Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Jordan Scarlett, RB CAR

Bruce Matson

Name: Jordan Scarlett

Position: Running Back

Pro Team: Carolina Panthers

College Team: Florida Gators

Draft Status: Round five, 154th overall

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

COMBINE REVIEW

  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 208 pounds
  • Arms: 30 3/8’’
  • Hands: 8 7/8’’
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.47
  • Bench Press: 21
  • Vertical Jump: 30
  • Broad Jump: 116
  • 3-Cone Drill: 7.37
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.63

STRENGTHS

  • He’s a strong powerful runner who will run through tacklers when given the chance
  • Can chain together moves in the open field
  • Maintains excellent contact balance which allows him to bounce off of tacklers
  • Has an impressive jump cut
  • Not afraid to lower his shoulder to pick up extra yardage
  • An aggressive downhill runner who is always willing to embrace contact

WEAKNESSES

  • Doesn’t have the burst nor the short area quickness to get to the edge
  • Needs to be more decisive when picking the running lane
  • Vision can be poor at times, causing him to run into blockers and head on into tacklers
  • Has multiple off-field issues

OPPORTUNITIES

Carolina ranked 12th in the league with 416 rush attempts last year, running the ball on 41.3 percent of their plays. The running backs on the roster not named Christian McCaffrey combined for a 15.14 percent share of the rush attempts out of the backfield. Scarlett has the chance to compete for the RB2 role early in his career which could allow him to see a few touches per game.

Outside of McCaffrey, there’s not much talent on the roster at running back. He will compete with Cameron Artis-Payne, Elijah Hood, Elijah Holyfield, and Reggie Bonnafon for the backup running back role. If he can’t outperform any of those running backs, then he doesn’t deserve to be in the league.

He could get thrusted into a heavy workload if McCaffrey goes down with an injury that causes him to miss some games, making him fantasy relevant for a short period of time. Being the next man up on a team that likes to run the ball will draw some appeal as an end of bench stash in deeper dynasty leagues.

THREATS

McCaffrey is more than just a threat. It’s going to be almost impossible to pry the starting job away from him. McCaffrey is locked in as the team’s starter and should be a key focal point of the offense for a very long time. Opportunities are going to be limited at best for the rest of the running backs on the team.

The Panthers only spent a fifth-round pick on Scarlett. He doesn’t have draft capital backing him up going into his rookie season. If he doesn’t perform right out of the gate, then he could just be a practice squad player or even cut from the roster.

He has the profile of a journeyman backup running back who bounces from team to team until he’s washed out of the league. He will need to exceed expectations immediately if he wants to buck this trend.

SHORT-TERM EXPECTATIONS

He should at least make the 53-man roster. However, don’t expect him to see a significant amount of playing time. McCaffrey will get a large portion of the workload out of the backfield, leaving just a limited share of touches for the remaining backs on the roster. Don’t expect Scarlett to become a big contributor to the offense anytime soon.

McCaffrey’s health is a key driver to Scarlett’s fantasy value. If McCaffrey gets injured somewhere down the line, then he could see a massive increase in playing time. Depending on the size of the league, he could be a value as an end-of-bench stash in dynasty.

LONG-TERM EXPECTATIONS

His expectations should be tempered. There’s a good chance that he’s going to be a backup running back throughout the duration of his career. At best he might receive spurts where he’s the team’s starting running back by default. However, currently, he’s not inline to receive much of a workload unless something happens to the team’s incumbent starter.

Scarlett will need to get cut by the Panthers and latch on to a different team in order to get a large enough opportunity to be fantasy relevant. McCaffrey is one of the key pieces to Carolina’s offense. He has a vice-like grip on the starting role for a very long time.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON

Scarlett compares athletically to Dalvin Cook. Both players have the long speed to be a home run threat but need extra time to accelerate into gear. Athleticism is where the comparison stops because Cook is a superior talent and is better at all phases of the game.

Storm Johnson is a closer comparison. Both players can grind the ball between the tackles but won’t impress anyone with athleticism. Lack of vision is the key downfall to both running backs. Johnson hasn’t taken a handoff since 2014 and only has 29 career carries to his name. Don’t be surprised if Scarlett produces similar numbers.

PROJECTED ROOKIE DRAFT RANGE

According to DLF’s Rookie ADP, Scarlett is being drafted in the later portion of the fourth round and sometimes you can find him as an option in the fifth round. He is actually the last player listed on the site’s ADP rankings as the 64th player off the board. On top of that, he’s being selected as the 26th running back. The running backs that are being drafted directly before him are LJ Scott, Alex Barnes, and Holyfield.

His price point is borderline free, making him a low-risk asset. There’s a high probability of him bottoming out. From the looks of his ADP, a lot of other drafters feel the same way. The opportunity might not be there, but Scarlett does have some intangibles that could allow him to develop into a fantasy relevant asset. The cost associated with his stock could make him a value if McCaffrey would to ever go down with an injury.

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