Kyle Stracher (Twitter: @Darthspoothz)
- Kareem Hunt
There is no doubt Kareem Hunt is a talented RB and when he plays his fantasy value is very high based on the Browns personnel there isn’t much reason to keep him around.
Hunt signed a 2-year extension with the Browns this season which will keep him in Cleveland until 2022, the problem is that Hunt is the Backup to Nick Chubb. While Hunt finished as the Rb10 in PPR leagues, that is mostly due to the time Chubb missed and the Browns being very run-heavy this year.
With Chubb still being the Browns feature back and Baker Mayfield getting Odell Beckham back after a very solid year, it is unlikely Hunt’s value rises any higher than right now. Even with him getting a decent amount of touches from Chubb’s injury, Hunts value in fantasy came as a receiver, where he hauled in 5 receiving touchdowns in only 38 receptions.
In the four games where Hunt started, he couldn’t even surpass 4 YPC and fell below 10 fantasy points twice. He also got 2 of his 5 receiving touchdowns in those 4 games, meaning that with Chubb healthy his fantasy value plummets.
- Ezekiel Elliot
Ezekiel Elliot has proved what he can be as a Running Back. A few years ago, Elliot was on the rise as the best RB in the NFL but after his 2018 campaign, it seems Elliot is on the Decline.
His name holds a lot of value, so his sell price is very high, and with the return of Both Tyron Smith and La’ell Collins for 2021 to bolster the Cowboys O-line, his price rises. Elliot saw an average amount of touches but his inability to provide as a pass catcher and his decline as a rusher makes holding onto him in dynasty leagues not worth what you could get from him.
With Dak Prescott, Elliot averaged over 20 fantasy ppg, but after Dak went down, Elliot was unable to even eclipse 20 points again. The problem with Elliot’s production revolving around Dak Prescott is Prescott’s future in Dallas. Even if the cowboys resign him, after an injury like the one he had, there is no telling whether or not it will be the same Dak Prescott we saw in weeks 1-5.
I would avoid the risk in total and try to avoid baking your RB1s future on his quarterback and O-line and get what you can for the still high-value Elliot holds.
- Joe Mixon
Joe Mixon follows a similar suit to Elliot, where his name holds value, but his production and consistency are not there. Mixon fell off hard from 2019, having his YPC drop .5 yards.
Mixon did struggle with injury through 2020, but in his time played he only had one above-average game. Mixon’s production is extremely inconsistent. In 2 of his 6 games in 2020, Mixon was not able to reach 10 points and only ever eclipsed 15 twice.
His singular good game was against Jacksonville where his 3 touchdowns against the league’s third worst rushing defense skyrocketed his PPG. Mixon still has a high trade price, but with Giovanni Bernard establishing himself as an above-average receiving back, Mixon’s appearances in 3rd down situations, as well as the goal line, could diminish in 2021.
Bernard, who replaced an injured Mixon was able to surpass 20 points in 4 of his 10 games without Mixon, which is much better than the numbers Mixon produced. With the Bengals likely to give Joe Burrow more leeway as a passer in his second year, and Mixon not being a particularly strong receiving back, his future in Dynasty is uncertain. Selling Mixon would be the best bet, as his low amount of games played masked his true production as a fantasy back.
- David Johnson
If you have David Johnson in a Dynasty league, he will never return to his old form where he was the best fantasy player in the NFL.
Johnson’s new role in Houston is similar where he does a great deal of damage as a receiver but similar to Mixon, David Johnson struggled staying on the field missing four games in 2020. Johnson was mediocre to start the year, but his value skyrocketed with 3 straight 20+ pt performances to close out the season.
Considering Johnson is going on 30 years old and there are rumors swirling about the Texans trading Deshaun Watson, it is unlikely that Johnson will be the focus of the rebuild. Johnson’s value as a receiver boosts his stock, but not enough to keep him around for what he is really worth. Until week 15, Johnson never surpassed 20ppg, not to mention Johnson has missed games in 3 of his last 4 seasons. Even with a depleted Texans roster, Johnson was not able to put up strong numbers.
The Texans ended 2020 with the second-lowest rushing yards in the NFL, so expect the team to bring in a back in free agency or in the draft to bolster their run game. With Johnson clearly not at the level he was at in his time with Arizona, it is likely his usage drops in 2021 and beyond, so trading him while he has any value is the smartest decision.
- Melvin Gordon
Similar to Leveon Bell, Melvin Gordon’s contract holdout did not do him justice. Gordon was by no means the same player he was a few years ago. Gordon finished as the RB14 in PPR leagues even while missing a game. But his future as a back is unknown, Gordon did not stand out in Denver and was overvalued to start the season.
Considering Denver also has Phillip Lindsay, having an RB who splits touches is never ideal. With Gordon underperforming as a rusher this year, Lindsay could end up seeing the ball more than Gordon in 2021, dropping Gordon’s value immensely. Gordon was very inconsistent the entire season and next year expect worse.
In his 15 games, Gordon went over 20 points 3 times but wasn’t able to go over 10 points 5 different weeks. The reason for that is Gordon’s reduced usage in the passing game. Gordon despite playing 15 games only caught 32 passes and in 3 games had 0 receptions.
Broncos running backs only caught 52 passes all year which is on the bottom end of the NFL. With no coaching changes in sight, the game plan will likely be similar in 2021. And considering Phillip Lindsay missed 5 games in 2020, Gordon’s workload is likely to drop.