After last season, I used my Points Above Average formula to find out who were the most valuable players last season. While Lynch was being selected with the 10th overall pick, he returned the 15th most value.
When I took a look at which players returned the most value per game, Lynch finished 21st.
This year he is being drafted 16th overall in PPR, but doesn’t provide the upside to finish as a top five back despite being the 8th back off the board.
Lynch has been as consistent as any back in the league over the past three seasons: logging 901 regular season carries for 4,051 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns.
The problem is this rushing prowess is already factored into his ADP and he needs more receiving to crack the top five RBs. Although catching passes isn’t his specialty, Lynch had his best receiving season as a Seahawk last season. He topped 30 receptions, 300 receiving yards and one touchdown for the first time in five years. While he likely overachieved in the pass game last season, he still didn’t fulfill his high draft pick.
Regression is coming – Lynch is likely to fall somewhere closer to 25 receptions and 200 receiving yards because that’s what he’s been hovering around for most of his career. With that kind of receiving production he’s extremely unlikely to outperform his draft position, and that’s assuming he’s still dominant as a rusher and avoids injury.
This analysis still hasn’t factored in the fact that the Seattle Times guesses Lynch could lose 45-50 carries to Christine Michael. Michael has been described as too talented to keep off the field. Texas A&M’s strength coach, who has trained both Christine Michael and Adrian Peterson, said Michael’s athletic explosiveness is on par with Peterson’s.
Lynch is also 28 years old with lots of tread on his tires – RBs have a well-documented history of declining around the age of 29.
With all the possible negatives, there isn’t a whole lot of upside with Lynch. To unseat the top PPR running backs, Lynch will need to start catching more passes, fast. With the Seahawks winning a Super Bowl last year, I don’t see their offense changing too much. Avoid Lynch and grab Christine Michael late.