The Three and Out: Isaiah Crowell is being undervalued by the experts - Roto Street Journal
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The Three and Out: Isaiah Crowell is being undervalued by the experts

After another week of darkness, I have come back out to the light to see a ranking battle that baffles the mind. What we have on our hands is the classic battle of great talents on crappy teams. While one was a highly touted runner out of college, the other was described as:

“Average balance and tackle-breaking power. Cannot make his own holes and goes down too easy on contact, especially inside. Minimal receiving production. Soft, disinterested pass protector. Lacks top finishing speed. Effort waned late in games. Beats to the tune of his own drummer. Extremely immature and has a history of off-field issues. Can be difficult to coach.”

Last season, these two finished within 7 fantasy points of each other, but the price of one broke fantasy owner’s hearts worldwide. The other was a mid-to-late round flier. If you have not figured it out by now, I am talking about the decision you will have to make for the 11th (or 12th?) running back off the board; Isaiah Crowell vs. Todd Gurley.

Classic Cock move to put Mark Ingram as your RB 15 and Crowell as the 20. Classic Cock.

In most current rankings, these players will be featured side by side. This includes the likes of CBS, NFL, Matthew Berry, and the most important expert, our very own, The Wolf. And then there are “experts” such as Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN. Cockcroft has Crowell way down the line as his RB20. Then there’s Field Yates (updated 6/20), who Crowell at RB34 (!) in PPR and RB29 (!) in standard, behind the likes of Adrian PetersonRobert KelleyC.J. Anderson and a bunch of other undeserving backs.

How the hell am I stuck in a broom closet working for less than nothing while these ass-clowns have full time jobs? Screw this. Cock pissed me off. Crowell is better and here is why:

1. The line of the Browns.

Here is something I did not think I’d be doing only a few months ago: praising the Browns. While their wide receivers and quarterback(s) are trash, they boast a top 5 line in the NFL. With the addition of JC Tretter and Kevin Zeitiler to go along with Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio and Shon Coleman, many running lanes will open up for Cro. Even better is the fact that Zeitlier played for Hue Jackson in Cincinnati. When in Cincinnati, Zeitlier helped Jeremy Hill break out in his rookie season, lead by Jackson’s scheme. I feel weird about being so excited about the O-line, but god dammit I want to give someone a hug just thinking about it.

2. His coach loves to run the football

Hue Jackson was not a bright person in 2016. He made many mistakes last season, and his largest mistake was his misuse of the talented Isaiah Crowell. After being known for calling rush attempt after rush attempt as an offensive coordinator, last season the Browns were tied for last in the league in rushing attempts with the Detroit Lions. Fantasy owners around the world would have given a first round pick to just punch Hue Jackson in the head.

“I beat myself up about that,” Jackson said in regards about his misuse of Crowell. “The guy [Crowell] had almost 1,000 yards a year ago when I didn’t hand him the ball, what can he have if I do hand him the ball?”

Fantasy owner’s boners can be seen from the moon with the idea of having Crowell rush the ball as much as a Jackson-led team ran the ball in the past. This season we have a chance to see a true workhorse back with a stacked O-Line in front of him. Good lord, the idea alone just had me from six to midnight.

3. He isn’t too expensive

Mention the Browns to five of your closest friends and watch them all shutter in pain thinking about how bad they are. Bad teams have a hard time pushing out high fantasy performers — everyone knows that — BUT this is a whole different Browns team from last season. Others in your league will not believe that, however they will not dive deep enough into the offensive line additions and look at the promising defense as something any owner can capitalize off. The Browns will lose, but they will lose in a much more convincing manor, making it so Crowell will be a real threat to break into the RB1 category.

What the people say:

Every week I will include some of my favorite tweets on the subject of my future column. This week I tweeted out a poll that was a softball that WAY too many people failed on.

I cannot believe that 47% of people were wrong, especially the 40% saying he will be worse than the RB14. But here are some of my favorite tweets in response (make sure to give them all a follow):

There it is. I honestly believe that when weighing all of the pros and cons, Crowell is a fantastic RB2 and a serviceable RB1 to any fantasy team.

Follow me on twitter at @InternRSJ to take my polls for future Three and Outs — the interactions this week were fantastic and I’m always really happy to get other ideas (that are usually wrong.)


  • Roto Street Football Intern. Owner of the fastest demotion of all time. Bobby Orr once told me to die. Will keep dabbing until it's cool again.

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