Welcome to the DLF mailbag; the article series that answers your questions in long-form. It can be difficult to give a detailed response to your questions on Twitter so this series is designed to do just that. Each week we’ll do a deep-dive on the questions you have been rolling around in your dynasty mind. If you have something you’d like discussed in this format, please send me a message @MattPriceFF and include #AskDLF in your tweet. Let’s get into it!
Where do you rank Todd Gurley’s dynasty value moving forward into next season and beyond?
Gurley will be an interesting player to follow in 2020. From an ADP and a trade value standpoint, his value has plummeted. Following the 2018 season, Gurley had an ADP of 2.83 and in March that has fallen all the way to 47.5. Going from a top-three overall selection to an end-of-round-four selection in one off-season is quite the fall and perhaps a cautionary tale of holding onto elite running back talents for too long.
In terms of production, he fell from RB3 overall and RB1 in points per game in 2018 to RB14 overall and RB15 in points per game in 2019. His usage also drastically declined. Despite all this, he was still worth starting most weeks due to his touchdown production. There were times in 2019 when Gurley looked like a shell of his former RB1 overall self, but as the season wore on we saw flashes of the player that carried dynasty teams the last two seasons. One thing we have to also remember is that the offensive line lost a lot of talent after the 2018 season.
The Falcons invested two 2019 first-round picks at right tackle and guard, selecting Kaleb McGary and Chris Lindstrom. The passing offense is obviously strong as well so it’s entirely possible that Gurley is entering a better situation than he had in 2019. My current ranking reflects this. I have him at RB14 which is one spot higher than the consensus ranking. He is in my fourth tier of running backs just behind Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, Melvin Gordon, Leonard Fournette, and Austin Ekeler.
Just for fun, let’s also take a look at his trade value. As of this writing, the DLF Trade Analyzer has Gurley at a 353.6 valuation and the 2020 1.06 at a 337.6. That puts him somewhere between the 1.05 and 1.06 as a fair trade according to the analyzer. I think that would make sense in most draft classes, but I’d slide that down to the 1.08 or 1.09 for the 2020 class. I’d absolutely take the top five rookie running backs and the top two wide receivers over Gurley at this point. That could certainly change though once we know the landing spots for the rookies.
Looking at the DLF Trade Finder, this seems to bear out. This week he has been moved for a single late first multiple times and a future first multiple times. I think it’s a fair price for a contending team looking for solid RB2 production with a legit shot at back-end RB1 numbers. We know his knees are bad so it’s likely this is a short-term investment, but remember he’ll only be 26 when the season starts, so there is a chance we get two or three more seasons of at least flex level production.
I have the rookie 1.01 in a superflex league. I am torn between taking Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa. Could you please provide me with some feedback on which way to go?
This is a debate that will rage on and ramp up all off-season. In April superflex rookie ADP, Burrow was the first selection in 50% of drafts and Tagovailoa was the first selection in 33%. Burrow has an average ADP of 1.67 and Tagovailoa is at 2.00. Among dynasty owners, it’s close to a coinflip in terms of which one they prefer as the 1.01. Among DLF rankers, it’s a little more slanted toward Burrow with 71.5% having Burrow as QB1 in the class.
For me personally, I’m going with Tagovailoa as my QB1 for several reasons. He was dominant as a sophomore and again as a junior prior to the hip injury. He’s been the devy QB1 pretty much since he first stepped on the field as a freshman. I believe if not for the injury he would still be the consensus QB1. As long as the health checks continue to put out positive news, I see no reason that should change.
This isn’t to say I don’t like Burrow. How could you not after watching his almost unfathomable 60-touchdown season? If you want to take him QB1 overall, then there’s absolutely an argument to do so. The only real reason I have him one small notch below Tagovailoa is the lack of sustained success. He had a lackluster junior season with just 16 touchdowns in 13 games. So what caused such a drastic change in the numbers? I think the hiring of Joe Brady (who is now the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers) had a fair amount to do with the entire LSU offense coming to life in 2019. Burrow is certainly talented, but he isn’t a perfect prospect.
There’s also a case to be made that if Tagovailoa lands in Los Angeles, he is also in a better situation than Burrow. He may sit for some games behind Tyrod Taylor or maybe even a full season, but needing to use your rookie as a starter in 2020 is about the only scenario where I would prefer Burrow to Tagovailoa.
That will do it for this week’s mailbag! Send in your questions to @MattPriceFF for next week’s piece and include #AskDLF in your tweet.