Dynasty Blog Excerpts
The “Gut Feeling” is often synonymous with a sense
of desperation resulting from a lack of preparation. The Gut Check
is a huge proponent of studying the numbers, but there’s
a point where one can place too much emphasis on the wrong information.
This can result in the undervaluing or overlooking a player’s
potential. Therefore, The Weekly Gut Check is devoted to examining
the frame of reference behind certain number-driven guidelines
that fantasy football owners use to make decisions.
Although The Weekly Gut Check doesn’t claim to be psychic,
he does believe that he can dispel certain numbers biases and
help you make the best choices for your team. We’ll keep
a running tally of The Weekly Gut Check’s insights. This
way you can gauge his views as something to seriously consider,
or at least seriously consider running the opposite way as fast
as you can!
Mike MacGregor and Matt Waldman had a blog devoted to building a
dynasty team this spring. Mike made it to the finals of their dynasty
league for the 4th straight season. For those of you considering
your off-season moves or planning a dynasty league, here are some
points from our discussion about this format.
Waldman 3/16/06 (Intro)
"You can love your pet, but you can't love your
You know what I mean. I'm not talking about things you don't
want to see at a stag party. I'm talking about people that the
idea of just having a pet around the house isn't enough for them.
They have to take it to the next level. You know, dress them in
outfits that if on a child, you would probably contact your local
Department of Family and Children Services. Then again, they probably
are social workers, how else can you explain publications such
Somebody contact Jimmy Kimmel and get these
folks booked on his show. Although I have my share of cats--when
you have a little girl with a big heart for animals you accept
the fact you'll have more pets than you planned--I think if my
sleep deprivation finally got to me, and I tried this
with one of my pets, I pray it would perform a mercy killing.
Maybe then the NRA could recruit in Cat Fancy...
While I don't love my pets I love fantasy football.
I realized this problem when August through December leagues were
no longer enough for me. I had to find a way to make my obsession
a yearlong ordeal. Which much to the chagrin of my family, I have
succeeded well past the point of reason, and I have entered the
fantasy football equivalent of Ralph and his feline Petipa doing
their Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers act.
Like old Ralphie, I had to go all out. A traditional, 12-18 player
roster of offensive skill players and team defenses wasn't going
to cut it, either. I had to join a league with a 40-man roster,
4-man taxi squad, and 2-man injured reserve. Better yet, half
our 20-player, starting lineup requires individual defensive players.
It's called Ironman3, and it is definitely the Monpa of dynasty
I joined this league three years ago. Actually, I was voted
into the league after I had to write a term paper-length post
on their message board explaining why I was one of the best two
candidates for their league. This is a free league, mind you!
At that time I probably would have learned the two-step with one
of my cats to the Houston Oilers 1970's theme song if I thought
it would grant me an expansion team. Now that I know these guys,
I probably would have just promised I'd blow my entire $100 annual
free agency wad on a
college CB impersonating an over-hyped tailback. Wait a minute
I did do that! More on this Monpa-moment in future blogs.
In the coming weeks, Mike and I will be blogging the NFL season
as it relates to our Ironman
3 experience. Hopefully, you'll absorb some strategy about
what to do (Mike) and what not to do (yep, you guessed it), worthwhile
player insights (nope, me this time) and how to negotiate trades
as if you were the IRS going after Willie Nelson (Mike). Most
of all, we hope you'll find it entertaining in the process.
MacGregor 3/16/06 (Intro)
My first blog. By the time I first really understood what blogging
is, it was already huge. So while I felt the concept was kind
of cool, I never gave it a try. I guess I didn't want to be a
bandwagon jumper, especially trying to get on when it seemed the
train (er, bandwagon) already left the station, long ago, and
was already on the far side of the mountain.
So what happened? Well, Waldman pitches an idea that we should
do a blog about our fantasy football teams in a particular dynasty
league to help others learn a thing or two about building a dynasty.
Or at least be entertaining, or maybe a bit of both. I understand
sarcasm doesn't always work well over the Internet, but I can't
help myself. Consider all things I type to quite possibly have
a sarcastic undertone. You'll get the hang of it soon enough.
I have to wonder if this is the best way for me to go about writing
my first blog. The thing with Waldman is he writes about a mile
a minute, and by my estimation, only sleeps between the hours
of 3:00 am and 6:00 am each night. I'm a fairly slow writer to
the point I've strongly considered retiring my regular FF Today
in-season column, FF
In The Groin. In fact I said as much at our annual FF Today
think tank meeting recently. I'd hate to abandon it after 5 years
and plenty of nice emails received. We'll see. At any rate hopefully
blogging is easier (read: quicker) but I suspect no matter what,
this will be a challenge to keep up with him.
Plus a secondary, but minor concern, is my Toronto Toucans team
has no where to go but down as reigning champ, top scoring regular
season team for 3 straight seasons and a nice group of top tier
players on my roster. Waldman's aptly named Out to Lunch squad
on the other hand, has relatively low expectations attached to
it. I like what he is doing with his team and while he has yet
to earn a playoff spot in his 3 seasons, he was in the hunt until
the final weeks last year. All in all though, given the law of
averages, no matter what I say and do the Toucans might be due
for a down season and OTL is a nice Cinderella candidate to rise
up the charts. I can't help but wonder if this is a bit of a setup
move on his part. Is he smelling blood in the water perhaps?
Fortunately I'm willing to throw caution to the wind. Lets get
MacGregor 3/20/06 (Philosophy of Long
View vs. Short View)
When Krueger, Waldman and I all got together recently in Kansas
City to discuss what makes a fantasy football information website
great, there was a bit of a dissenting opinion on the need for
specially tailored keeper and dynasty league information.
My immediate response was, "What's the big deal? Take everything
we already do for redraft leagues, and bump up the younger players
with upside, and bump down the older players whose upside is in
the rear view mirror of their careers." I may have even used
the phrase, "It ain't brain surgery." While I expected
to see some head nods and perhaps an, "uh huh", indicating
a shared level of acceptance of my view, it didn't happen. Instead
I got, "well, I think it is important" (Waldman) and,
"I get a lot of emails asking for dynasty rankings"
Okay, well, its not like I haven't been wrong before. Since that
day though, I've been thinking about why we did have a difference
of opinion, and I think I may have pinpointed it. Philosophy.
People who play in dynasty leagues have a different philosophy
as to how to manage their teams.
Some people take a short view with their teams, playing to win
sooner than later, not afraid to pick up seasoned veterans or
trade valuable draft picks. Most people take a long view (too
many, and too long in my humble opinion - more on this later).
These people jettison all players off their roster who are even
remotely close to 30 years old, horde draft picks and are preparing
to setup their team to become a true dynasty of 3 or more dominating
seasons winning consecutive championship titles a la the historical
'70s Steelers, '80s 49ers and '90s Cowboys.
My philosophy, as you probably guessed, is very short. That isn't
to say I completely ignore the future, but I rarely sacrifice
the current very much for a wishful big windfall in the future.
With a short view, redraft information is not that different to
me when applied to dynasty leagues, which goes back to the original
point. "We have redraft info, there is no need for separate
keeper / dynasty info, waste of time, yada, yada, yada."
Now, why do I think there are too many long viewers? I guess
I've seen so many examples where an owner makes large short term
sacrifices but doesn't get the expected payoff 2 to 3 years down
the line (i.e. the perpetual rebuild), that I can only reason
if some of those guys took a short view instead, they would have
enjoyed much more fantasy success. Here's a great quote I stumbled
on from David Yudkin of Footballguys: "You can only win the
year you are playing in." Amen.
Keep in mind though, I'm not advocating cashing in your entire
account of future draft picks so you can have the pleasure of
holding retirement parties for Brett Favre, Curtis Martin and
Rod Smith, as they fade off into the sun wearing your fantasy
team's jersey. What we need, is balance. However, I am pressing
the balance to align more with my short view because too often
the long view is what is at the forefront of a dynasty player's
mind, which ends up clouding their decision-making.
Some of the keywords I've thrown out so far in this discussion
are philosophy, short vs. long view, balance and perpetual rebuild.
Okay, the last one wasn't really a key, but I like the ring to
it. Feel free to use it in some trash talk to put down your league's
consistent basement dwellers. "Waldman, just trade me Larry
Fitzgerald because you're now entering year four of your two-year
(perpetual) rebuilding plan, and we both want Larry to feel what
its like to play for a winner, right (Wink)?"
Anyway... now it is time for the most important word in fantasy
football: Value. In the long
run, you win at fantasy football because you get good value from
your players. You lose because you get poor value. That's pretty
simple to grasp. Value in fantasy football is measured by the
player's stat production, which translates directly to fantasy
points, relative to the cost, and cost can be draft picks, players
given up in trade or auction dollars. Whatever you had to give
up to acquire the stat production received is the cost.
The reason a long view, in my opinion, has less success than
a short view, is because long viewers are not getting good value
managing their team. It isn't that they are any less smart than
the rest of us. In fact, there are a lot of long viewers who probably
have more pure football savvy than short viewers, being they watch
a lot of college football, scout
the draft like madmen, and have a good knack for finding future
fantasy gems while the masses are still pan mining the ore.
It isn't that these long viewers aren't good at finding decent
stat production, keeping in mind that no one is perfect projecting
future performances of millionaire or soon-to-be millionaire athletes,
but the problem is these players end up costing too much. Remember
value is a two variable equation (maybe three if we factor in
risk). It doesn't matter if you think Reggie Bush is capable of
performing at a level equal to LaDainian Tomlinson. If you pay
LaDainian Tomlinson to get him, then you screwed up. There is
little room to earn positive value on that transaction, but the
downside is very much a reality.
In dynasty leagues, young players and rookie draft picks are
almost universally overvalued. Veteran players are almost universally
undervalued. I think most fantasy players know this, but what
we know and what action we take with this knowledge doesn't always
jive. Here are some interesting points, theories, etc. which I've
thought about to support why I think a short view is a more successful
proposition than a long view in a dynasty league:
1. There are more long viewers.
Simple economic supply and demand indicates if there are more
long viewers, then there is more demand for the hot rookie prospects,
draft picks and young players, even if they haven't proven much
of anything yet, which drives up the price to acquire them. The
inverse is true of veteran players. The magic number seems to
be the age of 30 where people get scared of having these guys
on their team waiting for the dreaded and inevitable drop-off.
Much less demand allows these guys to be had pretty cheap a lot
of the time. I think since I've matured to the ripe
old age of 33, I now give the 30 year olds more benefits of
the doubt, which have worked out nicely. See: Muhsin Muhammad
('04), Joey Galloway ('05) and Rod Smith ('04 and '05)
2. Properly accounting for risk.
Another important concept, everyone wants to hit the jackpot in
the lottery. A dynasty rookie draft can be akin to playing the
lottery. Everyone wants to turn his draft pick into the next LaDainian
Tomlinson, and you can't win the jackpot unless you buy a ticket
(i.e. own the draft picks). Certainly at this stage a Joey Galloway
is never going to become as valuable as a LaDainian Tomlinson
level of player, but how likely is it that your draft pick(s)
are going to turn into an LT? Not very. You could just as easily
end up with Cedric Benson or J.J. Arrington from last year, who
didn't help a lick with your team's '05 win total.
People are overly optimistic about their own draft picks, much
like fantasy owners overvalue their own players. Trading those
picks looks like a much more positive expected value proposition
when you realize your own personal rookie draft pick accuracy
% hovers around 50%, instead of a perceived 80-90%.
3. Expecting the unexpected.
One of my favorite things that give me a great laugh from people
discussing fantasy football is when they say something to this
effect, "I have Player X in my dynasty league. I've got that
position sewn up with a stud for the next 10 years!" HA HA
HA HA! Why am I laughing? If you've played fantasy football long
enough you know to expect the unexpected. Any person who makes
such a statement is unwisely not expecting the unexpected, and
rather thinks Player X is going to carry on with back-to-back-to-back-to-back,
etc. top of the league fantasy seasons. Obviously they've never
had players who blew
out a knee, got
thrown in jail, got in trouble with drugs,
had a serious
attitude problem, reneged
on their contract for more money, were lazy,
Does anything surprise me anymore? Sometimes I get a mild surprise,
but in most cases I already expect an incredible range of crazy
stuff to happen which can often negatively impact the fantasy
prospects of my players. The players are people, and life happens.
Reeling this in to get back to my point, people acquiring players
with a 10-year forward looking plan are unrealistically thinking
way too far ahead. Consider using a 2 to 3 year outlook for over
90% of players, and anything beyond that is an "unexpected"
(wink) bonus. I can see looking a little further for a very restrictive
group of players like Eli Manning or Larry Fitzgerald, but remember,
anything can happen at anytime. Just ask Carson Palmer on his
first career playoff pass last January.
4. Manage from a position of power.
Something I've noticed in recent years is that it becomes decidedly
easier to talk trade with other teams when you are winning, than
when you are losing. Obviously, when winning, it means your roster
is probably in decent shape, and likely better shape than when
you're losing. This means you likely have more options with which
to work with. You can take trades that help you more now and the
future, rather than strictly the future. You can also accept trades
that bring in quality vets at the trade deadline for the final
playoff push, without too much concern this will hurt you long-term
because your team is strong otherwise. Heck, if your team is doing
well you are protected from the often irrational idea to, "shake
things up", as you might if the team is performing poorly.
And overall, you can just be more selective about the trades you
accept, because other owners will have a tougher time selling
you that their trade proposal improves your team, when you already
have a full trophy case and sit atop the standings.
Okay, I'm sure I'm past my time to wrap things up. A little less
on the entertainment and a little less commentary specific to
the Ironman 3 league this time than was intended with this project,
but hopefully this submission qualifies nicely on the helpful
side of the ledger. Plus it should give a good basis to understand
my thought patterns going forward as I do discuss this league
in more detail. Cheers.
Waldman 3/27/06 (Long View vs. Short View, continued)
Long view vs. Short view, MacGregor is dead-on about the choice.
I don't know about you, but Mike's entry sounded like forced diplomacy.
I can't say I blame him, really. After reading his take on choices
of strategy, the question is whether there really is a choice
In my other dynasty league, I primarily take the short view--not
as conservative as Mike in Ironman3--and I have benefited from
acquiring Brett Favre, Corey Dillon, Stephen Davis, and hanging
on to Jimmy Smith rather than waiting for Drew Brees, Lamont Jordan,
or Santana Moss over the past 4-5 years. I probably have one of
the two-highest winning percentages in this league's 5-year, history.
The short view is efficient, effective, and sometimes, boring.
Granted, winning is never boring. But winning can fuel the greed
to win more and win on a bigger scale. The short view is the wiser
method to stay on top. Mike's approach is like the 49ers under
DeBartolo after all those years mortgaging the future, and at
worst, paying the piper for a year before returning to contender
The long view--after thinking about what Mike wrote--is what
I've been chasing in this Ironman3 league: My goal hasn't been
to win one year at a time, but to hope I can build a team like
Art Rooney and Chuck Noll did with the Steelers if the 70's. I
want to achieve the kind of status where my competition looks
at my team and is in awe of the juggernaut I assembled with draft
picks and free agency. I want to wow them with my record of astute
draft picks ranging from high profile prospects that lived up
to their promise all the way down to the unknown guys off the
scrap heap that made good.
In other words, I'm out of my mind.
But I think the long view is appealing for the same reasons people
go to Vegas and bet on the long shot to win the Super Bowl. Life
is too short to play the best percentages all the time. Embracing
risk is an intoxicating rush, and addictive when it pays off.
It was inherently more exciting several years ago to have taken
the risk on Tomlinson before he became LT2 and some GMs thought
he wouldn't be special than to give away the pick for Emmitt Smith.
Same thing now, because in some ways it's more appealing for
people to take a chance on Reggie Bush before he becomes the Reggie
Bush than give away the chance to get him in exchange for a player
of currently high value. I tested Mike's theory about this infatuation
and the resulting unwise, inflation of rookie values just last
I offered Randy Moss, my second round pick, and Chris Brown for
the rights to Reggie Bush. I even presented an option to choose
another starting back on my squad. The owner didn't even budge--even
at the thought of negotiating a shot at Cadillac Williams or Brian
Westbrook. Crazy? Maybe, maybe not, but that's the great part
of dynasty leagues. The game isn't just about winning weekly match
ups, but winning the art of making good long-term choices. Dynasty
leagues offer a game within the game.
Those of us that take the long view want to live out the dreamer
in our personalities. We want to take wild risks. We want to be
Hugh Hefner. That's right, Hugh Hefner! We want to leave
behind the success of playing by the numbers and do our own thing.
We want to risk all our chips and win so big that we're dating
three gorgeous, and brainy, pin-up models half our age by the
time we hit 50--and all at the same time!
Okay, maybe the wife or girlfriend puts a governor on that dream,
but you know what I mean. The long view owners want to be the
Hugh Heftner of fantasy football. He wants multiple, big-time
talents that causes others to drool over his roster. He wants
to be the guy that discovered the Marilyn Monroe of fantasy football.
Like I said, I'm out of my mind.
Then again, so was the guy that quit his job at Esquire to produce
a magazine at his kitchen table back in 1953 that would eventually
earn him enough success from this publication to have a dorm style
bedroom in a swank, Chicago mansion filled with pin-up models,
and a swimming pool for them to join him for late night skinny-dips...
The problem with where I'm going here is Hef took calculated
risks. He also worked his tail off to do the job right. So the
answer about the Short View vs. Long View may be the question
isn't the right one. Maybe it's really about having a broad perspective
rather than a narrow perspective.
Mike has a broad perspective about what happens in dynasty leagues.
People clamor for the hot, young thing. So Mike, like Hef, gives
them the dream, but pockets what they pay in exchange. While these
owners are excited about their fantasy draft pick that has yet
to produce in reality, Mike is building his roster with riches.
I guess it pays to look behind the curtain...
MacGregor 4/4/06 (Trades within the Long
View vs. Short View)
I want to be like Hef, too. Damn you Waldman. Damn you and your
well-articulated, fantasy-inspiring arguments. Of course everyone
wants to be like Hef. What could be more obvious than that? Nice
job selling the dream.
Yes, calculated risks are the name of the game, but I do admit
that sometimes a person needs to take on a little more risk than
they otherwise would to get something done that they think could
really pay off. A risk that is more "Hef-like", shall
Recently in Ironman 3, I decided to make an attempt at one of
these moves, most definitely inspired by my counterpart’s
blog entry. I offered Willis McGahee for the 1.01 draft pick,
which of course is the right to draft Reggie Bush.
I don't believe this goes against my long vs. short view diatribe,
because it is essentially swapping a young RB for a young RB (i.e.
similar windows of opportunity). However, it does go against my
philosophy of trading a somewhat proven commodity, McGahee, for
a prospect that has yet to prove a thing in the NFL, and they
arguably have the same long-term upside. The big question: Would
I be paying too much so that I couldn’t earn positive value
on the transaction? Quite possibly and no one really knows, which
is where the risk arises. As for making it a calculated risk,
here is my thought process:
On Bush, one thing about taking a chance on rookie prospects,
particularly extremely highly touted rookie prospects, is if you
don’t try to acquire them now, then you will probably never
be able to acquire them later. When Reggie Bush turns into the
As for McGahee, this offer would not have happened a year earlier
when people expected McGahee to shine as he did in 2004, wrestling
the starting job from Travis Henry and logging over 1,200 yards
and 13 TDs in only 11 starts. After a disappointing 2005 however,
I think people realize McGahee is a talented RB, but in a terrible
situation with no short-term signs of correcting itself. As a
Bills fan, I’m sorry to say that’s exactly how I see
And this is where I’m going to fall back on the long vs.
short view to justify this offer. Thinking just 2 years away (i.e.
short view), the 2006 and 2007 seasons, if Reggie Bush can outscore
Willis McGahee in this time, then he will be more valuable heading
into 2008. And do I think Bush can do that? Absolutely. And the
reason is not so much because I think Bush can and will step in
and be the next LaDainian Tomlinson right out of the gate, but
I do feel strongly that McGahee’s situation is in fact terrible
(double sigh). Even worse than a year ago with a continued unsettled
QB situation, a new - and questionable - coaching staff plus other
net talent losses on the roster, most notably Eric Moulds to Houston.
The important thing to note is that even with these young guys
I’m not trying to acquire Bush with the thinking, “I’ll
be set at RB for 5+ years.” No, it is still a short-term
game whereas if Bush can even partly live up to his billing, and
McGahee continues to perform worse than his talent otherwise warrants
as I expect he will, Bush is a better value play. Even at a noticeably
higher risk level given he hasn’t taken an NFL hit, and
we don’t know for sure what team he will end up on yet.
All that said, this offer was rejected, pretty quickly. A counter
was promised, but none arrived. I’m not surprised it was
rejected because as noted above, it is essentially a young RB
for a young RB. Unless the 1.01 owner Lukie really likes McGahee
(which would have been a much easier sell last year at this time)
and really dislikes Bush, then he doesn’t really stand anything
to gain from my trade proposal.
However, I am surprised at no counter offer. I did avoid having
to make a tough decision though. If he had come back with McGahee
+ Darrell Jackson or McGahee + Santana Moss for the 1.01, that
would have been a lot tougher to swallow. It is unlikely I would
pull the trigger on that no matter how much I want to be like
Hef. Its not like I’m head over heels in love with Bush
right now, as he can be nothing but overhyped at this point. In
another dynasty league of mine, the 1.01 owner said the only player
he would take straight up for the 1.01 right now is Larry Johnson,
arguably the #1 overall dynasty player. I guess from that we can
infer he’s not trading the pick!
What did surprise me about the i3 league though is the 1.01 did
subsequently get traded. Lukie accepted draft picks 1.04, 1.07,
3.01 and 4.04 while giving the 1.01, 3.11, 4.01 and 5.01. I think
he would have been better off with McGahee... (Wink)
Seriously though, I can see the thinking that his team has a
few holes to fill so he is parlaying Bush into a RB at the 1.04
and perhaps Vernon Davis or another potential star at the 1.07.
My only issue with the trade from his perspective is, did he drop
down too far to get a quality RB? I think, yes. Taking the chance
of 4, quality RBs going to good situations, or hoping one of the
1.01-1.03 picks takes another position (unlikely), is pretty risky.
J.J. Arrington anyone? Put it this way... I wouldn’t trade
McGahee for the 1.04 and 1.07. If it was the 1.02 and the 1.07
or a later 1st, and I had multiple holes to fill, then that might
be a different story.
MacGregor 6/17/06 (On Trades)
Out To Lunch have proposed a trade with Toronto Toucans.
Out To Lunch (Waldman) will give up:
Engram, Bobby SEA WR
Gold, Ian DEN LB
Year 2007 Round 3 Draft Pick from Out To Lunch
Toronto Toucans (MacGregor) will give
Watson, Ben NEP TE
Year 2007 Round 4 Draft Pick from Toronto Toucans
Trade Comments: "Is this any better? I figure the crux of
the trade is Watson for Gold and the 3rd, but if you want more
I figure Engram is a useful depth player especially with Jackson
coming off two knee surgeries last year. Since he was a pretty
good depth player, I figure a 4th from you could bridge the value
Amidst all the chaos that was my work week this past week, a
rare Ironman 3 trade offer showed up in my Inbox. Matt has been
trying to pry Ben Watson from me for a while, and with good reason.
I've got Antonio Gates, Randy McMichael and Watson, so I can afford
to part with one of McMichael or Watson. Matt on the hand has
the dynamic duo of Ernie Conwell and Garrett Mills at TE. Quite
The reason I've passed on all his prior trade offers have basically
come down to the fact I've held Watson for two years to see what
he will develop into, so I don't want to trade him now before
he reaches his potential and his value truly spikes. Ah, the old
word all dynasty players cling to, "potential". While
Matt's current offer is better than the prior ones, I just don't
know if I can pull the trigger for the same reason - Watson's
Am I being too stubborn here? Have I now inflated expectations
of Watson beyond all that is reasonable? Mike Krueger does have
#6 amongst TEs with a line of 53-657-6 as of writing this.
Matt is a division rival that, despite his objections, is building
a team on the rise. As for the compensation in the trade, maybe
it is fair in terms of value today, but where is my upside in
return? Ian Gold I like but is interchangeable with about 20 or
more similar scoring LBs. The 3rd rounder will be a hit or miss
prospect who, even if he pans, will likely be another 2 year waiting
process. Bobby Engram... makes some sense to acquire, but his
upside I think it is fair to say is nada, niltch, nothing.
I guess when it comes down to it, if I'm going to trade a guy
who has high potential to finish top 6 at his position (even if
it is a TE) and is only entering his 3rd season, shouldn't I get
a similar player back who could finish near the top of his position?
My team is already talented and deep. If I was in a different
position of just needing a piece here or there to compete, then
trading Watson's potential for those pieces makes more sense.
I really think I need to stick with my buy-and-hold investing
strategy with Watson. If he hits that magical potential, then
I did the right thing. If he washes out, then I didn't really
lose that much (that is, until Matt turns his 3rd rounder next
year into the next Ryan Moats).
Sorry Matt. I realize I must be frustrating to deal with in this
league, especially with you, but I just can't help myself ;)
Now to go work up a counter offer trading away McMichael instead...
Waldman 6/24/06 (Trades)
So while I wait for Mike's counter offer to hopefully end what
looks like a bleak situation at tight end, I'm about a week away
from making cuts. This is probably my least favorite time in dynasty
leagues. I'm a packrat by nature. In fact, I never read C.S. Lewis'
work The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, but once
I saw Narnia the concept didn't surprise me. It's arguable I was
able to travel back into the 1940's through the time portal known
as my grandmother's closet. Who knew that a seventh floor apartment
in Cleveland, Ohio housed the planes that went missing in the
This packrat gene naturally got passed down to my mother, a woman
that has so much clothing stashed away, I'm sure the only reasonable
explanation is she kidnapped a dressmaker and is holding her captive
as forced labor until she produces enough wardrobe to fill a New
York and Company. I'm not sure I fully inherited this trait, but
it does show up prominently whenever my dynasty teams relax the
roster limits. I just can't pass up on an inexpensive shot at
potential. The problem is deciding whom to cut loose. I've already
rid myself of a number of players that I wish I kept (WR Ernest
Wilford and S Glenn Earl among them).
Here are my current candidates that face my first waive of cuts--I'll
need to drop between 5-9 players depending on those I stash on
my taxi squad. So let's rummage through my junk drawer and sort
the potential treasure from the trinkets:
QB Stefan Lefors, Carolina
QB Adrian McPherson, New Orleans
RB Andre Hall, Tampa Bay
RB Jarrett Payton, Tennessee
RB Quentin Griffin, Kansas City
WR Quincy Morgan, Pittsburgh
TE Garrett Mills, New England
TE Billy Miller, New Orleans
TE Wesley Duke, Free Agent
TE Adam Bergen, Cardinals
I do have some easier choices--specifically, Wesley Duke, the
tight end I pegged as a darkhorse candidate to start in Denver
that promptly got cut upon his triumphant return from NFL Europe.
What a waste of $7 in free agent bidding. These are the pitfalls
of attempting to build a team rather than maintaining a winner.
Quincy Morgan is at best, the #3 WR for the Steelers and I doubt
he'll be a much sought after player at this point of the preseason.
Andre Hall and Jarrett Payton are most likely practice squad players
on their respective teams, but RBs with talent hold more potential
value on the depth chart due to the injury factor. I'll hold onto
them this summer for as long as they are still on an NFL team.
I think both players possess enough talent to at least produce
in small stretches and my RB roster lacks starters.
While I've been writing this blog entry, I updated my offer to
Mike: Bobby Engram, Ian Gold, and now, my 2007 2nd round pick
for Watson, a 3rd round pick or a 4th and rookie RB Wali Lundy.
To me this is a no-brainer for him to take. But I received a counter
offer of McMichael for what I just offered for Watson.
The dilemma for me is what I think Watson's worth is compared
to McMichael. Strictly on production, McMichael has been worth
more than Watson. He's the generally the 8th-10th ranked tight
end in this league. Not bad for a guy without a star quarterback.
McMichael has also played in all 48 games from 2002-2005--another
plus for the first of the slew of Georgia tight ends to go pro.
McMichael catching passes from Culpepper seems like a nice possibility.
The downside? He was in trouble with the law for beating his
wife. Yep, it’s personally reprehensible, and potentially
one step away from suspension or major prison time in his professional
life. Does McMichael have a higher ceiling of potential than the
8th-10th best fantasy tight end in this league? I'm not sure.
Culpepper and Jermaine Wiggins hooked up enough to make Wiggins
an option that rated just behind McMichael in 2004. Does that
mean Culpepper will boost McMichael's stats even higher?
Ben Watson as a player is solely potential, since he was the
18th ranked TE last year, but he split time with Daniel Graham
and Christian Fauria. One is the subject of trade rumors and the
other is in Washington. Training camp reports indicate Watson
is getting looks as if he'll be one of the primary options, if
not the primary option in the passing game. Watson is the more
athletic of the two tight ends. Honestly, I think it's easy to
be enamored with the guy's potential. Especially when you see
him do things like run down Champ Bailey from across the field
in a playoff game.
The downside with Watson is a torn ACL as a rookie and Belicheck's
system. Daniel Graham is still there. Mike Vrabel is still catching
TD passes. Plus, the Pats drafted Dave Thomas and Garrett Mills--two
good prospects at the position! But it's clear that both Mike
and I feel Watson has far more potential than McMichael.
This is why Mike wouldn't take a 3rd round pick for Watson. He
and I both believe Watson has the skills to be the next elite
TE and he wants a big payday in return for giving him up. But
at this point a 3rd round pick is more than fair when you combine
that with a starting quality LB like Gold and a Engram--a WR that
provides excellent depth because he'll produce very well if he
has to sub for either Jackson or Burleson.
But when I offer him a 2nd round pick, he doesn't budge on Watson.
Instead he offers me McMichael. We'll it's already clear he not
only dislikes McMichael, but has him ranked 3rd on his depth chart.
This means he'd never use McMichael and value Watson higher than
So Mike, I'll consider McMichael, but giving you a second round
pick is costly for a guy neither of us value as highly as Watson.
Even if I admit my team is on the rise, that likely means I'll
have the 7th-9th pick while you still have the 13th or 14th pick.
In essence, if I give you a 2nd round pick, your 4th round pick
is closer to a 5th round pick in value.
My other need is defensive end. Mike, you are loaded at the position.
Freeney, Justin Smith, Ellis, and Bertrand Berry make a nice quartet.
Berry missed half the year with a torn pec and his career span
is likely limited in comparison to the other three you already
have on your roster.
I'll give you Gold, Ingram, my 3rd round and 6th round picks
for McMichael, Lundy, Berry, and your 4th round pick.
Waldman eventually got Lundy and McMichael. He also got Berrian
down the line, too. Waldman won the trade war this year, but MacGregor
went to his 4th consecutive championship appearance. Waldman’s
team will be one of the teams drafting in the early rounds, yet
League Updates - Week 15
Fantasy Auction League: The Gut Check won this league with
a Vince-Young-Maurice Jones Drew-led victory against a formidable
RotoWorld squad. .
Auctioneer Experts Invitational: Yours Truly won it all in
a rematch against 2004 champ, Scott Pianowski of Fantasy Guru.
Good luck to those of you still playing this week!