Defend Your Rankings: Superflex Edition

Mike Havens

Opinions on player value differ from owner to owner, and rankers are no different. In this series, we first take a look at DLF superflex rankers who were asked to defend their highest or lowest ranks versus their fellow rankers.

All DLF rankings can be found here. For the purpose of our article today, superflex rankings can be found here.

DLF Ranker: Michael Moore

Tevin Coleman, RB SF

Average Rank: 159
Mike M Rank: 105 (54 spots higher)

While Raheem Mostert is getting all the love this off-season, let’s not forget who tied with Mostert for most carries by a 49er last season. Coleman is also a year younger than Mostert. I don’t think it’s a stretch to have them ranked near each other, which is why I have them there.

AJ Green, WR CIN

Average Rank: 113
Mike M Rank: 71 (42 spots higher)

There’s no question that injuries have derailed Green’s dynasty value in the last two years, since he has played in only a quarter of possible games. But when he did play, he showed the same efficiency – averaging 15.1 yards per reception – and scoring prowess he always had, scoring six times in nine games. Oh yeah, and he just got a huge upgrade at quarterback.

Mitchell Trubisky, QB CHI

Average Rank: 145
Mike M Rank: 198 (54 spots lower)

It is probably not a great sign for a team that not only selected a quarterback with the second overall pick – but traded up to do so – to follow that up three years later by trading a fourth-round pick for Nick Foles. And it’s not like Trubisky hasn’t been given weapons to work with. He had Allen Robinson, David Montgomery, yet he managed just over six yards per attempt last season and threw just 17 touchdowns. He’ll be a backup by this time next year.

Gardner Minshew, QB JAC

Average Rank: 102
Mike M Rank: 137 (35 spots lower)

I didn’t think I was that low on him but, relative to our other rankers, apparently, I am. I just don’t see his success from last year continuing. Don’t get me wrong, there have been examples of late-round picks turning into superstars, but they had an epic supporting cast behind them. Whether it was Tom Brady and the greatest coach of all-time or Dak Prescott with a superstar running back and the best offensive line of the decade, both had things in their corner that Minshew doesn’t.

DLF Ranker: John Hogue

Cam Newton, QB FA

Average Rank: 112
John H Rank:
57 (62 spots higher)

I’m high on Newton because he’s still one of the premier offensive weapons in all of pro football. We haven’t seen him in nearly a year, and even when he did start the 2019 season, he didn’t look great as he battled foot and shoulder injuries. Now he doesn’t have a contract. That’s why the dynasty universe has an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” relationship with Cam. But he’s going to end up with a starting job in 2020 (don’t ask me where), and when he does, he will be a QB1 for fantasy purposes. But it’s like gravity: you have to believe in it even though you can’t see it!

Allen Lazard, WR GB

Average Rank: 180
John H Rank: 129 (51 spots higher)

Well… I’m high on Aaron Rodgers too. Higher than anyone else on earth, possibly even including Rodgers himself – certainly higher than the Green Bay brass. In fact, the knock on Rodgers is the Packers didn’t get him any help at WR in the NFL Draft. But the thing is, he’s still going to throw the ball upwards of 400 times. Davante Adams is great, but he isn’t getting 400 targets. They have to go somewhere. Lazard emerged in 2019 as the guy Rodgers feels most comfortable with beyond Adams.

Jalen Hurts, QB PHI

Average Rank: 157
John H Rank: 201 (44 spots lower)

He just got drafted into a situation where he’s sitting behind one of the elite young QBs in the league. Carson Wentz missed one game in 2019, his “injury history” is pretty overblown. So what is the path for Hurts? Can they bring him on the field as a gadget player, a la Taysom Hill? Sure. But when do we ever feel comfortable starting Hill? Without a path to fantasy relevance, I don’t see the need to even rank Hurts.

Austin Hooper, TE CLE

Average Rank: 106
John H Rank: 146 (40 spots lower)

I never really bought into Hooper, and it bit me last year as he finished as the TE7 overall. But the team that felt so strongly about him as to feature him in its offense – the Atlanta Falcons – were also perfectly fine letting him leave via free agency and replacing him with Hayden Hurst. Now Hooper will have to learn a new offense and playbook while competing for targets with Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and of course, David Njoku and his first-round draft pedigree… all in a run-first offense. The upside is severely capped, even when he makes it past the learning curve.

DLF Ranker: James Koutoulas

Ronald Jones, RB TB

Average Rank: 134
James K Rank: 86 (48 spots higher)

Most think Tampa Bay drafting Ke’Shawn Vaughn means the end of Ronald Jones. I’m not part of that groupthink. Jones had a very good year last year in this offense (totaling 1,033 total yards from scrimmage) with Peyton Barber taking a lot of work from Jones early in the year. Arians like to use a one-back system and Vaughn is more likely to play a backup role and fill Barber’s late-season role than to force this into a split backfield.

Denzel Mims, WR NYJ

Average Rank: 122
James K Rank: 182 (60 spots lower)

Mims can run routes. He has good hands. But has Sam Darnold as his quarterback and Adam “The fantasy black hole” Gase as his head coach. We’ve seen Gase slow up DeVante Parker, Kenyan Drake and Ryan Tannehill so why do we have faith that he can develop Mims?

DLF Writer/Ranker: Mike Havens

Marquise Brown, WR BAL

Average Rank: 92
Mike H Rank: 37 (45 spots higher)

I love young wide receivers and I love buying them before they get too expensive. Brown emerged as the lead receiver in his first year with the team. His 46 receptions, 584 yards, and seven touchdowns as a rookie put him in elite company. It’s only going to get better.

Curtis Samuel, WR CAR

Average Rank: 154
Mike H Rank: 105 (49 spots higher)

Samuel looked amazing through training camp and preseason last year. The injury to quarterback Cam Newton made it difficult for the 2017 second-rounder to develop. I think the addition of Teddy Bridgewater immediately elevates the number two receiver of the Panthers.

Ronald Jones, RB TB

Average Rank: 134
Mike H Rank: 197 (63 spots lower)

I have articles and forum posts that stretch back several years that can document my historical criticism of Jones. I forced myself to include him in my top 200. My biggest fear is that he’ll miss a key block that will end Tom Brady’s career. I hope I am wrong.

Damien Williams, RB KC

Average Rank: 143
Mike H Rank: Unranked

Damien Williams has never rushed for more than 500 yards in a season. The only reason he ever had any value at all is because he took over for Kareem Hunt in a near-record setting offense during its prime. He’s on the last year of his deal and the Chiefs are ready to move on, proven by the selection of stand-out RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

mike havens