The rest of the 2020 RB draft class

My dynasty team (PPR, 16 team league) is in rebuild mode, and it occurred to me that all my transactions have left me with the better part of the 2020 RB draft class, with the main exceptions being no Najee Harris or Javonte Williams. So let’s talk about all of them, even the ones I don’t have. I am ranking them in the order of how good I think l they are:

  1. Najee Harris (don’t have): I tried to trade for him, but he is just too expensive (reasonably so). If you have him, count your blessings.
  2. Rhamondre Stevenson: Just my opinion, he was the steal of the NFL draft (Patriots took him in the 4th round). Whenever he gets a chance, he makes things happen. If he has a flaw, it’s playing for Belichick. But when Stevenson gets a chance like he had last week against a decent Browns defense, and makes them look silly…oh yes, trading for him was the right thing to do. At 6’0", 227 pounds, he’s not a small back, which makes his moves even more impressive.
  3. Javonte Williams (don’t have): Even in a timeshare like he’s been all season, he hasn’t been terrible, although every other week being a single-digit performance isn’t what you want from a starter. Still, his future is quite bright, as he’s flashed some seriously good play.
  4. Michael Carter: Reminds me of Austin Ekeler, if Ekeler had better speed. Great receiving back, with great moves in space. He can run between the tackles, but the Jets offensive line doesn’t usually give him a lot of room for that. When they do, watch out! As soon as the Jets figure out how to use Carter, his floor could easily double. We saw his ceiling in week 8 against the Bengals, when he dropped 32 points on them: 172 total yards, 9 catches and a td. That is an elite RB. Even against Buffalo’s tough run defense, he put up 82 total yards, 4 catches, and a td. His floor is growing every week.
  5. Chuba Hubbard: Chuba is not a great RB. What he is, is a decent RB with a great opportunity. Playing behind “Cardiac Christian” McCaffrey is like a license to print fantasy stats, because CMC will give them to you with his inevitable injuries.
  6. Demetric Felton: A speedy little back who is almost too small for the defenders to find. With his speed and moves, he is just a missed tackle away from the end zone on any play. Naturally, his stature makes any coach reasonably leery of injury. Even with only 10 touches a game, I think he’d be a good flex play.
  7. Jermar Jefferson: He was doing so well, and then ankle injury! Granted, he still has a lot more to prove (like carry the ball more than 3 times without getting hurt). But he still had 2 td’s in 2 games, and looked good doing it. He definitely falls into the “prospect” category for now.
  8. Larry Rountree: Relegated to the Chargers bench, I wonder if there is any way for Rountree to find relevance. He is a wait and see project.

As you can tell, I have a deep bench, and I love stashing RB’s.

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These are my draft notes I made before and around the NFL draft.

Najee Harris (have him in no league - could have gotten him in my rebuild league, but opted for Ja’Marr Chase instead):
The most complete RB in the 2021 class. Elite in every aspect other than pass protection.

Travis Etienne (drafted him in my turnaround league - take a guess how that turnaround is going :sweat_smile: )
Lightning fast, but not very agile. Stiff downhill runner. Struggles between tackles. Good pass catcher. Draws comps to Alvin Kamara.

Javonte Williams (don’t have him anywhere - afraid the RBBC with Gordon may last longer than many hope, as it sure works for the Broncos):
3-down back, good in almost every aspect. Lacks top-end speed.

Trey Sermon (don’t have him anywhere - was red hot for him, tried to trade for him in both my leagues, thankfully without success):
Broke out in last college year, after college transfer. Powerful, but no elite traits.

Michael Carter (drafted him in my main league):
Very solid all-around player. Rather small, no elite athleticism. Natural pass catcher.
(After the NFL draft): Jets need him as RB1. Could grow into an Austin Ekeler role.

Kene Nwangwu (got him in my main league, picked him up from the waiver wire):
Absolutely insane speed. Could have become an olympic sprinter. Good vision, too. Needs refining on an NFL level.
(After NFL draft): Could work his way into the offense via special teams. Might become to Cook what Pollard is to Zeke.

Rhamondre Stevenson (traded for him in my main league, 1:1 trade for Chris Evans, absolute steal):
Little college experience, but lots of promise. Potential sleeper. Great physics.

Chuba Hubbard (have no shares in him, was never sold on him):
Potential career backup. No elite traits. Fumbling appears to be an issue.
(After the NFL draft) Panthers will use him as backup to CMC, which adds some appeal.

Kenneth Gainwell (traded for him in my turnaround league, still hope the Eagles will use his pass catching potential):
Extremely slippery and quick. Going to be utilized as a receiver in the NFL, absolutely phenomenal pass catcher.
(After the NFL draft) Fell far in the draft, and ends up in a crowded Eagles backfield.

Larry Rountree (got him in my main league, traded for him to handcuff him to Ekeler):
May be destined to become a career backup, unless he finds a really great landing spot.
(After NFL draft) Has a chance to establish himself as #2 behind Ekeler, as the other backups are all terrible.

Chris Evans (had him in my main league, where I grabbed him off waivers and then traded him for Rhamondre Stevenson):
Well-rounded back without elite traits.
(After NFL draft) Good landing spot, will be used to relieve Mixon, but will need a Mixon injury to break out.

Khalil Herbert (no shares in him):
Small and compact. Not a good pass catcher. Even worse in pass protection. Could see some goal line carries if finding the right landing spot.

Kylin Hill (briefly had him in my turnaround league, claimed him off waivers, but dropped him after his injury):
Good pass catcher, but terrible 2020 college season.

Jermar Jefferson (have him in my turnaround league, claimed off waivers):
Vision is his No. 1 trait, which is something you can’t teach.

Demetric Felton (have him in both leagues, both off waivers - note: I had him down as a WR before the draft):
Gadget player, could be listed as RB/WR. Draws comps to Cordarelle Patterson.

Workable RBs are hard to come by, so you need to take every chance you get. In my deeper league, I always have 1-2 bench spots set aside to stash players like Derrick Gore or Patrick Taylor. Chances are slim that such players will break out, but if they do, I want them on my roster before it happens.

WRs usually have a slower and steadier path to success, so it’s a lot easier to add them later on.

I didn’t include Etienne, because honestly we haven’t seen enough of him to hazard a guess how good a pro he may or may not be. I have a better idea with Rountree at this point.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t trust anything connected to the 49ers. If he ever ends up somewhere else, I’ll consider him.

…did not hit my radar. But I would definitely consider him.

Pretty much what I did. Every one of those backs I have I got through either trades or waiver wire. I only had 2 draft picks this year, and I used them on Jaylen Waddle (mid-1st round) and Jeremy McNichols (mid-3rd round).

As I came into this season, I became less and less comfortable with Derrick Henry as my primary RB. Aside from the sheer volume of touches he’s had over the last 2 years, there was also the problem with his handcuffs: I had to carry two of them. Darrynton Evans was supposed to be his primary backup, but he has a long injury history. That left Jeremy McNichols as the second handcuff. The more I thought about it, the more I thought this is ridiculous. I could dump the handcuffs, but that leaves me with nothing if he gets hurt. So instead, I traded Henry and his bracelets away for Carter and Rountree.

Rountree is kind of interesting, because I traded him away later, and the new owner proceeded to drop him, and another owner picked him up and later dropped him. I just picked him up from waivers again this week. I figure I’ll take him into next year and see if he develops any value.

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In recent years, I’ve been battling some poor RB decisions I made during the initial draft of my main dynasty league. Right now, I’m pretty happy with my backfield that consists of:

Austin Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, Michael Carter, Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, Sony Michel, Larry Rountree, Kene Nwangwu, Demetric Felton (IR), Tony Jones* (IR), Samaje Perine*, Eno Benjamin*, Wayne Gallman*.

(*) indicates that I do not intend to carry the player over to the next season.

I recently traded away Myles Gaskin. Thanks to that and more good trades, I now hold 2x 1st and 2x 2nd round picks in next year’s draft. I intend to either pool 1-2 picks with Austin Ekeler and trade for Jonathan Taylor (already made an offer, but his owner wants to wait until he knows how much the picks will be worth, which does make sense).

Or I will pool as many as it takes to go for one of the top 3 picks. Then use that one on a top rookie RB, and hopefully have no headaches on RB for the next 2-3 years.

Btw - Tony Jones will come off IR shortly, and I guess it’s safe to cut him, right? Or do you see any value in holding him for another year?

Hard to say with injured second stringers. If the Saints give Ingram another shot next year, Jones will be worthless. If I had to guess, I think the mere fact they brought in Ingram proves Jones is worthless.

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They brought him in at a time when Jones was still unavailable for another few weeks.

Well, last night finally buried my dream of Wayne Gallman taking over the Falcons’ backfield, so Jones will be only #2 on the cut list.

Funny story with Gallman. I scooped him up last year, when he filled in for Saquon, and he saved my season. Kept him after he was signed by the Niners, in hope they would trade him to the Rams after Akers went down. Didn’t happen.

So a week before the season, he was still buried on the Niners depth chart. So I cut him, and added Qadree Ollison in his stead, as it looked like he may be able to carve out a role for himself with the Falcons.

Less than 48 hours later, the Falcons cut Ollison and sign Gallman. So I had to pay some FAAB $$$ to get him back on my roster. Only to watch him collecting dust on the Falcons roster, while Patterson suddenly earns late stardom (Patterson was a free agent until week 2 in my league, and I deliberately decided against picking him up.)

So 3 weeks ago, I finally cut Gallman. A week later, Patterson runs into problems, and Gallman is suddenly getting snaps.

So I scooped Gallman up yet again, and hoped for a meaningful performance last night. Only to see the Falcons activate Ollison from the practice squad and let him handle the backfield duties (which worked as brilliantly as all other plans the Falcons had last night).

I really had it with those two. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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There’s only 3 Falcons currently worth playing on a semi-regular basis: Ryan, Pitts, and Patterson. Everyone else is a crapshoot.