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RB Najee Harris, PIT


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As far as Harris and the age question, count me with FreeBaGeL and among those who have concerns about a 23 year-old running back who hasn't hit the league yet and dominated guys two-four years younger than himself. There's a huge difference there, and while he may be a first-rounder and plug and play RB1, all other things constant, it'd sure be nice if he were twenty-one like a Taylor, Swift, or Akers was. (One or two might have been a new twenty-two by the draft. Play with me on that.) But yeah, concern would be there at the 1.01.

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He's one year and a little less than two months older than Jonathan Taylor, a little more than once year older than CEH, and nine months older than JK Dobbins, ten months older than Etienne. It's just not really an issue.

Akers and Williams are the babies of the last two years. 

Edited by Andy Dufresne
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16 minutes ago, rockaction said:

As far as Harris and the age question, count me with FreeBaGeL and among those who have concerns about a 23 year-old running back who hasn't hit the league yet and dominated guys two-four years younger than himself. There's a huge difference there, and while he may be a first-rounder and plug and play RB1, all other things constant, it'd sure be nice if he were twenty-one like a Taylor, Swift, or Akers was. (One or two might have been a new twenty-two by the draft. Play with me on that.) But yeah, concern would be there at the 1.01.

Credit Harris for returning because he thought he could improve his game. He was probably the 5th back that would have been picked last year. He got better, may be the 1st back picked this year, and will get more in his first contract. But it's important to remember he did it at an older age against 'amateur' competition. 

Edited by MAC_32
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No way I’m taking Pitts over Harris. Crazy talk.  Is this age thing coming out of college something new?  I’m just now back playing dynasty after 10 years, and this wasn’t an issue back then. 

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1 minute ago, Shawnky said:

No way I’m taking Pitts over Harris. Crazy talk.  Is this age thing coming out of college something new?  I’m just now back playing dynasty after 10 years, and this wasn’t an issue back then. 

Yes

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29 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

Credit Harris for returning because he thought he could improve his game. He was probably the 5th back that would have been picked last year. He got better, may be the 1st back picked this year, and will get more in his first contract. But it's important to remember he did it at an older age against 'amateur' competition. 

I agree with all of this. He certainly got better and may indeed be the first back picked in the first round, which is saying something, including for his contract. He also did it against much younger players.

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5 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I agree with all of this. He certainly got better and may indeed be the first back picked in the first round, which is saying something, including for his contract. He also did it against much younger players.

Are all players in the nfl the same age?

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30 minutes ago, Shawnky said:

No way I’m taking Pitts over Harris. Crazy talk.  Is this age thing coming out of college something new?  I’m just now back playing dynasty after 10 years, and this wasn’t an issue back then. 

About the time you were leaving dynasty seems to be about the time I was coming. So I've been here, but I for one don't put any stock in breakout age.

I do put stock in just how old you are however. 23 for me is a knock on Najee, but that's in terms of how I perceive that to impact his value and possibly performance a few years down the road.

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6 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I wouldn't count 790 yards,4 TDs, 6.5 ypc as a sophomore at Alabama playing in a backfield with Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris as doing nothing. 

I didn't say nothing, I said he didn't do much. He also only had 4 receptions for 7 yards that year. Suffice to say, he didn't have a big year until he was a 21 year old junior, and then a huge year as a 22 year old senior. I think my statement was fair.

Edited by humpback
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1 hour ago, Shawnky said:

No way I’m taking Pitts over Harris. Crazy talk.  Is this age thing coming out of college something new?  I’m just now back playing dynasty after 10 years, and this wasn’t an issue back then. 

RB and WR aren't the same position, but with WR it's very clear that you want a guy who is a rock star very early on.  Someone enters draft at 22, OK, fine. But if they weren't on the radar till 21, that's a problem.  The data is fairly overwhelming on this.  

10 or 20 years ago we said, oh, he's a 'one year wonder', 'late bloomer', and so on.  Those players were flagged then as well.  Someone just gave it a name, and looked up the data.

RB is not the same.  But it's more than fair to look at how many backs have completed 2 NFL seasons at the same age as Najee.  

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1 hour ago, rockaction said:

I'm talking about everything we've been hearing since the trade. Lance is barely mentioned to SF.

Lance was all I heard for the first few days after the trade. Everything I saw and heard said it would be Lance. Then the media storm went 20 different ways and I tuned out because I figure I'll know on draft day. And I try to tune the predraft forecasting out. 

But I am leaning Lance myself if I had to guess. It was the first name that gained early traction from what I saw. First guess is best?  Truly I have no idea but Lance got talked about a *lot* that first week or so.

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Age 26 represents a cliff for NFL players to fall off of. They keep running the numbers and it seems like a "hit," or that which finishes in the top 12 or 24 of running backs, happens most often during the years of 21-26, by far. It's not even close. So, no, it's not overthinking it all. It's more data points to consider.

https://www.fantasypros.com/2020/07/at-what-age-does-a-running-back-decline-fantasy-football-2020/

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9 hours ago, rockaction said:

Age 26 represents a cliff for NFL players to fall off of. They keep running the numbers and it seems like a "hit," or that which finishes in the top 12 or 24 of running backs, happens most often during the years of 21-26, by far. It's not even close. So, no, it's not overthinking it all. It's more data points to consider.

https://www.fantasypros.com/2020/07/at-what-age-does-a-running-back-decline-fantasy-football-2020/

Quote

What this does show that running backs can still provide RB1 value beyond the age of 28, even if it is a smaller sample size. However, even if the percentages look solid, you must remember that only the best running backs get to play into that territory, so knowing just 11.8 percent of 29-year-old running backs have hit RB1 numbers, it’s not great.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Judging by the sample size, you can see that running backs are having shorter and shorter careers (see sample size), with many falling off after that age-28 season.

The magic number is more 28 than 26.

But this does lend credence to what I said - that you get elite production for about four years. And that's regardless of when the elite back enters the league. 

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Just now, Andy Dufresne said:

The magic number is more 28 than 26.

But this does lend credence to what I said - that you get elite production for about four years. And that's regardless of when the elite back enters the league. 

For that article it was 28. I've seen at least two data studies in the past year that have studied the past ten years, and I can assure you it was 26 for both. One was in DLF last year and I can't find it. It was the best one. The average life of the running back is getting shorter, not longer.

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7 minutes ago, rockaction said:

For that article it was 28. I've seen at least two data studies in the past year that have studied the past ten years, and I can assure you it was 26 for both. One was in DLF last year and I can't find it. It was the best one. The average life of the running back is getting shorter, not longer.

But that's still not taking into account the age they're entering the league and college usage. 

We're saying mostly the same thing but you're hung up on Harris being barely a year older than most of the youngest backs in the league.

If it's, 26 it's because they entered the league at 21/22 years old. If they're 20/21 I'd bail at 25. Harris, it'll be when he turns 27, which will be in the March just after his fourth year. If you'd rather have a guy from age 22-26 than 23-27 then I think you're really splitting hairs.

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Just now, Andy Dufresne said:

But that's still not taking into account the age they're entering the league and college usage. 

We're saying mostly the same thing but you're hung up on Harris being barely a year older than most of the youngest backs in the league.

If it's, 26 it's because they entered the league at 21/22 years old. If they're 20/21 I'd bail at 25. Harris, it'll be when he turns 27, which will be in the March just after his fourth year. If you'd rather have a guy from age 22-26 than 23-27 then I think you're really splitting hairs.

I don't think age is the be-all end-all, but rather, a rule of thumb and a general guide and shorthand from what I'm seeing. The reason I use age over pro contact years is that I think collegiate contact years have to play a role in wearing down eventually. One nitpick in your breakdown: Harris will be 23 and 7/12s when he makes his debut. He's older than the other backs last year by almost a full two years. But age is only a guidepost I'm using, and not a determinative thing.

If it came down to it, I'd likely take Chase at number one because he's the most likely to be a top-six talent at his position for a few years. More so than Harris, in my estimation. Don't forget, I've got Harris as two or three in the class without much internal debate, so age is not disqualifying. I think in putting Etienne ahead of Harris, I was influenced by the guy at DLF that gave Etienne an A+ for a grade, saying he was one of the best in college he's ever seen. I was surprised by that and I think it caused me to bump him up to two in my book after watching more highlights of him. But I see his limitations, too. Harris's limitation is long speed. Etienne's seems to maybe struggle between the tackles. I think I know which I'd rather have as the workhorse back. I may have gotten ahead of myself yesterday with respect to that.

So happy drafting!

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18 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I don't think age is the be-all end-all, but rather, a rule of thumb and a general guide and shorthand from what I'm seeing. The reason I use age over pro contact years is that I think collegiate contact years have to play a role in wearing down eventually. One nitpick in your breakdown: Harris will be 23 and 7/12s when he makes his debut. He's older than the other backs last year by almost a full two years. But age is only a guidepost I'm using, and not a determinative thing.

If it came down to it, I'd likely take Chase at number one because he's the most likely to be a top-six talent at his position for a few years. More so than Harris, in my estimation. Don't forget, I've got Harris as two or three in the class without much internal debate, so age is not disqualifying. I think in putting Etienne ahead of Harris, I was influenced by the guy at DLF that gave Etienne an A+ for a grade, saying he was one of the best in college he's ever seen. I was surprised by that and I think it caused me to bump him up to two in my book after watching more highlights of him. But I see his limitations, too. Harris's limitation is long speed. Etienne's seems to maybe struggle between the tackles. I think I know which I'd rather have as the workhorse back. I may have gotten ahead of myself yesterday with respect to that.

So happy drafting!

That's not true and I outlined that before. The other guys are aging at the same rate he is. They'll be older when the next season starts too.

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27 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I don't think age is the be-all end-all, but rather, a rule of thumb and a general guide and shorthand from what I'm seeing. But age is only a guidepost I'm using, and not a determinative thing.

(snip)

This is really all it is. It's a piece of data. It has some correlation with likely future success. Key word, likely. There is absolutely nothing definitive about any of it. Assessment of the whole picture is what matters and this is just one (small?) component of it. 

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6 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

That's not true and I outlined that before. The other guys are aging at the same rate he is. They'll be older when the next season starts too.

Yes, that's correct. The other guys are merely a year younger (Akers is a year and a half younger). It doesn't mean I'd rather have Taylor over Harris because of a year and that he'd hit from 22-26 vs. 23-27. I'd just rather have Taylor. So your point is taken. And in looking at it, Harris won't be that old compared to this year's class. Etienne is not even a year younger, and there are others that are up there in their twenty-twos, so...

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18 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Yes, that's correct. The other guys are merely a year younger (Akers is a year and a half younger). It doesn't mean I'd rather have Taylor over Harris because of a year and that he'd hit from 22-26 vs. 23-27. I'd just rather have Taylor. So your point is taken. And in looking at it, Harris won't be that old compared to this year's class. Etienne is not even a year younger, and there are others that are up there in their twenty-twos, so...

The piece of information I haven't gotten past - Etienne pretty much did aged 19 what Harris did at 21. Then Etienne pretty much did aged 20 what Harris did at 22. Is what Etienne did aged 21 enough for me to flip flop them? Pre-draft, no. There's enough plausible narratives to attach myself to. I'm keeping an open mind on the other side, but Harris will need a meaningfully better situation a/o draft capital. 

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26 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

This is really all it is. It's a piece of data. It has some correlation with likely future success. Key word, likely. There is absolutely nothing definitive about any of it. Assessment of the whole picture is what matters and this is just one (small?) component of it. 

Yeah, this. I'd use it as another data point, yet it's the whole picture that needs assessing.

Edited by rockaction
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Quote

Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline hears that the Arizona Cardinals are not targeting Alabama RB Najee Harris with the No. 16 pick.

The Cardinals have already brought in James Conner to bulk up the running backs room this offseason. Don't expect Harris to be joining the squad, though, at least not if Pauline's info is on the money. Not particularly surprising on this one, given the changing views on running back values in recent years. Rather, Pauline passes along that the Cardinals are keen on a pair of cornerbacks (Patrick Surtain, Jaycee Horn) and a wide receiver (Jaylen Waddle) at the No. 16 pick. Odds are quite good that none of those options will be available. The backup option, here? Tulsa LB Zaven Collins. 

SOURCE: Pro Football Network

Apr 21, 2021, 1:25 PM ET

 

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Do most dynasty players (Non-SF) still view Harris as the 1.01?  I don't think that is a given any longer.  Frankly, I see Chase as the true 1.01 and some could even make a case for Pitts in TE premium leagues.  I believe the RBs are being valued too highly in dynasty leagues, because I see more warts with them than I do some other players.

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24 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Do most dynasty players (Non-SF) still view Harris as the 1.01?  I don't think that is a given any longer.  Frankly, I see Chase as the true 1.01 and some could even make a case for Pitts in TE premium leagues.  I believe the RBs are being valued too highly in dynasty leagues, because I see more warts with them than I do some other players.

Not even my #1 back

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42 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Do most dynasty players (Non-SF) still view Harris as the 1.01?  I don't think that is a given any longer.  Frankly, I see Chase as the true 1.01 and some could even make a case for Pitts in TE premium leagues.  I believe the RBs are being valued too highly in dynasty leagues, because I see more warts with them than I do some other players.

I agree that the RB's have more warts however if you get one that performs his value is much higher than WR.  There are a ton of Great/good/ fantasy WR's right now.  Almost too many that it really lowers their value for trade.  There are just a lot of playable WR's.

 

RB's on the other hand don't seem to be the same.  There are a handful of elite that give a big advantage and then a big drop off with a bunch of middling guys that are similar.  If you can hit on one of the elite guys at RB that gives you an advantage and why taking a risk if you can get past the warts is worth it.  The issue is can you can past the warts?

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59 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

Do most dynasty players (Non-SF) still view Harris as the 1.01?  I don't think that is a given any longer.  Frankly, I see Chase as the true 1.01 and some could even make a case for Pitts in TE premium leagues.  I believe the RBs are being valued too highly in dynasty leagues, because I see more warts with them than I do some other players.

Almost without exception, RBs should go ahead of WR at the top of rookie drafts due to positional scarcity.

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20 minutes ago, Gally said:

I agree that the RB's have more warts however if you get one that performs his value is much higher than WR.  There are a ton of Great/good/ fantasy WR's right now.  Almost too many that it really lowers their value for trade.  There are just a lot of playable WR's.

 

RB's on the other hand don't seem to be the same.  There are a handful of elite that give a big advantage and then a big drop off with a bunch of middling guys that are similar.  If you can hit on one of the elite guys at RB that gives you an advantage and why taking a risk if you can get past the warts is worth it.  The issue is can you can past the warts?

The problem with this is that if it's a RB with warts, couple that with a short shelf life for RBs, and you pass on an elite WR for the next 10 years, is that something you should consider?  Yes, there are a lot of good WRs and they are harder to trade, and a short supply of elite RBs, but if you think one or more of the WRs are truly elite I don't see passing on them for a RB with warts and short shelf life.  Unless you see the RB as elite.  I mean Jonathan Taylor elite, or at the very worse Cam Akers.

Edited by JohnnyU
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3 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

The problem with this is that if it's a RB with warts, couple that with a short shelf life for RBs, and you pass on an elite WR for the next 10 years, is that something you should consider?  Yes, there are a lot of good WRs and they are harder to trade, and a short supply of elite RBs, but if you think one or more of the WRs are truly elite I don't see passing on them for a RB with warts and short shelf life.  Unless you see the RB as elite.  I mean Jonathan Taylor elite, or at the very worse Cam Akers.

Well, that boils down to "you" being right in your evaluation.  Bottom line is you need to draft a guy that is going to perform.  Most of these guys are unlikely to "hit" so it's all about doing your due diligence and trusting your findings.  Doesn't matter if its RB/WR/QB/TE.  Just get it right.

 

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2 minutes ago, Gally said:

Well, that boils down to "you" being right in your evaluation.  Bottom line is you need to draft a guy that is going to perform.  Most of these guys are unlikely to "hit" so it's all about doing your due diligence and trusting your findings.  Doesn't matter if its RB/WR/QB/TE.  Just get it right.

 

or a better phrase might be, lucky to "hit".  If NFL GMs get it wrong all the time then I expect us to as well.  The big difference in our evaluations is that we're looking at it though a fantasy lens and that is a lot different than the NFL.  We care about opportunity, the NFL doesn't as much.  We care about the strength of the OL, the NFL doesn't draft RBs with that in mind.  We care about the offensive scheme of a team when we select a player, the NFL does too, but not in the same sense as we do.   We care whether a team has a good QB when we draft WRs.  I don't think the NFL cares one bit.

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26 minutes ago, JohnnyU said:

The problem with this is that if it's a RB with warts, couple that with a short shelf life for RBs, and you pass on an elite WR for the next 10 years, is that something you should consider?  Yes, there are a lot of good WRs and they are harder to trade, and a short supply of elite RBs, but if you think one or more of the WRs are truly elite I don't see passing on them for a RB with warts and short shelf life.  Unless you see the RB as elite.  I mean Jonathan Taylor elite, or at the very worse Cam Akers.

The "short shelf life" is a bit overblown though. Sure it's nice to say you get 10-15 years from a WR and (hopefully) 6-7 years from a RB - but 6 or 7 years is a pretty long time, and it's not like the rest of your roster is static over that time. Also let's be honest, how long do you actually keep most players on your roster anyway? I get that plays into trade value, but getting 4 elite RB years is pretty rare and valuable in fantasy football - that has value in it's own right.

Edited by Dr. Octopus
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3 minutes ago, Dr. Octopus said:

The "short shelf life" is a bit overblown though. Sure it's nice to say you get 10- years from a WR and (hopefully) 6-7 years from a RB - but 6 or 7 years is a pretty long time, and it's not like the rest of your roster is static over that time. Also let's be honest, how long do you actually keep most players on your roster anyway? I get that plays into trade value, but getting 4 elite RB years is pretty rare and valuable in fantasy football - that has value in it's own right.

I really only look at 2 yr increments for dynasty.  Too many things happen that are unforseeable (injuries, coaching changes, free agency, off the field stuff, etc).  Putting too much stock in something that may or not be true 4 or 5 years from now will only hurt you.  I think too many dynasty owners care too much about the future.  I have had quite a bit of success looking at in in 2 yr increments and not being afraid to get "old guys" that are still useful for shiny new toys that may have value 3 years from now.  Guys that look to far into the future seem to always be playing for "next year" and never win this year.  

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6 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

The "short shelf life" is a bit overblown though. Sure it's nice to say you get 10-15 years from a WR and (hopefully) 6-7 years from a RB - but 6 or 7 years is a pretty long time, and it's not like the rest of your roster is static over that time. Also let's be honest, how long do you actually keep most players on your roster anyway? I get that plays into trade value, but getting 4 elite RB years is pretty rare and valuable in fantasy football - that has value in it's own right.

Agree, how many RBs ever really have a meaningful fantasy role after their 1st contract? If you get 4 years of RB1 play from a top 5 dynasty pick, you are have done well and the player has drastically increased your chances of winning during all of those years. 

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BackCAST 2021

Excerpt:

Quote

Najee Harris, Alabama Crimson Tide
BackCAST Score: +72.2%
RecIndex: -0.02
Similar Historical Prospects: Marshawn Lynch, LaMont Jordan

Najee Harris may be hard to project because Alabama's unusually talented roster could undermine some of BacKCAST's fundamental assumptions. Specifically, AOEPS assumes that most college running backs, even those that are potential draftees, will not ultimately be viable NFL running backs. Accordingly, if a team is constantly splitting carries with another running back on his team, it is typically a red flag. Most college coaches know their players well and will funnel most of the team's carries to a running back who is talented enough to be an NFL star.

Alabama, however, is the rare case where that assumption may not be true. Harris, for example, had to compete with future first-round pick Josh Jacobs and future third-round pick Damien Harris early in his career for carries. Accordingly, Harris' AOEPS of +2.1% may undersell his true ability.

Further obfuscating Harris' projection is the fact that Harris did not run the 40-yard dash in pre-draft workouts due to injury. Harris does, however, have good size at 230 pounds. A first-round level prospect typically has a 40-yard dash in the low 4.5s, which is where BackCAST has Harris.

That said, despite all of the questions surrounding Harris' projection, it still comes in as a solid 72.2%, which is firmly average for a first-round pick. Accordingly, scouts who like Harris' tape do not necessarily need to shy away from selecting him fairly high.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Agree, how many RBs ever really have a meaningful fantasy role after their 1st contract? If you get 4 years of RB1 play from a top 5 dynasty pick, you are have done well and the player has drastically increased your chances of winning during all of those years. 

Mostly lurk around here, but this is where I come down on RB age.  I think you essentially have a window of the rookie contract for your RB.  If they are elite, you get a second contract as the "main guy" in a backfield.  I haven't pulled the data as I'm lazy, but I suspect this is largely the factor in the difference between the expected cliffs at age 26 or 28.  Averages are great, until you're including both elite 2-contract starters and good 1-contract starters before heading off to cheap RBBC land where the contract doesn't match what you'd expect from the prior production.  But as I said, just a hunch.

My first league to draft includes a devy spot, so Harris isn't even available, but I think he looks like a fine player and would expect him to be in the mix to start for his rookie contract.  I haven't seen enough to think he'd be a multi-contract starter. Just my $0.02

 

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3 hours ago, inyoutees said:

Mostly lurk around here, but this is where I come down on RB age.  I think you essentially have a window of the rookie contract for your RB.  If they are elite, you get a second contract as the "main guy" in a backfield.  I haven't pulled the data as I'm lazy, but I suspect this is largely the factor in the difference between the expected cliffs at age 26 or 28.  Averages are great, until you're including both elite 2-contract starters and good 1-contract starters before heading off to cheap RBBC land where the contract doesn't match what you'd expect from the prior production.  But as I said, just a hunch.

My first league to draft includes a devy spot, so Harris isn't even available, but I think he looks like a fine player and would expect him to be in the mix to start for his rookie contract.  I haven't seen enough to think he'd be a multi-contract starter. Just my $0.02

 

It does seem a lot of good RBs aren't that great in their 2nd contract and teams are starting to look for a rookie replacement that is cheaper.  it is what it is, so coming into league at a younger age is very important in dynasty IMO.  Like you said, that window is short enough as it is.  Good post.

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18 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Agree, how many RBs ever really have a meaningful fantasy role after their 1st contract? If you get 4 years of RB1 play from a top 5 dynasty pick, you are have done well and the player has drastically increased your chances of winning during all of those years. 

I think 2 main points here.

1) Just because you only expect them to help you for those first 4 years doesn't mean you necessarily want to discard them into the trash after 4 years.  Alvin Kamara has given his 4 years but you can still get out of Kamara for 2-3 1st round picks.  If Kamara were 2 years older you wouldn't come close to getting that kind of return.

And again, that's assuming you hold the entire 4 years and don't want to sell him during a down year in between which will only magnify the affect of any age issues.

2) RBs not performing well beyond their first contract is a relatively new phenomenon, and happens to line up with the weakest collection of RB talent we've had come into the league in a while all being the guys who are of 2nd contract age now.  Prior to this recent group we had a ton of guys having a meaningful role beyond their 1st contract.

Ladainian Tomlinson
Marshawn Lynch
Adrian Peterson
LeSean McCoy
Matt Forte
Jamaal Charles
Brian Westbrook
Frank Gore
Edgerrin James
DeMarco Murray
Tiki Barber
Reggie Bush
Maurice Jones-Drew
Jonathan Stewart
DeAngelo Williams

And probably a lot more I'm forgetting.

Sure part of it is probably some kind of modest change in the way the NFL treats vets, but I think just as large a role is that a lot of the guys that have hit 2nd contract age recently were the guys that came from that Dark Age of new RB talent we had for a few years where the best prospects coming in as rookies were Bishop Sankey, Eddie Lacy, etc.  A time when only 3 of the first 21 picks in startup adp were RBs, compared to now when 11 of the first 16 are RBs.  

Combine that with a few unfortunate injury issues (Gurley's knee) and some time away from football (Le'Veon) and it starts to get grim pretty quickly.  But I don't think that necessarily means Alvin Kamara is done or CMC/Barkley are 1 year away from being useless.

Edited by FreeBaGeL
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Here I think is a good example of how the "RBs are only good for their 1st contract" narrative has been somewhat misleading due to the talent level of guys that would be in their 2nd contract right now.

Below are two images representing startup ADP from 2016  vs. Startup ADP in 2021.  The green highlighted players are RBs.  

Startup ADP 2016

Startup ADP 2021

As you can see, a whole lot more green in 2021.  There just simply wasn't much young RB talent on their first contract in 2016 to graduate to the 2nd contract.  So bad luck with a few of them and then things look awful.

I think 2021 looks a lot more like it did back in the days when guys like Peterson and McCoy et all were filling up the early rounds of startup drafts with tons of RBs.  I think we'll see a lot more of them still being useful into their 2nd deal than the last lousy crop.

Edited by FreeBaGeL
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2 hours ago, FreeBaGeL said:

Here I think is a good example of how the "RBs are only good for their 1st contract" narrative has been somewhat misleading due to the talent level of guys that would be in their 2nd contract right now.

I think everything FreeBaGeL said is excellent, and just want to acknowledge I was too lazy in my writing above.  Obviously there are plenty of RBs who do deserve that 2nd contract and their expected fantasy lifespan should be significantly longer than the 4 years 1-contract rookie.  I've been sending offers for a few of them hoping to find someone wanting to discount that longer lifespan.  I think the simplistic question of value of a 23 year old rookie RB is better expressed in my head as first bucketing their talent as potential for 1- or multi-contract starter and then worrying about age, opportunity, etc.  eg: I don't believe Najee's age should be the first determining factor in a valuation, but I think we've already agreed on that.  

Thanks for the nice examples, FreeBaGeL 

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NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports most people he has spoken with believe Pittsburgh will take RB Najee Harris with the No. 24 pick in the draft.

A lot can happen in the first 23 picks but this pairing is becoming increasingly popular in mock drafts. Pittsburgh's ground game was completely inactive last year. They managed just 82.5 rushing yards per game, last in the league by a considerable margin. The team let RB James Conner walk in free agency and has yet to make any effort to replace him. A struggling offensive line didn't help Conner last year but all signs point to the Steelers seeing running back as one of their biggest holes.

https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/1387098478501900290

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Pro Football Network's Tony Pauline passes along that the New York Jets could target a running back with pick No. 23 or pick No. 34.

The Jets are already locked in to take a quarterback -- likely BYU's Zach Wilson -- with the second overall pick. They may be sniffing around running back thereafter. Part of the impetus on this one is that, according to Pauline, New York feels there is a major drop-off in talent after Najee Harris, Travis Etienne and Javonte Williams. All three backs have a high probability of still being on the board when the Jets make the 23rd pick. A cherry on top of this sundae would be that the Steelers -- who have long been linked with Harris -- own the 24th pick and would be undercut if the Jets move in the direction of running back.

SOURCE: Pro Football Network

Apr 27, 2021, 1:20 PM ET

 

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  • Faust changed the title to Dynasty & Redraft: RB Najee Harris, Steelers
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Steelers selected Alabama RB Najee Harris with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Harris (6’1/232) was a five-star high school recruit and four-year contributor under coach Nick Saban. He played behind Josh Jacobs early in his career before starting as a junior (1,224 yards and 13 TDs) and senior (1,466 yards and 26 TDs). He showcased three-down talent in each season, ultimately earning First-Team All-American and Heisman Finalist honors in 2020 after setting career highs in all receiving categories (43-425-4). Unlike many 230-pound backs, Harris exited college without much of an injury history, too. He compares to Steven Jackson or Matt Forte as a strong between the tackles runner with above average wiggle and receiving chops for a towering player. Except for top-end speed and being an older prospect (23 years old), his entire profile suggests he’ll be a quality three-down player at the next level. In Pittsburgh, Harris slides right to the top of a barren depth chart that lost starter James Conner this offseason. Harris has RB1 upside right away as the first running back off the board in this year's draft.

Apr 29, 2021, 11:11 PM ET

 

 

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  • Faust changed the title to RB Najee Harris, PIT

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