dynasty leagues, 2012 fantasy football, Bernard
Scott, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
See more of our statistical analysis on the 2012
NFL Draft prospects @
The Cincinnati Bengals have
a storied history of drafting college RBs. Just
look at the "home grown" talent in the past 10
years of Bengals draft selections at the RB
...and some people want to
argue with me in our NFL Draft analysis with the
retort -- "what do you know anyway"?
Possibly not much, but I probably could have had
the same batting average (worse case) drafting
RBs as the Bengals franchise has in the past
decade. A dart and a dart board could have
defeated myself and the Bengals franchise.
I did leave one RB off that
list above. A name who seems like it belongs
there among all the other anonymous RBs the
Bengals have taken. That RB is their 2009
6th-round pick RB Bernard Scott of
Abilene Christian. I am excluding that name on
purpose...because I think Scott might change up
that horrible Bengals RB draft pick résumé.
Before I make a pitch that
Bernard Scott could be an a tremendous
sleeper RB for Fantasy Football 2012, and could
be considered the 3rd best RB to take in a
Dynasty League rookie draft upcoming (if
available), I need to make the "talent case" for
Scott. If you buy into my line of thinking, then
you may have a very inexpensive "lottery ticket"
of a RB to draft/acquire before training camp
Before I go over the talent
angle, a quick synopsis of the a "State of the
Union" of Fantasy Football RBs in general...
The RB Business
Valuation Shift (for smarter teams) in the
We have been taught that RB
is the most important position to acquire/secure
in Fantasy Football. We have maintained that it
is no longer the case. I can feel it "in my gut"
by the way that the NFL is going about its
business, but our computer analysis has been
statistically proving the same case to us for
the past couple years.
One (of many) of the
reasons that the RB position is crumbling in
Fantasy Football value is due to the NFL's
transition to a split RB system. It is a
brilliant business move to go to a split RB
scenario, or non-reliance on just one main
workhorse RB. In a split system, NFL teams are
no longer beholden to a single player at a
position that is often injured, quickly obsolete
(too many "miles"), and/or "high profile" (aka
"wants a lot of money").
The NFL alternative to the
"workhorse RB approach" is a "RB by committee,"
which is brilliant because it is much cheaper to
have 2-3-4 RB options/depth and/or specialists.
More RBs provides "insurance"/depth and you are
not beholden to one of them in a contract
dispute (how's the CJ2K thing working out?). The
problem that this is creating for Dynasty (and
traditional) Fantasy Football GMs is that you
never know who your RB is going to be from one
week to the next. At various points in 2011,
were you chasing Earnest Graham or
Isaac Redman or Lance Ball or
Kevin Smith for Fantasy Football as if the
world was going to end if you did not land them
in the waiver claim?
Bill Belichick rolls
with undrafted free agents, cheap veteran free
agents, and/or mid-level draft pick RBs. One
week BenJarvus Green-Ellis takes the
majority of the carries, the following week it's
Danny Woodhead or Kevin Faulk or
Stevan Ridley. The Green Bay Packers have
moved in that direction the past few years. On
the other hand, the Carolina Panthers have
stockpiled 1st-round draft pick RBs and then
sign more in free agency. The Cleveland Browns
of the world trade away several gold bars for
the chance at a RB in the 1st-round of the 2012
draft (well played Minnesota).
The Giants had a split RB
system to win the Super Bowl last year with
7th-round draft pick Ahmad Bradshaw and
4th-round pick Brandon Jacobs defeating
undrafted RBs BenJarvus Green-Ellis and
Danny Woodhead. 6th-round draft pick
James Starks (pressed into duty when
undrafted Ryan Grant got hurt) led the
way to a Super Bowl victory the year before for
Green Bay. Undrafted RBs Pierre Thomas
and Mike Bell and a lesser-used 1st-round
pick Reggie Bush won the 2010 Super Bowl.
Willie Parker (undrafted) and Mewelde
Moore defeated an old Edgerrin James
and 5th-round pick Tim Hightower in 2009.
The recent tendency of top NFL teams is to not
invest a lot in the RB position, and rather to
ride hot-hands and use various "specialists" in
certain situations like a Darren Sproles
or Mike Tolbert.
For Fantasy Football,
trying to figure out the situations where an NFL
team has only one obvious RB to carry the load,
whether it happens by design, injury, or crappy
personnel moves is getting more and more
maddening...and ever changing.
We all know/suspect the
2012 teams where one RB is going to the the
heavy workload -- Michael Turner, Ray Rice,
Trent Richardson, DeMarco Murray (if
healthy), MJD, Adrian Peterson, Darren
McFadden, LeSean McCoy, Ryan Mathews, Marshawn
Lynch, Chris Johnson, maybe Steven
Jackson (due to age) and maybe Roy Helu
(coach is insane on RB usage). *Heck, two of
these RBs actually saw the playoffs last year
(Rice, Turner), and one of them even won a
playoff game (Rice)!
That list above is a quick
speculation as of today, but it's all arguable
and I may have missed one. If you take out the
RBs who were hurt some/a lot last year and have
some 2012 risk, and/or take out the RBs that are
aging quick; you then have a lot shorter list of
a "for sure" main workhorse RB you can count on
for Fantasy Football.
If I were to run through
all the top Fantasy Football QB-WR-TE names,
there would be nowhere near the amount of key
players at those positions wiped out to injury
as the RBs were last year. Last year started
with (thought to be) top RBs Arian Foster,
Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis among the
injured and ended with Adrian Peterson,
Darren McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall among
the names all going down...and we don't know if
most of them will ever be the same again.
The workhorse RB that you
can count on is becoming a dinosaur in the
NFL...and in Fantasy Football.
Look at the just-completed
NFL Draft -- Doug Martin will compete for
time with LeGarrette Blount. No matter
how (overly) excited we get over the "fresh"
rookie (Martin), we conveniently forget that
Blount was the best rookie RB in the NFL just
two years ago (and was undrafted). To
automatically think Martin will get 300+ carries
and Blount watches from the sidelines is naive.
Did you like LaMichael
James for 2012? Now he's a 3rd-4th RB on San
Did you like David
Wilson, how long will he be behind Ahmad
Bradshaw before you find out if he is any
good or not?
We really liked Bernard
Pierce, but I wonder whether he will ever
touch the ball in Baltimore with Ray Rice
and Anthony Allen there.
Ronnie Hillman is
nice, but do you really think Willis McGahee
and Knowshon Moreno just go to the bench
to watch Hillman play in 2012? You get the
The new way to do Fantasy
Football RB depth is to grab the for-sure (if
anything is for-sure) main-carry RB wherever you
can. However, the other 80-90%+ of the time you
now have to go fishing for the next potential RB
to "pop" and that becomes that main-carry RB out
of seemingly nowhere. You have to try to
outthink the roster situations. You have to know
who has "game changing" talent and who doesn't.
A RB with talent alone means little if they are
2-3 other RBs just as talented on the same
roster splitting carries/trying to get noticed.
For Fantasy Football
off-season brilliance, you need to find hidden
RB talent on an NFL roster that has
over-hyped/over-valued RBs, and then grab that
RB ahead of everyone else. You don't want to be
left perpetually chasing Ryan Torain or
Maurice Morris week-to-week like they
were Barry Sanders.
Now that the NFL Draft dust
has settled, I think I have just the RB who is
sitting in the low-value situation, but could
run for 1,000+ yards this year -- Cincinnati
Bengals RB Bernard Scott.
Bernard Scott Talent
First things first --
Bernard Scott had issues with allegedly
hitting a coach at Central Arkansas in 2004, and
then also being involved in couple of
misdemeanors as well...and thus getting him
bounced from his initial college team. Scott has
been in the NFL for three seasons and has not
been in any trouble (that we're aware of). I'm
not a fan of troubled players, but his issues
were from years ago, and has had no signs of
trouble since. What I am a fan of...amazing
At Central Arkansas, Scott
was the conference Freshman of the Year (and
then booted from the team). Scott then went to
Blinn College and led all of JUCO with 1,892
yards and 27 TDs. He was then able to transfer
to Abilene Christian, where he ran for a league
record 2,165 yards and 39 total TDs
as a junior. In his final year, Scott won the
D-II "Heisman" with an astonishing 2,156 yards
rushing and 826 yards receiving...2,981 yards
total with a combined 34 TDs (rush + rec). In
his final three years of college, Scott produced
Scott was an NFL Combine
invitee in 2009, and ran a 4.44 40-time with
great 10 & 20-yard times and amazing agility.
Scott also benched a very impressive 21 reps for
his 5'10, 200-pound frame. Physically, Scott
measures as an equivalent with the current
good/great +/- 200-pound RBs in the NFL.
Scott was not just dominant
at the lower levels of college play -- he was
ground-breaking. Athletically, Scott had one of
the best NFL Combine efforts of any RB in
2009...and all that got him a 6th-round look
from the Bengals.
Scott made the Bengals
roster in 2009, and by Week-10 of his rookie
season he was pressed into action due to
injuries to the starters. In his debut as an RB
starter versus the Raiders, Scott ran for 119
yards and 1 TD, plus caught 3 passes for 32
yards...and returned a kick for 15-yards.
The week before his initial
RB start, Scott took a kickoff back for a
96-yard TD against the Steelers. Scott followed
his 100+ yard rushing game starter debut with an
87 rushing yard game against Oakland, but was
also hurt in that game and didn't play again
until the playoffs (as a backup, 6 carries for
20 yards vs. the Jets).
In 2010, as Cedric
Benson marched onto more "3 yards and a
cloud of dust" running efforts, and Scott was
"kept in the garage" getting a small handful of
carries throughout the season.
In 2011, Scott was in the
garage again until Benson was suspended for a
game. Filling in as a starter for Benson, Scott
had one of the best rushing efforts the
Seattle-defense had allowed all year with 22
carries for 76 yards (also the 6th best rushing
total in a game by a CINN RB in 2011). I watched
every carry of that game on tape, and I was
pleased with his aggressive/physically tough
running style...and then outraged at why the
Bengals will not give Scott more opportunities.
As soon as Benson came back, back in the garage
Scott has had three career
NFL games where he has received 15+ carries in a
game, and has delivered 94.0 rushing yards per
game and 4.6 yards per carry in those three
chances. When Scott has been given the
opportunity, he has delivered. Scott has
delivered for the past 8-years of his football
life when given a chance. Could 2012 be his
first real opposrtunity in the NFL?
The 2012 Bernard
The Bengals have finally
jettisoned Cedric Benson, and his
(almost) never getting over 4.0 yards per carry
self, off the roster (hopefully).
The "big" Bengals 2012 free
agent move was picking up another "3 yards and a
cloud of dust" RB in BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
You will find out this year how overrated BJGE
is when not running behind a top flight
offensive line and playing with the greatest QB
of our era.
I was waiting to see what
the Bengals would do in the 2012 NFL Draft, and
their only move of note was drafting mediocre
The table is now set (at
this moment). Scott has only to overcome the
slow Green-Ellis and the mediocre rookie Herron.
This should be a no-brainer if Scott is as good
as our computer models are showing, but nothing
is ever assured with the Bengals.
The Bengals have stuck with
Scott through the last three years, and he has
played in most every game to some degree. Scott
will be the only true "speed-RB" on the roster
(as of now), and could be a "savior" of sorts
for the Cincinnati offense. Scott is also a free
agent after this season. As well, the schedule
has set up very nicely for a Bengals Fantasy
Football RB as the Bengals second Steelers and
Ravens games are Week 16-17. There are a lot of
positives for Scott in 2012 at this moment.
Scott right now...
My sense is that Bernard
Scott is not a hot name in Dynasty Leagues
right now. A GM with Scott would look at the
Bengals roster and likely give credence to
BJGE as the main RB and now also sees Herron
drafted, and thus that GM would probably
conclude Scott will be cut...or just barely used
like the past three seasons. Scott's price tag
should be very reasonable to acquire, if not
Potentially, Scott is not
on anyone's roster in your league. If so, after
Trent Richardson (who is an obvious
primary in Cleveland) and maybe after Doug
Martin (who might be a primary if Blount
blows up)...Bernard Scott may be the best
RB in the upcoming Dynasty Rookie Draft (for
those who can take players on that are not true
CAUTION -- There are no
guarantees with the Bengals on anything. Scott
not getting many opportunities over the past few
years doesn't give us a 100% warm and fuzzy
feeling that they believe in him fully. The
Bengals could cut him...and I would be only half
shocked to see it happen. If we're right, Scott
won't be cut...in fact, he may be an instant
split with BJGE. If Scott gets more looks
in camp and early on in games -- we think Scott
will pull away from all the plodding RBs on the
Bengals roster and could go on to a nice Fantasy
Football 2012 payday.
It shouldn't cost you much
right now to kick the tires on Bernard Scott
for 2012, but don't let him get to preseason
camp and start having stories begin to surface
about how good he looks or the planned 2012
carries he might get...or the Scott-acquiring
price goes up ten-fold.
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