Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Your late-round RB wish list includes two rookies and a former Fantasy stud

I wish I had identified that Elijah Mitchell would have been the 49ers’ prime working again final 12 months. I ought to have identified Cordarrelle Patterson was going to be the Falcons’ prime working again final 12 months.

Patterson did not get a lot hype throughout the preseason — he did not even accumulate a stat in a sport — however he obtained some reward from his quarterback in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and he participated within the Falcons’ joint follow with the Dolphins, which I attended. Somehow, I missed the reward and did not discover him throughout the joint follow. If I had executed both, he would have made final 12 months’s model of this list and you’d have been rewarded for studying it.

Mitchell obtained little or no publicity final August, and he barely performed within the preseason. No one knew the place he was on the 49ers depth chart apart from the 49ers coaches. He was a tougher man to peg.

But there are classes we are able to take away from each. One: anytime there’s some lip service given to a below-the-radar participant, or if a participant will get to work with the starters in follow, we should always take discover. It won’t imply a entire lot — I’m certain good issues have been written about Nyheim Hines final 12 months but it surely did not matter — but it surely’s value monitoring, particularly when it is somebody sudden. Two: When a working again appears like a good match along with his offense, we should always keep in mind it. Mitchell was a zone-runner in faculty and meshed shortly with the 49ers scheme.

I stored these pointers in thoughts after I made this list of my 5 favourite late-round working backs. Keep this list helpful on Draft Day because it’ll offer you some names to chase while you get into the again half of your drafts. And you may be in good firm as a result of I’ll have the identical precise list in my drafts.

Finally, you may see a “Commitment stage” for every working again. This is how sturdy of a dedication you as a Fantasy supervisor ought to count on to make to this participant should you draft him. It’s necessary — you do not need to be the particular person to draft somebody and minimize him just for another person in your league to profit from him.

All of those runners have a FantasyPros Average Draft Position of a centesimal total or later as of August 3. I additionally included one other one whose ADP is simply barely north of a centesimal.

James Cook, Bills (ADP of 114.0)

Projected position to start season: Passing-downs again and maybe the popular working again within the hurry-up offense. Unlikely to get entangled in short-yardage conditions however may see a few first- and second-downs per week. Floor appears like eight touches per sport.

What wouldn’t it take to change into a top-24 RB? A mixture of Devin Singletary turning into ineffective and Cook proving he has the physicality to deal with carrying the ball at the very least 10 instances per week. Bills coaches must fall in love with Cook.

Can it occur? It’s potential. Buffalo’s offense is Josh Allen, so anybody who can catch the ball and make performs after the catch is prioritized. The Bills clearly wished so as to add Cook’s strengths to their offense; whereas meaning he is certain to see loads of targets, it may additionally imply the coaches will not need to threat him breaking down from having an excessive amount of work.

Commitment stage: Medium-high. If Cook struggles to see a lot of touches and/or would not make a bunch of breakaway performs every week, then Fantasy managers will not even view him via the identical lens as Nyheim Hines or JD McKissic (round 11 PPR factors per week ). In this occasion, he’d be a disappointing choose and managers would finally surrender on him. Hopefully Cook is at the very least pretty much as good as Hines & McKissic, which might simply warrant a roster spot.

James Robinson, Jaguars (ADP of 113.3)

Projected position to start season: Primary working again for the Jaguars, together with short-yardage/goal-line alternatives.

What wouldn’t it take to change into a top-24 RB? Honestly? Probably staying wholesome and proving he nonetheless has some explosiveness getting back from his Achilles tear. Robinson’s finest traits contain his imaginative and prescient and his physicality, neither of which ought to have been affected by his damage.

Can it occur? Absolutely, making Robinson one of many best bargains to focus on in Fantasy drafts even when he have been to go 20 picks sooner! We simply want some proof that Robinson is again to being a trusted a part of the Jaguars’ offense first.

Wait a sec, not even a peep about Travis Etienne?!?! Etienne seems to be previous his damage and will certainly play a main position within the Jaguars’ offense, but it surely stays to be seen if he’ll deal with the rushes between the tackles that Robinson has up to now. That includes on the aim line. Jacksonville could be smart to search out methods to make use of each backs however Robinson should not be a discarded a part of the offense until he is sluggish.

Commitment stage: High. Any working again with Robinson’s observe file and potential goes to stay to rosters anyway, so that you should not be too apprehensive about what he can do for you. This is why he most likely will not go on this vary for lengthy. Even should you’re getting him in Round 8 try to be glad.

Darrell Henderson, Rams (ADP of 128.7)

Projected position to start season: Part-time working again in Rams offense, doubtlessly working passing downs.

What wouldn’t it take to change into a top-24 RB? Cam Akers must both miss time or get benched. Without any severe menace to his touches to start out final season, Henderson averaged 16.9 touches and 13.4 PPR factors over his first 10 video games with eight touchdowns.

Can it occur? It’s occurred every of the previous two seasons. Akers missed most of 2021 along with his Achilles tear and obtained harm early in 2020. Henderson took over each seasons and was a usable No. 2 Fantasy rusher … till he himself obtained harm. Sean McVay is already mentioning them as successfully co-starters, foreshadowing a potential tandem. Both have had bother staying wholesome however Henderson hasn’t misplaced his explosiveness due to accidents. We cannot fairly say the identical for Akers, and that could be what prices Akers taking part in time.

Commitment stage: Medium. It’s totally potential Akers winds up because the Rams’ most well-liked again and leaves minimal work for Henderson. In such a case, Henderson could be a benchwarmer who would not be helpful until Akers misses time. But it is also potential Henderson overtakes Akers. You should not be in a rush to ditch Henderson throughout the first month of the season.

Dameon Pierce, Texans (ADP of 138.0)

Projected position to start season: Part-time working again within the Texans offense with Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead. Pierce’s versatility may get him into high-value alternatives, nonetheless.

What wouldn’t it take to change into a top-24 RB? Loads Pierce must displace his competitors so he sees extra taking part in time. That’s the simple half — the onerous half is having sufficient alternatives in a Texans offense that managed to be round league-average in working again rushes in 2021 however lifeless final in dashing common, working again dashing touchdowns and run-blocking grade in line with Pro Football Focus.

Can it occur? Most of the low-end No. 2 Fantasy rushers in whole factors final season discovered over 1,050 whole yards with seven or extra scores. That appears form of excessive for Pierce, however David Johnson and Carlos Hyde achieved near these totals in 2020 and 2019 respectively. It helps that Pierce has been a standout via the early camp days, together with on the Texans’ first day in pads.

Commitment stage: Medium-high. Fantasy managers ought to be prepared to stay with Pierce for as many as eight weeks, which includes the Texans bye week. What’s debatable is that if his ceiling is value such a dedication — he is a gifted again however was a committee again in faculty and most likely can be caught in a single as a rookie.

No longer previous a centesimal total however let’s throw him in anyway

Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots (ADP of 99.0)

Projected position to start season: Secondary working again behind Damien Harris with 10-touch per-game potential, probably together with pass-down work relying on the well being of James White and the play of different Patriots third-down candidates.

What wouldn’t it take to change into a top-24 RB? Harris must fumble/run poorly/get harm for Stevenson to earn extra reps, particularly in short-yardage/goal-line conditions. Harris dominated these when each have been wholesome in 2021.

Can it occur? Definitely. Bill Belichick has banished working backs for being late to conferences! It would possibly take a couple of unhealthy sport or one fumble by Harris for Stevenson to leap-frog him, however the Patriots have confirmed they aren’t beholden to anybody participant, a lot much less anybody working again.

Commitment stage: High. Even although the Patriots are tough with their working backs, Stevenson is a horny lottery ticket value a bench spot on any roster. Managers would solely be inspired to chop him if his taking part in time obtained decreased.

Six extra longshot RBs

Tyler Allgeier, Falcons (ADP of 161.0): Allgeier is a bodily energy again with good receiving expertise. His upside includes being a modern-day Derrick Henry. His draw back is sharing with Cordarrelle Patterson in a Falcons offense with out a lot pop. It’s been 4 seasons because the Falcons as a group had 12-plus working again dashing scores.

D’Onta Foreman, Panthers (ADP of 177.0): The Panthers didn’t carry Foreman to Carolina to take a seat. His bodily dashing fashion, which wasn’t horrible with the Titans final 12 months, figures to present the Panthers a change-up to McCaffrey. And within the occasion McCaffrey misses taking part in time as he has up to now two seasons, Foreman would theoretically be the lead rusher.

Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles (ADP of 131.7): Miles Sanders’ fall from grace is not occurring as quick as some anticipated, and the Eagles appear destined to share working again touches all season. Jalen Hurts’ dashing position is not going away, both. Gainwell would want a sizable enhance in touches so as to be a weekly starter, but it surely may occur in some unspecified time in the future.

JD McKissic, Commanders (ADP of 139.0): McKissic has averaged at the very least 10.9 PPR factors per sport in his previous two seasons. As bench working backs go in leagues the place catches depend, you possibly can do a lot worse.

Khalil Herbert, Bears (ADP of 147.3): Herbert had a good run final 12 months due to David Montgomery’s violent fashion resulting in an damage. The new Bears teaching employees ought to be open to not solely leaning on Herbert as the subsequent man up in case Montgomery misses time but in addition as a complementary again to take some work off of Montgomery. A sketchy offense full with a suspect O-line makes Herbert onerous to really feel nice about.

Jeff Wilson, 49ers (ADP is over a hundred and eightieth): The 49ers are identified for utilizing a number of backs and will proceed to take action even when Elijah Mitchell is upright. There can be some form of position for Trey Sermon and cumbersome rookie Tyrion Davis-Price, however my hunch is that Wilson would take Mitchell’s position within the occasion of one other Mitchell damage. It’s as much as you ways lengthy you’d need Wilson in your bench ready for such an damage to occur.

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