Fantasy Football 2020
Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2020 | 10 Person Mock
June 23, 2020
Wide Receiver Must Haves
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June 25, 2020

Must Have RB’s | Fantasy Football Running Backs 2020

Must own Rb's 2020

Fantasy Football RB’s you must and own on your fantasy teams this year. These Running backs are primed to succeed and have a minimal committee.

Joe:

Saquon Barkley, both of us love this guy. He is a must-have. Right? Do you love him?

Tom:

I think it’s a great situation for him. I see Jason Garrett’s controlling the offense there. So I personally think he’s going to be the offense. They don’t have many good wide receivers. They have average wide receivers at best. They have a young quarterback, the offense is going to revolve around him. Jason Garrett, I don’t know how he’s going to fare. I mean, listen, it’s such a relief to have head coaching duties. Just like a weight off your shoulder. Now he can just focus on the offense, which he’s had success at times. But I think even if they’re not successful as a team, the Giants, I think Saquon Barkley will be the team. I’m not saying he’s a one-man show, but he’s going to be the closest thing to it than any other team could have. And I think he’s a stud at that. Even if he only gets 1000, 1100 yards, running he could easily get a lot of receptions and just be a focal point, touch it. He’s going to be the focal point. But I think he’ll have an increase over last year as well.

Joe:

100%. He played, what, 13 games and they beefed up that o-line. So it’s a no brainer to me that they only improved. And Daniel Jones going into, what, his second year now. So they have improved the o-line. Things are looking good and he was angry last year, Tommy. He was like he wanted more. He’s a competitive guy. He’s got this reputation I got to be the best running back in the league, which he arguably is the best running back in the league. You know he’s got to perform, they drive it, Andrew Thomas, with the fourth pick overall. They went on Matt Pert in the third round. Who else did they get?  So a guard in the fifth round, offensive tackle, and another tackle. First-round pick, they beefed it up. He’s primed to succeed. He’s got to succeed. He’s got the highest ceiling in my opinion. I love him. I must have him first overall. I got to have him.

Tom:

Still risky with that O-line because they’re rookies, but it is better. It is an improvement. I think sooner or later that GM is going to be on Joe Judge. He’s an interesting coach. He’s not a specialist in any area, but that’s why I think it’s even more important that you look at Jason Garrett, his success with Ezekiel Elliot and it’s going to transfer straight to Saquon Barkley.

Joe:

Okay. So is this guy you must have him in fantasy football 2020? Is the guy you must have, or not necessarily? Would you rather go, Christian McCaffrey? Who’s going to have the better season?

Tom:

No, I would go with Barkley. I don’t know. I have a good feeling about him this year.

Joe:

People know how I feel. That’s why I wanted you to come on here and give a different perspective. So again, a decline eminent for McCaffrey, new coach, right? New quarterback. They’ve got Anderson there. They might throw the ball more. Given all these factors and what goes up must come down, who has a better season this year overall in rushing yards, everything?

Tom:

I think it’s a toss-up, and I look in Carolina at Joe Brady, the offensive coordinator, a young guy. I would look at him as, listen, if he has a hot season, he’s only 30 years old. He’ll be going as the next head coach. Like Zach Taylor went to the Bengals. McVay went from the Redskins to the Rams. He’s going to be that guy. He was at LSU last year. So look at what they did at LSU. They had Clyde Edwards last year, but they spread the ball around a lot. And Joe Brady wants to throw the ball with Bridgewater. I do know that, but I think it’s a toss-up. But if I had to lean one way, I’m going Saquon Barkley. Higher ceiling I think this year for Barkley.

Joe:

I think so too. All right, give me another running back must-have. You must have this guy, he’s going to have a great year. You love him. He’s going to be rock solid. Fantasy football. You must own them on your team. You got to draft them. This is a guy you must have on your roster.

Tom:

On the top couple rounds.

Joe:

Yeah. Top couple, actually, I got another guy here who’s a bit of a sleeper. A must-have. No, it doesn’t matter. You just have to have them on your roster. It could be late-round. You got to have this guy because you know something good is going to happen.

Tom:

Yeah. I like Ezekiel Elliot again, just because I think he’s a workhorse and I think he’s consistent. I know you can’t have both him and Barkley. That really doesn’t work in fantasy. Ezekiel is a guy that you know what you’re going to get. He doesn’t have a bad year. He is who he is. I don’t think he’ll rush for 2000 yards or anything like that, but he’s very low risk, very steady reward. And I think if you have a pick from like three, four, five, six, seven, wherever he’s coming off the board, I think he’s your guy over those guys in that area.

Joe:

Yeah. He’s coming off top four pretty much every time. It’s usually again ADP consensus, but what goes up must come down. It always varies every year. But typically it’s Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, typically Zeke. And then it’s like Kamara. Dalvin Cook’s kind of dropped down to the eighth spot now. He’s kind of fading off a little bit with the holdout threat. So yeah. I mean, you got to have Zeke. He’s consistently solid. He’s durable. He’s definitely a must-have as well. I’m going to give you one here. I must have him. I got to have him on my roster. And people are going to get upset. That’s why I brought you on. It’s David Johnson, you got to have him.

Tom:

I thought that the hat was giving it away, but I guess not. Well, it’s no secret for you with David Johnson.

Joe:

Okay, listen. This isn’t the main crush at all. And it’s not the fact that he endorsed the brand back in 2016. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with opportunity and talent, and he’s angry. Listen, you got screwed by the Cardinals. And he was like, how could he got screwed? He underperformed. No, he didn’t underperform. He wasn’t trying because he knew he was going to get shipped off. New offense. It’s like a new boss coming in. New employees, he wants to run things his way, not the old way. He wants to revamp the team. And I don’t think Drake is a solution, man. Let’s talk about that real quick. Let’s go off on a tangent. But David Johnson, fourth round. Third round, his ADP is climbing. I see him coming up in the second round now. Late second, early third. His ADP is climbing because I’m talking about him, but I must have him. Great value, workhorse opportunity, talent upside. I mean 240 attempts for Carlos Hyde last year 1000 rush you guys, Carlos Hyde sucks. And you got David Johnson who’s obviously more talented, great opportunity. I absolutely love him. But quick tangent here, we’ll get back to David Johnson. Kenyan Drake, are you sold on this guy being the workhorse? Some people are sold, they’re bought in. Years to wow me, I’m not wowed. Was his lack of performance due to Miami or is it just he’s not that good? He’s above par. You’ve seen a lot of running backs, you know football. Is he ultra-elite?

Tom:

No, he’s not ultra-elite. Usually if a good running back, he doesn’t blossom years later, and there are exceptions. If he was good, he would’ve got more playing time in Miami, even though it was a disastrous situation the last three, his four years there. Three and a half years, I’m sorry. But no, he’s had a couple of big games. I think the Cardinals are too much of an enigma, too much of a mystery coming in this year. They’re going to throw the ball more. He’s going to be an afterthought. And that offense, he’s definitely not a must-have. And he’s going to be the workhorse by default, but I don’t think workhorse running back in that offense is worthy of being called a workhorse.

Joe:

Right. You got Chase Edmonds who came in, did well every time he touched the ball, literally. And then you’ve got Eno Benjamin, they drafted in the seventh round from Arizona State, a guy hometown hero that they probably love and will give an opportunity to. I’m not sold on them.

Tom:

I don’t buy it. I mean, you don’t draft someone in the seventh round to make the team. That’s the problem with that. You got to understand that. I’ve been around the seventh rounders. Most of them get caught. So, Eno Benjamin can easily be on the practice squad. I mean maybe. Yeah, he’s definitely a seventh-rounder that has a little more chance than other late-round picks, but I’m still not sold on the Cardinals.

Joe:

Right. I mean, Kenyan Drake, I’m staying away, especially a second round. I think he’s the fool’s gold. He could be the [Dean 00:07:55] Williams of last year. Everyone on top of that train. But how could you take a guy like Kenyan Drake over David Johnson? And again, that’s recency bias buying into it. And again, the can sheep’s is just doing their can sheeps things. All right. So let’s talk about another running back. So David Johnson, Saquon Barkley, Zeke Elliott obviously must-haves. And there’s a pattern here, Tom. The pattern is this. These guys are in minimal committees and the guys behind them won’t come in and vouch a lot of volume. And I don’t know if there’s a guy on your list, you but Nick Chubb in a situation where Kareem Hunt is equally, the gap isn’t that big between Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in regards to talent, and people drafting Nick Chubb at the end of the first round. Is Nick Chubb one of your … this is what we were debating about. Is he one of your must-haves? What do you think of him?

Tom:

He’s a guy I consider like a poor man’s Ezekiel Elliot. I think he’s a pure runner. 1300 yards, 1400 yards. He’s been getting better his first couple of years in the league. I like him. I think he’s going to be used like Dalvin Cook. Stefanski was the OC down there last year, even though Gary Kubiak is the OC this year in Minnesota. And that’s why I think Dalvin Cook fits that offense really, really well. And so it’s going to be interesting to see what he brings to this offense. I think there’s going to be enough touches to go around for [inaudible 00:09:05] to be kind of more of a weapon on the outskirts and Chubb is going to be the man. Yeah. I like him, especially in that division and those tough games against those tough defenses and where ball control is key going against Pittsburgh, going against Baltimore. I think they’re going to have to have a really balanced attack, and I think Stefanski knows that. And yeah, I like Chubb.

Joe:

So you think top production. He’s got a lot of rushing yards, a lot of rushing touchdowns.

Tom:

Well, Joe, I look for consistency. I look for, there are certain guys I know you’re going to bring up in a second that I don’t like … when you’re talking must have, I want to keep error out of it. I want to keep the chances of success high. I don’t want a guy that’s battled injuries. I don’t want that. I can’t have a must-have guy that’s injury-prone. I can’t have a must-have guy that’s had a few bad years. I want guys that are consistent because those guys I can count on week in, week out to perform.

Joe:

Right. Now the problem is again, I keep going back to this point. We saw a small window of these guys in fantasy six out of eight weeks. Kareem Hunt outscoring, Nick Chubb and PPR points means obviously points per reception, catching more balls, integrating that passing game, stealing I think two receiving touchdowns away. He’s going to take those points away. Those points, a guy like Saquon would get all those points. A guy like Zeke making all those points unless they bring in. But the reception is where you’re really losing it there with Chubb. And that’s really going to hurt people no matter what.

Tom:

It is, but I mean I wouldn’t take Chubb. I mean, if you’re at the end of the first round, early second round, I like him. I also like a guy in that range, Leonard Fournette because he’s in a contract year and I think he’s a stud. He’s always been a stud. He’s got to stay healthy, but he’s a guy, like I said, tough to count on. But I mean, I see him in a contract year, him and Dalvin Cook. If they stay healthy, they’re going to be studs. There’s no doubt about it. Dalvin Cook, I don’t think he’s going to hold out. It’ll be a horrible decision. But Leonard Fournette is a guy, everyone’s saying Jacksonville’s going to be the worst team in the NFL. I don’t think so. I think men choose better than a lot of people think.

Tom:

Yeah. I think Jay Gruden over there, who could be the next [inaudible 00:11:08] coach over there if they struggle early in the season, take over that job, but he’s going to pound the ball with Fournette, and Fournette’s going to get the ball. He’s going to have over a thousand yards. And you know, I go against what I just said with the health. So I hate to say that because he’s always had a little of that stuff in his background, but he’s in a contract year. He’s out to prove himself. And he’s one of the top running backs. He’s good.

Joe:

So the situation from a real football perspective. So what happens here? Like they wanted to trade Fournette. He’s staying on for this year. So what’s his goal now? He’s trying to prove to another team, hey, I’m the man, and try to get that mega-contract? Is this the goal here? What’s happening right now from a logistics point of view, contract point of view?

Tom:

You see that in a sense, but you’ve got to understand the way the running back market has changed over the years. Ezekiel Elliot held out earlier on I think after his third year. Usually, these first-round picks don’t get the deal after the third year when they’re eligible for a contract extension. But you see Dalvin Cook was a second-rounder and he wants a new deal now going into his fourth year because they’re scared because they don’t pay running backs and he’s been hurt obviously. So now I’ll go back to Fournette. I just don’t think personally, I don’t know, there’s something there with the GM. He can’t hold onto players and stuff like that. I think Fournette wants out of there too. That was a big part of it. But Yannick Ngakoue, one of their top defensive players, but the Jaguars have been run really badly lately. So when you look back at it, you’ll look at Fournette, all right. I was a top 10 pick, top-five pick. I mean, he’s got $20 million. He’s got a lot of money, but he wants to be able to go out there and get, listen, I’m not going to say he’s going to only make four or five next year. But he wants probably in that 10 to 12 range or something like that. Or obviously everyone wants more than that. So I think, yes, he’s going to go out there and prove, and he’s going to play through everything and he’s going to have a monster year. That’s what guys do in those situations in every sport. I’ve seen it a hundred times, thousand times. I mean, you’ve got to look at it that way. That’s why I tell you Dalvin Cook contract year. I think he muscles through the injuries.

Joe:

Now if he holds out, I heard he’s losing money every day holds out or something like that. What’s the deal? Like if he holds out, he’s only going to hurt himself. He’s not going to get paid, right?

Tom:

There’s one big thing they changed this year. I don’t know if it’s like 40,000 a day or something like that in camp. You miss preseason. Yeah, there’s money. That’s what Melvin Gordon had last year. But this year they changed the rule where if you hold out and you don’t start on time, you cannot be a free agent next year, you’re going to be a restricted free agent. And they’re just going to tag them with a restricted, which he can hold out after that because he’s technically a free agent and it does not bother him. But then he won’t be an unrestricted free agent this year and he won’t be able to test the market. So it kind of defeats the purpose of holding out in a sense.

Joe:

Right. So what do you think, he plays? He’s not going to hold out, right? Your opinion?

Tom:

No. I mean, listen, you’d have to be an idiot to hold out with the situation he’s in. It would be a very bad decision.

Joe:

So it’s weak threats. It’s false threats. He’s not really going to-

Tom:

I don’t know if he came out and said it himself. Like you see Jamal Adams from the Jets coming out and talking a big talk and saying I want to get traded to these six teams. Probably the Cowboy. I mean, he’s, you know, whatever. But I don’t even know if Dalvin Cook, wasn’t it somebody close to him said it?

Joe:

I’m not sure. I don’t think it was.

Tom:

I don’t think he’s going to do it at all. And honestly, he’s better off becoming a free agent and leaving. He fits that offense perfect With Gary Kubiak, he just fits that offense. And Gary Kubiak, who was the head coach of the Broncos when they won the Super Bowl, he’s been the head coach of the Texans. Has that zone running scheme. Well, even when he was in Denver when he had Terrell Davis I think back in the day, he was the guy there with John Elway and stuff like that. No, it’s really, really good.

Joe:

I mean, I’m not sold. I don’t think he finishes another season. He’ll get hurt again. He’ll just get hurt again. So all of this is pointless. All right. Other running backs you must have, who else you got? So you must have Nick Chubb. You’re sold on him. I agree with Zeke. I agree with Barkley. Do you agree with David Johnson? Let’s go back there for a second.

Tom:

I like him. I think he’s going to have an opportunity to be the man. He’s going to catch the balls. He’s going to run the ball and he’s going to be their guy. Lamar Miller had a thousand yards in that offense last year.

Joe:

Hyde.

Tom:

I’m sorry. Carlos Hyde.

Joe:

Yeah, I get those guys confused too. Mediocre running backs.

Tom:

Carlos Hyde. So I think they’re going to have a better running back. I think they’re going to get him involved in the offense more. They downgraded on the wide receiver thing. And I think Deshawn’s going to take a step back from running the ball and I think he’s going to be more of a focal point and have a really good year. So yeah. I agree with you on that.

Joe:

Okay. Other running back must haves? Do you have a couple of guys left? I got a couple more.

Tom:

I like Josh Jacobs. I’m going with consistency. This is a guy you get, what, in the second round?

Joe:

He’s coming off late first sometimes depending, but typically second round. Early second round. Yes.

Tom:

Yeah. I mean, listen, I can go him, Joe Mixon. And I think I like those contract guys, but I like Josh Jacobs. I think he’s going to have another solid year and he’s going to be a big part of that offense. I think their weapons on the outside are young. And I think Josh Jacobs is going to be a big part of that offense.

Joe:

I like him too. That’s another guy I must have as well. So we’re agreeing on a lot aside from the Chubb thing. Another guy must-have. I want him so bad in fantasy this year, Todd Gurley. I think he bounces back to the top four. Falcons believe in him. I think they’re going to make a Super Bowl run this year. He’s not going to see any stacked boxes with those types of receivers. I think he’s locked and loaded, man. There’s no one else there that’s going to take that volume. Todd Gurley must have, what are your thoughts?

Tom:

You know, I think there’s a little too much risk there for me to call him a must-have. I just have never seen consistency in his games since he was in college. You see flashes of brilliance, flashes-

Joe:

2017, he was solid.

Tom:

That was like fucking 10 years ago.

Joe:

A couple of years ago, it was three.

Tom:

But that’s what I’m saying. It’s not consistent. What happened in ’18, Joe? Where was he in ’19?

Joe:

He was okay in ’18. ’19, he was not utilized. The Rams didn’t utilize him. They just thought that we’re going to preserve this guy somehow.

Tom:

But why? There’s got to be a reason why. Listen, there could be the coach’s fault. To me, there’s too big of a risk to call him a must-have. Where are you going to take him as a must-have? That’s another part of the must-have situation.

Joe:

Second round. End of second, mid to end the second round. That’s where he’s coming off.

Tom:

I would take him at the end of the second round. But I mean, it depends who else is available. I just think there’s too much risk there to call him a must-have. The risk is high. The reward is high too. The reward is very high and I love the guy. I’ve actually known him since he was in college. And he’s a great character. He’s working hard right now from what I’ve told. And I just think there’s a little bit of risk there. That’s it.

Joe:

You’re going to definitely get Fournette there. Fournette falls, I find based on the mock drafts I’ve done, Fournette falls. So it sounds like you’d rather have Fournette over Gurley.

Tom:

I would take him over. I would, yeah. I mean, I think that’s a tough choice, but yeah, at the end of the second round, if they’re both there, that’s a tough one.

Joe:

I’m going, Gurley. And that’s how we got to go robust. That’s why I suggest go with three running backs at least the first three rounds, that way you’re covered. And then you’ve got, if one of these guys flops, you’ve got a backup there.

Tom:

Second, would you take them over, Joe Mixon?

Joe:

Oh yeah. I’m not sold on Joe Mixon on offense at all. I don’t know what it is, man. And that guy hasn’t peaked. He’s never really had like a blowup season where he’s had like 300 some odd fantasy points. He always has just slightly above par average seasons, and then a new suspect offense. Don’t trust it. I don’t trust that situation there.

Tom:

Yeah, I understand. I mean, that makes sense to me.

Joe:

Yeah, I’m not a Joe Mixon fan at all. But he’s coming out. Aaron Jones, another guy people love, I’m not sold on. Not touching Aaron Jones as well. Pinnacle year AJ Dillon there.. Yeah. I don’t know, man. I think he’s going to decline it.

Tom:

I mean that’s okay. 62.5 yards game. But when some guys have those large touchdown numbers that’s really distorted and he’s been going into a contract year. So for me, but they haven’t resigned him. There have been talks, I talked to some people saying, I don’t know if it’s true or not. They said they started some discussions about an extension, but I don’t think they’re going to extend him. They could, but I don’t think they will because they drafted their replacement. And this kid that they drafted is a runner. He’s more of like a pure Nick Chubb, times 10. He can’t catch though. He’s not a receiving running back either. A guy that’s going to come in and catch the ball out there. Kind of like they have in Indy with Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor. There are two similar running backs that both don’t have, they have a third-down back. I think what’s his name? Nyheim or something? In Indianapolis, they got a third-down running back.

Joe:

Nyheim Hines.

Tom:

Yeah. Hines. I don’t know why I said that. And he’s a guy that comes in and catches the ball. Mac and Taylor are the same frigging player. I’m not saying who’s better or worse. I’m just saying they’re the same style running back. It’s not like you drafted him to compliment. AJ Dillon is the same style, even more of a bruiser. So he’s not a guy that can, I don’t think they can complement well. They may ease him in this year. I think he’s going to take some carries away from Aaron Jones and I would stay away from Aaron Jones.

Joe:

I don’t trust Aaron Jones at all. And I think they throw more this year. Some people disagree with that. I think they have.

Tom:

Look at their coach. See, their coach came from Tennessee, Matt LaFleur. He’s a good young mind, but I think he’s trying to get his identity in the air train. I do think they’re trying to push Aaron Rogers out eventually. But if Aaron Rogers comes in and throws 40 touchdowns and they win the Super Bowl, yeah, well he’s not going anywhere. It could be one of those situations how Brady stepped it up his last four years in New England and Garappolo they traded him away. And that could easily happen, but it really matters on if Aaron Rogers comes in and throws 40 touchdowns and leads them to the Super Bowl. Or if they’re out in the first round again. If they’re going in neutral or take a step back, I can see them next year turning it over to Jordan Love and AJ Dillon and just taking that year of the young guys.

Tom:

AJ Dillon’s a stud running back in college. Here’s the thing. He has a lot of wear and tears on his body too. So you don’t draft running backs for their second contract as you know what’s going on. You draft them to play. You draft them to be there. AJ Dillon already has a ton of wear and tear on his body. I don’t think he’s sitting on the bench. I think if anything, he’ll take the goal line carries away from Aaron Jones. He’s that big bruising back. You know him, you’ve done some research.

Joe:

Yeah. They got to use them. I mean, they didn’t draft him for him to sit on the bench. They want to see what he’s made of this year. I wouldn’t take Aaron Jones. I’m not touching him, I’m not touching it again. They got Dylan. They want to see what he’s made up. They’re going to give him the opportunity to see if he’s a possible replacement for [inaudible 00:21:44].

Tom:

He’s a better runner.

Joe:

So yeah. Stay away from Jones. So another couple must-haves. I’ve got a couple more. I’m going to go right now and go say David Montgomery. Again, 240 attempts. 3.9 yards per carry, 889 yards ish. You know, that’s going to go up. I’m assuming as a floor, a thousand yards, four-point some odd yards per carry. I’m going to say 10 touchdowns on the ground. I think a solid season out of this guy. And I think Naggy’s on the hot seat, they got to run the ball more.

Tom:

They will.

Joe:

And you know what? I was talking to his trainer, a guy that works with Dave Montgomery. And he said he was disappointed last year. Like he wants to work on that top-end speed. He never had those big breakout runs that he feels he’s capable of. So he’s faster, quicker, sharper. And I think Naggy knows that he has to utilize and no more taking David Montgomery out on third and one, and running for negative yards up the middle with Tarik Cohen. And I saw that happen a lot, man. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t even believe what was happening is a David Montgomery fantasy owner last year. And a lot of people say, well, you drafted them early last year. I was drafting him typically at ADP. He was coming off in and around the third round. That’s where I got him. I packaged him with either a Saquon, Henry, Montgomery, Jacobs, sometimes instead of Montgomery in a lot of my leagues. But Montgomery, I think he’s being slept on average ADP in and around rounds four to five is where he’s coming off. I mean, he’s almost comparable in regards to volume talent to Josh Jacobs, Josh Jacobs having a little bit of a better year last year. Recency bias is saying Jacob’s first round. But when you look at the gap between these guys, Jacob’s and Montgomery, I don’t see a huge gap and you’re getting Montgomery four rounds later. I mean, that’s a value. Got to have him. Got to.

Tom:

I agree with that. I mean, I think this is going to be, they have a lot to prove this year. They’re all on the hot seat over there. I think Montgomery is going into his second year and I think he’s going to improve. I think they’re going to be more conservative when Nick Foles wins that job. And I think they’re going to revolve around the short passing game and the running game. And I think he’s going to have a lot of above-average games. I don’t think he’s going to be a breakout star, but I think he’s a good runner for where you can get them. I agree with you.

Joe:

Rock-solid. All right.

Tom:

I have a couple of guys. Later on, I just think in New England, Sony Michel’s going to get the ball, but you can get him in the fourth round, right?

Joe:

Yeah. You can get him even after that. I’m not sold on Sony Michel.

Tom:

Fourth round, if you’re going with your strategy, robust running back, he’s your fourth or fifth running back, you go straight running back, I just think with their team this year, that’s a good gamble. And he’s a thousand yards back and he had his little injuries last year I think. I know James White, but I don’t think James White’s going to be as much of a threat in that offense. That was Brady’s guy. If I can get him in the fourth or fifth round, that’s a must-have for me. If I see him there that late, yeah I’m going with him.

Joe:

They’ve got rid of that Devlin guy. James Devlin, Devlin, James, whatever the hell his name is. He was coming in hoarding some touchdowns. He’s no longer there. That’s good. But Burke Face is there. I call him Burke Face, Burkhead.

Tom:

They’re struggling. I think Bella Check’s going to try to control the ball. Listen, this is a type of team that reminds me of when New England was in the early two thousand and when they had Brady. They had Corey Dillon. I think he was there with Corey Dillon. They had some good running backs, and I’m sorry, they had some good teams, but they weren’t winning big. They weren’t throwing the ball like crazy. I think he’s going to try to protect the lead if he gets it. And I see Sony Michel getting the ball. If he gets a lead and he’s up 17 to 10 in the fourth quarter, guess who’s getting the ball? Sony Michel. He doesn’t trust Stidham enough to just get out there and sling it. So I think ball control will be Belichick’s game. This isn’t Tom Brady even if they’re a good team. In any game they’re leading, I see Michel getting an opportunity in the first half, and then unless they’re getting bombed, then you can’t run the ball and you got to throw the ball. But in the second half, if they got the lead, they’re going to try to control the game and he’s going to win these close games. This is what Belichick does best. In the fourth round, that’s my guy.

Joe:

See, I’d rather go with someone with a high ceiling because with Sony, you’ve kind of seen what he’s done. I know it’s a different offense now. I’d rather go with someone like Montgomery for safety, or if you want to take a high ceiling as your fourth running back or a third running back, maybe Cam Akers. Because I think the ceiling is higher there potentially. So I’d rather go with a high ceiling guy, a little bit of uncertainty, more of a boom-type of player instead of a guy that I just think will be safe, boring has shown some injuries. Belicheck, they don’t have any respect for fantasy whatsoever. Sony’s not on my radar at all. I could see what you’re saying. I definitely see maybe a different situation.

Tom:

I just know that offense well, I’ve been following them for a long time and I know what they’re going to do under McDaniel. And I know how their offense evolved and they’re going to adapt to what they have. They have a young team, they don’t have a real star set wide receivers. They’re going to revolve around just what can do, but I’m not saying they’re going to trust him in the fourth to sling it out. But like Brady earned that. In the beginning, they’re going to control the game and that’s what they’re going to try to do. I agree on Cam Akers, tough to call rookies a must-have, unless you’re coming up with that guy in the top five, top 10 coming in on the draft. Cam Akers, but I think he’s going to be off around earlier than Sony Michel. But I agree with you. I do like Cam Akers there at the Rams. I think the Rams are going to spread the ball around to Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp. Tyler Higbee, they really like, they just paid. But I think they do need a running back. And I think if you can get Cam Akers in the third round, he would be a must-have for me. I don’t know where you’re getting him.

Joe:

I like him a lot. I don’t know if he’s necessarily a must-have. He’s kind of like one of those he’s there, I like it. I’ll grab him. I kind of like him more, I like the opportunity more than Deandre Swift. I think Swift is phenomenal based on what we’ve seen. But the problem with him is it’s going to be a committee there. And I don’t know about the Lions run the ball that much. It’s going to be interesting. What’s that?

Tom:

Did you say, Swift?

Joe:

Swift, I kind of like him. I just don’t let him know if I like him in Detroit with carry on all those guys. You know, that bothers me.

Tom:

I mean, listen, until the trend is bucked, you can’t really go with it. They haven’t had a thousand-yard rusher in so long. They’re a passing team with Matt Stafford. So I’d stay away for now. I’d monitor that. I still like Swift later on. The thing I think you have to look at Akers and you have to compare him to guys like James Conner, Raheem Mostert, Swift like you said. You have to compare him to Singletary. Singletary really bothers me because they got Zack Moss and that scares me. I would not call him a must-have, otherwise, I would.

Joe:

I wouldn’t touch him.

Tom:

You know, when you’re to Cam Akers over Melvin Gordon, I think that’s the debate you have to have. Those range, the James Connors the Cam Akers. Connors, I’m not sold on. I think he could have a decent year. I don’t think he’s a stud. I think he can easily have a thousand-yard year, but he doesn’t wow me. As you said, you’re not going to have that big gains. When you were making fun of my guy, Michel, you were talking about that. I said the same with James Connor. If he stays healthy, and he’s going to be the guy over there, but there are some games. He’s got to stay healthy. And listen. He’s all about Pittsburgh, they love him there. He’s their kind of guy. And I do think that he stays there in the long term unless there’s another injury or something like that there. And then they give the kid from Maryland, McFarland, a shot who they’ve got in the fourth round. He’s a risk-reward type of player. But I agree with you in that range. Chris Carson really bothers me because that injury, I don’t think he’s healthy. I don’t think they trust him.

Joe:

Carlos lied being there with Chris Carson. That bothers me. But one thing I look at when I’m looking at any guy in fantasy, I look at the depth chart and then I look at where the team drafted them. And the fact that the Rams, now 223 attempts are going to be available at least there with Gurley being gone. That’s what I think Gurley had last year with the Rams. But that was a conservative Gurley. It wasn’t a full out let’s run Gurley. Because you’re looking at maybe at 250 attempts if they ran girly Gurley hard, and they didn’t last year. So 223 available attempts. And Cam Akers was the first pick that they went with. They’re like we got to go running back right away.

Tom:

They like him.

Joe:

They like him. 52nd pick in the second round, or 52nd overall, second round. So and he rarely had a bad O-line in Florida state. So I’m excited. I like the opportunity. I like the ceiling. Is he a must-have? Not necessarily, but a guy that I like, you go Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the second round, which I’m probably not going to do because I don’t think the volume is going to be there. [inaudible 00:30:01] to be a thorn. So I like the ceiling of acres. You get them for better value, high ceiling, and probably more volumes. So he’s very appealing to me, very appealing.

Tom:

Know who I like, but he’s not a must-have? But they scare me. If the stars align, I like Miles Sanders in Philadelphia.

Joe:

I love him.

Tom:

And I don’t trust him. I think the kid’s a stud, he was stuck behind Saquon Barkley, but there’s something that scares me. They just lost Brandon Brooks for a torn Achilles. Their starting guard, who’s the beast. And they pay well. They got Lane Johnson, they still got a good line. They lost Jason Peters, but they replaced him with the left tackle who I know played some last year for him. It worries me because they’re always looking at veteran running backs. I don’t know, Doug Peterson, he’s never really wowed me with like a pure running back. They always like a lot of running backs. Howie Roseman has always taken a lot of okay running backs. I mean, besides LeSean McCoy when he had him back in the day. But after that, they’ve always had a few guys that can get the job done. So it really bothers me because I think the kid is a stud.

Joe:

Yeah. The thing is they weren’t with Freeman. They’re not going to keep him up. They’re going to bring somebody else in. It’s going to annoy the heck out of me.

Tom:

Yeah. I would be careful, but I think he’s got a lot of, if he gets a home run, it’s going to be a grand slam. Like if you draft him and he ends up winning that and he’s going to win the job, but if he ends up being that workhorse, it’s not going to be a home run. It’s going to be a grand slam.

Joe:

I agree. I love him as it sits right now June 24th. But watch them acquire Freeman or someone like that. You know, if there’s a couple of free agents lurking around, then lookout. That’s going to ruin his value in my opinion. So another guy here to finish us off. I got to get him. Ninth, 10th round, his ADP is rising a little bit. Mattison. I just got to have him on my bench because he’s going to start at some point in the season. You heard it here first. And here’s the thing. If Cook holds out, he’s an idiot because Madison performed just as good with the same amount of attempts as Cook. He had about 400 plus yards on a hundred attempts. Cook had 250 attempts over 1100 yards. So he’s on par. Like if you look at him side-by-side, 4.6 yards per carry for Mattison, 4.5 for Cook. You project that out. If you ran Madison, he’d do just as good as Cook. A product of the offense. I think Madison’s even stronger than Cook. But the fact of the matter is if Cook holds out, Madison starts, he takes that job and he runs just as well.

Tom:

I agree and I disagree on one point. I agree that it’s a system offense. Gary Kubiak can plug a few guys in there, and they can run through that scheme. And that’s what he’s done throughout the years when he’s been the offensive coordinator or head coach at places. He has done that. However, where I disagree, I think Dalvin Cook’s a better overall talent. And he will perform at a better level over the course of a season if he stays healthy. But I do agree where Mattison if he gets that job, he’s going to succeed.

Joe:

He will. He’s hungry. But yeah, it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out. So why not stash Mattison? He will start. Now a lot of people are saying, Joe, why don’t we just draft Cook and then get Mattison later? And then you’re covered. I’m like, no, no, no. Draft yourself a Jacobs draft yourself a Henry who was also another must-have, and then get Mattison. Now you’ve got two RB ones when Cook goes down, and he will again. You have my word, Tom. Cook will go down again. He will go down again a hundred percent. Without a doubt. What’s that?

Tom:

Played 14 I think games. I mean, as I say, he’s in his contract year. If I have to take him or not, I’ll take him, but it depends where. There are other guys that I like ahead of him. I just think the kid’s going to put up stats, but the ACL injury had nothing to do with that. That was a different injury, but I just hate it when a running back thinks they’re better than what they are. And they’re not bigger than the game. I’ve seen it, listen, and I’ve been through it a lot. I’ve seen the contracts. Melvin Gordon last year. Melvin Gordon’s not as good as advertised. Notice how we didn’t say his name on this, but I agree. I get what you’re saying.

Joe:

Yeah, so must have him later. So yeah. And then obviously Derek Henry workhorse running back, and I still think he hasn’t hit his full stride. I think he had over 1500 rushing yards last year. I still think he has more in the tank. I mean, are we going to sign him to a better contract before the possibly.

Tom:

Sorry to interrupt you, but they’ve been talking for a while. They haven’t come to an agreement. And there’s no reason to in my mind because the franchise number is only $10 million for running back, okay? Think about Dalvin Cook and think about Derek Henry. Dalvin Cook has another year left on his deal, right? For what, a couple of mil? I don’t even think so. Excuse me. I don’t even think it’s that much money. If the franchise right now for running back is $10.2 million, approximately. Dalvin Cook wants, say he wants $13 million a year, not the 16 that’s reported in the media. You can have him for the next two years for that $13 million by keeping him this year and franchising him next year. Why are you going to do a deal with him for over that and pay him now? Makes no business sense. Now think about that for Derek Henry. He’s already a free agent signing the franchise tender for $10.2 million. If he’s the best running back in the game, why are you going to pay him $15 million a year when you can get him for 10 a year on a franchise? And then next year it goes up 20% to 12 million. It makes no sense. Unless you want to sign him to a mega-deal, like a four year $65 million deal with a big sign up bonus and you can prorate it, but you’re still going to have high cap numbers. It doesn’t make sense when the franchise number is only $10.2 million. It’s shrewd business, but that’s what the NFL is. It’s shrewd business. There’s no reason to do that. Remember the top running backs were getting, what, $15 million a year. Years ago, I don’t know if you remember Calvin Johnson set the market at like $18 million for running backs, then it kept going. It stayed there and it went down a little bit with Julio, whatever.

Joe:

For a wide receiver.

Tom:

But I don’t want to go too much into that. But $10 million was the franchise. If you’ve got a guy worth 15 a year, why are you going to pay him? That’s the mistake the LA Rams made and why they do not have a good general manager. Because he didn’t foresee the market at what it was going to be. You got to see the other guys around there. You got Le’Veon Bell who’s not going to get another big deal. He’s going to be going out of that deal after this year, possibly. You’ve got Ezekiel Elliot in that deal. Gurley’s only making $5 million this year. He’s off of that deal. So the next highest-paid running backs [inaudible 00:36:35]. So these teams, there’s no coercion like that, but they don’t want to set the market up higher. The franchise is $10 million. So why are you going to sign him to a deal? It doesn’t make sense unless maybe you say I’m going to give him a four year $48 million deal. That’s 12 a year. And he’s going to be like, if I’m him, I’d rather pay it. But then it goes to this, Joe, how much is guaranteed? If they’re guaranteed in three years 36 million of that, yeah, you sign the papers. But if they’re only guaranteeing in two years, you say f you. I’ll take my chance on a franchise tag this year. I’ll be a free agent next year. And I’ll get the franchise plus another 20% next year. So you got to look at how much is guaranteed. That’s another big part of the deal. But if you’re the Titans, you have no motivation to get a deal done. You have no like, for what?

Joe:

Very, very good insight, man. I appreciate that. Listeners, if you guys aren’t familiar with what’s going on with the agreement, so Tom’s got a lot of experience. All right. So we wrapped it up here. You know, we talked about, Saquan must have, Christian McCaffrey. I think he’s going to decline a lot of people. It’s a must-have Ezekiel Elliott. We didn’t talk too much about Kamara but obviously what you see is what you get out of him, right?

Tom:

Yeah. It’s not a big thing for me with Kamara. I’m not too interested in him. I think he’s ranked too high. I think he’s got that boom or bust talent, but same with Austin Eckler. he’s not as good as Kamara.

Joe:

Don’t trust him.

Tom:

He’s not a real running back to me. So for me, with, I just wouldn’t take him that high with Alvin Kamara. It’s a tough one because the kid’s got talent, but he’s better as part of a committee. And that way he can get the ball more. He can space out in the slot. He’s not as good as like Le’Veon Bell where he can do it all and be a runner. Le’Veon has been a runner. Kamara can’t handle the load.

Joe:

Neither can Ekeler. And again, Ekeler’s not going to have Rivers dumping the ball off to him as much. So it’s a different situation with Eckler. I think Eckler peaked Last year. Again, he’s not a must-have, neither is Kamara necessarily. He’s always part of a committee, but Saquan, Zeke, Henry, Fournette, Gurley, Montgomery. We talked about you like Nick Chubb, Josh Jacobs. All of them running backs must-haves. And you notice a pattern here. All of them, except the exception Nick Chubb that you brought up is not in any type of major committee. And that’s it, man, that covers it. Those are the guys I must have. I love these guys. Absolutely love them. And Gurley, love these guys.

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Joseph Robert
Joseph Robert
Joseph Robert's outside of the box, LION mentality has created the strongest and most loyal fan base in the fantasy football industry! @fantasyfootballcounselor

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