2021 RSO Contracts: RBs

Updated: August 1st 2021

My annual look at RSO auction values moves to running backs.  The series was designed to give the reader help in planning for upcoming auctions by looking at actual RSO auctions already finished this year.  The data comes from a variety of different types of leagues with varying scoring rules and starting requirements which can drastically alter player values so be cautious in expecting values to match your particular league.  The information does provide a useful starting point for examining how RSO owners value players at a certain position relative to one another and the length of contract they are willing to invest.  Provided fantasy stats and rankings utilize PPR per game scoring.

Average RSO Running Back Contracts

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Perhaps the most striking aspect for top running backs is how close the top contracts are together.  The top-6 average contracts are within $3 million per year of each other.  McCaffrey, Barkley, Cook and Kamara should be no surprise near the top.  Once again, rookies come at a premium in early auctions with the caveat of extremely small samples so don’t be surprised to see Harris this far up.  He’s virtually assured of a huge workload for Pittsburgh with volume in the run and passing game.  Taylor was a bulletproof prospect coming out of Wisconsin with a striking athletic and production profile and landed behind one of the better offensive lines in the NFL.  He only got better as 2020 went on adjusting to the Colt’s rushing scheme.  The main question is how much receiving work he gets with Nyheim Hines cemented as the passing down back.

Henry posted the 5th highest rushing season of all time with over 2,000 yards. He was still significantly behind McCaffery, Kamara, and Cook in per game scoring bringing nothing as a route runner where he pitifully averaged less than four yards per target last season.  There’s definitely a cap in non-PPR leagues.  Fortunately that cap is high.  Chubb has similar issues to Henry as maybe the best pure rusher in the league but with limited passing game volume.  He also shares work with likely the league’s best RB2 in Kareem Hunt.   The masses downgraded Elliott’s projections after a disappointing 2020.  He gets his offensive line back healthy and is supposedly in the best shape of his career.   Mixon deals with the same issues as last season, a great all-around running back playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league limiting his efficiency.  Gio Bernard signed with Tampa Bay potentially opening up even more passing volume.

In the RB2 Mix

Second year running backs dominate the top of the RB2 contract tier.  The Rams lost Akers for (at least) the season with a devastating Achilles tear that could derail his career just as it was really beginning.    The dynamic Dobbins averaged a robust 6 yards per carry as a rookie in a Lamar Jackson –centric offense set up for big rushing totals.  Jackson and Edwards extracted over 300 rushes and a rushing QB like Jackson isn’t known for utilizing running backs in the passing game much.  Gibson far exceeded expectations as a rookie for a player with limited running back snaps in college, finishing as the fantasy RB20 as Washington’s main back.  He wasn’t particularly effective in the passing game for a player known as a receiver coming out of school, produced an extremely high touchdown rate bound to regress, and averaged only 43% of snaps his rookie year.  The dynamic rusher needs a big boost in play time to meet expectations this season but has top-five upside if he manages a true workhorse load.  Edwards-Helaire averaged over 20 touches per game and was on pace for over 1.800 total yards prior to the signing of LeVeon Bell (who is now off the team) plus is due for serious positive touchdown regression on the league’s top offense after only five scores last year.  Will Kansas City feature him next season?  Swift runs behind Detroit’s heavily invested offensive line and should be a featured part of the Lions’ passing game.  How much work does Jamaal Williams take and will the offense overall be effective enough to manufacture enough scoring chances?

Jones produced consecutive top-5 fantasy seasons.  The Aaron Rodgers discontentment news seems to have depressed his value significantly.  Ekeler likely won’t ever be a true bellcow but maintains massive receiving upside which can easily put him in RB1 territory.  We also see the two other highly drafted rookies, Etienne and Williams, in this group.  Both should have significant roles from the beginning but not might have dominant usage with quality veterans in the fold on Jacksonville and Denver.   The fantasy community is down on Jacobs and Montgomery after top-15 seasons largely due to perceived increased competition.  Injury concerns probably depress Carson’s price as he’s had two consecutive top-15 seasons without any significant additions in Seattle.

Uncertain Roles and Committee Backs

It won’t surprise me if Davis, Gaskin, or Edmunds maintains consistent lead roles and provide solid RB2 value.  It also wouldn’t shock me if they are mere cogs in running back committees.  How long do Robinson and Gordon keep key roles away from the highly drafted rookies?  Does Mostert, Sermon, or any other San Francisco back take a big enough role in a high volume rushing attack to warrant every-week fantasy starter status?  Moss played well last season and looked to be the back in Buffalo for high-leverage goal-line and passing downs.  Will there be enough work in an offense that transformed from one of the most run-heavy to one of the most pass-heavy, especially with quarterback Josh Allen commanding healthy redzone usage?

Outside the Top-40

The Rams lost Akers which opens the door for Henderson to assume lead duties.  He gets a major value bump but expect a significant veteran presence added to a running back room devoid of much NFL experience.  Williams and Singletary should have consistent weekly touches in limited upside environments, classic “zero RB” candidates (yes the term “zero RB” makes no sense).  Hines averaged over 55 receptions per year in his career on a Colts team without many established receiving threats.  His role does not really change with a Taylor injury so he’s not really a handcuff with upside.  Pollard, Mattison, and Murray are among the top handcuffs with limited fantasy usage outside of injury to the starter.


Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

More Analysis by Bernard Faller

2021 All About Reality Podcast League Rookie Draft

Updated: May 19th 2021

The All About Reality Podcast league graciously allowed the posting of their RSO rookie draft again this season while also providing thoughts about their picks and strategy.  This draft is presented because it presents a league size for which many of you may not have played along with a couple of scoring rules not used in most leagues.  The article features analysis of the picks by the RSO GMs and takes by the author.

The league is a 16-team superflex PPR format with QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/TE/FLEX/FLEX/SFlex starting requirements.  Roster sizes are limited to 20 spots plus I.R.  Scoring rules add additional significant twists with 0.5 points for all first downs, 6 points per passing touchdowns, and 0.5 points per completion / -0.5 points per incompletion.

 


Team Analysis

Sir Purr (Stephen Boviall and Brennan Emenhiser) – The rebuild continues after going full tank mode in 2020. There was a brief discussion about potential Konami Code Trey Lance with the 1.01, but in the end, we drafted the chalk in Trevor Lawrence. We had Chase ranked as our 2nd overall non-QB prospect and his fall to the 1.07 was a true blessing for a team that needs help at every position. We wanted to chase upside with late 2.12 and 2.16 picks and were bummed to see Amari Rodgers go off the board at 2.10 to Bobby. Josh Palmer felt like the BPA at 2.12 and we’re hoping he can find the field in an ascending Herbert led offense. We decided Cornell Powell would be Mr. Irrelevant.  Similar to Palmer, we’re hoping Powell wins the WR2 position in the league’s most explosive KC offense.

Tzhuk Banner & The Junior Mints (Pat Lorang) – Justin Fields no matter what! With Lawrence going #1, I knew I had my guy at #2. I’ve had Justin Fields as my #2 QB throughout the pre-draft and NFL draft process and even with him going to Chicago, I took my guy. At 1.10, I drafted DeVonta Smith, who is my WR1 in the rookie class. With all top 3 RBs off the board, I took my highest available position player off the board instead of drafting Mac Jones. At 2.14, I took Rhamondre Stevenson to give me another warm body in my RB room.

The Fantasy Affliction (Tim Aylesworth) – Do I push the chips all in for this season, or play smart for the future?  That was the question.  I thought about taking Najee Harris for months as adding him to a solid RB situation would have made me an extremely strong contender for the championship. But in the end the GM in me overruled the coach and I went with Trey Lance at 1.03. I may have no starting QB’s under contract next year if Jalen Hurts flames out, and Lance has so much upside it is tough to turn down in a league starving for QB’s.

Saving Private Pyle (Cos Scarcia) – As the new team leadership settles into this league, Saving Private Pyle had four overall picks to play with throughout the rookie draft. Armed with picks 1.04 and 1.13 and picks 2.04 and 2.05, the Pyles were able to load up on some much-needed talent. Head Coach Cos Scarcia and Team President/Owner Sgt. Gomer Pyle were joined in their team war room with 8 of the brightest draft analytics stars in the fantasy game. After fielding some calls to trade down from the 4th overall pick, and then almost trading pick #13 twice, the Pyles brass decided it was best to make these picks. With the first 3 picks being quarterbacks, the Pyles chose RB Najee Harris, to create a 3-headed monster at RB with JK Dobbins and Nick Chubb. With pick #13, the immediate need was at WR, which is where Rashod Bateman was chosen. The expectation is that pairing Bateman with star QB Lamar Jackson will lead to bigtime points from the Baltimore duo.

At the start of the 2nd round, the Pyles considered trading both 2nd round picks in separate packages, but with such an abundance of WR talent and overall talent still remaining at that point, the Pyles ended up keeping both picks and shoring up the WR and RB areas with WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and RB Kenneth Gainwell in back-to-back selections. Although additional holes still need to be filled, the team was aggressive in addressing some glaring needs. After celebrating on Mr. Pyle’s yacht at the conclusion of the rookie draft, the Pyles are now preparing for the auction and are looking forward to the upcoming 2021 season!

McAfee’s Canal Swimmers (Tyler Houston and Kyle Thompson) –The Canal Swimmers come out of this draft feeling very confident in their picks. We had a strong draft class last year and feel confident with Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert going forward. We came into the draft with picks 1.05 and 1.06 and traded up to get to 1.09 as well. Zach Wilson was left at 1.05 and we couldn’t get the offer we were looking for,so we decided to take who we had as the best available. Given the very QB centric scoring, we couldn’t pass up on the value. We loved Kyle Pitts and decided to take him at 1.06 but were stuck between him and Javonte Williams. We were lucky enough to take Pitts at 1.06 and Williams was still there for us at 1.09. Overall, we are very happy with how we came out of the draft. We’re looking forward to seeing our rookie class from last year grow and can hopefully start hitting a window in the next year or two to start competing for the championship.

Lucha Vikings (Ryan Swenson) – In complete and total rebuild mode, I came in with a BPA mentality with the 1.08.  I hoped one of the top 4 QBs would fall to me, but when they were all gone after 5 picks I started fielding offers for the 1.08. After talking to about half the league, I ended up just going with my gut and taking the BPA on my board, who was Travis Etienne.  Not a bad way to start a rebuild.  I don’t buy the Jags using him just as a “3rd Down Back Type” and I am hopeful he will be the next big dual threat out of the backfield.

At the 2.08 I had a decision to make between a WR with upside like Dyami Brown or Amari Rodgers, and what felt like a safer pick, TE Pat Freiermuth. At pick #24 overall, he’d fallen a few picks lower than some superflex ADPs projected him going, so I liked the value of possibly hitting on 2 future starters for my squad with my two picks. I considered Kyle Trask here, but I was so bitter about missing out on Kellen Mond that I just avoided the position at that lower tier. My team will likely have a very high draft pick next year, and hopefully I can get my future QB1 in the 2022 Draft.

Winthorpe & Valentine (All About Reality podcast co-host Matt Goodwin) – Realizing that I could only potentially protect 2 of my big 3 expiring players in Christian McCaffrey, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, I used the offseason and my sticky cap situation to trade Adams to Tim for one year of Diontae Johnson on a cheap deal, 1.11 and 1.16. I previously only had 2.03 coming into this draft. I know not the best return, but I did clear $24MM in cap space in the process too.

At 1.11, I figured my pick was going to be a default one after 5 QBs in the shallow pool of available Superflex QBs, 3 RBs, and Pitts and Chase off the board, I was basically choosing between Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. In my head, I was going Smith on situation, but Pat made it easy for me by picking Smith at 1.10, leaving me Mac Jones to be the 2nd QB on my roster with Rodgers. Was thrilled to get a first round QB that far down the board. To nobody’s surprise, I then traded a 2022 2nd and 2.03 to secure Elijah Moore, who I love at 1.15 and give myself back-to-back picks with 1.16 to control the end of the 1st round when GMs are thirsty to have that 5th year rookie option.

I was between a few players at 1.16 and got many offers to move down even a pick or two. Ultimately, I traded for two anticipated high 2022 2nds and 2.13 who I used to pick Kyle Trask as a potential QB in Tampa Bay in a few years. I couldn’t pull the trigger on Michael Carter at 1.16 based on him being a 4th round pick and while I liked Terrace Marshall and Rondale Moore, I felt getting the picks in 2022 was the best play for my team.

Mike Dexter (Ryan Krauchick) ––  Mike Dexter is a god. Mike Dexter is an…astute trader. Taking over an orphan team midseason is difficult. Taking over an orphan team that was trending to have zero picks in the 2021 rookie draft and only had a handful of useful assets to trade in 2020 is a gut punch. However, Ryan spent the entire 2020 season moving contracts to build draft capital and then traded those picks to build a roster base of Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Jordan Love, George Kittle, pick 1.12 and other future year draft capital.

At 1.12 Ryan was focused on getting the best value for his rebuild, regardless of position. He got his Amanda Beckett (yes, that’s two Can’t Hardly Wait references in one team review), snagging his 2nd ranked rookie wide receiver in the back 5 of the first round. Waddle is as explosive as any wide receiver in this draft class and is a great fit into Miami’s new offense that is focused on winning with speed. Waddle has back-end WR1, high-end WR2 upside and will be a nice starting piece for a Mike Dexter team flush with over $109M in free agent auction cap space.

Ryan was trying to get back into the 1st round to target a RB to build around, but lost his biggest target in Trey Sermon when Mistress of Mayhem plucked him away at 1.14. Without any starting RBs on his roster, he fenagled his way back in at 1.16 and, with a light running back class, settled for Michael Carter. Ryan already had La’Mical Perine on his roster, so Carter gives him the ability to ensure he’s at least getting usable RB points from one of his running backs, as the free agent auction pool is drained at the position.

Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna Davis) – Matt Waldman has Sermon as a top ranked RB. When the opportunity presented itself to grab him at 1.14, that seemed like the time to strike.

RSOooo Super Chargers (Marcus Corbould) –  Going into the draft, I only had the 2.01 since I had traded my 2021 first rounder away. Luckily, my first became the 1.15 so I was only 2 picks back from where I would have been. I tried to trade up for a few picks to try to get Mac Jones in this QB-starved league but my offers were rebuffed. I had 15 players that I would be okay with spending a first round pick in this draft so when 1.16 came up and I still had one guy left, I tried to trade up again. I tried to convince Goody that he could probably still get the same offers at 2.01 that he was getting at 1.16 but he chose to trade it away to the package he knew he could get. Lo and behold my guy was still there–Terrace Marshall. With alpha traits and WRs mattering more to me in this league, it was an easy selection. After that, I probably made one of the biggest head-scratching moves in the draft. I saw Kellen Mond go at 2.03 and I knew I had to get my preferred 2nd tier QB: Davis Mills. I currently have Deshaun Watson and Jameis Winston (which could be 2, 1 or 0 starters). If I didn’t have 2 starting QBs in this league, there’s no point in competing. As such, I had to go bold and move David Montgomery and some cap space (cleared $13M or so) for the 2.07 (23rd overall) to get Mills. Last year, I had Montgomery in 5/5 leagues and I am still higher on him than most–but I needed the upside of a QB (who was projected by some to be a real life 2022 1st rounder) that I believe will play significant snaps on a team with an awful defense. Montgomery was subsequently moved for a 2023 1st and 2nd, but I got my guys. Let’s see if it works out, Cotton.

Karl Hungus & The Nihilists (Ryan Nicholson) – Entering the 2021 draft season, my team was coming off a league-high scoring season but with many contracts expiring or soon to expire (Chris Godwin, Alvin Kamara, Amari Cooper, George Kittle etc.).  With little hope to win it all this year, it was time to deconstruct the roster and walk away with the 2.02, 2.07, and 2.11 this year with additional picks in the 1st and 2nd next year.

There were some very defined tier breaks this year with Rondale Moore and Terrace Marshall being the firewall at the end of the 1st/beginning of the 2nd.  Moving up to make sure I drafted one of these receivers proved impossible but with some luck (and a trade-up by a league mate) Michael Carter went off the board at 1.16.  Rondale Moore fell to 2.02, and I was happy to take him there as a player who I see as a T.Y. Hilton archetype with a Steve Smith style to his game.  David Montgomery was offered for the 2.07 during the second round, and I accepted (he has since been traded for a 2023 1st and 2nd).  The 2.11 selection was Chuba Hubbard.  This is the sort of player that makes sense to me at the end of the 2nd with a hyper-productive sophomore season on his resume.

Pontifex Minimus (All About Reality podcast co-host Luke Patrick) – My contribution to on pick at 2.09- 25 picks away from the start of our draft. Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins are my only QBs on a championship team for the foreseeable future. QB scarcity, Vikings homer, and a rival owner named Lucha Vikings was two picks ahead of me at 2.07. My mission-Kellen Mond.

After pick 1.13 I offered 2.09/2022 2nd/2023 2nd to every owner until salvation came from a Packers fan- my only love sprung from my only hate! The Pickyouoff(Packers) at 2.03 agreed to move back 6 spots and picked up two 2nds and Kellen Mond joined the crew.

The Waterboys (Bobby Hoyt) – I entered this draft with my pick at 1.09, but looking at my roster and cap space, I knew I wasn’t a contender this year. So, when the trade to move back to 2.06 presented itself with an additional 2022 1st and a 2023 2nd rounder, I took it––pretty much knowing based on our group chat hate, that my New York Giants homer pick would probably be there for me. Kadarius Toney’s skill set reminded me of my 2020 2nd round pick Brandon Aiyuk and that’s an enticing thought for both my fantasy team and my Giants.

I was really surprised Amari Rodgers fell this far to 2.10, to be honest. I guess the uncertainty of the Green Bay quarterback situation had something to do with that, but when Daniel Jeremiah comped him to a young Randal Cobb, I figured he would be a great late second round steal. From what I’ve seen from him, he’s a top notch route runner with strong hands and that will always boost a player up in my rankings.

At 2.14, I went with Nico Collins. Any pick here in a 16 team league is a dart throw, so why not throw a dart at the guy who has the most opportunity? Aside from Brandin Cooks, who else is catching passes in Houston? Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills aren’t exciting QB options by any stretch, but I think they should be able to throw it up to a big guy like Nico for a bunch of contested catches at least. And he’s certainly got the frame of a premiere red zone target. So, why not?

Pick You Off 24 (Stacy Hess) –  Stacy, not to be confused with Stacey (he’s a dude, pod league!) essentially traded down many times from 1.15 to 2.03 and then to 2.

RSO Podfather (Devonte Cleveland) –  2020 Midseason, the RSO Podfather was a on a hot streak and made a big trade to not only relieve some cap space but to acquire Evan Engram, Derek Carr, and Michael Pittman to add depth to the roster. The trade involved the 2021 1st round pick. The only thing I have to show for going into the 2021 season is Pittman on his rookie deal.

For my 2021 2nd round pick, I wasn’t a fan of what was falling to me in the later rounds, so securing the Tua’s back up in Jacoby Brissett and taking Benny Snell as depth seemed to be the best option, but time will tell. If I still had the 2.13, I would have definitely went with Kyle Trask, which is what Goody did with the pick acquired in the three way trade.

My Favorite Value Picks

Mac Jones is not my favorite prospect but is my choice for best value after dropping to the eleven spot.  The value of most starting quarterbacks is huge in a 16-team superflex league.  The scoring settings in this league elevate most quarterback values to enormous heights and particularly boost the accurate, limited rushing ability passers for which Jones projects as in the NFL.  It’s a great pick for a team in need of starting QBs.

Kadarius Toney has all kinds of issues projecting him to the NFL including very limited route-running ability, questionable hands, and limited production at the college level.  His ability really rests with the ball in his hands where he is dynamic.  Even though I have significant concerns, some in the NFL clearly have plans for Toney as multiple teams wanted him in the first round.  I like the gamble this late in the rookie draft.

Freiermuth was one of the only tight ends in college used as a primary receiving option.  While not an extreme athlete, he displays the ability to line up and win outside.  A bigger league also increases the potential impact of stable starting tight ends.  Like most tight ends, I don’t expect much production year one.  Eric Ebron and Juju Smith-Schuster could be free agents next season opening up opportunity for the new tight end.


Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

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2021 RSO Writer’s League Rookie Draft

Updated: May 19th 2021

Rookie drafts for Reality Sports Online teams involve a number of considerations different than a normal dynasty league.  Selected rookies are typically given three or four year contracts at, hopefully, a below market contract.  RSO GMs then have the option of extending a player with franchise tags, extensions, or final year options (depending on the chosen settings in your league) which usually are near or above market value for a given player.  This makes the initial rookie contract years potentially extremely valuable and the real measure of worth for a rookie player.

The RSO Writer’s League recently finished our three round rookie draft with results posted below. The league is a 10-team Superflex PPR format.  This article analyzes some of the pick decisions with All About Reality Podcast hosts Luke Patrick and Matt Goodwin also providing insight into their picks (also be sure to check out the latest RSO Podcast where Luke and Matt discuss this draft).

Writer’s League Draft

Notes on Selected Picks

1.01, Trevor Lawrence QB

Luke:  Morning of the Writer’s League draft I only had one certainty: no one was moving up for the 1.01.   Having done my due diligence with the league, I was faced with the reality of a young team- 1.01/1.03/1.05 and 3 1st round picks in each of the next two drafts.   This offseason saw me trade away beloved QBs Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins leaving me with Tua lonely in the QB room.

1.03, Trey Lance QB

Luke:  Matt Papson went Najee over Lance so I opted for Lance who I value nearly as highly as Trevor in superflex, especially as he has the legs to make a difference in our ten team league.

1.05, Justin Fields QB

Luke:  Nick Andrews opted for Chase.   Here was my only real decision point.   Fields, Pitts, Etienne all had some appeal for distinct reasons, but given the historic nature of this QB class, and acknowledging someone may bust, I decided to push my chips in on Fields and just stay true to the top three talents on my superflex board.

1.06, Travis Etienne RB

Bernard:  I was very comfortable in the six spot this year knowing one of my top-tier positional players or prime quarterbacks would likely still be here.  Luke’s QB-heavy start to the draft narrowed my choice to Kyle Pitts or Etienne.  In the end, the league’s shallow format and no tight end premium pushed me to the NFL first round running back.  Etienne is the single most explosive rookie RB this season and one of the only rookie backs with potentially high passing-game usage by year’s end.  New head coach Urban Meyer moving to the NFL presents some uncertainty with regards to Etienne’s usage not usually associated with a rookie running back selected in the first round.

1.09, Javonte Williams RB

Bernard:  As noted previously, Pitts was the last of my first-tier players but I also had Javonte Williams in a tier of his own slightly behind them so it was a good trade-up spot for me.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get a deal done.  The seven spot ended up taking DaVonta Smith, though, so I was content waiting on one of my top remaining players.  Williams was the last of the “big three” running backs and PFF’s highest-rated running back who broke tackles at a crazy-high rate.  He has ideal size and should be Denver’s lead back by next season.  The main drawback with Williams is that he is likely stuck behind Melvin Gordon for at least a good portion of this year and not a true “route-winner” at RB which would dictate high target counts.

2.07, Elijah Moore WR

Matt:  Going into the Writer’s League Rookie Draft I had three draft picks with not great draft capital: 2.07, 2.10, and 3.10. I knew I’d get a player I liked at 2.07 but was skeptical about a tier fall-off right before 2.10. At 2.07, I picked Elijah Moore, who I love. When you see comps like Steve Smith and Antonio Brown as route running tacticians and hard-nosed tough WRs and hear how Sly Johnson trained him as a humble elementary schooler on our podcast into a 2nd round NFL draft pick with the Jets, you love the story and the upside. While Moore is set up to be an inside receiver, I’m banking on the fact that Moore can win all over as he did being an elite Ole Miss wide receiver putting up solid stats even when DK Metcalf and AJ Brown were around. I liked him higher than Terrace Marshall and Rondale Moore, who went in the same vicinity.

2.09, Michael Carter RB

Matt:  I saw things drying up at 2.10, so when Michael Carter was still on the clock at 2.09, I offered my 2.10 and 3.10 to move up one spot with Bob Cowper to snag Carter, a good all around back who figures to have a role with the Jets. I think Carter is an interesting player that we’ll be talking about more on our podcast, particularly about the volatility of where he is going in rookie drafts. He was the last RB I had a decent grade on and the end of a tier of players for me and I feel that late third round picks are dart throws and clog roster spots I’ll need for weekly transactions and team depth. So I didn’t want another player I’d have to consider cutting in two years. Hopefully this trade works out well for both teams.

3.01, Kenneth Gainwell RB

Bernard:  This writer concurred with Matt that the talent (or at least the projected production) really dries up in the middle of the second round this year.   This was another spot where I attempted to move up and/or out and could not get a deal done.  Gainwell is an interesting prospect with a monster 2019 of over 2,000 scrimmage yards in his only significant year of play and someone many consider the best receiving back out of the class.  The situation also provides some intrigue with Miles Sanders ahead of the depth chart, a player the fantasy community seems to like more than the NFL.  Gainwell likely tops out as a high-volume receiving back in the NFL thanks to his size, with the floor of not making the roster as a day three NFL pick.

3.09, Dyami Brown RB

Bernard:  Brown was primarily utilized as a vertical-plane receiver for the Tar Heels and performed admirably but not dominantly.  His athletic, production, and tape profile into someone who could develop into a nice outside complementary piece.  Washington doesn’t have much at tight end or running back plus the receiver depth chart behind Terry McLaurin and new import Curtis Sample is fairly bare so there is opportunity available right away for Brown to work the outside and get a decent target share.  New quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick also shows the willingness to challenge defensive backs deep which is right in Brown’s wheelhouse.

My Favorite Value Picks

Kyle Pitts going off the board at 8 in the first round stands out.  Our league settings put tight end values about as low they get, tight ends are notoriously situation dependent with long learning curves, and the historical bust rate is high.  With that said, Pitts is one of the better tight end prospects in the history of the NFL with Atlanta picking him higher than any tight end ever plus an off-the-charts athletic and production profile.

As discussed previously, the talent level dried up in the mid-second of the draft.  That makes Elijah Moore and Rondale Moore solid values at the end of a key tier. Elijah has the chance to grow with new Jets quarterback Zach Wilson in a potentially high-volume role.  Most of his work came in the slot so we will have to see if he diversifies to other receiver positions in the NFL.  Rondale landed in one of the best spots for his skill-set as one of the most athletic playmakers in the class whose production largely came from after-the-catch short passing game, a nice fit for Arizona’s scheme.


Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

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RSO Staff Picks 2020: Week 15

Updated: December 20th 2020

Stephen’s Picks

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RSO Staff Picks 2020: Week 14

Updated: December 13th 2020

Stephen’s Picks

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RSO Staff Picks 2020: Week 13

Updated: December 6th 2020

Stephen’s Picks

Matt’s Picks

Kyle’s Picks

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