2020: Dynasty/Fantasy Offseason News, Observations, Rumors (7/14/2020)
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 or so, as I have things of interest to share.
In no particular order, and the ones I found most interesting recently…
-- So, Patrick Mahomes got paid.
KC had to do it. Mahomes is the best player in the NFL. The face of the NFL for the future. They just won a Super Bowl, which will buy goodwill for the next decade (see: Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy after the Green Bay Super Bowl). Sure, the fans and media will complain if/when KC falls short in a particular season ahead (see: Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy after the Green Bay Super Bowl) but the fans and media complain about everything and they’re turbocharged in complaining in the digital and social media age…it comes with the territory. The fans and media mob will never be satiated for long.
Andy Reid has his legacy cemented and his financial future more than secure/he’ll be the head coach for as long as he wants. The best chance to be the team dynasty of the 2020s is the team quarterbacked by Patrick Mahomes, regardless of the players around him, for the most part. Andy Reid needs to ride this horse ‘til it won’t ride no more.
Whether this hurts the cap for the future or not for KC…silly argument. This is the best player in the game, he needed to be paid at the top, so you pay the price now – it’s my argument/rationale on why I rank Mahomes where I rank/draft him in Redrafts and Dynasty.
The fears of not being able to afford a good team down the road due to the expensive star player/because of their ‘big deal’ deal…it’s a silly, specious argument…it’s an excuse that teams who are losing make, it’s a blame assigned when the media is mad when the hometown or any team isn’t winning titles (see: Dallas the next 1-5 years as they complain about Zeke, Amari, Dak…which, then see: the L.A. Rams the past two years).
If something goes wrong (physically) with Mahomes…KC could get away from him with an expensive two-year warning. If I read his contract details properly -- starting in 2021, if he’s on the roster that season…his deal is guaranteed two seasons into the future and it goes that way for many years (until like 2027 when it changes more favorable to KC, a bit). So, if Mahomes is on the KC roster in 2021…his 2023 deal becomes guaranteed. If he’s on the roster in 2022…then 2024 becomes guaranteed, and so on. They’d have to cut Mahomes one season and then still pay him for the current and next and then be free of him until 2027, then it starts becoming a guarantee for a year ahead.
In the end, with this deal, this is KC’s QB for the next seven years at least.
-- I saw a note somewhere mentioning how the Miami Dolphins had the lowest rated offensive line in the NFL last year, according to PFF. I don’t subscribe to PFF, never have, so I don’t know that it is true…but I’ll assume it is for a moment, for what I want to write here.
Miami had the lowest yards per carry in the league in 2019, so…obviously it’s an easy link to knock the O-Line on. Miami was also the most sacked team in 2019 (tied with Carolina), so double whammy. It’s very easy/prudent to project Miami’s O-Line lowly and laugh at them, but there’s a few things here to consider with these PFF type stats that we all want to run off a cliff with/take as the gospel (or the mainstream does).
1) Kalen Ballage is like one of the worst running backs in the history of football. His robust 1.8 yards per carry as the lead back wasn’t all because of a ‘bad O-Line’…he comes by it honestly, he’s a terrible instinct’ runner…going back to his Arizona State days.
Watch how fast the Miami O-Line improves when you go from one of the worst instinct RBs in the NFL (Ballage) to one of the best – Jordan Howard. Watch the Miami team ypc go up under Howard, and Breida will be OK enough too. Perhaps Miami’s O-Line wasn’t as bad as we think…it’s just they were stuck with Walton-Ballage-Laird-Gaskin for most of the season and Kenyan Drake mixed in there for some of the first few games, before being traded.
2) Miami got sacked a lot, but a lot of that was Josh Rosen…who made three starts, went 0-3 and was sacked 4.0 times per game. He also played half a game vs. NE off the bench and was sacked 3 times.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked 40 times in (technically) 13.5 games of action…3.0 times per game, still bad but would be a top 10 worst pace for a season, not the #1 worst.
Strength of opponent matters for these types of stats, which PFF considers (I’m sure/assume) but what’s hard to put a number on (so no one does) is the effect the actual ballcarrier talent or quarterback talent has on ‘how good the O-Line is’.
Miami can’t help to rate better in 2020 with a full year of Fitz, or if Tua slides in at some point…but especially when they go Howard-Breida vs. Ballage-Laird.
-- An ADP trending note…
You’ll see the ADP changes reflected in our next draft guide update (THU-FRI) but note the fastest rising ADP player in fantasy might be Atlanta TE Hayden Hurst. He’s gone from fringe top 12 TE (was #13-18 overall for a while) to now going strongly in the top 10 off the board among tight ends…he’s jumping past/being taken ahead of Hunter Henry and Tyler Higbee in a lot of redraft activity I’ve seen of late.
It’s odd, to me, that everyone/the FF-masses are now willing to bet so heavy on Hurst in Atlanta…going to a new place and with no real history of success in the league – and at the same time they are collectively throwing overboard/dismissing/discounting a proven Austin Hooper going to his new place. I’m not saying Hurst isn’t a good bet…I’m just shocked how many people have now arrived at that conclusion…all in about the last two weeks…based on…I don’t know what it is based on, but everyone is ‘woke’ on it suddenly. Like the same instantaneous ‘wokeness’ I wrote about Nick Chubb a few weeks ago.
In June, I had Hurst listed as a great ‘undervalued’ play…a month+ later, I’m wondering if he’s overvalued now?
It’s just a note for your upcoming drafts or Dynasty Rookie Drafts where he is available to be taken or in trades…the price is rising fast. It actually may not be a bad time to sell, to ‘flip’ him if you get someone overheated on it and you book profits off him without ever seeing him play a game in a Falcons uniform.
-- Has there been many more football stories this past month that have hit with a louder thud than David Njoku wanting a trade out of Cleveland? Literally, no one cares.
It’s a cautionary tale…Njoku was a 1st-round pick, can’t miss tight end…who missed. For me, it was like the Eric Ebron story – analysts and scouts just echo each other and no one sees or wants to see the obvious…Ebron and Njoku struggle to catch the ball and are not great at the other facets of the game either. They’re not useless…just not 1st-round draft pick material.
I thought Njoku was OK and might get lucky working with Baker + Freddie Kitchens in a wide open offense in 2019…but one year later he has a new coach and he is now the #2 tight end on the team after they signed Austin Hooper.
Where will Njoku go? Well, there are plenty of teams that follow the ESPN NFL Draft rankings…so, Njoku will be seen as a potential steal by some team…especially in a year where the NFL Draft didn’t give much in terms of tight end talent.
My guess on where he winds up…
#3) Seattle, if Greg Olsen scares them in camp (because he’s toast, physically) and if Will Dissly is not ready for Week 1.
#2) Green Bay…he’s their scout’s type of guy – beloved by the system from years ago. But I think they’re holding out hope for O.J. Howard.
#1) Washington is tight end desperate. It makes too much sense.
-- The Raheem Mostert trade request?
There are some interesting fantasy actions to consider from that, but I went into detail twice on it in the subscriber sections of FFM. See the reports there.
-- The 2020 Annual Fantasy Football Metrics Draft Guide package is now available – the 2020 player scoring projections, rankings, special reports, commentary on 500+ players, IDP rankings, etc…all updated daily/weekly throughout the offseason right up to kickoff.
Our 2020 In-Season coverage (Weekly rankings, all game reports, video shows, special reports, etc.) is available for pre-purchase, so you’re ready/signed up for when the season begins. Purchase In-Season and Draft Guide as a COMBO to save a few bucks and get all set up in one session.
-- College Football Metrics statistically scouts/grades 600+ NFL Draft prospects, and deeper studies 100+ prospects pre- and post-draft with detailed scouting reports and rank the top 300+ Dynasty Rookie Draft prospects (including IDP) every week throughout the offseason. See our home page for details on our various subscriptions.
-- Our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball subscriptions are still available – Dynasty rankings for various scoring positions in downloadable/editable spreadsheet format for your use. Offseason strategy reports posting weekly…trade for/away, sleepers, deep sleepers, draft strategies, mock drafts, etc.
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