OP- seeing "bigger" folks seated backwards on the lat pulldown and leaning into the stack, "think incline position" - this is less for the lats, as mentioned, and more for upper middle back development, at least that is what Charles Glass told me but who the fuck is that guy anyways? less weight and more squeeze w/ that movement.
As for the non-anchor thing, kneeling in front of a cable stack w/ varied attachments (preference for V handle) and leaning forward w/ the torso (sort of like the body position in the above video) you can create a nice modified back movement.
Things can become hybrid - not quite a vertical movement, and not fully a row. Things like pull ups are staples, as are pulldowns, tinkering w/ movements is how we learn our own body mechanics.
That said, replacing the principle movements w/ all sorts of adaptations isn't always the right idea. A sandwich w/ mustard, mayo, veggies, pickles, and all sorts of cool add ons is nice....
...but don't forget the m e a t.
Alright, that was a pointless analogy, fuck it. From the looks of your physique OP you're doing something right in the gym so keep discovering and try variances of shit, keep what works for you.
Countless folks preform a movement and are unaware of what muscles are being activated through any particular range of motion. The better and more you know your body the more most things make complete sense.
Notable extra - I work for a large corp. gym train right now, some of the fucking trainers are LAUGHABLE both physique and knowledge wise.