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The Football Guru

Instant Fantasy Analysis - Round 4

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RB Joshua Kelley, Chargers

Kelley joins Justin Jackson as a highly productive college runner in the backfield behind new starter Austin Ekeler. The UCLA product surprised with 4.49 speed at the NFL Combine and only fumbled three times on 454 carries over the last two seasons. Kelley didn't see a lot of work in the passing game, but Bruins HC Chip Kelly admitted that the only reason that was the case in that he was doing his best to give his workhorse a bit of rest. For fantasy purposes, he's the perfect add to the Chargers in that he has the potential to be a productive NFL runner but is unlikely to push Ekeler or Jackson for work when everyone is healthy.

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TE Harrison Bryant, Browns
Height/Weight:
6' 5"/243
College: Florida Atlantic
NFL Comp: Mark Andrews

Byrant was my top-ranked tight end of the five I studied in-depth. When he is on his game, he looked every bit like the "Gronk of Conference USA" that league personnel labeled him as from time to time. To that end, he is among the best in this draft class (at tight end) at forcing missed tackles (12 in 2019, per Pro Football Focus) and contested catches (13). On the flip side, he was credited with eight drops on 73 catchable throws last season. He has a great chance of being a value pick in the draft after his combine numbers (4.73, 32.5 vertical, 9' 2" broad, 7.41 three-cone) suggested he is an average athlete at 6-5 and 243 pounds.

The tape suggests that he could have been a bit nervous in Indy, as he was the Owls' preferred option in the slot, quite capable of getting open all day on slants and posts and very difficult to bring down after the catch at times. Much like Andrews, it would be wise if his new team focuses on his contributions in the passing game while bringing him along as a blocker. Unfortunately, he lands in a situation where he'll be stuck behind Austin Hooper and David Njoku for the foreseeable future.

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10 minutes ago, The Football Guru said:

RB Joshua Kelley, Chargers

Kelley joins Justin Jackson as a highly productive college runner in the backfield behind new starter Austin Ekeler. The UCLA product surprised with 4.49 speed at the NFL Combine and only fumbled three times on 454 carries over the last two seasons. Kelley didn't see a lot of work in the passing game, but Bruins HC Chip Kelly admitted that the only reason that was the case in that he was doing his best to give his workhorse a bit of rest. For fantasy purposes, he's the perfect add to the Chargers in that he has the potential to be a productive NFL runner but is unlikely to push Ekeler or Jackson for work when everyone is healthy.

Interesting. I've already seen some quick takes on Twitter that Kelley is a better complement to Ekeler than Jackson. From a talent standpoint, are Jackson and Kelley similar or does one of them have an advantage?

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RB Lamical Perine, Jets

Perine never ran for 1000 yards for Florida, but his stellar showing at the Senior Bowl had to open the eyes of Jets' personnel. At 5' 11" and 216 pounds, he has the size to hold up to a fairly heavy workload and he runs with the authority, as Pro Football Focus credited him with averaging 3.7 yards of his 5.1 YPC this season coming after contact. With so little behind Le'Veon Bell at running back on the depth chart, Perine has a realistic shot of being the handcuff of choice in New York.

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4 minutes ago, Mike FF Today said:

Interesting. I've already seen some quick takes on Twitter that Kelley is a better complement to Ekeler than Jackson. From a talent standpoint, are Jackson and Kelley similar or does one of them have an advantage?

Maybe a better complement from the perspective he runs with more power, but I think Jackson is a better player overall.

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RB Anthony McFarland, Steelers

McFarland is the latest in the line of running backs in this draft who find a soft landing spot in terms of a potentially meaningful role as a complementary back early in their career but lack the overall game to put much immediate heat on the starter. He does have a decent albeit unlikely chance of emerging as the starter down the road, however, especially if the Steelers choose not to extend James Conner at the end of the season. McFarland boasts 4.4 speed, giving the Pittsburgh backfield an element of explosiveness it didn't have. The problem with McFarland is that he is a bit more straight-line for a 208-pounder and has dealt with his fair share of injuries. Nevertheless, he should be able to give Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell a run for their money as Conner's handcuff if he can stay healthy.

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WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Redskins
Height/Weight: 6' 4"/223
College: Liberty
NFL Comp: Brandon Coleman

Outside of sporting a 3.5-inch advantage in the vertical jump, Gandy-Golden and Coleman are remarkably similar in terms of their combine measurements. It shows up on the field as well, as both players boast a huge catch radius but not as physical as one would expect from big-framed players with significant strength (22 reps of 225 pounds). Gandy-Golden can be a load to bring down on occasion (as Buffalo found out last season), as Pro Football Focus credited him with at least 15 broken tackles in each of the last two seasons. PFF also charted him with 78 deep targets over the last two seasons - nine more than any other receiver in college football - and that will likely be how Washington will try to get the most out of him as well. While he was able to win at the short, intermediate and deep levels in college, he just doesn't appear to have twitch to be much more than a deep-ball and/or red zone specialist anytime soon.

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RB Deejay Dallas, Seahawks

The Seahawks were almost obligated to take a running back in this draft with Chris Carson (hip) and Rashaad Penny (knee) uncertain for the start of next season. The 217-pound out of "The U" is just the kind of back one would expect Seattle to be interested in, as he runs with great balance and good power. An added bonus: he is one of the best in this draft class in terms of pass pro. It's unlikely he has much long-term value, but the aforementioned injury situations means Dallas only has to beat out Travis Homer (and maybe C.J. Prosise) if the Carson and Penny aren't ready to start the season.

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Guru,

Do you have any thoughts on Jacob Eason going to indy? I really didn't think to much of him, but it seems like a perfect landing spot for a kid to sit and learn for a year. Then at least be given a shot to start for a good team/coach in year 2.

 

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8 hours ago, Kopy said:

Guru,

Do you have any thoughts on Jacob Eason going to indy? I really didn't think to much of him, but it seems like a perfect landing spot for a kid to sit and learn for a year. Then at least be given a shot to start for a good team/coach in year 2.

 

Here is my pre-draft writeup on Eason. I didn't post it b/c he's not going to have any redraft value behind Rivers and Brissett.

Height/Weight: 6' 6"/231
College: Washington
NFL Comp: Derek Anderson

Eason was the top pro-style high school quarterback recruit coming out of high school. With prototypical size and a huge arm, it's not hard to understand why he was viewed in such a favorable light. Unfortunately, he lost his job to Jake Fromm due to a knee injury he suffered in the 2017 season opener and never got it back, eventually transferring back to his old stomping grounds in Washington.

The 2015 National Gatorade Player of the Year has about as much arm strength as any quarterback in this class. The problem is he seems to know this and rarely ever takes much of his throws, regardless of the situation. His 2019 effort against Oregon was the stuff of a first-round prospect. He threw with confidence in tight windows, his ball placement was superb for the most part and his long-range accuracy was on point … almost as if he was inspired to go toe-to-toe with Justin Herbert. He ended up playing arguably his worst game two weeks later against Utah, telegraphing both of his interceptions and sailing multiple uncatchable balls wide of or over the heads of his receivers. It seems pretty clear he looks every bit like a capable NFL starter when he either throws on time or knows he will be well-protected. When he feels heat or is forced to move his feet, all bets are off because he usually panics in those situations. While he isn’t a statue, he isn't going to offer much as a runner either. The expectation should be set as a career backup given how poorly he played under pressure (Pro Football Focus' 37.6 passing grade under pressure was the second-lowest in the draft class).

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