B_Don and Donkey Teeth are joined by the co-founder of Rotowire, Jeff Erickson, on the newest podcast. We start by discussing the Dalvin Cook holdout and how people should be valuing Dalvin and his backfield partner (that may sound different than I thought), Alexander Mattison, along with the chance of multiple other backs potentially holding out.
Jeff and B_Don then compare notes from the 2019 RazzBowl to see which owner assembled a more lackluster squad. Jeff gives us his thoughts on the format and how he may adjust his approach from last year. We also discuss how COVID restrictions may affect the season and where there might be opportunity to find value.
Speaking of no way to go, but up, we finish our conversation with Jeff asking about his favorite team, the Bengals. We look the RB situation and discuss a potential Joe Mixon holdout, and ask Jeff where Mixon comes in his rankings. We wrap up with some talk about the passing game starting with Joe Burrow and moving on to the talented WR group that the Bengals have put together.
Before we dive into the article, I’d like to promote DonkeyTeeth and my YouTube show: Fantasy Football Malpractice! We talk about all things fantasy football, from trade theory to our favorite player we’ve ever rostered. Give it a test run, and then subscribe to the channel for more goodness in the weeks to come!
What is Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)?
The DFS game is a one week fantasy contest where players create rosters (typically via a salary cap) to score points for one week. Once the week is over, everything is wiped clean and a new slate of choices and salaries are available for the next week. DFS enthusiasts pour their entire week of research into specific edges that only pertain to a single matchup. Draft Kings and FanDuel are the main platforms that have become very popular over the last few years. With this growth, many fantasy sites have created specialized DFS content.
As the daily industry has expanded, more “traditional” sites are adding DFS columns and other content. If you have never made a DFS lineup in your life but play season long fantasy, you should still be using DFS information to cherry pick available players for little to no cost on the wire.
The 2020 NFL Draft Combine has come and gone. Here’s what we learned: Henry Ruggs isn’t slow, two large trees were killed in the making of A.J. Dillon’s legs, Jonathan Taylor is THE MAN, and eight large deep dish pizzas (Pequods-only) in three days is too much for any one donkey. So now what? First, I’ll probably need to go to the gym to work off these 30 extra combine-pizza-pounds. But you’re here for fantasy football discussion, not updates on Donkey’s rapidly deteriorating physical and mental health. Well, our 2020 Dynasty and Rookie Rankings are now being populated and updated frequently, and B_Don is plowing thru the film on his 2020 NFL Draft Previews. I went over my top 20 and top 40 dynasty running backs last week and made a couple minor post-combine tweaks once the dust settled (insert Jonathan Taylor eggplant emoji). Anyway, here’s my top 60 running backs for 2020 PPR dynasty football:
Disclaimer: If you’re sensitive to ridiculously high rankings of Kerryon Johnson, don’t scroll too far.
Have you stocked up on disposable N-95 masks, canned goods and lotion yet? Oh, you don’t think you’ll need a stockpile of lotion for what’s coming? Once I’m in self-quarantine, here’s how I picture my daily routine:
12:00 AM – 6:00 AM: Dream About Kerryon Johnson MVP season(s)
6:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Eat Pancakes
9:00 AM – 12:00 AM: Rosterbate to my Dynasty Teams
Needless to say, my lotion supply is locked and loaded. Speaking of locked and loaded, check out all of our 2020 Fantasy Football Dynasty and Rookie Rankings! I went over my top 20 dynasty running backs (full list at bottom of this post) earlier this week between visits to the lotion dealer; yes, I’m still irrationally high on Kerryon Johnson and crystal meth. Anyway, here’s my top 40 running backs for 2020 PPR dynasty football:
With most fantasy leagues entering their Championship Sunday in week 16, we will only focus on running back situations that warrant start consideration. Starting running backs that will enter this Sunday 100% healthy, their traditional handcuff can be dropped to waivers to make better use of bench spots. Blocking your opponent, from adding a better defense or a starting caliber player at the QB and skill position (WR/TE/RB), is a tactic the most competitive and cut-throat players deploy. If your league plays to week 17, you will want to pay extra attention to the names below. Congratulations to everyone that made it to their championship game or are fighting for 2nd/3rd place prize pools.
Welcome to Stat-o-Matic where we look at some advanced stats around the NFL. As a disclaimer, I am using this space to play around with some numbers and present some interesting findings. But, by no means is this validated or predictive data. I hope that it will lead to meaningful discoveries or it could inspire you to go down your own rabbit hole. We’re going to explore together, crunch some numbers and see what pops out.
Ty Johnson was able to clear concussion protocol and suit up after carrying a questionable tag all week, but it was the Lions practice squad acquisition that led this backfield on Sunday against the Cowboys. Bo Scarbrough found the field for 49% of the Lions offensive snaps, leading both Ty Johnson (29%) and JD McKissic (23%), and looked good while doing it. Bo handled 74% of the Lions running back carries (14), and finished the day with 55 yards, 1TD, and 11.5 fantasy points. If the Lions did not fall behind in the second half, Scarbrough would have padded his stats a little more. The Lions turned to JD McKissic in the passing game, recording 3 receptions on 4 targets, with Bo recording 0 targets while the Lions were playing catch-up. Ty Johnson was an afterthought, taking his 2 carries for a measly 6 yards, making Bo one of the top adds this week. McKissic still offers low-end value in deeper PPR formats, but Ty Johnson can be dropped in most 12-team and small leagues.
We’re approaching the end of worthwhile adds and into the adding good backups for the rest of the season. You usually don’t have to spend FAAB dollars on backups but you might this week in the case of Alex Mattison, who is continually proving he’s the best backup RB in the NFL (and if you’ve been reading weekly you would’ve added him weeks ago). From here on out the highest bids/added guys are going to be because of injury. So why not hedge those bets and load up your roster with those guys now as opposed to a fringe starter or a WR4 that might hit but probably won’t. By this point in the season you should’ve spent some FAAB money so we’re updating the amount we have at this point to $25; if you have more by all means add it to the dollar amounts listed here:
I know the climb has been brutal for you, as it has for us all. This past Sunday my eyes froze over as I watched many of my teams drop under .500 for the first time. As I write this, I am enduring Jason Witten hand me a loss one excruciating 3 yard catch after another. This section of the season is the darkest grind when the post-draft excitement has long worn off but the playoffs are still far away. Injuries and bye massacres come for us all, but it’s how we respond that defines us.
Mattison made the handcuff report back in the pre-season as a premium handcuff, and needs to be rostered by all Dalvin Cook owners heading down the stretch of the fantasy football regular season. Barely on the field for a quarter of the Vikings offensive snaps (26.4%), Mattison’s athletic ability was still on full display. The Vikings are giving Mattison the ball when he is on the field, touching the ball 78.9% percent of his snaps compared to Dalvins 54.9%. In week 8, Alexander took 13 carries for 61 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and now averaging 4.9 ypc on the season. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison is fully capable of producing in our fantasy lineups in an offense built around the run. The Vikings rank 3rd in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (32.9). Mattison is averaging 10.8 touches per game over the past 4 weeks, if he is able to find the field for more than 26% of the offensive snaps he’ll start to flirt with weekly flex value.