It’s amazing how quickly dynasty fortunes can increase or decrease. There is no position that can be highlighted better than the running back position. The Dynasty Stash, Grab & Dump – RB Edition will update you on some running back situations and the lower end of your roster. I’ll tell you, I’ve traded in all four of these running backs over the last week and while none of these guys offer future RB stud potential, there are very clear signs with each of them as to whether to stash, grab or dump.
Stash – Chris Carson, RB Seattle
Carson is a 7th round pick of Seattle, who has been known to traffic in productive low-end RBs. During camp and the pre-season he has worked his way into the conversation in Seattle by displaying great power, vision, hands and blocking. Just a couple of these will get a rookie on the radar but he’s displayed all four. Meanwhile, free agent pickup Eddie Lacy has looked horrible and it’s never good as an RB if you are on a weight count for incentives. When scanning the DMX outlook for the remaining backs in Seattle, assuming Lacy continues to waste this opportunity, there is a lot to like about Carson:
As you can see, none of Seattle’s young RBs have elite DMX scores. CJ Prosise’s is the best but that is substantively due to draft position as is clear in the first chart above. When you look at Athletic (ATH) scores, Carson’s is the best of the three. Now that’s not saying much because not of them are great athletes. But, what you do notice is that Carson is the only one of the three backs with at least one elite score in their ATH profile. His 1.42 power score is truly elite where Prosise and Rawls have mostly marginal ATH profiles. It’s interesting too that the knock on Carson is that he’s not fast but he’s faster than Rawls and his Speed score above is just under the average for the RB position, so he’s certainly fast enough. Where is profile lacks is in agility and that is clear when you see him run, he is a bull in a china shop. He uses his power and strength to maximum effect as seen in these clips:
So, we’ve established he’s comparable to his peers in the Seattle backfield and we’ve seen his talent on the field in the pre-season. The reality is that Seattle is not in the same situation they were a couple of years ago when they were forced to start Thomas Rawls in Marshawn Lynch’s absence. They are much deeper now at the RB position and it’s highly unlikely Carson will take over this backfield this year. That said, he’s cheap and he’s talented enough to be on the field for the Seahawks. Given their willingness to cycle through RBs in the post BeastMode era it’s possible Carson can rise to the top eventually. To do that he must stay healthy (which was an issue in college) and he must continue to perform. I believe he will so he’s worth the dynasty stash.
Grab Matt Breida, RB San Francisco
Breida is not a household name but he could be by the end of the season. Joe Williams got all the hype in this battle as the story of Kyle Shanahan “pounding the table” for him went viral. In the meantime, Williams fell flat during camp and the pre-season and is now on IR. Breida has just performed during the same period and finds himself in a very enviable position as the #2 back in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Might I remind you what the #2 back did last year in his offense (see Tevin Coleman)? You may say Breida is no Tevin Coleman. Think again…
Clearly from a draft position perspective there is no comparison and Breida was undrafted and Coleman was drafted in the third round. Also, Coleman had a 2,000 yard season his last year in college while Breida’s last year he only had 699 total yards from scrimmage. That said, this hides the fact that Breida had 1,600 yards from scrimmage his sophomore and junior years. And then when you compare their athletic profile, Breida wins going away. Brieda’s 1.07 ATH score is elite, all four of this athletic profile metrics are positive and his power score is matched only by Justin Fargas and Daniel Lasco in the 17 years of history I’ve compiled in the DMX database. One knock on Breida is that he’s light. While he’s 5’11” he’s only 190 lbs. but he has the frame to put on more. If he can maintain his athleticism while adding muscle and getting to the 205-210 lb. range he certainly can be the right size for a productive back in this offense. Devonta Freeman is 5’9″ 209 lbs.
Bottom line is Breida is an uber-athletic UDFA. While most uber-athletic UDFA’s wallow on the bottom of NFL rosters and never get much of a chance, Breida finds himself, as a rookie, in the #2 RB position behind Carlos Hyde who has yet to play a full season in the three he’s played and is in the final year of his rookie contract. While I do not think Breida is the second coming of Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman, he is worth grabbing now and if he’s productive this year I advise flipping hiim for a draft pick later in the season or in the off-season before he’s drafted over.
Dump Matt Jones and Jonathan Williams
I have to say, I held both of these guys up until the beginning of week 1 this year, believing they both had great opportunities and showed flashes of production in their first forays in the NFL. I traded Jones after he was picked up by Indy figuring someone would be excited about that. Sure enough he was just dropped by Indy. I dropped Williams for…you guessed it, Matt Breida. The bottom line with these guys is that if you are getting cut in the NFL, that is a huge warning sign. While athleticism and draft profile matter, at the end of the day if you cannot stay on your team’s roster even on a rookie deal, that is a sign of disaster from a fantasy perspective. While Jones will be picked up somewhere and Williams is not in Denver, they both face a long road to proving themselves and there are many other RBs out there with better profiles given their current situations. It’s time to cut bait on these guys if you have them.