Dynasty Hot Routes: Why Do Players Fail?

The mission of this article is to make our in-house experts sizzle and bristle over the hot button issues that face dynasty owners. Our experts make the entire route tree HOT as they address topics from the world of IDP, Devy, Start/Sit, Non-PPR (standard scoring), PPR, and everything in between. Try not to get burned by all the fiery YAC below! This is Dynasty Hot Routes!

Why do Running Backs fail?

Joshua Johnson @DFF_ Cog – Injuries can kill careers of pro athletes. When RBs get injured below the waist they are usually never the same again. Also, you are correct, Adrian Peterson is indeed a cyborg. Vision is a must-have as Trent Richardson has proven time and time again. Holes are created to thwart. Creativity on the fly not only makes you hard to prepare for but is also just fun to watch. Nowadays, it seems like you must be an asset in the passing game. Otherwise, you are expendable. Finally, contact balance is a huge part of what makes the difference between a three-yard run and five- to 20-yard run. Basically, those chunk plays matter a ton. Backs must be able to run through contact to achieve such impactful gains.

Matt Walker @DFF_Walk – The most obvious answer is offensive line, but I place some value on skill set and situation. It may sound overly simplistic, but running backs with a two-down skill set will ultimately fail outside of structure – and situation is always subject to change. Find me a running back that is game-script-proof, and I will show you one that is far less likely to fail.

Kyle Francis @FranchiseKF – I have never really researched this topic. I think several of the main reasons would be injury, playing behind a poor offensive line, or making themselves more expendable by not being an asset in the passing game.

Kalib Drake @DFF_Guru – Lack of “good” opportunity is the first thing that comes to mind. Many great running backs have been drafted by teams with sub-par offensive lines or just bad overall situations (e.g. Todd Gurley before McVay). No matter how talented you are, if your first contact with the defense is always behind the line of scrimmage, you can’t put up consistently great production. Knee injuries also come to mind. A lot of great players get overworked and wind up getting injured. Most players don’t look the same after ACL tears and other knee injuries. You must be healthy to be productive.

Why do Wide Receivers fail?

Joshua Johnson @DFF_ Cog – The Primadonna effect is the not-so-nice translation of the term ”my ball attitude.” Granted the ”my ball” thing can also mean the WRs fight for 50/50 balls or jump balls. Some WRs just think they need the ball on every play. They spend so much time running their mouths when they should be expending energy getting open or blocking. You know… helping their team win. They could also be studying the playbook, opponents’ weaknesses, and coverage patterns.

I suppose you could point at route-running and playing out of position as failure factors. Yet, maturity is realizing you are one piece of an 11-piece offense machine. That is the first major step in succeeding and earning quality snaps at the professional level.

Matt Walker @DFF_Walk – Desire and ability come to mind. There aren’t many examples of athletic freaks maintaining consistent production in the pros. The wide receiver position has a nuance to it not seen in other positions. The ability to create separation and read defenses will take a wide receiver much further than their ability to run fast in a straight line.

Kyle Francis @FranchiseKF – I have never really researched this topic. My first instincts are that they lack technique in their route running and they fail to consistently separate from NFL defensive backs the way that they were able to in college. Additionally, the wide receiver position breeds divas. There are many examples of players that lacked the maturity, focus, and work ethic to have staying power in the league.

Kalib Drake @DFF_Guru – A few primary factors: coaching scheme, lack of quality targets, and the lack of ability to gain quick separation from defenders. Coaching scheme can affect players when their coaches do not deploy them in unique ways and/or lack creative route concepts. In this situation, the coach is setting players up for failure. Lack of quality targets comes into play since it is hard to succeed if you don’t even have a realistic chance of catching the ball. I would rather have seven Aaron Rodgers’ targets than 15 Blake Bortles targets, for instance. The ability to create separation from defenders is the most important trait a player needs to possess to be a great receiver in the NFL. OBJ was on a bad Giants team, with a bad QB and a sub-par offensive line. However, he was still able to put up elite wide receiver numbers every season because of his ability to create separation.

Why do Quarterbacks fail?

Joshua Johnson @DFF_ Cog – Because they are named Jamarcus Russell! But seriously maturity and dedication to the playbook lead to poise under pressure. If a QB is not prepared, the whole team suffers. They must lead by example and know every inch of that playbook. They also need to understand many different coverage looks and when to bail on plays. Finally, it is paramount that they know when to take chances and when to just move the sticks. I also think some QBs believe they can get away the things that made them ballsy and successful in high school or college. The NFL landscape is a wasteland of torn ligaments, broken bones, and overconfidence. I am looking at you Robert Griffin III.

Matt Walker @DFF_Walk – Most fail between the ears. The quarterback position requires intelligence, commitment, and accountability. There aren’t many people wired like Tom Brady who can win from the neck up.

Kyle Francis @FranchiseKF – Three reasons: they lack the ability to mentally process the game at a requisite level, they play behind a poor offensive line, and/or they aren’t selected in the first round of the NFL draft and thus they aren’t given the same opportunities that Round-1 players are.

Kalib Drake @DFF_Guru – Landing spot, Football IQ, and offensive coaching staff. I believe that all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL can be in the Sean McVay offense with that much talent around them and succeed. Honestly, I believe that most quarterbacks in the league are a lot better and have a better understanding of defensive schemes than Jared Goff. I wholeheartedly believe that If you put Josh Rosen in that offense, he would finish as a QB1. Tom Brady is considered “The G.O.A.T,” but I can promise you that wouldn’t be the case if he didn’t play under Bill Belichick his whole career and have high football IQ. I hope Josh Rosen gets traded to a team with a half decent offensive line, it will prove my point on this topic.


I am searching for the meaning of every bump on the pigskin. From leather helmets to a league with no point after attempts, I am researching with a wide shovel. -married/father/music fan/Raider Nation baby/deli meat enthusiast/three-cone extremist

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