Denny Carter and Patrick Daugherty discuss the zero-RB appeal in the Detroit Lions' backfield and how rookie Jahmyr Gibbs will fit alongside free agent acquisition David Montgomery.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Denny, where are we looking for zero RB golden nuggets?
DENNY CARTER: Looking to Detroit, which was among the league leaders in expected fantasy points out of the backfield last year. The Lions love to establish it near the goal line, and we have to accept that, I think. We have to say, OK, fine, Amon-Ra St. Brown will never score a touchdown. We have to come to grips with possibly David Montgomery scoring all the touchdowns and possibly Jahmyr Gibbs. We'll see how it unfolds.
But yeah, so you have Montgomery and Gibbs are the two guys, obviously, that we're going to be agonizing over. Montgomery going off the board at RB27. Gibbs going off at RB13. That's risen. Wow.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Yeah, I know. I mean, this is why this is a zero RB backfield, basically.
DENNY CARTER: Yes. And so if you're drafting zero RB, you're not taking Gibbs, unless you're doing a hero RB. Now hero RB--
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: He is fully in the zero RB build.
DENNY CARTER: But when you're doing hero, that gives you a chance to sell out your principles completely and take one good running back. What can that hurt? And I did that with Alvin Kamara last year, and it didn't hurt anything, folks. No, it hurt a lot. It was actually disastrous for me.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: That's why you're no longer employed by us.
DENNY CARTER: Right, and I'm doing the podcast for free. You're welcome.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: It's part of your severance. So typically when an employee gets laid off, not to take people behind the curtain, there's a severance agreement. When Denny was laid off, he actually had to pay a severance to NBC that we ever employed him.
DENNY CARTER: That's right. And 11 years of podcasting.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Part of that is 11 years of podcasting for free, so--
DENNY CARTER: So we're in year one and--
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Sorry. It is May 15th, folks.
DENNY CARTER: Anyway, David Montgomery is going to be on all my teams. That's what I'm saying. RB27.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: I actually do fully agree with that. And I hate to say that because I am one of those drafters-- I love flashy, young players. I love big-play threats. But the Gibbs ADP is just insane to me. I think it could drop a little, but we kind of discussed these group dynamics. It'll probably actually just raise. Or rise. Raise? I don't know. What's the correct term? Rise.
DENNY CARTER: You mean Montgomery.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Yeah. No, no, no, no, Gibbs's. Gibbs's, I think--
DENNY CARTER: Oh yeah.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: --will just continue to get more out of control. And he could be like the next Austin Ekeler. He could be the next Tony Pollard. But that's just not an outcome that you bet on, even with first-round draft capital. And that's what he needs to be to make RB13 even remotely palatable, palatable. I keep saying words I can't pronounce.
DENNY CARTER: Palatable.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Palatable. Wow.
DENNY CARTER: Cleanses the palate.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: And I just-- RB13 is one of the most aspirational ADPs I've seen all spring. And you hate to go back to D-Mont nation. But the RB27 in a proven two-back backfield with a rookie who is just straight up a change of pace, at least this year.
DENNY CARTER: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: RB27. I mean, David Montgomery is inheriting the Jamaal Williams role, which led the league in touchdowns last year.
DENNY CARTER: And people will say, well, that can't last. And yes, that's probably true. He's not going to end up, Montgomery-- you can't pencil in Montgomery for 17, 18 touchdowns, obviously. What you can pencil him in for are extremely high-value touches.
And that's really a key in identifying good zero RB candidates is seeing where those high-value touches-- high-value touches being receptions and being touches inside the 10 in what we call the green zone, we in the industry call the green zone. So we want we want that sweet green zone touch base floor for a running back like Montgomery, who is not flashy.
And he's not going to put up crazy numbers. He's not going to lead the league in yards after contact or anything. But he gets what's there. And you know what, Dan Campbell loves him. And that's all I care about.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: And I definitely think the Jamaal Williams role is staying in the Lions offense. And--
DENNY CARTER: Yes.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: --it's partly to do with Jared Goff, who the coaches hide him in the red zone. They just don't-- they're terrified of Jared Goff turning the ball over in the red zone. He's played with so much offensive talent and so much offensive brainpower with his offensive coordinators, and he's had one 30-touchdown season ever. He had 29 touchdowns in 17 games this year, which is not a horrible total.
But coaching staffs do not want to put a lot on Jared Goff's plate in the red zone. They don't want him making a crippling turnover. And so even though Jamaal Williams is gone, that role is remaining. And there's just zero reason to believe it's going to be Jahmyr Gibbs, the change of pace rookie, and every reason to believe it's going to be the grizzled veteran, David Montgomery.
DENNY CARTER: So just to give folks an idea of how run-heavy Detroit was last year in the red zone-- and this will actually kind of be a sneak peek at my next article for the site-- the Lions ran the ball on 50.3% of their red zone snaps last year. That was the seventh-highest rush rate in the league, OK? So it was--
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Wow, only the seventh.
DENNY CARTER: It was up there, yeah.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: I'm kind of shocked it was only seventh, but not at all surprised to hear they were in the top 10. Real quick, there are six Lions running backs with ADPs on underdog right now.
DENNY CARTER: Geez.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Undrafted rookie Mohammad Ibrahim is the RB87 apparently.
DENNY CARTER: Wow.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Fullback Jason Cabinda is the RB108. And then Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson, who I guess they're still in the 53-man roster, both still have ADPs.
DENNY CARTER: So that's remarkable. So the--
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: When we're talking psychos, folks.
DENNY CARTER: Yeah, the player from Minnesota, Ibrahim.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Yes.
DENNY CARTER: He had like 1 million rushing yards in college.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: He's also like 69 years old.
DENNY CARTER: Yeah. No, he's aged. He's three months older than me. So that's a--
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: That's real bad.
DENNY CARTER: --concern.
PATRICK DAUGHERTY: Real bad. And one reason why your wife continues to call 1-800-Denny.