and delivering passes through his strong feet and he also pushes his body through passes. Mariota will be throughly checked and throwing on the run puts less torque on your legs. He also more of a touch/wrist passer so a less than traditional style could be more injury preventive.

Mike Krafick – Neither injury is a long term concern, broken leg should heal over the off-season and they will be ready to go for training camp this summer.  Between the two players, I prefer Derek Carr over Mariota.  I think Carr has better weapons at this point and is in a better situation, Cooper and Crabtree are far superior to any of the pass catchers on the Titans.  

Shaun Laibe – I’m a huge fan of both of these guys, but I’m going with Derek Carr here.  Carr is literally the greatest thing to happen to the Raiders since Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl.  Carr has already accumulated over 11,000 yards and 81 touchdowns, establishing himself as one of the best young QBs in the league.  Mariota is a fine QB in his own right, but for as long as Mike Mularkey is in Tennessee, they will continue to be a run first team, limiting his upside.

2.) The popular top two 2017 RBs choices are seemingly Leonard Fournette & Dalvin Cook. Which do you prefer or is there another RB you like better than either?

Luke Grilli -I can’t put a finger on it, but Fournette feels like Darren McFadden to me. It seems like he is always beat up and when he dominated, it was against crap defenses. Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook looked great in regular season games as well as the Orange Bowl. It may be cheap to say this, but screw it, he reminds me of Devonta Freeman. Freeman has quickly turned into one of the better running backs in the league and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cook finds similar success early on in his career. If a team like Carolina or the Giants drafted him, I think he would be the #1 rookie by a wide margin.

Brian Hawkes – This year’s crop of running backs is completely different from what we saw last year. Last year, we had a clear cut #1, and then a consensus drop off in talent. This year, we have a number of running backs who appear to be primed for fantasy success. Landing spot will matter. That being said, Cook appears to be a versatile back who will contribute on all downs, and in the passing game. Fournette appears to be capable of contributing in the passing game, but he appears to be more in the “Derrick Henry” mold. Of the two, I prefer Cook because of the added PPR value. Another RB that seems to be glossed over, but deserves to be in the conversation, is Christian McCaffrey. I’ve spent a ton of time looking at his production and watching his tape. The dude is legit! He will pleasantly surprise some people with his combine measureables and we should have zero concerns about his ability to contribute in the passing game. This gives him an extremely high floor in PPR leagues. In my opinion, he is one of the safest players in this year’s class; his combination of production, measurables, character, and pedigree (Dad played 13 productive years in the NFL, Mom played soccer at a high level, Grandpa was a silver medalist sprinter, older brother played WR at Duke and clocked a 4.36 in the 40, etc.)…this guy is going to be a contributor – think Reggie Bush (and that isn’t a bad thing).

Josh Johnson – I think Dalvin Cook is a legitimate three-down power house game-changing player! A year ago Fournette was the G.O.A.T. and we all cursed the NCAA for their so-called rules that didn’t allow him to enter the draft. He has fallen from that proverbial pedestal in my eyes. I now believe he carries that “respectable…but” label that followed Derrick Henry through out the draft process last offseason. Cook is just simply more special. He is a new era RB who can do it all ala David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell. Meanwhile Fournette barely has any snaps without a fullback leading the way.

Mike Krafick – Give me Dalvin Cook 10 times out of 10.  Cook has the ability to be a 3 down workhorse back in the NFL and doesn’t have the injury concerns that Fournette does.  Both are great talents, there’s no arguing that fact but Cook has exactly what I’m looking for in an elite fantasy RB, great hands and pass catching ability.  I don’t dislike Fournette but he only had 41 receptions in 3 seasons at LSU and he was constantly dealing with nagging injuries.  

Shaun Laibe – This is going to be the #1 debate from now until the beginning of the 2017 season.  Fournette is a once in a decade type power running back, built in the mold of Adrian Peterson.  His power running style has led to an injury plagued career, however.  On the flip side, Cook is the complete package at RB.  He ran for more than 1,765 yards and caught 33 passes for 488 more in 13 games with Florida State this season.  If he lands in the right situation, he could have the Leveon Bell or Zeke Elliott type effect on his new team.  Give me Cook if you have to pick today, but this debate could flip back and forth a dozen times over the next couple of months.

3.) The popular top three 2017 WR choices are seemingly Mike Williams, John Ross & Corey Davis. Who do you prefer or is there another WR you would throw into the mix?

Luke Grilli -I get nervous about receivers that come from smaller football programs. It seems like the elite players almost always come from schools with the bigger and more prestigious football program. That may not be the best measuring stick, but when I’m comparing two players that are in a dead heat for me to use my draft pick on, that is generally the tie breaker. With that being said, give me Mike Williams over Corey Davis. John Ross is a distant 3rd for me.

Brian Hawkes – For me, there are two wide receivers and then there is a line in the sand: Mike Williams and Corey Davis. John Ross is a nice player, but I do not put him in the Williams/Davis tier. I do have slightly better grade on Mike Williams, but the margin is extremely thin. This leads me to landing spot as a differentiator. Two of the likely landing spots for WRs early in the first round are Tennessee and Philadelphia. Looking at those spots, I would take the guy that goes to Tennessee. Mariota is just plain better than Wentz, and he has some statistics that jump off the page in terms of yards/ attempt and overall efficiency that lead me to believe there is some serious production ahead if he has a true WR1. Add in the expected departure of Kendall Wright in free agency, and the age of Delanie Walker (33), we have all the makings for a serious target opportunity for the WR that goes to Tennessee.

Josh Johnson – In case you haven’t see Corey Davis play he is the complete package, 6-foot-3, 206 pounds and likely a sub 4.5 runner (tenacious, fearless and relentless). Contests balls are his specialty. It’s like watching an Angel rip a thunder bolt out of the sky to protect that precious ball from hitting the cold mean ground. Ross been compared to Odell Beckham. I don’t see that flat out warthog-like charge in him. Rather I see a less cocky Desean Jackson. Ross can be that deep threat and he will occasionally take a slant to the house. He can also provide some intense moments as a kick returner. Williams is the big target but his injury history is a major con for me. Especially the neck injury. Smaller DBs will wrangle him down by any means possible and that scares me. Williams when healthy is a natural “X” WR and I would have no qualms settling for him at 1.05. 

Mike Krafick – Corey Davis is my #1 WR at this point in the process, he’s the total package (I’m expecting him to test well at the combine) and despite coming from a small school I expect him to be an early round draft pick.  If you haven’t already, go take a look at the stats page for Davis he put up video game numbers nearly every season at Western Michigan.  Mike Williams is a clear 2nd for me over Ross but I see Davis in a tier by himself.  I’m sure we’ll have someone emerge after the combine to join the discussion but for now it’s Davis then everyone else.

Shaun Laibe – Mike Williams by any other name would be a runaway as the top WR of this season.  Too many of us have been burned by a “Mike Williams” or two by now, whether is was the one from Tampa Bay or Detroit.  Clemson has been an NFL receiver factory of late.  At 6’3″ and 205 pounds, Mike Williams is no different.  This year’s rookie draft will be dominated by the running backs mentioned above, but Williams is a premier talent and will be a steal as the 3rd pick or later in your league.

Do you have any burning questions you want us to answer for next week’s Q&A? If so send them to [email protected]