2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk2 Saints 19, Chargers 17
I had to watch a couple hours of the ‘How everything relates back to Melvin Gordon’s situation’ bowl presented but unprepared Dan Fouts. Within that show, I took some actual notes on football players and things. Here they are…
Fantasy Player Notes:
-- As the Melvin Gordon turns…
Melvin Gordon is not going to come back until Game #11 unless he gets a big contract extension, and I do not believe that will happen and it’s entirely stupid the Chargers didn’t see this coming/prepare more for the possibility.
Gordon has to report back to the team by game #11 in order to clock a full year of ‘service’ in NFL terms, and thus he would be eligible to be a free agent in 2020…or franchise tagged (what likely would have happened).
The NFL is going to have to relook at the franchise tag and change it or star players sitting out 10 games in their final year of their rookie contract is going to become commonplace.
Gordon is set to make $5.6M this season. If he misses 10 games, he loses about half+ of that money…BUT he saves a toll on his knees, etc., going into his 2020 freedom. The Chargers can takeaway that 2020 freedom by franchise tagging him, and he will squawk about that but he’ll play the full year 2020 to not miss out on the $13-15M franchise tag payday for a year. Today, he’s looking at worst case scenario of having a half+ season vacation, losing $3M in pay…to get to his $13-15M guaranteed next season, safely.
Gordon is looking at this big picture like… I could play this year and get tagged 2020 and make approx. $18-19M with no assurance of 2021+. But IF I were a free agent/could get a real deal today, I’d get $30-40M guaranteed (from some sucker team) and $75M+ total hope over five years and I’m set for life. This one year at a time BS means I’m one knee injury or bad season away from not getting to the bigger payday/assurance – the Chargers are using me up cheap against my market value.
Unless the Chargers pay up, Gordon has no reason to come back until game #11 this season.
With that, the Chargers are likely to believe they are fine without him (they are) and they do not want to be held hostage like this for future precedent, plus it’s dumb to invest in mediocre running backs anyway. The damage has been done, if the Chargers do not want to pay up long-term. Gordon has made himself an enemy of the state/LAC a la Le’Veon Bell. The Chargers do not want Gordon to walk back in Week 1 or Week 11 this season and into 2020 complaining the whole time about his lack of a true deal. The next move will be the Chargers seeking to trade him to a team where that team will give him the deal he wants a la a free agency of sorts. There’s always a sucker RB team, an old school coach who doesn’t know anything about the RB economics or scouts all the talent, they just don’t like their current RB for whatever reason (like fantasy GMs who constantly see all the flaws up and down their entire RB depth chart) and will daydream that Gordon is the magical answer…and deal done. There are less and less of these situations/coaches left in the era over RB oversupply, so Gordon could be really screwed because for all anyone’s talk/respect of him in the media…no one thinks he’s really that great a running back.
Gordon has a weak hand and he’s playing it the best he can.
I’m sure the Chargers will announce Austin Ekeler (3-9-0, 1-6-0/1) as the starter for Week 1. They played him as the lead in this game with not much rotation to Justin Jackson (8-33-0, 1-9-0/1) with him (not like a 50-50 split or anything). In redrafts that I’m observing, Ekeler goes ahead of Jackson every time. Ekeler the #60-80 overall pick in most redrafts and Jackson the #100-125+ overall pick.
I’m telling you that the Chargers want and are planning on Justin Jackson to be their lead without Gordon…whether that’s a 60/40 split or 80/20 with Ekeler. Jackson took the lead away from Ekeler last season, when Gordon got hurt. He will again. Only, I’m not just guessing it as a bet that the more proper/talented guy eventually takes the lead (Jackson)…but that would be a good bet. I’m telling you that Anthony Lynn WANTS Jackson to be the lead. But he’s not just handing it to him.
Jackson is becoming one of the greatest redraft bargains of 2019 season. All the Ekeler talk and Ekeler starting in preseason games…it’s helping keep JJax on the down low. Jackson 2019 may very well be our James Conner of 2018 season.
If LAC pays up to Gordon, you might as well cut/release Jackson off 15-16-17 man redraft rosters to start 2019.
-- On a lighter Chargers’ RB note…
I think rookie UDFA Jeremy Cox (2-19-0/2) might be the most physically talented of all the Chargers RBs, including Gordon. It’s a raw talent that isn’t ready, not getting a major push, but note a couple things here for you in the deep roster leagues…
The team was converting Cox to fullback, early in training camp, but those plans seem to have been shelved.
In this game, Cox was a primary kick returner…that’s a huge opportunity/tip of the cap that he’s not totally ignored.
Cox is getting into preseason games (late with the dregs) and running nifty passing game routes and seeing targets. He’s a fantastic receiver, that most scouts overlooked/were ignorant to. But kudos to the Chargers because they have discovered it...it appears.
I thought Cox would get totally ignored per UDFA usual in L.A. – but not so fast. If he makes the 53-man roster, watch out!!
-- It’s starting to turn…
Why I have Taysom Hill (11-15 for 136 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) ranked above Teddy Bridgewater (5-13 for 40 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) in my various rankings – Hill is the better fantasy weapon, and he’s actually a much better passer than given credit. At the same time, Teddy looks more and more detached and accepting of his fate…as a no-one-cares QB. His hopes and dreams of NFL stardom are about dashed. Taysom is giving 150% to survive in the NFL…and Teddy is going through the motions/collecting checks is what I perceive.
If anything happened to Brees in 2019 season, it wouldn’t be long if not right away that Sean Payton went with Taysom to carry them. And if that happens, it’s better Lamar Jackson playing in a better offensive scheme for fantasy.
-- Four quick Saints rookie notes…
UDFA RB Devine Ozigbo (8-30-0, 3-23-1/3) is showing more gifts in the passing game than I realized he had. He’s going to make the practice squad most likely, but he may have shown too much this preseason and gets grabbed by another team first.
LB Kaden Elliss (6 tackles) put in another good game and led the Saints in tackles here. He’s really making his way to playing time in 2019.
WR Emmanuel Butler (0-0-0/3) was the training camp ‘looks great’ guy who has flopped in preseason work. He’ll be headed to the practice squad.
One of my new favorite rookie IDPs, who I didn’t grade as well pre-Draft, is Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (3 tackles). He just lights up the tape every preseason game for me this year (all two of them). I’m not always looking for him but then he draws me to him in these game re-watches. Big fan, sudden fan, moving him up our IDP rankings and dynasty projections.
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