Do NOT Draft These Running Backs in 2019 Fantasy Football

by Nick Ercolano August 24, 2019

Do NOT Draft These Running Backs in 2019 Fantasy Football

Stay faaaar away from these guys.

 

 

[INSERT VIDEO]

Derrick Henry - Tennessee Titans

I slowly had Derrick Henry rising up my draft boards to be honest. I made this video back in like February and he was the first name I listed on here. But quietly, subtly, he crept up my rankings, all those mid-round players were getting hurt, contract holdouts, Helmetgates and I'm like, you know what, Henry isn't the worst 3rd round pick... I didn't love it given his role, but it was somewhat safe, because he wasn't an injury risk... then he wound up in a walking boot because of a calf strain. This sidelined him for almost a month. He returned to practice earlier this week, on Monday, however, it still puts him into a much higher re-injury risk bracket. One, the calves naturally do, it's the same thing we saw with Jerick McKinnon last year, he strained the calf, came back and tore the ACL. Henry could sit out the remainder of the preseason, see no actual NFL game speed following the calf strain and that'll put him at higher risk. It's a tricky situation - like I always say, don't find injuries in fantasy football, because they'll find you.

So, on top of the calf, we also have to look at this team. They're basically already in the middle of a QB controversy, it's the 2nd week of preseason. marcus mariota 2019 fantasy

Supposedly, Mariota is on a short leash with Ryan Tannehill here. Tell yourself whatever you want, that's absolutely not a good thing. Mariota has looked like trash this preseason. He's hesitant on this throw, he's throwing with no zip - I think this offense might plummet big time and they are not going to have game scripts that favor Henry at all. He's not a pass-catching back. I literally don't care about your subjective view on Henry's ability to literally catch a ball, the guy had 17 receptions in 39 career college games and has averaged 0.8 receptions/game during his 46 NFL games. He's not a pass-catcher. Dion Lewis, however, is. And even during Henry'sr ridiculous run towards the end of last season, from Weeks 14-17, Dion Lewis caught 14 passes on 16 targets, paced out to 56 receptions, almost what he ended up with last year, so even when Henry took over, Lewis was still heavily involved in the passing game. Henry is a guy that's super game script dependent, that will eat if he scores TDs, but in an offense that you can't reasonably think is going to be very good, Vegas has them projected to win fewer than 8 games - and now has a higher injury risk because of the calf. I'm going to take a hard pass on Henry anywhere before the 5th round.

Let's not even mention we're getting hyped about 3-game sample size, over the last four weeks of the szn when Henry was fresh after not touching the ball all year playing against beaten down defenses who were out of the playoffs already and don't want to tackle his big ass. He didn't touch 60 rushing yards in a single game last year before Week 14... and he had multiple games with 18 carries!!!! Let's not talk about that.

 

[INSERT TEAMSTAKE] 

Kenyan Drake - Miami Dolphins

Current ADP: RB32, 75 Overall

Let's start with this:

People LOVE the Kenyan drake finished as the RB14 in ppr leagues last year stat. Might be one of the most flawed stats I've ever come across, for a few reason. First off, on ppg, he was RB19 in PPR and in half ppr, drake was the RB22 in fantasy ppg (min. 10 games played). Do you remember the game where the Dolphins beat the Patriots on that wild walk-off lateral bullshit? Drake got credited for that, a 69-yard TD catch went into his stats. If you take that lateral play which he got credited for off of his stats, Drake winds up tied for RB30. let's not get it twisted here, so let's not get it twisted here on fake news stats - we're looking at big facts only.

Now, the more concerning part of Drake is that he wound up in a walking boot after practice last week and Brian Flores their HC came out and said "it's going to take a while to heal" - you tell me that at any time during mid-August, you're off my draft board. A while to heal, "week to week", all of those are indicators that the player won't be ready for some time and is a huge re-injury risk. The details of the injury are still a bit unknown, but I'll be filming with Dr. Morse tomorrow and speaking with him about Drake, so you'll know more on Monday hopefully. Regardless, the Dolphins say that they're hopeful Drake can play in Week 1 - yeah, okay - I don't know who has worse injury optimism, fantasy players or NFL head coaches. Either way, it usually always leads to bad results. 

Kalen Ballage didn't even suit up in Week 2 of the preseason, telling you that they're preparing him for a big workload. If Drake was healthy, yeah of course he's the RB to own in this backfield but jeeze is this a bad situation. It's almost like the Henry but worse.

Miami should be one of the worst, if not the worst team in the NFL. They have a bad offensive line, we don't even know who their QB is, whoever it is isn't going to be good, their defense let up the 4th most YPG (391), 6th most PPG (27), 9th most plays per game, this is just an awful situation to avoid. 

 

[PLUG DRAFT GUIDE]

 

Derrius Guice - Houston Texans

Current ADP: RB35, 80 Overall

The knee man. Do Not Believe Twitter Clips.

Guice is just a huge injury risk. Every report says he's not the guy for 2019. Maybe 2020, but not 2019. He's going to share the workload with Adrian Peterson. And give up passing work to Chris Thompson. The Redskins might be a shitshow. They're likely going to start Case Keenum who will play okay, eventually play poorly and give up the reigns to rookie Dwayne Haskins who has looked terrible in the preseason... This is a team that will compete for the #1 pick in next year's draft. At best, you're getting a two-down grinder and maybe the GL back in what projects to be one of the NFL's worst offenses. Guice is a hard pass in 2019 season-long leagues.

 

Are we starting to see a trend here? Avoid backs in committees, especially on bad teams.  

Ronald Jones - Tampa Bay Bucs

Current ADP: RB38, 95 Overall

At this point, I shouldn't have to tell you this, but the Ronald Jones "breakout" ain't happening young kings. At least Jones is splitting snaps this time around in the preseason. By this time last year he was almost completely phased out of the offense. Sure the buzz has been great on RoJo out of camp, night and day difference, but you can't name a single running back in this backfield that Bruce Arians hasn't hyped up this summer as an incredible running back - from Peyton Barber, to Ronald Jones, to Andre Ellington, to Bruce Anderson to most recently Dare Ogunbowale.

This is an offense that is not going to favor Ronald Jones at all. The Tampa Bay offensive line was the 31st ranked RBing line last year per FO's, ranked 28th per PFF. They are not going to be much improved this year, their defense is gonna be horrid again, less time of possession, more throwing the ball - definitely not RoJo's strong suit - he caught a total of 32 passes in 40 college games, just as bad as Derrick Henry. He had 9 targets last year, flat out dropped two of them.

Through two preseason games, Peyton Barber has been the starter, has seen 13 snaps with the 1's, RoJo has seen 9. Barber has been the one involved when inside the RZ. Even if you don't think Barber is good, or that he's going to the guy, this will never at any point be Ronald Jones' backfield completely and I feel like people have this misguided hypothetical upside about Jones like capturing this backfield and getting an 80% touch share, like that's not happening, his upside, is being the 60 in the 60/40% backfield split, which we know last year didn't do much for anyone in this backfield. If you think this offense is going to be good, at least give me the guy who's getting GL carries, and that's the 225lb Peyton Barber who tied for 7th most 10zone and inside the 5-yard line carries in the NFL last year.

 

Honorable Mentions

Tarik Cohen - Chicago Bears

Opportunity cost, all reports talking about him losing ~20 receptions to Montgomery and Davis. Matt Nagy is coming out and saying, we probably gave him too much work last year - like at least say something like he's an explosive playmaker and we want to get the ball in that guys hands as often as we can lol - thats a huge redflag.

James White - New England Patriots

Very similar to Tarik Cohen, I just don't want a strict pass-catching back.

Nyheim Hines - Indianapolis Colts

Played 1-of-19 first-team snaps so far this preseason. His reception totals took a massive dip with Mack on the field for Indy last year.

Lamar Miller - Houston Texans

Carlos Hyde - Kansas City Chiefs

 

Few guys I want to preface this before we start. The talk from KC and Andy Reid about this being a committee is 100% fraudulent. I'd put any amount of money it's to encourage Damien Williams and he is still the incumbent starter there, no doubt. And I love it - because, even when dealing with the hamstring injury, people were continuing to draft him in the 2nd/3rd round. All of this coachspeak will undoubtedly push Williams' ADP back to a good, buyable price. If you really think Carlos Hyde is beating out Williams, you're a mess. My only concern is that Reid's words didn't push Williams to return too soon from his hamstring pull. If he can play the rest of the summer and stay healthy - he'll be a steal if he drops. Yeah we can all get high on Darwin Thompson - look at this

darwin thompson 2019 fantasy

I created that wave 5 months ago - so don't be coming in here trying to be cute telling me about Darwin Thompson like you discovered his ass.



Nick Ercolano
Nick Ercolano

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