A day after Darrell Henderson sprained his thumb, the Rams traded a 2022 sixth-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick for former first-rounder Sony Michel.
While I was high on Henderson, as made clear by my debut piece with Team Rise or Fall, this trade changes things clearly. I do think that Henderson will have the majority of the running back touches for L.A. by end of the season, but that might not matter. It feels like Michel will compete for carries and goalline work immediately, while Henderson is the only proven pass-catching option at running back.
Henderson should fall a couple of rounds in Average Draft Position (ADP). If he falls in your draft to the sixth or seventh round, he is worth a shot. I still believe there is upside with the pass-catching running back in a Matthew Stafford-led offense. He is of the same vein as Chase Edmonds as a big-play guy whose volume will be capped.
Michel is now a late-round flyer. The path to touches is much clearer now as a Ram, and he could see legitimate use on the goal line on what should be a proficient NFL offense. Passing up Henderson
Every offseason seems to take some casualties in the NFL, and that is no different for 2021 Fantasy Football. This time, a star rookie was put on the shelf before his season could even get started. Travis Etienne has been ruled out for 2021, as his foot will require Lifranc surgery.
Etienne looked to be a big part of the passing game for Jacksonville, coming into his first season with former Clemson teammate Trevor Lawerence who was just named the starter for Week 1.
Now James Robinson finds himself in a familiar role, the undeniable lead-back on this roster. The volume should decrease from last season, as Robinson was the RB7 in .5 PPR leagues with 289 touches. However, he is a proven pass-catcher/third-down back and this Jaguars offense comes with upside.
Understandably Robinson has seen his ADP jump up to the fifth round. According to Underdog ADP, he has moved up 31 spots and can now be found in the fifth round. He is a safe RB2 for 2021 Fantasy Football, but it is unrealistic to expect 20 touches per game as the offense will spread things around to the talented group of wide receivers while working in Carlos Hyde (I know, I know).
While we knew that Trevor Lawerence would win the job for obvious reasons, the situation in Denver was not so clear. I have been pushing for Teddy “Ballgame” Bridgewater to win the job solely because I believe in his ability to get the ball to his playmakers -and Denver has a lot of them.
As I pointed out in a previous article, Bridgewater was great last year in terms of accuracy and efficiency. His accuracy rating was first in the NF (7.9). he was fourth in true completion percentage (75.7), and he was 13th in deep-ball accuracy (43.6). This is all great news for Jerry Jeudy who experienced the opposite treatment from Drew Lock last season, who struggled with accuracy.
The scary part in terms of upside for Bridgewater and the Denver offense for 2021 Fantasy Football is touchdowns. Bridgewater has never had a season with more than 15 passing touchdowns, and it remains to be seen how this Denver offense flow.
I view this decision as a boost for Denver options, but Bridgewater should be viewed as mid-tier QB2 for 2021 Fantasy Football.
Jameis Winston/Marquez Callaway
Perhaps the most ambiguous quarterback competition beat in recent history, the Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill quarterback battle is coming to an end. Winston carved up the Jaguars on Monday Night Football this past week going 9/10 for 123 yards with two scores. Marquez Callaway was responsible for five receptions, 104 yards, and both touchdowns.
According to Ian Rapoport Winston has won the job, although the Saints have not quite announced it yet. That does not mean Hill won’t play. He will still have similar usage on the goal line which will be extremely frustrating for Fantasy purposes. It is still encouraging to see Winston succeed, as he should be considered in best ball and Superflex or 2QB leagues. I am okay with him being a late-round quarterback if you punt the position in drafts, but he should still be a matchup-based play on a weekly basis.
Callaway, however, is interesting. Last year he proved to be successful when given the opportunity, catching eight passes on 10targets for 75 yards in Week 7 against Carolina. Callaway has great size, speed, and hands in contested situations which earns trust from quarterbacks, this was evident this week.
With Michael Thomas out indefinitely, Adam Trautman banged up for a few weeks, and Tre’Quan Smith not seizing the opportunity, Callaway is a steal in drafts for 2021 Fantasy Football. Go and get him!
Head Coach Dan Campbell said Tuesday he has concerns about D’Andre Swift’s availability for Week 1. Swift has missed a large portion of training camp with a groin injury, although he did practice in full on Tuesday and has been more involved this week.
This news alone has sent Swift’s ADP to the fourth round, a full round later than he had been going prior. The reality is that even if Swift is 100 percent, he has a tough Week 1 matchup against the 49ers which should temper expectations.
The reason I am high on Swift is his pass-catching, which could make him matchup proof. I am not too worried about Jamaal Williams, although he will undeniably vulture touchdowns. I believe as long as Swift is healthy, he is going to soak up targets and exceed 200 carries this season. We will have to wait and see how serious the injury is, but I am firmly in the camp of taking the discount on Swift.
Note: The Lions’ schedule is rough as they play the Ravens, Browns, and Steelers along with having to play the Vikings and Bears twice. Tread lightly with Swift in 2021 Fantasy Football, with the understanding that he can still overcome bad matchups with elite pass-catching.
– Steven Toroni @FFProfessorST3
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