We’re in the thick of the off-season which means we’re left interpreting coach speak, personnel moves, and much more without the benefit of seeing any game action. Below are the more notable ones this week from Twitter along with what your dynasty team should do about it.
The Truth is Stranger Than Gibson
FEED ANTONIO GIBSON 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/WnSF9fZHRd
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 16, 2023
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A player underperforms or rather sees less action on the field, only for the coach who was in charge of said offense to say he wants to get that player more touches. That’s where we’re at with Antonio Gibson after he saw nearly 100 fewer rush attempts in 2022 despite playing just one less game. It wasn’t in deference to his receiving ability, either, as he only saw six more targets. And to top it off, Gibson’s replacement – 2022 third-round pick Brian Robinson – didn’t exactly set the world on fire, averaging less than four yards per carry. Remember that we’re in peak coach-speak season so take this tweet with a huge grain of salt.
Dynasty Impact: After finishing each of his first two seasons as a low-end RB1 in fantasy scoring, Gibson’s lack of playing time in 2022 resulted in him dropping to an RB3. And despite Rivera’s comments, nothing yet indicates that 2023 will look different which means we have to assume Gibson will be closer to the RB3 he was last year rather than the RB1.
Looking at recent trades involving Gibson using the DLF Trade Finder, he has been going for between a second and fourth-round rookie pick in terms of value. Those aren’t crazy prices and if you have a surplus of picks, you couldn’t be blamed for taking a chance on him. After all, Washington’s current starter – Robinson – didn’t do anything in his rookie season to create any separation so it’s possible Gibson does eat into his workload. Just don’t count on it.
Jaylen Warren and Jerome Ford sure look like the direct backups to Najee Harris and Nick Chubb
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) May 18, 2023
While no one would ever confuse Jerome Ford for Nick Chubb, it’s still notable that the Browns have all but designated Ford as the primary backup in the backfield. Thanks to an offense that averaged over 30 rush attempts per game – good for fifth in the league – last year’s backup, Kareem Hunt, managed 123 attempts despite Chubb notching over 300. Of course, that was also with Chubb not missing a game in 2022. He had missed two-four games in each of the previous two seasons which would mean spot starts for Ford and the chance to start for your dynasty team for a game or two.
On the flip side, it’s also possible the Browns ratchet up the passing game now that quarterback Deshaun Watson has had a whole off-season in Cleveland. But even then, Ford could benefit there too as Hunt managed 35 targets last year despite the Browns ranking just 21st in pass attempts.
Either way, the backup in Cleveland, which Ford is now, could have some value.
Dynasty Impact: Not every fifth-round pick gets the opportunity to contribute, whether it’s your fantasy team or in real life, but that’s not the case for Ford. Cleveland declined to draft a running back or sign one in free agency, sticking with Ford after they allowed both D’Ernest Johnson and Kareem Hunt to walk. Demetric Felton is the only other veteran behind Ford but Felton isn’t built to see significant carries. If you’re lacking depth at running back, or are a Chubb manager, acquiring Ford would be relatively cheap. For example, using the DLF Trade Analyzer, you can swap a late third-round rookie pick or even an early fourth for Ford.
This is a move you make if you have larger rosters but there won’t be many players that are flying more under the radar right now than Ford.
Cowboys WR Michael Gallup said he’s “very confident” this year he’ll be the player he was before his knee injury. “It just feels different. I’m smiling every time I walk in that facility.”
There was a loss of confidence last year. “I was thinking too much, my knee was sore.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 17, 2023
Michael Gallup has had quite the roller coaster of a career. In his five seasons in the league, he’s gone from a 1,000-yard receiver on a high-powered offense down to a 30 yards a game afterthought.
Some of it can be attributed to injury as Gallup did miss nearly half the season in 2021. But he played in 14 games in 2022 and turned in the worst statistical season of his career – 39 receptions for just 424 yards and four touchdowns. More troubling was his 10.9 yards-per-reception and the fact he didn’t have a 100-yard game. And while the tweet above is encouraging, the Cowboys’ actions would indicate otherwise at least when it comes to Gallup’s fantasy potential in Dallas. First, there was Mike McCarthy’s ‘demand’ to run the ball more. Then Dallas went out and traded for veteran Brandin Cooks, a superior receiver to Gallup in every way. Gallup may feel good now, but it’s hard to see that lasting.
Dynasty Impact: As the chart shows above, Gallup’s dynasty value has declined for three seasons and is currently in the WR5/6 range. Yes, he’s healthy and only 27 but he’s only the third option in the passing game right now, at best. It’s hard to see a scenario where he does much better this season.
Could he be a good buy-low in the hopes he surpasses Cooks or even moves on to another team? Maybe. Using the DLF Trade Analyzer, you can trade for him using just a third-round rookie pick. The chat below gives you an idea of what kind of receivers will still be there in the third round of this year’s rookie drafts (thanks to the DLF Rookie App).
Considering that, it might be worth a flier on Gallup with the understanding that the odds are low it hits.