Fantasy Football Winners & Losers from the NFL Draft - RB Edition | 2018 Fantasy Football

by Noah Pires July 11, 2018

Fantasy Football Winners & Losers from the NFL Draft - RB Edition | 2018 Fantasy Football

Now that I've covered all the other fantasy relevant positions post-NFL Draft, there's just one remaining: the running backs. This is obviously a much easier position to analyze after the draft - if a team invested highly in the position in the draft and had a sub-par option last season, you'll likely find the replacement in the starting role while last year's #1 is relegated to the secondary option. Not only do high-pedigree picks determine winners/losers, the lack thereof also shows confidence in a player which we, the fantasy community, may not have had ourselves. Enough talking, time for business, let's wrap up this trilogy like we're practicing safe sex.

Winners

Marlon Mack - Indianapolis Colts

Originally, the Colts held the 3rd overall pick in the draft, but after the Jet's dumped a load on their chest to move up 3 spots, they couldn't resist accepting the offer. This was the first sign that Indy wasn't eyeing an early-round back as it was not set in stone that the Giants would take Saquon at #2, which would have allowed the Colts to snag him with the next selection. Instead, they took Quenton "Beefcake" Nelson, who has been heralded as one of the greatest o-line prospects in NFL history and a "no-miss" pick. With the addition of Nelson, as well as choosing another lineman inside the top 40, Indianapolis suddenly becomes formidable in the trenches, already boasting Anthony Castanzo, who was "above average" at his position per Pro Football Focus, and Jack Mewhort, who ranked 9th at his position in his last full szn. The Colts may finally have some protection for Andrew Luck if he ever returns from his long awaited return.

Enough about Andy, these picks also aid the running game, where Mack will gain a great majority of his fantasy points. Last szn, Indy ranked 30th in yards before contact at 1.02, which isn't only poor, it's downright disgusting. Even with this horrendous o-line, Mack still managed 3.8 YPC and had some other pretty impressive metrics that show his worth. Marlon's 1.55 yards created/carry (PlayerProfiler describes as “all yards above and beyond what were blocked per touch”) ranked 11th in the NFL, 23 spots ahead of his former teammate and Grandfather Frank Gore (34th). His 28.1% juke rate, which is evaded tackles/total touches, ranked 14th in the NFL and shows that even though defenders were on his front doorstep upon receiving the hand off, he was able to shake out of a few tackle attempts, sometimes for big gains. His 7.5% breakaway run rate (pct of carries 15+ yards) ranked 2nd in the NFL backs this up, showing he's much more than a Jamaal Williams-type back who runs into his lineman's ass hoping to gain that illustrious 4 yards. What am I trying to say with these metrics you may ask? Well, you see, the Colts DID pick a running back in the draft, actually, they picked two, Nyhiem Hines and Jordan Wilkins. I'm not concerned with the latter of the two as he is already older than Mack and will likely find himself as a special teamer. Hines is more interesting, but he doesn't have the size MM does that would allow him to be Indy's primary runner. Hines is an explosive athlete, albeit in a slight frame, similar to Tarik Cohen. Hines' ability to break a huge play or catch an important pass makes him an intriguing fantasy option, but as for real life, Marlon Mack offers these same abilities in a bigger frame and with NFL experience. Mack doesn't have the top end speed Nyhiem offers, but at with a 4.5 40 time of his own, Marlon is no slouch and proved that with his breakaway run rate. 

Last szn, Mack was far from productive as he was playing second fiddle to Frank Gore, who, although unimpressive, racked up 261 carries and 38 targets (has averaged 47.66 targets over past 3 years as Indy's #1 back). With nearly 300 touches being vacated by Gore's departure, Mack finds himself the opportunity necessary to be a reliable fantasy producer. Christine Michael and Robert Turbin have already had their go at the NFL, so they're (almost certainly) non-factors on a rebuilding Colt's roster. Also, if Luck (ever) returns, the boys in blue will most certainly improve upon their 4-12 record in 2017, meaning a more positive gamescript, allowing them to pound the rock. As of now, Mack is being picked as RB32, 72nd off the board. I understand the uncertainty with the drafting of other potential weapons in the backfield, but being 24 picks behind Mark Ingram (still) is absurd. Ingram is going to miss 5/12 (suspension + bye week) regular szn weeks, or 42% of those games. With the loss of Gore, Mack's volume alone will help him outscore Ingram during that span, and getting him almost 30 picks later is an absolute steal. Other guys he's going behind? Tevin Coleman, Atlanta's #2, and Carlos Hyde, a guy who we'll touch on later. Indy's backfield situation is one to keep an eye on, but if it stays consistent with what it is now, Marlon Mack will be a great value and help your fantasy team stack a few M's like your last name was Mack.

Jerick Mckinnon - San Francisco 49ers

I'm sure you've heard all the hype around Jerick Mckinnon so far this offszn, so to refresh your memory, here's a summary. Shanahan watched this guys film, came in his pants, and got on the phone and said, "I don't want him, I need him." Then, a few minutes later, Jerick was hopping on a flight to Cali with a Brincks Truck waiting at the airport. Now, 2 months later, Shanahan still can't stop himself from dimming the lights, getting out his lotion and tissues, and putting on a "Jerick Mckinnon 2017 Highlights (Emotional)" video, as he was quoted as saying he gets "lost in the tape". Hey Kyle, relax. 

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk fantasy, and not Kyle's. This offseason, Carlos Hyde told LeBron "I'm coming home" to the beautiful town of Cleveland. Because of this, 240 carries and 88 targets are up for grabs. Matt Breida, the 49ers backup, was enticing last season, but I don't see his role increasing much simply due to the investment in Mckinnon. Behind Breida is Jeremy McNichols, who was cut from Tampa last year, which should tell you something about his value. With these options and offseason reports, it seems like Shanahan wants to implement his Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman approach with Mckinnon and Breida, having Jerick heading the duo. Interestingly enough, both Jerick and Devonta are almost identical in size, with Freeman standing at 5'8 206 and Mckinnon at 5'9 209. In Atlanta, when the 2 headed monster was in full effect (2015-2016), Freeman averaged a rushing stat line (per 16 games) of 254-1102-11 while adding 66-537-3 on 84 targets through the air. Now, this year obviously won't be a carbon copy of this as Freeman finished as the RB1 and RB6 over that 2-year span, but it isn't completely absurd. Last year, Hyde was given 88 targets as their primary back, which is more than Freeman's average, and I'd be comfortable saying Jerick is a better pass catcher than both of them. Also, Matt Breida, although talented, isn't on the same level as Coleman. Because of this, I wouldn't be shocked if Mckinnon sees close to 100 targets, but I don't expect him to carry the ball as much as Freeman simply because I believe Devonta is a better runner between the tackles than Jerick. I'm no expert on this, and if you disagree about that second statement, that's fine, because if you believe he IS a better runner than Freeman, he should be in the David Johnson, Lev Bell, Zeke, Gurley tier. Me, I won't go that far. The good part is he doesn't need to be on Devonta's level in between the tackles. He'll get his volume rushing for sure, but his value in the passing game will be that of an elite runningback. Even last szn in Minnesota, he proved he could be extremely valuable, even though if you just looked at his end-of-season numbers you'd think otherwise. There were 10 games in which Jerick received 10 or more touches (rushes + receptions), and projecting out his average over that span to a full season, it would have mustered up 1317 total yards from scrimmage and 8 touchdowns (along with 64 receptions). This is about 300 yards and 6 tuddies off Devonta's average with Shannahan, but there are 3 things to consider here:

1. He did this without Kyle Shanahan. I mean, if he's gonna play the Freeman role, he's got to have the guy who administers it, right?

2. He did it as Minnesota's #2 behind Latavius Murray. Even as the second option, he ranked top 15 in the NFL in receptions (51), targets (68), and receiving yards (421).

3. SF has a much better o-line. San Fran ranked 8th in average yards before contact (1.83) while the Vikings ranked at the bottom half of the league (1.43). San Fran also added Mike McGlinchey with the 9th overall pick and still have Joe Staley, PFF's #1 run blocking tackle, and new addition Weston Richburg, who ranked 3rd in 2015 and 16th in 2016 at his position (center).

One counterargument about Mckinnon would be, "Well, the 49ers suck and they have Garrapolo who is the GOAT so they'll just throw all game." My response? k. In 2017, San Fran was 5-0 when Jimmy G started, playing 3 playoff teams, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and the Rams. Along with this, the 9ers transitioned to a run-heavier offense, running 45% of the time (6th in the NFL), while the rest of the season they only did so 35% of the time, the lowest mark in the NFL. Carlos Hyde benefits from this split, as he was on pace for a 266-957-13 stat line over that span, but did drop off in the receiving game, only on pace for 32-176-0 on 48 targets. Mckinnon is a far better pass catcher than Hyde, so I'm not concerned about those targets. As for the rushing, if he comes anywhere close to those numbers Hyde was on pace for, he'd cover his adp with 900 rushing yards and double digit tuddies alone. He's currently RB15, 21st overall at the back end of the 2nd round. Currently, he's 1 running back spot behind the one-dimensional Jordan Howard and 2 behind the aging Lesean McCoy. With his opportunity alone, Mckinnon is being picked at his floor. Now, if he capitalizes on his touches and puts his athleticism to use, you could be getting a top 5 option in the 2nd round, bringing you to the promise land for your Fantasy Championship ring, thanking Jimmy G and Shanahan said, "He went to Jerick <333".

Alex Collins - Baltimore Ravens

Collins broke out last year with an impressive 212-973-6 stat-line while adding 23-187-0 on 36 targets through the air, not to mention, he did this in 15 games, starting only 12 of them. Beginning the season behind both Javorius Allen and Terrance West, nobody expected this performance from the former 5th round pick out of Arkansas. This szn, Terrance West is gone, Danny Woodhead hung it up, and Buck Allen has failed to impress over his 3 NFL seasons.  Collins' only real competition is Kenneth Dixon, who is a far better pass catcher but is coming off a knee surgery and got busted for both PEDs and other illegal substances. Even if they utilize Collins in that role again (1st/2nd down runner) while deploying Buck/Dixon on 3rd downs, it won't affect his fantasy value as he rarely got passing opportunities last szn and still produced. Kenneth Big Dixon is someone to keep an eye on as the season nears as he could earn himself some early-down work, but as of now, Collins' touches are safe. Along with AC's continued role in the Baltimore offense, the Ravens made a couple picks which I believe all bolster Alex's fantasy value.

Firstly, they chose Tight End Hayden Hurst out of South Carolina. Hurst, although a capable receiver, is a great blocking tight end as well. Hurst will be 25 when the season begins and his dual-threat ability will keep him on the field, not tipping off defenses when there is a designed run. Along with Hurst, the Ravens chose Lamar Jackson, who probably won't start the season, but should supplant Joe Flacco sometime early on. Is Joe Flacco elite? I'll go out on a limb and say no, but he DID win a Super Bowl... In all seriousness, I'm a big fan of Lamar and think he could do well in this Baltimore offense. With RGIII also on the roster, Jackson will likely be mentored by a guy with a similar frame and skill set, giving him words of advice early in his career on how to avoid some of the obstacles Griffin ran into when he was a Redskin. What makes me like Collins in this situation is the advantage of having an extremely mobile QB. For example, Alfred Morris surpassed the 1,000 yards mark all 3 seasons Griffin was playing QB, but in 2015, when Kirk became Washington's starter, he dropped to 700 yards and 1 TD on the ground. Collins has already greatly surpassed that stat line with an immobile Flacco handing him the ball, so adding in Lamar should only increase Alex's value.

Along with the additions in the draft, Baltimore gets back Marshal Yanda, who ranked as PFF's #1 offensive lineman in 2016. The Ravens, according to PFF, had the 18th best line last year without Yanda, so his addition will immediately improve upon that, replacing Matt Skura, PFF's 72nd graded offensive guard. Baltimore's center did leave in free agency, but was nothing spectacular and the man replacing him is the aforementioned Skura. This may seem like a huge downgrade, but Skura's natural position is center and was thrust into the guard position upon Yanda's injury last year in his rookie campaign. Even without Yanda and Skura out of position, Baltimore ranked 10th in yards before contact (1.66), a number which should improve with the reintegration of one of the league's best in the trenches. Pairing the above average offensive line with Alex Collins' ability between the tackles and open field, he should see plenty of production in 2018.

Just by looking at Collins you wouldn't expect a guy that could dance around like LeSean McCoy in the open field and break a big run. Watching him play, you'll see this is just what he's capable of. In 2017, Collins evaded 76 tackles, 5.1/game which ranked 9th in the NFL and had the 5th best juke rate at 32.3%. His elite elusiveness can also be seen by his yards created, 418, and yards created/carry, 1.78, both top 10 in the league. His ability to make guys miss at the point of attack helped him break big runs, which is why he ranked 2nd in breakaway runs (rushes going for more than 15 yards) with 16 and (tied) 2nd in breakaway run rate (with Marlon Mack) at 7.5%. Another stat I found interesting was the average time Collins spent behind the LOS. Lev Bell, who is often celebrated for his patience and vision, ranked 5th at 3.11 seconds. Guess who was next on that list? Alex Collins? I'm sorry, the correct answer is 'Who is Alex Collins?' Fuck you, Trebek. Anyways, he's impressive and runs like a seasoned vet, unlike his teammate Buck Allen, who ranked dead last in this category. Shocking, right? Collins' vision was put to the test last year as he faced stacked defenses on 10.4% of his carries, 8th in the league. How did he do? Well, in this situation he only averaged a meager 5.3 ypc, good enough to rank him 4th. As for base fronts, which he faced 67.9% of the time, 8th most, he boasted an impressive 4.5 ypc, 11th in the league. Collins is just a beast, and he's surrounded by unproven guys or guys that have proven they are hot trash. Even with their additions in the passing game with the likes of John Brown, Willie Snead, and Michael Crabtree, the only field stretcher is JB, who is often injured. I'd expect Baltimore to take a similar approach next year, pounding the rock and trusting their defense, especially if/when they hand over the keys to Lamar Jackson and want to ease him into the league. 

As of now, Collins is sitting at RB20, behind Derrick Henry (RB17), Jay Ajayi (18), and Kenyan Drake (19). Collins is on a defensive team willing to pound the rock, while the other guys are either going to be playing from behind (Drake, Miami), have a talented 2nd option (Dion Lewis in Tennessee), or a hyper-effective passing attack paired with injury concerns (Ajayi, Philly). Because of this, I'll be taking the guy who was on pace for a 272-1033-14 line after his bye week in 2017 with 46-352-0 through the air. Getting a guy with a legit chance to post 1300+ yds and 10+ tuddies is hard enough as it is, so getting this guy in the 3rd (or 4th if he slips) is insane value.

Lamar Miller - Houston Texans

This is a tricky one because Miller really hasn't proven his worth over the past 2 seasons in Houston for where he went in drafts. 2 years ago, he was a consensus top 10 RB on volume alone and his talent had people choosing him inside the top 5. After disappointing in his first year in Houston, his ADP fell, but not as low as it is now. He's being picked much lower than any of the prior 2 szns, which is a tremendous value, and here's why:

With D'onta Foreman going down late last szn (week 11, torn achilles) and Alfred Blue being unimpressive, Lamar Miller is in line for a 3 down role for the Texans. An achilles injury isn't as common as an ACL tear and isn't heard about as often, but it is much scarier and serious than you may think. From 2011-2015, 46 NFL players tore their achilles, 24 of them never played again/shortly retired thereafter. Now, I know Foreman is a young player and has a chance to recover due to his age, but I doubt Houston wants to push him to play if he isn't 100% and risk a young talent. It's already being reported he may begin the season on the PUP list, and with their only other option being Blue, I love Miller's potential opportunity. Even last year, Miller finished with the 5th most snaps among all running backs. Along with his opportunity, the Texans showed they were willing to run the ball last season, especially with Watson behind center. In weeks 1-7, when Deshaun played, Houston ran the ball 47% of the time, which would've ranked as the 4th highest clip in the NFL only behind Jacksonville, Buffalo, and Dallas. Also, when Watson was on the field, Miller proved to be one of the more effective backs in fantasy football in 2017. Over that span, Lamar was on pace for 272-974-5 on the ground and 41-443-5 through the air.

Sure his ypc was woeful, but I'll take a guy who I know will get 300+ touches than take a chance on a guy around his same ADP who might get 150-200 if things break their way (guys like RoJo or Kenyan Drake).

Currently, Miller is the RB27, 56 overall (per ffcalculator in ppr leagues), 14 spots behind Drake and 2 RB slots after the suspended Mark Ingram. For me, I'm trying to get a safer runningback as my 2nd option, and Miller provides just that. He's almost guaranteed 250 carries with 50+ targets, something you'll only find with a handful of guys. He's put up at least 1200 yards from scrimmage and 6 TDs every year since 2014, surpassing 1,000 rushing yards twice in that span, which isn't elite by any means, but as an RB2 is more than serviceable. At his current ADP, in a 12 man league, you can start your draft (let's say from the 6th spot) with Saquon (6.9), Davante Adams (18.0), Travis Kelce (30.1), Juju Smith-Schuster (44.0), and getting LM in the 5th. In the gawwwwgeous situation, you have a workhorse/freak-athlete RB in Saquon, A-Rod's #1 in Adams, one of the 2-3 elite tight ends, a super-talented/efficient JJSC (check out my last article including him), and the aforementioned Miller. If you have a team like this, you don't need your 2nd RB to be a guy at DJ/Zeke/Bell's level. Getting a guy like Miller who will put up points every week with a safe floor, although not a Saquon-level ceiling, is an ideal situation for a 5th rounder who is currently being overlooked. Right now, give me all the Lamar Miller in the 5th with his workhorse opportunity.

Losers

Carlos Hyde/Nick Chubb - CLE

For all the Browns have done this season to improve their roster, for fantasy reasons, this annoys me. Early in the offseason, Cleveland signed Hyde to a 3 year 15+ mil contract with 8 guaranteed. He's still young (26) and has proved to be a competent runner in the NFL. Last year, being the workhorse for the 9ers, Hyde finished as RB8 with 299 total touches. Among those touches, he ranked 1st in GL carries (15), 5th in RZ touches (40), 5th targets (88), 6th receptions (59), and 11th in carries (240). This year, though, in a new offense, these numbers are bound to decrease. Firstly, his receiving work, which greatly inflated his value last year, will diminish immensely. The Browns have one of the best pass catchers out of the backfield in the league in Duke Johnson as well as Jarvis Landry who makes his bread on short routes. Hyde also led all RBs with 14 drops last season, and with the other elite pass catchers in this offense, I don't see a need for the Browns to feed him through the air. As for his goal-line touches and overall carry number, I don't think DJJ will pose a threat. If anything, Duke's number (82 carries) will likely decrease. What does affect this was the acquisition of Tygawd Taylor and the drafting of Nick Chubb early in the 2nd round. 

Last szn, the Browns ran the ball 384x, with Duke accounting for 82 and Deshone Kizer with 77. Tyrod Taylor has averaged 94.33 rush attempts over the past 3 szns, even while playing under 16 games for a szn in that span. Now, let's be conservative and say DJJ gets 50 carries and Tyrod gets a modest 80. This leaves behind around 250 between Hyde and Chubb. After signing Hyde to a fairly large contract and spending an early 2nd on Chubb, I don't see them splitting these touches by a margin larger than 60/40. A 60/40 split would dole out 152 carries to the leader and 102 to the secondary option. Now, it's easy to say "well the Browns are much better than last year, so they'll have a more favorable game script, and will have more chances to run." Fine, I'll let you have 450 carries as opposed to 384. This still leaves 320 between them, which equates to 192/128 in a 60/40 split. Also, after week 13, when Josh Gordon's resurrection, the Browns ranked 9th in pass ratio (61%) and ran the ball 115x over that span, which projects out to 368. Any way you look at it, I can't see either guy getting 200+ carries barring an injury to the other. 

As of now, Hyde's ADP is RB26 and Chubb is at RB31 (per MFL10s). Guys behind both that I like more? In the vicinity, there's Marlon Mack, Marshawn Lynch and Royce Freeman, all of which will likely see more touches than either back in 2018. If I were to choose between Hyde and Chubb, I'll take Nick. Both have troubled pasts with injuries, Hyde has played 1 full szn in 4 years and Chubb blew out his knee in 2015, many which thought would be career threatening. Chubb bounced byke in 2016 with a 224-1130-8 stat line, showing he could handle a load like Lisa Ann, and returned to his earlier form in 2017 putting up a 223-1345-15 line while splitting touches with Sony Michel in the SEC. If Hyde goes down, he'll fit in nicely as the 1st/2nd down runner and his ADP wouldn't be all too far off. With Hyde playing, I'm not sure he can return value where he's being picked, so as of now, I'll stay far away from both.

LeSean McCoy - Buffalo Bills

Let me preface this by saying this is a bit harder to write. McCoy has been fantastic in recent years, and even though he is aging has yet to show any signs of slowing down. This is completely speculative, but due to the new pieces around him, I can't see anything but regression for the 30-year-old back.

Prior to the draft, Buffalo traded away left tackle Cordy Glenn to swap first rounders with the Bengals. Glenn, although often injured, was a solid starter for the Bills. Along with the loss of Glenn, Richie Incognito ranked as an "above average guard" per PFF, has retired. Last season, the Bills ranked 6th (1.8) in yards before contact, and with these losses, it is bound to decrease. Heading into 2018, only ONE starting lineman graded out as an "average" player at their position while all others were "below average" or worse. Along with the depleted o line, Buffalo is left with 3 quarterbacks who have started a combined 5 regular szn games in their career with the departure of Tyrod. Taylor helped McCoy's value being a mobile QB, and although Josh Allen is athletic, it isn't his main selling point. With a ton of new faces behind center and a bunch of "guys" on the outside like Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones (?), Charles Clay, and boasting that Jeremy Kerley is your slot receiver, defenses won't be afraid to stack the box. The Bills will likely fall short of their record last year (9-7) with their depleted offense, which in turn will decrease his rushing volume. In 2017, McCoy had the 2nd most carries (287) while only averaging 4.0 ypc. If his opportunity decreases and if he stays around the same mark, which isn't unreasonable due to the poor o line and his nagging injuries that come up every year, he may fall short of 1,000 yards on the ground. 

Not only did the Bills lose key pieces which hurts McCoy's value, they made one specific addition which could show a desire to lighten his load. In early March, the Bills went out and signed Chris Ivory to a 2-year deal. Ivory offers something Lesean doesn't, which is a big frame and power running style. Last year, McCoy was the only show in town as the Bills' backup was Mike Tolbert, who is a fullback by nature. Even with Tolbert being a fat, slow, unimpressive runner, he managed 4 GL carries while McCoy had 8. This isn't a massive number, but McCoy needs all the short yardage carries he can get to return value as he isn't much of a touchdown threat, only surpassing double-digit TDs 3 times in his career, and only once while part of Bills Mafia. With Ivory now playing second fiddle to LM, I can see a similar situation to years past where Mike Gillislee and Karlos Williams (r.i.p) handled carries near the goal line. In 2016, Gillislee saw 6 carries inside the 5 compared to Lesean's 9 and in 2015 Mccoy marginally out touched Karlos from that distance 4-3. With an aging McCoy, the Bills may play it safe as he is one of the very few bright spots on the roster, so I wouldn't be surprised if Ivory got opportunities by the EZ.

Now, I don't think McCoy will be a complete bust, but there's always that one RB picked inside/near the top 10 who is 29+ years old that disappoints. Last year, it was Demarco Murray, which I was a victim too, and the year before we saw Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson finish well short of their ADP due to injuries. LeSean McCoy is the running back version of Julio Jones, it seems like every week he's being walked off the field only to return 3 plays later. As he continues to age, these small injuries get more serious and linger longer than they would for a younger player, so that alone worries me. He's currently being picked as the RB12 after finishing as the RB7 in 2017. Personally, I'll take Devonta Freeman, who is RB13, ahead of him due to his consistency, TD upside, and 2nd ranked offensive line. Other guys I'd be interested in are Joe Mixon, RB14, who has an improved o line and a clear-cut workhorse role, as well as Jerick Mckinnon, RB17, which I've already covered. 

P.S.

Bills fans, if you see this, it was not written by me, find someone else to throw through a table.

Obvious Losers (quick analysis)

Rob Kelley/Semaje Perine - WAS

Drafted Derrius Guice, many people's 2nd ranked rookie RB coming in. Guice does everything Kelly/Perine do but better. Guice has an underrated receiving ability, so with Chris Thompson already there, I don't see how they would need Kelley/Perine at all. Guice will likely lead 1st and 2nd downs while Thompson comes in for passing downs.

Ameer Abdullah - DET

Drafted Kerryon Johnson, who has a similar skillset to Abdullah. Ameer has failed to impress and the Lions spent high capital on Johnson. Also, Lagarette Blount is there who surprisingly had one of the highest elusiveness ratings in 2017, but will most likely handle GL work. Theo Riddick is still there, who is an elite pass catcher. The days of Ameer Abdullah being a fantasy sleeper are over.

Peyton Barber - TAM

Drafted Ronald Jones II, still have pass-catcher Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rogers. Tampa had the 3rd highest pass pct in 2017 and only ran the ball 390 times. There won't be enough opportunity to feed everyone with that few touches available. Barber may see goal-line work, but were you interested in Jeremy Hill/Latavius Murray last year is that type of role?

Chris Carson - SEA

Drafted Rashaad Penny in the 1st, which shows how much they love him. Passed up on other positions of need (o-line) and grabbed him a round or two ahead of where people thought he'd go. I don't see how Carson has any value after this barring an injury to Penny.

Sneaky Winner

Rex Burkhead - NE

As the season gets closer, his ADP will likely plummet due to the drafting of Sony Michel. I'd argue this makes him a winner in terms of fantasy football as Julian Edelman is facing a 4 game suspension, so Burkhead may see some targets out of the slot. In my eyes, he's also a better pass catcher than Michel, so he will return value if he falls any further than where he is now, RB37. Even last year, being the second option behind Dion Lewis (and 3rd behind Gillislee early on), he finished as RB34 in only 10 games. 



Noah Pires
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