ZWK

ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (Updated September 2017)

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Crowder is an underneath slot receiver. That role has been a staple of the NE offense for the past decade, but other than that Jarvis Landry & Randall Cobb are the only receivers that comes to mind who have turned it into much fantasy value. And last year Crowder only had 67/847/7 (and he is unlikely to keep up that TD rate).

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Tyreek looks low to me. I've wondered where people would be ranking him coming off that rookie season if he'd been a high-profile prospect like Tavon Austin or Brandin Cooks. He's not a prototypical WR and that's scary, but he showed he can do special things.

 

I like Kendall Wright as a cheap gamble this year. Didn't set the world on fire in Tennessee and his mediocre FA contract suggests that NFL personnel people don't love him, but he's a former 1000+ yard WR with a first round draft pedigree. Also worth noting that Tennessee has been in the bottom 20-30% of the league in pass attempts over the past three years. Not exactly an ideal situation for a WR. I can see Wright being useful again if the targets are there.

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I've been tinkering a little with my ranking since I posted. Now have Crowell up to RB20, Riddick down to RB32, and Henry ahead of Hyde. Have also moved Marlon Mack, Rob Kelley, Paul Richardson, and Amara Darboh up a little.

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Pre-season tight end rankings. Assuming 0.5 PPR, 12 TE starters, and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/17. Prev from 5/24/17.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Rob Gronkowski    NE    28.3    (1)
2    2    Travis Kelce    KC    27.9    (2)
2    3    Jordan Reed    WAS    27.2    (3)
3    4    Tyler Eifert    CIN    27.0    (4)
3    5    Evan Engram    NYG    23.0    (5)
3    6    O.J. Howard    TB    22.8    (6)
3    7    David Njoku    CLE    21.1    (7)
3    8    Hunter Henry    LAC    22.7    (8)
3    9    Eric Ebron    DET    24.4    (9)
3    10    Zach Ertz    PHI    26.8    (10)
4    11    Gerald Everett    RAM    23.2    (11)
4    12    Greg Olsen    CAR    32.5    (12)
4    13    Jimmy Graham    SEA    30.8    (13)
5    14    Martellus Bennett    GB    30.5    (14)
5    15    Adam Shaheen    CHI    23.9    (15)
5    16    Kyle Rudolph    MIN    27.8    (16)
5    17    Austin Hooper    ATL    22.8    (18)
5    18    Delanie Walker    TEN    33.1    (17)
6    19    Jonnu Smith    TEN    22.0    (19)
6    20    Austin Seferian-Jenkins    NYJ    24.9    (34)
6    21    Coby Fleener    NO    28.9    (25)
6    22    Jack Doyle    IND    27.3    (24)
6    23    C.J. Fiedorowicz    HOU    25.9    (21)
6    24    George Kittle    SF    23.9    (44)
6    25    Cameron Brate    TB    26.2    (22)
6    26    Dwayne Allen    NE    27.5    (23)
6    27    Tyler Higbee    RAM    24.7    (20)
6    28    Julius Thomas    MIA    29.2    (28)
6    29    Jared Cook    OAK    30.4    (31)
7    30    Seth DeValve    CLE    24.6    (42)
7    31    Maxx Williams    BAL    23.4    (33)
7    32    Rico Gathers    DAL    23.6    unr
7    33    Erik Swoope    IND    25.3    (58)
7    34    Ladarius Green        27.3    (27)
7    35    Jason Witten    DAL    35.3    (39)
7    36    Vance McDonald    PIT    27.2    (26)
7    37    Charles Clay    BUF    28.5    (35)
7    38    Zach Miller    CHI    32.9    (29)
7    39    Jesse James    PIT    23.2    (37)
7    40    Gary Barnidge        31.9    (32)
7    41    Antonio Gates    LAC    37.2    (38)
7    42    A.J. Derby    DEN    25.9    (49)
8    43    Ben Watson    BAL    36.7    unr
8    44    Jake Butt    DEN    22.1    (41)
8    45    Clive Walford    OAK    25.9    (36)
8    46    Jeff Heuerman    DEN    24.8    (43)
8    47    Jermaine Gresham    ARI    29.2    (56)
8    48    Eric Saubert    ATL    23.3    (45)
8    49    Michael Roberts    DET    23.3    (46)
8    50    Vernon Davis    WAS    33.6    (47)
8    51    Jordan Leggett    NYJ    22.6    (48)
8    52    Nick Vannett    SEA    24.5    (60)
8    53    Virgil Green    DEN    29.1    (62)
9    54    Marcedes Lewis        33.3    unr
8    55    Dennis Pitta    BAL    32.2    (30)
8    56    Crockett Gilmore    BAL    25.8    (54)
8    57    Bucky Hodges        22.1    (40)
8    58    Lance Kendricks    GB    29.6    (51)
8    59    Richard Rodgers    GB    25.6    (52)

Almost no changes at the top, but lots of movement outside the top 18 with guys like ASJ, Kittle, and Gathers shooting up the rankings based on preseason reports. Swoope too, based on Danny Tuccitto's writing, though Gathers & Swoope then settled back down a few spots after getting put on IR.

And outside of TE premium leagues, by tier 6 or so we're looking at guys who aren't that exciting as prospects compared to the RBs and WRs that pop up.

Edited by ZWK
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The TE rankings look good but one thing jumps out at me - Vance McDonald moves significantly down the rankings now that hes traded to the Steelers? In my mind, he gets a big upgrade with the move, or at least should be no worse than he was previously. Personally, I'd rank him somewhere around the 20 mark with ASJ. The other one I can't understand is how Maxx Williams is still ranked above decent players on these kinds of lists. I understand he's still very young and he was a second round pick, but it was in a terrible TE draft, he wasn't an elite prospect coming out and he has done exactly zero in the NFL. There seems to be this assumption that as soon as he actually plays. I don't see any reason to roster him in anything but the very deepest of dynasty leagues and I would take just about any of the names listed below him (with a handful of exceptions) before rostering him.

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By tier 7 we're looking at guys that are only borderline rosterable in the league size that these are for. If you need a body at TE then it's worth having Witten, Clay, and Z Miller, but if you already have Eifert + Ebron + Kittle then you can probably just leave them on the waiver wire. Gathers and Swoope and nice stashes, especially if you have room on the IR, but if you're active on the waiver wire then it might be better to use that spot to churn.

One nice thing about Maxx Williams is that we're likely to learn a lot about him over the next few weeks. If he is unimpressive on the field, and struggles to see playing time in competition with Watson and Boyle, then he quickly becomes cuttable. If he flashes then he could quickly become the kind of prospect who belongs on tier 6 based on his potential. He didn't do much as a rookie (though it was more than what McDonald or Fiedorowicz did in either of their first 2 years) and he basically missed his entire second season with a knee injury, so it would be premature to write him off. And he was a decent prospect coming into the league (though I agree, not a great one). I think the 31st spot in my rankings reflects that pretty well?

Vance McDonald: he has been pretty far down my rankings for most of his career, in the 30s and 40s, because I didn't particularly like him coming into the league and then he didn't show much as a receiver on the field. He got a big boost in my rankings at the end of last season, partly because he finally produced over 30 yards per game, and even moreso because the Niners signed him to a $6M/yr contract which made it look like they saw him as their guy going forward. Then he gets passed on the depth chart by a rookie, there's talk of cutting him, and they trade him away to the Steelers (with SF eating the signing bonus and PIT owing him just $2M this year $4M next year if they keep him). So much for that, Vance; you are who we thought you were. Generally a trade is a bad sign (especially if not for a premium pick) because it shows that the team who knew the player best was willing to get rid of him; fantasy owners often make the mistake of focusing too much on the player's change in situation (PIT vs. SF) and not enough on what we've learned from the fact that he was traded (see also: Trent Richardson).

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On 9/3/2017 at 8:05 PM, cockroach said:

Nearly half of the top 13 are rookies.  Dig that new car smell, eh? 

Now up to 6 out of the top 14 RBs, with Hunt joining tier 3.

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Finishing off my pre-season(ish) rankings with QBs.

Assuming 12 QB starters and about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/17. Prev from 5/16/17.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    Andrew Luck    IND    28.0    (1)
1    2    Aaron Rodgers    GB    33.7    (2)
2    3    Russell Wilson    SEA    28.8    (3)
2    4    Marcus Mariota    TEN    23.8    (5)
2    5    Derek Carr    OAK    26.4    (4)
2    6    Jameis Winston    TB    23.7    (6)
2    7    Matt Ryan    ATL    32.3    (7)
2    8    Dak Prescott    DAL    24.1    (8)
3    9    Cam Newton    CAR    28.3    (9)
3    10    Mitchell Trubisky    CHI    23.0    (10)
3    11    Drew Brees    NO    38.6    (12)
3    12    Patrick Mahomes    KC    22.0    (11)
3    13    Tom Brady    NE    40.1    (13)
3    14    Carson Wentz    PHI    24.7    (14)
4    15    Kirk Cousins    WAS    29.0    (17)
4    16    Andy Dalton    CIN    29.8    (19)
4    17    Deshaun Watson    HOU    22.0    (15)
4    18    Jared Goff    RAM    22.9    (20)
4    19    Jimmy Garoppolo    NE    25.8    (21)
4    20    Matthew Stafford    DET    29.6    (22)
4    21    Tyrod Taylor    BUF    28.1    (18)
4    22    DeShone Kizer    CLE    21.7    (29)
4    23    Ben Roethlisberger    PIT    35.5    (16)
5    24    Philip Rivers    LAC    35.7    (28)
5    25    Ryan Tannehill    MIA    29.1    (23)
5    26    Sam Bradford    MIN    29.8    (24)
5    27    Teddy Bridgewater    MIN    24.8    (26)
5    28    Carson Palmer    ARI    37.7    (35)
5    29    Eli Manning    NYG    36.7    (30)
6    30    Trevor Siemian    DEN    25.7    (36)
6    31    Blake Bortles    JAX    25.7    (25)
6    32    Alex Smith    KC    35.4    (39)
6    33    Colin Kaepernick        29.8    (31)
6    34    Paxton Lynch    DEN    23.6    (27)
6    35    Jay Cutler    MIA    34.3    unr
6    36    C.J. Beathard    SF    23.8    (38)
6    37    Mike Glennon    CHI    27.7    (32)
6    38    Brian Hoyer    SF    31.9    (42)
6    39    Bryce Petty    NYJ    26.3    (44)
6    40    Tom Savage    HOU    27.4    (47)
6    41    Davis Webb    NYG    22.6    (33)
6    42    Robert Griffin III        27.5    (34)
6    43    A.J. McCarron    CIN    27.0    (40)
6    44    Cody Kessler    CLE    24.3    (37)
6    45    Joe Flacco    BAL    32.6    (46)
6    46    Brock Osweiler    DEN    26.8    (41)
6    47    Landry Jones    PIT    28.4    (45)
6    48    Chad Kelly    DEN    23.4    (48)
6    49    Josh McCown    NYJ    38.2    (49)
6    50    Chad Henne    JAX    32.2    unr
6    51    Geno Smith    NYG    26.9    (50)
6    52    Jacoby Brissett    IND    24.7    (51)
6    53    Christian Hackenberg    NYJ    22.5    (52)
7    54    Matt Moore    MIA    33.1    (53)
7    55    Brett Hundley    GB    24.2    (55)
7    56    Johnny Manziel        24.7    (56)
7    57    Chase Daniel    NO    30.9    (57)
7    58    Ryan Fitzpatrick    TB    34.8    (58)
7    59    Case Keenum    MIN    29.5    (60)

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On 9/5/2017 at 1:17 PM, Dawg Pound 69 said:

Crowder at 47 seems too low. Although with Doctson at 27 and Pryor at 31, can see not being able to justify having 3 Washington WR's in top 35. But I'd have Crowder around 28.

 

On 9/5/2017 at 1:37 PM, ZWK said:

Crowder is an underneath slot receiver. That role has been a staple of the NE offense for the past decade, but other than that Jarvis Landry & Randall Cobb are the only receivers that comes to mind who have turned it into much fantasy value. And last year Crowder only had 67/847/7 (and he is unlikely to keep up that TD rate).

The more that I think about this the weirder the Crowder love is. He was 38th in receiving yards among WRs (42nd in yards per game, min 10 games). He's a slot receiver. His PFF grade was nothing special. His Reception Perception rate of getting open was nothing special (better against zone than against man). His quarterback seems fairly likely to leave town at the end of the season.

I think part of the cause of why so many people have him in their top 35 is that almost 2/3 of his production came in a 7-game stretch in the middle of the season, weeks 6-13. He put up good fantasy totals in all 7 of those games. And 7 games in a row is long enough for him to go from waiver wire fodder to shark pickup to guy who actually makes your lineup to the guy who paid off. He wouldn't be as popular if those 7 games were spread throughout the season (then he could've been one of those guys who you always start in the wrong week), but the way that his games are bunched doesn't actually tell us much about his prospects going forward. And the 5 TDs that he had in the 7 game stretch (and even the 7 TDs that he had for the season) are an unsustainable rate, so even his season-long fantasy totals are somewhat misleading.

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2 hours ago, ZWK said:

3    13    Tom Brady    NE    40.1    (13)

Interested to know what you are expecting on Brady to have him this high. For example, how many seasons of top 5 QB production, how many seasons of QB1 production, etc.

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14 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

Interested to know what you are expecting on Brady to have him this high. For example, how many seasons of top 5 QB production, how many seasons of QB1 production, etc.

Basically, I'm valuing him as having 2 more seasons of top 5 QB production.

That is averaging across the various possibilities (maybe he has 0, maybe he has 5 of them). And his expected number of top 5 seasons is probably a bit under 2, but I'm rounding up due to some value from seasons in the QB6-16 range.

Tom Brady's past 2 seasons have been worth more than Eli Manning's whole career.

Edited by ZWK

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ZWK did you move Hunt up to the top of the rb rankings and top 5 overall? 

 

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Just now, msudaisy26 said:

ZWK did you move Hunt up to the top of the rb rankings and top 5 overall? 

 

I was wondering how long this would take.

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5 minutes ago, msudaisy26 said:

ZWK did you move Hunt up to the top of the rb rankings and top 5 overall?

Heh, I actually answered this in another thread earlier today:

3 hours ago, ZWK said:

I would now put Hunt on the same tier as Mixon, Ajayi, Howard, and Cook, in the RB9-13 range.

If I had to pick an exact slot I guess it's RB11 (and rookie pick 5), although I'd want to look into it a little more before pulling the trigger on a trade where it was close enough to depend on his spot within that tier.

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50 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Heh, I actually answered this in another thread earlier today:

If I had to pick an exact slot I guess it's RB11 (and rookie pick 5), although I'd want to look into it a little more before pulling the trigger on a trade where it was close enough to depend on his spot within that tier.

I was half joking when I said it. I would put him top 15, but for me that is a big move. I had him between 25 and 30. Before

Also I like the tight end rankings. I don't agree with them all, but it is bold. 

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Zeke's TRO is the other big RB news. At this point I think he should get his own half-tier as the #3 dynasty RB.

The big questions for his dynasty value are:

1) What will happen to his career if he gets into another incident (or two or more)?
2) How likely is it that he gets into a another incident (or two or more)?

(Obviously there are other questions to focus on if you're worried about his redraft value, or whether to root for him, or other things.)

For question 2, the main relevant thing that we're learning about is whether or not Zeke actually did the stuff he was accused of. That gives us information about his character, which gives us information about what he's likely to do in the future. I haven't followed the details that closely, but it does seem somewhat more likely now (compared to when the NFL first issued the suspension) that Zeke didn't do the stuff he was accused of.

For question 1, there are a bunch of relevant factors including a) what goes on his permanent record, b) how deeply he's in the commissioner's doghouse, c) how much freedom of action the NFL will have in deciding how to respond to future incidents, and d) how the PR game is likely to play out if there is another incident. Things seem to have shifted in the direction of lighter future punishments on factors c & d, and to a lesser extent on a. On c, the courts seem to be stepping in to favor more restrictions on the NFL and it's looking more likely that the next CBA will restrict the commissioner's freedom of action. On d, the NFL is now getting pushback from some people who think they're being too tough on players (where in previous cases, like Ray Rice and Josh Brown, they mostly only got pushback from people who thought they were being too light on players). Factor a (what goes on his permanent record) is closely related to the question of whether Zeke actually did the stuff he was accused of. And if it's shown pretty conclusively that he's actually innocent then that would help on b as well, although that possibility doesn't seem all that likely.

Bottom line: it now looks like he has less future suspension risk than I thought a few weeks ago, but still significantly more than Bell.

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More impressed with KC's blocking and playcalling than Hunt himself. The long TD catch and the long run were just horrible defending. The system is good and I can see Hunt being a top 10 guy in redraft, so from that standpoint you might want to keep him while he pads his numbers/value. I don't think he's an elite player though. Mixon is far better than him.

Edited by EBF
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I'll be honest: I am buying Trubisky. But even I was surprised to see him at QB10.  

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28 minutes ago, az_prof said:

I'll be honest: I am buying Trubisky. But even I was surprised to see him at QB10.  

And I had him at QB10 back in May, before his preseason games made people start to think that maybe the Bears weren't total buffoons. He was the #2 pick in the draft, and if you want to downgrade him because you think the Bears bungled that trade note that no one would've batted an eye if they had just stayed put and taken him with the #3 pick. Plenty of uncertainty about what he'll turn out to be (as with most rookies), but he has plenty of potential as a passer and adds some value with his legs too.

Look at the other contenders in the QB rankings. There's Stafford, Cousins, and Dalton: mid-career quarterbacks so we have a pretty good sense of who they are, average or slightly above average passers, not a ton of rushing value, part of the big pack of borderline QB1/QB2s in redraft this year (redraft ADPs of QB15, QB10, and QB17). They might occasionally give you a solid fantasy season when things line up for them (like Cousins 2016), but usually you can expect roughly baseline level production. Probably not major difference-makers.

There's Brees and Brady, who have been difference makers but are also 38-40 years old. If you're a contender who wants to pile on points for the next year or two then I wouldn't blame you for preferring one of them (although JWB might?).

Roethlisberger & Rivers are worst of both worlds - production in a similar neighborhood to Stafford/Cousins/Dalton (at least according to most redraft experts), seasons remaining in a similar neighborhood to Brees & Brady (maybe a little bit longer?). Manning & Flacco - I guess some people have them ahead of the rookies too for some reason?

Mahomes, Watson, and (to a lesser extent) Wentz are about as unproven as Trubisky. If you have one of them at QB10 then we may be thinking similarly but evaluating the players differently. Mahomes and Watson were both drafted several picks after Trubisky in the same draft, and I also liked Watson least of the three pre-draft. Wentz was another #2 pick, and has a year as an NFL starter. He was "poised", I guess, but didn't throw the ball all that effectively: QB26 in QBR, QB27 in DVOA. Not a Goff-like horror, but also not notably more effective than, say, Trevor Siemian.

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8 hours ago, ZWK said:

Heh, I actually answered this in another thread earlier today:

If I had to pick an exact slot I guess it's RB11 (and rookie pick 5), although I'd want to look into it a little more before pulling the trigger on a trade where it was close enough to depend on his spot within that tier.

I can't really say Hunt isn't a tier one fantasy prospect after the game he just had.

For rookie rankings I am still not sure about taking Hunt ahead of the other four rookie RB prospects. But that just may be me being intractable is regards to the long term outlook of the players. He certainly is making me question that now.

FWIW I have been down this road with Ray Rice, Westbrook, Bell and some other RB in the past who I thought were tier two talents but turned out to be better than that.

I think EBF brings up a good point aboutt the blocking for Hunt. I was just watching some of these plays again, and Kelce is doing a great job sealing the outside as well as another blocker downfield blocking a LB as well. This was a read option play where Smith keeps it for awhile before tossing it to Hunt who easily gets to the edge because the two closest defenders are sealed off and being blocked downfield. Where was the defenses pursuit? Sucked up by the read option somewhat I suppose but they just were not pursuing to the ball and getting blocked downfield.

I think the Partiots defense may stink. But Kelce has always been a good blocker and what you see on some of these plays is something that is sustainable and we can count on happening to the benefit of Hunt for the rest of the season.

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In week 1:

* the Chiefs offense moved the ball well
* the Chiefs' blocking/scheme seemed good for the running game
* Hunt looked good running the ball (PFF liked him too)
* Hunt got a heavy workload, dominating RB touches
* Hunt was used frequently as a receiver and did a good job at it

Those are all good news for Hunt for this season. I think it's correct for him to shoot up the rest-of-the-season redraft rankings.

And RBs can have a fair amount of value based on short-term production - I have 29-year-old LeSean McCoy at RB17 in my rankings.

These are also all at least somewhat relevant looking forward a year or two, although as we look further into the future talent matters more than current situation. There is definitely more uncertainty there. Some of the things we saw week 1 are good signs about his long-term talent and not just his short-term prospects. I also thought that he looked good in the preseason - Kamara, Hunt, and McCaffrey looked to me like the best of the rookie backs during the preseason games, to my eyes.

That seems like enough for me to rank him ahead of Cook, but I still have him behind Mixon. I do see the three of them as part of the same tier.

Edited by ZWK

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On 9/3/2017 at 7:07 PM, ZWK said:

Compared to DLF/FBG consensus, I seem to be higher on Kamara, Marlon Mack, Terrance West, Tarik Cohen, DeAngelo Henderson, Matt Breida, Javorius Allen, Malcolm Brown, and Devante Mays. I am relatively down on Adrian Peterson, LeGarrette Blount, Charles Sims, DeAndre Washington, and Ryan Mathews.

I finally got around to running these comparisons on the other positions, using my preseason rankings and the DLF & FBG rankings from the same time period. Starting with the players where I disagree the most with DLF/FBG consensus:

Guys that I'm relatively high on
WR39 Josh Gordon
TE5 Evan Engram
WR32 Will Fuller
TE19 Jonnu Smith
QB10 Mitchell Trubisky
TE11 Gerald Everett
QB12 Patrick Mahomes
WR48 Taywan Taylor
WR22 John Ross
WR20 Mike Williams
TE15 Adam Shaheen
QB39 Bryce Petty
WR46 Chris Hogan
WR27 Josh Doctson
TE7 David Njoku
WR3 Amari Cooper
WR74 Dede Westbrook
TE46 Jeff Heuerman
TE6 O.J. Howard
TE34 Ladarius Green
WR18 Corey Coleman
QB42 Robert Griffin III
QB36 C.J. Beathard
TE20 Austin Seferian-Jenkins
WR73 Chad Williams
WR40 Laquon Treadwell
QB27 Teddy Bridgewater

Guys that I'm relatively down on
TE44 Jake Butt
QB45 Joe Flacco
QB9 Cam Newton
QB20 Matthew Stafford
TE13 Jimmy Graham
TE12 Greg Olsen
WR51 Golden Tate
WR68 DeSean Jackson
WR28 Jarvis Landry
WR87 Rishard Matthews
WR103 Robert Woods
QB23 Ben Roethlisberger
WR108 Cole Beasley
QB24 Philip Rivers
WR65 Breshad Perriman
WR23 Doug Baldwin
WR49 Emmanuel Sanders
WR47 Jamison Crowder
TE16 Kyle Rudolph
QB29 Eli Manning
WR5 Antonio Brown
WR127 Eli Rogers
WR34 Donte Moncrief
WR111 Tavon Austin

Relative to consensus, I like rookies, draft pedigree, and injured/suspended players. I dislike low-upside veterans, including slot receivers. And there are some cases where I just have a different take on individual players (like Butt, Newton, and Perriman).

I think I should have Emmanuel Sanders higher (especially with Siemian looking good), and some slight shifts to a few other players, but for the most part these lists still seem about right to me.

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On 9/9/2017 at 1:08 AM, Biabreakable said:

I think EBF brings up a good point aboutt the blocking for Hunt. I was just watching some of these plays again, and Kelce is doing a great job sealing the outside as well as another blocker downfield blocking a LB as well. This was a read option play where Smith keeps it for awhile before tossing it to Hunt who easily gets to the edge because the two closest defenders are sealed off and being blocked downfield. Where was the defenses pursuit? Sucked up by the read option somewhat I suppose but they just were not pursuing to the ball and getting blocked downfield.

I think the Partiots defense may stink. But Kelce has always been a good blocker and what you see on some of these plays is something that is sustainable and we can count on happening to the benefit of Hunt for the rest of the season.

His value rises with each good game. Still not sure he's a long-term star. His big plays have all been more or less straight sprints. I never doubted his size/speed combo, but more so his ability to cut and make people miss. He's shown some of that at times (had one great run in week one near the sideline), but his huge chunk plays over the past two weeks were: a downfield pass where he caught it in stride with nobody in front of him, a sweep around the edge where Kelce crushed the last man (Hunt showed good speed though), and a run up the middle today where there was a semi truck sized hole and only a deep safety to beat with a poor angle. You can't discredit players for making the plays they're supposed to make. Those plays count just as much as any other, but I'd also suggest that most starting RBs in the league would've broken long runs in those situations.

I'm still somewhat anchored to the idea that Hunt is just a "good player -- great situation" type of guy, but that stance will weaken each week if he keeps making big plays. Another factor to consider is that even if he's not actually an elite back, one good FF season by a rookie/young back is usually enough to be valued as an elite back. If this guy does 4.0 YPC and 70 rushing yards per game for the rest of the way, people probably feel good about paying top 15-20 startup value for him in the offseason. You don't have to think he's great to think he can coast to a solid FF season, which is an argument for holding in dynasty. You could take the points now and then cash out in the offseason.

That being said, watching him at Toledo, I thought he took too many hard hits because of the way he ran. As you saw on the shorter TD today, the guy is a bull and doesn't shy away from contact. People praise that mentality, but it's sometimes a symptom of players with limited cutting/avoidance skills. Spencer Ware was actually a lot like this at LSU as well. When you can't make the tackler miss, your next option is to run through him. It looks good on highlight reels, but that type of style can take its toll over the course of a season/career. When I watched Hunt in college, I thought he would be an above average injury risk, but durability is pretty hard to predict.

 

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56 minutes ago, ZWK said:

I finally got around to running these comparisons on the other positions, using my preseason rankings and the DLF & FBG rankings from the same time period. Starting with the players where I disagree the most with DLF/FBG consensus:

Guys that I'm relatively high on
 

Relative to consensus, I like rookies, draft pedigree, and injured/suspended players.

Yea, definitely a lot of "high draft pick" residue on that first group. I keep track of who I end up with in my rookie drafts each year and I have a lot of shares of rookies from that list. Out of 7 possible leagues:

DEVANTE MAYS - 7

JUJU SMITH - 6

PATRICK MAHOMES - 5

AMARA DARBOH - 4

JOE MIXON - 3
CHAD WILLIAMS - 3

GERALD EVERETT - 2
JOHN ROSS - 2
JONNU SMITH - 2

 

Chad Williams is the guy I like the least here, but he would fall so far in my leagues that I'd often end up picking him by default. I may even have him in another league or two if he was on waivers.

 

I like what I'm seeing from Mahomes, Everett, and Smith. This could go down as one of the all-time great TE classes.

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8 hours ago, EBF said:

His value rises with each good game. Still not sure he's a long-term star. His big plays have all been more or less straight sprints. I never doubted his size/speed combo, but more so his ability to cut and make people miss. He's shown some of that at times (had one great run in week one near the sideline), but his huge chunk plays over the past two weeks were: a downfield pass where he caught it in stride with nobody in front of him, a sweep around the edge where Kelce crushed the last man (Hunt showed good speed though), and a run up the middle today where there was a semi truck sized hole and only a deep safety to beat with a poor angle. You can't discredit players for making the plays they're supposed to make. Those plays count just as much as any other, but I'd also suggest that most starting RBs in the league would've broken long runs in those situations.

I'm still somewhat anchored to the idea that Hunt is just a "good player -- great situation" type of guy, but that stance will weaken each week if he keeps making big plays. Another factor to consider is that even if he's not actually an elite back, one good FF season by a rookie/young back is usually enough to be valued as an elite back. If this guy does 4.0 YPC and 70 rushing yards per game for the rest of the way, people probably feel good about paying top 15-20 startup value for him in the offseason. You don't have to think he's great to think he can coast to a solid FF season, which is an argument for holding in dynasty. You could take the points now and then cash out in the offseason.

That being said, watching him at Toledo, I thought he took too many hard hits because of the way he ran. As you saw on the shorter TD today, the guy is a bull and doesn't shy away from contact. People praise that mentality, but it's sometimes a symptom of players with limited cutting/avoidance skills. Spencer Ware was actually a lot like this at LSU as well. When you can't make the tackler miss, your next option is to run through him. It looks good on highlight reels, but that type of style can take its toll over the course of a season/career. When I watched Hunt in college, I thought he would be an above average injury risk, but durability is pretty hard to predict.

 

Well that is an aspect of Hunts game where we see things differently. I consider Hunt to be pretty elusive. Not to say that there aren't other RB who seem more elusive than Hunt, but I do consider that to be one of Hunts several strengths, while you seem to think he is only average in that category, I think he is above average at that.

I still think his balance and vision are the greatest strengths of his game, elusiveness and power are above average, I have been warming up to Hunts power a bit more because of your comments and also some of the runs that I have seen.

While some of this blocking may be good enough that any RB could do well with it, those other RB do not play for the Chiefs, so Hunt is getting the benefit of that.

Ultimately it doesn't really matter what you or I think of Hunts level of talent. If he is producing like a top 12 RB for fantasy he is valuable, and the more good games he has the more this solidifies his position as the primary RB for the Chiefs and what that is worth in fantasy. I don't see it as a one year right place at the right time that happens with a lot of RB who are considered lesser talents, but productive players who get to be starters until the team can find something better.

As long as Hunt plays like he is, I see him as the long term starter for the Chiefs and no reason for Andy to be looking to upgrade him. This might be an area where we disagree.

I have been trying to tell you that the perspective about talent rising to the top and holding on to evaluations long term might not be in your best interest when it comes to the RB position whos careers are often very short and the really high upside performances usually only last for two years. So I think this requires a shorter term perspective on valuing the players at the RB position than you might apply to players at other positions.

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2 weeks into the season, another RB update. Assuming 0.5 ppr, start 2 RB, about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/17. Prev from 9/3/17.

Tr    Rk    Player    Team    Age    Prev
1    1    LeVeon Bell    PIT    25.5    (2)
2    2    David Johnson    ARI    25.7    (1)
2    3    Ezekiel Elliott    DAL    22.1    (3)
3    4    Leonard Fournette    JAX    22.6    (5)
3    5    Todd Gurley    RAM    23.1    (4)
3    6    Devonta Freeman    ATL    25.5    (7)
3    7    Christian McCaffrey    CAR    21.2    (6)
3    8    Melvin Gordon    LAC    24.4    (8)
4    9    Joe Mixon    CIN    21.1    (9)
4    10    Jay Ajayi    MIA    24.2    (10)
4    11    Kareem Hunt    KC    22.1    (18)
4    12    Dalvin Cook    MIN    22.1    (12)
5    13    Derrick Henry    TEN    23.1    (15)
5    14    Carlos Hyde    SF    25.9    (14)
5    15    Jordan Howard    CHI    22.8    (11)
5    16    Alvin Kamara    NO    22.1    (13)
5    17    LeSean McCoy    BUF    29.1    (16)
5    18    Ameer Abdullah    DET    24.2    (17)
6    19    C.J. Anderson    DEN    26.6    (23)
6    20    Lamar Miller    HOU    26.4    (19)
6    21    Isaiah Crowell    CLE    24.6    (22)
6    22    Ty Montgomery    GB    24.6    (26)
6    23    Tevin Coleman    ATL    24.4    (20)
6    24    Mike Gillislee    NE    26.8    (29)
6    25    Doug Martin    TB    28.6    (25)
7    26    DeMarco Murray    TEN    29.5    (21)
7    27    Mark Ingram    NO    27.7    (24)
7    28    C.J. Prosise    SEA    23.3    (27)
7    29    Rob Kelley    WAS    24.9    (40)
7    30    Marlon Mack    IND    21.7    (31)
7    31    D'Onta Foreman    HOU    21.4    (37)
7    32    Theo Riddick    DET    26.3    (28)
7    33    Tarik Cohen    CHI    22.1    (57)
7    34    Chris Carson    SEA    23.0    (59)
7    35    James White    NE    25.6    (44)
7    36    Marshawn Lynch    OAK    31.4    (45)
7    37    Paul Perkins    NYG    22.8    (33)
7    38    Duke Johnson    CLE    23.9    (34)
7    39    Thomas Rawls    SEA    24.1    (39)
7    40    Spencer Ware    KC    25.8    (30)
7    41    Giovani Bernard    CIN    25.8    (35)
7    42    Jeremy Hill    CIN    24.9    (36)
7    43    Samaje Perine    WAS    22.0    (38)
7    44    Jamaal Charles    DEN    30.7    (47)
7    45    Bilal Powell    NYJ    28.8    (32)
7    46    Terrance West    BAL    26.6    (43)
8    47    Danny Woodhead    BAL    32.7    (46)
8    48    Jamaal Williams    GB    22.4    (48)
8    49    James Conner    PIT    22.3    (51)
8    50    Eddie Lacy    SEA    27.2    (41)
8    51    Rex Burkhead    NE    27.2    (42)
8    52    Chris Thompson    WAS    26.9    (77)
8    53    Frank Gore    IND    34.3    (56)
8    54    Dion Lewis    NE    26.9    (49)
8    55    Latavius Murray    MIN    26.5    (50)
8    56    Javorius Allen    BAL    26.0    (68)
8    57    Wayne Gallman    NYG    22.9    (52)
8    58    Kenneth Dixon    BAL    23.6    (53)
8    59    Adrian Peterson    NO    32.4    (54)
8    60    T.J. Yeldon    JAX    23.9    (55)
8    61    DeAngelo Henderson    DEN    24.8    (58)
8    62    Jonathan Stewart    CAR    30.4    (60)
8    63    Matt Breida    SF    22.5    (62)
8    64    Jerick McKinnon    MIN    25.3    (65)
8    65    Kenyan Drake    MIA    23.6    (63)
8    66    Matt Forte    NYJ    31.7    (64)
8    67    Aaron Jones    GB    22.7    (66)
8    68    Wendell Smallwood    PHI    23.6    (61)
8    69    Devontae Booker    DEN    25.3    (67)
8    70    Jalen Richard    OAK    23.9    (76)
8    71    Shane Vereen    NYG    28.5    (71)
9    72    Elijah McGuire    NYJ    23.3    (73)
9    73    Charles Sims    TB    27.0    (74)
9    74    DeAndre Washington    OAK    24.5    (75)
9    75    Darren Sproles    PHI    34.2    (78)
9    76    Jacquizz Rodgers    TB    27.6    (79)
9    77    Chris Johnson    ARI    31.9    unr
9    78    LeGarrette Blount    PHI    30.7    (70)
9    79    Charcandrick West    KC    26.3    (80)
9    80    Alfred Morris    DAL    28.7    (86)
9    81    Malcolm Brown    RAM    24.3    (81)
9    82    Darren McFadden    DAL    30.0    (69)
9    83    Brian Hill    ATL    21.8    (82)
9    84    Devante Mays    GB    23.3    (85)
9    85    Austin Ekeler    LAC    22.3    unr
9    86    Kerwynn Williams    ARI    26.2    (90)
9    87    Chris Ivory    JAX    29.4    (88)
9    88    Dwayne Washington    DET    23.4    (102)
9    89    Alex Collins    BAL    23.0    unr
9    90    Jonathan Williams        23.6    (89)
9    91    Robert Turbin    IND    27.7    (87)
9    92    Donnel Pumphrey    PHI    22.7    (83)
9    93    Joe Williams    SF    24.0    (91)
9    94    Zach Zenner    DET    26.0    (84)
9    95    Andre Ellington    ARI    28.6    (93)
10    96    Benny Cunningham    CHI    27.2    (94)
10    97    Tyler Ervin    HOU    23.9    (95)
10    98    T.J. Logan    ARI    23.0    (98)
10    99    Matt Jones        24.5    (72)
10    100    Ryan Mathews        29.9    (92)
10    101    DeAngelo Williams        34.4    (96)
10    102    Rashad Jennings        32.4    (97)
10    103    Karlos Williams        24.3    (99)
10    104    Christine Michael        26.8    (100)
10    105    Elijah Hood        21.4    (101)
10    106    Alfred Blue    HOU    26.3    (103)
10    107    Lance Dunbar    RAM    27.6    (104)

There's a new tier near the top; if I knew that David Johnson would be back for the fantasy playoffs then he'd be on Bell's tier (and if I knew that Zeke wasn't going to have any new off-the-field incidents then he'd be there too).

Kareem Hunt's impressive start vaults him up to the Mixon/Ajayi/Cook tier. Ranking those 4 guys is a tough call. Howard falls off that tier with 2 rough games; you might blame his situation but 1) his situation is likely to stay bad this year with competition from Cohen & that shaky oline/offense and 2) this shows how situation-dependent he is, especially with his lack of passing game role. He also moves behind Henry & Hyde, who are looking good so far. Kamara & Abdullah don't have big fantasy totals but I am pretty happy with their workloads.

By tier 6, players' redraft value starts to matter a lot. Moving up: Anderson, Montgomery, Kelley, Lynch. Moving down: Ingram, Murray, Perkins, Powell.

The NE backfield is clarifying. The BAL backfield is muddying. Carson & Cohen are emerging but it's unclear if they'll be more than borderline fantasy starters or how long they'll stick around.

In the bottom half of the rankings I probably haven't changed things as much as I should. Austin Ekeler joins the rankings and Chris Johnson & Alex Collins return.

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Looks good. A few thoughts:

- Gordon seems high. He looks pretty brutal to me and has been a 3.X YPC rusher or worse every season so far. At what point do the Chargers decide to move on from him? Maybe he gets it together or produces elsewhere, but he looks pretty ordinary to me. On that note, while I don't think Branden Oliver has much value, I'd at least consider him as a late dart throw in case he gets some kind of real opportunity there or elsewhere. It's mostly a wasteland after RB50 and he's at least on par with some of the guys in the back end of the rankings.

- Riddick seems high. He's never going to be more than what he is, and what he is isn't very good. Cohen is like a better version of the same thing.

- I'm a little bit higher on Perine, who I think can be a Rudi Johnson type. Taking him over the likes of Coleman, Gillislee, Mack, Prosise, and Carson all day. Don't see those guys ever having a 1,000+ yard season in the NFL.

- Also taking Doug Martin over Crowell, Coleman, Gillislee, and maybe Montgomery. Think he's a cut above those guys from a talent standpoint, and you could get 1-3 good seasons from him still depending on how it works out.

- Freeman at 6 feels high as well.

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The Falcons offense continues to look really good and they have Freeman signed long-term. He scores touchdowns, he catches passes, he gets a bunch of carries. Coming off back-to-back seasons as a top 8 fantasy RB and this year looks like more of the same. What do you expect to change?

Gordon: the Chargers seem pretty satisfied with him, given that they decided not to add anyone besides Ekeler. The draft pedigree, plus the production (including in the red zone and the receiving game), plus the team showing that level of trust in him makes for a pretty promising combination. Low YPC is a bit of a concern but the OL has had troubles (as JWB has reminded us when we discuss quarterbacks) and this year the majority of his carries were against Denver. Compared to Freeman there are more questions about his talent, and more uncertainty / potential instability in his situation (midway through his rookie contract, with a QB who is turning 36), but it still seems like he should be up there.

Perine: he doesn't offer much in the passing game, and he didn't look particularly good this weekend when Kelley's injury got him carries.

Martin: He is 4 years older than most of those guys (just 2 years older than Gillislee), and was going behind most of them in redraft. I do like him as a high-upside option for this season, but the clock is ticking and if he puts together a string of good seasons now that will be a career first.

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I think Perine has shown flashes here and there, including the game against LA. All of his week 2 touches are here and I think he looks okay. It's early to say much about his performance, but I thought he was solid coming out of Oklahoma and he at least looks capable in the NFL. I can definitely see him having some useful seasons. He'd probably be around the top 25-30 dynasty RBs for me. I see him as a Shonn Greene/Rudi Johnson type of back. You don't break the bank for a player like that, but in deep 2 RB leagues you can get some value out of them.

As for Martin, he has two more good seasons than I think guys like Gillislee, Coleman, and Crowell will ever have in their careers. Year-to-year, he has been completely unreliable, but in the seasons when he has been good, he has been a top 5 FF RB. If you get 1-2 seasons of the "good" Doug, it's probably worth that RB25 spot and then some. I targeted him in my redraft this year because I think he's easily the best back in TB, and can give teams some nice ppg numbers down the stretch.

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