Tuesday, November 07, 2006

FANTASY NFL: Keeper Quandary

By Steve "Supreme Commander" Cernak

Gabe dropped one hell of a fantasy football question on MySpace:

Hey who would you drop if you had to drop one? Deshaun Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew, Brandon Jacobs. I'm leaning towards keeping BJ because i'm in a keeper league. I'm also thinking of trading my Shaun Alexander. I can only have 4 RB's max in my league, and don't know who to let go of. Should I let go of Foster or MoJo? I'm afraid that Williams will start to play a bigger role, as Deshaun hasn't produced like i’d have thought he would. Not to mention the poor O-line play of the Panthers. I'm also afraid of Fred Taylor getting hurt and then MoJo will be the stud.

Keeper fantasy adds complexity in how a manager plays the season. Production is typically all that matters. In keeper, you try to win both immediately and over the long haul.

Let's start by looking at my current 2006 rankings:

  1. Shaun Alexander
  2. Maurice Jones-Drew
  3. DeShaun Foster
  4. Brandon Jacobs

Alexander is injured now but who is the first RB you'd start in the playoffs?

Jones-Drew put serious production up this season for a back-up. Taylor complained about not getting enough carries for his incentive laden contract. Taylor knows Jones-Drew is legit and actually is pondering retirement because it apparently takes a lot of money to want to constantly rehab injuries.

Foster is an injury risk, but at least he is a starter. Brandon Jacobs has "fantasy stud" written all over him, but the future NFL Hall Of Fame RB Tiki Barber is the Giants starter.

Fast forward to my 2007 projections:

  1. Shaun Alexander
  2. Brandon Jacobs
  3. Maurice Jones-Drew
  4. DeShaun Foster

Alexander is a proven TD machine. Jacobs may eventually become better than Alexander, because he has feature back speed and is a goal line power. Maybe this is just the giants fan in me, but I see him as an athletic Jerome Bettis (meaning he isn’t a fatty). DeAngelo Williams will be better and start over Foster soon.

To answer the question: hold onto Alexander, Jacobs and Jones-Drew. That will be the nastiest platoon in your keeper league next year.

As for Foster, you have two options. Either (1) hold onto him to cover for Alexander or (2) trade him now for an older productive player. Let’s say you need a QB and the guy who has Brett Favre needs a RB. Favre will likely retire, so why not maximize production from a guy who will likely retire after this year for a player you were planning to cut? Foster could get you a productive older player and I'd do that if a decent RB is on the waiver wire.

EDIT: originally I had Amani Toomer listed as a possible replacement, but news just broke that he may have torn his ACL. DEFINITELY DO NOT PICK AMANI TOOMER UP.

1 comment:

Gabe Cizzle said...

Thanks for the feedback. I couldn't agree more. I just accepted a trade for Ronnie Brown & Larry Fitzgerald. I am giving up my Holt, Jones-Drew, and Foster. The thing is my playoffs are in weeks 16 & 17 (i dunno why 17). So now I have favorable matchups during my playoffs. I'm in first place at 7-2 so i'm starting to think playoffs. My team now looks like this:
QB(2min/max): McNabb & Bulger
RB(4min/max): Alexander,Jacobs,R.Brown,C.Taylor
WR(4min/max): Owens,A.Johnson,Fitzgerald,Williamson
TE(2min/max): Watson & Clark
DEF: Cardinals & Falcons