Dynasty Sleeper Marcus Lattimore
Dynasty owners are always looking for the next big thing. The next player not being talked about that can make an impact in the future for their team. A player that can slip through the cracks of popularity due to one thing or another and can then be acquired for little to no investment. A player that fits this description perfectly is newly drafted San Francisco 49er, Marcus Lattimore. While many are scared away from him due to multiple gruesome knee injuries, there is a silver lining and nobody can benefit more than savvy dynasty owners that are looking for an up-and-coming running back on the cheap. Now don’t get me wrong, it takes a special kind of owner mentality, expectation, and strategy to see the positive in Marcus Lattimore, but it’s there. Here are a few things to consider when considering Marcus Lattimore’s future and your dynasty teams.
The first thing to consider is how you plan to acquire Lattimore. While some will look at him in start-up drafts for new leagues, or offseason auctions, most will likely consider him in a rookie draft scenarios. Rookie-only drafts are pretty much a standard and one of the most fun aspects of dynasty fantasy football. Focusing on that prospective, lets think of team building philosophy. Most of the time, NFL team owners, as well as fantasy owners, expect players taken in the first round, especially the top few picks, to contribute immediately. If they can’t, then that might be a good sign to pass for now, and hope the player is available later in the draft. That’s exactly what happened with the San Francisco 49ers selecting Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The Niners are the perfect team to take on Lattimore, as Super Bowl contenders with an already loaded backfield. This will allow him to basically “red-shirt” and rehab for a year, while learning the play book. Within a year or two Marcus Lattimore will hopefully be ready to see the field for the 49ers.
I have always advised people to go with their gut, and if someone wants to take Marcus Lattimore with a top five rookie pick, then go for it. However I also often advise owners to manage and build dynasty teams like NFL franchises do. The approach and situation that dynasty owners should take to select Lattimore should mirror the same concept as the 49ers. Fantasy football will always drive up the draft stock of running backs regardless of the situation. That’s just the nature of the game given all the running back by committee situations in the league today. Marcus Lattimore is a great target for contending teams picking in the back half of the first round in rookie drafts that don’t have an immediate need at the running back position, while also possessing the roster space to stash Lattimore for a year or two. Taking this approach sets you up for a potential stud running back down the road. There is very low risk, or “reach” factor involved as well. In my opinion if you’re drafting a player for depth purposes, and he doesn’t pan out, no big deal. The only problem here lies if you’re selecting Marcus Lattimore to be an immediate contributor. It’s just not going to happen. Overall I think if you take the same approach to Marcus Lattimore that the 49ers did, it is a no-0brainer and could pay off in the future, as good running backs are hard to come by in dynasty leagues.