Top 18 Running Banks for 2021 Fantasy Football
19. David Montgomery - Chicago
Montgomery finishes as the RB4 last year in half ppr. But you're not drafting him anywhere near that.
For a few reasons. Montgomery was good last year, but no one believes he's an elite talent.
But over the last six weeks of the season, he won fantasy leagues.
Unreal numbers. But, just like it has to be noted with JT, it came against some of the worst run defenses in the league: GB, DET, HOU, MIN, JAC, GB. DET, HOU & MIN were literally the worst 2 and the 4th worst run d last year.
But give credit where it's due, every week it felt like this is the week the old David Montgomery comes byke. He didn't. He even broke off an 80 yard breakaway TD run, which idt anyone thought was physically possible for his 4.63 ass.
The really obvious liability this year for DMont is Tarik Cohen coming byke. Cohen's first 3 years in the league:
Let's be real here people, D-Mont aint catching 55 passes again this year. He was literally #1 in routes run last year among RBs
Montgomery literally got 89% of the RB opportunities last year after Cohen went down in Week 3. Those are like peak C-Mac numbers. The only people in his backfield to take touches weren't even running backs. It was a kick return Cordarelle and Ryan Nail a TE.
They do bring in Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert who I'm personally a fan of both players. They're much better breather backs than last year.
Montgomery was great last year for fantasy down the stretch. He had just two games over 12 FPs from Weeks 1-12 last year. And efficiency wise, he was what we thought he was tbh
The touch share just ain't happening again this year.
However, D-Mont can still be good on the ground, he can be a high-floor fantasy RB2 for sure.
If Justin Fields gets on the field, it'll open things up a bit for him, but I'm not expecting anything groundbreaking from this offense. I think you know what you're getting from D-Mont. An RB2 that you'd rather have in your flex spot.
20. Mike Davis - Falcons
WHO SAYS MIKE DAVIS DOESNT OUTSCORE CMAC AGAIN THIS YEAR
Man this team really brought in literally nothing to compete with at RB for Mike Davis. I mean listen I like Javian Hawkins from Louisville, but he's a UDFA.
Everyone was ecstatic about ice bath gurley at this time last year in the 3rd/4th round.
Davis has the same role as Gurley did, healthier, a better pass-catcher, with less competition. And going a round and a half later.
Mike Davis was legitimately good last year in Carolina as both a pass-catcher and a runner.
#8 in evaded tackles, #3 in juke rate did it behind 61st rank run-blocking for him (PP) and the 6th highest stacked front rate (37.6%). Had a 15.4% target share, top-5 among RBs.
Is Davis as good as those numbers? No, he's not top-5. But he's better than whatever Gurley was last year. Gurley had 17 GL attempts last year, 6th highest in the NFL.
They lose Julio, there's no more Dirk Koetter throwing the ball 70% of the time. I think Davis will be very involved. He's definitely more of a floor
21. Miles Sanders - Eagles
yeah yeah yeah, fuck you. i liked miles sanders last year.
had his line not fallen apart. he probably still woulda sucked ass.
if he didnt get hurt on that 80 yard run against the Baltimore, he woulda been a menace.
if things broke right for Sanders, didnt get hurt in the preseason and in the regular season, i really think he would've been the workhorse, for the year. I mean he played in 12 games, averaged 18 opportunities/game including a game he came out of at halftime. Those are easily RB1 opportunity numbers.
But he didn't stay healthy and things have changed a bit for 2021.
the eagles didnt bring in any big name backs, but the brought in a lot of backs, which is sending a signal in itself.
They claimed Kerryon Johnson off waivers, they resigned Jordan Howard, drafted pass-catching specialist Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott is still there. I doubt all of them make the team, but still think it's showing a clear message.
And then we did get the clear message:
they're literally already telling us that it's going to be a committee. So don't be surprised when it is.
Sanders has the home-run ability to bust off massive TDs. And he'll probably have a few of those. But we don't know what his pass-game involvement will be. He was really bad on 3rd downs last year. Is he going to be the GL back? I'd like to think so, but Jordan Howard had 9 GL carries to Sanders' 10, while playing in 5 fewer games, and with Jalen Hurts as the QB, does he have the Josh Allen, LJax effect on the GL? It's a risk that we don't have the answer to.
The positives are that their line should be much healthier than last year, but let's not project them to be the elite o-line that had been in years past. Also, having Jalen Hurts under center should help the run game, his splits in Hurts' 3 full starts look good:
I still think trying to extrapolate a small sample-size instead of just reading what they're telling us is what we should be doing here. Sanders is very risky and is better off being viewed as a low-end RB2 if not a flex play this year.
22. Josh Jacobs - Raiders
Jacobs is another player I feel like the hate has gone a little bit too far on.
Like yes, he's probably never going to be the pass-catcher that we wanted him to be at this level, but we're drafting him as if he's going to be a total flop. I'm looking at Jacobs as a high-floor RB2 in 2021.
I mean dude had over 300 touches last year.
I know people want to bash what they did with their offensive line this offseason, getting rid of Trent Brown and Rodney Hudson, I was one of those people, but their line wasn't good last year to begin with. 27th in RBing per PFF, so volume is the name of the game for Jacobs anyways.
Last year there were 189 non-Josh Jacobs touches. Drake will command touches obviously, they gave him $11M guaranteed.
But I still think it's reasonable to project Josh Jacobs for like 235-250 touches and the GL work. He was the 3rd in the NFL last year in GL carries.
It's not exciting, but he's not going to be as bad as people are making him out to be.
23. Myles Gaskin - Dolphins
Subjectively, I'm not in love with Myles Gaskin. I just find it really hard to believe Gaskin is "the guy" all season.
They have a new OC, they brought in Malcolm Brown, we also know the Dolphins were next in line in the waiver claim to add Kerryon Johnson had the Eagles not grabbed him.
Objectively, they used him a lot last year. He played in 10 games, and averaged over 18 touches/game in those 10. It's a big check in the asset department that I can't take away. When Gaskin was out, Ahmed got a lot of run. It seems like they want to use one back, but I'm having a hard time buying into it for 2021.
Gaskin was also awesome in the passing game last year, no denying that,
He has every opportunity to be an Austin Ekeler light in this offense.
At the end of the day Gaskin is 205lbs. I'm not going to be surprised when he gets yanked at the GL for Malcolm Brown. Or his carry numbers dip to like 8-10/game.
24. Travis Etienne - Jaguars
I actually hate putting Etienne here, I've said this like 90 times, he feels like one of the early round running backs that we want to force into a workhorse role each year. Miles Sanders, Swift, Akers, Dobbins.
It's so hard with James Robinson still there. The level of volatility we're probably going to see from Etienne is going to be maddening.
Though, as a first round running back, we still have to look at it objectively. 1st round RBs tend to get a lot of volume. Maybe a bit more than we think though.
Over the last 20 years, dating byke to 2000, 1st round RBs average 14.1 touches/game their rookie season. Running backs in the top half of the first round 1-16 average 16.9 touches/game. Backs selected 17-31 average 11.7 touches/game. I feel like that's exactly what we should expect from Etienne 11-14 touches/game, who knows what'll happen on the GL, Robinson is bigger, coming off of a stellar year and Lawrence is really mobile so he could take GL work as well. Feel like there's red flags galore.