Discover more from VolumePigs
CFF Sell Series Part 1 (February 2023)
I am avoiding these players in re-drafts this summer.
Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin
2022 FPG: 18.1
Allen is one of the more mythical figures in CFF. Originally projected to play LB coming out of high school, the 6’2 235 pound sledgehammer broke out in 2021 as a 17-year old true freshman, carrying the rock 186 times for 1268 yards and 12 TDs. Although he did not take the step forward in production many CFF managers expected in 2022, he still produced a formidable campaign rushing 230 times for 1242 yards and 11 TDs while battling multiple lingering injuries. There is a long lineage of high-end RBs to come through Madison, and Braelon has been that next man up the past two seasons. Over the last decade and half few programs in CFB have established a more tried and true identity on offence than the Badgers. This outfit wants to establish the run and out-physical you, and that makes their RBs extremely attractive from a CFF perspective. So why am I out on Allen?
You might have heard that Wisconsin fired its head coach in the fall of 2022 and hired longtime midwestern stalwart, Luke Fickell. One of his first hires, Fickell brought in former UNC OC (2019-2022) Phil Longo, signalling a potential philosophy change in 2023. One of the staples of the Wisconsin football program over the last decade has been that when they find their guy at RB, they typically give him somewhere in the neighbourhood of 300+ carries. That’s probably not going to happen anymore for the Badgers- well, at least not while Longo is calling plays. Longo’s RB1 at UNC averaged 161 carries, carrying the rock 131, 182, 157, and 177 times between 2022 and 2019. I don’t like Allen’s prospects of seeing 250+ carries let alone 300+ next year, and for where he is likely to be drafted in re-drafts, I just don’t see the value anymore.
To make matters worse, the guy everyone forgets about, Chez Mellusi, returns for another season in Madison. Mellusi was actually the RB1 in 2021 when Allen was a true frosh, and only ceded the top spot when he went down with injury in the back half of 2021. Originally a Clemson Tiger, Mellusi is a pretty talented tailback in his own right and is not going to go out quietly. He is a more dynamic player in the open field and a more effective pass catcher than Allen. Something Longo’s done in the past is rely on two RBs primarily, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Mellusi play the Michael Carter role, and Allen play the Javontae Williams role in 2023. Unless Allen is extremely efficient with TDs, he is probably not going to see enough volume to facilitate elite production in 2023.
VolumePigs' Substack is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Penn State RBs Nick Singleton & Kaytron Allen
2022 FPG: 15.2 & 14.58
This one is blasphemous. These two are darlings in the CFF community, especially Singleton. I’m not here to argue about their long term devy projections, this is strictly a 2023 re-draft assessment. Singleton comes from a wing-T offence in high school and was the nation’s number one tailback in the 2022 class. He had his moments last year with multiple breakout games, he rushed for 1061 yards and 12 TDs on 156 carries. This production is a bit misleading though, as Singleton scored 6.1 or less fantasy points in 5 out of 13 games. Ditto for Allen, though he was a little more consistent, posting 8.7 or less fantasy points in 5 out of 13 games. Allen carried the rock 167 times for 867 yards and 10 TDs in 2022. The highs were higher for Singleton, but the volatility was higher too. I’ve got some concerns from a CFF perspective.
Who is RB1 on this team? Singleton seems to be the more efficient runner, and led the team in rushing yards. On the other hand, Allen led the team in carries, and was not far off Singleton’s production. My own personal opinion of each’s talent aside, it seems the staff are going to feature both of them equally, which is a kiss of death in CFF. You might argue that each had pretty good production last year anyway, and that’s true. As with each CFF profile it comes down to the tradeoff of the player’s potential value and the investment required to acquire them. I don’t like where I see these guys getting drafted right now for the level of production I would expect, and I suspect the trend will continue in the summer. Just to be clear, I am not saying these players will be unproductive. If I can get one of these guys at a cheap price I’ll probably do it. After all if one of these two goes down with an injury, the value in owning the other could be immense. If I have to draft one I’m going with Allen strictly because he’s cheaper and will probably produce a similar FPG to Singleton (as he did in 2022).
OC Mike Yurcich doesn’t have an elite history of production at RB. The last RB to receive 250+ carries under his watch is Justice Hill in 2017, when Yurcich coached at Oklahoma State. Hill ran for 1497 yards and 15 TDs that season. Even Bijan Robison, one of the best backs to come out of CFB in recent times, only saw 86 carries in 2020 with Yurcich calling plays. Granted he was a freshman, but beyond Bijan there wasn’t another RB to carry the ball more than 80 times either. I do not see him feeding a massive amount of carries into either Singleton or Allen individually in 2023.
When it comes to RBs I value consistently strong production more than high output potential. I want every RB I start to give me 20 FPG on the dot. Anything more is a bonus. What I really don’t want is RBs who give me 40 one week and 6 the next without any rhyme or reason. This is problematic on multiple levels. Most importantly that I can never play them with confidence, and as a result, probably will never play them, which makes them useless to me.
Jermain Burton, WR, Alabama
2022 FPG: 11.52
I’m tired of waiting for this guy to breakout. The floor was his in 2022 as Bama desperately needed someone to step up in that receiver room. Alabama had a disappointing season (ha, suckers) and Burton himself underperformed expectations, leaving many CFF managers holding their breath in 2022, probably for too long. Burton caught 40 passes for 677 yards and 7 TDs which is a solid line but nothing spectacular. Prior to playing at Alabama, Burton played for the finest program in all of CFB, the UGA Bulldogs. Although it would be easy to play the role of sour grapes here, I can’t fault him for transferring out of UGA, as the offence under Monken spread the ball around at an absurd rate. Alabama typically funnels targets into a few WRs, so why can’t Burton cash in next year?
I think there are better WRs on this team:
Jacorey Brooks was at one time one of the hottest recruits in the country. Originally out of Miami Booker T. Washington before transferring to IMG Academy, Brooks continued Alabama’s pipeline to south Florida signing in their historic 2021 class. He had his moments in both 2021 and 2022, but has yet to cash in on his high school ranking. He essentially matched Burton’s production in 2022 and it feels like at the very least he should match Burton’s level of production in 2023 also, which will likely render both as weak CFF assets.
Rising sophomore Isaiah Bond is the one you need to watch out for though. Bond, an east Atlanta standout at powerhouse program Buford High, of course spurned the in-state dawgs and signed with their nemesis one state over (f***ing Buford, it’s gotta’ be something in the water over there). Bond is due for a sophomore breakout and could leapfrog Burton on the WR hierarchy this summer as he appears faster and more dynamic, plus he has great taste in music.
I have questions about the QB room. Alabama fans swear Ty Simpson will be the starter next year but it was Milroe who came in and started in Young’s absence last season. If Milroe is the starter this will be a very different offence than what we’ve seen recently under BoB, and it probably won’t be good for any of the WRs (maybe Bond will transfer over to the good guys… one can dream).
Thanks for reading VolumePigs' Substack! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.