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Everything posted by DAG

  1. Yeah that’s a massive wall of text I created. Guess I’m just really excited about DJ’s route tree.
  2. This is a point worth emphasizing. Back when Arians called it quits in AZ, one of the questions several posters raised in the dynasty value thread (especially @FF Ninja) was "do you want DJ without Arians?" and that remains a very open question to me. I don't see anyone in here predicting a return to 2016, so I don't want to construct a straw man, but that season has served in these discussions as a useful benchmark for what he might approach or approximate in a comeback season. It's also a useful barometer, I think, for his receiving potential, which is what makes him potentially elite imo. PFF has a great breakdown of DJ's receiving role in 2016, a season during which they rated him as the best receiver in the NFL (regardless of position). A sum of some of the more important numbers (quoting from the article): I expect DJ's receiving role to improve over what it was last year. In response to @steelers1080's question above, I'd take the over on 70 receptions, but think he'll remain in the 70s. He's a great receiver and it just makes sense for him to serve as a safety valve for a young QB. At the same time, I very much agree that the addition of more potential talent at WR may mean a wider target distribution. But the most important thing to me is what kind of receiving role does he play? His use as a RB + WR (in terms of route tree, alignment, depth of target) under Arians was very unique, even as compared against other RBs with similar skill sets like Bell. His usage was also off the charts. Graham Barfield ( fantasy writer) wrote that DJ averaged 31.1 routes per game, with a 19% target share in 2016. He was used similarly in 2015, when he lined up as a wideout or in the slot 18% of the time (20% of the time in 2016). The 2018 season is of limited value as a point of contrast because it was a historically awful situation. But we still might glean something from how a change in DJ's receiving role could matter. According to PFF, Johnson was targeted from the slot or out wide 43% of the time in 2016 and produced 40% of his total receiving yards off those targets. In 2018 his targets dropped way off but, as PFF argues, it's just as important to note that "the way he was targeted changed:" his targets from the slot or out wide dropped to 21.4%, and his percentage of yards from out wide dropped to 24.9%; his average depth of target dropped from 4.58 yards (in 2016) to 0.60. This is with Byron Leftwich, who learned under Arians, taking over as OC mid season and doing his best to emulate Arians's system. This same PFF article expresses confidence that Kingsbury will use DJ more from the slot as a receiver, and it also has promising projections on his numbers running out of the shotgun (PFF is generally really high on DJ in the new offense). Also, Kingsbury has promised to use DJ "creatively" and I think he will. He doesn't need a full revival of Arians's 2015/2016 usage, but what kind of approximation -- in terms of alignment and depth of target -- can we really expect? As for Kingsbury, I can easily see him giving this offense a major jolt in the short term. But I'm a little surprised that the Cardinals offense is getting this much hype (in both FF circles and sports media more generally) given his very unusual path to an NFL head coaching job. Usually when college coaches transition to the league they've had extended success in CFB, and even then there are persistent questions about whether they're ready to take the next step. Kingsbury by contrast had a losing record at Texas Tech and struggled against the best programs. Things have changed of course. As others have mentioned, the college game is where a lot of offensive innovation is taking place and we're thankfully shedding some of the presumptions about those offenses translating to the NFL. But normally you would think that an organization with a somewhat questionable history of ownership/front office management hiring a fired/losing college head coach who was on his way to being a college coordinator would be getting more scrutiny. I recognize a lot of this is bc of Murray, who I really like. It's also a product, as others have mentioned, of the McVay effect. And it could very much work out; I actually admire AZ for lining things up the way they have. But for it to work out past the early "take the league by storm" phase, Kingsbury would have to be a pretty significant historical outlier. I'm going to stick by my middle of the road projection. I think DJ has a solid but not spectacular RB1 season and I agree with others here that he's in the upper part of that second tier of players in redraft, all of whom have questions. For dynasty, I'll also stick by my boring prediction: he recovers some of his value with a 2019 that is better than 2018 but that doesn't portend a return to elite status, limiting his dynasty value to win-now teams that can benefit from 2-3 years of a solid floor.
  3. Appreciate the insights on the changes in the offensive line between last year and this year @kutta. A related consideration I wonder about is the protection schemes in Kingsbury's offense. I don't ever watch Texas Tech, so I don't have a sense of how Kingsbury handled protections (as far as leaving RBs or TEs in etc.; here's a nice breakdown of the offense translating to the NFL but it doesn't say much about protections). I did some searches and mostly found conjecture that he'll likely combine NFL protection schemes into his offense. Under Kingsbury Texas Tech QBs were only sacked on 3.7% of drop backs (4th lowest in CFB) and knocked down on 9.5% (8th lowest). But is that because of poor defenses in the Big 12, or characteristics of the air raid under Kingsbury? Honestly asking here, if anyone has a better info and/or gets to watch more Big 12 football.
  4. Agree with this. To me Barkley's floor remains really high in ppr even in a potentially bad offense because they'll have to run it through him and he'll catch a lot of passes (for the record I think their WRs are a little underrated, but the OL/QB situation is...dicey). In addition to Cam's health, the Panthers have talked about reducing CMC's workload and that seems pretty likely given they used him a ton last year (his reception usage was record-breaking). But if Cam is good, the upgrade in the OL and further maturity for Moore could make for an efficient offense.
  5. I feel like I've read a lot of lists where Shenault is projected to skyrocket if he has a productive season. I'm an SEC guy so I watch more of Jeudy. Helpful to get insights on players from conferences I don't get to see as much.
  6. Good stuff. Yeah, the page I got those numbers from doesn't include this much context - just raw target numbers.
  7. This is where I am too. Jeudy feels as can't-miss to me as Julio/Green, and as intriguing as Watkins/Evans. The 2014 WR class is an interesting parallel too. Watkins and Evans got all the attention while the FF community was mostly paying less attention to Beckham, who ended up being the best of the group. There's so much WR talent in 2019 that the best guy could very well be someone other than Jeudy. I'd still lay my bets with Jeudy, and I also like him more than the RBs in ppr.
  8. There's also a middle of the road scenario where he's a decent but not great RB1 -- for whatever reasons, adjustments for Kingsbury/the new system, Murray taking some rushing TDs, only moderate improvement in the line, etc. For redraft that means he doesn't kill you for taking him for the upside over some of the other players after the elite first round tier. In dynasty, it means the turns 28 with his last elite season 3 years in the rear view. I agree with @Biabreakable about ageism getting a little out of hand in dynasty, but it's certainly part of the market calculation.
  9. Yeah, I was wondering about this myself. I ran across this, which lists RB targets by team and player. Here's what I have for average RB targets across the past 4 seasons based on their sheets: 2018 - 113 2017 - 116 2016 - 103 2015 - 107 Their total target numbers are a little different than the ones I put in my other post; they're focused on fantasy relevant RBs only, while I included all the RB and FB targets/receptions I could find. Over the past 3 years that Rodgers played a full season GB was actually around the league average for RB targets: 19th overall in 2018; 16th overall in 2016; 13th overall in 2015.
  10. This is what I remember as well. Out of curiosity I did a quick check of RB targets/receptions the last 4 seasons Rodgers played 16 games. When I say quick, I mean back of the napkin so I could have made some calculation errors, but this is at least a rough sketch (FBs are included; they're people too). Listed by targets/receptions: 2018 - 104 / 71 (highest total for a single RB was Williams with 41 / 27) 2016 - 104 / 90 (highest total for a single RB was Montgomery with 56 / 44) 2015 - 92 / 70 (highest total for a single RB was Starks with 53 / 43) 2014 - 90 / 65 (highest total for a single RB was Lacy with 55 / 42) The obvious caveat is this was all under McCarthy and (as mentioned above) LaFleur says they're going to throw to the RBs more this year. Lewis got 59 receptions (off 67 targets) last season with TN. But, the Titans only had 85 RB targets last year, near the bottom of the league
  11. Yeah all of the above plus the foregoing discussion about Rogers never throwing to RBs. He could very well put together a great season but so much has to fall into place. I also wouldn’t be surprised by Dexter Williams cutting in a bit.
  12. Yeah, I agree with this. My sense is that the NFL is mostly selling its teams and "the league/the shield," and that the calculation on individual players is based upon whether they positively or negatively reflect upon the product in more general terms. Stars certainly matter, but you need a lot of them across multiple teams, and when a specific individual threatens the marketability of the whole, this is where the NFL often exercises its disciplinary authority. That's what Goodell sold when he came in as commissioner, and that's his "sheriff" legacy. I think in the NFL a "keep your stars on the field" rationale may apply to QBs, but even then that would be because of the impact of QB on the overall quality of play. A rash of injuries to elite skill players across the league can also bring ratings down (as we may have seen, for ex. in 2016 and 2017). I'm not sure how the investigatory part of this goes down, but from a PR perspective my guess is Goodell thinks about Hill's presence on the field primarily through the lens of whether he casts a shadow over the league as a whole.
  13. Good point. I was thinking specifically in terms of the league I have a rebuild in, where WRs are very valuable. That, along with the possibility that Jeudy is the top skill player taken in the draft, means I think he may go 1.1 in that league. I do anticipate some debates in ppr leagues more generally about Jeudy vs. the top RBs (especially guys like Swift) next spring. A lot to happen between now and then. Should be interesting.
  14. So, a week 2 breakout then. It's cool. I can wait.
  15. My worst team (in rebuild) is probably not quite bad enough to get the 1.1 so I think I'll miss out. I'm guessing one or more of the other top WRs could close the gap between Jeudy and the rest of the WR class (which I don't think most evaluators view as huge anyway). But I'd love have a chance at him.
  16. This is what makes him such a tough evaluation in dynasty for me. I know there have been pretty extensive discussions in the past (here and in FF more generally) about whether age or workload matter more as predictors for RB decline. Everything I've been able to dig up focuses on one or the other variable, but I'm not finding studies that cross tabulate them as variables. If anyone knows of studies that treat both it'd be great to post those here. I'm sure I'm missing something. If you look at age alone, there seems to be evidence that a significant drop off happens at around 28 or 29 years old. A study at pro football reference emphasizes that age is difficult to extract from workload, but guesses that the pattern for RB decline "is due to regular old aging and is not being unduly accelerated by the particular physical requirements of the job." When the focus is on carries there are also compelling numbers. The "rule" or "curse" of 370 carries in a single season as a decline predictor was popular for a while in the past. More recently there seems to be a focus on cumulative/career carries. For example, Number Fire suggests 1,800 carries as the career workload number that precipitates a cliff. For DJ, I agree completely that he's a great buy for a team within a championship window. I think he has a good chance at being the comeback player of the year this season if the offense suits him the way it apparently could. I like Murray a lot. But I feel like his value beyond this season is tied to his role as a receiver, if (when?) age affects his rushing numbers. His rushing numbers have been in decline since 2016, but I think we can suspend judgment on the reasons -- last year in particular was a Jeff-Fisher-like purgatory. Still, I think to recover a 3-year value window in dynasty he has to return to some approximation of his prior rushing form and recover a receiving role similar to what he had with Arians (fwiw I think the combination of targets and WR-type routes he got under Arians were unique to that offense and staff, and that concerns me even if he gets more targets out of the backfield under Kingsbury). I feel like that's a lot that needs to come together, and makes him a sell for a rebuilding team.
  17. I traded him away in one dynasty and held in two others. In the league where I traded him it was for a 2020 first that could be in the top third of the first round, and my team in that league is rebuilding. I like the idea of having a chance at one of the top 2020 rookie WRs more than I like Jones's chances of becoming a RB1. But I also acknowledge that he could emerge; he seems to have the talent. I see the risks as durability and the staff wanting a committee. I have learned from this thread, however, that as long as he's taking regular refined sugar injections into his lung muscles he could become a beast.
  18. I’m really high on Thomas. I watch the Panthers play every week. He looked really good after Olsen went down and his production was impressive given that he was a raw rookie. All the talk on him out of camp last preseason was positive and it manifested on the field. Even before Olsen got hurt again he didn’t look that good. I imagine Thomas’s opportunities may be somewhat limited for the short term (though he’ll get enough targets to flash) so there’s a good buy low window open right now
  19. Yes. I'm only in one 16 team league and many of the owners in that league don't seem to value QBs as highly as they should (don't know if that's typical or not). Murray went in the late first. Depending on system I think he's worthy of consideration within the top 5-6 spots in this class (I'd personally consider him in my top group with Jacobs, Sanders, AJ Brown, and Samuel).
  20. My best team for several years is starting to age out a bit, so I'll list this younger team. Startup draft was last year. Superflex, TE premium, ppr. Lots of flexibility to start several RBs, WRs, and can start 2 QBs. I need to work on QB (got sniped several times in the startup) but I feel decent about the future (primary guys listed here). Prescott, Jackson, Foles Barkley, Chubb, A Jones, Hines Smith-Schuster, K. Allen, Lockett, Fuller, AJ Brown, Diontae Johnson Howard, Hooper, Warring
  21. Had no idea he was still in the league.
  22. They're dynasty assets heading in opposite directions in my opinion, especially in TE premium. As I said I expect DJ to be good this year but his rushing numbers have regressed (could be due to a bad o line but he still has that bad line), 2016 was his last good season, and he's going to be 28 in December. Howard was PFF's second highest graded TE last season (including a receiving grade of 90 -- while we're talking hands), and number 1 on a per-touch basis. I think he finds a way to produce despite the 36 other receivers who TB will target.
  23. What are folks with rebuilding or non-contending teams doing with David Johnson? I just traded him away in a TE premium for OJ Howard (as part of a larger deal) on a team that I need to rebuild. I actually expect him to do well this season, mainly because I expect him to be involved in the passing game again. But he'll be 28 before the regular season ends and it feels like this year is a good chance to get some exit value.
  24. I have Darnold and Murray close too, but the tie-breaker for me is Murray's rushing potential.
  25. I think this is spot on. More upper body injuries could lead to the team wanting him to run less, but every time this comes up Cam/the Panthers coaches say that they won't limit his running. Obviously that could change but I think they recognize it's what makes him special, and it gets him locked into games physically and emotionally (a big run is like anti-moping medicine). I could see a scenario where he gets run into the ground physically. The team's baffling management of his injury last year is an example. So I do worry about how long he has left physically. I agree on the 3 year window and wouldn't count on much more.