A Devin Singletary-Zack Moss Update
*A follow up from the Friday Noon-1pmET Video Q&A (on demand, see access info at the Draft Guide and CFM areas).
OK, I’ll ‘give’…a little.
I’m dropping my projections for Devin Singletary down in the next update…and raising up the Zack Moss numbers a touch. Not a radical shift…but I’m moving away from ‘must have’ Singletary to now some hesitation.
It’s not that I’ve found religion on Moss or want to bail on Singletary as a talent. My scouting all still remains. But my job is part talent scout and part reading the tea leaves – and I don’t want to run into a buzz saw here…more so, I don’t want to pay a big price to get close to the buzz saw.
When it comes to running backs, the training camp reports are pretty predictable…the drafted rookie is always ‘amazing’ for the beat writers (and thus ‘fans’). Example…
-They were already pushing Keshawn Vaughn ahead of all in June for Tampa Bay. They hadn’t even seen a practice at that point, and yet it was happening.
…but now they’ve had to run from it because reality set in (from Arians’ mouth and actions).
-Cam Akers was the assumed new starter, and Darrell Henderson was yesterday’s news in June/July…and all the camp news is on Akers and more ignoring Henderson. Oh, recall last year at this time – Henderson was going to possibly take over for Todd Gurley.
-Currently, THEY are trying to push an Antonio Gibson as a potential starter narrative. They want it to happen.
-Last year, then rookie David Montgomery was pushed as a god over the ghost of Jordan Howard. Ditto then rookie Miles Sanders over the real Jordan Howard (and then Howard won the job back). Kalen Ballage rode a hype wave to supposedly starting for Miami last preseason over now $8M value 2020 RB Kenyan Drake in training camp…according the beat writers writing odes to Ballage (and it worked, Ballage became ‘a thing’ for a moment…now cut/traded to the Jets a year later).
We also have situations like with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor where everyone knows/assumes the rookies will start eventually. In those cases/similar cases, the backups were/are treated with some respect in print…the beat writers don’t need to torch the backup when everyone accepts the highly drafted rookie RB coming in.
Usually, beat writers fall in love with the hot rookie RB and still respect the challenger (or worst case ‘ignore’)…they love everyone on ‘their’ team (they cover). It’s rare a rookie RB is pushed while the backup/incumbent is attacked…usually the rookie is pushed by beat writers, and they barely acknowledge the existence of the incumbent.
In Buffalo, there is a Devin Singletary revolt. The beat writer’s reports, especially via The Athletic, are basically boiled down to – Devin Singletary fumbles every other play, and does nothing on the touches in-between…while everything Zack Moss does is the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened by a running back in our lifetime.
Maybe it’s true…maybe it’s not (I suspect ‘not’)…BUT what I do know is – when beat writers are promoting a ‘riot’ at the RB position, they whip the fans up into ‘rioting’, and management typically buckles/succumbs or are just very aware of/sensitive to the issue. It’s going to come up in every press conference for Sean McDermott now and it’s already started. You’ll see slanted/leading questions like: ”Sean, are you worried that Devin Singletary had the most fumbles per touch of any RB last season?” “Sean, how much do you value ball security for your backs?” “Sean, is Devin working off the field to control his terrible fumbling problem?”
I can like it or not, but I know this – it is. It exists. It’s happening and I/we have to deal with it for fantasy.
I’m now, for the first time this offseason, a bit worried for Singletary (v. Moss). I know the media wins these ‘take outs’ more than they lose…careers can get ruined (like Nick Foles v. Michael Vick). It’s my job to smell it and react to it.
So, what to do here?
1) Singletary is no longer a coveted, ‘must have’ back for fantasy. I thought he’d be a nice #2 or #3 RB (on an FF roster) for teams to start Week 1…now, I’m not so sure he’s a #3.
I still like him, but I’m not chasing him with fire anymore.
2) Where I have Singletary, I keep him. There’s a chance this story dies quickly in Week 1 with Singletary glowing and Moss flopping. I would bet that it will…just not as strong a bet as I would have made a week/month ago.
3) I’m a buyer of Singletary on the cheap. Emphasis on THE CHEAP. There’s a nice window here to buy extremely low/while he’s ice cold. He may be the most hated (in the preseason) RB today of a guy who will be his team’s starting Week 1 RB and guy likely to lead his team in touches at RB – which means he might be a screaming bargain.
I haven’t lost interest, I’m just adjusting my price I’m willing to pay…and I’m lowering my expectations, watching to see if the preseason media changes on him or just keeps getting worse.
Be aware of this massive price drop – like Moss being drafted ahead of Singletary in redrafts soon.
Don’t lose heart.
Gut your league mate in a trade for him…stick a dagger in them to steal Singletary.
Don’t overpay or overshoot in redrafts coming up this weekend…the ADPs/rankings may not catch up to the ever-lowering sentiment for a few days.
I’ll keep you posted because I’m monitoring all this heavily, because I’m a Singletary fan for FF and I don’t want to overpay if I don’t have to…or I want to go get him for virtually nothing now.