Under the Radar: Goodson, Myers and Woodhead
Everyone has spent the offseason talking about the major free agency moves including the Welker-Amendola switch, Mike Wallace to Miami, Reggie Bush to Detroit and Steven Jackson to Atlanta. Since then plenty of under the radar moves have come down the pipes that haven’t received quite as much attention.
We’ll focus on some of the recent under the radar signings with special emphasis on Mike Goodson’s move to New York. Fellow Bruno Boys’ writer Rich Arleo has already done a writeup on the fantasy impact of Mike Goodson in New York. This is another take on the move.
Mike Goodson, New York Jets
Mike Goodson has spent the vast majority of his career staring out of the bowels of depth charts around the league. He was especially unlucky as a Carolina Panther behind both and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Thanks to their injury-prone nature though, Goodson managed to eventually get three starts back in 2010. In those games, he averaged 110 scrimmage yards per game and looked every bit a true all-purpose workhorse back. Sadly despite the ineffectiveness of the rest of the Carolina backfield he never got the chance to start again.
Last year Goodson moved onto Oakland to become fragile Darren McFadden’s backup. Goodson was about to get another shot at becoming the lead back after McFadden went down in Week 9, unfortunately Goodson himself left the game just one series later with an injury of his own. Marcel Reece promptly ran away with his chance. In Week 15 Goodson finally got another chance to shine in a trench war against the Kansas City Chiefsthat was best described by the Raiders’ 43 rushing attempts and the 15-0 score. Goodson had 13 of those carries and he again performed well, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. He also caught a pass for 14 yards that helped him crest the 100 yards from scrimmage barrier yet again.
Mike Goodson looks every bit a potentially elite back if he is just given a chance to start. He’s averaged 4.5 yards per carry and nearly nine yards per reception so far in his career. More impressive is that he’s done outstanding in the few games where he has actually been given some opportunity. In the four games that he’s been given at least 14 touches, Goodson has racked up 503 scrimmage yards (126YPG). If you even modestly prorate those numbers, he would approach 2000 scrimmage yards in a season. Adrian Peterson was the only one to have those kinds of numbers last season.
Fast forward to this season and after losing the extremely over-appreciated Shonn Greene in free agency, the New York Jets needed to find at least a complement to the inexperienced Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. The cap-strapped Jets didn’t really have many viable options so they signed Goodson, a much better back than Greene, for $1 million less per year than their former back ended up signing for.
It’s unclear exactly what role Mike Goodson will have in the Jets’ backfield come next season but it will almost certainly be a bigger role than he’s had anywhere else. Powell and McKnight haven’t done anything to make themselves standout so Goodson lands squarely in front of both on the depth chart. The Jets are expected to grab another running back in the draft but it’s unlikely that back would take over the starting role straight away.
Helping Goodson’s cause is the installation of new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s and his west-coast style offense. Goodson is by far the best receiving back on the offense and should benefit greatly as a safety valve for the Jets’ terrible stable of quarterbacks. Given his skillset and current salary of $2.3 million, it would be a complete surprise if Goodson didn’t see at least moderate use in 2013, especially on passing downs.
The problem right now is determining where to draft Goodson. His skillset is clear but his situation is not. If he is given a starting role it seems entirely plausible that Goodson could put up numbers similar to Ahmad Bradshaw’s last few years. In PPR formats he could be an absolute monster. On the other side of the coin, Goodson could end up in a role similar to that of New Orleans Saints’ multi-tool Pierre Thomas.
So where do we draft him? He’s currently going around the 10th round of most fantasy drafts but he should start getting drafted earlier and earlier as the season goes on. He looks like a risky but extremely high upside RB3 right now and he should probably be targeted around RB35 in the 9th round until we know more about his usage. Keep in mind that the lethargic Shonn Greene finished RB15 last year with little involvement in the passing game. Goodson has a far higher ceiling and we could see him going as early as the 7th round by the time the season comes around depending on the developments.
Brandon Myers, New York Giants
Brandon Myers isn’t much of a blocker but he is an outstanding receiver as he showed last year in Oakland. He caught a ridiculous 75% of the 105 balls thrown his way making him the most reliable tight end in the league. He was signed by the New York Giants in the second week of free agency in order to replace all around tight end Martellus Bennett. Bennett had a great year in the big apple last season and ended the season with 626 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. Brandon Myers is a far better receiver than Bennett. The major fantasy issue with Brandon Myers last year was his inability to get into the endzone. That should change in New York. Every Giants’ starting TE since 2007 but Jake Ballard in 2010 has had at least five touchdown catches. Ballard still had four touchdowns which is the amount Myers has had in his entire four-year career. Myers will have to compete with Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks for targets in New York but he’s almost a lock to set a personal best in touchdowns. Expect him to get a modest number of looks and put up low end TE1 stats.
Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers
It was hard to take note of Danny Woodhead’s move to San Diego. He jumps into a crowded backfield with Ryan Mathews and third down specialist Ronnie Brown. The funny thing is that he’s probably a better back than both. Woodhead excelled for the New England Patriots in a role similar to Darren Sproles in New Orleans. He should almost immediately see a large percentage of the third down work. Mathews and Brown are notoriously fragile running backs so it’s very likely Woodhead will carve out a nice niche in the offense. He’s at his best when receiving so expect him to be used that way almost exclusively. It’s important to keep an eye on him in PPR formats because of San Diego’s tendency to pass to its running backs. Last year Chargers’ running backs caught an astounding 123 passes. If even a third of those passes go Woodheads way this year he will be viable flex option in deeper leagues similar to Joique Bell last season. He’s certainly worth a pick at the end of most PPR drafts.
|Written by Sean Morris|