DLF Writer Tim Stafford’s RSO Team

Marshawn Lynch. Photo by Matt McGhee.
When you get Marshawn Lynch as one of two RBs that can be your RB1 on a keeper league, you did pretty well. Tim Stafford gets credit for doing so. Photo by Matt McGhee.

Tim Stafford (@dynastytim) is a writer at Dynasty League Football. He directs the forums at DLF and co-hosts the site’s podcast with Jarrett Behar. DLF is a quality site because of people like Stafford, Behar, and Ryan McDowell. Stafford and McDowell participated in the Reality Sports Online Auction Draft last weekend. I’m giving you my take of his team along with his own assessment.

First, here’s what Stafford had to say about his RSO experience:

I was very impressed by the RSO platform.  I know some people had some issues with the player list [Matt’s note: there were some bugs to work out when trying to nominate a player if you didn’t preset the nomination], but running it on Windows 7 with Chrome was flawless.  My favorite form of fantasy football is salary cap and this takes it to the next level.  Bidding simultaneously on the contract amount and length is very slick.  There was some strategy to when you burned your three and four-year contracts.  I’d easily recommend RSO to anyone who is considering starting a salary cap league.

I think Tim is dead-on. If there’s time, I’m going to set up an IDP league with this format. I probably won’t cover it here, but I enjoyed this format too much to just be in one league with it. If you go to www.realitysportsonline.com and use the promotion code RSP20%OFF, you’ll earn a 20 percent discountYou can join a league for $9.99 as an individual or form a league with your friends.

Stafford’s Squad 

Quarterback Yrs $ Running Back Yrs $ Wide Receiver Yrs $
Tony Romo 3 28.5 Marshawn Lynch 2 40.5 Randall Cobb 4 73.5
Matt Schaub 1 2.5 C.J. Spiller 3 75.0 Wes Welker 2 21.0
Tim Tebow 1 0.5 Mike Goodson 1 0.5 Sidney Rice 2 7.5
      Evan Royster 1 0.1 Greg Little 1 2.5
      Taiwan Jones 1 0.5 Santonio Holmes 1 4.0
      Montee Ball 3 R Ryan Broyles 1 3.5
      Mike Gillislee 3 R Leonard Hankerson 1 4.0
      Denard Robinson 3 R Dexter McCluster 1 0.5
      Kenjon Barner 3 R Andrew Hawkins 1 0.5
            Lestar Jean 1 0.5
            Damian Williams 1 0.5
            Quinton Patton 3 R

I think Stafford used his multi-year deals well. Lynch and Spiller and 2 and 3-year deals are sensible windows of time to tie up a running back. Anything more than three years could be too ambitious for the NFL. Both players are capable of top-five production and I think it’s realistic to expect both runners to have RB1 seasons in 2013. Combine this running back duo with a solid QB1 like Tony Romo – another good choice to give a three-year deal – and a four-year deal to Randall Cobb, and I think these four acquisitions were money well-spent. These four players – if healthy – give Stafford a competitive team.

The two-year, $21 million deal to Welker is a probably a good deal. There is the element of a gamble in the sense of a new situation and how much production will the veteran really have with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker also in the Broncos lineup, but we’ve seen Peyton Manning deliver 1000-yard seasons to three receivers multiple times in the quarterback’s career. I’d be shocked if Welker doesn’t deliver two years of at least 65-70 receptions – and probably one of them will be a season of 80-90 catches.

A two-year deal for Sidney Rice could also be criticized as “iffy,” but at $7.5 million total I would categorize any flak that Stafford gets as nitpicking. Because we get to franchise one player each year, it’s the one-year deals that teams chose to make that are most fascinating to me.

Ryan Broyles is a good example on Stafford’s team. I love what Broyles brings to the table as a route runner with big-play ability. However, his 2013 season won’t begin until November. I can see Stafford franchising Broyles if the Detroit receiver flashes what he did briefly from his first return from an ACL injury in November of 2012. Still, the amount of money to invest in a franchise tag on a receiver with a handful of games could be a tough call.

Still, I like upside picks on one-year deals and I think Stafford did well to take players like Leonard Hankerson, Greg Little, Mike Goodson, Dexter McCluster, and Santonio Holmes, who all have the talent to outperform current expectations and be considerations for that one franchise offer in 2014.

Paired with Lynch, Spiller gives Stafford a sound 1-2 punch for his starting lineup. Photo by Matt Britt
Paired with Lynch, Spiller gives Stafford a sound 1-2 punch for his starting lineup. Photo by Matt Britt

Here’s what Stafford had to say about some of these players:

I was happy to start off by winning Spiller and Lynch – especially Lynch – $40.5 million over two years.  Compare that to Charles who went off right before Lynch at $60.5 million over two years.  I view Lynch as a solid RB1 for the next several years.  Paired with Spiller, I think I have a solid one two punch. 

Since I also have Ball from the rookie draft, I felt I was fairly set at RB in a league where you start two.  I’m also hopeful about my rookie RBs – Ball and Gillislee.  If Gillislee somehow beats out Lamar Miller I’ll be able to trade one of them for a nice WR upgrade.

This allowed me to focus my attention and money elsewhere.  I got a little nervous after I took Romo as my third player – this league requires a lot of starting WRs.  I forced it a bit on Cobb and then went in to WR by committee mode taking a total of 12.  I think grabbing Welker was a decent move in an SC league.  He’s someone I’d avoid in traditional dynasty but short-term rentals are fine in this format. 

I ended up overpaying for a couple of WRs later in the auction. I had money left and the pool was thinning.  Broyles at $3.5 for one year isn’t worth it, nor is Hankerson at $4 million.  But as I mentioned above I needed bodies. 

I think Gillislee is a nice runner who plays with the type of intensity one seeks from an NFL starter. I think the drafting of Gillislee is (not intentionally as I’m stating it) a message to Lamar Miller to keep working and notice to Daniel Thomas that he hopefully was working hard to prepare for a fight for his spot on the depth chart in 2013.

Miller makes the Broncos a good pick as a team defense. Photo by Jeffery Beall.
Miller makes the Broncos a good pick as a team defense. Photo by Jeffery Beall.
Tight End Yrs $ Kicker Yrs $ Defense Yrs $
Owen Daniels 1 4.0 Jay Feely 1 0.5 Denver 1 0.5
Brandon Pettigrew 1 0.5       Dallas 1 0.5
James Casey 1 1.0            

I think Stafford went the safe route on tight ends. Daniels has top-five upside, but just barely. However, he’s as close to a lock as a top-10 tight end in fantasy leagues as one can get. Pettigrew is a disappointing fantasy player based on his potential. I’m not saying he should be a an elite tight end, but I think his physical skills and this Detroit offense should translate to production that is similar to Daniels’ upside rather than sitting outside the top-10 in healthy years.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time then you know I’m a fan of James Casey’s potential. The beginning of the Chip Kelly era in Philly is a development I’m eager to see. The reason Kelly has Casey, Brent Celek, Clay Harbor, and Zach Ertz is that this up-tempo offense uses multiple tight ends to foil his opponents’ attempts at gap control.

This doesn’t always translate into great receiving production at the position, but there may be enough opportunities for one player in this group to emerge as a fantasy option. I’m not counting on Casey to be the one, but if injury strikes to the depth chart then Casey has upside. I’m not sure I would have picked him in a league like this because unless it’s clear he’ll be the man to own before the first week of the season, he’ll most likely present diminishing returns.

Denver’s defense is a nice option for the minimum price. The league awards points for sacks, turnovers, and points score and Denver’s unit should be in a good position to play aggressor most weeks – especially in an AFC West that is now a weak division on paper.

Stafford didn’t have any comments about this part of his roster, but he did talk about other deals that teams made in the auction that I think are worth mentioning. Amounts mentioned are in increments of millions

Good Deals

  • Ryan McDowell – Josh Gordon ($19 over 3):  Gordon could become a high end WR2.  If that happens this was a steal.
  • Mike MacGregor -Tom  Brady ($40 over 3): This was a steal and happened because seven or eight teams already had QBs at this point and let it happen.  We probably should have price enforced a bit here.  But that’s a risky proposition.
  • Sigmund Bloom – Martellus Bennett ($0.5 over 1):  Great player to get early in the auction at league minimum.  Not sure how he pulled this one on us.
  • Jeff Tefertiller – Brandon Marshall ($60 over 4): Terrific value.  Marshall at about 10% of his cap, yes sir.

Deals Stafford Didn’t Like

  • Lance Zierlein – Colin Kaepernick ($41 over 2):  This seemed rather pricey to me.  Compare this to Drew Brees at ($30 over 2).
  • Ryan McDowell – Andrew Luck ($103 over 4): Same thing. This is way too rich for my blood.  This is a bet that Luck will be a top-5 QB in 2013 and beyond.  Maybe/maybe not.
  • Rivers McCown – Josh Freeman ($3.5 over 1):  Not really much money of course, but Freeman isn’t my cup of tea.  If I’m going to draft a back-up QB I’d like to get one with either some upside (i.e. Locker/Tannehill) or one that is the surefire starter (i.e. Schaub).

Personally, I don’t see much wrong with Freeman. I doubt Mike Glennon is a threat to Freeman this year. I agree that Kaepernick and Luck earned higher contracts than I would have paid, but I’m a Luck fan so if I were to go bold with a passer I’d pay that premium on the Colts quarterback. McDowells also stole Gordon. I nominated Gordon as the first player off the board in the auction. I wish I hadn’t.

McDowell’s team was Stafford’s favorite:

His projected starting lineup is Luck, CJ2K/Mendy, Nicks/Gordon/James Jones/Blackmon, Housler.  He’ll have to shuck and jive until Blackmon returns and he needs Housler to break out, but this is potentially a very nice team for the long haul.  He also has Gio Bernard in the wings.  And he has good options to replace Blackmon short-term.

More analysis of this draft coming in the next 4-6 weeks. Remember, if you go to www.realitysportsonline.com and use the promotion code RSP20%OFF, you’ll earn a 20 percent discount. You can join a league for $9.99 as an individual or form a league with your friends.

One response to “DLF Writer Tim Stafford’s RSO Team”

  1. Does anyone else subconsciously read “DLF” as “DTF” every, single, time they see it?

    No? Just me?

    Okay, carry on.

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