RB Review

Over the next few days, we here at Dr. Fantasy will take a closer look at each skill position and where the best value is as you prepare for your drafts. 

leveon

While the classic RB / RB draft strategy has long since gone the way of the dodo, this year is a perfect example of how snagging an elite back early will save you headaches down the road as the questions surrounding the mid tier backs all come with some concern. (these tiers are mostly applicable for re-draft leagues so don’t freak when you see a suspended player far below their actual value)

Elite Tier (1)

  • David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals
  • Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers
  • LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills

The role of three down back in the NFL has become increasingly rare, and these three guys will be called upon to lead their respective teams on both the ground and through the air. While standard scoring formats may close the gap, these three guys should be the first three RB’s picked.

Very Good Tier (2)

  • Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons
  • Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears
  • Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers
  • DeMarco Murray – Tennessee Titans
  • Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams
  • Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins

Any one of these guys could elevate their game to Elite status but a few questions remain for each of them. Most of them suffer from a lack of sample size. I’d bet Todd Gurley falls in drafts this year due to his dismal 2016 campaign and I’d argue he may be the best value in the rounds 3-5 depending on your league. Jay Ajayi on the other hand is riding high on the back of his 2016 statistics despite the evidence that he’s a boom or bust player who’s three 200 yard games masked lengthy stretches of inefficiency.

Decent Tier (3)

  • Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys
  • Lamar Miller – Houston Texans
  • Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland Browns
  • Carlos Hyde – San Fransisco 49ers
  • Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
  • Marshawn Lynch – Oakland Raiders
  • Spencer Ware – Kansas City
  • Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
  • C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos
  • Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints
  • Dalvin Cook – Minnesotta Vikings
  • Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons
  • Eddie Lacy – Seattle Seahawks

While you may not enjoy drafting in this tier, the fact remains that getting the guy who’ll dominate touches is never a bad thing. Even for rookies like Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook the question is only how effective will they be with the ball because they were drafted to be workhorses. Ezekiel Elliott certainly an elite talent in this league, but he’s slated to miss 6 games due to suspension and with the bye week coming in week 6, Elliott won’t suit up until week 8 effectively costing you 50% of the fantasy season – in re-draft leagues I don’t touch Elliott until round 4 or later (assuming he’s there at all)

Make a Prayer Tier (4)

  • Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts
  • Ameer Abdullah – Detroit Lions
  • Bilal Powell – New York Jets
  • Paul Perkins – New York Giants
  • Ty Montgomery – Green Bay Packers
  • Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • LeGarrette Blount – Philadelphia Eagles
  • Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions
  • Danny Woodhead – Baltimore Ravens
  • Samaje Perine – Washington Redskins
  • Terrence West – Baltimore Ravens
  • Adrian Peterson – New Orleans Saints
  • Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots
  • Robert Kelley – Washington Redskins
  • Matt Forte – New York Jets
  • Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans

Here is your reward for drafting with a ZeroRB strategy… a combination of backs from this tier. I’m not hitching my wagon to any of these players as a RB2 yet you’ll likely see at least one or two teams you draft with end up here. Sure, if you ignore injury histories, Ameer Abdullah and Danny Woodhead offer fantastic value as odds on favorites to contribute significantly (albeit in very different ways) to their offenses. But the questions surrounding backs like Ty Montgomery who had only two games with 15 touches, are enough to force me into drafting backs early.

Worth a Flyer

  • Duke Johnson Jr – Cleveland Browns
  • C.J. Prosise – Seattle Seahawks
  • James White – New England Patriots
  • Jeremy Hill – Cincinatti Bengals
  • Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers
  • Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers
  • Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs
  • Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
  • Joe Williams – San Fransisco 49ers
  • Jamaal Charles – Denver Broncos
  • Rex Burkhead – New England Patriot

If you do wait on backs, there’s several in this tier who offer fantastic upside at a very low cost. Jamaal Williams will have every chance to steal the job from Ty Montgomery this off season, and if the Packers value his pass blocking skills (which in that offense I can’t see how they won’t) I could see Williams stealing significant time share in that backfield. Rex Burkhead is another intriguing back that can be had at the end of drafts as he’s closing in on Mike Gillislee for early down work due to the later’s inability to get on the field. James white will dominate 3rd downs so it’s a committee to watch going into the season.

While some will argue that there is great value in loading up on WR’s early in the draft, I’d say it’s just the opposite after reviewing the RB tiers. There’s questions swirling in each tier beyond the top and I’d argue grabbing your favorite low risk RB as early as you dare.

Advertisements

Posted on August 21, 2017, in Fantasy Football, Player Articles, Rankings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: