What to do about Todd Gurley?

Todd Gurley Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley was the running back to own in both 2017 and 2018 and won a ton of people their fantasy championships during this time. In both years, Gurley finished the season as the RB1, scoring 383.3 and 385.8, respectively, in PPR leagues. He could do it all - handle a heavy workload as well as be a legitimate threat in the passing game. His touchdowns came in waves! Gurley scored 19 TDs in 2017 and 21 touchdowns in 2018 and was in the perfect offense to utilize his talent.

As the season wore on, Gurley’s arthritic knee started acting up, which limited his playing time in a couple of the most important games of his life - the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints, and Super Bowl LIII against the New England Patriots. Against the Saints, Gurley managed to get a touchdown, but only had 10 yards on 4 carries. In the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the year and of his career, Gurley managed 35 yards on 10 carries and had -2 yards receiving on 1 reception. His injury severely limited his ability and since he was clearly limited, was locked up with ease by the opposing defenses when he was on the field.

Looking Back at 2019

Entering last season, Gurley had a lot of injury concerns and was the 10th RB off the board with an average ADP of 2.04. Even with this lower price tag to acquire the RB1 from years’ past, Gurley failed to beat his ADP. He ended the regular season with 857 yards on 222 carries but surprisingly was able to score 12 touchdowns in the 15 games he played. While he did not cross 100 yards rushing in any game, he was close, with at least 95 yards in 3 contests in 2019. Ultimately, Gurley finished as the RB14 in PPR leagues, and while this wasn’t the ceiling owners hoped and prayed for, he did provide value for those who were able to draft him much later in their leagues.

After being held to his lowest rushing total since he entered the league, and the second- lowest amount of receptions since his rookie year, I think we have seen his absolute floor if he remains even semi-healthy. When Todd Gurley is active on game day, he’s going to give you a decent floor with a chance at 20+ points on any given slate.

New Team and Role

Todd Gurley signed a one-year deal in the off-season with the Atlanta Falcons and seemingly has new life on another high-octane, Pro Bowl-caliber offense. Gurley couldn’t have entered a much better offense with little-to-no competition in the backfield.

Todd Gurley has an extremely safe floor this season. In addition to the already heavy workload he’ll be given between the 20s, with Brian Hill, Qadree Ollison, and Ito Smith behind him on the depth chart, he’s due to receive the majority of the goal line work too. Even if his health is not at 100%, his weekly production can always be saved, even on a down week. The Rams’ Week 7 matchup against the Falcons last year was Gurley’s worst rushing performance of the season where he had 5 carries for 15 yards. What saved him? He finished with 2 touchdowns based on his exclusive goal-line work. Atlanta’s offense is expected to be elite this year and this once again bodes well for Gurley and his attempts near the end zone and his receiving totals.

Draft or Pass on Todd Gurley in 2020?

Gurley has a reasonably-priced ADP this season and in 12-team, PPR leagues, he’s being drafted at 2.12 which equates to the 15th running back being selected off the board. To get ahead in Fantasy Football, calculated risks need to be taken. While you can’t afford to have any of your top draft choices to bust during the season, not many RBs being drafted near the third-round have quite the weekly floor or upside that Gurley presents. After a down year, in a new offense that presents itself as one of the best in the NFL, Gurley is in a perfect spot, barring further injury, to finish as the RB5 or greater this year. Draft Todd Gurley.

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