While rookie draft season is in charge like Large Marge,1 one of the most difficult tasks of the year is deciding which end-of-the-roster flyers are worth a stash going forward as you make room for the incoming rookie class. Many guys that were drafted late last year are now battling toe-to-toe with this year’s late-round flyers for a roster spot. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings on your team.2 The bad news is that it’s difficult for many dynasty owners to remove emotions from this decision-making process, look at rosters objectively, and remove any biases still being held about a prospect from last year in order to cut or hold the right players.
If you’re playing in a FFPC dynasty league with 14 roster spots, consider this a nice to know piece and guide for a leg up on your league mates. For anyone in a 20 or more roster spot league, this is much more pertinent for you in the now. Many dynasty leagues allow for increased roster flexibility this time of year and increased the total roster spots to 15 slots or so above the season maximum. I’m a big advocate for this strategy vs leagues that compel you to make a quick decision during the draft about which players will swim with the fish.3
Thanks to Grey_Wolf in the message boards for the request for us to highlight some late round dynasty stashes and dashes.
I really like what James Todd started with the opportunity matrix. Here’s the game: We’ll assign points for each category (production, measurables, and opportunity).
Poor – 0 points
Below Average – 1 point
Average – 2 points
Good – 3 points
Excellent – 5 points
We’ll assign a percentage grade at the end. Get it, got it, good.
Rex Burkhead – Cincinnati Bengals
College Production – Closest Scores
|LEON WASHINGTON||Florida State||23.36||2006||201||4.42||6.96||8.82||39.09||0.27||2.27||15|
|LORENZO BOOKER||Florida State||22.55||2007||191||4.46||7.04||11.00||47.38||0.31||2.54||12|
|THEO RIDDICK||Notre Dame||21.70||2013||201||4.66||6.99||14.62||70.54||0.38||2.77||12|
|EVAN ROYSTER||Penn State||23.12||2011||212||4.65||7.07||16.00||78.00||0.46||1.92||10|
|HYPOTHETICAL||BIG STATE UNIVERSITY||22.00||2014||214||4.73||6.85||14.50||76.00||0.70||1.50||9|
|VERNAND MORENCY||Oklahoma State||24.92||2005||212||4.66||7.02||23.45||134.00||1.09||0.45||7|
|AARON BROWN||Texas Christian||23.22||2009||200||4.49||7.22||9.90||54.70||0.30||1.20||0|
I’m using the RB Prospect Lab as that’s exactly what Rex still is. What’s interesting is that the prospect lab is almost as confused about Rex Burkhead as many of us were when he came out last year. His collegiate production was respectable, but the lab isn’t able to locate many similar prospects because there simply aren’t many. The two closest comparables are Royster and Morency, and we know enough about them to know that they didn’t fare too well.
- Score – Average
- Points – 2
|weight||40 Time||sh shuttle||3 cone||broad||vert||speed score||agility score||explosion|
As stated above, we didn’t have much luck finding comparable backs that have had success at the next level. Burkhead is a bit of an enigma. He’s an agility super-star well below the 11.1 threshold4 to be considered elite level, but we’d want his speed score to be above 100 for him to meet the criteria as a bigger back that can earn 3 down work. His 3 cone is off the charts for a back his size, though. What we’re not used to seeing is his ridiculous explosion scores which scream loudly for his lower body strength. There’s enough great to outweigh the bad, but not quite enough to eliminate the questions around his speed.
- Score – Good
- Points – 3
This is where the rubber meets the road. I started picking up Rex Burkhead in a lot of leagues this offseason knowing that Benjarvus Green-Ellis is pedestrian at best at what he does.5 but it also shows the lack of confidence they have in Burkhead going forward. Maybe they’re just creating healthy camp battles, but speedster Cedric Peerman is also on the roster and he profiles better to back-up Neo Gio and may earn a roster spot based soley on the system. Burkhead has to turn some heads in camp if he wants to stay on the roster.
- Score – Poor
- Points – 0
- Total Points – 5 out of 15 – 33%
Verdict – Dash
These are flyers we’re looking at. We’re not looking for 80% scores, but 50% or so seems like a logical cut-off and determination as to whether or not a player should be a hold. The lack of opportunity and correlating Bengals’ off season behavior does Burkhead no favors in this exercise, so go ahead and cut dead weight.6
- I’m not giving you a link for this one because she scared the crap out of me as a kid (back)
- these are fantasy assets, ya know (back)
- NFL teams beef up rosters in the off season and then make roster cuts as the season approaches; why shouldn’t we? (back)
- below is a good thing (back)
- OK I’m just trying to be a diplomat – he totally sucks.) We also knew that he was to be a free agent in 2015. It seemed fairly obvious that the Bengals would look to the draft to find another back, but it cost nothing to add Burkhead to a deep roster to wait and see.
Not only did the Bengals draft 2014’s potential top rookie running back, but they also finished the draft and signed UDFA James Wilder, Jr, a weight adjusted agility star in his own regard. The fact that the Bengals felt the need to add not one but two pile-pounders not only speaks clearly about their intentions with “The Law-Firm” after this year,((BJGE cost $3MM against the cap. That’s an expensive mentor, and I wouldn’t rule out BJGE being a cap casualty before the season starts. (back)
- I’ll do the same (back)