Twitter Observations: JK Dobbins’ Role, Plus Texans and Patriots Backfield Question Marks

Michael Moore

We have officially arrived in the last few days before the season starts. A lot has happened this off-season – in your dynasty leagues in addition to the actual NFL – to get you to this moment. But Twitter had a few more tricks up its sleeve that could force some last-minute changes to your roster. Below are a few of the tweets to get you ready for week one.

Bell Cow Back? JK

Heading into the 2022 season, we knew the Ravens would take it easy with JK Dobbins who was coming off a torn ACL. But then, as if Dobbins dynasty managers needed more reason to worry, Baltimore signed veteran Kenyan Drake to an already crowded backfield that already includes Gus Edwards and Mike Davis. And thus the crux of the Ravens’ run game. Baltimore has finished in the top three in team rush attempts for four straight seasons but just once has a Raven running back seen more than 150 carries in any of those seasons. This brings us back to Dobbins and what, if any, these early-season developments will have on his dynasty value.

Dynasty Impact: Count me as one of those that never understood why Dobbins was ranked so high. He’s a great player but, in terms of fantasy scoring, is in a bad situation. The Ravens don’t come anywhere close to relying on just one back and never just feeding one between the smorgasbord of backs, not to mention maybe the best running quarterback in football in Lamar Jackson. So when it comes to Dobbins’ ranking as DLF’s 14th best dynasty back, you could do better.

Return of the Mack

There is always a rookie who appears out of nowhere to climb not just rookie rankings but dynasty ones as well. Dameon Pierce is that player of the 2022 off-season. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Piece had some draft capital behind him but it was a situation that allowed his value to climb. The Texans’ run game, not to mention most of the offense was abysmal last year. Their best running back – Rex Burkhead – averaged just 3.5 yards-per-carry with no Texans back topping 500 rushing yards for the season.

Just by being drafted, Pierce became the best back in Houston. He wasn’t a workhorse in college at Florida but he was extremely productive when he touched the ball, scoring 16 times on just 119 touches. The Texans are hoping Pierce can be just as good as a pro.

Dynasty Impact: To be clear, there are pros and cons to Pierce being thrust into the starting lineup. Yes, he’ll immediately see more touches than any other rookie back and could be one of the top backs when it comes to carries in the whole league. The cutting of Marlon Mack (who subsequently signed with the Texans practice squad) all but ensure a big role for Pierce and accelerated his dynasty value which was already rising.

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But the Texans offense also has the potential to be a dumpster fire. It’ll be led by second-year quarterback Davis Mills who is already on his second coach in Lovie Smith. Mills was okay and certainly decent by rookie standards but the offense as a whole still finished in the bottom three of both yards and points.

Pierce dynasty managers need to be careful what they wish for as we’re all going to learn quickly if his hype was worth it.

Danger-Russ Contract

I guess Russell Wilson will be in Denver for a while. After a blockbuster trade that send Wilson from Seattle – the only pro team he’s ever played for – to the Rocky Mountains, Denver went to work to lock down Wilson for what will likely be the rest of his career. The return Seattle got was both a lot and seemingly not enough. But Denver was willing after struggling to find a long-term solution at the position after Peyton Manning’s retirement.

For Wilson, he steps into an offense surrounded by solid-skill positions players. The receiving corps includes former first-round pick Jerry Jeudy, former Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton, and former second-round pick KJ Hamler. The run game might be even better as Wilson will be flanked by expected breakout running back Javonte Williams. All told, Wilson is set up for success.

Dynasty Impact: While the trade itself certainly boosted Wilson’s dynasty value, it was just stemming a steady decline that started five years ago.

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But why is it declining in the first place? Wilson has been a fantasy QB1 for his entire career save for last year when he missed three games. That kind of consistency is extremely valuable for dynasty purposes.

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Wilson is still playing at an elite level and will have as many weapons as he did in Seattle if not more. I’m buying.

The Patriots’ Backfield

It’s a fool’s errand to try and figure out the fantasy situation in New England. Gone are the days of Tom Brady and whatever slot receiver was around. Now we have Mac Jones and a bunch of players who could or could not be fantasy relevant. Nowhere is that more of an issue than in the running game. Despite Damien Harris, the incumbent, having a solid season last year with nearly 1,000 yards and a whopping 15 touchdowns, it’s been Rhamondre Stevenson getting all the hype. By all accounts, Stevenson has been impressive in his second training camp with talk of him taking over the primary role in the running game.

Dynasty Impact: Thanks to the aforementioned camp reports, the dynasty values of Harris and Stevenson have been on a crash course that culminated in Stevenson jumping ahead.

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It would be great if Bill Belichick could be the slightest bit forthcoming with his offensive game plan but we know that won’t happen so we’re left guessing. This is made even more frustrating because we saw last year that the lead Patriots back can turn in a top-ten fantasy season as Harris did.

For now, you should consider selling either if you can get a good return. The lack of confidence in either one is enough to get out of the situation altogether in favor of a more consistent asset.

michael moore
Twitter Observations: JK Dobbins’ Role, Plus Texans and Patriots Backfield Question Marks