By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)
Hello Dynasty Owners. Welcome to our final Contract Breakdown article of the year. We started all the way back in the first week of January with the Arizona Cardinals. It just so happens that we started with the first NFL team alphabetically and are ending with the last NFL team alphabetically. Since the first week of January, I have done 31 contract breakdown articles. Today is the final one. We will talk about a few free agents that Washington had coming into the off-season. In addition, I will break down a single Football Team player.
Washington had three notable free agents that I want to talk about today. As I always say, notable is defined as a player that I deem able to be reasonably rostered in Dynasty Owner. (Or, in Jeremy Sprinkle’s case, it’s a player that was previously rosterable, but is likely no longer). They are…
- Lamar Miller
- Kyle Allen
- Jeremy Sprinkle
Lamar Miller is up first. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I refer to Miller as a journeyman running back. Miller has been with five NFL teams in his 10 seasons. The list of teams include Miami, Houston, New England, Chicago and Washington. Most notably, Miller missed the entire 2019 season with a torn ACL. He tore it during a pre-season game, so he did not play a snap that year. Additionally, Miller signed with the Patriots in 2020 where he did not play in any game and was released less than a month later. Miller agreed to a single year deal with the Football Team right after free agency opened way back in March. The contract was 1 year – $1,212,500. In reality, there is not much to break down here. Lamar was released by Washington eight days ago. This move is unfortunate for Miller, but it is one that could have been expected. He is currently 30 years old and hasn’t seen a regular season rushing attempt since before his ACL tear. Miller is rostered in 8.5 percent of leagues, but it shouldn’t even be that high in my opinion. Even if he does sign with a team prior to Week 1, it will be a depth addition with no clear path to dynasty relevance. This is tough to see from anyone, but especially for a running back who averaged 936 rushing yards per season for the six seasons prior to his ACL tear.
Kyle Allen is next. Allen had a tough end to his 2020 season after he dislocated his left ankle against the Giants. He was in the middle of a decent stretch after taking over the starting job from Dwayne Haskins. Allen put together back to back 20+ fantasy point weeks prior to his season ending injury. Allen was an exclusive rights free agent coming into the 2021 offseason, and Washington decided to offer him a tender. Allen signed the tender which puts him with Washington for at least one more year. The contract is 1 year – $850,000. This doesn’t mean that he will be a relevant fantasy option in 2021 though. Ryan Fitzpatrick was also signed by Washington in the offseason. Fitzpatrick is the better, smarter and more seasoned quarterback so there is little doubt in my mind that he will be the starter for the majority of the season. Adding to the complexity is the fact that Taylor Heinicke is in all likelihood the backup quarterback for the Football Team. This is a long winded way of saying that I don’t expect Allen to see much playing time (if any) unless there are a couple of quarterback injuries. Allen is owned in 19 percent of leagues (which I think is fair), but it’s only because he is on a cheap salary. I would roster him, but not count on any fantasy points for 2021.
The final free agent I want to discuss is Jeremy Sprinkle. Sprinkle exits a crowded tight end committee in Washington to join an even more crowded committee in Dallas. Sprinkle signed a 1 year – $1,127,500 contract with the Cowboys. Sprinkle will compete against Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz for regular season playing time. I would argue that both Jarwin and Schultz are better tight ends. They also have the additional head start of being on the team longer. There was a decent amount of hope for Sprinkle coming out of college, but unfortunately he has only put together a max of 26 receptions in any season. I see no reason why this season would be any different than that. Jarwin and Schultz will carry the bulk of the tight end routes, leaving little volume, if any, for Sprinkle. At zero percent ownership, all Dynasty Owners seem to agree.
We are going to look at Antonio Gibson today. After a standout season in 2020, Gibson is projected to be the RB12 of the 2021 season. I think this a pretty fair landing spot for him although I think it may be a little too low. Obviously time will tell, but he did finish as RB13 in 2020 with little volume. In fact, he finished as RB13 despite missing nearly three games and having five games of 10 or fewer rushes. These five games do not include the times missed due to injury. There is almost no way Gibson’s volume won’t increase this season. Yes, J.D. McKissic is still in town, and he will garner touches (especially receptions), but Gibson is clearly the better and more talented running back. In addition, he has youth on his side. Let’s see how Gibson compares to similar value running backs…
|Salary||2021 Projected FPs||2021 DD/FP|
So, what are we thinking after seeing this comparison? If you haven’t guessed already, these are the five running backs that are projected to lead all DO running backs in terms of Dynasty Dollar/Fantasy Point (DD/PT. Essentially, they are projected to be the five most efficient running backs in 2021. We have a good inclination that none of these five will be the RB1, and certainly they all won’t be Top 12 running backs, but they will all be a value compared to higher salary running backs.
Let me ask you this question…if you were told that one of these players will finish the season as the number one running back, who would you think it would be? If you ask me, there’s really only two running backs that have the ability. They are David Montgomery and Antonio Gibson. In the end, Gibson would be my first pick. I like Monty this year, but I don’t feel like he will have enough receptions to have a chance at the RB1. So, when we talk about Gibson, we are talking about a projected Top 5 value, and he has the ability to be a Top 5 running back in terms of total fantasy points? That is starting to sound like a recipe for a rock solid league winner. That is what I think of Gibson.
Even if you think that a Top 5 running back finish is out of the question for Gibson, you have to admit that Top 10 is reasonable. After all, he did finish as RB13 last year with low volume. It also becomes clearer when you compare Gibson’s team dynamic to the other four running backs on this list. Edmonds and Robinson are on committees, and they may not be the best running backs on their own teams. That is scary and just makes for a situation that is overall more unknown. Gaskin is the best running back on his team, and he should be the lead/workhorse back, but the Dolphins showed that they liked to play the “hot hand” last season. Monty is the workhorse back and he will command the lion’s share of the touches, but he has always been a low volume receiving back. Does that change this year? I hope so, but it is far from certain. That leaves Gibson. Gibson isn’t on the best team, he doesn’t have the best offense or offensive line, but he is the most talented and athletic running back on this list. He will receive the majority of the carries and running back receptions for the Football Team. He is a player that I would love to own, and one that I project to be a 2021 league winner. Draft or trade for him sooner than later as his ADP is currently 14.5.
Thank you for reading, and look out for my video that pairs with this article. Over my next two articles, I will highlight some of the more important breakdown points that I wrote about during the 32 week period. Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Thank you all. Take care and be safe. TheJerk