by Nick Ercolano
June 30, 2020
With this group of RBs it feels like it has to be a rookie RB. By the third year of an RBs career, they're already broken out. If we look at Year 2 RBs, Jacobs already broke out, so did Sanders, so I'd feel grimey touting them as breakout - then you have David Montgomery who I think is undervalued but not going to breakout, Darrell Henderson, hard pass on a breakout. Devin Singletary, another good value pick, but I can't expect him to crack the top 15 sharing early-down touches with Zack Moss and GL work with both Moss and Josh Allen.
It's got to be Clyde-Edwards Helaire.
Looking back, it's possible that any of the top 5 rookie RBs are the breakout - but if we look at them individually - Taylor is very much in a committee with Mack, Indy has been LOUD and CLEAR about that all off-season. FD Sportsbook has Taylor pegged for 700 rushing yards. Not that he can't beat that, but I don't think it's unreasonable and he's not going to contribute much in the passing game. Dobbins fighting with Ingram for early-down, GL work and a QB that doesn't check the ball down. Swift competing with Kerryon. I actually think Swift might lowkey have the highest likelihood of breaking past the other player in his backfield. Kerryon doesn't do anything better than Swift. Whereas I'd argue both or either Hines/Mack are better in the passing game than Taylor, Ingram is very good on the GL, I think Swift is a step above Kerryon in the receiving game, on the ground, more explosive, just on top of KJ altogether.
Cam Akers makes a lot of sense too, but they've been pretty loud about having a committee, though I don't think it will be one for very long, maybe the first month of the season. My other concern, and probably bigger one is the team overall. Horrible offensive line last year (PPF - 26, FOs - 19) and what was even more shocking was the involvement in the passing game. Gurley was used a ton in the passing game over the previous two seasons - last year - the Rams as a team threw the ball to their RBs at a rate of 10% - that was the SINGLE LOWEST rate of any NFL team - we wanna talk about L-Jax not throwing to his QB, Derrick Henry not catching passes, Deshaun Watson - but 10% for Rams, 32nd in the NFL. Not sure if that was a personnel thing or what, but a possible committee, behind a bad o-line in an offense that didn't throw to their RBs at all? Idk mane. The talent isn't in question, but pretty much everything else is.
It seems like 2021 is the year to draft all of these backs in redraft.
I think Clyde steps into an immediate starting role. Maybe not taking the first snap in Week 1 - but a minimum of 14+ touches off the rip. And every RB touch in Kansas City is so valuable. Starting RBs under Mahomes has averaged 1.75 TDs/game. Even if you don't think Clyde is a great prospect, this offense makes it impossible not to be efficient.
It's no coincidence Joe Burrow named him as the best football player he's ever played with. When Patrick Mahomes was asked who he wanted to draft, he said CEH. When Andy Reid watched tape on CEH... Westbrook immediately came to mind.
Westbrook had an unreal stretch of fantasy success under Reid obviously.
Where Clyde is going, is so perfect. RB14, Late 2nd in 1QB, early 3rd in Superflex. The strategy this year, dictated by the market is to snag two RBs early - but it's becoming harder and harder to do that - I've been running a ton of bestball drafts (plug DRAFTERS) and its at the point where almost 12 of the first 15 or 16 picks are RBs, so in the late 2nd round it's almost impossible to get a 2nd stud RB without reaching tremendously for guys like Melvin Gordon, Chris Carson, Jonathan Taylor which I strongly recommend against. But CEH is usually sitting there, and as your RB2 - you get one of those top 5 backs, or even a Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs, Nick Chubb type to combo with CEH - I love that.
Will this be a committee with Damien Williams, it's possible - but CEH is the guy in this committee - it's not like CEH just happened to land in KC - he was THE 1st RB off the board - that happened to land in KC.
Admittedly, I'm not going to be taking CEH in the 1st round, and I'd probably be hesitant early 2nd bc there are other RBs I'd prefer - not sure he has top 5 upside like people want him to have but his floor is super high, and he's a really good bet to score between 10-12 TDs and as your RB2, that's a chip-type performance. You'd be fuckin ecstatic to get that from whatever WR you're going to pick there.
I like Jonnu Smith, I like Dawson Knox, Noah Fant, but I'm not going to get cute here, it's got to be Hayden Hurst. I know it's chalky, but I'm not gonna go away from what I think is the right pick here.
The volume opportunity is just going to be too high here.
Jonnu Smith makes a lot of sense, but it's hard to imagine him getting enough work to validate that pick - they also gave way too much work for comfort to Anthony Firkser especially near the EZ.
Hayden Hurst - a former 1st round pick, stuck behind a top-3 TE. Shoutout to Baltimore's drafting over the last few years, just beautiful.
First round TE - with an underrated (sub-4.7 40) athletic profile:
And it's not like we have nothing to go on - Hurst showed very well last year on his limited play.
Most importantly, he's moving over from the run-heaviest offense to the single pass-heaviest offense in the NFL and the opportunity is huge with Austin Hooper gone, no Sanu, no Freeman.
If Matt Ryan likes his TE, he's going to use him. Obviously we can look at when Tony Gonzalez who would get 120 targets/year, then look at last year Austin Hooper, but even a guy like Jacob Tamme a few years byke racking up over 80 targets in not even a full season.
And you could say Matty likes Hayden.
It's an offense going into the year with the single most vacated targets from last year, with a very good QB, going to be very pass-heavy, a bad defense lots of shootouts with 3 offenses that are going to be very good in 2020 - Carolina's defense is bad enough to ensure a high-scoring game there. Hurst is going to get a lot of targets. That's really all I'm looking for in a tight end.
by Nick Ercolano
August 03, 2020
by Nick Ercolano
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by Nick Ercolano
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