Unless you’ve been living under an Antonio Brown fart for the last month, you’re probably familiar with this whole Coronavirus outbreak. I know what you’re thinking, “Would living under an Antonio Brown fart bubble protect me from this virus?” We’ll have to consult the World Health Organization on that one. But here’s a better question: would you rather be enveloped in Antonio Brown’s ass-gas for the next six months or contract a life-threatening virus? Think on it.
Speaking of viruses, Raheem Mostert was sick during the NFL playoffs a few weeks back. Sick in the good way, like the kids say. I mean like the kids in the 90’s used to say.
After taking a modest 12 carries for 58 yards in the Divisional Round against a tough Vikings defense, Mostert torched the Packers in the NFC Championship as he exploded for 220 yards and 4 touchdowns on 29 carries. He cooled off a little in the Super Bowl where he again took 12 carries for 58 yards, but also found the endzone once more on the big stage.
I ranked Mostert #141 overall in my Top 200 Dynasty Rankings for 2020 Fantasy Football at the end of January. Since the Super Bowl, I’ve now drafted in four early season best ball leagues—I don’t have a problem, I can quit anytime I want!—and Mostert has gone off the board between pick 40 and pick 51 in all four drafts.
The first time Mostert was taken in the 4th round I spit out my bubble tea. By the 4th draft I couldn’t help but start to question everything I thought I knew. Do these other degenerate February drafters know something I don’t? Is it normal for a 33 year-old man-child to live in his mom’s basement? Do cucumbers taste better pickled?
When I write these brief dynasty think pieces, I try to put biases aside (except in the case of Kerryon Johnson) presenting something from both the bull and bear camp. That said, I expected to have a tough time making a bullish case for Mostert which would support him being drafted with a top 50 pick in redraft leagues or even top 100 in start-up dynasty leagues; but turns out there’s plenty to like . . .
Some of Mostert’s 2019 efficiency stats at PlayerProfiler.com are quite impressive. He finished 1st in the NFL in breakaway run rate (% of runs for 15+ yards) at 8.85% and 2nd in the league in yards created per carry (yards after first broken tackle/carries) at 1.89. He was also the top running back in yards per carry with 5.6 YPC—I know, I know, it’s not a “sticky” stat and his teammate Matt Breida (5.1 YPC) was also #5 in the league, but it’s another positive data point nonetheless. And Mostert did all of this while facing 8-men in the box 32.12% of the time which was the 9th highest mark in the league.
On the flip side, he’s about to be a 28 year old undrafted free-agent. Including the playoffs, Mostert only reached 15 carries twice in 19 games even with Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida banged up throughout the year. There’s no guarantee Coleman (can be cut prior to April 1st without penalty) and Breida (restricted free-agent) are back in San Fran next year, but I’d guess at least one returns. If both aren’t back, don’t be surprised if the 9ers bring some help in. And vulture Jeff Wilson—can be signed to a minimum contract as an EFRA—is also likely to be in the mix once again.
Over the past couple years by the bay, Kyle Shanahan has become known for his run first offenses, distributing the carries across his committee backfields. But in the history of Shanahan offenses, this hasn’t always been the case:
|Kyle Shanahan Offenses Last 10 Years|
|Year||Team||RB1 Name||Carries||RB2 Name||Carries||RB3 Name||Carries|
|2019||49ers||Tevin Coleman||137||Raheem Mostert||137||Matt Breida||123|
|2018||49ers||Matt Breida||153||Alfred Morris||111||Jeff Wilson||66|
|2017||49ers||Carlos Hyde||240||Matt Breida||105||Raheem Mostert||6|
|2016||Falcons||Devonta Freeman||227||Tevin Coleman||118||Terron Ward||31|
|2015||Falcons||Devonta Freeman||265||Tevin Coleman||87||Terron Ward||29|
|2014||Browns||Terrance West||171||Isaiah Crowell||148||Ben Tate||106|
|2013||Redskins||Alfred Morris||276||Roy Helu||62||Darrel Young||13|
|2012||Redskins||Alfred Morris||335||Evan Royster||23||Darrel Young||14|
|2011||Redskins||Roy Helu||151||Tim Hightower||84||Ryan Torian||59|
|2010||Redskins||Ryan Torian||164||Keiland Williams||65||Clinton Portis||54|
As you can see, it’s not unprecedented for a Shananhan running back to handle 220+ carries, but at the same time, the only three running backs to tally 180+ carries were Alfred Morris, Devonta Freeman and Carlos Hyde, all in their prime years. In order to return top 50 redraft value Raheem Mostert will need to join this list. Is it possible for him to join those ranks? Yes. Is it probable? Not at all.
This isn’t to say that I’d trade Mostert away for Antonio Brown and an N-95 mask. He’ll have value even in a committee and it’s not hard to see the upside if Shanny really trusts him. I do own Raheem The Wet Dream in one dynasty league and I’ll be looking to flip him for a 2020 2nd rounder in this loaded draft class.
All statistics sourced from ProFootballReference.com, PlayerProfiler.com & NextGenStats.NFL.com