In the Dynasty Depth-chart Duels(3D), we will be looking into skill position battles that may not be cut and dry this offseason due to new additions via the NFL draft or free agency. Our main goal is to pull various pieces of information to give you a quick look at some of the factors that should be driving your dynasty decisions.
The first situation we will look into is the RB position in Baltimore. Now I do understand that Justin Forsett will factor into 2016 but since this is a dynasty series, we will be focusing on the players with perceived “long term” value in the Raven’s backfield in Buck Allen and the rookie Kenneth Dixon. Let’s start with
|Buck Allen||6’0”||221||31 3/4||9 3/8|
|Kenneth Dixon||5’10”||215||31 3/8||9 1/2|
Not really any glaring advantages here. There can be arguments for shorter vs taller backs and heavier vs lighter backs and vice versa on each. The arm length and Hands show no major advantages so we will call this section a wash.
|Player||40||Bench||Vert||Broad||3 Cone||20yd shuttle|
|Buck Allen||4.53||11||35 ½||10’ 1”||6.96||4.28|
|Kenneth Dixon||4.58||18||37 ½||10’ 1”||6.97||4.28|
Might be surprised that at a greater height and weight, Buck Allen had a faster 40, and a slightly faster 3 cone. Kenneth Dixon edged out Allen in the vertical and showed better in the bench. These events depict power and explosiveness and it translated to Kenneth Dixon’s game by generally being able to fight for extra yards and shed contact. However extending plays and an upright posture when finishing runs may be partly responsible for Dixon’s relatively high fumble rate(14 over his college career, 1 out of 57 touches his senior year). Once again, there are no glaring advantages here and would call this section a wash.
|Buck Allen||125||Turns 25 in Aug|
|Kenneth Dixon||134||Turned 22 in Jan|
While Age is squarely on the side of Dixon-if we are looking at the next 1-3 years it should not factor into production. With RBs, the windows are generally so small that I would not factor it in until they reach 28 and later in certain circumstances.
For Dixon, one could argue that they were both 3rd round picks or that 9 slots don’t really matter when you factor in draft flow and/or positional need. On the flip side, you might argue that the talent in the running back position/skill position players was richer in 2015 and the higher investment in Buck should be magnified. so I will stick with my fence straddling and call this a wash as well. (Don’t worry, I will get to specific recommendations despite all of these ties)
College production is tricky especially when you consider that Allen played in what is generally considered a tougher conference. There is no doubt that Kenneth Dixon put up some amazing TD #s as well as a higher average per catch. They were in the same ballpark in yards per carry, but Dixon is generally thought of as a better inside runner with a lesser supporting cast. All said, I would give the edge to Dixon for College production, but with all the aforementioned factors it is not a resounding check mark.
Commentary:Both backs were brought in under Trestman and seem to profile similarly especially as it pertains to pass catching ability.
Dixon:Has shown an added ability to catch more downfield and has even shown the ability to execute WR like fades. He is also a tough runner who’s has the ability to find the endzone. As mentioned previously he has a propensity to fumble and has work to do with pass protection, two very big hurdles in attaining playing time at the pro level.
Allen:had a fairly pedestrian 3.8 yds/carry but showed well in the passing game. The Ravens showed trust and relied heavily on Allen when they lost Justin Forsett to injury. He also has the all important rookie year experience and should be pushed by the competition to up his game.
Other Considerations:Justin Forsett will most certainly see work next year and is signed through 2017. The Ravens officially signed Trent Richardson who has shed quite a few pounds. This may elicit a chuckle, but you never know what a humbling experience and a class organization can do for a player’s outlook, especially one with the physical tools of Richardson.
Recommendations: All in all, there just isn’t enough there for me to anoint Dixon as the back to own in Baltimore. I am not sure where overall ADPs will land but in general, I will be targeting Allen over Dixon assuming the shiny new toy goes earlier. I think back to Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman last year at this time, and while there were many differences to that competition, i would expect Allen to hold off the rookie for his current spot on the depth chart.
Rookie Drafts: Dixon is going in the mid to late first round. If you are targeting a Running Back in that area, I would take Henry over Dixon, or try to move back to the late first/early second to grab backs with comparable upside and similar if not more favorable situations in Prosise, Booker and Howard.
Startups: With Rookie fever in full swing, do not reach to grab Dixon as somebody almost undoubtedly will. Wait to grab Allen or if they are going in the same range, let somebody else deal with the headache.
Trading: I think this presents a good buy opportunity for Allen. See if the owner is willing to part with Allen for a late 2nd Rookie pick or even a 3rd.
Upcoming: 3D articles
Keith Marshall vs. Matt Jones
CJ Prosise vs. Thomas Rawls
Jordan Howard vs. Jeremy Langford
Devontae Booker vs. CJ Anderson
Derrick Henry vs. Demarco Murray
Please tweet at me @fantasy_IPA if there is a duel you would like to see compiled.