The Jarvis Landry Question…
When our very own Dynasty professional and football handicapping group member ‘Rabbitt’ hit me up with a question the other day -- it became fodder for an article.
He hit me up for an opinion on a trade that when I first saw it was like ‘no way’, a visceral action. Then I was like, something in my Spidey senses hit me, “Wait, why was I so reactionary. There’s something to ponder/debate here.” And then I was like — why wouldn’t you do this deal?
It was a strange range of emotions in the span of about 0:60 seconds. Going from one spectrum to the other. And it’s a trade that is a perfect example of a fair/interesting exchange…but more so how Rookie Derangement Syndrome (RDS) sets in on all of us.
As a refresher (on my coined term stolen by a few over the years) — what is Rookie Derangement Syndrome (RDS)?
It’s the irrational reaction and love of all things ‘rookie’. We fall in love with the possibilities because they haven’t done anything the NFL yet. We fill in the blanks/their future with sugar plum fairy dreams. Once they start playing, they are like driving a new car off the lot...the value just dropped 25% by the end of Week 1 of their rookie season. By the middle of their rookie season, we could care less on most of them.
There’s something weird about how we love and desire rookies before the play their first game. Like they’re virginal vessels we will possess before anyone. It’s like drafting a rookie is like giving birth to your own fantasy kid. You’re their master, their one and only owner. They’re your new shiny toy. Oh, the possibilities!
And then they start playing and usually start out on the bench or in a limited role and then by their rookie Week 4 we’re all like — BOOOORING!!! I’m going to tank the next two fantasy seasons to get to that Clemson QB everyone is talking about (more RDS).
RDS irrational and harmful to your Dynasty/fantasy play.
You have it (RDS) and don’t even realize it.
NFL GMs really have it.
I don’t have it because I’m super smart and invented this concept...until I do have it. I thought I had immunized myself from RDS -- but the cells still exist within the body and strike at random times, I guess.
I got struck with a bout of RDS via Rabbitt’s simple question... Would you trade your 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft 1.11 for Jarvis Landry?
…and more to the point with the expectation of 1.11 being a choice of Noah Fant or Andy Isabella.
I immediately gravitated to the Isabella angle, because so many FFM/CFM’ers have taken Isabella in that range (with Kyler, Fant, and Parris Campbell gone already). I love Isabella's upside for fantasy in Arizona 2019+. I’ve been on a mission drafting Isabella picks #10-15 ahead of his #18-ish DRD ADP…so, of course, I’m going to run a red light and chase down Isabella…especially versus owning boring old Jarvis Landry.
However, I had just worked on/studied some Jarvis Landry for our draft guide. What did he do last year? 5.1 catches, 61.0 yards a game, 4 TDs on the season…that was with wacky Hue Jackson part of the year and a rotating group of weak ‘other’ WRs around him not helping him…and Baker just getting warmed up. Wouldn’t he beat those numbers this year if Baker is going to go bonkers and OBJ is going to draw top coverage attention? 2019 could be, what...5-6 catches per game, maybe more? 65-70+ yards per game? More than 4 TDs…maybe 6-8?
If I got that from Isabella in 2019, I’d be over the moon.
What’s more valuable? Proven Landry with a high-functioning QB and OBJ heat-drawing? Or… a rookie WR that I can only speculate how he’ll fit into this offense with a lot of other talented receivers?
But what if Isabella + Kyler/Kliff is awesome beyond words for years to come (RDS)? But what if Christian Kirk and/or Hakeem Butler are the winners…or what if they all are, to a degree, and none of them becomes a strong WR1?
Am I trying to win now or rebuild?
I’m very keen on Isabella but Landry is a legit PPR force as well…and he’s proven, and in a great offense as well. But my first reaction to seeing this deal was – an RDS urge to till the virgin grounds of Isabella because -- ”What if…?”
I'm not saying this particular deal is a slam-dunk deal on either side. I just write this as a cautionary tale. Be careful of being so clever, so locked in on landing the trio of Murray-Campbell-Isabella in rookie drafts, because I am seeing you guys do this A LOT, and you should, it’s great, but be sure that you don’t overlook other opportunities to deal a draft pick away for an existing player. 2nd-year players are people too…as are 3rd and 4th and so on.
I mean that on Campbell or Isabella, etc., level picks.
On Kyler Murray, there is no negotiation.
I will say this until I’m blue in the face – you have one job this year. Get Kyler Murray as your rookie draft pick, your redraft QB2 (before others have their QB1), etc. Everything else is second. Get Kyler, then worry about everything else.
You think you have some RDS tendencies? Heck, take heart -- everyone else has it in your league twice as bad…with the virus getting stronger as they close in on your rookie draft date. Take advantage of their derangement…at least, don’t rule it out because you’re on your own RDS trip/illness.