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Draft season is really getting going! I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready to get the real thing underway! So let’s get to some Ask the SCFE Staff!

I had my big league draft this weekend with associated golf and poker tournaments to kick off a wild two weeks of drafting. What I love most about this league is I am a co-owner. We ask each other before picks so that my own personal bias is not the only factor in the team’s decisions.

This can be very helpful, as many of our readers have found submitting questions to us.

If you have any questions of your own, please ask them here!

Every once in a while it really helps to ask someone else’s point of view, so that your own biases are not making all of your decision.

For our rankings, please check out the SCFE Draft Kit. For lineup and start/sit questions, feel free to reach out and ask me on Twitter, @Tomlin3.

Ask the SCFE Staff: Either/or Player Rankings and Keepers

Each question is offset from the answers below it by using a block-quote box.

“I have the 2nd overall pick in my league (14 team, .5 PPR). I’m allowed to keep 0, 1 or 2 keepers. I will be keeping Julio Jones, but I’m wondering if I should keep Eddie Lacy or Keenan Allen? If so which one? If not, should I only hold onto Jones and keep my late 2nd round pick?” – Alan

SCFE’s Joe Bond: “I’m of the opinion that Allen is a great early second round pick. He was on pace last season to catch 134 passes for 1,450 yards and eight touchdowns. Then the unfortunate kidney injury knocked him out for the last eight games of the season.

To me that is a fluke injury and something that you can not penalize him for entering 2016. Keep him and Julio and feel good knowing you have two Top 10 WRs to start your draft.”

I definitely am in the same boat on Allen. His injury was just unlucky and he should have a heavy workload. I doubt you could get both Jones and Allen in a complete redraft with 12 teams or more.

“So in my 12-team, standard league, I have an opportunity to keep either Matt Jones or Jeremy Maclin as my keeper. Matt Jones has a lot of potential to be an RB1-type player this season whereas Jeremy Maclin can be a safe WR 2/ Flex option week in and week out. Who do you think I should use as my keeper? Both players won’t cost me a pick in this year’s draft. But I would like to know who I should draft so I can formulate a solid draft strategy.”-Rahim

SCFE’s Mark Strausberg: “Both players are pretty close in value. Jones has a higher ceiling but much lower floor. When the cost is a non-factor, I go with the more aggressive option because even though there is more risk, it’s worth the non risk. Go Jones.”

I think Rahim’s pick in the first round is a factor here. If he has a Top 4 pick and can secure the uber-elite receiver, then Jones is a solid upside option. If he is in the middle-to-late first round, you may want the security that Maclin provides.

“I’m in a 12-team, .5 PPR keeper league. We get to keep 3. My options are Drew Brees, David Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Doug Martin, Keenan Allen and Randall Cobb. I’m keeping Johnson and Hopkins and have to pick 1 more. I’m leaning towards Martin or Allen. What do you guys think?” – Matt

SCFE’s David Gonos: “I’d lean toward safety and hold over the featured RB, especially now that he has a new contract, meaning they’ll want to keep him as their featured back for a few more years. So I’d go Johnson, Hopkins, Martin — and I’d do a little Irish jig, because that’s a nice trio of Top 20 keeper!”

As well all know by now, I think David Johnson is the most over-rated and biggest risk of all first round possibilities. I think Hopkins and Allen are the must-keeps. Depending on your starting roster, I would keep Cobb as my third choice. Those three receivers will finish the season as Top 15 options at the position and provide much more safety.

“We have a 10-team, PPR keeper league and I draft fourth this year. My keeper scenario: Deandre Hopkins in the 6th or Devonta Freeman in the 14th.” – Steven

SCFE’s David Gonos: “As tough as it is to toss Hopkins back, you really have to just go with Freeman as your keeper, and consider drafting Hopkins if he falls to you with the fourth pick. If he doesn’t, you still have a Top 20 player with Top 10 upside, and a sixth-round pick to go with whomever you draft in the first.

I’ve bcc’d my cohorts, and they might disagree, so I’ll let them chip in. If you don’t hear from anyone else today, then they agree with the move.”

I think a big factor here is the other players kept by opposing teams. For instance, if Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Todd Gurley and A.J. Green are all kept, by the fourth pick, there may not be many solid options at the elite level. I would lean towards the guarantee of Hopkins rather than the regression of Freeman.

“Hello, in a $100 salary cap, 10-team, .5 PPR dynasty league. My keepers are
QB Philip Rivers $4
RB Todd Gurley $19.5
RB Melvin Gordon $2
WR Kelvin Benjamin $10.8
WR Donte Moncrief $2
WR Josh Gordon $2
TE Charles Clay $2
Total cap space left to spend about $54.
Best available free agents are: Ezekiel Elliott, Eddie Lacy, Ryan Mathews, Duke Johnson, Dion Lewis, Alshon Jeffery, Dez Bryant, Randall Cobb. I have to fill (all bench spots): QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, and 1 Flex.

I was thinking I should secure one of the 3 listed FA WRs. then target Dion Lewis or Duke Johnson as my RB3 (SD fan believing in Gordon). I was wondering how much you guys think I should be budgeting to the spots I have to fill, and how much you think each of the top 3 wrs is worth.” – Steven

SCFE’s Michael Tomlin: “I definitely like your starting point with your keepers. Your running backs are set, along with your quarterback. I would definitely try to obtain one of the three receivers you have listed, with Cobb probably providing the best value. However, that’s the thing with auctions: it’s hard to tell you who to target, because it will really be about the value you get the player for. So while Dez provides the most upside, I’m sure that Cobb will go for significantly cheaper.

With that extra money I would advise going after a tight end upgrade. Charles Clay is pretty bad for a starting tight end, especially a 10-team league. If you can upgrade him while still grabbing Cobb and maybe Duke Johnson, you can fill out your roster with $1 upside guys and be set.”

“Can you rank these four guys for a 12-team, 1/2 point PPR league?

Randall Cobb, Julian Edelman, Jeremy Maclin, Emmanuel Sanders” – Alex

SCFE’s John LaPresto: “I’ll start by sharing the wide receiver rankings for our site.  You can find your players as well as our entire WR list here:

For .5 PPR like you’re playing, our staff rankings have the following:

Edelman 16th

Cobb 18th

Maclin 19th

Sanders 29th

For me, I see Maclin as the only No. 1 option on his team out of this group. Jordy Nelson, Rob Gronkowski and Demaryius Thomas are all the top Fantasy pass catchers on their teams, but Maclin may have the highest floor. Edelman is coming off of a foot injury and won’t have his QB for four games, Sanders has a new QB to deal with and most likely an increased focus on the run game and Cobb, well we saw what his floor was last year.”

I would switch the two at the top. Cobb’s “floor” last year was the result of having to be the top option: something he’s not good at. Put him in the secondary, slot role and he will shine again.

“Keep 3 in a 12-team, 1/2 PPR league:

Brandon Marshall (2nd)
David Johnson (6th)
Demaryius Thomas (7th)
Thomas Rawls (8th)
Matt Jones (9th)
Ryan Mathews (10th)
Jameis Winston (11th)

If I keep the player I lose the associated draft pick.” – Jeff

SCFE’s Mark Strausberg: “Definitely keep David Johnson. There’s downside potential but the upside is way too great, especially at that cost.

How do feel about Winston? The 11th is only about a round or two of value, but I love him this year and I think he returns plenty for that cost. If you like him like I do, keep him.

Thomas is usually gone by the fifth round, so you should keep him too because of the value.

Injury history is a little scary for both Rawls and Ryan Mathews. But that’s a ton of value given Rawls’ current ADP and Mathews is the primary back in Philly, and that is hard to find in the 10th round.

I would toss the other two back.”

As I have stated previously, I do not like David Johnson this year, but a sixth round pick is too much value to give up. With the amount of receivers that are likely to be kept by other teams, Marshall and Thomas should be kept here as well.

“I am in a 2 QB standard scoring league and need to decide on my keeper. Either pick Gurley in the 5th or Derek Carr in the 14th. Your keeper is drafted -2 rounds from where you drafted him the year before so Carr would be better long term but Gurley for the next 2 years.” – Michael

SCFE’s Mark Strausberg: “I’m in 2-qb keeper leagues so I get it. But the answer is definitely Gurley.

Especially because you are in a 10-team league and Carr barely cracks QB2 level. Short term it’s a no-brainer and even long term I think guys like Mariota and Winston, heck even Wentz, pass Carr. Carr has a limited ceiling. Think Matt Ryan-lite.”

Getting possibly the top back for a fifth round pick is too solid to pass up in any format.

“I have the 7th pick in a 10-team, 1/2 PPR snake draft and I’m wondering who I should pick. Other than the top 3 receivers (Brown, Beckham, and Jones), I feel comfortable with taking Johnson, Miller, or Green. Who else should I feel comfortable with taking at the 7th pick, given they fall to my spot?” – Beau

SCFE’s Mark Strausberg: “This is probably going to come across as salty, but the answer is that you should not feel comfortable taking anyone with the seventh pick. I can give you at least one reason if not 6-10 reasons not to feel comfortable with not only the players you listed but others as well with the seventh choice.

However, I have Gurley as my top RB and if he falls to you at seven, that’s incredible value. Of the players typically available around the seventh pick, I do feel that A.J. Green is the “safest” pick. He doesn’t have as high a ceiling as others, but his floor is higher than all of those typically available after the fifth pick. But as I have advised others in similar spots, if you can trade down, I would.”

I am staying away from all running backs in the first round so I would definitely go with either Green or Hopkins should they both be available.

That’s it for the mailbag this week! Be sure to check out our updated Top-200 Rankings, practice a mock draft and our FREE Draft Kit!

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