Each week I will be walking through the Twitterverse extracting some of the best commentary from trusted fantasy football minds. Twitter can be overwhelming with the amount of information that streams live, but it also proves to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to communicate. In 140 characters or less you can learn something about a player you may have never thought of from trends, stats or analysis.
Quote of the Week
Auburn RB Peyton Barber is 225 pounds of barely harnessed violence.
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) February 23, 2016
Whether early entrant Peyton Barber is able to make an impact in the NFL is yet to be determined. A quote like this though deserved some attention in my book. Waldman’s description alone made me take notice and this was offered prior to the recent news on why he decided to leave Auburn early. Barber is not considered a top fantasy prospect and his name is not even included within the top 25 rookie running backs on DLF currently. He became the starter for Auburn early in the 2015 season after Jovon Robinson and Roc Thomas sustained ankle injuries in the first game. Barber played well but down the stretch did not record more than 13 carries in a game over his last six contests. His size and ability to gain the short yards were assets but despite the media attention and motivation he will carry Peyton is not a name you need to circle on draft day.
Jeremy Langford, RB CHI
Ever since the Chicago Bears decided to move on from Matt Forte, second-year runner Jeremy Langford has been a hot topic in the fantasy community. The debate over his value in 2016 has been discussed between apparent opportunity and performance while Forte missed time last season to deeper looks at his stats and comparisons to other backs. Rich Hribar offered a simple comparison between teammates tweeting out,
Opportunity is king for RB’s, but fwiw, Jeremy Langford wasn’t really dynamic as a rookie. pic.twitter.com/ddvqWaxxtq
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) February 12, 2016
Langford’s elusiveness and ability to gain extra yards has also been highlighted as seen from Pat Thorman’s timeline,
Best Touch/Missed Tackle rate:
— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) February 16, 2016
Looking through all of Jeremy’s games last year he only managed two runs for more than 15 yards. Mike Clay highlighted this point further sharing the following,
Jeremy Langford averaged an NFL-worst 2.7 yards per carry against opposing base defenses in 2015. #Bears — Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) February 15, 2016
Adding to the less appealing statistics floating around is the fact that the Bears and head coach John Fox have mentioned the dreaded running back by committee approach with Ka’Deem Carey. Split backfields are tricky particularly if there is not a clear definition between the players. But does Carey really offer a significant threat to Langford? Kevin Cole shared his thoughts on the matter recently,
Have doubts about Langford, but Carey doesn’t even have NFL athleticism: 4.7 forty at 207 lbs. Langford: 4.42 at 208 https://t.co/dirDVpD3c8
— Kevin Cole (@Cole_Kev) February 24, 2016
So if Carey is not a viable threat to Langford’s touches then volume may still win out over metrics as seen in the weeks Forte missed. One of the three games was against Denver so you really should not count a bad outing against him. The other two matchups saw Langford average 19 carries and 72 yards on the ground while also catching 5 passes. A lot of owners may still be remembering the 83 yard touchdown catch against the Rams, but overall I never came away impressed with Langford as a receiver. He dropped passes and also got Jay Cutler lit up on a number of occasions.
With his value all over the board right now Langford is the perfect case of understanding how you value a player in fantasy. DLF’s own rankers place him anywhere between 7th and 29th overall at the running back position. If you have any concerns, there is likely an owner willing to pay a higher price. Conversely if you believe in his talents and opportunity you could easily buy him cheaper based on recent news. Either way I would expect Langford to remain at the top of fantasy minds throughout the off-season and his value will likely continue to fluctuate throughout.
Brandon Coleman, WR NO
Another player whose value may start to creep up due to the moving on of a seasoned veteran is Saints wide receiver Brandon Coleman. As Sigmund Bloom noted the likely release of Marques Colston will give the second-year player increased opportunity in 2016.
Brandon Coleman started slow but came on, should get first shot at role and has a chance to stick https://t.co/5eNSwej1Mi
— Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) February 23, 2016
Despite the zero catch dud in week 15, Coleman averaged four catches, 58 yards and scored one touchdown between weeks 13 and 17. Colston did not play the final two contests, which helped Brandon get his offensive snap percentage up over 50% as well. Coleman’s size obviously gives him the presumptive advantage in the red zone as well over other targets in New Orleans. You won’t find him on any top 100 dynasty lists today, but as the summer progresses he should emerge as a sleeper target in a number of articles. At his current value he is definitely worth looking to acquire cheaply and see if another offseason with Drew Brees and company can help him emerge as a more reliable option week to week.
David Johnson, RB ARI
When you thought Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson’s fantasy stock could not get any higher Chris Wesseling shares this tweet from head coach Bruce Arians,
Arians can’t say after one year that David Johnson is one of the NFL’s best backs, but he has a chance to be one of the best ever.
— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) February 24, 2016
Currently positioned around the third overall running back behind only Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell, Johnson has become a coveted fantasy asset. Showing he can excel in both the running and passing games the Cardinals utilized Johnson as a true workhorse down the stretch as well. At this point is truly difficult to read anything slightly negative regarding Johnson. That is why if you are truly lucky enough to own him in your leagues it may be worth finding out what other owners may give up for him. As we have seen in recent years at the running back position it is much easier to find replacement production. Running back fantasy lifespans are shorter than any other position so as in the case with Langford, understanding the value others place on him may be more important that even your own. If nothing else as a Johnson owner you should be able to pick up his current backup, Andre Ellington, for essentially nothing as continued health concerns and age have pushed him down into the 40’s amongst running back values.
- Weekly Twitter Observations - April 2, 2016
- Weekly Twitter Observations - March 26, 2016
- Weekly Twitter Observations - March 11, 2016
If anything, Ellington owners should simply wait for the inevitable injury to the incumbent. Especially in that division. Free agency isn’t far off for him either and he’s not franchise tag material at this point.