2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Kickoff Week Notes (9/8/21)….
Couple reminders before we get into it…
1) Video Q&A THU night pre-kick TB-DAL and will end 8pmET/before kickoff. Start time to determined tomorrow (but likely 630pmET start and ends at/before 8pmET)
2) Video Q&A Sunday morning (and every Sunday morning in-season), per usual. Details on start time (we may begin earlier than normal for Week 1 excitement) to be posted this weekend.
3) If you don’t have it already, download the FFM App and enable notifications. Several times per season, I have key information 5 minutes to an hour to a day before it breaks publicly…I send out alerts via the App and it will pop up on your cell phone or tablet if you have the notifications enabled. As well, every time we post an item or update something on FFM…we send an App alert to let everyone know.
My commentary on a couple topics of interest…
-- I’m pro-Marquez Callaway, as a talent. Not over the moon with him, but he’s good.
However, I am somewhat anti-Callaway for the way FF-2021 is laid out. Many of us bought in cheaper several weeks ago, and now as his status/value rises (because of a nice preseason game)…it might be time to cash out with your profits.
Check out this Callaway schedule start – noting that he is now the de facto #1 WR for the Saints…so, he will get all the top coverage.
Week 1 = vs. GB/Jaire Alexander…Jaire is one of the top 1-2-3 cover corners in the NFL.
Week 2 = at CAR/Jaycee Horn…could be one of the top 5 or so cover corners right out of the chute. If you think Horn is young/green, what is Callaway? He’s no veteran player himself.
Week 3 = at NE/J.C. Jackson…could’ve been worse/could’ve been Gilmore, but JCJ is pretty righteous as well. You know Belichick will take Callaway out if he wants to.
Week 4 = vs. NYG/James Bradberry…I say he was the #2-3 best cover corner that I saw last year.
Week 5 = at WSH/Will Jackson/the whole defense…this defense will make Winston squeal…not good for FF hopes.
Week 6 = BYE
Through six weeks, you get maybe one kinda sorta OK matchup maybe…NE or CAR? Not great on either NE or CAR still. No fly zone Weeks 1, 4, 5 and no game Week 6.
Week 7 = Will Michael Thomas be back around this time, and ruin the whole Callaway narrative?
I’m just thinking – preseason, before a game is played may be the peak for Callaway’s value. Can buy back cheaper later, if desired.
Deonte Harris might be in a better place operating in the shadows as the Saints’ ‘Tyreek’ lite hope.
-- Why is Gus Edwards so unsexy?
He’s not a young/recent rookie RB nor was he a high draft pick/high status RB...so that's not sexy. All he does is just plows his way to yardage…in a very unsexy, no highlight reel manner. Three seasons in the NFL and he has averaged 5.2, 5.3, and 5.0 yards per carry in a season…boring!
Gus has taken 15 or more carries in a game nine times in his NFL career. His output in those nine games: 93.8 yards rushing (a 16-game pace for 1,500 yards rushing), 0.33 TDs per game. Not bad for a UDFA RB buried in a rotation as a backup in Baltimore.
He started to see more targets later into the 2020 season, and has caught 81.8% of his targets in his career…so, he’s not any ‘hands’ issue. He can catch the ball fine and he’s going to be the guy seeing the most snaps and targets out of the backfield in 2021 – but Lamar is low volume on targeting the RBs. Last year, the big 3 Baltimore backs (Dobbins-Edwards-Ingram) combined for 33 catches on 45 targets. Gus should catch at least a pass a game…and maybe squeezes it to 1.5 receptions per game.
If you can get 90+ yards rushing, a rushing TD every other game, with 1 catch per game = that’s fringe top 12 non-PPR effort and top 24 PPR effort. However, he should score more than 8 TDs (a TD every other game) as the main back for BAL this season…if he pushes to 12 rushing TDs, he’ll be a top 10 non-PPR back and an RB1.5 in PPR on the heavy rushing production. Edwards might be a poor man’s Nick Chubb…and a better then David Montgomery-like option in the end.
Yes, Lamar takes some rushing TDs -- but the BAL backs combined for 17 rushing TDs themselves last season (which was more than over half the teams in the NFL had for the 2020 season)…this is a heavy run game offense with Gus as now the big workload share. We might see Gus closer to 300 carries this season than 250 totes.
Ravens RBs averaged a rushing TD every 20.6 carries last season. If Gus gets 300 carries this season, he projects for around 1,500 rushing yards and 14+ rushing TDs. 12 rushing TDs if he only gets 250 carries, at that pace.
Evidence of how unsexy/overlooked he is in his new golden opportunity situation…
Josh Jacobs goes higher in drafts. Why? Jacobs is expected to be a carrier of the ball but lost on targets with Kenyan Drake. Edwards is in a much better place than Jacobs for O-Line and the depth chart.
Miles Sanders going ahead of Gus? Why? Sanders plays on a team with a running QB, so targets are limited for RBs there too…and Sanders struggles to catch the ball and should see much Scott/Gainwell rotating in. Why would anyone think Sanders is in a better spot?
Darrell Henderson over Gus? Why? DH won’t get the touches Edwards will…and will either split and/or lose his job to Sony Michel by Weeks 1-2-3.
Mike Davis over Gus? Why? How is Davis going to out-do Gus for touches and TDs? When has Davis ever stayed healthy all season?
Kareem Hunt? Myles Gaskin? How is Gaskin rated ahead of Edwards?
Edwards is going to get the heavy share of what was expected of Dobbins-Edwards. Those two combined for 1,500+ rushing yards and 15 rushing TDs…with Mark Ingram added in, it was 1,800+ rush yards combined and 17 rushing TDs out of the backfield in 2020. A backfield that will be dominated by Gus in 2021.
Edwards is going cheaper than many ‘name’ RBs that are nowhere close to being in as juicy a spot as Gus is now. Totally underrated and a steal even in PPR, despite the lower catch counts, as well as non-PPR. Lower catch counts don’t kill Henry or Chubb, so like them…Edwards has value as the heavy lead in Baltimore.
*Late news after I wrote this…the Ravens signed Le’Veon Bell for depth due to the late Justice Hill injury. This has no effect on Edwards in reality, but many FF people are celebrating Bell going there like Le’Veon is suddenly the RB1 for the Ravens/their FF team -- because of a lack of respect for Gus here. Not a chance in hell Le'Veon is a threat to him in anyway. Use that nonsense to your advantage in acquiring Edwards, if you desire.
-- I haven’t been the biggest Kenneth Gainwell fan since his weak Pro Day and then his confusing spot on the depth chart to begin August. However, I am warming up to him now.
Well, two things…
1) He looked really good/progressing in each of his preseason games. His final preseason game, he looked like Philly’s fastest back.
2) The Eagles dumped Kerryon Johnson mid-August, then dropped Jordan Howard pre-53-man roster. Gainwell is the sudden #3 RB, an injury or failure of Miles Sanders away from having a split role with Boston Scott.
I’m not chasing Gainwell, but I do not ignore him or dismiss him anymore. I don’t know that he’s ready to jump Boston Scott if Sanders dies…but Gainwell is a lot closer (depth chart-wise) to getting that chance than I thought he’d be to start the season.