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Trent Richardson, Maeby Funke, and RB Age
Mario: Boy, you get a lot of mail from that movie studio. 
Mae “Maeby” Fünke: I write a lot of letters to movie stars. 
Mario: You seem a little old for that. 
Mae “Maeby” Fünke: Babysit me!

So by now you probably know the RotoViz Dynasty startup is in full swing. My dynasty squads tend to be extremely youth-oriented, perhaps to the point of detriment. Most of us have a pretty good idea of when individuals came into the league, but sometimes their ages at arrival are pretty surprising. When guys are far younger or far older than perception, it does impact their potential upsides and the likely number of years they’ll be available to your squad.

Don’t overreact to his information. It’s just a small but interesting piece of the overall evaluative framework.

Most of the players I’ve paired together are of similar ages. In each case, I would have guessed one player was significantly younger/older than the other. (Ages are of Sept. 1 this year.)

RB Age and Dynasty Value

Jamaal Charles (26) is only a month older than Ray Rice (26). JC Superstar went off the board at No. 15 overall in our draft, eleven spots behind Rice. The Ravens star is one of my favorite players – he was the top-ranked player on my personal big board a year ago – but Charles is a far more talented player who suddenly finds himself in the more explosive offensive role.

Matt Forte (27) and Chris Johnson (27) are younger than Adrian Peterson (28). Sure, only by a couple of months, and Peterson almost certainly resides at a higher echelon in the freak of nature hierarchy. It’s still worth remembering that this is one of a cluster of factors that keep Purple Jesus from lock status.

Ryan Williams (23), Mikel Leshoure (23), and Mark Ingram (23) are all younger than Doug Martin (24). The backs at the top of the 2011 class are all verging on bust status, in large part due to injuries. I agree with Jonathan Bales that Doug Martin is a strong candidate to go No. 1 overall, so I obviously wouldn’t take any of these guys anywhere in the vicinity of Martin. It’s still worth remembering that these three runners have time to develop into front line starters if they ever get back to 100%. In evaluating the Cardinals backfield, it’s also worth noting that Williams is more than a year younger than oft-mentioned sleeper Andre Ellington (24).

Lamar Miller (22) is younger than Mike Gillislee (22). I profiled Gillislee before the draft and explained how his athletic comps don’t appear on NFL rosters. A lot of scouts really like Gillislee, so he’s being selected fairly early in rookie drafts. He shouldn’t have much impact on Miller’s breakout status.

Trent Richardson (22) is a year younger than Eddie Lacy (23). In my article decrying Lacy’s draft status, I explained that his inability to take carries from Richardson was a very negative sign. (Ryan Rouillard later expertly adapted this method and proved its salience in relation to other runners.) It becomes a much bigger red flag when you realize that Richardson was actually the younger player. Age is also a big factor in why the App loves Cerberus.

Le’Veon Bell (21) is two years younger than Johnathan Franklin (23). I’ve previously explained why Bell is a much better prospect than Franklin and the difference in ages just bolsters the argument.

Other Important Tools

Age is an important factor in the RotoViz RB Similarity Scores. Try the App to see which players are due for a big 2013 season.

To get a sense of what RotoViz expects for the long haul, check out the RB Multi-Year Dynasty Projections.

For more Maeby-related material and a few notes on player age, check out Matthew Stafford and QB Age and Sidney Rice and WR Age.

For the Dynasty insights of RotoViz contributor and PFF Dynasty guru Bryan Fontaine, check out the PFF Rankings.

Shawn Siegele is the creator of the contrarian sports website Money in the Banana Stand and Lead Redraft Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy.

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