Pump the breaks… A Dynasty Evaluation.

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Welcome to the inaugural FakePigskin Dynasty season. We will bring you dynasty football in a fun and down to earth manner that we know you will enjoy reading. So by all means,  please keep checking the site, find us on Twitter and Facebook, and check out all FakePigskin as well as our affiliates have to offer this year and going forward.

With that being said, it’s that time of year again. The combine has just wrapped up, and all across the country full grown adult men are tucking themselves into bed while images of spandex clad footballers dance through their heads. Don’t laugh and don’t try to deny it.  2014 is no different than any other year. You’ve got it … I do… anyone who plays dynasty fantasy football has that “rookie fever”. The disease catches us each and every year. It keeps us hanging on from the end of the Super Bowl until the first pick of the draft in May. (side note… wasn’t it nice when the draft was in April? Thanks for that one Godell!) For us there is no off season.

However sexy and sleek the rookies may seem this year, make no mistake they are almost always over valued. To use a phrase coined by DLF‘s own Tim Stafford @DynastyTim each year we become enamored with the “shiny new toys“. We can’t get enough of these fantasy rooks. We obsess over 40 times, youtube videos, and ESPN highlights. I’m no different from you. I buy in too. However I am going to share an invaluable aspect of dynasty that can give you the edge over your league mates, and very well could mean the difference between finishing in the consolation bowl or hoisting your league trophy.

You know what that secret is? It’s really quite simple. The 2014 NFL rookies are just… rookies. That’s it. It’s about as plain as plain can get. We overvalue a a group of players who annually under perform our expectations. I will concede that  2013 brought a decent crop of productive freshmen: Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, Le’veon Bell, Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Keenan Allen, and DeAndre Hopkins. Yet for each one of those players, there are scores and scores of David Wilson’s. I am not diminishing the value of rookie picks. Not at all. And if you have the 1.01, please, please don’t get cute and draft a RB…. If you have that pick you had better be selecting Sammy Watkins. I don’t care what team drafts him. He is going to be a special play maker in this league (see there I go salivating over rookie talent. I told you I wasn’t immune.) However I digress.

The point of the previous paragraph boils down to the fact that when we overvalue freshmen players, we undervalue proven veterans and sophomore players. These guys get swept under the rug, tossed in a closet like a sweaty pair of running shoes. Starting right now I want you to embrace that floor dust, and cherish those stinky shoes. You know why? Because at the end of the year that dust and old set of shoes wins championships. I’m serious. Don’t believe me, go look at the team who won your league last year. I guarantee that owner employed a balanced team of cagy veteran experience, sprinkled with a dash of young enthusiasm. Please tell me if I am wrong.

But you know what? He /she doesn’t have to be the only one to employ that technique. You can too. It isn’t all that hard. Over the course of this series let me show you a few players at RB, WR, TE, and QB that I am currently targeting in all dynasty leagues, and I think you should too.

Let’s start this series off with the work horses, the grinders, the meat and potatoes of your fantasy team… the running backs. Below is a list of guys I think could be bought for a first round rookie pick.

 

Running Back Rush Yds TD Rec Yds TD
Chris Johnson 279 1,077 6 42 325 4
Ben Tate 181 771 4 34 140 0
Maurice Jones-Drew 234 803 5 43 314 0
Trent Richardson 192 564 3 35 316 1
Andre Ellington 118 652 3 39 371 1

Chris Johnson has probably played his last game in Tennessee, and to paraphrase another DLF writer Ty Miller, “he isn’t going to another team to be a backup!” CJ0k clearly is not the same elite back he was two years ago, but he still managed to rush for over 1,000 yards with 10 total touchdowns, and is a complete three down back. He catches the ball well and finished 2013 as the number eight running ppr running back despite having atrocious QB play, and defenses scheming against him. I think Johnson could be had for an early 2014 first round pick. At this point if I didn’t have the 1.01 I would make that trade.

Ben Tate is another back who may have carried the rock for the last time for his current team in 2013. He is an unrestricted free agent and while it is still unclear whether he will bolt Houston or resign, one thing remains clear, Tate wants to  play and wants to get paid. Maryland’s high school single season rushing record holder is no slouch. He showed toughness last year amassing his 771 yards in spite of multiple lingering injuries and played hard for a terrible Texans team. Either way, Tate is an intriguing young back, he’s only twenty five who can produce when given the chance for both NFL teams and your fantasy squads.

Maurice Jones-Drew is finally leaving the humid wasteland that is Jacksonville (if you live there, please don’t take offense. In fact my brother lives there too. Nice place.) But for the purpose of NFL franchises, I can only think of a handful of less relevant NFL cities. Nothing is certain yet, but let’s be honest if you or I we Jones-Drew wouldn’t we at least want a chance to play in the post season? I think the answer to that is a resounding YES! Are we trading for vintage 2011 MJD, a season in which he amassed a mind numbing 1,980 total yards from scrimmage, no. But he did manage over 800 yards last year fighting injuries. While he is 28 years old, you know you are getting a scrappy three down back who can contribute at least another year or two as a complimentary piece for your team.

Trent Richardson is probably a name you wouldn’t have expected to find on my list, and while I won’t contest that his 2013 season was absolutely atrocious ( I know we are talking 2.9 ypc),BUT…  I think as of right now, the hate has gone too far. Let’s play a game where I ask a bunch of questions and then answer them immediately for you… just play along. It will be fun.

Was he over drafted by Cleveland at #3 over all… maybe. Does the man still possess immense talent… yes. Is he paired up with an elite QB who will open lanes up for him? Yes. Is he just one season removed from totaling 1,317  yards, 12 touchdowns, and catching 51 passes as a rookie? In case you didn’t catch the trend, the answer to this question is also YES! Mark my words… The artist formally known as Trent Richardson (for the rest of his career I will refer to him as Trich) will rebound as a top 10 if not better RB in 2014! The talent is there. He just needs to dig deep and find the nasty, beast that terrorized the SEC at Alabama and bring that out in Indy. I think he does just that this off season. So if you can in any of your leagues acquire him and do it now!

Andre Ellington is a player who repeals my theory that rookie picks are over valued. If you snagged him late in your rookie draft last year bravo. I thought Stepfan Taylor fit the mold of Arians‘ offense and was sure he would be the one to supplant Mendenhall by mid season. I sure was wrong. Ellington shook off that slow combine 40 time and flashed the speed and elusiveness he displayed at Clemson. Last year he only really assumed the lions share of the carries by week 8. He is a great pass catcher and ample blocker. Arians has gone on record just this past week saying he wants to “build his offense” around Ellington. Could this be pure head coach smoke? Perhaps, but I get a sense that the NFC West will see a lot of Andre Ellington this upcoming year. Trade for him with confidence.

As always you can find me @realabc I hope you continue to come back to us for dynasty advice and enjoy all that Fakepigskin.com has to offer. Happy trading!

 

 

*stats per fleaflicker.com

 

 

 

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