RC and Ross Discuss: Latavius Murray vs. Ty'Son Williams...
With Latavius Murray signed to the Ravens, there are plenty of questions about how this backfield is going to go. Over the past week the Ravens have lost two RBs to ACLs and signed four other RBs...quite a week. The game is changing fast and needs to be discussed for FF purposes. Here's an RC-ROss chat transcript on the situation...
RC: Another day, another Baltimore Ravens RB news item. This time, the not unexpected signing of Latavius Murray.
RC: With that news, I got a ton of questions about how this affects Ty'Son Williams for FF past Week 1, so I'm going to go through it and get perspective as well from Mr. Ross Jacobs.
RC: Let's just cut to the chase to start and then backtrack...with 100% RB touches to distribute -- give me your projection on how they are distributed between Ty'Son and the three ancients (Latavius, Le'Veon, Devonta)...
Ross: Right now, I'd say this is a Ty'Son/Latavius split with Ty'Son taking the majority, say around 60% and Latavius getting most of the rest. One of Devonta or Bell might take two or three. Ty'Son is the only one that knows the playbook and he has BY FAR the most juice at this point. Latavius can plow ahead for whatever is blocked for him, but the other two are shot. I expect Ty'Son to get used quite heavily week 1 and then we'll have to reassess from there.
RC: Did you watch any Latavius in the preseason?
RC: Or recall any of it...he's not a featured watch...
Ross: Yes. He doesn't look good which is why Tony Jones kicked the crap out of him. I covered that battle either week 1 or 2 and it was clear Murray was easily the lesser back. The same week I saw Ty'Son and it's not comparable. The only reason I have Latavius as the #2 for Baltimore right now is that he has been the most active of the old guys and he was the one signed straight to the 53-man roster and not the practice squad.
RC: I thought Latavius looked very stiff/old. And when they signed Devonta, I wondered if that was why...but then when Tony Jones blew right past him, it made even more sense. There's a chance Latavius doesn't have enough left in the tank. He's almost 32 years old now.
RC: And if LM is on fumes...like Le'Veon last year, and LeSean the year before that -- then the runway is still very clear for Ty'Son.
RC: It's just the Ravens are thrown into this panic that they know Le'Veon or Devonta is not the answer...and Latavius was the best thing out there in a crisis.
Ross: He's filler but so are Freeman and Bell. The Ravens are just trying to tread water. It's possible they just throw caution to the wind and give Ty'Son everything, but I think they'll at least try to do a split early on. Either way none of these guys is holding Ty'Son down. He's going to get his. The question is: how much is he going to get?
RC: And if Ty'Son gets hurt, they literally have nothing. They had to add 2-3 bodies.
RC: If Latavius has little juice left, it should be game-on for Ty'Son as a 70/30 split. Especially early on before LM understands the playbook, etc. It might be 90/10 Ty'Son Weeks 1-2. With Lamar a factor in all this as well, I know...but just talking the RBs now.
RC: And what I really want to get into is...the reason we're defending Ty'Son as the lead -- I'm not sure there was a better non-starter RB working the preseason than Ty'Son. Agree? better than Tony Jones...or any of them...?
Ross: That is all on the table. I should clarify. It's AT LEAST 60% for Ty'Son out of the gates and like you say very likely to be 70-80%
RC: A big part of this is how good Ty'Son looked.
Ross: It's close between Ty'Son and Tony Jones. I had the week 1 game between them, and they both looked fantastic. My comp for Ty'Son is Dwayne Washington but tougher and a more natural runner. Lest anyone think that's not a compliment I assure you it is. Washington was a very underrated back during his time in Detroit.
RC: I rewatched all Ty'Son's touches before my show last night...and I was re-blown away by how good he looked. Like not just capable, but like an NFL star... https://youtu.be/6R1P90mBpNI
RC: Tony Jones looked good. Kenneth Gainwell looked good in his final game. Ty Johnson looked good. Qadree Ollison showed some. D'Ernest Johnson looked great. But all of them are under Ty'Son Williams, to me...how he works at his size...and his catching ability.
Ross: Yeah this isn't just a case of ‘next man up’. Most times a backup gets the opportunity to start it's good because of volume, but Ty'Son is legitimately a very good RB. The fact that he was #3 for Baltimore while Myles Gaskin is starting for Miami just shows you the scouting gap between some of these teams.
RC: I just never thought Ty'Son would find his way into this position. Three ACLs later...
Ross: The NFL moves fast.
RC: Experience factor off the table...more talented: Gus Edwards or Ty'Son Williams?
Ross: I've seen most analysts reluctantly getting on board with Ty'Son saying you could treat him as a RB2 this week, but that's only because they don't know who he is because he wasn't drafted. He's an RB1 this week and possibly all year.
Ross: More talented? Ty'Son. Gus is good but he doesn't have Ty'Son's movement skills.
Ross: Gus wouldn't be averaging 5.0 ypc on any other team without the Lamar threat. Ty'Son might average 6.0 ypc this year.
RC: I keep trying to comp Ty'Son for a description...just watching his tape some more...he's like a 20 pounds bigger, taller LeSean McCoy in his prime
RC: It's just amazing to me this guy went to BAL camp late last summer/2020 and just popped instantly. Like he was so far off the radar and is about to walk into the starting job in 2021 (only because of 3 ACLs around him) and be a more talented James Robinson/2020 event
RC: Because the analysts have nothing to go by, they assume he's just a fill in name...and that Latavius is taking over. I don’t think that's going to happen -- I go trading for Ty'Son today...letting the Ty'Son owner think they're dumping this trash hot on you.
RC: I'd pay RB2-2.5 money for him in redraft to start for me Sunday. Preferably a WR2.2.5 instead.
Ross: I agree 100%.
RC: And do you think Le’Veon and Devonta are near zero in all this?
Ross: Yes. One of them will probably eventually take a small handful of carries but they both look worse than Latavius at this point.
RC: Final prediction. I'll hit send on mine the moment you send yours...what's Ty'Son's stat line for Week 1 vs. LV?
Ross: 14-87-1 rushing, 2-22-0 receiving
RC: 17 carries, 125 yards rushing 1 (maybe 2) TDs and one catch for 7 yards.
Ross: That wouldn't shock me one bit.