- With the news of Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee tearing his other ACL, Dallas will probably be without his services for a full year. This means rookie linebacker Anthony Hitchens will be a hot commodity in camp.
- There’s no waiting on Ryan Shazier in Pittsburgh as he’s already practicing with the first team. He’ll border on the first round in IDP rookie drafts.
- Despite hip surgery in the off-season, Seahawks Kam Chancellor is expected to be back for the 2014 season. Chanchellor doesn’t get nearly as much attention as the other members of the Seattle secondary but he’s quietly been a reliable DB1/DB2, hovering around 100 tackles a year over the last three years.
- Some welcome news from Arizona where coach Bruce Arians finally concedes what we all knew when he said Andre Ellington was a #1 back. He also said he looks to get him 25 carries a game. Ellington-owners can only hope.
- Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis opened camp behind Giovani Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill on the Bengals depth chart. If Hill plays well, he could be had in the second round of rookie drafts.
- Ravens rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was arrested over the holiday. Taliaferro and Ray Rice’s issues have not looked good for the Ravens. For fantasy purposes, Bernard Pierce may be one of the only running backs left to start the season.
- New Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson plans on using running back Giovani Bernard more in the slot this season. This is just another reason why Bernard dynasty owners shouldn’t worry about rookie Jeremy Hill.
- New Jets running back Chris Johnson will probably be held out of OTA’s but should be ready to go for the beginning of 2014. Johnson’s dynasty stock has been rapidly declining since his 2,000 yard season and isn’t expected to get better in New York. He’s now in a timeshare with Chris Ivory with a ceiling of a RB3.
- Good news for Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman dynasty owners as the Patriots are expected to move away from ’12’ alignments on offense and use more receivers. This is great news, especially for the younger Dobson.
- The Broncos have all but confirmed that Montee Ball will be the starting running back heading in to 2014. Luckily for Ball dynasty owners, Denver has wisely turned to him over Knowshon Moreno.
- In other running back news, Cincinnati’s Gio Bernard is expected to get 300 carries and should greatly benefit from new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
- Former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is going to hit the market. Depending on the team, he could be a useful sack specialist that hovers around double digits but won’t last much longer in dynasty leagues.
We roll on with your dynasty questions. If you have a question, be sure to email us at dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail(dot).com. In the meantime, Chris asks:
“Should I give up Gio and Flacco to get Russell Wilson, Arian Foster, Stevie Johnson, Shonn Greene, Dennis Johnson, and #14 pick in this years deep draft.
Never a fan giving up the best player in a deal but this one I’ll admit has me scratching my head…
.5 PPR, 12 team, and my team is capable of winning now. Eli and Flacco are my only current QB’s, Stevie would be my WR4, Greene and Johnson would have roster spots on my squad also. Your thoughts with limited info?”
While I tend to agree with your assessment of not wanting to give up the best player, I think this might actually be worth it. Let’s break it down by position:
- Getting back Russell Wilson is a huge upgrade over Joe Flacco. At just 25, Wilson is still reaching his prime and is surrounded by good, young talent. Flacco just turned 29 and, while he’s surrounded by talent as well, is now under a run-first offensive coordinator. And I don’t believe the difference between upgrading to Russell Wilson from Joe Flacco is superseded by the downgrade of…
- Giovani Bernard to Arian Foster. Bernard is a 22-year old coming off a rookie season in which he had over 1,000 total yards and 50 catches. He should take on an even bigger role going forward and could be a top five running back in dynasty leagues for at least a few years. But running back is one of the most replaceable positions in football, both dynasty and in the NFL. And it’s not like you’re getting scraps in exchange as you’ll be getting an Arian Foster that’s still at the top of the Houston depth chart. Adding his backup in Dennis Johnson means you’re trading for an entire team’s running game instead of just one player. Adding Shonn Greene is fine for depth but his addition is inconsequential.
- Adding Steve Johnson is not a bad addition either, especially if he makes it as your fourth receiver in a 12-team league. However, be sure to temper your expectations as he’s already 27 and the Bills have a couple good, young options behind him in Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. He also is likely to be cut after 2014 when the Bills could save over $8 million.
- However, I think this trade still favors you thanks to that 14th overall pick. This year has an extremely deep draft in several positions including quarterback, receiver, and tight end. Adding that extra pick could allow you to take a young running back to replace Bernard while still adding a young skill position player.
There you have it. Without that draft pick I might reconsider but adding a potential difference maker, in addition to upgrading your quarterback position, makes this trade work to your advantage.
Remember to send your questions to dynastyfantasyfootballcentral(at)gmail(dot)com.
Click here for the complete updated dynasty RB rankings.
- Top seven remains the same with LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Eddie Lacy, Adrian Peterson, Giovani Bernard, and Matt Forte.
- The big risers this month include Denver running back Montee Ball. With it becoming increasingly unlikely that Denver brings back incumbent Knowshon Moreno, it will be Ball’s job to lose. Another riser includes Oakland running back Latavius Murray. Currently at the top of the Oakland depth chart now that both Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings are free agents, Murray is 6′ 3″, 223 pounds, and ran a 4.38 40 in the combine last year. Murray could be special.
- The big drops include the previously mentioned Moreno along with the previously mentioned McFadden. It also includes BenJarvus Green-Ellis of the Bengals. With Giovani Bernard expected to shoulder more of the load in 2014, BJGE’s role is going to diminish further.
Here at DFFC, we try to answer any and all questions we get about your dynasty roster – trades, drafts and more! Be sure to email us at dynastyfantasyfootballcentral (at) gmail.com to get yours answered. Today we have a question from Shawn. Shawn asks,
I have to keep four of the following: Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon, Aaron Rodgers, Julius Thomas, and Giovani Bernard. Is it dumb to keep Rodgers and all 3 WR? Keeper league (keep 4), 10 teams. Non-PPR with 6 points for any kind of TD. Starting roster is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE/WR, 1 TE, DEF, K.
First off, how you managed to get all those guys is incredible and in a 10-league team no less. Kudos to you.
Secondly, I don’t think that’s dumb considering your starting roster requirements. However, it wouldn’t be my first choice. Let’s break this down:
- Giovani Bernard will be a good running back but the position is one of extreme turnover. Additionally, with your league being a non-PPR, Bernard’s best asset (pass catching) is neutered. Not keeping him is an easy call.
- Next, let’s look at the three receiver set you accumulated. Every dynasty ranking will have Bryant, Gordon, and Thomas as top five wide receivers. Using any two of those three will give you an advantage over every other team in your league. All three are young (26 or younger) and are the focal points of their respective offenses. Bryant and Thomas play with elite quarterbacks and Gordon did amazing things with some of the least production at the position in the entire league. Unless someone managed to get Calvin Johnson and AJ Green together, you’ll always have the advantage. Furthermore, by process of elimination, that third receiver will be better than any flex option a team may have after filling their own WR and TE requirements. Those three simply can’t beat.
- Which brings us to decision time: Aaron Rodgers or Julius Thomas. For man years, Aaron Rodgers has been the top quarterback in dynasty leagues. However, with the emergence of Eddie Lacy after Rodgers’ collar bone injury, it’s fair to wonder if the Packers might shift more towards the run. They will never be a run-first team but might want to utilize Lacy in order to lessen the load on Rodgers. For dynasty owners, this means less production than they’re used to from the Packers quarterback. Meanwhile, Julius Thomas could make a case for the 3rd best tight end in dynasty leagues. He plays on a top-rated offense with an elite quarterback with one of the receivers he shares targets with (Eric Decker) possibly leaving via free agency. Also consider the depth at each position. The differences in the best quarterback and the 10th (approximately 150 points in my own league) compared to the differences between the best tight end and 10th tight end (nearly 200 points) show that it would be a lot easier finding a replacement for Rodgers over Thomas especially considering your league only starts one quarterback.
So there you have it. While you certainly can’t go wrong with your original strategy of Rodgers, Bryant, Thomas, and Gordon, you might also consider keeping Julius Thomas. Hope this helps and keep the questions coming!
Currently, Gio is ranked #5 in our dynasty running back rankings. I would say five might be a little high but not by much. One reason is his age as Bernard will still be just 22 entering the 2014 season. Of the running backs to score more points this year (in PPR leagues), the next youngest was Eddie Lacy who is almost a year and a half older.
Production-wise, Bernard had a very good season finishing as a top-15 running back in PPR dynasty leagues. Bernard was in a time-share with incumbent running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis with Green-Ellis getting 56% of the carries as opposed to Bernard’s 44%. Despite that, Bernard gained 695 yards and a respectable 4.1 YPC. However, he did most of his damage in the passing game, where he was second among all rookies with 56 catches. He turned that into 514 yards and a 9.2 yards per average.
Going forward, things seem to be falling in to place for Bernard to be extremely productive. BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ contract is up after the 2014 season which will move Bernard into the lead role. Furthermore, with Jay Gruden being named the new head coach in Washington, Hue Jackson will take over the offensive coordinator duties in Cincinnati. In his last stint as offensive coordinator, Jackson managed to squeeze 1,157 rushing yards (5.2 YPC) out of the oft-injured Darren McFadden plus 507 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns. He should be able to do the same for Bernard.
Physically, Bernard has the build of Ray Rice (Bernard is 5′ 9″/ 208 lbs; Rice is 5′ 8″ / 212 lbs) which should alleviate any fears you may have of his body holding up. Rice had four very productive years with at least 1,500 yards from scrimmage before suffering a drop-off this year (it remains to be seen if he’ll return to form).
Overall, it’s very difficult to get a running back you can consistently rely on in dynasty football. Bernard has that potential, and should be treated, as a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2 for at least the next 3-4 years which, in running back years, is a lifetime.
But, I’m a big believer in every player has a price and running backs, of all positions in fantasy football, are the most replaceable. If you were to trade Bernard, be sure to get at least one good, young player (i.e. Keenan Allen) along with picks in your upcoming drafts.
If you have a question for DFFC, be sure to email us at dynastyfantasyfootballcentral[at]gmail.com.