By now you’ve heard how the saga of Lynyrd Jagyr’d came to an end in a fiery plane crash. Very sad. But out of the flames a new hope is born. I can now stop feverishly refreshing my Twitter feed for Leonard Fournette news like an addict searching for one last crack rock under the couch. Fournette has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, agreeing to a one-year 2 million dollar contract with another 1.5 million in possible incentives. That’s not Bitcoin Cash, it’s real money. You can bet your crypto that Fournette will have a serious role in this exciting Tampa offense. 

In Jacksonville Fournette faced a stacked box (8+ defenders loaded in the box) over 30% of the time each of the last three seasons. Derrick Henry is the only other back to garner such defensive attention since Fournette’s rookie season. Leo will now benefit from a balanced offense with a high powered passing game to keep defenses in check while yielding tons more red zone opportunities. And in 2019 Fournette showed off his impressive hands catching 76 passes; if we learned anything from Brady’s two decades in New England it’s 1) he isn’t above “bending” the rules and 2) he targets his running backs more than anyone. 

All this adds up to Fournette shooting back up my 2020 fantasy football rankings, all the way to #27 overall (in PPR). I’ve aggressively projected him for 200 carries, 800 rushing yards, 50 receptions, 350 receiving yards and 8 total touchdowns in 13 games. While I am crazy bullish on Fournette, make no mistake, there’s some risk that I’m over estimating his workload and this ends up more of an even split committee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July. The heat was brutal but the brisket was mouth watering and the brats were rather phallic. The passing of the 4th of July is a big landmark to me for the football season. It usually means that we are just a little over two months away from the regular season! That may even be true this season as well, but as the positive cases swell and regulations begin to be put back in place, my anxiety builds. But we must press on and be prepared for the best. I remain hopeful that NFL football will be played and that the safety of the players and staffs will go off without a hitch. 

With #SFBX beginning the drafting process tomorrow I continue to research interesting and maybe even tossed aside names. Someone who seems to be tossed aside is a running back with an inside track to a GIANT workload and he’s being drafted just inside of the top 100. He is a player who had incremental improvements in his 2nd NFL season and changes to the offense in 2020 that greatly benefit him if he can hold up his end of the bargain. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And now after I have teased you with 2 days of WR rankings, it’s time for the pièce de résistance: rookie RBs! Nothing has the potential to shift a fantasy league like a freshman RB who finally gets hot come playoff time. We saw with David Johnson in 2015, Alvin Kamara in 2017, Nick Chubb in 2018 and Miles Sanders a year ago. 

If you’ve been following my offseason process, you know what I look for when ranking prospects. If you are a first timer please check out this article explaining my general rationale. 

Additionally, you can see the ascent and decline of various RBs since February with my pre-combine rankings and post-combine rankings

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know that feeling after you’ve been on a week long drug bender and you’re finally coming down from the high? That’s how I feel today. And not just because of my week long drug bender. The 2020 NFL draft high gas come and gone too. On the plus side, we now know what team’s all of the shiny new rookies will be employed by, so we can stop guessing at that piece of the puzzle. Now we can start guessing at other pieces of the puzzle such as the impact of COVID-19  on the rookie class’s acclimation to their respective systems, what their immediate opportunity will look like and what Mike Vrabel’s sons are up to. Before the draft I gave you my pre-draft top 10 and top 20 rookies for 2020 dynasty leagues. Now here’s my updated top 10 rookies for 2020 PPR dynasty leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Quarantine Day 41:

The price of oil hit -$37 per barrel yesterday. That’s not a typo, NEGATIVE 37 dollars! As in, they’ll pay you $37 to take a barrel of oil off their hands. So I told my oil guy to mark me down for 1,000 barrels. Figure I should be able to fit at least 900 barrels in my bathtub and then a couple dozen in the kitchen sink, right? Hope so, because I already spent my $37,000 on Chicago Bears season tickets. Da Bears are even throwing in a 20-pack of N95 masks as part of the deal this year. To avoid thinking about how the Bears will blow this years draft picks (at least we don’t have a 1st rounder to waste) I’ve compiled my top 20 rookies for 2020 dynasty football—went over the top 10 rookies last week. Obviously we don’t know landing spots or draft capital yet, so take these rankings with a chaser of West Texas crude. Anyway, here’s my top 20 rookies for 2020 PPR dynasty football:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to my first attempt at formal rookie rankings for the world to see! I have used a mix of metrics that seem to matter based on my research, mock draft projections and a sprinkling of film analysis (done by people better at it than me) to arrive at this list.  

I explain why I chose the stats I did in the linked article above. While career yards and dominator rating are solidified, we don’t have verified numbers on some metrics.  To rank these RBs pre-combine I had to make some assumptions on the 2 values below. 

Height-adjusted speed score (HaSS)

This is a metric that takes into account height, weight and forty time into a single number that can be compared across players. I landed on 92.6 as a cutoff but think of that as a general threshold. I don’t think 92.5 dooms a player who looks good elsewhere.

While official measurements will be taken at the combine I calculated whether I think each player will make that 92.6 cutoff based on listed ht/wt and a forty time of 4.59. The letter “P” means that player will probably hit the threshold and “M” stands for maybe. Since it is a subjective estimation at this point, I have put an asterisk by that metric.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A few weeks ago, I sat down with the great Peter Howard’s (@pahowdy) college market share database and created a set of filters for college production that had a better hit rate than selecting just 1st round NFL WRs. This time I intend to do the same but with running backs. I have seen a lot of chatter on the Twitter site about characteristics shared by fantasy RB1s. For instance I saw that most of them run under a 4.6 forty. However, looking at just the successful players doesn’t make that a helpful nugget. You see, if ALL NFL RBs mostly run under a 4.6, then the fact that the best ones do still doesn’t help us when selecting from a giant pool of players.

Please, blog, may I have some more?