2020: Dynasty/Fantasy Offseason News, Observations, Rumors (3/15/2020)
Every few days on FFM, in the offseason, per usual, I’m going to share some observations from the latest football news and share any rumors/interesting conversations I’m coming across. Two or three items every few days, as I have things of interest to share.
In no particular order…
-- Have you seen the reports/pictures of Kyler Murray ‘scouting’ CeeDee Lamb at the Oklahoma Pro Day? Did you see the reports weeks ago about Kyler talking up CeeDee – him hoping he gets paired back up with CeeDee.
Kyler wants Cee Dee Lamb…which is fine. He can hope and cheer for whatever he wants.
Arizona desperately needs offensive lineman for Kyler to throw to anyone and become a star.
The Cardinals have the #8 overall pick…in a draft loaded with high-end OL talent and a thousand nice WR prospects.
Which way will they go – fill the pressing need or give Kyler a lollipop?
If the Cardinals go with CeeDee Lamb, it will be the single stupidest pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. The last thing the Cardinals need is a wide receiver…especially a mediocre/solid/good one (if you think otherwise, you need to get un-brainwashed and get a subscription to College Football Metrics). What a pick of CeeDee would signify is – Kliff Kingsbury has more stroke than GM Steve Keim.
…and, Kingsbury is an ass-kisser – and he’s trying to send roses to Kyler Murray to make him happy at all times. It would show there is no leadership in Arizona, just Kingsbury and Kyler playing in a sandbox together and wanting a bunch of toys in the sand box with them.
If the Cardinals go offensive line…it shows they are going to try to win with offense. Build an offensive war machine to win 49-45 type final score games and set offensive records. And it shows that the Cardinals aren’t bending to the innocent whims of Kyler. Nothing wrong with him pumping up CeeDee, but if the Cardinals act upon it – I’d renounce my fandom, if I were a Cardinals fan.
If the Cardinals go with a defensive player, it wouldn’t be a shock -- but I think they can try to patch up their defensive issues (somewhat) through free agency. You can buy a really good defense in free agency. You cannot build an offensive line as easily or as cost effectively, or at all, via 2020 free agency. You’re definitely not finding an elite O-Lineman in free agency…they’ll be tagged by their current teams, and if one does slip through, he’ll command a king’s ransom and have 20+ teams trying to bid for him.
What the Cardinals do at #8 in the draft (or trading up/down) will foretell the future direction/telegraph who is in charge of the team/what mindset they have.
If the Cardinals draft CeeDee Lamb (or any WR), after I write 10,000 words of outrage, you and I would effectively have any Christian Kirk stock/fantasy value cut in half. If Kyler can get them to draft CeeDee…who do you think runs the offense? Who do you think every throw will go to at that point?
2020 College Football Metrics Season Has Begun
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
Sign-ups for CFM and/or our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball (DOBB) subscriptions are found from the FFM home page ‘Subscribe now’ tab.
-- I’m watching the Vikings upcoming free agency with great interest – wondering if we are about to see the virtual death spiral of this franchise for a while.
We might be in the midst of it right now.
The Vikings began the 2020 offseason in a terrible place…
Virtually no cap space, as it stood with the current roster – bottom three in the league in cap space available.
Cap space issues AND several key players/names hitting free agency – Everson Griffen, Trae Waynes, Anthony Harris, Mackensie Alexander, Dan Bailey.
Now add the recently released Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph – which added some cap space, but still bottom 10 teams of cap space available in the league.
Over half of the 2019 starting defense is in free agency, including most of the secondary. I thought Mike Zimmer was this defensive guru? Either between bad deals or players not good enough to warrant their deals or just players wanting to leave Zimmer…the defense is getting totally overhauled. How is this master planning by Zimmer and the GM? Instead of building a war machine on defense with Zimmer, half the starters are leaving and the Vikes don’t have as much salary cap to replace it with a big splash.
Do you think players want to play for Mike Zimmer? Do you think free agents want to willingly go there, all things being equal? If Zimmer cannot attract talent, and the Vikes have limited space to work with…how is this team taking a step forward in 2020?
The Vikings will probably compound their contract/cap issues ahead by making the massive mistake of giving a big deal to a running back/Dalvin Cook.
Whatever they have in place for 2020…whatever it is…Kirk Cousins is leaving after this season/in 2021. Another player ready to bail on Zimmer. He’s a free agent headed to San Francisco, most likely.
Stefon Diggs is unhappy. Adam Thielen isn’t thrilled.
When will anyone outside of Minnesota start criticizing Zimmer? Hey, they made the playoffs…so all is well. I’m looking at their roster, their contracts, their cap space, and the players leaving or unhappy – and I don’t think all is well.
-- Speaking of terribly run franchises, the Jaguars traded Calais Campbell to the Ravens, for nothing, basically…a salary dump because if you think the Vikings have bad contracts and low salary cap, the Jags entered this year worst in the league and have been selling off parts all offseason.
This move gives the Jags more space to make more terrible free agent deals they’ll regret and have to dump in a few years – it’s the same disaster GM in place since forever making these moves, and thus spending the money ahead.
This move is the Ravens trying to cash in on a title window right now, but I don’t know that trading for a 34-year-old (when the season starts) defensive end and giving him a nice extension is the smartest move.
This was the Jags desperate to fix their self-inflicted cap issues and the Ravens desperately trying to book a Super Bowl before they pay Lamar Jackson a monster contract extension…which is what they should be doing. I don’t know that this was the best move on their board, though.
-- My non-doctoral opinions on COVID-19 and NFL events…
Will the NFL push back free agency, and not begin pure free agency signings on 3/18 Wednesday? Maybe.
They could push it back a week and be fine. They could go on as normal and be fine. They say they are starting on time as of this writing, but things change in 24 hours (if we’ve learned anything the last week). If there is a delay, it won’t be a long one.
Will the NFL Draft happen as normal in April? Probably…but they could push that back to mid-May and be fine. They won’t want to get near Memorial Day or cross over into summer for the draft to be held (for TV ratings purposes).
Will the 2020 NFL season be at risk from COVID-19? I think it’s about a 0.0% chance.
The NFL wins again. All the other leagues are delayed, March Madness died…but when summer training camps start and things really get going for football, this virus will all be somewhat ancient history. China and Korea are getting back to business, with rapidly declining numbers of sick, after their outbreak/surge a few months ago…if we follow suit to them, worst case, we’ll be back to normal by summer…especially as the warmer weather takes the virus affects away as well. We might be back to normal life in May, if not April.
Just so you know -- I’ve washed my hands thoroughly before typing these notes.
Just trying to lighten the mood. It’s been a weird, tenuous week on the globe, for all of us.
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