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Todd Gurley at the top of 2018 Shuffle Up



Todd Curley

As you reckon to be a running back is the trickiest position ever.

The reason for the Shuffle-Up series is to show where clusters of value lie in other to avoid them. Some prefer to take magnificent proceedings and do a lovely job with it.

Obviously we all care about numbers in this game regardless of the money involved, but I always want to merge that with scouting observations and also to understand why some players cost more than other, using marke analysis as a tool to proof my point.

Players at the same cost, as I have listed below, are considered even (and a one or two buck difference might not mean that much, either). Assume a default scoring system, with a half point per reception, one point for every ten yards rushing or receiving, and six-point touchdowns.

Disagreements? That’s why we play! Bring your best arguments to me on Twitter: @subairadams

$55 Todd Gurley
$53 David Johnson
$53 Le’Veon Bell
$51 Ezekiel Elliott

I have the same top four that everyone pretty much does. Gurley gets the check markthe for the environment, for McVay, and for his growth as a receiver. Bell is a tiny bid for the holdout and for the fact that his touchdown count hasn’t quite equalled his abilities elsewhere on the field. Elliott and Johnson are considered to be too talented to fail but could be dragged to the ground by their supporting casts. Maybe you have faith in Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan; I sure don’t.

$50 Alvin Kamara
$48 Kareem Hunt
$44 Saquon Barkley
$43 Melvin Gordon
$41 Christian McCaffrey
$37 Leonard Fournette
$37 Devonta Freeman
$32 Dalvin Cook
$30 Jordan Howard

I think it’s a mistake to assume Kamara gets a consistent usage bump during the Ingram suspension, but some increase makes sense. It’s hard to imagine Kamara can approach last year’s efficiency — nobody is that good — but the Saints love to throw to their backs, and Kamara is especially dangerous in space. In full-point PPR, I’d have no problem pushing him into the above tier . . . I had to pump the brakes somewhat on Barkley after his August; he’s dinged as Week 1 approaches, and the offensive line still looks like a major problem in New York . . . Gordon’s efficiency has never been great, but he’s a true bell cow, there’s no one of consequence pushing him, and the Chargers offense should have little trouble moving the ball. The LACs have to deal with the worst home-field advantage in football, but the Bolts probably have the AFC’s best roster. (If you want to hear a weekly argument about Gordon, check out Michael Salfino and yours truly on the Breakfast Table Podcast.) . . . Fournette was a key name on my do-not-draft list . . . Cook is off a major injury and might be ceding the goal-line work to Latavius Murray. I find it hard to pay full price on him . . . Howard is a boring but high-floor player, and as you might know, that’s my jam.

$28 Joe Mixon
$25 Alex Collins
$25 Kenyan Drake
$24 Jerick McKinnon
$24 LeSean McCoy
$23 Lamar Miller
$21 Jay Ajayi
$21 Mark Ingram
$20 Derrick Henry
$18 Royce Freeman
$18 Dion Lewis
$18 Marshawn Lynch
$17 Rex Burkhead

Mixon dropped some pounds and surely will be improved after a lost rookie year, but the Le’Veon Bell wishcasting seems absurd to me. I’ve ignored him for two rounds this summer (when he usually goes), and even when it’s a 50-50 ball on Mixon in the third round, I usually wind up going in a different direction. The Bengals have that 6-10 gleam again, so game scripts could be a recurring problem . . . Collins would be more enticing with 5-10 more pounds and a draft pedigree, though no-name backs emerge every season. The Ravens don’t have anyone significant pushing him, and the line gets OG stud Marshal Yanda back . . . Miller is another player boosted by mediocre competition, and a mobile quarterback is also a plus . . . Ajayi is a tricky player to figure; is he the slug we saw in Miami last year, or the YPC hero he was in Philadelphia? And just how hurt is he right now? Ajayi’s knee problems were a red flag to several NFL teams during his draft season back in 2015, and I don’t expect him to have a lengthy career . . . A suspension for Ingram is better than an injury, I suppose, but do you have the nerve to start Ingram, cold, in that fifth week back? Hasn’t it always seemed like the football world at large likes Ingram more than Sean Payton and the Saints do? . . . Lynch had a subtle rebound in the second half of 2017, and Jon Gruden isn’t going to hold Lynch’s age and mileage against him. I don’t think Doug Martin has anything much to offer; if anyone pushes Lynch, it’s likely to be Chris Warren. But I’ll give Lynch the benefit of the doubt; sign me up for one more useful season. Oakland’s offensive line is still a positive . . . Should Freeman be the Denver starter? Probably. Do I trust Vance Joseph to make good decisions or be straightforward about pending usage. No. Thus, I’m probably a little underweight on Freeman . . . If McKinnon is going to be a special back, how come we didn’t see it in Minnesota last year? We’re all hunting feverishly for a fantasy stud to ride shotgun with Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan, but maybe it’s a worker-bee approach and no one scores double-digit touchdowns here. The Alfred Morris emergence is bad news for McKinnon’s upside; Morris was a sneaky efficiency stud last year

I am a freelance writer and a software engineer with years of experience including many in-person and online contracts. I write quality, clear and eloquent articles, blog posts and other contents for websites.

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