Sleeper Cell: Dameon Pierce, Romeo Doubs

Sleeper Cell: Dameon Pierce, Romeo Doubs

Fantasy football guru Matthew Berry has joined the team and has both shows covered all season long. Spend the days of the week at noon with the Fantasy Football Happy Hour and then, every Sunday at 11am getting ready for kickoff with the Game Fantasy Football online. Watch both shows live on Peacock and catch reruns of the NFL weekday show on NBC’s YouTube channel.

As I said last week, I’ve spent about seven or eight years writing an annual list for Football Outsiders Almanac called “Top 25 Prospects.” There are a lot of qualifiers on this list of players — they have to have 500 or fewer career snaps, they have to be drafted after the second round, and so on — it’s a fun exercise, but to be honest it limit the pool. a little. These guys don’t see a lot of football in the pros at 500 snaps or less, and the bottom of the list tends to be players who caught eyes in college or got high praise from their coaches in camps, but didn’t even catch on. enough pre-season eye at the professional level.

So I’m not going to come up with limits on this column. I’m not going to have a snap account. I promise to show you young players who haven’t settled on the zeitgeist yet, and I’ll talk about them and why I think they’re fascinating.

Honesty check of the week: Donovan Peoples-Jones and Treylon Burks. Burks led the team in yards and targets this week as the Titans fell apart. Peoples-Jones had the handoff that would save his fantasy day, but he wasn’t surprisingly involved at all, getting one more target as the Browns recalibrated around Amari Cooper.

This week, let’s talk about a couple of quarterbacks from this year’s class: Dameon Pierce and Romeo Doubs, who caught a lot of preseason hype and are in very different situations coming into Week 3.

Dameon Pierce takes control of the Texans backfield in Week 2

Lovie Smith was pretty adamant after Week 1 that he wanted to be more involved with Pierce in the Texans’ running game. I thought Pierce would gradually cut into the reliable role of Rex Burkhead — no, this was more of a whiplash type thing. Pierce caught every carry in the game as the Texans played the Broncos. It’s very easy to look at the results of the behaviors and get discouraged, even as I know some of you have had “volume is the key to Fantasy” drilled into your head. Pierce has 26 carries for 102 yards through two games. He has just two goals as Burkhead continues to control the role to the death.

What I want to convince you of is that Pierce’s results of 3.9 yards per carry are — purely from a football standpoint — miraculous. Last year’s Texans had one running back 3.5 yards per attempt – Burkhead – and he only gets there because of a 22-carry, 149-yard game against the Chargers. He averaged 2.8 yards per carry before that game, and averaged 2.54 yards per carry in the remaining two games of the season after that. In their Week 1 game against the Colts, Burk averaged 2.9 yards per carry. The Texans finished dead last in rushing offense DVOA in each of the last two seasons. This past year they’ve been introducing a series of tri-tight sets and extra heavy sets that date back to the mid 90’s. Non-starting linebackers, tight ends, and fullbacks have logged 209 snaps this year for the Texans. 107 are logged in at non-starting broadband. It’s hard to get extra yards when you stack the field with big personnel and limit tackle opportunities against safeties and corners.

I don’t think Pierce had a great run in the championship, but you can see how slippery he is on his longer carries. He fights for every last yard. The forward stats aren’t kind – minus seven rushing yards above expectation per NFL Next Gen Stats. If Kenyon Green — seen especially whirring on a block in the red zone — develops quickly, he and Pierce have a chance to turn this running game into a mediocre one rather than the backwater it’s been since the David Johnson trade.

Last week was a low window to buy Pierce from non-safe fantasy managers. But I think you can argue that Pierce has upside for the rest of the season as well based on how much he plans to carry and the fact that Lovie Smith is a dinosaur willing to commit to a running game. This team hardly trusts Davis Mills. Jeff Driskel has already come in on third and short to make reading material. The only pass Mills made more than 20 yards downfield this season was a flea flicker. They showed no interest in Mills throwing down the field in two-minute drill stuff unless absolutely necessary. The ideal game script for this team is for each team to have problems cracking 20 points.

Pierce can’t be a true RB1 with this offense unless he’s literally Adrian Peterson in his prime, but I think he’s a high-end RB2 finisher that should be included in the play. It’s likely a low RB2 play and/or a high-end FLEX play based on the full spectrum of results right now, but the way Aaron Jones ran over the Bears in Week 2 – Pierce could get himself an RB1 week in a week. run-script heavy carnage game. The way Houston wants to handle this year really shows that he’s had a torrid week.

Note to the Editor: Get ahead of the curve on draft day with our 2022 Football Draft Guide powered by Rotoworld packed with hundreds of player profiles, expert ratings, projections, mock drafts, odds, busts and more. And don’t forget to use promo code DRAFTGUIDE to access it for $5 for the first month. Click here to learn more!

Green Bay’s goal situation has not yet been decided; can Romeo Doubs be part of the solution this year?

At the other end of the scale, we have expanses that are quickly being crowded out of room. Allen Lazard returned healthy in Week 1, Christian Watson is digging into the jump count, and Sammy Watkins seems to be the biggest player on the same page as Aaron Rodgers. Where does that leave preseason star Romeo Doubs?

Doubs had just 25 tackles in Week 2, third most on the team but barely ahead of Christian Watson (22) and Randall Cobb (20). It’s a slight upgrade from Week 1, when Watson played ahead of him and dropped an easy catch and Cobb edged Doubs narrowly 37-35. Watson and Doubs are getting easier touches as part of Matt LaFleur’s short game that he has little choice but to ride with and Elgton Jenkins (Week 1) and David Bakhtiari (both weeks) have missed time. Aaron Rodgers has taken seven sacks in two games.

Doubs hasn’t done anything wrong, per se, but he’s not ahead of the game either. He and Rodgers weren’t on the same page regarding some of his early goals. It was also almost fumbled after completion but it really looks like it came in a controversial cover. The rest of it, well, it’s more manufactured than hitting NFL defenders. I’m not saying this to dismiss Doubs as a player – Cooper Kupp and Amon-Ra get St. Brown plenty of production in this way, and for me the production is more important than how it happens. But you’d rather have both, right?

I don’t feel like we’ve seen the true shape of the Packers offense yet — I know Doubs is explosive enough to be a part of it at some point if he cleans up mistakes. How long will it take to do that? That is the magic question. It’s easy to give him screen targets against a chunky Bears team, but he doesn’t seem like a rookie who is jumping off film in the first two weeks and screaming that he needs to get more snaps. I believe there could be a point this season where he has re-draft level fantasy value because, truth be told, I don’t trust Randall Cobb to do much of anything at his age. I don’t trust Sammy Watkins to stay healthy. I like Lazard just fine, but Lazard has lost games in every season since 2020.

But trying to determine whether Watson or Doubs will take the leap at this point is not an easy answer. You probably can’t confidently start either of them next week against Tampa Bay unless you’re in a three-FLEX lineup or something with real depth. And yet at the same time, it only takes one Rodgers deep ball to finish in the top 24 in any given week. Now, in shallower leagues, I’d continue to let someone else carry Doubs on a roster and claim him on waivers when there’s real movement ahead of him — injury or otherwise — that shows us the snaps or target share we want to see. . But the upside is so great that I can’t blame you either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.