In the NFL Draft we have the oft-proclaimed “Deepest WR class ever.” I’d love to argue, but it’s pretty deep. In NFL Free Agency we have, arguably, the “Deepest RB Free Agent class ever.”
If you’re a team looking for a fresh starting QB from the 2014 Free Agency pool…sorry about your luck. Enjoy Michael Vick…the destructor-er of NFL offenses; and canines (too soon?). There are no true starting QBs available in Free Agency…and don’t give me “Josh McCown.”
If you want an impact starting TE…good luck with the troubled hands, and overrated-ness of Jermichael Finley. You also have the added risk of his recent concussion history. Once Dennis Pitta and Jimmy Graham came off the list, and people realized this 2014 NFL Draft class of TEs in super-thin…well, now that has forced the Texans to look harder at re-signing Garrett Graham. You are not likely to find an offense-changing TE via free agency.
However, if you want a new starting RB, or perhaps a couple of RBs to make a new duo? Sure, no problem! Come on down to the RB Free Agency liquidation sale! If you order today we’ll throw in a free former Pro Bowl-Free Agent RB who is over 30-years old as our gift to you (your choice of Ronnie Brown, Willis McGahee or Leon Washington).
Do you like new model RBs who under 30-years old, and who were also former 1st-round draft picks? You’ll love our vast selection of these RBs, and hey…only one owner on these beauties! Maurice Jones-Drew, Donald Brown, and Knowshon Moreno are available with limited money down. If you have $2-4M a year in cap space available, you can drive off with one of these RBs right away.
Wondering what the manager’s special is? OK, how about a former 1st-round, under age 30, former hoped-to-be franchise RB with super-low miles? Hey, Fantasy Football GMs fall for this guy every year…so why shouldn’t your NFL franchise do like-wise? Darren McFadden can be yours if you just pick up the phone now! *No CarFax will be made available here by request of the agent for McFadden.
Oh, I see. You are a clever sorta GM aren’t you? You want a low-mileage RB, who was the 2nd-car in the garage that the rich owner barely used except for Sunday drives to church. The depreciation has already been run down, so now you reap the rewards! Come test drive a relatively inexpensive Ben Tate or Toby Gerhart.
There are somewhere between 10-12 RBs on the 2014 Free Agent RB list that, if I were a GM/Coach, if you told me anyone of them were my starting RB(s) for the 2014 season it wouldn’t phase me a bit.
Trying to analyze these 2014 Free Agent RBs for Fantasy Football purposes ahead of their new landing spot is silly. Some of them will be the assumed starter’s day-one for their new team. Some will be part of a duo, and then you’re bumping around for handcuff analysis. We’ll break these RBs down more for Fantasy Football when they hit their landing spot, but let me give you Dynasty owners something for FF for the effort of coming over to this showroom…
You’re likely a Dynasty Fantasy Football team owner if you are reading this. You already have concrete thoughts (pro or con) on Rashard Mendenhall or Ben Tate’s talents as RBs regardless of team. Those thoughts will change once they land on the wrong, or right, depth chart. Up and down the Free Agent RB list we all (Dynasty owners) pretty much share the same thoughts…
…if Darren McFadden could just stay healthy!
…is MJD done? He probably is. Maybe he is. Has the guy done anything for years? Let me see what team he goes on before I get too worked up.
…if Ben Tate becomes a starting RB…watch out!
…Knowshon Moreno was ‘made’ by Peyton; he’s going to be overrated on another team.
…Ahmad Bradshaw is all but washed up.
…LeGarrette Blount is a ‘beast’, but he’ll probably never be a true starting RB week-to-week…if he does I’m super-excited, but it won’t happen.
90% of Dynasty owners have the same pre-opinions on these players. We’re not breaking a ton of new ground here. Whatever those opinions are could completely change when they find their new landing spot.
However, there are two Free Agent RBs worth noting to me. These are two RBs that most Dynasty owners have their minds up on, and almost nothing that happens after their signing day will change it. These RBs are over-looked in the NFL as well, so they will probably join a team where a dual-attack appears to be in order. However, they may be the breakout talent of the duo…and a ‘shock’ in 2014.
These are also the RBs I would focus on if I were an NFL GM. I would bypass the McFaddens, MJDs, Morenos of the world, as a well as skip Ben Tate and Donald Brown (on their likely cost and injury history).
The two RBs who I would target in on for their multi-dimensional abilities, and lower costs: They can run the ball with power. They have plenty of speed for their size. They are adept or decent receivers, and they are solid blockers. Note: I would NOT do the Saints thing of three unique specialists…I’d just get three cost-effective guys who could “do it all” knowing 1-2 of my RBs are bound to get hurt.
Let’s pretend I am the Cleveland Browns GM, and I have no RBs today (sorry, sudden Edwin Baker fans…it’s true). As head of the Browns right now, I would have a blank RB canvass to work with. After, I write myself up for having Bobby Rainey and letting him go (oh, they fired that guy already), I get to work on signing three Free Agent RBs (I said two, but I am going to give you a bonus because I am like that).
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The first is Andre Brown. If I can structure a contract with him for $2M a year approx., then I would be over the moon for a moment. After a small celebration, I would then start assuming he will be hurt by opening day. Why would I sign a RB that is injury prone? Why are you interested in Darren McFadden for 2-3x the price…is my response? Or MJD the same, etc. Most of the Free Agent RB ‘names’ are injury flags…all RBs are injury flags; that’s why you need 3-4 of them. If I could have a guarantee of full health of any and all 2014 Free Agent RBs, then my #1 pick would be Andre Brown. He is LeGarrette Blount minus possible nuttiness, and he is more multi-dimensional. Brown is 15+ TDs in a season waiting to happen…if healthy.
We know RBs are 50/50 to get hurt on every carry…or at least Andre Brown and Darren McFadden are, so I have to sign a stable in this theory.
My second RB is Toby Gerhart, who I think I can get for about $1-1.5M per year with a limited guaranteed amount of signing bonus. You may fault him for being behind Adrian Peterson for years, but what’s he supposed to do? I’ve gone over Gerhart’s numbers as a main-carry guy time and time again. He is a starter-level RB in the NFL. He should have won a Heisman in college. I think people are subconsciously biased against him because he is a white RB named Toby. LeGarrette Blount sounds like he is going to kill me within two minutes in the octagon on an upcoming PPV. Toby Gerhart is my local insurance agent…a harmless guy you could borrow hedge clippers from. Most people don’t believe that Gerhart can run for power, and has NFL-speed and agility…he does. He is a former 2nd-round pick in the draft! He can catch the ball and block. For the (assumed) price, he is the ultimate Moneyball RB in 2014.
My third RB is just a roster filler of sorts. A minimum contract guy: Bernard Scott. Before you roll your eyes at me again with him, remember that you rolled your eyes at my Bobby Rainey and Shane Vereen incessant chatter. I’m not saying Scott is a star, I’m just saying he could start and produce in the NFL as well as MJD, et al…and at a wildly cheaper price. We have written volumes on Scott, so search him on our home page if you dare. You probably won’t look until he is starting in Week 7 this season due to injury…then you’ll come a runnin’. We’ll be here.
We’ll judge all these guys in future articles when they find their new homes…
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