The Dynasty Dilema: Talent Versus Situation

Hey Gang,

Apologies for the tardiness in posting this, my “Floyd the Barber manifesto” on managerial style in keeper / dynasty leagues. � Better late than never, I suppose, but here goes.

To point, I almost always value situation over raw talent, regardless of format.

The NFL is a league dominated by systems – the West Coast offense, the Zone Blocking offense, the Cover-2 defense, the Zone Blitz defense and the like. Trying to understand which offensive systems tend to create stud players at various positions is critical.

Some of this is obvious. � For example, who wouldn’t rather take a shot on an unknown Denver running back than one say, in Cleveland? Or on an Indy wideout than one in Kansas City? Why? The track record.

The RB success in Denver can be directly linked to former line coach Alex Gibbs creating the Zone Blocking style of line play. � Now a dozen teams are copying them. � And thanks to HC Mike Shanahan, the Broncos are also a West Coast offense making them an attractive and proven breeding ground for quarterbacks, wideouts and tight ends.

It’s all about the system a team chooses to run and the success they have in incorporating it.

So, let’s tackle a question like Adrian Peterson versus Marshawn Lynch. On the surface, I would favor Lynch due to situation, competition at the position, and surrounding talent.

Peterson is touted as being more talented, but unless Vikings QB Tavaris Jackson is the second coming of Donovan McNabb (as HC Brad Childress hopes) to elevate their non-descript receiving corps, Peterson will be facing the same eight-man fronts that plagued Chester Taylor in 2006.

Can Peterson’s talent overcome it? Hard to say. But that’s where I lean on the draft experts.

I’ll admit this upfront – I haven’t the time or desire to follow the college game, so that puts me at a degree of disadvantage in the dynasty format. But I -can- spot a great situation. Hence, Joesph Addai had more value in Indy than every other rookie back last year.

Sure, Reggie Bush, Laurence Maroney, Maurice Jones-Drew and others had varying degrees of success, and all may be more physically gifted, but who would you rather have today in dynasty? To me, Addai has no downside if healthy.

Back to Lynch v. Peterson. Most of the rookie draftniks favor Peterson based on physical gifts, and who’s to say they’re wrong? His highlight film is breathtaking. But Lynch is clearly in a better situation. They have a decent quarterback, a Pro Bowl type lead wideout and a bolstered offensive line.

The key to making this evaluation if you’re not a college fan, is which draftnik do you trust?

When the late, great Joel Buschbaum was alive, he was my rock; the king. When he used the word “plucked” in a receiver evaluation, my FF antennae would immediately stand at attention. His character evaluations were almost like prophecy written beforehand. And he did all from watching videotape in his home office, with a few phone calls thrown in.

To this day, I’m still adrift. I like Mike Mayock a little. Mel Kiper, of course. My old pal, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, and truth be told, our own John Hansen.

John’s always had the sixth sense for fantasy, but he’s bolstering this with his own film study and greater insider contact information over the last few years. He’s not what I would call a full-fledged draftnik, but he’s watched enough film to make an educated evaluation on how a college player’s skills will translate to the pro game. And that carries weight.

At any rate, I’ve laid my cards on the table, so use this knowledge as you wish. My management style (even in dynasty) is to favor situation over talent and to go for the win now, which is a subject we’ll explore in this space in greater detail over the summer.

Category: Keeper & Dynasty Blog


6 Responses

  1. wetzelja says:

    This is exactly why it pains me to have to draft Calvin Johnson with the #1 pick in our keeper draft this year. I’m from Michigan, so I’ve seen the carnage that is the Lions firsthand.

    Just gotta pray Martz’s system can overcome the losing culture!

  2. Baron says:

    Good post, Floyd! This knowledge comes with playing dynasty for a few years. The first few years in my local dynasty I went with the talent. My team now is
    Portis, McGahee, KJ
    Fitz, Moss, AJ, Evans
    Cooley, Witten
    My team should be a contender and I’m now trying to go for 1 or 2 players in high scoring offenses to make my team even better. I want to win the league now. Because we’re basically a TD-only league.
    My question now is: Should I trade 1 or 2 of my players for the #1 pick? M.Harrison, Colston and all rookies are available. What’s your recommendation?

    That’s a tough call, baron, because of the long-term implications. But here’s a shot.

    My first rule of trading is trust your own gut. The worst feeling in the world is to take someone else’s advice over your own best instincts and then have it go bad. It’s your team and you know your rules and league mates better than anyone else.

    Next, write down your team starting line-up and depth chart – now, and post-potential trade (and draft) and see which group you like better.

    I really like your team. Studs all around, espcially at QB and WR. Your RBs are good, just not spectular. You need a bonafide Top 5-10 stud.

    Not knowing exactly where your draft pick is, my first inclination would be use the pick as bait (along with a player) to try to upgrade at running back.

    In other words, I would at least consider trying to trade Portis or McGahee plus your 1st rounder for an RB you consider a clear upgrade.

    Or do a two-for-two like Portis, Moss (Randy?) and a pick for an RB upgrade and a lateral move at wideout and a lesser pick.

    If all that fails and your best option is to trade up to #1, given the studliness of your roster, it might be the one time I swing for the fences with an Adrian Peterson.

    Not sure if this is what you were looking for, but those would be a few considerations.

    Floyd the Barber

  3. Miles to Go says:

    Hey Floyd, this is more a question than comment, but I have Vick and Rivers as potential keeper QB. We keep up to 6 players, and my other keepers are Travis Henry, Maurice Jones-Drew, Chad Johnson, Javon Walker and Tory Holt. We start ! QB, 2 RB, 3 WR. I also have Reggie Brown sitting on my roster. I am checking out possibly dealing Brown for a RB, and looking at a QB in round 7 (we lose one round per keeper)or maybe even holding onto Brown.
    Anyway, given talent vs situation, any thoughts on the Vick vs Rivers question? I like Vick’s talent and think Petrino might be able to improve his situation. I like Rivers, too.


    I’m not a a real fan of either Vick or River. Vick because he blows too hot and cold and Rivers because of LT being such the central focus of the Chargers offense. But as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    If it’s me, I use the QB and Reggie Brown (or whoever) and try to upgrade on the QB. But if you don’t see a clear upgrade from Vick or Rivers (plus Brown), just keep the one you like best and roll with that.

    Hope it helps.

  4. Floyd the Barber says:


    I’m not a a real fan of either Vick or River. Vick because he blows too hot and cold and Rivers because of LT being such the central focus of the Chargers offense. But as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    If it’s me, I use the QB and Reggie Brown (or whoever) and try to upgrade on the QB. But if you don’t see a clear upgrade from Vick or Rivers (plus Brown), just keep the one you like best and roll with that.

    Hope it helps.

  5. Miles to Go says:

    Thanks Floyd. I think you are completely right about dealing, I just have lost a bit of focus there. I think I can get McNabb, so that’s probably the first avenue to explore.

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