In Praise of RB Tyler Allgeier

This one is for you, @AxeElf !

If you want to hate on the Falcons, feel free. But RB Tyler Allgeier has a strong chance of being fantasy relevant this season, and here is why.

I end up watching a lot of Falcon games (my dad is a fan), so I got to see some things from them last season under then first year HC Arthur Smith that was sorely lacking in the previous season. Even though it didn’t equate to a lot more wins, the use of Cordarelle Patterson as the lead RB was an eye opener. If not for Calvin Ridley’s naval gazing followed by excellent gambling adventure, the team might have done better, as first year TE Kyle Pitts looked the part of elite TE.

Admittedly, this year comes with a QB downgrade from Matt Ryan to Marcus Mariota, but Mariota does bring one thing, and that is fresh legs. And with new WR Drake London, there is passing game optimism, albeit tempered by a reasonable amount of skepticism. But Patterson seems to have other priorities, as Father Time sets in:

Obviously, Patterson won’t be just returning kicks, but what else will he be doing? Looking at the WR depth chart, there’s a glaring hole behind Drake London at WR: WR2 is Raiders failure Bryan Edwards, and WR3 is Falcons failure Olamide Zaccheaus. While Kyle Pitts will get his targets, that leaves a lot of targets for defenses to double down on London and Pitts, unless Patterson is out there.

But what happens when Arthur Smith wants to go “Derrick Henry” on opposing defenses? Patterson showed last year that he isn’t a pounder. Up next in the RB depth chart is 30 year old Damien Williams. But how committed to Williams are they? one writer suggests they should cut Williams to recover the salary cap:

That said, there is no reason to think they will do that…yet. But if they start feeling comfy with Allgeier as Patterson’s change-of-pace, and they find themselves needing salary cap elsewhere, such a move could become tempting. Also, with Williams being 30, that’s not a good age for pounders and their durability. All Allgeier has to do to step over Williams is to show himself capable of playing that role.

The speculation in the media is that Allgeier can be “the guy” splitting time with Cordarelle:

Admittedly, Allgeier is still firmly behind Williams on the depth chart now, but as the last article points out:

Allgeier is listed toward the bottom of the Falcons unofficial posted depth chart, but Scott
Bair of the team’s official site notes that’s an approach coach Arthur Smith generally takes with rookies at this stage of the preseason.

Anyone who knows anything about rookie RB’s knows that NFL coaches demand they know how to pass block before sending them out on a consistent basis, otherwise their play-calling with the rookie becomes limited.

But these are questions we may see answered in the preseason, or even as late as the end of this season. But if Allgeier can master this, then he becomes a weapon in Arthur Smith’s toolbox. But how do we look at this from a fantasy perspective?

In keepers and dynasty leagues, Allgeier is a fairly cheap late 2nd round pick in rookie drafts, going at 19th. With his long-term potential upside, you get a potential RB1 for little draft capital.

In redraft, Allgeier is even cheaper, going at 145th. If you end up with Cordarelle Patterson (80th in ADP), Allgeier makes a cheap handcuff. In fact, if you are going heavy WR early in your draft, the Patterson-Allgeier handcuff option makes sense for a late round RB alternative. Arthur Smith likes to run the ball, but the game scripts got away from the Falcons last season. If the Falcons can keep their games closer, they can pound the rock more, and it is clear from their roster construction that Smith favors bigger backs, like Patterson, Williams, Allgeier, and Qadree Ollison.

Overall, Allgeier comes at a relatively cheap cost, but with good potential upside for the price.

Those four consecutive scoreless touches from the 1 against the Jets’ second-string defense tonight weren’t a good look for this supposed “pounder.”

Wasn’t that behind the Falcons second-string offensive line? That tells you all you need to know.

Anybody can walk through a giant hole. The “pounder” is supposed to be the guy that takes defenders for a 2 yard ride into the end zone when necessary–especially 2nd string defenders on one of the league’s worst units.

Allgeier failed on four straight attempts–both rushing and receiving. That tells you all you need to know.

Are you familiar with the concept of “team sport”? I’m not sure you get the concept.

When you get hit in the backfield because the o-line isn’t blocking, that 2 yards gets you back to the line of scrimmage, assuming you even had any momentum going when you got hit.

Are you familiar with the concept of finishing 8th?

Oh yeah. Forgot who I was talking to.

Carry on…

Sorry, forgot I was talking to a wall of narcissism. Carry on…