In the 2020 content hub, you can find best ball strategy and optimal roster construction per position as well as player rankings that are updated through the offseason. Throughout the offseason, we have been updating player movement in best ball drafts. This allows us to maintain a more current pulse for where players are now being valued that were impacted by recent news. With minimal actionable news from the NFL since the draft, the majority of recent player movement has been altered from media reports and analysis inflection. Yesterday, we covered the players who have recently climbed up boards. Today, we are highlighting a few of the players that sunk.
*ADP from 5/25-6/08
We are starting to see Devin Singletary slowly lose some steam of late in drafts. As a rookie, Singletary turned in 969 yards from scrimmage on 180 touches (5.4 yards per touch) in just 12 games played. He took over as the feature back for the offense midway through the season, averaging 18.9 touches per game over his final nine games in 2019. Picking up big gains, Singletary finished fourth among all running backs in explosive rushing play rate (16%). Deployed correctly by Buffalo, he ranked sixth among all backs in yards before contact per carry (2.7), Singletary faced just eight or more men in the box on 5.3% of his carries, the lowest rate in the league.
Despite his overall usage and effective use, Singletary lacked the money touches we crave for fantasy. Through two seasons, Josh Allen has targeted his running backs 15.7% and 15.8% of the time, well below the league rate of 21%. As a byproduct, Singletary caught two or fewer passes in six of his games played, surpassing three catches just three times. As a 203-pound back, Singletary was also frozen out of scoring opportunities, registering just two carries inside of the 5-yard line out of 18 team attempts.
With 222-pound Zack Moss added as a complement this offseason and running back efficiency being unstable, Singletary could provide some empty-calorie games in 2020 with a lack of touchdowns and receiving output.
Austin Hooper has now fallen to a lower-end TE1, dipping down to TE10 over on Fanball and the TE13 in recent FFPC drafts. I just did a current Fanball draft with some industry brethren where he was selected at TE15.
Hooper’s usage and per-game production has risen in each of his first four seasons in the league, but there may be a volume crunch in his transition to the Browns offense. Even while missing three full games a year ago, only three tight ends in the league ran more pass routes than Hooper did.
If Kevin Stefanski is going to run a similar scheme to the one that he did while with the Vikings last season, overall play volume could crop up as a deterrent to his overall target numbers. Atlanta led the NFL with 45.9 pass plays last season while Minnesota was 31st (30.9) and Cleveland was 20th (36.3). Hooper has averaged fewer than 11.0 yards per reception in each of the past three seasons while he has ranked 30th and 35th in yards created after the catch among tight ends in each of the past two seasons.
Even with a volume loss, the Browns did not invest in Hooper to not use him. He is going to get targets and be the primary pass catching tight end. I do not believe he will live up to the TE6 point-per-game numbers he has posted the past two seasons, but he also should not be plummeting to a point where he is no longer considered a baseline starter.
Both Marlon Mack and D’Andre Swift were in the last version of ADP Fallers which stemmed from the impact of the NFL Draft. Both continue on a gradual descent. Frank Reich recently came out and supported Mack, calling Mack and first-round rookie Jonathan Taylor a “1-1 punch”. Reich has sent out some positive notes on just about everyone this offseason, so we will see how the time split between Mack and Taylor actually plays out, with the potential usage of Nyheim Hines in the passing game. Mack is unlikely to spike in draft cost anytime soon, but Reich’s comments could stop the elevation of Taylor, who is currently being selected in the third round on both sites.
An interesting player here is Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who had a major spike in draft cost immediately after the draft, but now fantasy drafters have started to use some trepidation regarding the third-round rookie. Last week, Bruce Arians tipped off that the Bucs were still kicking the tires on veteran back Devonta Freeman. The addition of another back would muddle this backfield further, preventing the rise for a rookie back to carve out a tangible fantasy role. Bucs beat writer Mark Cook also just recently reported that he believes third-year Ronald Jones is unquestionably the starting running back. Vaughn is by no means buried or frozen out as of yet, even if he starts the season out as a backup, but his climb up draft boards has taken a rest stop.
The last player here is Rashaad Penny, who compliments the rise of Carlos Hyde in yesterday’s update. After suffering a torn ACL in Week 14 of last season, recent reports have Penny starting training camp on PUP list and potentially may not return to later in the actual season. Then the team went out and added Hyde as insurance, reinforcing the instability of Penny’s early-season status.
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