In the Superflex SuperShow Podcast, John Hogue, James Koutoulas and Travis Rasmussen discuss news, rankings and strategy for fantasy football’s many alt-scoring systems: 2QB, TE Premium, Points Per Carry, Points Per Target, and above all else, SuperFlex!
Here, they are joined by DLF writer Bobby Koch to ask some key dynasty questions with training camps and preseason underway…
(This is part three of three.)
5. What is the one thing you would most like to see happen in training camp/preseason play?
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John: I’m sticking with the same team as “The Brain” here, but looking at a different position… THE position. I’d love to see Josh Rosen win the starting quarterback job over Sam Bradford. I get it; Bradford is safe. He protects the ball. He’s efficient. He makes good reads. Pardon me for a second, I can’t seem to stop yawning. You know what I hear when someone says those things about a quarterback? He’s great at throwing dump-offs, he throws the ball three yards short of the sticks on third down, and he might not lose you any games but he won’t win you any either, especially must-win games. So why bother?
You have a rookie (Rosen) who doesn’t know any better and isn’t afraid to take chances. He’ll trust his receivers, he’ll make plays with his legs, and he might just help you sneak into the playoffs. If I’m a Cardinals veteran – say, an aging hall of fame wide receiver looking for one last run for glory – I’d want the kid who isn’t afraid to make mistakes. That’s the type of aggression that wins in the NFL. Bradford can dink and dunk his way to a 70% completion percentage again, and that will help Arizona to a cool six-win season. No thanks. Rosen is the future, let’s start the party early!
Travis: Wow. Nice troll job here by my co-hosts, stealing both intriguing storylines from my Cardinals. Thanks, guys. I’ll shift my focus to Andrew Luck. Firstly, I would love to see Luck play the entire first half of preseason week three and finally get all of the “he may not come back at all” nonsense out of here. Secondly, I would love to see him drop some dimes on some deep balls and finally get all of this “he won’t be the same even if he does come back” nonsense out of here. All signs are pointing to Luck being back under center and performing well this season. He’s an elite quarterback, and his status as one has been questioned and debated for far too long. It will be nice to see all of the dynasty owners who have waited out the storm like I’ve been preaching for 18 months to finally see some value returned to their rosters.
James: I’d love to see Christian Kirk have a coming-out party this preseason. Having another legitimate threat in the passing game outside of Fitzgerald would be huge for Arizona and would really get people thinking about how good they can be in the next couple of years. I’ve also been an advocate for Josh Rosen, stating on several occasions that I think he was the most talented quarterback coming out of this class. Pair Kirk up with the Rosen one (Josh Rosen) and we could see an elite fantasy combo in the making.
Bobby: I’d love to see Joe Flacco go up to a podium and admit that Lamar Jackson is likely a better quarterback than him but that he’s still the starter anyway. The other day on my podcast (@Afterburnerspod), Jeff Miller said that players should troll us more. I agree. Really though, it would be pretty entertaining to watch Flacco hold off Jackson for the entire season because the entire fantasy world seems so sure he’s a lame duck quarterback.
6. What is the one thing you would least like to see happen in training camp/preseason?
John: I’ve stayed away from my hometown Denver Broncos in these articles, but I can’t hide my homer-ism anymore. I would hate to see Paxton Lynch 1) play with even a modicum of competency, or 2) get hurt again before the talent evaluators (cough, cough, John Elway, cough, cough) get a good look at him. It’s time to move on. This isn’t a talent issue; Lynch has the physical abilities to do anything on a football field. He’s raw, but that could certainly be refined.
What you can’t teach a young quarterback is how to comprehend a playbook, remember multiple play calls in the two-minute drill, memorize game tape and read/recognize defenses and how to give an [expletive] about your team, your career, your future… and the ship has sailed on all of those things for Lynch. Chad Kelly is the better prospect, and Case Keenum is light years ahead of both young QBs. The only person who hasn’t given up on Lynch – including Paxton Lynch himself – is the guy making personnel decisions. It’s time for Lynch to remove that seed of doubt and prove once and for all that he is not cut out to be an NFL quarterback.
Travis: One thing I would hate to see happen in preseason is Dion Lewis come in, look awesome, and produce at a high level. You might be thinking, “Travis really doesn’t like Lewis”, but it’s actually the opposite. In my opinion, the Titans have been telling us over and over again that they do not view Derrick Henry as a workhorse running back. They continually played DeMarco Murray over him every chance they could for two years, and the second Murray leaves, they bring in one of the top RB free agents in Dion Lewis.
One could argue that Henry will be the first and second down back while Lewis will take on the passing-downs role, however that argument falls apart as soon as you start to look at any advanced RB metrics for these two players. Dion Lewis in 2017 tied for first in the NFL with Alvin Kamara in tackles avoided per attempt, fifth in total tackles avoided, third in yards after contact, second in yards per carry (not an advanced stat, obviously). According to Football Outsiders, he was first in “defense-adjusted yards above replacement”, second in success rate in the NFL only behind Zeke, and second in defense-adjusted value over average. Essentially every advanced RB metric I could find, Lewis was either at or close to the top of the list.
My point is that Lewis is a fantastic runner, not just a fantastic receiver, and he could absolutely take some of those early-down touches away from Henry. Even still, I’m not obtuse enough to think this won’t most likely be a committee, as Lewis has yet to prove he can handle anything close to “workhorse” touches without missing time due to injury. He’s a sub-sized player, but he’s the better player in my opinion and will be significantly more productive on a per-touch basis. I would hate to see Lewis light it up in the preseason, ruin the value we’re getting on him right now as RB30 at 6.02, and potentially pass Henry at his RB21 ADP of 4.03.
James: This is going to a pretty generic answer but I hate seeing injuries in the preseason. Not only can it throw off the competitive balance in the NFL, but it can also derail someone’s fantasy season before it even gets started. This being said, I don’t advocate for sitting starters more than they already do or decreasing the amount of preseason games (I believe in today’s NFL, getting as much padded time in is important for coaching and evaluation of personnel) but I am a dreamer. Dream with me if you will, an NFL season where no player starts on IR….
Bobby: My first response was going to be James’ answer. Injuries suck. Since he said that already though, I’ll say that I’d hate to see the Cowboys look like a competent offense. Sorry Cowboys fans, but I don’t think the general management should be rewarded for decimating their receiving corps.
7. Name one free agent signing you would like to see before the start of the regular season and tell us why.
John: It has to be Dez Bryant, right? Bryant has been linked to the Browns, Ravens, Redskins, and Giants, but the game of cat and mouse keeps ending without a contract for one of the best scorers in the league. Dez will likely hang out and wait another week or two so that he misses training camp completely. His salary number only goes up as we get into full game speed and wide receivers around the league suffer injuries. Then, Dez will get to be the savior. So there’s no incentive for Bryant to sign a contract right now, but I’m getting anxious to see him back on an NFL roster.
Travis: Since Dez (and Gates below) were taken already, I had to go a little deeper. I guess that’s what I get for being last to the party. My pick is going to be less of whom I’m dying to see sign somewhere and more of whom I think could be the most impactful to their new offense and fantasy situation out of the available player pool. I’d like to see where Adrian Peterson lands.
I don’t think he’s completely washed just yet. Yes, he’s 33 years old, and yes he’s a running back, and yes, aging running backs are prone to fall out of the NFL and into the ether rapidly, but this is Adrian Peterson, not Eddie Lacy. Peterson showed us last season that he has some juice left, putting up a 159-yard rushing game, a 134-yard game and a 79-yard game on a putrid Arizona offense. To be clear, the chances of Peterson becoming a reliable fantasy asset himself are slim, but he will likely get signed to a team this year could potentially kill our hopes and dreams of fantasy opportunity for the other player or players in that backfield.
James: the Los Angeles Chargers have been messing around with Antonio Gates all off-season. First, they didn’t want him back and were fine letting go of the locker room leader choosing to go with the younger Hunter Henry as their starting tight end. Later in the off-season, Henry suffered a devastating season-ending injury and the Chargers were immediately interested in re-signing the already alienated Gates. The problem is, we continually hear how the Chargers are interested in a reunion with Gates, but nothing has come of it. The way this needs to end is with Gates signing with the Cowboys. That’s right. Sometimes breakups happen for a reason and it’s why exes need to stay exes. Gates fits in perfectly with Dallas and would give them an immediate upgrade at a position of weakness.
Bobby: I know he hasn’t been great the last two seasons, but I really feel like Jeremy Maclin on the Bills would make some sense. They may be better off seeing what the young kids can give them, but they have one of the worst receiving groups in the league. Kelvin Benjamin provides some of that veteran presence because he’s older than the dinosaurs, but Maclin strikes me as someone who could help with the development of the younger players while providing a reliable option for whatever hodgepodge the Bills go with at quarterback. Also, I didn’t want to say Dez Bryant because everyone was going to say Dez Bryant.
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