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Darren Sproles

Postby malcolm_reynolds » Tue May 12, 2009 8:41 am

Never sure where exactly to put this question.

Due to an anommoly of sorts Darren Sproles is avaliable in my dynasty league(its a long story). I am wondering what the opinions are of what type of season he will have. I am in a dynasty league so typically our draft is mostly rookies, but Sproles is out there. So I am wondering where in comparison to this years rookies he might stand.

Any thoughts
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby spodog » Tue May 12, 2009 11:05 am

If you had a choice of Sproles and any of the rookie RB's, I'd put him at #2 or #3 at the very lowest. I fully expect a big year from Sproles.
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby iamgregg » Tue May 12, 2009 11:11 am

Unless LT goes down, I see his role staying pretty similar to last season, maybe with his touches increasing slightly. passing downs, return specialist, change of pace. Probably something a little more than your average 3rd down back, but I don't think it'll come anywhere near to a 50/50 split with LT.

This is how I see the backfield shaping up. The Chargers are really high on Gartrell Johnson. His 40 time was slow, but his a powerful runner with good burst who rarely goes down at first contact. He won't be bouncing any runs to the outside but could be an effective inside runner.

Basically, I believe Johnson was drafted to be the power back we've been looking for a season or two. Both Tolbert and Hester have been resonably ineffective in short yardage situations. I think Johnson is here to take the pounding in short yardage and the 4th quarter that LT can't because of his age and Sproles because of his size. He's pretty much here to prolong LT's career. LT should still get half to most of the goal line work, but I see Johnson snatching some. Think Brandon Jacobs lite in his rookie year.

In short, although Sproles' worklaod might increase I don't think it will be by much and he'll continue to be used as a "less is more" type deal, while Gartrell Johnson will take a chunk out of LT's work to keep him as healthy as possible.

However, should LT get injured, a true committe with Sproles and Johnson will probably be on the cards. Should Johnson impress in his role, that could even be the backfield of the future. Sproles is guy worth stashing on a dynasty roster, but I don't see his worklaod sharply incresing in the very short term.

Maybe I'm wrong about this, but this analysis is mostly based on the motivation behind drafting Johnson.

I'd probably draft Sproles behind Moreno, Wells and Brown, but probably before McCoy and Greene.
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby Kensat30 » Tue May 12, 2009 11:40 am

I think that Sproles would be worth around the 6th RB in this class towards the end of the first round. San Diego has already shown that they don't think this guy is featured RB material. LT is going to start for at least another year. Sproles is only signed through the 2009 season. He may well be on a different team next season, and if LT performs well this season without getting injured, Sproles will have very little playing time to earn a big FA role/contract.

The continual drafting of big RBs in San Diego also points towards a RBBC if LT were to leave. In consecutive years, SD has drafted marginal "big" RBs in Hester and now Johnson. 2 + 2 = Sproles is the "little" and other is the "big". That type of situation limits his upside below even the Shonn Green's of this class because that guy figures to be at least a "big" and potentially featured. McCoy has a much clearer path to starting than Sproles does if Westbrook and LT were both to go down.

Regarding Sproles himself, I think the guy is electric. But he is also not cut out to take 20 carries a game or even 15. We saw that in the playoffs. Guy blew up on the Colt's and was totally gassed at the end of the game. In the next week when the guy started, he did basically zero with all of his careers and only salvaged his stat line with a meaningless garbage time touchdown. Contrary to popular belief, Phillip Rivers is nowhere close to a star QB in this league. San Diego needs to be a run-heavy team to go far into the playoffs. Rivers has a few 300/3 type games in him, but the guy is just not a winner that can carry his team on his back like Manning or Brady or even Big Ben. You just don't want to put the ball in that guys hands 40 times a game.. And I think San Diego has shown that the aren't willing to throw Sproles out there to be the guy to take the load off Rivers.
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby joejlitz » Tue May 12, 2009 11:56 am

Kensat30 wrote:I think that Sproles would be worth around the 6th RB in this class towards the end of the first round. San Diego has already shown that they don't think this guy is featured RB material. LT is going to start for at least another year. Sproles is only signed through the 2009 season. He may well be on a different team next season, and if LT performs well this season without getting injured, Sproles will have very little playing time to earn a big FA role/contract.

The continual drafting of big RBs in San Diego also points towards a RBBC if LT were to leave. In consecutive years, SD has drafted marginal "big" RBs in Hester and now Johnson. 2 + 2 = Sproles is the "little" and other is the "big". That type of situation limits his upside below even the Shonn Green's of this class because that guy figures to be at least a "big" and potentially featured. McCoy has a much clearer path to starting than Sproles does if Westbrook and LT were both to go down.

Regarding Sproles himself, I think the guy is electric. But he is also not cut out to take 20 carries a game or even 15. We saw that in the playoffs. Guy blew up on the Colt's and was totally gassed at the end of the game. In the next week when the guy started, he did basically zero with all of his careers and only salvaged his stat line with a meaningless garbage time touchdown. Contrary to popular belief, Phillip Rivers is nowhere close to a star QB in this league. San Diego needs to be a run-heavy team to go far into the playoffs. Rivers has a few 300/3 type games in him, but the guy is just not a winner that can carry his team on his back like Manning or Brady or even Big Ben. You just don't want to put the ball in that guys hands 40 times a game.. And I think San Diego has shown that the aren't willing to throw Sproles out there to be the guy to take the load off Rivers.

It all sounds good, but SD designated Sproles as a franchise player and is paying him the average of the top-5 RBs in the league. He wasn't retained at that price as an insurance policy. I see him getting an increase in his overall effectiveness on the field and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if SD was still quietly looking to move LT, given what they are paying Sproles. Maybe that is the real reason they drafted Johnson? :-?
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby mattb47 » Tue May 12, 2009 12:31 pm

joejlitz wrote:
Kensat30 wrote:I think that Sproles would be worth around the 6th RB in this class towards the end of the first round. San Diego has already shown that they don't think this guy is featured RB material. LT is going to start for at least another year. Sproles is only signed through the 2009 season. He may well be on a different team next season, and if LT performs well this season without getting injured, Sproles will have very little playing time to earn a big FA role/contract.

The continual drafting of big RBs in San Diego also points towards a RBBC if LT were to leave. In consecutive years, SD has drafted marginal "big" RBs in Hester and now Johnson. 2 + 2 = Sproles is the "little" and other is the "big". That type of situation limits his upside below even the Shonn Green's of this class because that guy figures to be at least a "big" and potentially featured. McCoy has a much clearer path to starting than Sproles does if Westbrook and LT were both to go down.

Regarding Sproles himself, I think the guy is electric. But he is also not cut out to take 20 carries a game or even 15. We saw that in the playoffs. Guy blew up on the Colt's and was totally gassed at the end of the game. In the next week when the guy started, he did basically zero with all of his careers and only salvaged his stat line with a meaningless garbage time touchdown. Contrary to popular belief, Phillip Rivers is nowhere close to a star QB in this league. San Diego needs to be a run-heavy team to go far into the playoffs. Rivers has a few 300/3 type games in him, but the guy is just not a winner that can carry his team on his back like Manning or Brady or even Big Ben. You just don't want to put the ball in that guys hands 40 times a game.. And I think San Diego has shown that the aren't willing to throw Sproles out there to be the guy to take the load off Rivers.

It all sounds good, but SD designated Sproles as a franchise player and is paying him the average of the top-5 RBs in the league. He wasn't retained at that price as an insurance policy. I see him getting an increase in his overall effectiveness on the field and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if SD was still quietly looking to move LT, given what they are paying Sproles. Maybe that is the real reason they drafted Johnson? :-?


I'm thinking it's probably more that they were looking back into the past at how it ended up working out with Michael Turner when they let him walk rather than doing what it took to keep him on board and they weren't going to make a similar "mistake" again. If they are secretly still trying to move LT, it would probably end up ranking among the stupidest decisions in franchise history...their offense would go from being one of the more talented in the league to being a mediocre one at best since they would have a poor to mediocre rushing attack and the rest would be on Rivers shoulders and I don't think he can do it on his own.

Last season LT was suffering from turf toe all season...that's an injury that most RBs don't even bother trying to play with and he STILL ended up with 1500+ total yards and double digit TDs. That's the best you can hope for when you're looking at half the starting RBs in this league and that's what you get when you have LT without the explosion or ability to cut like he normally has...he'll have that back this year and I'm telling you, many people are going to be surprised at how good he looks yet again.

If anyone remembers, the last game of the regular season last year when his turf toe was finally healed (at least they said it was), he looked absolutely fantastic before he went down with the unfortunate abdominal strain in that game. That last game against Denver he had that "burst" again and it was a very noticeable difference. His stat line in that game? 14 carries, 96 yards (6.9 ypc) and 3 TDs.
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby Kensat30 » Tue May 12, 2009 1:56 pm

joejlitz wrote:It all sounds good, but SD designated Sproles as a franchise player and is paying him the average of the top-5 RBs in the league. He wasn't retained at that price as an insurance policy. I see him getting an increase in his overall effectiveness on the field and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if SD was still quietly looking to move LT, given what they are paying Sproles. Maybe that is the real reason they drafted Johnson? :-?


What kind of RB can you get on the FA market for $6 million guaranteed?

A career backup.

And SD has a history of keeping players around as insurance policies. See Michael Turner and Drew Brees. Sproles could easily be gone in 2010 barring the wacky extension of RFA from 4 to 6 years that I doubt happens.

LT has a very affordable contract for at least the next couple of years if he manages to regain his form in 2009.
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby mrblitz » Tue May 12, 2009 2:39 pm

For at least this coming year, I see Sproles playing more of a back up role. And returning kicks. I for one, think that LT will have a bounce back year. Thus cutting into Sproles production.
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby spodog » Tue May 12, 2009 3:46 pm

joejlitz wrote:It all sounds good, but SD designated Sproles as a franchise player and is paying him the average of the top-5 RBs in the league. He wasn't retained at that price as an insurance policy. I see him getting an increase in his overall effectiveness on the field and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if SD was still quietly looking to move LT, given what they are paying Sproles.


Yep. Agree. I do NOT see this as the big 'back on top' year for LT. As joejlitz points out, NFL teams don't blow a franchise tag on a guy to have him run back punts. If SD moves LT, this opens up a lot of 2nd down plays for Sproles. If SD retains LT, it seems just as likely he'll have an on again, off again year, battling the 30 year old RB disease.
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Re: Darren Sproles

Postby mattb47 » Tue May 12, 2009 5:02 pm

spodog wrote:
joejlitz wrote:It all sounds good, but SD designated Sproles as a franchise player and is paying him the average of the top-5 RBs in the league. He wasn't retained at that price as an insurance policy. I see him getting an increase in his overall effectiveness on the field and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if SD was still quietly looking to move LT, given what they are paying Sproles.


Yep. Agree. I do NOT see this as the big 'back on top' year for LT. As joejlitz points out, NFL teams don't blow a franchise tag on a guy to have him run back punts. If SD moves LT, this opens up a lot of 2nd down plays for Sproles. If SD retains LT, it seems just as likely he'll have an on again, off again year, battling the 30 year old RB disease.


The thing is though that last season wasn't just an "off" season for LT, he was struggling with Turf Toe...an injury that can happen to ANY RB and will not have any lingering effects whatsoever which cause his dip in production. Despite that he still finished top 6-7 in pretty much every format possible last season.

Also...like others have said, the franchise tag for RBs isn't exactly sky high so it's not like they're paying him a ridiculous amount of money...he's making $6.6 million this year, if they could afford to do it, why not keep him rather than letting him go? I don't think that is necessarily a statement that they are going to use him a ton this season, there are a lot of assumptions there into the thought processes of the Chargers organization when you jump to that conclusion. I think it's just as likely that they didn't want to let another RB go after they let Turner go last season.

They will not be trading LT...I would almost guarantee it.
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