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Dynasty-Fantasy Football Offseason Notes, Rumors, Musings (6/2/2019)

June 2, 2019 10:32 PM
June 2, 2019 10:30 PM

Dynasty-Fantasy Football Offseason Notes, Rumors, Musings (6/2/2019)

Throughout May and into the summer, we’ll be dropping Dynasty-Fantasy notes every day or two as we have some things of interest, rumors, etc., to talk about.

*Writing them on the fly, forgive any errors…

-- It’s difficult to definitively say where Todd Gurley is at with his knee…is it a reason for 2019 and long-term concern, or with the best doctors working on it – he’ll bounce back in 2019? Then, if he is working in 2019…do the Rams throttle him back to keep him fresh/safe?

I don’t want to go by the media or fan’s reactions here – everyone in fantasy gravitates to the negatives, the things to worry about…and then dutifully worries about them. Fantasy players are professional worriers and the media throws us red meat to get us to click(bait) their stupid speculation hit pieces.

I can tell you this…the fear on Gurley is gripping us masses in real fantasy draft activities. He’s gone from a top 10 overall pick to consistently going outside the top 12/1st-round…redraft/Best Ball and Dynasty. Part two of that is Darrell Henderson has gone from a #100-150 redraft pick to top 75 and climbing. Henderson has gone from #12-14 in dynasty rookie drafts to creeping into the top 10.

As an observer/analyst of such things, I look at the surrounding circumstances/evidence and I AM starting to worry on Gurley…

If all the Rams did in the offseason was pay up/too much for Malcolm Brown, I’d take notice but not be too alarmed.

Had they paid for Browns AND drafted a flyer RB in late 4th/5th+ round of the NFL Draft, I’d be a little more dialed in but not fully skeptical of Gurley.

The fact that they overpaid Brown and then burned a higher draft pick for Darrell Henderson…now, I know the Rams are more than just ‘a little precautious’. That, plus all the chatter from the Rams about special workouts, and the Jay Glaser report that there is concern in L.A., etc. At minimum, I think Gurley is going to split time (especially early in the season) and thus be fantasy-frustrating – whether that be 70-30 Gurley, 60-40 or 50-50 split…whatever it is, it’s not going to be 99-1 like it had been pre-Gurley injury.

How about if the Rams like what they see with Henderson-Brown this preseason and end up putting Gurley on the PUP list half the season -- to keep him away from football to heal up fully? That would be fantasy chaos.  

How about if the Rams just shelve him for 2019? Which then leads to – what is Darrell Henderson FF-worth as a full starter in 2019? What if they announced that today? RB1 for Henderson? I think that’s absolutely true…and, thus, the logic in the rising gambles people are taking on Henderson.

What is Henderson worth today, based on all the noise and confusion on Gurley?

6/4 Tuesday, you’ll see my updated 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings on Henderson (and 325+ other prospects).

6/7 Friday, you’ll see my updated valuations on Gurley-Henderson for 2019 Best Ball drafts.

Gurley MVP in 2017…and, now, may not play or play well in 2019.

David Johnson historic 2016, broken wrist 2017, terrible offense-death in 2018.

Le’Veon Bell…just sits out a year and now ‘Jets’!

Kareem Hunt…top guy one day, kicked off team the next…and now backup for the Browns.

Why do we put some much FF-value on RBs when they are such letdowns due to injury and changing offenses on bad teams?

-- About the only star-fantasy player colder in fantasy than Todd Gurley is Patrick Mahomes…same vibe (stuff for you to ‘worry about’) but different circumstances (not an injury situation and/or an ace rookie QB pushing behind him).

All I hear and see from the football analysts is: “You know Mahomes can’t have that good a season again this year?” Brilliant.

That has to be the single stupidest theory being floated in football/fantasy today – the hot take that ‘Mahomes can’t beat 2018!’ First off, yes he can (and I’ll explain) and second is that the whole context of the statement is warped.

As to the context, the ‘Mahomes can’t beat his 2018!’ vibe is akin to watching early/young Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron hit a 617-foot homerun and boasting, “He’ll never hit one that far again!” Who cares in the grand scheme of things if they are still great players? So what if Mahomes only has 47 TD passes in 2019, not 50…is this a crisis we need to deal with? Apparently it is because it’s driving Mahomes’s ADP down daily and has him being offered up willing in trades as the super-slick person in your league who gobbles all the ESPN they can thinks he is making a super-smart deal just in time to rid himself of this hot-Mahomes potato. You’re the willing dupe who they are trying to stick with St. Patrick.

Saying, ‘Mahomes can’t beat 2018!’ is idiotic…on its own. No one asks the person bragging about it or they never qualify it by stating what Mahomes WILL do then. Do they mean he won’t beat 2018 and fall back to 30-35 TD passes and 290 yards per game and be stuck in a fantasy cluster with 3-8 other QBs? Or do they mean he’s just not hitting the 50-mark, and a 48 TD season in 2019 would prove them ‘right’…but still means Mahomes is a fantasy ace?

I’ll take a Mahomes season of 48 TD passes and his similar yardage output to 2018 if you don’t want it!!

And, hell yeah he can surpass his 2018 numbers. Just using the argument that ‘he can’t’ because it has never been done before – that’s stripping away Mahomes’s talent. It’s like people think he accidentally woke up and threw 50 TD passes last season. If any 2nd-year QB/1st-year starter had a solid season, EVERYONE would proclaim how much growth they’d expect to have with another year in ‘the system’, etc. So, why can’t Mahomes grow in his second season as starter? If he threw 50 TD passes his rookie season, why not more next season with more time spent in the NFL? Why is that statement true for everyone…BUT not for Mahomes. He’s being punished for his great season.

The analysts don’t think young/rookie quarterbacks can be that great right away, because they think 100 years of football study where it hasn’t been done. That was a different time and place. The stud QBs DO make it looks so easy. Analysts have to have the narrative that rookie/young QBs need to develop and understand the vaunted ‘system’. It’s a new NFL today. Young elite QBs are a thousand times better/more prepared than the star QBs of old…Mahomes, Mayfield, etc., are already better than Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning – as passers. The new-era guys grew up, were groomed in the passing era. Maybe Montana-Marino-Manning would be as great right away/for their career, but they grew up in the run-game era. Mahomes probably threw more passes at Texas Tech summer camps than Montana or Marino or Manning threw in their college careers (games + practices).

If Mahomes can throw for 50 TDs his first season starting in the NFL, what if he gets better with another year of experience?

Mahomes loses Tyreek Hill for 8-16 games, then I could see a drop-off to 40+ TDs, but all things considered – Mahomes is just better at this than the antiquated NFL coaches can plan for…and the NFL rules favor all-things passer. Mahomes makes it look easy because it is for him – ex-NFL player and ex-coach commentators can’t say that or they admit the game is not as hard as they want to make it out to be…because don’t we always exaggerate how tough everything we do is? It probably was tough for them…not as tough for Mahomes in 2018+.

Mahomes is on sale from a lot of owners now because they’ve heard the dog whistle of ‘Mahomes can’t be better’ from lazy analysts and they haven’t thought it through…they just want to ‘sell high’ on you to avoid the great Mahomes depression being portrayed, that isn’t even really being portrayed (everyone still ranks him as the #1 QB for FF) but the headlines make it sound like a doomsday report.

I’ll buy all your Mahomes stock at a discount.

-- You may have seen the letter the NFLPA sent the players about preparing for a work-stoppage in 2021…telling them to save up wages for a year or more to prepare.

Obviously, it’s a negotiation tactic…and an utter high school-ish, transparent one at that. The NFLPA is posturing because they feel they got beat in the last round of negotiations, and now Demaurice Smith is out barking again in the press…yapping is more like it.

I’m pro-player over owner, in general. There are some real player issues that need to be addressed, but NFLPA head D. Smith constantly acts like a jackass for show. He could be renegotiating the deal early right now and trying to get a great, fair deal in earnest. Instead, he makes this a show about him and how tough he is…when, in this case, it’s not needed. He just needs to not be an idiot, but he can’t help himself -- and blame the players because they keep him in power.

Save wages for a year or more? What kind of advice is that? I wish the players saw that letter and immediately banded together to oust him. If there is a work stoppage, it kills the players…not the owners. It kills the golden goose game…not the owners. It hurts the players first and foremost and perpetually. The owners can shake it off like nothing. I’d want my union leader to be talking about solutions and things they are doing now…not publicly scaring the membership.

It’s a great time in football, the money is flowing…so, re-do a great deal now, early, if you’re the players. But that won’t happen because Demaurice Smith can’t be on the sports news every day if that happens. He’s going to throw away a fair deal that both sides agree on 98% because he’ll want to fight about suspension processes and drug testing…stuff that affects 1-5% of the membership annually, and is things a player is guilty of lawbreaking 95-100% of time, but no…now we’re going to argue about whether Ezekiel Elliott should’ve gotten a 2-game vs. a 4-game vs. a 6-game suspension. We’re going to hold an entire football deal up, affecting thousands of football-team related jobs, from getting done early so we can talk about one player’s perceived harsh suspension or kneeling for the anthem for months on end…I can see it happening if the NFL doesn’t try to get something done early and just let D. Smith howl at the moon all he wants.

There are real player issues to address, including suspensions, etc. They could all be discussed/locked in now and then argue over some final details to finalize by 1/1/2020. Instead, no real/serious talks have happened, I imagine…due to this idiotic letter that was sent out/the great ploy of telling people they’ll be out of work for a year+. Embarrassing first move by the NFLPA. I’d be so pissed if I were a player with this nonsense putting my work at risk.

In the end, a deal will probably get done early – because there’s no reason not to. We get this every time…a bunch of sound and fury from the NFLPA, for show for the members, and then a deal is struck for another 5-10 years. But writing that everything will be fine doesn’t get website clicks…so, brace yourself for “Football will be over in 2021!” stories for the next 6-12-18 months.

Likely a deal is struck early to mid-2020, and this is a non-factor…except the hysterical words from the desperate NFLPA head and the willing media looking to make you hyperventilate prior to that.

-- If I had to bet, I’d say Ezekiel Elliott is going to get a one-game suspension for his actions knocking down a security guard recently. Elliott has a growing file of concerning actions (outside of the 6-game suspension issue). I think the NFL will try to wake him up/try to get through to him with a one-game ‘message’ suspension.

Two interesting things about this…

(1) You lose Elliott for 1-2 games…and that’s a fantasy valuation hit. Who wants to waste/burn a top 3 pick on a guy gone for 1-2 games to start with other great options to pick from? A 1-2 game suspension takes Elliott from top 3 overall pick to (just) #4-6 overall ADP, probably. For me, if he gets slapped with a 1-2+ game ban, I’d be ‘out’…he’s then just another dumb event away from serious suspension.

The number of RBs you can count on/have no barriers (in theory) going into 2019 is dwindling. Injuries, new coaches, new teams, new offenses, all the touches…hard to find guy like this anymore. It’s why top WRs should be ranked at/above a lot of the RBs in fantasy, but they never are.

(2) I bet the Cowboys are hoping for a one-game suspension. It may help delay contract negotiations or put things more in Jerry’s court/control a bit more than before. Just a ‘wondering’.

I don’t think Dallas wants to put big money into Elliott…if they were smart, they wouldn’t. See: Gurley, David Johnson, Le’Veon, Hunt, Devonta, etc. Also see what the Patriots don’t do…pay for ‘name’ running backs.

-- Coming up on FFM/CFM…

2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft update Tuesday 6/4, and then again Friday 6/7 for the draft-prep weekend.

2019 Dynasty and Beast Ball rankings update Friday 6/7

More ‘Quick Hit’ 2019 rookie scouting reports all this week, and then the 2020 previews of the Devy prospects this weekend and/or into next week.

Xavier and RC discuss each of their divisional projections from their computer simulated ‘Faux’ seasons. Division by division transcripts of the chats this week.

Daily notes as I have them to write about.

The Draft Guide release inches closer. Been working on that for a month now. More info on the release date soon – planned to launch as usual in mid-June.


-- Make sure you have the FFM App with notifications enabled to get alerts anytime we post an article or report or update rankings to FFM/CFM.

-- 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.

-- The debut season of our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball is now 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.

-- The 2019 Annual Fantasy Football Metrics Draft Guide will be available in June 2019 – the 2019 player scoring projections, rankings, special reports, commentary on 600+ players, IDP rankings…all updated daily/weekly throughout the offseason right


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>