2022 Dynasty Offseason: Four Things Report for 6/15/2022
*Traveling a bit these last two weeks, so a more abbreviated Four Things for 6/8 and 6/15…then back to normal.
-Thing #1: DJ-bayou-K (sorry, I couldn’t think of anything more clever)…
Well, I was going to discuss the changing Saints RB situation this offseason headed to the preseason games…info regarding the non-AKs, Ingram-Jones-Smith (on the roster) – but a new curveball has been thrown in. Let me report what I was going to originally, then react to the possibility that David Johnson is talking to/joining the Saints…
I am being led to believe by a trust-able source that there’s a good chance Mark Ingram is going to be released, due to a number of factors – but mostly because of the salary cap implications. Ingram is due $2.3M to keep and play (with some bonus potential of up to another $500K) or they can cut him for a $300K hit…an instant $2M CAP savings. Ingram is not worth paying $2M+ for a season.
Ingram could take a lesser deal, but does the 33+ year old really want to play for a league minimum? Maybe…perhaps he can get cut and wait for his phone to ring later in the season where he can hop onto a contender for a title shot? Or he might just be ‘done’, at his age.
The only reason Ingram is hanging onto the roster is the uncertainty about Alvin Kamara’s legal issues (the fight with his posse, beating down a stranger for trying to get on the same elevator…at a hotel, on video). Kamara might be suspended 1-2-4 or more games. The next event/news on his legal case will be in August.
The Saints haven’t acted concerned at all about AK’s possible suspension so far in the offseason. They didn’t draft a real RB or sign a free agent fill-in/depth RB…and there were plenty of free agent RB options to do that with, cheaper than Ingram cost…and better than what Ingram may have left in the tank.
The Saints also have Tony Jones…a year ago’s preseason wonder as an AK ‘handcuff’, for about a week before he fell off the face of the earth. Thus, the Mark Ingram deal to join the Saints midseason last year, when Kamara got hurt.
But the semi-buzz Saints RB in this 2022 equation is UDFA rookie Abram Smith…the RB turned LB turned back to RB again in 2021, who had an excellent 2021 season for Baylor (257-1,601-12 in 14 games) is possible to leapfrog Jones at the same time Ingram disappears.
Originally this note was going to float the notion of Abram Smith being a possible shock starter for a game or two or whatever/if Kamara was suspended for some games. My source was drawing that conclusion (on Smith) from some RB rumblings on Ingram potentially a CAP casualty and dismay with Jones.
But now, the rumor I was told makes more sense that the Saints RB situation is rumbling – with the news David Johnson is visiting the team 6/13.
1: You don’t talk to David Johnson (now), unless you’re newly worried about the Kamara situation.
2: You don’t talk to David Johnson, unless you’re ready to ditch Ingram and forgo Jones, and don’t want to trust a rookie UDFA right out of the gates.
Whether or not Johnson is signed, and for what kind of deal will tell us all we need to know on what the Saints’ fear level is on a Kamara suspension. If DJ3K is signed, then Ingram is done…and Jones is nothing, as is Smith (for now) – but it also means the better version of Alvin Kamara will be on the team when Kamara comes back from any suspension -- and that would be a double whammy (a suspension + DJ3K signed) to Kamara’s FF 2022 and Dynasty value. What a 1-2 punch, if it happens!
-Thing #2: How many more votes of ‘no confidence’ will CEH get this offseason?
Here’s how much the Chiefs love and trust Clyde Edwards-Helaire…
1: They added free agent RB Ronald Jones to a crappy 1-year deal, but it’s still a bigger/power back who they purposefully grabbed and he should play the short yardage role…and steal some cheap, short TDs.
2: They drafted a very promising rookie RB Isaih Pacheco…another bigger back, who could be the most talented RB they have on the roster…but also the most inexperienced.
3: They already had a somewhat promising UDFA back from 2021, Derrick Gore on the roster.
4: Now, this week, as if they didn’t have enough RBs -- they signed Jerick McKinnon back to the team. You might remember McKinnon from his late season 2021 into the playoffs run with KC – the guy the Chiefs used as the lead all the way through the playoffs, even when CEH returned from injury in their 2nd playoff game.
Is CEH going to be the clear lead guy as RoJo and JMK watch? Not to mention if Pacheco or Gore have any flashes…will they just rollover in this battle.
Stock falling on CEH even more…there’s legit guys to play committee roles all over this RB depth chart – how’s he gonna be a sleeper RB1 for anybody?
-Thing #3: The Tight End Conversion Flood…
It used to be an instant excitement/curiosity moment when _____ WR (or QB) was reported to be bulking up and moving to tight end. I was giddy when I’d hear about it…and sugar plum fairies would dance in my head for a while keeping an eye out for them.
Now? All the cool kids are doing it (to try and save their careers, rightfully so). It’s a ‘yawn’ event now. There are so many players converting to tight end, it’s almost impossible to keep up with them in the Year of Our Lord 2022.
The latest wave the past week or so…
1: Athletic WR Lawrence Cager, mostly of the Jets on-and-off, has bulked up and is ‘impressing’ (they say that about just about anyone in the summer) in OTAs. He entered the league at 6’4.6”/220 in 2020, he’s reportedly up over 235-240 pounds.
He’s a good athlete at WR, but he’s a very athletic TE. He faces a near impossible mountain to climb on the Jets depth chart – because these athletic players can convert to TE all they want…but their coaches have no idea what to do with them in their ancient playbooks. TEs are blocking and surprise slip off the block 3–5-yard catch guys, they aren’t weapons?!?!?
The Chiefs coaching staff couldn’t figure out how to properly use Tyreek Hill as they went – why do you think all other NFL coaches are dreaming up ways to make athletic/converted TEs real weapons? There’s Darren Waller for one example, and…not much else. Logan Thomas took years to get noticed at TE, to be used more in the passing game. And that’s about it, recently.
But I still can’t help but be a little titillated when I hear about a former WR that I liked (scouting wise) making the conversion. It’s been my dream vision for years, as a scout/analyst, that teams would purposefully focus on converting big/athletic WRs to TE, and we’d have a world of Kyle Pitts’s all over the NFL. But we’re in the very early innings of this process, NFL coaches are the slowest to react to anything…but things are at least starting to heat up on the supply side with all these 2022 conversions – which could cause some problem at Fantasy TE with ‘supply and demand’ if they all take to it quickly – a gusher of fresh/interesting supply hitting the marketplace.
2: Devin Funchess, the former TE/WR hybrid out of Michigan, who should’ve been one of the leaders of an emerging WR/TE conversion market…it was right there for any NFL team to make use of – but he was instantly thrown in as a WR in the NFL and stayed there for a mostly disappointing career. He has some TE experience, from college, at least.
3: Feleipe Franks, the 6’6” QB for the Falcons…he’s moved to TE. How many years will it take for him to get blocking down the way NFL coaches want it? And really – that’s all they want from a tight end = ‘blocking’.
A year before their NFL Draft, 90%+ of the scouts and analysts rated Pat Freiermuth as the top college TE, a 1st-round pick…over (they thought) gimmicky Kyle Pitts. I don’t care what any of these coaches say they want and lip service about weapon TEs – the coaches don’t know what to do with them, so they don’t really want a new age TE…they want Jeremy Ruckert not Jelani Woods.
4: A no-name UDFA small school WR out of Maine, that I rated pretty well in our scouting analytics, a deep sleeper/some hope UDFA WR, Andre Miller – he has moved to TE for the NY Giants.
If I had to hold one (of the above) for Dynasty, in deeper roster leagues, it would probably be Feleipe Franks. Why? Just because he’s more likely to get on the field a few times to be an end zone weapon but also could motion back into the backfield and run plays at QB, etc.
The odds that would happen with Franks with any sustainability is about zero.
Cager is the most talented athlete of the group (above) but can never stay healthy.
-Thing #4, the non-football thing: Google Reservations…
Have you seen this thing? Have you heard about this thing? I never had, but I discovered it while traveling the east coast visiting family last week and I was so impressed…but then felt like maybe I was the last one on earth to know about it. However, I asked a few people about it…and they had no idea either. So, I’m passing it on because it was so simple/neat/cool…and unknown to me prior.
So…did you know you could make reservations at restaurants via Google? I don’t mean like online, punch in the info and claim your spot. I mean, there are restaurants that use this Google ‘Reserve’ as their way for online reservations.
If you search for a restaurant on Google, when the restaurant’s Google info page pops up if you see a ‘Reserve a Table’ option/button right up there/alongside of the ‘call’ and ‘directions’ one touch options – then you can use this feature. When you click the ‘Reserve a table’ button it shows you available times they have, and how many guests, etc. You hit your guest count…select your desired time…and ‘enter’…and the Google A.I. calls the restaurant to have an A.I. conversation with them to set the reservation. When the restaurant accepts, Google locks it in and emails you a confirmation.
I discovered it by accident and tried it last week, and it took 30 seconds or less to send my request -- and I had a confirmation back in less than two minutes. I did the same in a different city a few days later, and 1-2 minutes later I again had my reservation confirmation emailed to me. When I arrived at the restaurants, they had all my needed info and table waiting.
Just passing this on in case I wasn’t the only person who had no idea this existed…and if it might save you some time/hassle making a reservation somewhere on the fly.