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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby Dawinner127 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:15 pm

Dr. Duran Duran wrote:It's a huge mess, alright! If you have a shot at one of the top options like McCoy, Rice, Foster or MJD, I say go for it. After that, I'd strongly consider taking the best player available which likely will be a top flight QB, WR or one of the two top TE options (Graham, Gronk) before reaching early for a running back just to "fill the roster spot." I'm saying that given the options that are available in the 4th round like Doug Martin, Shonn Greene, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Willis McGahee or Roy Helu, who have about as many question marks as the above options.

This is where I stand this year. Grabbing a RB early in the draft is not a necessity as it was the previous few years. Every single RB other than, Rice, McCoy, and Foster has questions. I agree with loading up and stock piling up on other positions and then attack the RB position with a bunch of guys who have the potential to break out this year or who are worth the ADP that they currently have.
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby daullaz » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:18 pm

Dr. Duran Duran wrote:1. Trent Richardson - No way in hell am I grabbing a running back from Cleveland, especially considering how putrid their offense has been lately. I simply cannot see any reason why in a normal re-draft you would want to go after a running back who has virtually no weapons around him to help take the pressure off of him, with likely a rookie quarterback (Weedon) starting alongside him, with the Browns' history of success at running back. If he was going to be available in the 3rd round, absolutely worth the risk. But people are taking him in the 1st, which makes almost no sense in a standard re-draft.


This essentially describes MJD last year, save for the "history of success at running back" part, which MJD himself provides. MJD turned out pretty good last year. Hillis did a pretty good job with the Browns two years ago too.

I like Richardson this year, simply because he could threaten to lead the league in carries. Last year, only two backs had 300 carries: MJD (343) and Michael Turner (301). MJD had nearly 15 percent more carries than the guy in second place. Is Richardson's situation really that different from that of MJD's last year?

I'd consider Richardson's absolute floor (barring injury) to be Cedric Benson's 2011 stat-line: 273 carries, 1,067 yards, 6 TDs (with a minimal amount of receiving yards thrown in). Is that what you want from a top-12 pick? No. But I did say that's his floor.

I expect him to clear 300 carries, post a more respectable average than Benson's 3.9 per carry and probably finish as a top-12 running back. Frank Gore had 1,211 yards on 281 carries and eight rushing TDs (and again, a minimal amount of receiving yards). That put him 13th in the league in fantasy points according to one of my league stats pages. Since I think Richardson will get more carries and I think he can match Gore's 4.3 yards per carry, I'd say he going in a perfectly reasonable spot.

Considering MJD's success last year in a similar situation, Richardson may actually be coming in at a bargain if he ends the year with over 20 carries per game like MJD did. And I haven't even compared him to competent receiving backs, which by all accounts Richardson is expected to be, at the very least. He could see plenty of targets out of the backfield and wind up in the vicinity of 350 touches.

Basically, what I'm saying is that if I'm picking at the end of the first round, that's my guy.
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:14 pm

daullaz wrote:
Dr. Duran Duran wrote:1. Trent Richardson - No way in hell am I grabbing a running back from Cleveland, especially considering how putrid their offense has been lately. I simply cannot see any reason why in a normal re-draft you would want to go after a running back who has virtually no weapons around him to help take the pressure off of him, with likely a rookie quarterback (Weedon) starting alongside him, with the Browns' history of success at running back. If he was going to be available in the 3rd round, absolutely worth the risk. But people are taking him in the 1st, which makes almost no sense in a standard re-draft.


This essentially describes MJD last year, save for the "history of success at running back" part, which MJD himself provides. MJD turned out pretty good last year. Hillis did a pretty good job with the Browns two years ago too.

I like Richardson this year, simply because he could threaten to lead the league in carries. Last year, only two backs had 300 carries: MJD (343) and Michael Turner (301). MJD had nearly 15 percent more carries than the guy in second place. Is Richardson's situation really that different from that of MJD's last year?


The difference is, MJD has a track record of success. Trent Richardson hasn't played a down in the NFL and as far as I'm concerned, he's far riskier as a result. Sure, he might put up rookie numbers comparable to someone like Cadillac Williams 1,178 yards and 6 TDs (2005) or he might put up something similar to what Blair Thomas did 600 yards and 2 TDs (1990). Keep in mind, Cadillac had a very good rookie year and barely put up numbers similar to what you'd expect from a 4th or 5th round RB.

Here's where I really want to drive the point home. If you're drafting at the end of the 1st round in a 12 or 14 team league, you should expect 1,300 yards and 12 scores from your RB, should that be the position you're targeting. Having said that, those are the type of numbers Adrian Peterson put up in his rookie year. Do you really expect Trent Richardson to have a rookie season comparable to one of the best running backs in recent memory? If so, you're a much bigger gambler than I could ever be. I believe it's absolutely insane to take such a risk on a player in the 1st round - a player who should be by all accounts the safest pick on your team with the greatest chance to be the focal point of your fantasy roster. Why that player should be a rookie rusher from Cleveland is beyond my comprehension.
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby daullaz » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:00 pm

All good points, but I think it's beneficial to look past the term rookie and analyze his situation. Most rookies don't dominate immediately, but most rookies (especially nowadays) don't get an extremely large chunk of their team's snaps at the position. When it happens though, the mere fact that a guy is a rookie isn't enough to limit his ceiling. Edge destroyed the league in his first season, leading the league in rush attempts, rush yards and total TDs rushing and receiving. Portis had a huge rookie year by getting most of the team's carries.

Peterson, on the other hand, split touches with Chester Taylor, touching the ball 251 times (and carrying it just 236 times) to Taylor's 186 touches. But in Cleveland in 2012, there is no Chester Taylor. Cadillac is a solid comp, though I'd argue he wasn't nearly as highly thought of as Richardson. Nor did he have nobody around him in his rookie year, as the Bucs got surprisingly effective numbers from their QBs and enjoyed a big year from Joey Galloway. Williams also surrendered 132 carries and 61 receptions to three other running backs. Will Montario Hardesty and company get close to 200 touches this year? I can't see it.

Richardson's in a unique situation in that he's matching exceptional talent with the lack of competition for carries. We haven't seen that in a while, because it doesn't happen in our current era of football, one built upon tandem backfields. It's happening in Cleveland.

Jacksonville attempted 489 rushes last season, good for fourth in the league. The Browns are built similarly (rookie QB, no receiving help, RB is by far the most talented weapon) and will see an uptick from the 415 carries they attempted last year. Richardson seems likely to carry the ball 18-20 games while healthy, and add one or two catches each week. I don't think this will be dictated by game flow either -- it didn't seem to stop the Jaguars whether they were up or down. The Browns have repeatedly said they're going to feed Richardson, and all signs point to him being a workhorse back. When you have that high volume, how are you a risky bet?

The only way I could justifying dismissing him in the situation outlined above is because of the word "rookie," because rookies generally don't dominate in Year 1. But "don't" and "can't" are two very different things. Before last year, QBs generally didn't throw for 5,000 yards. Tight ends didn't put up WR1-type numbers. That didn't mean it couldn't happen; it just took the right situation (a lot of credit is given to the lockout; rightly or wrongly, I couldn't tell you). I think Richardson's in the right MJD-type situation this year.
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby Stelly » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:54 pm

Dr. Duran Duran wrote:Personally, I see no reason to grab a running back until the 4th or 5th rolls around if you haven't grabbed one of the so-called "Big Six". I'm stocking other positions before taking my 2nd running back since I'll have McCoy in the 1st round this year. Virtually everyone down the line has a major question mark or two attached:

1. Trent Richardson - No way in hell am I grabbing a running back from Cleveland, especially considering how putrid their offense has been lately. I simply cannot see any reason why in a normal re-draft you would want to go after a running back who has virtually no weapons around him to help take the pressure off of him, with likely a rookie quarterback (Weedon) starting alongside him, with the Browns' history of success at running back. If he was going to be available in the 3rd round, absolutely worth the risk. But people are taking him in the 1st, which makes almost no sense in a standard re-draft.

2. Darren McFadden - All the potential in the world, just cannot stay healthy. He's played for four seasons and has yet to finish one with 16 starts.

3. Matt Forte - Has never been a goalline back and now Michael Bush is in town. If he was a #2 back, absolutely. But I cannot justify drafting him as my #1 back in the 1st round when he'll probably score no more than 7 times on the year.

4. DeMarco Murray - I'm not sweating the injury so much, nor am I worried about Felix Jones' presence. What concerns me is the one-hit-wonder notion. He had 3 big games and a bunch of stinkers. Even with the 3 big games, he scored only 2 touchdowns. I recall getting all excited about Jerome Harrison a few years back after he nearly broke the single game rushing record late in the year and we all recall how that ended. Again, do I think the kid is a talent? Sure. With just two touchdowns under his belt, I do concern for his ability to score points though and the consistency needs to be there for him to be a great #1 back.

5. Adrian Peterson - Uh, no. You guys want to take a player who blew out three ligaments in his knee late in the year, be my guest.

6. Jamaal Charles - See above. Plus he has the White Rhino there likely to steal goalline carries.

7. Marshawn Lynch - Can he stay on the field, given his off-field problems? Also, now that he's paid, will he play hard?

8. Fred Jackson - He's 31 years old. That's already enough to make me worried. Now, he's coming off an injury, too?

It's a huge mess, alright! If you have a shot at one of the top options like McCoy, Rice, Foster or MJD, I say go for it. After that, I'd strongly consider taking the best player available which likely will be a top flight QB, WR or one of the two top TE options (Graham, Gronk) before reaching early for a running back just to "fill the roster spot." I'm saying that given the options that are available in the 4th round like Doug Martin, Shonn Greene, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Willis McGahee or Roy Helu, who have about as many question marks as the above options.


*slow clap*

*high fives*

Excellent post. Just out if curiosity, what are your thoughts on SJax?
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:08 am

Stelly wrote:*slow clap*

*high fives*

Excellent post. Just out if curiosity, what are your thoughts on SJax?


Thanks, man. B-)

I had Steven Jackson for the past four years and although I appreciated his toughness and the four consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, his decline is almost certainly on the horizon. 2,138 rushing attempts is a career for a lot of guys. He's the #2 active leader in rushing attempts behind only Thomas Jones (2,678). Though I think he might be able to churn out another 1,000 yard season with about 6-8 scores, it's quite a risk given his age (29) number of attempts and the anemic offense he plays for. I'd be happy to have him as a #2 rusher but given his ADP, you'd have to take him in the 2nd round of a 12-14 team re-draft, which is a bit too high for my liking. I'd rather take a WR like Larry Fitzgerald or a TE like Gronkowski in the 2nd than go after a relatively high-risk/low reward player like Jackson with a 2nd round selection.
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby Cuffs » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:04 am

daullaz wrote:All good points, but I think it's beneficial to look past the term rookie and analyze his situation. Most rookies don't dominate immediately, but most rookies (especially nowadays) don't get an extremely large chunk of their team's snaps at the position. When it happens though, the mere fact that a guy is a rookie isn't enough to limit his ceiling. Edge destroyed the league in his first season, leading the league in rush attempts, rush yards and total TDs rushing and receiving. Portis had a huge rookie year by getting most of the team's carries.

Peterson, on the other hand, split touches with Chester Taylor, touching the ball 251 times (and carrying it just 236 times) to Taylor's 186 touches. But in Cleveland in 2012, there is no Chester Taylor. Cadillac is a solid comp, though I'd argue he wasn't nearly as highly thought of as Richardson. Nor did he have nobody around him in his rookie year, as the Bucs got surprisingly effective numbers from their QBs and enjoyed a big year from Joey Galloway. Williams also surrendered 132 carries and 61 receptions to three other running backs. Will Montario Hardesty and company get close to 200 touches this year? I can't see it.

Richardson's in a unique situation in that he's matching exceptional talent with the lack of competition for carries. We haven't seen that in a while, because it doesn't happen in our current era of football, one built upon tandem backfields. It's happening in Cleveland.

Jacksonville attempted 489 rushes last season, good for fourth in the league. The Browns are built similarly (rookie QB, no receiving help, RB is by far the most talented weapon) and will see an uptick from the 415 carries they attempted last year. Richardson seems likely to carry the ball 18-20 games while healthy, and add one or two catches each week. I don't think this will be dictated by game flow either -- it didn't seem to stop the Jaguars whether they were up or down. The Browns have repeatedly said they're going to feed Richardson, and all signs point to him being a workhorse back. When you have that high volume, how are you a risky bet?

The only way I could justifying dismissing him in the situation outlined above is because of the word "rookie," because rookies generally don't dominate in Year 1. But "don't" and "can't" are two very different things. Before last year, QBs generally didn't throw for 5,000 yards. Tight ends didn't put up WR1-type numbers. That didn't mean it couldn't happen; it just took the right situation (a lot of credit is given to the lockout; rightly or wrongly, I couldn't tell you). I think Richardson's in the right MJD-type situation this year.


You make a really strong argument – the strongest argument I’ve read on taking Richardson early. But I’m still not sold on him. There appear to be a lot of touches available if he continues to earn them, but he is not guaranteed to be the only RB getting touches. There’s no guarantee that he won’t struggle or underperform a little bit and Brandon Jackson winds up getting more touches. I think the risk is like Daniel Thomas last year, which didn’t work out too well. Both teams had strong running games, shaky QB situations, and these star rookie RBs were supposed to come in and dominate carries. Neither guy was regarded to have legit competition at backup, either. Then what winds up happening? Reggie Bush earns more carries. Bush is better than Brandon Jackson, who is Richardson’s likely backup. But stranger things have happened than Brandon Jackson or Hardesty (finally) waking up and earning some carries.

I agree more with Dr. Duran Duran. Your points are really compelling, but I see more risk with him than you do if I were taking Richardson over guys with an established track record of success at this level. Yes, the “established track record” player could wind up getting injured early on and tank this season, but the injury risk applies to most guys. Richardson has an ADP of around 7. I’d rather take Calvin Johnson or Drew Brees/Tom Brady – guys with a proven record who are guaranteed to get a ton of targets/reps unless injured -- rather than a rookie RB who might get a bunch of carries, but who has yet to prove what he will do with them against NFL tacklers. I think Steven Jackson will most likely post comparable numbers and can be had a round or two later. S.Jackson does have a lot of mileage on him, but there are similarities that would appear to guarantee him a lot of touches too (young QB, good size/speed, good hands, not much competition).
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby daullaz » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:16 am

Daniel Thomas isn't very comparable at all, at least to me. He was a late second-round pick with questions surrounding him. In fantasy, he was deemed the No. 1 dynasty pick in a lot of leagues solely because of his situation, but he didn't have anything close to the resume of Richardson. Also, as you said, Bush was by far a more established back, one that the Dolphins traded for that had a $2.5 million base salary and $2.5 million signing bonus owned to him. As a second rounder, Thomas's contract didn't come anywhere near that, so the Dolphins really didn't have a reason to stay committed to him once he started playing poorly.

Richardson has a $20.5 million four-year contract, with well over half of that being guaranteed. The Browns gave up three extra picks to move up one spot and take him, and while we don't see picks in the 100s as having a ton of value, most NFL teams think otherwise. He has no chance of being benched in his rookie year, even if he has a rough start, especially after the Browns traded up to get him and have basically publicly put all their eggs in his basket by paying such a big price (in traded picks, overall draft selection of Richardson, public comments and most importantly, money).

I'd also dispute that the QB situations are similar, as the Dolphins went into the season with the established Chad Henne, who had been with them for a while. They then used Matt Moore after Henne got hurt, and Moore completed 60 percent of his passes with a 16/9 TD/INT ratio in 13 games. If the Browns get anything close to that production from Weeden, they'll be ecstatic. Those Miami QBs also had Brandon Marshall, making the Cleveland situation less like Miami and again more like Jacksonville, in my eyes.
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby Cuffs » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:55 am

The highest draft position of the top 6 rushers in the NFL last year was 52nd. Draft position (or the size of a rookier contract) is an indicator of the confidence a team has in a player but is not necessarily an indicator of future success. I get your point, and it is a good one. But I am still not sold on Richardson as a top 7 pick. I would much rather have Rodgers/Brees/Brady or Calvin Johnson and go with volume of high risk/high reward RBs. Just my opinion.

You're right on Thomas. I was thinking he was one of these rookie 1st/2nd round fantasy picks, but he was drafted a lot later typically in fantasy. I remembered hype around him that didn't pan out, but I was off on him in the post above.
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Re: Sorting through the mess at RB after the "big 6"

Postby Dawinner127 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:01 pm

Cuffs wrote:The highest draft position of the top 6 rushers in the NFL last year was 52nd. Draft position (or the size of a rookier contract) is an indicator of the confidence a team has in a player but is not necessarily an indicator of future success. I get your point, and it is a good one. But I am still not sold on Richardson as a top 7 pick. I would much rather have Rodgers/Brees/Brady or Calvin Johnson and go with volume of high risk/high reward RBs. Just my opinion.

You're right on Thomas. I was thinking he was one of these rookie 1st/2nd round fantasy picks, but he was drafted a lot later typically in fantasy. I remembered hype around him that didn't pan out, but I was off on him in the post above.

Maybe I missed the post, but I don't think anyone has considered taking Richardson at 1.07. I think they are talking in terms of being the 7th RB off the board after Foster, Rice, McCoy, Mathews, MJD, and CJ. I think most fantasy players would rather have Rodgers and Megatron before risking the pick on Richardson. I know that I will take him if he is there at the turn or early second.

Anyways, I just want to say that this is a great discussion going on. Everyone is making valid arguments and points. Keep it up ;-D
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