Twitter Observations: Lamar Miller signs, Marlon Mack waits

Michael Moore

Between Hard Knocks debuting and contract extensions being finalized this week, the NFL season looks more and more on track to happen. There’s even glowing reports of rookies in training camp which are a mainstay of the off-season.

But rookies aren’t the focus of this week’s Twitter Observations as several veterans are making waves in dynasty circles. From those pulled off the scrap heap to those about to be thrown into it, below are a few players for you to target or discard.

A reminder: This space will be dedicated to an assortment of things we find on Twitter and what it means for our dynasty teams. Most fantasy tweets undoubtedly have a redraft slant to them but we’re here to talk about the dynasty implications.

The Patriot Way

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Patriots signed veteran Lamar Miller off the street. The incumbent lead back, Sony Michel, is still a question mark to start the season while backup Brandon Bolden opted out of the season. That left unproven back Damien Harris and perpetually injured Rex Burkhead left on the depth chart (James White is strictly a passing-down back, we all know this). But it doesn’t mean Miller will be handed the job. Miller’s presence, while breathing new life into his own dynasty value, has just further complicated the Patriots backfield

Dynasty Impact: For Miller dynasty owners, it was understandable if he was part of your cuts during rookie drafts. He was coming off a torn ACL and hadn’t signed until the first of August. But for those that kept him, he suddenly has a chance to contribute in deeper lineup leagues. The Sony Michel train derailed in his sophomore season so there is an opening for a competent starter. And Miller wasn’t bad in the year before he tore his ACL, totaling nearly 1,000 rushing yards on just 210 carries. Miller is currently ranked 78th in our DLF running back rankings and is a strong hold until we know more about his role.

Return of the Mack

Long gone are the days where being the ‘starter’ mattered for fantasy running backs. It’s all about touches and just because Marlon Mack is starting the game doesn’t mean new Colts running back Jonathan Taylor won’t finish it. And Reich’s comments above will be about as close as we get to the team admitting Mack is old news.

Dynasty Impact: Sadly, we might be entering the last year where Mack is remotely fantasy-relevant. Now would be as good a time as any to try and unload him to a team that may have higher hopes or even a team that just drafted Jonathan Taylor, so they don’t have to choose. The chances are slim that Mack ends the season with more carries than Taylor and even if he does, he’s a free agent heading into 2021, joining a crowded running back class. According to our DLF Trade Analyzer, Mack is currently valued as a mid-to-late second-round rookie pick. I would take it and, if you’re really itching for another back, take one of AJ Dillon or Zack Moss, both of whom have much more time left with their team than Mack.

On the Mark

After a half-way decent rookie season that saw Mark Andrews top 500 yards, he really broke out in his sophomore season (along with the rest of the Ravens offense in 2019), totaling 852 yards and ten touchdowns, the latter tops among all tight ends. At first glance, the Ravens offense wouldn’t seem to support a top-end fantasy tight end after finishing dead-last in pass attempts last year with 440. But consider that Andrews was just as much a part of the offense as George Kittle was with the 49ers last year (Andrews target share was 23%, just like Kittle) and it makes sense. It also justifies Andrews as an elite dynasty tight end, along with Kittle and Travis Kelce.

Dynasty Impact: There’s no doubt that the glow from Andrews’ breakout season is still there and rightfully so! He’s absolutely earned his place in tier one of fantasy tight ends. Not only is he the top target for one of the best quarterbacks in the game but of the top-ten tight ends in our dynasty rankings, Andrews is the third-youngest.

But if you’re a prospective Andrews dynasty owner, the concern is the cost. Using the DLF Trade Analyzer, Andrews would currently cost you a mid-first round rookie pick, robbing you of the opportunity to draft one of the top backs or receivers of a strong 2020 class. I would pass if that’s the case. Only three teams in your league could claim they have an elite option at the position each week meaning eight other teams (not including you) do not. I don’t know that parting with a pick that high is worth trying to match two other teams in your league.

Saved by the Bell

Yes, this is a Le’Veon Bell tweet and yes, this is the Le’Veon Bell portion of the article. No one doubts Bell’s first season in New York was a disaster when he averaged just 3.2 yards-per-carry despite seeing nearly 250 carries. He also only scored four times total which he hasn’t done since missing ten games in 2015. So, to say it was a disappointment would be an understatement especially after his prolific career in Pittsburgh and the fact that Bell dynasty owners didn’t get anything in return for his 2018 holdout. But that was then and this (tweet) is now.

Dynasty Impact: Coming off such a bad season, there could be some value in obtaining Bell this season. He’s still the workhorse (despite the presence of the corpse of Frank Gore) and, literally, can’t get much worse than his 2019 season. Seriously, look at his dynasty value:

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Bell is currently on the RB2/3 line which would have been unfathomable just a season ago. And while he might be in line for another such season, it’s certainly more of a sure thing than other such running backs. His contract and stature on the Jets offense make it so. Currently, he would cost a late first-rounder in rookie picks. If you’re picking that late in the first round, chances are you were a playoff team last season and giving up a first for a bellcow like Bell would be worth it.

michael moore