Each week I will be walking through the Twitterverse extracting some of the best commentary from trusted fantasy football minds. Twitter can be overwhelming with the amount of information that streams live, but it also proves to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to communicate. In 140 characters or less you can learn something about a player you may have never thought of from trends, stats or analysis.
The season is officially over and DLF’s own Karl Safchick presented an interesting question after the big game.
Who increased their dynasty value most tonight? My vote is CJ Anderson. Funchess got a small bump. Ginn may be overdue for a bump.
— Karl Safchick (@KarlSafchick) February 8, 2016
The Super Bowl definitely did not offer much from the offensive side of the ball, but Broncos running back C.J. Anderson was easily the biggest standout for me personally. The truth of the matter though is Anderson had been performing very well heading into the playoffs and as Mike Clay noted, the opportunity was really the only thing holding him back.
Aside of a slow start, CJ Anderson had a terrific season. Just didn’t get the volume to satisfy fantasy peeps. Post hype target in 2016.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) February 8, 2016
[inlinead]?Anderson struggled with ankle and toe injuries to start the season and even he himself admitted he was not as healthy as he thought. Over the first six games, he managed only 2.9 yards per attempt on 67 carries and also failed to cross the goal line. For a running back who seemed destined to be a RB1 in 2015, fantasy owners were essentially left with a gaping hole in their weekly lineups. After the bye week, C.J. delivered a 101-yard output and also scored his first touchdown of the season. This performance of course was followed by two games where he logged seven and two (TWO!) carries. Despite being practically unreliable week in and week out, Anderson’s total stats for his final nine games in limited action did look good on paper as they resulted in 85 rushes for 540 yards – equal to an average of 6.35 yards per carry. He scored five times as well and while Ronnie Hillman continued to get work, the outlook was not as promising for him to end the season.
Ronnie Hillman’s postseason carries: 5, 4, 0, 9, -1, 5, 1, 1, 1, -1, -4, 3, 3, 5, 7, 0, -1, 7, -1, -1, 2, 1, 4, 0, 2, 3, 0. (2.00 YPC).
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) February 4, 2016
Ronnie Hillman has passed blocked 64 times this season allowing 11 total pressures the 9th worst Pass Blocking Efficiency for RBs
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 4, 2016
Anderson is a restricted free agent and the assumption is he will carry a second round tender. Hillman is an unrestricted free agent and the team could easily look to bring him back as well. Looking at their performances and usage down the stretch, Anderson has the looks of the clear starter in 2016. Seeing how he finished, I am willing to believe injuries factored into his production more than originally suspected and the continued split of workload likely did not benefit him either. No one expects Peyton Manning to be under center next season and one would presume the offense may look to run first. I would expect C.J. Anderson’s value to only climb at this point as we head towards the draft and training camps.
After an amazing rookie season the needle has been pointing straight down for Alfred Morris over the last three seasons. In his fourth year, Morris also saw his stranglehold on the starting spot slip away as rookie runner Matt Jones emerged. Over the course of the season, Jones actually played a higher percentage of offensive snaps in games played. The team did not have a true identity at the running back position and now they are left with offseason questions. Fantasy owners as well are left wondering what to do with Alfred and Shane Hallam weighed in recently with his thoughts.
I like Morris as a buy low in dynasty leagues. Likely comes fairly cheap and could land in a decent situation https://t.co/0IFt1BNZGL
— Shane P. Hallam (@ShanePHallam) February 4, 2016
Shane is definitely right about buying low as Morris’ value is at the lowest point in his career. The only question is whether he can regain value and put fantasy points on the board again on a consistent basis. Alfred will enter 2016 as a 27-year old running back, which will normally cause owners to step back and say, “No thank you.” His ceiling has also always been capped as Washington never featured him in the passing game. Finally, he is coming off his worst season statistically and if his own team really does not want him, why should he be expected to excel elsewhere? The positives are Alfred has shown he can be the workhorse and pile up yards in the right offense. He also has been extremely durable throughout his career suiting up for every game and by all accounts is a great teammate. The landing spot will be everything for Morris and recent news suggested a team like the Patriots would be a perfect fit. While that would likely be great for the team, splitting carries and touches again would not bode well for fantasy owners. Based on his track record, Morris will need to find a team allowing him to be the lead dog and get 275 to 300 carries to remain a weekly staple in fantasy lineups. If the price is right and owners are looking to dump him, he could still be considered a deal, but with uncertainty and other factors, I do not have him within my top 36 at the running back position.
One important aspect of excelling in dynasty is having a pulse for the perceived fantasy value of players by owners in your league. Matt Harmon suggested this week that you check on a certain Charger as we enter the off-season.
Keenan Allen still isn’t even 24 years old. I would do a price check on him in your dynasty league.
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) February 8, 2016
Allen checks a lot of the boxes when looking for a standout fantasy receiver. Over the first half of last season, he was on pace to hit 134 receptions, 1,450 yards and eight touchdowns, which would have placed him within the top ten at his position even in standard leagues. In PPR formats, he was absolutely killing it and putting up elite numbers. Unfortunately, he underwent surgery on a lacerated kidney and his 2015 campaign was cut short. From an injury standpoint, I have not read anything suggesting the surgery will pose any long term threats to his health, so he should be ready to assume the spot as the number one wide out for Philip Rivers in 2016. Allen is also entering the last year of his contract, though I would suspect the team will look to get something done to keep him in San Diego / LA for the foreseeable future. The only thing truly holding Keenan back in fantasy was the lack of big upside scoring potential. As other receiving options on the team cycle in and out, he may be in line for additional looks in the upcoming year. Overall, he is just outside of the top 12 fantasy receivers in terms of dynasty but if owners are appearing more hesitant there is no time like the present to make an offer.
During last off-season, Tampa Bay’s Charles Sims was being hyped as the running back to own on the team. Both he and Doug Martin were being drafted similarly with a lot of unknown about how the current coaching staff would deploy the two runners. As it turned out, Martin was given the first opportunity and nearly replicated his rookie season output in the process. As Mike Clay noted, Sims did quite well for himself and broke out in his own right.
Just checked and I had Sims noted as a comp for David Johnson last year. So that’s interesting. Sims quietly busted out in 2015, too.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) February 9, 2016
The comparison to David Johnson should be something to perk up fantasy owners, but unlike Johnson, Sims is sitting behind one of the best runners in 2015. Interestingly enough, both runners tallied an average of 4.9 yards per carry last season, though Sims made his presence known more in the passing game. He caught three or more passes in 10 of 16 games last season, totaling 51 overall while also scoring four times through the air. The combination of the two runners could make a case for the best duo in the league, though Doug is still clearly the largest beneficiary of opportunity. Looking forward, Sims appears to be a guy with the size, hands and talent to be a lead back but he is signed for two more seasons in Tampa Bay. Additionally, all indications from the team is that they are looking to re-sign Martin, putting any potential breakout into the upper levels of fantasy on hold. Currently, all Doug Martin owners should be interested in acquiring Sims as insurance if the runner gets injured or his production quickly slides.[ad5]?