Welcome to the 2020 Footballguys Roundtable, where our fearless panel of fantasy pundits share which players changed their minds this summer, free agents worth a look in a variety of league sizes, how to parse the Detroit Lions' backfield, and some bold predictions for the season ahead.
On Second Thought
Jason Wood writes a series of features every August that covers players whose performances have led Wood to have second thoughts about his stance on their fantasy potential. Here's where you can find his articles on running backs, quarterbacks, tight ends, and wide receivers.
Wood is part of the roundtable this week, so we're going to do something a little different. With the exception of Wood, I want each of you to do the following:
- Check out Wood's four articles and pick 2 players where Wood's arguments might change your mind and explain why.
- Give me one player independent from Wood's features who is leading you to have second thoughts about his value this fall.
Jason, since you wrote these features, I want you to give me two players who didn't change your mind and you're still pessimistic about their value and one player who you've been bullish on all along.
Maurile Tremblay: I agree with a lot of Jason's takes, but many I've agreed with all along, so the following views don't count as changing my mind: D'Andre Swift won't live up to the hype and Jonathan Taylor will and Keenan Allen remains underappreciated, etc.
The two calls Jason Made that I've come around to only recently are on Leonard Fournette and Antonio Gibson. Some see Fournette's transfer from the Jaguars to the Buccaneers as a positive. I do not. For one thing, the fact that the Jaguars released him is signal that he's not as effective as a runner as he once was.
The Jaguars would not have released him if he still showed as much promise as he did as a rookie. They would not have released him if he were a workhorse candidate clearly superior to Ryquell Armstead, Devine Ozigbo, or James Robinson. And if he's not clearly superior to them, he's not clearly superior to Ronald Jones II, either.
Daniel Simpkins: I'd like to note that Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler Jr, Ronnie Harrison, Calais Campbell, T.J. Yeldon, Leonard Fournette, and Yannick Ngakoue is the list of players that I can think of off the top of my head that have either been traded out of Jacksonville or left in free agency. In almost every case, there was a documented dispute between the coaching staff or team brass.
Every time another Jaguar leaves, there’s practically a party on Twitter among these guys about that guy getting out of a bad situation. The NFPA warned free agents not to sign there, which is unprecedented.
To me, it’s a culture problem, not a talent problem, that contributed to Fournette leaving. I’m not saying it’s all on the team, either, because Fournette’s been rumored to not have the work ethic he needs to and not love football.
I just think it may be a bad idea to assume his release is talent related. The evidence points to it being more connected to years of a player not getting along with the organization and the market value for trading running backs (especially those whom GMs have heard rumors about not being a hard workers) being incredibly depressed.
As for why he’s not automatically the starter in Tampa, that probably has more to do with giving the incumbent who is more familiar with the offense the first chance and going to Fournette only if he stumbles. Jones has earned that opportunity with his improvement last year. But make no mistake, if Jones doesn’t get it done, Fournette is more than capable of taking the job. It’s not diminishing talent. If you see that on Fournette’s tape, I would like to know where, because I haven’t seen evidence of that when I’ve watched.