As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. We only look at the past three seasons for a player. The Los Angeles Rams dumped Todd Gurley to skip out on a roster bonus they owed him for the 2020 season. The Falcons swooped up Gurley despite his arthritic knee concerns. What can we expect from Gurley for 2020 fantasy football?
Todd Gurley ADP and AAV:
Standard Scoring ADP: RB24, 58 overall
PPR Scoring ADP: RB16, 28 overall
Average Auction Value: $23
Todd Gurley Statistics:
Todd Gurley Overview:
Remember Todd Gurley’s disastrous 2016 season under Jeff Fisher’s less-than-watchful eye? If you don’t, let me recount some statistics for you: 278 carries, 885 yards, 6 touchdowns, 43 receptions, 327 receiving yards. Cover up the touchdowns from Gurley’s 2019 season, and this is what you get: 857 rushing yards (223 carries) and 207 receiving yards (49 targets). That’s right, Gurley ended up with 1,064 yards from scrimmage last year, which was twenty-third among running backs. He had fewer yards than David Montgomery, Carlos Hyde, and… Devonta Freeman, the guy Gurley replaced. Gurley also did it on eleven more touches than Devonta Freeman.
Six running backs had a yard per touch under 4.5 while getting 1,000 total yards. That’s an impressive feat of futility, and the list of guys to do that in either 2017 or 2018 are mostly a mess in 2020: David Johnson, Jay Ajayi, Lamar Miller, Isaiah Crowell, Leonard Fournette, Jordan Howard (twice!) and Frank Gore. To that list add Devonta Freeman (free agent), Carlos Hyde (backup), Todd Gurley, David Montgomery, Le’Veon Bell, and Sony Michel. Only one of these guys is getting hype pieces and RB1 upside praise thrown at them. In reality, Gurley isn’t really all that efficient anymore and mostly relied on touchdowns for production last year. Among this list last season, you had touchdown totals of 4, 6, 6, 7, 7, and 14. Gurley had that 14, and is staring Devonta Freeman’s situation (6 TDs) squarely in the face.
Todd Gurley Draft Strategy:
All that isn’t to say that Todd Gurley isn’t a good value. Gurley is currently going as RB19 off the board, and the volume alone should help him return backend RB2 numbers all season long. At this point in his career, he’s a better player than Devonta Freeman, even if his knee is actively getting worse with every word you read in this sentence. Arthritic knees don’t get better. But, Freeman finished last year as RB20 in HPPR points per game being almost exactly as (in)efficient as Gurley.
But, Gurley should beat that. Last year, the Falcons were still working under the assumption that Brian Hill or Ito Smith could be a thing. At this point, those guys showed that they cannot reliably be a thing in the NFL. That means as many touches as Todd Gurley can handle, and I mean “can handle” in the strictest scence. The Knee of Damocles is still hanging over the running back’s head, but should he stay healthy, his draft price feels like his floor. Just don’t come talking like he has top-twelve RB upside. That Todd Gurley is in the past.
Best Case Scenario:
He gets 1,400 yards and ten touchdowns. That’s the absolute best-case scenario for Gurley, who will likely be on a snap count in 2020.
Worst Case Scenario:
I have a degenerative arthritic knee that randomly stopped working while I was walking around Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It messed me up for a while. Just sayin’.
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com and airyards.com]