Hello group of anxiety-ridden fantasy drafters, and welcome to our group therapy session. We know you guys often struggle over which players to pick in your drafts, so we’ve gathered to address some of the most troublesome plights that create this angst.
Today, we’re going to focus on the distress caused by choosing among some second- and third-round running backs — specifically Nick Chubb, Chris Carson and Damien Williams.
Who wants to start?
Chubb Pessimist: “I’ll start. What happens after Kareem Hunt’s suspension? Will his hernia surgery matter? Will he eat into Chubb’s workload?”
Carson Skeptic: “Can Carson build on his breakout season? Will Rashaad Penny factor in?”
Williams Worrywart: “Can Williams carry the load for a full 16 games? Can he keep the job if he struggles?”
Slow down, slow down. Don’t everyone jump in at once. These are all worthy questions.
Worrywart, let’s start with you. Williams is the longest tenured of this bunch, entering his sixth season. But he also has a shorter track record of success, having started just seven games in his career.
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Yet, he also is on the best offense in the league. In his four games last season once thrust into the role of primary rusher, he averaged 21.8 fantasy points per game in PPR (points per reception) leagues — compared to Chubb’s 16.5 over 10 games and Carson’s 15.7 in 12 games with bellcow usage.
Williams spent his first four seasons mired on the bench in Miami. Normally that would be a red flag, but we haven’t seen the Dolphins function like a right-minded organization for some time, so that could be an oversight on their end.
Some are worried he won’t hold up for an entire season. And though he never has shown he can, he also never has gotten the chance. Others are fearful Darwin Thompson could usurp Williams’ job or steal into his workload. But coach Andy Reid long leaned on a primary RB — from LeSean McCoy to Jamaal Charles to Kareem Hunt. So we aren’t much worried about Thompson.
So how does that make you feel, Williams Worrywart?
Carson Skeptic: “But what about my fears?”
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Well, Skeptic, we are more worried about Penny cutting into Carson’s role. Penny was a first-round pick last season, Carson a seventh-rounder the year before. So it is fair to say they thought more highly of Penny at one point than they did Carson. Add Carson’s brutal running style, which elevates injury risk, and it is easier for us to envision Penny taking over there.
So how does that make you feel, Skeptic?
Carson Skeptic: “Skeptic.”
Well, rest assured Carson is still a solid third-round pick, we just like Williams a little better.
Carson Skeptic: “Well, OK.”
Chubb Pessimist: “My turn! My turn!”
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Yes, and that brings us to Hunt, who will have plenty of time to recover from hernia surgery during his eight-game ban. Yeah, we expect him to get some work, maybe even become a productive part of the offense by, say, Week 10. But at Chubb’s expense? We would be shocked.
We envision Hunt playing a larger role on passing downs late in the season and giving Chubb a breather every now and then, but a guy on a one-year deal taking over the job from a second-year presumed franchise back? Well, unless the Browns are using the Dolphins’ playbook, that just wouldn’t make sense.
Hopefully that makes all of you feel a little better. Whoops, we’re out of time. We’ll take this up again next week. But we’re rescheduling our weekly appointments, so make sure you check back here on Saturday instead of Sunday. See you then.