Berry on Kincaid's fit in BUF, Devon Achane in MIA
Matthew Berry, Connor Rogers and Jay Croucher run through the latest news around the NFL, including how the Bills might use Dalton Kincaid in their offense, Devon Achane's outlook in Miami and much more.
CONNOR ROGERS: --get there, though-- a ton of Rotoworld headlines to get through. Kind of a weird year in the NFL calendar, as it is schedule release week. But a lot of transactional moves going on as well.
But let's start elsewhere, as ESPN's Alaina Getzenberg believes-- and this is something we talked about when he was drafted-- she believes the Bills will use tight end Dalton Kincaid, their first round pick, more like a wide receiver this season. As soon as he got drafted, I feel like the reaction from this desk was, well, this is their new slot receiver.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah, 1,000%. Like, they're just reporting what we've already said.
JAY CROUCHER: Yes.
MATTHEW BERRY: So I mean, thank you. Like, kudos to us. Like, let's-- like, I'm patting myself on the back.
CONNOR ROGERS: Yes.
MATTHEW BERRY: No, but in all seriousness, we said this on draft night when we talked about it. We talked about this, Connor, that you felt like Dalton Kincaid had the best hands in the draft, that this was a guy-- he's not a blocking tight end.
CONNOR ROGERS: Not at all, no.
MATTHEW BERRY: Right, so we talked about his ability to catch the ball. No tight end had more receptions last year than Dalton Kincaid. And you think about the Buffalo Bills, you know, I mean, they got the ghost of Cole Beasley off his couch last year because they were so desperate for slot production, right? I mean, they lost Jamison Crowder in the preseason last year. Only seven teams in the NFL had more targets in the slot than the Buffalo Bills. They were eighth in slot targets. And now, 78 slot targets are available, as you see-- you see sort of the names there on your screen.
So I think Kincaid suddenly becomes really interesting because he qualifies at tight end. He's going to a high octane offense that likes to pass to the slot. I think he's-- I don't know that he's right there as a top 10. But like, if you draft a second tight end, like, all of a sudden, he becomes really interesting. And he sort of vaults to the top of tight end premium dynasty leagues.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, and I think as well that they just need to diversify their offense outside of Stefon Diggs, too. I think we saw last season, particularly in the games against me and Connor's Jets, when Sauce Gardner was on Stefon Diggs, and Diggs just got taken out, particularly in the second game, Bills just didn't really have anything else to do because Gabe Davis was banged up. And so now, they get another option. And yeah, he should be used if he's good enough.
MATTHEW BERRY: Right. If you think about Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs, especially a healthy Gabe Davis-- remember, we talked about the fact that he had that high ankle sprain for much of last year that limited his production. So another year of Gabe Davis, now hopefully, fully healthy, Stefon Diggs on the outside, you've got Shakir in the slot as well.
James Cook should have a bigger role. He's a nice pass catching running back. And Dalton Kincaid-- and all of a sudden, hey, what do you know? The Bills offense is going to be pretty good.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
MATTHEW BERRY: Hashtag #analysis.
JAY CROUCHER: Josh Allen allegedly not going to run as much. Like, we'll see if that happens. But--
MATTHEW BERRY: That, I don't believe.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, me neither.
MATTHEW BERRY: That, I don't--
CONNOR ROGERS: When it hits the fan, Josh Allen's going to run. One more transactional move here for the Bills-- they signed Latavius Murray to a one-year contract. This backfield's suddenly very crowded.
You have James Cook, who was a second round pick two years ago. They also signed Damien Harris much earlier in the offseason. They traded for Nyheim Hines last year. Now, they signed Latavius Murray.
JAY CROUCHER: Too many guys.
CONNOR ROGERS: It's a lot of guys, but this feels like the depth move that probably concerns you the least, I would say.
MATTHEW BERRY: It's-- it's a depth move. To me, it's more of a concern for Damien Harris. I don't know that both those guys make this team. I just-- I can't see Damien Harris and Latavius Murray playing special teams.
You've got James Cook. And I feel like contractually, they're sort of stuck with Hines. Like, I mean, I feel like he really makes more money than you think he does. Like, I remember we showed a graphic earlier, and it was--
CONNOR ROGERS: Like, a top 10 paid running back.
MATTHEW BERRY: Like, he's making, like, $6 million a year. And I just don't know if they can get out of that. And so
CONNOR ROGERS: And he does play special teams, so that helps, too. Hines plays special teams, while the rest of the guys don't.
MATTHEW BERRY: So one-- right. So it just feels like with those four guys, like, one of them is likely not making the team, maybe. I mean, we'll see if this is depth. But again, feels like of-- forgetting everything else, just from a pure talent standpoint, James Cook is a step above all these guys. Like, I don't think it's particularly close.
And so it does-- it does mean that maybe there's less touchdown equity for Cook because whether Harris or Murray are both really good around the goal line-- but so it's more of a concern to me about James Cook's fantasy value than it is suddenly, Latavius Murray is interesting.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, and I think with the Buffalo backfield, like, all you want from a fantasy perspective is clarity for James Cook. That's the only thing that matters because you're not going to get excited about Damien Harris, or if Latavius Murray has a good game, or Nyheim Hines has a big game catching the ball. Like, all you want is a clear lane for James Cook to the maximum usage. And this just clogs that further.
MATTHEW BERRY: If he can get Devin Singletary's role from last year down the stretch, where they use Singletary significantly, then it becomes interesting. So this is a story-- this is a story to watch. But I think this is actually-- of all the potential landing spots for Murray, I actually think this is the worst because it is so crowded.
CONNOR ROGERS: Another interesting running back room in the AFC, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said Trayveon Williams could have a role in the team's backfield. When you look at this one, a little different from the Bills.
We know there's Joe Mixon at the top. Everybody's looking at June 1 because after June 1, they can save a lot of money on Joe Mixon's deal if they want to move on from him. After that, they drafted Chase Brown this year, really good athlete out of Illinois, Trayveon Williams, who obviously, Zac Taylor is apparently high on, and Chris Evans here to round out this group, where with Samaje Perine out the door here, Jay, there might be some opportunity.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, definitely. And I think Trayveon Williams clearly has talent, and just the opportunity just for touchdowns. And this is such a-- I mean, the Bengals have the ultimate, like, 3-point shooting offense with a spaced floor for you to drive, basically. And so there's going to be huge equity and potential for any running back who seizes the role. And it just doesn't seem like Joe Mixon's going to be there.
CONNOR ROGERS: I felt the same way. A lot of their quotes have been very odd about him in the offseason. He's on the team situation when you look at when the money can be freed up. So we'll wait and see on that one. But undoubtedly, whether it's Chase Brown or Trayveon Williams, somebody behind him is going to be able to carve out a role.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah, look, and this is a guy that I liked quite a bit coming out of-- coming out of Texas A&M.
JAY CROUCHER: One of your Aggies.
MATTHEW BERRY: One of my Aggies as well. It's interesting because I remember being at the Combine a couple of years ago. And because he's-- I have Trayveon Williams in one of my dynasty leagues, and so-- and because he's a Texas A&M guy, I was just like, hey, what do you think about Trayveon Williams?
And I was talking to the Bengals running back coach at the time. He's no longer on the team, the coach is, he's moved on. And he said, we love Trayveon Williams. This kid is so good in practice.
And for whatever reason, whether that's because he got beat out by Samaje Perine, and then they drafted Evans, and like, just for whatever reason, Trayveon Williams has not been able to sort of crack the lineup, which is a little concerning because Zac Taylor's been there the whole time. And now, he's talking him up. And it's like, well, you've had the dude for, like, three or four years.
Having said that, sure, there's an easy scenario to see a significant amount of playing time for Trayveon Williams. Now, if they let go of Joe Mixon, do they go on and sign a veteran? Ezekiel Elliott is still out there. Leonard Fournette is still out there.
But the fact of the matter is, is there is-- to your point, in fantasy, we hope for clarity. We look for-- fantasy success comes from opportunity and talent. I still believe Trayveon Williams has talent. And the Bengals are saying all the right things in the offseason. So is there opportunity?
And given the June 1 potential cap casualty of Joe Mixon, there is a path to playing time. And even if Mixon comes back, that Samaje Perine role is still available.
JAY CROUCHER: I mean, it's kind of-- maybe we haven't talked about it enough. Like, it's one of the most random situations in the NFL from a fantasy perspective, in that the Bengals running back-- the Bengals might have the best offense in football. Like, that's--
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah.
JAY CROUCHER: --on the cards. And they don't really have a running back, necessarily at the moment. Like, it's Joe Mixon by default. But Trayveon Williams could just slide in there, or just a random guy could slide in there and be a top 10 running back next year.
CONNOR ROGERS: Another A&M running back in the news-- Devon Achane taken by the Miami Dolphins. ESPN's Marcel Louis-Jacques wrote that Mike McDaniel lobbied heavily. That doesn't surprise anybody. What does Mike McDaniel want for his offense? Speed. What did Achane bring in this draft at the position? Some of the best speed at the running back spot.
So for Miami, it's going to be interesting. Raheem Mostert's back. Jeff Wilson's back. But when those guys get hurt, or even if they don't, it feels like they'll scheme up some touches for Achane.
MATTHEW BERRY: I love this landing spot for him dynasty-wise. And I think he's a great late round flier in redraft leagues this year. He's going to be third on the depth chart between-- on what should still be a pass-first offense, but behind Mostert and Wilson.
But to your point, both those guys have had significant injury issues over the last couple of years. And so the fact that McDaniel lobbied hard for Achane-- he is a great fit for Miami. We talked about this draft night. I was thrilled with this landing spot for him.
He's a kid that I root for, again, as a Texas A&M Aggie fan, as a guy that grew up in College Station, I like my Aggies, gig 'em. And Achane, I've watched a lot of his film over the years. And like, kid can play.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, and you know who else has got injury concerns, is Tua Tagovailoa. So I wonder if they're going to run the ball a bit more this coming season, particularly now they've got three weapons. Like, Jeff Wilson was really good when he got there. And Raheem Mostert had some incredible games. Think back to the late season game against Buffalo in particular, where he was just running all over them.
CONNOR ROGERS: Friend of the podcast.
JAY CROUCHER: Friend of the show. And so Achane is certainly going to have a role. Like, what's his ceiling this season, Connor? Can he be really fantasy relevant if he gets the opportunity?
CONNOR ROGERS: I think he can because he can hit the big play. That's the big thing with Achane. And if McDaniel's offense finds ways to get quick touches to the speed guys, and if you could do that with Achane-- they used him, honestly, in college, as you know, in-between the tackles a lot for a smaller running back. Maybe in the Miami offense, there's a little bit more open opportunities for him on screens, swing passes.
So listen, when those guys get banged up, yeah, he's extremely relevant right away because of that big play element. And you bring up your point, Jay, about them running the ball a little bit more. Mike McDaniel really made his roots on being the run game coordinator under Kyle Shanahan for the Niners. So--
JAY CROUCHER: It's a very, very Shanahan-y thing to do, to take a running back in the third round like this. I mean, who's his comp? Who's he most like in the league, would you say, Achane?
MATTHEW BERRY: I had a throwback comp on him, Jahvid Best, who had a career-ending injury situation. But when he played, he was explosive. I thought he was the same exact player, similar size, similar skill set. So a little bit of a throwback with Achane.
JAY CROUCHER: Cool. Like it.
CONNOR ROGERS: All right, another one here, guys, looking at the Bears-- The Athletic's Adam Jahns believes the Bears don't want a bell cow running back in the offense this season. Obviously, another crowded situation. They drafted Roschon Johnson this year, which a lot of people are very high on.
They signed D'Onta Foreman. They have Khalil Herbert back again. Travis Homer is a part of this backfield.
And here's the thing, Berry-- we know how much Justin Fields commands touches in the running game as well.
MATTHEW BERRY: They don't want a bell cow running back, but the situation may be solved for them. The fact of the matter is, is that they may have to pick one. And they're going to be pretty run-heavy.
Like, again, they added DJ Moore, which is great. But this should still be a run-heavy team. They should still be-- it's Chicago. It's cold weather. It's, like, all the clichés, right?
I mean, obviously, they improved the offensive line, which is big. And because of Fields' athleticism and his ability to run, that opens up things for the rest of the run game because you always have to keep a linebacker to spy on Fields. Otherwise, he's going to kill you.
So I do think there's a scenario where-- and again, there's four solid running backs there. But I do feel like there'll be some value from Foreman and Herbert, you know what I mean? Like, and if one of those guys kind of pops, like, they're not going to keep him off the field. They're not going to be like, hey, sorry, I know-- Khalil Herbert, I know you're doing awesome. But too bad we've got to get some touches for Foreman or Roschon Johnson. They're just-- they're not going to do that. They're going to play the best players.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, I've read this as good news for Roschon Johnson, the fact that there's no one established between Foreman and Herbert. They're not getting behind, oh, Herbert's going to be the guy this year like we thought he might have been last season. I mean, Roschon Johnson, Connor, is he someone who could step in and be a 240 carry guy this season?
CONNOR ROGERS: Easily. I mean, this was Bijan Robinson's backup. Any other program in the country, he's the starter. He has talent.
Here's the thing with Roschon Johnson-- he comes in ready in pass pro. So coaches will trust to get him on the field. He's got soft hands. He's a tough downhill runner. I think they get into camp and look at him and go, maybe this guy is our best running back right now. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.
And to enhance your point, Berry, about them being a run team, they took a run-blocking, heavy right tackle with the 10th overall pick in the draft.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah, that guy's a mauler. And the fact is, is that they're-- all these guys, I think, Foreman, Herbert, and Johnson, are all viable late round fliers, right, especially if you're doing best ball drafts right now, like, they're all viable late round fliers here. We've seen all these guys.
We've seen Foreman have a lot of success. We've seen Herbert, when he got the run when Montgomery was out, we've seen him have a lot of success in the NFL. And obviously, expectations are high for Johnson in this role.
So yeah, you know, I mean, it's one of those things that we'll wait to see. I do feel like at some point, somebody will emerge.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
MATTHEW BERRY: There's three good guys there.
JAY CROUCHER: Roschon Johnson, 35 to 1 Offensive Rookie of the Year. I wouldn't probably bet that now, but something to pay attention to out of camp if he kind of emerges as the guy.
CONNOR ROGERS: I mean, at those odds, those are Hail Mary odds. And he's somebody that truly has the build to be a 1A--
MATTHEW BERRY: But I agree with you, there's-- he's got talented running backs before him. But there's no one that they've sort of planted their flag in. And so I think it will be best guy. And we'll see if it's a bit of a committee.
But I do think Chicago's going to be run-heavy enough and a good enough offense that there will be some flex value in multiple running backs with the Bears.
CONNOR ROGERS: More rookie news here-- our very own Peter King believes a slow start by the Titans could result in Will Levis starting for the team by November. Ryan Tannehill on an expiring contract. Obviously, Ryan Tannehill dealt with the ankle last year.
But I'll say this-- one, I don't think Will Levis is even close to being ready to play.
MATTHEW BERRY: Right.
CONNOR ROGERS: Two, Ryan Tannehill's not bad when healthy.
MATTHEW BERRY: No.
JAY CROUCHER: I don't understand why people don't like Ryan--
CONNOR ROGERS: I don't get it, either.
JAY CROUCHER: Ryan Tannehill's, like, the 15th best quarterback in the league.
CONNOR ROGERS: And sometimes better, honestly.
JAY CROUCHER: He took them to a one seed when Derrick Henry missed half the season. Like, Ryan Tannehill is good. I just don't understand why they don't like him.
CONNOR ROGERS: Other than AJ Brown, name one viable wide receiver he's ever had.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
CONNOR ROGERS: I mean, other than AJ Brown, like, he's just been out there with a bunch of, like, also-rans.
JAY CROUCHER: Russell Westbrook-Ikhine.
MATTHEW BERRY: Right-- I mean, right, exactly. I mean, honestly--
CONNOR ROGERS: Speaks volumes--
MATTHEW BERRY: I mean, no, seriously, the ghost of Robert Woods last year. I mean, they just-- so yeah, I don't get that. Look, Peter is as plugged in as any person in the NFL that's been covering, so I don't doubt that there's some truth to this. Like, there's some smoke to that fire.
But it does seem like that would be a total-- it would have to be a complete catastrophe. And when you think about the AFC South, like, we think the Colts will be better. We're expecting good things out of the Jaguars. But it's not-- there's not a team where you feel like, well, they're running away with that division.
JAY CROUCHER: No.
MATTHEW BERRY: The Titans played good enough defense, and they run the ball well enough that they're going to be in most-- and Mike Vrabel's a good enough coach. It's hard to see a scenario where it's November, and they're 2 and 7. It's just hard to see that scenario.
JAY CROUCHER: I think they've pretty clearly got the best defense in the division, and the second best quarterback in the division. When you think-- you're not going to expect much out of Indy and Houston quarterbacks this season. So also, it's just like, Malik Willis, does he exist still? Is he just a complete write-off? Like, why is he still--
CONNOR ROGERS: To them, it feels like he doesn't.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yes. I mean, honestly, like, that, to me, that's much more of, like, dirt on the water of Malik Willis.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
MATTHEW BERRY: Or dirt on the grave, I guess. I don't know, water on the-- water on the flour? I don't know. I mixed metaphors.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, yeah, the juleps.
MATTHEW BERRY: Listen, I had 26 of them.
CONNOR ROGERS: The over did hit, Jay.
MATTHEW BERRY: The over did hit.
CONNOR ROGERS: Whatever.
MATTHEW BERRY: It just feels like-- so yeah--
JAY CROUCHER: Maybe.
MATTHEW BERRY: The fact is that it just-- with Malik Willis, understand that it's a new regime, right? It's a brand-new general manager. And it does feel like them trading up into the second round to go get Will Levis is kind of like a way for them to say, like, we're waving the white flag on Malik Willis. We just don't think he's ever going to get there.
To me, that's what this report is, is that it's not like, hey, if things are going south and we have to totally tear it down and rebuild, we're going to-- it'll be Willis or Levis. The report is, it's going to be Levis.
JAY CROUCHER: What's your read on Malik Willis? Did you like him coming out of the draft? Did you-- what did you see from him last season?
CONNOR ROGERS: I didn't think he was a first round-caliber quarterback. But I liked enough tools where you take him and develop him. I think for the Titans, there's a situation where he could have been thrusted into playing, and he's not ready to play.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
CONNOR ROGERS: And he's a smaller quarterback that was an older prospect, but electric runner with a big arm. And you see what happens with guys like that. And for the Titans, they don't really seem interested in seeing what happens with a guy like that.
MATTHEW BERRY: I mean, it's worth noting that, like, they were in a playoff-- again, they had a-- they needed to beat the Jaguars to make the playoffs.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
MATTHEW BERRY: And they decided to sign Josh Dobbs, who they signed off of practice squad three weeks earlier, to start that game, than Malik Willis, who'd been in camp the entire-- who'd been in camp, and had been in the building the entire year.
JAY CROUCHER: Listen, Malik Willis did a great job handing the ball off to Derrick Henry against the Texans for 220 yards. Great job.
CONNOR ROGERS: This is factually correct. ESPN's David Newton writes, the goal is to get Miles Sanders back to where he was as a rookie in 2019, when he caught 50 passes. Berry, obviously a lot of opportunity for Miles Sanders now on the Panthers. This feels a little lofty, no?
MATTHEW BERRY: He's had under 30 receptions and under 200 receiving yards each of the past three seasons. He ranked last-- this is incredible, guys-- last year, Miles Sanders ranked last among running backs in yards per reception and yards per target among running backs with at least 25 targets. Like, there wasn't one running back worse than Sanders in those categories in the NFL.
And by the way, the other weird thing here is, is that, like, Chuba Hubbard's a nice pass catching running back.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
MATTHEW BERRY: Now, and-- so he's a nice pass catching running back. Now, I get it because Carolina, like, they're sitting there like, well, if he doesn't throw to the running back, who's he throwing to? Adam Thielen? DJ Chark? Like, Jonathan Mingo? Like, there's not-- it's not like a lot of guys that are going to command targets for the Panthers.
But it just feels like you didn't draft Bryce Young to dump it off to the running back. This one-- this one feels like offseason, like sort of-- like, on my old show, we used to do sort of, like, a news or noise.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah.
MATTHEW BERRY: And this feels like noise.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, I already saw a few tweets, Matthew, about Raheem Blackshear vulturing touchdowns from Miles Sanders because you know that's coming.
MATTHEW BERRY: Throwing the [? jewel ?] up against the wall, very upset.