A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Davis

General talk about Dynasty Leagues.

Who is higher on your draft board?

Poll ended at Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:25 pm

Montee Ball
43
66%
Knile Davis
22
34%
 
Total votes: 65

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby BPP » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:47 am

Cy23 wrote:I typically choose RB based on talent, and I think he has the athleticism to be dominant
This might deserve its own thread, but I'll bring it up here... "what defines talent for a RB?" Several people in this thread have said that Davis is more talented. What I think they mean, is that he is 'faster', or as you said above, 'more athletic'.

Is breaking tackles and avoiding defenders not something that people consider a 'talent'? It seems that we just look at numbers, possibly because its easier to compare then some of the other traits that RBs need.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby ccj » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:57 am

BPP wrote:
Cy23 wrote:I typically choose RB based on talent, and I think he has the athleticism to be dominant
This might deserve its own thread, but I'll bring it up here... "what defines talent for a RB?" Several people in this thread have said that Davis is more talented. What I think they mean, is that he is 'faster', or as you said above, 'more athletic'.

Is breaking tackles and avoiding defenders not something that people consider a 'talent'? It seems that we just look at numbers, possibly because its easier to compare then some of the other traits that RBs need.
This is an impossible question. Like define sport. Is Golf a sport? Baseball? NASCAR? Poker? Darts? Marathons? ... on and on. It goes to the McCoy vs Brown argument or the Welker vs Harvin argument. The Emmitt Smith vs Bo Jackson argument. Does being durable make you a better player? Because I'm very certain that being injury prone makes you a worse player. This is the topic sports radio hosts get into when there is nothing else to talk about.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby Cy23 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:22 am

BPP wrote:
Cy23 wrote:I typically choose RB based on talent, and I think he has the athleticism to be dominant
This might deserve its own thread, but I'll bring it up here... "what defines talent for a RB?" Several people in this thread have said that Davis is more talented. What I think they mean, is that he is 'faster', or as you said above, 'more athletic'.

Is breaking tackles and avoiding defenders not something that people consider a 'talent'? It seems that we just look at numbers, possibly because its easier to compare then some of the other traits that RBs need.
I mentioned talented, not athletic. But athletic is part of being talented.

Examples: Foster and Morris slipped to late in the draft (or UDFA for Foster) because of the perceived lack of "measurables."
Many RB's are overdrafted purely because they are workout warriors.

So I don't think that Davis is better than Ball purely because of his numbers at the combine. I also don't think that Ball is better than Davis purely because of his averages and rushing yards in college.

To me, this is where each of us becomes a scout. I personally believe that Davis is an extremely athletic RB who has average or better vision and anything else needed for a RB, he just couldn't stay healthy.

On the other hand, I think Ball is an average RB who has great vision and played for a team capable of rushing the ball.

Extrapolating to the NFL, I think Ball will be at a disadvantage due to his lack of measurables and speed. Morris just showed us that running a 4.6 doesn't mean you aren't a good RB, but I think it stacks the deck against you. He will need to land in a great opportunity or be drafted very high in order for the team to give him the chance to prove himself on the field.

On the other hand, a RB like Davis (or Franklin, or Michael) have measurables that jump out at you. Therefore, as long as they are healthy, I can see them proving themselves in practice and being given a chance to be the starter.

Ball could be like Morris, Foster or a host of other slower RB's who are good because of everything they do well, but not amazingly well. Davis could be like Chris Henry or a slew of others who look amazing but aren't good RB's. But if I am choosing between them, I prefer taking the risk on Davis, at this point. (Draft depending for both)

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby Julio » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:56 am

The way I look at it is that I would take Ball before Davis depending upon the situation and how my rookie fantasy draft plays out. However, with Ball I would be less likely to reach for him; whereas I think more people are more likely to reach for Davis to see if his athleticism can be parlayed into a viable RB prospect...both in fantasy and reality.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby kmbryant09 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:02 am

Seems like you guys are starting to talk about it, but why are people suggesting that Davis is "more talented"? Based on what? 40-time and bench press reps?

Sure, combine numbers matter - there's a reason the NFL puts these players through the tests and why teams send so many coaches & scouts to watch them.

But talent, as it pertains to a RB, is so far beyond straight-line speed and verticals. What about reading defenses? What about elusiveness? What about breaking tackles? What about setting up your blocks? What about vision? What about sticking your foot in the ground and exploding up-field? What about knowing when to lower your pad level and brace for impact?

Those are the characteristics that define great running backs. Not 40-times and bench press reps. Now I personally haven't studied either of these guys very much, so I won't apply my criteria to each of them.

But just think before you claim that Davis is "more talented" - is he simply faster and stronger? Or does he set up his blockers better? Does he lower his pad level better? Does he have better vision? Etc.
10-team/.5 PPR/5 Pts per Passing TD. Start 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 2FLEX (rb/wr/te)
QB: K. Murray, B. Mayfield, K. Cousins
RB: D Johnson, M. Mack, P. Lindsay, C. Edmonds, M. Walton, G. Bernard, D. Thompson, T. Pollard, M. Davis, R. Bonnafan
WR: O. Beckham Jr., K. Allen, C. Godwin, A. Robinson, C. Kirk, D. Johnson, A. Wilson, R. Higgins, D. Robinson
TE: E. Engram, D. Waller, I. Smith Jr.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby Cy23 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:51 am

kmbryant09 wrote:Seems like you guys are starting to talk about it, but why are people suggesting that Davis is "more talented"? Based on what? 40-time and bench press reps?

Sure, combine numbers matter - there's a reason the NFL puts these players through the tests and why teams send so many coaches & scouts to watch them.

But talent, as it pertains to a RB, is so far beyond straight-line speed and verticals. What about reading defenses? What about elusiveness? What about breaking tackles? What about setting up your blocks? What about vision? What about sticking your foot in the ground and exploding up-field? What about knowing when to lower your pad level and brace for impact?

Those are the characteristics that define great running backs. Not 40-times and bench press reps. Now I personally haven't studied either of these guys very much, so I won't apply my criteria to each of them.

But just think before you claim that Davis is "more talented" - is he simply faster and stronger? Or does he set up his blockers better? Does he lower his pad level better? Does he have better vision? Etc.

I think this is a very good point and should be made (and these talents reviewed by better scouts than myself).

But I explained my feeling that Davis is much more explosive and has a better skillset for the NFL based on his athleticism. I have no idea about all of the other factors, and I will defer to the NFL draft to help me decide this.

However, a similar RB in my opinion might be Demarco Murray. He wasn't drafted until the 4th round and I was able to grab him at 2.07 in my dynasty draft. He had giant question marks but clear talent. I think the things you mentioned are required for a starting RB, but a starting RB with Ball's athleticism might be more limited (and thus have a lower ceiling) than someone with Davis's athleticism, assuming Davis has similar skills.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby kmbryant09 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:30 am

Cy23 wrote: I think this is a very good point and should be made (and these talents reviewed by better scouts than myself).

But I explained my feeling that Davis is much more explosive and has a better skillset for the NFL based on his athleticism. I have no idea about all of the other factors, and I will defer to the NFL draft to help me decide this.

However, a similar RB in my opinion might be Demarco Murray. He wasn't drafted until the 4th round and I was able to grab him at 2.07 in my dynasty draft. He had giant question marks but clear talent. I think the things you mentioned are required for a starting RB, but a starting RB with Ball's athleticism might be more limited (and thus have a lower ceiling) than someone with Davis's athleticism, assuming Davis has similar skills.
So what exactly gives Davis a better skill set?
10-team/.5 PPR/5 Pts per Passing TD. Start 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 2FLEX (rb/wr/te)
QB: K. Murray, B. Mayfield, K. Cousins
RB: D Johnson, M. Mack, P. Lindsay, C. Edmonds, M. Walton, G. Bernard, D. Thompson, T. Pollard, M. Davis, R. Bonnafan
WR: O. Beckham Jr., K. Allen, C. Godwin, A. Robinson, C. Kirk, D. Johnson, A. Wilson, R. Higgins, D. Robinson
TE: E. Engram, D. Waller, I. Smith Jr.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby RobertBobson » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:50 am

dawgs4life wrote: Besides when was the last time a Wisconsin-over used tailback did anything in the NFL


Forget Wisconsin, when's the last time a Big Ten Runningback did anything in the nfl? Eddie George? It seems like every year some big ten running back gets drafted, after shredding the slow lumbering big ten for 2-4 years, and everyone falls in love with him, and he gets 3.5 YPC in the NFL and rots away on your bench. No way am I drafting Montee Ball with that kind of combine performance.
12 team 1 ppr 6 pt all tds
1 qb 2 rb 2 wr 1 rb/wr 1 te 1k
qb Ryan, Vick, nassib, Barkley
RB DMC, Gore, Sporles, Stacy, Hillman, Moreno,
WR aj green,welker, Britt, Blackmon, DeMary
TE Davis, Cook, Housler, Allen

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby Cy23 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:02 am

kmbryant09 wrote:
Cy23 wrote: I think this is a very good point and should be made (and these talents reviewed by better scouts than myself).

But I explained my feeling that Davis is much more explosive and has a better skillset for the NFL based on his athleticism. I have no idea about all of the other factors, and I will defer to the NFL draft to help me decide this.

However, a similar RB in my opinion might be Demarco Murray. He wasn't drafted until the 4th round and I was able to grab him at 2.07 in my dynasty draft. He had giant question marks but clear talent. I think the things you mentioned are required for a starting RB, but a starting RB with Ball's athleticism might be more limited (and thus have a lower ceiling) than someone with Davis's athleticism, assuming Davis has similar skills.
So what exactly gives Davis a better skill set?
I stated, at length, in two separate posts, my thoughts.

To reiterate a third time:
So I don't think that Davis is better than Ball purely because of his numbers at the combine. I also don't think that Ball is better than Davis purely because of his averages and rushing yards in college.

To me, this is where each of us becomes a scout. I personally believe that Davis is an extremely athletic RB who has average or better vision and anything else needed for a RB, he just couldn't stay healthy.

On the other hand, I think Ball is an average RB who has great vision and played for a team capable of rushing the ball.

Extrapolating to the NFL, I think Ball will be at a disadvantage due to his lack of measurables and speed. Morris just showed us that running a 4.6 doesn't mean you aren't a good RB, but I think it stacks the deck against you. He will need to land in a great opportunity or be drafted very high in order for the team to give him the chance to prove himself on the field.

On the other hand, a RB like Davis (or Franklin, or Michael) have measurables that jump out at you. Therefore, as long as they are healthy, I can see them proving themselves in practice and being given a chance to be the starter.
I think the things you mentioned are required for a starting RB, but a starting RB with Ball's athleticism might be more limited (and thus have a lower ceiling) than someone with Davis's athleticism, assuming Davis has similar skills.
So I think that Davis has better tangible, measurable numbers (as you mentioned, and as measured at the Combine) and is at least average or above average in the intangibles you attribute to Ball.
Whereas Ball has some intangibles but is slow and not as athletic, IMO.
Therefore, I am saying that provided Davis has the intangibles necessary to start at RB, he has a much better skillset to be productive based on his athleticism.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby kmbryant09 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:44 am

Cy - I don't really get your argument. The only assessment you've given to Davis that doesn't include his combine is that he has "average or better vision and anything else needed for a RB".

That isn't really helpful. Do you think he breaks a lot of tackles? Do you see him setting up blocks? Is he patient? His numbers don't necessarily prove that, although I personally can't speak to his game tape.

I don't mean to pick on you, I'm just trying to prove a larger point. Just because Player A is more athletic than Player B, that doesn't make him more talented or a better NFL player or prospect. There is a major difference between being an athlete and being an NFL RB. Marshawn Lynch isn't very fast or quick, nor would I guess that he has a great vertical (measuring explosiveness), yet he's one hell of a RB because of his vision, balance, and physicality. None of those 3 things are "tangible" and none of them can be measured by combine stats.
10-team/.5 PPR/5 Pts per Passing TD. Start 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 2FLEX (rb/wr/te)
QB: K. Murray, B. Mayfield, K. Cousins
RB: D Johnson, M. Mack, P. Lindsay, C. Edmonds, M. Walton, G. Bernard, D. Thompson, T. Pollard, M. Davis, R. Bonnafan
WR: O. Beckham Jr., K. Allen, C. Godwin, A. Robinson, C. Kirk, D. Johnson, A. Wilson, R. Higgins, D. Robinson
TE: E. Engram, D. Waller, I. Smith Jr.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby DynastyZ33 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:59 am

Wouldn't touch Knile Davis at all. The physical attributes he possesses never showed up on the field. And he doesn't posses elite intangibles to make up for it.
30 man roster 10 team Dynasty- PPR, 6 point passing TDs 2-4RB 2-4WR 1-3TE
QB: R. Wilson, Foles
RB: E. Lacy, C. Michael, J.Stewart, Bradshaw, L. Taliaferro, J. Starks, B. Cunningham
WR: J. Jones, R. Cobb, M. Evans, J. Blackmon, B. Quick, J. Gordon, Marlon Brown, A. Wilson, J. Janis, M. Wilson, J. Huff, J Wright
TE: Kelce, Bennett
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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby RobertBobson » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:16 am

kmbryant09 wrote:Marshawn Lynch isn't very fast or quick, nor would I guess that he has a great vertical (measuring explosiveness), yet he's one hell of a RB because of his vision, balance, and physicality. None of those 3 things are "tangible" and none of them can be measured by combine stats.
You don't have to "guess" Marshawn's combine results:

40: 4.46 (would have been 3rd in rb's this year)
vert: 35.5 (would have been top five for rbs this year)
Broad: 125 ( would have been tied for 2nd for rbs this year)

He had pedistrian totals in the shuttle (4.58) and 3 cone (7.09) but he had elite measurable in those three catagroies, so he's probably a bad person to bring up for your sample size 1 comparison.
12 team 1 ppr 6 pt all tds
1 qb 2 rb 2 wr 1 rb/wr 1 te 1k
qb Ryan, Vick, nassib, Barkley
RB DMC, Gore, Sporles, Stacy, Hillman, Moreno,
WR aj green,welker, Britt, Blackmon, DeMary
TE Davis, Cook, Housler, Allen

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby RobertBobson » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:37 am

Also, when The Oracle goes off about Narrative based analysis, that is a great example of what he's talking about. Marshawn's measurables are easily discovered with a couple clicks of the mouse. But that doesn't fit someone's argument, so they invent some narrative about him being slow and unexplosive to fit the point they are trying to make, with zero evidence to back up what they are saying is even true. Narratives are the opposite of useful, they only reveal the mind of the narrative maker, and have only coincidental relation to reality.
12 team 1 ppr 6 pt all tds
1 qb 2 rb 2 wr 1 rb/wr 1 te 1k
qb Ryan, Vick, nassib, Barkley
RB DMC, Gore, Sporles, Stacy, Hillman, Moreno,
WR aj green,welker, Britt, Blackmon, DeMary
TE Davis, Cook, Housler, Allen

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby Cy23 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:47 am

kmbryant09 wrote:Cy - I don't really get your argument. The only assessment you've given to Davis that doesn't include his combine is that he has "average or better vision and anything else needed for a RB".

That isn't really helpful. Do you think he breaks a lot of tackles? Do you see him setting up blocks? Is he patient? His numbers don't necessarily prove that, although I personally can't speak to his game tape.

I don't mean to pick on you, I'm just trying to prove a larger point. Just because Player A is more athletic than Player B, that doesn't make him more talented or a better NFL player or prospect. There is a major difference between being an athlete and being an NFL RB. Marshawn Lynch isn't very fast or quick, nor would I guess that he has a great vertical (measuring explosiveness), yet he's one hell of a RB because of his vision, balance, and physicality. None of those 3 things are "tangible" and none of them can be measured by combine stats.
It drives me nuts that you don't quote my posts, as you seem to miss things I have already written. Do you read my posts?

Here is one thing I wrote:
But I explained my feeling that Davis is much more explosive and has a better skillset for the NFL based on his athleticism. I have no idea about all of the other factors, and I will defer to the NFL draft to help me decide this.
To explain further-- many of the things you mentioned (in bold above) are subjective. Therefore, you and I might not agree on them for any prospect available in the NFL draft this year. (However, as someone mentioned, Lynch nailed speed and verticals at the combine)

So my way of mitigating risk is this: I find a threshold that I am comfortable with for athleticism, and I let the NFL draft dictate if the "intangibles" are there. Clearly it is not foolproof, but here is an example...

Step 1: I like RB's who are athletic, as it gives them more opportunities to start and produce. Therefore, I screen RB's at the combine based on what I consider important, such as sub 4.6 40's and other measures of speed and ability to cut.
Step 2: I also prefer RB's who are sturdy, so I might look at height/weight and see a comparison. I might screen RB's based on their current weight and what I guess they can change their weight to be. This usually only removes scat backs or lighter RB's.

This is what you are discussing about with Davis and Ball "based on the combine." Davis is the ideal RB for athleticism, but I have no idea about any other skill he possesses. Ball is at the threshold of where I wouldn't be interested. Had he run a 4.5 (or I think he is capable of a 4.5, based on game speed), I think he might be fast enough to be effective. Had he run a 4.7 or lower, I would probably ignore him completely. As it is now, I am considering him a risk due to his lack of athleticism.

Step 3: I review the NFL draft and see where the RB is drafted. This final step is me using the NFL as a surrogate for my own scouting. It isn't perfect, as Morris and Foster have shown, but it is similar to a practice I hate when misapplied.

Misapplication: Only hiring graduates of an ivy league or top 10 school, with the reasoning being that "they screened the candidates for us, if they can graduate from an ivy league school, they are good enough to work here."

Correct application: Since NFL teams review all candidates (in contrast to the example above, where many excellent candidates may not even apply to ivy league schools for several different reasons), I believe that I can substitute their judgment for my own with regard to an RB's ability. They watch a lot more tape and are paid for their analysis. They don't always get it right, but I think the draft order can be used as an assurance of ability.

Round 1: IMO, if a RB is taken in the 1st round, I don't think twice about whether he has NFL ability. If he busts, it isn't because he didn't show enough ability in college.
Round 2: I typically use this as an indicator that the RB is special enough to be considered average or above average.
Round 3: IMO, the RB has a flaw that can be overcome, such as an injury risk or lack of speed, but in a good situation they can excel
Round 4: I only take the risk on RB's with injury histories, as I assume a fully healthy RB won't be drafted in the 4th round or later unless they lack NFL ability.
Round 5-7 and UDFA: I let someone else take the risk

Example: If Ball is drafted in the 2nd round, I will overlook his lack of speed. If he drops to the 3rd, I will probably consider him more of a plodder and only draft if it is a great opportunity. If in the 4th or later, since he has no injury concern, I will ignore him until 4th+ round in rookie drafts.

If Davis is drafted in the 2nd round, I will overlook his injury history. If he drops to the 3rd or 4th, due to the injury history, I will take a risk on him, but based on where he goes and in which round, I might not use a first round pick on him. If 5th or higher, I will ignore him until 4th+ rounds in rookie drafts.

So you are right, I don't know if Ball or Davis is a good NFL RB. I haven't done the scouting. But this is my (in process) method of mitigating risk and only selecting players I really like.

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Re: A microcosm of a larger point: Montee Ball vs. Knile Dav

Postby RobertBobson » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:57 am

Cy23 wrote:
So my way of mitigating risk is this: I find a threshold that I am comfortable with for athleticism, and I let the NFL draft dictate if the "intangibles" are there. Clearly it is not foolproof, but here is an example...

Step 1: I like RB's who are athletic, as it gives them more opportunities to start and produce. Therefore, I screen RB's at the combine based on what I consider important, such as sub 4.6 40's and other measures of speed and ability to cut.
Step 2: I also prefer RB's who are sturdy, so I might look at height/weight and see a comparison. I might screen RB's based on their current weight and what I guess they can change their weight to be. This usually only removes scat backs or lighter RB's.

This is what you are discussing about with Davis and Ball "based on the combine." Davis is the ideal RB for athleticism, but I have no idea about any other skill he possesses. Ball is at the threshold of where I wouldn't be interested. Had he run a 4.5 (or I think he is capable of a 4.5, based on game speed), I think he might be fast enough to be effective. Had he run a 4.7 or lower, I would probably ignore him completely. As it is now, I am considering him a risk due to his lack of athleticism.

Step 3: I review the NFL draft and see where the RB is drafted. This final step is me using the NFL as a surrogate for my own scouting. It isn't perfect, as Morris and Foster have shown, but it is similar to a practice I hate when misapplied.

Misapplication: Only hiring graduates of an ivy league or top 10 school, with the reasoning being that "they screened the candidates for us, if they can graduate from an ivy league school, they are good enough to work here."

Correct application: Since NFL teams review all candidates (in contrast to the example above, where many excellent candidates may not even apply to ivy league schools for several different reasons), I believe that I can substitute their judgment for my own with regard to an RB's ability. They watch a lot more tape and are paid for their analysis. They don't always get it right, but I think the draft order can be used as an assurance of ability.

Round 1: IMO, if a RB is taken in the 1st round, I don't think twice about whether he has NFL ability. If he busts, it isn't because he didn't show enough ability in college.
Round 2: I typically use this as an indicator that the RB is special enough to be considered average or above average.
Round 3: IMO, the RB has a flaw that can be overcome, such as an injury risk or lack of speed, but in a good situation they can excel
Round 4: I only take the risk on RB's with injury histories, as I assume a fully healthy RB won't be drafted in the 4th round or later unless they lack NFL ability.
Round 5-7 and UDFA: I let someone else take the risk

Example: If Ball is drafted in the 2nd round, I will overlook his lack of speed. If he drops to the 3rd, I will probably consider him more of a plodder and only draft if it is a great opportunity. If in the 4th or later, since he has no injury concern, I will ignore him until 4th+ round in rookie drafts.

If Davis is drafted in the 2nd round, I will overlook his injury history. If he drops to the 3rd or 4th, due to the injury history, I will take a risk on him, but based on where he goes and in which round, I might not use a first round pick on him. If 5th or higher, I will ignore him until 4th+ rounds in rookie drafts.

So you are right, I don't know if Ball or Davis is a good NFL RB. I haven't done the scouting. But this is my (in process) method of mitigating risk and only selecting players I really like.

This is an excellent articulation of what I try to do as well. I think far too many people like to style themselves amateur scouts, feeling they have some special ability to judge college talent that professional scouts do not. I am very skeptical of that. Perhaps some do. I know I do not, and I am comfortable admitting it, so I tend to rest heavily on the talent evaluations of people that I trust, NFL teams and analysts outside the NFL.
12 team 1 ppr 6 pt all tds
1 qb 2 rb 2 wr 1 rb/wr 1 te 1k
qb Ryan, Vick, nassib, Barkley
RB DMC, Gore, Sporles, Stacy, Hillman, Moreno,
WR aj green,welker, Britt, Blackmon, DeMary
TE Davis, Cook, Housler, Allen


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