By Dan Rosier a.k.a. @theBleagueSays
Back Row Show Bandits!
It’s your guy, your hombre, your digital pal @TheBLeagueSays here and I am pumped to bring you this week’s article because (ready for this shocker?) I think it might actually help you before and/or during your drafts that are coming up!
Recently, the guys spoke about in-house camp battles and ADP problems, and I have found some doozies to break down for you. Let’s get to it starting with a simple blind comparison:
Player A had a breakout year in 2018, by getting the most Targets, Receptions, Touchdowns and Yards in this career. He also finds himself on his 4th different team in the last 5 years despite being in the Top 5 of his position in 2018. In a place with a Hall of Fame Quarterback-in-the-making, on a team that has had a relevant player at this position in the past - Player A could take his game to the next level with a Super Bowl in sight.
Player B finds himself healthy, and as the sole player at this position for his Franchise. He finds himself lucky to see one (kind of two) players leave, having enough vacated targets end up potentially coming his way to further his stats. A yards after catch monster, his team recruited to replace those who left by signing a veteran and a rookie, but neither will get in his way. Finishing in the Top 10 of his position in 2018, an argument can be had that he can jump further forward with the opportunity at hand.
So, who are you going to draft in the 7th Round here if you decided to wait on this position; is it Player A or Player B? Still too hard?
How about Jared Cook at the 7.08 or Vance McDonald at the 7.09?
Yes, this is the task at hand, separating narratives and/or numbers to make a decision you feel best about in the 2019 season. So, what decisions are we currently making at certain times of the draft?
Below is a set of examples that we will come across and I will talk you through my process. Enjoy!
Second Round Star Studs -
Odell Beckham Jr (2.02) vs Juju Smith-Schuster (2.04) vs Tyreek Hill (2.06):
Straight off the bat I don’t believe Tyreek Hill is out of the doghouse with the NFL (see Elliott, Ezekiel; mid-season suspension for a ‘closed case’) just yet and the rumors of Kansas City shopping him, although quiet whispers at best, are enough to bother me. I love the move for Odell Beckham, Jr. to Cleveland - but they have a stack of options and I don’t believe Baker Mayfield will just lock in on him only. Ben Roethlisberger will, however, lock in on the one guy he trusts and target him constantly making Juju Smith-Schuster for me the guy to take in this range.
Juju Smith-Schuster for the win.
Fifth Round QB Quandary -
Andrew Luck (5.02) vs Aaron Rodgers (5.07) vs Desean Watson (5.11):
Normally I’m a wait on a QB kind of guy but in this range - provided the first four rounds went to plan - you can be afforded a can’t miss playmaker in the 5th. However, I’d rather see who falls a round later and lately I see a stack of Aaron Rodgers detractors, and I think he could potentially fall another round and that if that risk paid off it could well make your season.
Aaron Rodgers for the win.
Next Tier Tight Ends -
Evan Engram (6.01) vs Hunter Henry (6.03) vs Eric Ebron (6.11):
A few days ago I would have leaned towards Hunter Henry because I love the role he could have with the Chargers especially if Melvin Gordon sits out, but considering Sterling Shepard and Corey Coleman are injured and Golden Tate has been suspended for four games, Evan Engram wins here because volume IS king. Ebron is fine. But, you know – regression. Jack Doyle is there too and Andrew Luck will spread it around.
Evan Engram for the win.
Battle of the Backups -
Jordan Howard (7.12) vs Royce Freeman (8.03) vs Ronald Jones (8.07):
I’d rather be wrong on a guy and see them succeed on someone else’s team than be right and have them fail on one of mine. Ronald Jones? See you later. Royce Freeman has another chance to impress in front of a new coaching staff but it still feels like Phillip Lindsay is still the 1A. Knowing what volume is in Freeman’s future is anyone's guess. Before Philadelphia drafted Miles Sanders - who I dig this year but is still an unknown quantity in the Eagles rotation - Jordan Howard looked to be the play. Now I’ll never buy into the ‘he’s a better receiver than you think’ garbage, but I think he will have at least a clear role. Howard, 24, has had 24 Touchdowns in three years and only once rushed for less than 1,000 yards in that span, with never less than 250 carries in a season. The guy can carry the load, which is more than what you can say for any Eagles Running Back over the past few seasons. He is the proven quantity in this range, and although he may not be the most appealing, he may be the most effective.
Jordan Howard for the ‘win’, I guess.
Quick Hits -
Dante Moncrief (11.04) vs James Washington (11.06):
Yuck. Moncrief. I can see him on the field more than Washington, making him more viable. He’s had some shocking QB’s over the past two seasons and ‘Big Ben’ might love his new recruit.
Courtland Sutton (10.1) vs Emmanuel Sanders (10.10):
I’m a Sanders guy, and I think Flacco may lean towards the experienced player, which means it could be another year of development for Sutton. If Sanders doesn’t look right in the preseason, however, it’s wheels up for the former S.M.U. product.
Geronimo Allison (8.09) vs Marquez Valdes-Scantling (9.09):
It seems like Geronimo Allison will win the slot receiver role, but ‘MVS’ has gained the job opposite Davante Adams in two-wide sets. In this case I will take the later round prospect which right now is MVS. But don’t be surprised if they switch in ADP as the season gets nearer.
N’Keal Harry (9.08) vs DK Metcalf (9.11):
If we are talking Best Ball, my selection this late would be DK Metcalf and it wouldn’t be close. However, we aren’t. I don’t remember a time when the Patriots seemed this unsettled. If Josh Gordon doesn’t get suspended. If Demaryius Thomas makes a recovery. Sony Michel’s knee is and isn’t hurt and the same could be said for Julian Edelman’s thumb. There’s no Rob Gronkowski. There’s a lot going on. They do have the Rookie who is not injured, able to train and get reps and get time as a starter next to Tom Brady. That will do me fine, Harry is the play here.
Thank you to the fine people from FFC who work hard to collect data for everyone