⛽️🔥 A Deep Dive into the 2023 RB Pt.2

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Continuing from last week’s part 1 of the 2023 RB discussion…

Syracuse’s Sean Tucker has run very hot and cold this offseason, and I truly don’t know what to make of him. The college production is great, but with the lack of projected speed (4.54 40-yard dash per NFL Draft Buzz), who knows where Tucker will end up in the NFL Draft. NFL Mock Draft Database has him at 91st overall, making him a later day two pick. Most are projecting him to go on day three rather than day two. His draft capital will be a huge factor for his profile, seeing where the NFL values a Syracuse RB.

Next, and my current RB3, is UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet. I was a fan of Charbonnet at Michigan, and his Pac-12 transfer did him some good. As you can see, he’s near the top of all metrics, especially his PFF Run Grade and Speed Score. If he runs anywhere near the projected mid-4.4s, he will fly up people’s rankings and NFL Draft boards.

Lastly is everyone’s Devy darling Ole Miss’ Zach Evans. Evans came out of high school near Bijan Robinson as the top RB in the class. After two years at TCU, Evans left for the SEC, where he was flat-out outplayed by true freshman Quinshon Judkins. While Judkins is no slouch (one of the top 2025 RBs), coming in as a junior, preferred transfer, and losing time to any true freshman is not a great sign. There are still those that love Evans, and I’ve still seen him as high as RB3, but I really do not think the NFL draft capital will follow (currently projected as a 3rd round selection).

The NFL Combine is around the corner, and we eagerly await new information to aid our rookie process. Part of that process has been keeping up on our 2023 Rookie mock drafts. This week, I want to highlight some of the notable risers and fallers in our February ADP versus last month.

Luke Musgrave (TE, Oregon State) - When I pulled the numbers, there was no doubt in my mind who I would find at the top. At 6’5” 255 pounds, Musgrave is an absolute monster on the field and uses his elite athleticism to outclass his competition. He sits at an ADP of 23.0 in February, which is up over 18 spots from last month. As his NFL draft buzz continues to grow, so will his ADP in our community.

Kenny McIntosh (RB, Georgia) - McIntosh possesses elite traits in the receiving game and should find a role at the next level quite easily. He is simply a bigger and better version of James Cook to my eyes on film and even he ended up going to Buffalo in the second round. Similar buzz is setting in for this Bulldog as he continues to rise up our mock boards with an ADP of 21.7 in February, up a half round from last month.

Rakim Jarrett (WR, Maryland) - Rakim Jarrett is really not generating any major buzz that I am hearing, and his ADP is reflecting that. Previously a reluctant pick as it was at the end of the third, Jarrett has now fallen to 43.6 in our ADP. With such a deep pool to choose from at RB, I think most of us fear he will not get early enough capital to matter for our fantasy rosters in year one and just pivot to an RB dart throw that could.

Chase Brown (RB, Illinois) - As a Canadian, it pains me just a little to see Chase Brown fall in our ADP, currently sitting at 28.3 in February. He’s basically slipped from a questionable late second-rounder to a more palatable place to draft him in the early to mid-third. He showed bricks for hands at the senior bowl and seems to be a liability in pass protection as well, which doesn’t bode well for his draft stock as he’s labeled a two-down grinder now.

If you would like to participate in our rookie mocks and help shape our ADP this off-season, click the link below!

Follow me @jmthrivept for live updates over the off-season.

Beyond the Mic🎙

No love letter to Jalen Hurts this week, but tap into the DD radio network for a new episode of 4D chess with special guest, and supporter of the show: Nate Liss. Don't forget Dynasty Degenerates: it might be the off-season, but your dynasty season has just begun!

Gene drops some knowledge on new Colts' HC Shane Steichen

The head coaching cycle has ended, and we have seen Denver and Carolina go the retread route with Sean Payton and Frank Reich. We also got some new young hires in the fold, with DeMeco Ryan in Houston, Shane Steichen in Indy, and Jonathan Gannon in Arizona.

One thing that we tend not to factor in fantasy with new coaching hires is how the past tendencies/production might affect future outcomes with those players. I will use Shane Steichen for this exercise. Shane was the OC for the Chargers in 2020; that offense was ranked 15th in total DVOA and 19th in points per game with a 57/43 pass-to-run split. In 2021, he took over as the Eagles OC, and the offense is 11th in total DVOA and 12th in points per game with a 47/53 pass-to-run split. In 2022, the offense is 6th in total DVOA and 5th in points with a 50/50 split.

Below is a chart of the fantasy finishes for each position for each season. Clearly, Shane is a QB-friendly coach and will adjust based on the QB's strengths. The one thing that I will note is the Philly team this year might be an outlier because the RB's target share (11.4%) compared to the first two years was 24.9% in 2020 and 21.3% in 2021, so keep that in mind when trying to decipher how he plans to use the backfield. The WR1 in this offense usually showed love, and the TE is a must-have for your teams.

Adding this type of exercise should at least help in giving an idea of how fantasy players on a particular might produce.

Eric has some Dynatsy TEs to target as the off-season begins.

We’re beginning the off-season of dynasty football now. MFL has just rolled over, commissioners are rolling their leagues over to 2023. Draft picks finally have real numbers next to them. The reality is here and it’s time to focus on finding some of these deals out there now while you can before free agency starts.

This week I want to highlight three Tight Ends that I am buying this off-season.

First up would be Mike Gesicki. Now in Miami this past season he was just an afterthought. Gesicki is best used as a slot-type TE, not in line where he did not fit Miami's new scheme at all. I’m looking for Gesicki to find the right fit to use his skill set and he could be this year Evan Engram. A tight end who has a career resurgence in a new regime and new scheme. I’ve also never been a big Gesicki fan, BUT I can’t deny his usage in the slot and the way he wins. If he gets into the right system, he could easily jump back into the top 12 TEs.

Next up on my buy list is TE Jake Ferguson of the Dallas Cowboys. The 4th RD pick last year and played pretty darn well in his limited opportunities last season. With the thought that Dallas is going to franchise tag RB Tony Pollard, it’s starting to seem like TE Dalton Schultz might have to be let go and not given a big contract. Therefore, Ferguson, if he gets that job, should do a lot of the things Schultz could do. Ferguson is a huge buy for me this off-season that many people aren’t thinking about.

The last one for me is TE Foster Moreau. Moreau is another free agent this off-season and I’ve always liked him a lot. Moreau filled in great when Darren Waller missed time. I think Moreau has a shot this off season to land a starting gig somewhere and if not a expanded role. There’s also the possibility he resigns back with Vegas and Darren Waller is traded to. Either way I think Moreau is another great buy this off season and I’m excited to see where he lands.

Get a head start on picking up some of these guys this offseason, and it could really turn around your TE depth chart on your fantasy teams.

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