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Dynasty Football and Keepers: Q&A Mailbag with Scott Engel

Every week on RotoBaller, I will help you make those tough and challenging keeper and dynasty decisions.

Your keeper deadlines and rookie drafts may not be close yet, but it’s better to ease your mind as early as possible if I can. So you can always ask me your questions on Twitter @scotteTheKing and I will answer them right here. Even if your question is not contained here, I will always provide extensive, in-depth answers that will interest all keeper and dynasty owners, and in many cases, seasonal players as well.

Also, if you’d like a one-on-one session with me to answer any of your fantasy questions, book a private chat at any time.

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Packing In a New RB1

Engel’s Keeper Angle: It seems you have already decided to hold onto Jones, and now you want to know what his upside is for next season. Jones was a regular starter for most of the second half of the season, and he totaled over 90 yards from scrimmage four times between Weeks 8 through 14 and had eight TDs during that span. He appeared to be the Packers’ most effective RB since the early points of Eddie Lacy’s career.

Under Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay running game was often an afterthought. Matt LaFleur comes from the Shanahan/McVay tree, where a solid running game can set up aggressive downfield strikes. There could be more play-action and RPO calls under LaFleur, which means Jones should be utilized frequently to keep defenses more off balance. Using Jones more will also ease some pressure on Aaron Rodgers, as the book to defend the Packers for much of the McCarthy era was to tee off on Rodgers with as many hits as possible.

We have already seen extensive previews of Jones’ versatility and TD promise. In a more balanced offensive attack where will be a key performer, he has the skills and role to certainly be considered a back-end RB1 by this time next season.


Holding Out Hope

Engel’s Keeper Angle: Green is coming off a season where he played in nine games, and he has missed 13 in two of the past three seasons, so you are not going to get anywhere near maximum return for him right now. In fact, I would advise other owners who do not have Green to see if they can get a discount on him now. You will likely get lowballed in some talks and your expected price will not quite be met in others. There is not much of a sales pitch that you can make on Green right now. What you must do is keep him in the hopes that Zac Taylor can inject more life into the Bengals offense. There is no doubt what Green can still do when he is on the field. He will be 31 when the season starts, and that is not yet “old” for a wide receiver. When you are asking me can he remain Top 10 to 15 over the next few years, it seems like you are really down on Green, so how could you expect someone else to give anywhere near max return on a trade? Your perception is likely one that is widely shared right now. All you need is for Green to stay healthy and you have a WR1 for 2019. Keep some faith and forget moving him for a return that will certainly disappoint you if he eventually plays regularly next season. Green’s outlook is quite promising with a fresh new offensive approach taking hold in Cincinnati in 2019.


Advice for Rookies

Engel’s Keeper Angle: I would not drastically alter my overall approach to drafting, but I would tweak it. You just have be trained to not think from a pure seasonal perspective anymore. Now you have to employ a hybrid strategy because you want to win this year, too, and some dynasty owners lose sight of that. Keep a balanced approach in keeping both the upcoming season and the longer term in mind.

When focusing on positions, I don’t think the overall approach changes, take the best few RBs and WRs regardless of position in the first few rounds. About three tight ends can be mixed in, but simply take the best available non-QB in the first five rounds or so when you are up. If your league rewards six points for a TD pass, though, you can consider a QB earlier. But being in a longer-term league does not suddenly make any positions more or less important than they normally would be.


Pack Sleeper

Engel’s Keeper Angle: Sure seems like a Green Bay style edition of the column this week, as we open with Aaron Jones and close with Geronimo Allison, who was one of my favorite value picks in 2018. He was only able to play in five games last year, but he had three games of five or more catches, and never had less than 64 yards in his first four games while scoring twice. He certainly seemed on his way to becoming a comfortable WR2 for the Packers and a quality WR3 for fantasy players before his season was abruptly cut short and he eventually ended up on IR because of a groin issue.

Now his outlook will depend on what the Packers do at WR in the offseason. Allison is an exclusive rights free agent and is likely to return. But if Green Bay lands another impact pass-catcher in free agency, Allison could be the Pack’s WR3 next year. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen. Last year, Green Bay was obviously one WR injury away from shakiness at the position, and the front office may want to ensure that situation does not arise again. Depending on what kind of pass-catcher the Packers possibly bring in, Allison could be bumped down on the depth chart, or Green Bay may simply opt for a safer option as the new WR3 while keeping Allison in line for a starting job. We’ll likely know the better answer to this question in a few weeks from now.


Scott Engel is a 20-plus year veteran of the fantasy sports industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s (FSWA) Hall of Fame.

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