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Back-up to a stud does not equal stud


#1

Let this week be a cautionary tale to all those who immediately jumped on the Ware/Ekeler hype trains. Just because they walk into a lead role, doesn’t mean they will produce at elite levels. All week I had to listen to all these so called “experts” quote BS stats like Ware averages 8 yards per touch and both Ekeler and Ware are top of the NFL in efficiency per touch so therefore they are both not top 5-10 guys. Here’s the thing, its easier to average higher yards per touch when you’re seeing <10 touches a week. Harder to do that when you have to carry the load of a workhorse RB without the talent. Most ridiculous take I saw was Bobby Sylvester over at FantasyPros say Ware was a top 3 RB rest of season. What a joke. That dude is probably the worst fantasy analyst I’ve ever seen. Tagliere is a boss and does his research but honestly have no idea how Bobby is still employed. He’s the skip bayless of fantasy football.

Talent matters in the NFL. Opportunity is king in fantasy but you need talent to produce at an elite level.

This is hopefully the last we hear about people saying random UDFA backups like Ware, Brown, Ekeler, etc will just become automatic RB1s when the starter goes down. Guys like Lindsay and Conner are the exception, not the rule. Don’t bench your studs to play these talentless backups who walk into a starting role.


#2

I’m not sure Ware fits your UDFA narrative but I agree with you to an extent and understand what you are trying to say. These guys are still going to be usable assets, especially this time of year when RBs are so hard to find in larger/deeper leagues. My major concern with him is that we haven’t seen him carry a load post injury until today.

Ware has at least proven he can do it (floor RB2 production) for around a 15-16 game stretch. He’s better than a JAG. He wasn’t a Hunt and never will be but he was very productive. I never pay attention to what guys do in small sample sizes as a backup. Ware did okay but the backfield was way more split up than I thought it would be, but I guess that is to be expected. Damien Williams did this same thing to the starter in Miami and it’s clear they are going to need more than one guy to match up production.

Either way, the snap totals for Ware were encouraging and he was at least used in the passing game a time or two (remember earlier in the year when everyone was freaking out that Hunt wasn’t getting targets). If they sign CJ that doesn’t really factor in for me until maybe the NFL playoffs. He was bad enough and unneeded enough in Carolina that they cut him and he really didn’t look that good.

I’ve owned Ware pre injury when he was at his best. Even then he wasn’t going to be the guy to break off a long one. He doesn’t have the speed of Hunt. He’s a guy who can get some tough runs, run well at the goal line and has good enough hands to play into the passing game. If he’s getting the amount of touches he had here today then he’s a strong RB2 of Flex consideration for me in that offense, but I also think his schedule rest of the way is tough. You are just going to have to weight Chiefs offense versus good defense. Chiefs have won most of those this year.

FWIW-Ware was a 6th round pick of the Seahawks.


#3

When i say UDFA, i’m just using that to encompass all these types of cast away / late round cast aways. A 6th round pick in real NFL draft is like a 5th round pick in a dynasty draft. Worthless most of the time.

Also, I didn’t say these guys are not usable, nor did I say they won’t produce at all. I just said don’t make the mistake of just assuming and automatically slotting them in as an RB1 just because of injury.

That’s my only point. All of what you’re saying above is valid when considering RB2/flex plays which is not really what I’m saying at all.

EDIT: People who flood to guys who have a couple good showings without evaluating talent is when you end up with overdraft/overpaying for guys like Ware, Ekeler, Collins, etc. Still useful guys, just temper expectations.


#4

Good deal.

Top 3 ROS is a little out there.

Could it happen in that offense?

Sure.

Is it likely to?

Oh hell naw!

Especially considering the match ups and some of the numbers other guys have been putting up.

I started Ware over Chubb today and didn’t regret it but Chubb still outscored him with a horrible game script. It was for flex and I was just picking a match up based play, and given how each game played out that proved to be the right choice even though it didn’t play out with the two fantasy scores (even though both were ball park to one another)

There is always going to be a hype train for any new toy that becomes available unfortunately.

I can’t say I haven’t had seasons where I was in a desperate situation and some of those guys haven’t bailed me out for a week here or there with a huge RB performance but it was as much luck as anything else and was one hell of a roller coaster ride that I didn’t want to be on in the first place.


#5

Ware over Chubb isn’t outrageous. We both thought the same thing there in terms of game script which basically played out as we though. He just happened to have a TD to save the day. And the gamescript/etc technically were in ware’s favor. I had Chubb as a lower end RB1 this week anyway. I still would have played him, and did play him over Ware, but can see the rationale for it. But Ware as RB3 ROS and I saw some experts have him ranked as that way for this week is just absolutely absurd. Lot of experts had him ranked above guys like Lindsay, Jones, Conner. Just lol.

There’s a reason why they are splitting that backfield a bit though, ware just isn’t that good. He’s just another replacement level guy. When I watch him run, I get the same feeling for when I watch guys like Collins runs. Sure they get the job done some times, but talent just simply isn’t there.


#6

Yeah.

I haven’t broke down all the footage. I just watched Red Zone today. I do want to look at some more in depth stuff with him. He had a handful of blow up games pre-injury that produced some impressive stat lines, but I have a feeling he isn’t going to be that guy after his injury. It was pretty severe when it happened. From what I saw he didn’t look very much different than pre-injury but I might have seen 4-5 of his touches. I think Collins is a decent comparison.

I did have Conner in the discussion of start two of these guys with Ware and Chubb, but I pretty quickly determined I needed to start him. He and Ware ended up having similar games but Conner was able to get an extra td.


#7

Going to have to disagree there. I don’t view the performances by Conner and Ware as remotely close.

Conner also got injured in the 4th quarter and was going up against a very stingy rushing defense and great team overall on the other side. Still managed 4 YPC and like 3 catches with 2 TDs.

Ware literally couldn’t ask for a better match-up and game script in going up vs Oak and put up what was a pathetic showing. <3YPC and not much involvement in pass game either. Like I said, watching him run leaves much to be desired. Conner isn’t an elite runner either tbh but even he is in a totally different tier of talent. Ware is literally replacement level.


#8

How would you rank these 3 then out of curiosity - Ware, Gus and Josh Adams.


#9

I have Ekeler and Ware in two leagues. Played them both and was pretty disappointed.
Decisions I made were to play Ekeler over Cooks in one league.
Then Ware and Ekeler over Landry and Dalvin.

I knew Ekeler would split the back field with Jackson but I thought he would at least be a PPR monster in a high scoring game. Apparently they changed the offense to work around Ekeler but imo the one they used for Gordon was just as productive for him too.

Justin Jackson was looking pretty good. I know he has some talent and was breaking off nice gains. I wonder if they will give him a bulk of the carries next game. CIN and KC next two games look super promising for whoever gets those.


#10

That’s the problem with guys like Ekeler. You don’t know who is going to get it next game. next game could very well be Ekeler who has a monster game and Justin Jackson who puts up a dud. That’s why I would much rather start guys who have more secure roles. neither jackson or Ekeler are really built to handle a full workload so its just a matter of whoever scores TD for that week.

They’re all pretty close tbh. All 3 are part of committees. But if push comes to shove, I would probably rank as follows:

Josh Adams > Gus > Ware

Mainly cause we at least do have a sample of Adams and Gus taking that lead role and getting 20+ touches and producing. If adams does it again tonight vs washington, that will be more encouraging so I’d definitely keep tabs on that. But also have to keep your expectations in check cause Philly has always used RBBC so that will always limit his upside. Also, from a talent perspective, Adams is actually a very talented runner. I’m sure people forgot but this dude was a front runner for heisman when he was playing for ND but then injuries totally derailed that and his draft stock. But talent for him isn’t the question, it’s opportunity. On the flip side, talent is a question mark for me for both Gus and Ware. But like I said, all these guys are very close to eachother and in the same tier so wouldn’t fight you if you wanted to take gus ahead of adams or something.


#11

Ware lost his job to Hunt for a reason. Even when Hunt fumbled on his first NFL carry they threw Hunt right back in. A lot of people forget that. Even when he was struggling for a little while last year they still stuck with Hunt. Ware has some value, maybe Yeldon ish but he is no RB1 and will never achieve Hunt success.


#12

Ware lost his job to Hunt because Ware had a really bad knee injury last preseason and missed the entire season. K.C. didn’t have anyone to go back to is why they kept Hunt in after he fumbled. Coach Reid usually doesn’t plug rookies in immediately. Just look at him sitting Mahomes a year and grooming him.


#13

I was simply commenting on the stat line.

Conner 13 for 53 2 tds
Ware 14 for 47 1 td

I know Conner had a tougher matchup. Honestly neither did as much damage as they could have in their particular match up with Conner getting hurt with 5 min left and having a couple of chunk plays called back for holding and Ware not taking advantage of his opportunity in the plus match up.


#14

I wish I could remember who it was but someone on the NFL Network’s sunday morning show (not a fantasy show) was talking Ware up saying he was going to make a huge impact quoting his stats from 2016 as if they were still relevant. The guy hasn’t been a starter for 2 years, you can’t rely on him being the same guy post injury.


#15

I agree with that, but we haven’t seen it until he proves it or doesn’t prove it. That’s pretty much what the Oakland game was. You cannot state what Ecco did and say that Hunt was the starter for a reason as though it was competition based when Ware was the starter and was knocked out for the year. Hunt won the job due to injury and then performed to the point that Ware wasn’t going to get a chance to be anything more than the backup when he returned. This was his first opportunity and his stat line was about what a middling performance was for him previously, but it wasn’t a resounding success given the match up.


#16

I did start Ware over DJ in my standard league simply because of the matchup. I wasn’t expecting Hunt numbers though, it was my flex. He still out performed DJ this week but until Ware proves it, it’s simply a matchup play for me.


#17

If Connor wasn’t gifted the ball on the 1 yard line twice, his stat line could’ve been much different…


#18

I said this EXACT same thing to all my friends when Ware was named the starter. He is not nearly as dynamic as Hunt. I said he’d be an RB2, but he didn’t even look that good. The handcuff is not the starter and you should only use the handcuff when you don’t have a quality starter available.


#19

Also something to consider is that the Chiefs offense wasn’t anywhere near as potent in 2016 and it has been in 2017-18. Hunt was a part of that but also the fact that Smith last year and Pat this year have been able to push the ball down the field. Prior to that Smith wasn’t throwing deep at all. I think this also provides a little more opportunity. Ware only had 3 tds in 2015. He had 6 starting only about half the year the year prior to that.


#20

My primary reason for even picking up Ware was because I had the bench spot and I wanted to keep him away from the Hunt owner.