Welcome to the ninth edition of the RB previews! This week I am breaking down my top targets for this season and also adding my opinion into a discussion that took place on the Fantasy Alarm show called “Running Backs You Wish Were Gone.” Of course we all want a guy like CMC or Barkley, but that’s not always a possibility, so you won’t see them in here. Everyone in my top targets breakdown can be selected outside of the first round of a fantasy draft. Without further adieu, let’s dive in!
Kenyan Drake , Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 15.61)
He’s a bit of a risky pick at this ADP (with such a small sample of success), but a pick that I have no problem making. In just eight games with Arizona last season, Drake racked up 814 total yards, 28 receptions, and eight touchdowns. That is top-five running back production. That isn’t to say he will keep that pace, but he will be the featured back in this offense once again this season and have the opportunity to continue right where he left off last season. He is the perfect fit in this Cardinals offense and I believe he will continue to shine.
Leonard Fournette , Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 27.50)
Fournette has made frequent appearances in these running back previews, but there is a good reason for that. His ADP doesn’t really make sense to me. This guy should be going in the top-20 of the draft, but instead he’s going closer to 30 and around guys like Melvin Gordon , Todd Gurley , and Jonathan Taylor. I really don’t think he belongs in that class, and in fact I would personally take him over Josh Jacobs who has an ADP of 16.76. Fournette checked all of the boxes last season; his only fault was a lack of touchdowns. The Jags only added Chris Thompson to their backfield, and Fournette is in line for a huge workload once again this season. You can lock in massive volume in the third round of a 12-team league by selecting Fournette, and that is exactly what I will be looking to do on frequent occasion.
Le’Veon Bell. New York Jets (ADP: 34.83)
I would be lying if I said I was confident in this pick. Bell was a disaster last season and a fantasy bust, but I can’t ignore the fantasy stud that he was prior to last year. He just turned 28-years old and he sat out the 2018 season, so he should still have plenty left in the tank. I don’t expect a return to the level of production he produced with the Steelers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a top-20 fantasy player. The volume will be there and I just can’t see him being as bad as he was last year again this year.
David Montgomery , Chicago Bears (ADP: 50.94)
I believed in Monty last year and even though he was a bust, I am going back to the well again this season. The Bears did not bring in any competition in the backfield and are putting their faith in Montgomery. He will get the bulk of the carries and all of the goal line work. I saw flashes last season where I was really impressed with Montgomery and I believe he will breakout this season. I like this ADP, as it makes him easy to draft and not overly risky.
Jordan Howard , Miami Dolphins (ADP: 104.77)
Howard is a steal at his ADP and I love this pick. JHow has been a successful back throughout his career and can handle a large workload. His only competition for touches is Matt Breida , who has shown talent but a complete lack of the ability to handle any type of a workload. Howard should see a large volume of touches and all of the goal line carries. A lack of receptions will limit his upside, but he will likely be a rock-solid weekly play in fantasy. And for a back with an ADP in the 100’s, what more could you ask for?
RB’s I Wish Were Gone
Melvin Gordon , Denver Broncos
Sorry Howard and Jim, I am with Jen on this one! I am not sure there’s ever been a more overrated back in the history of the NFL than Gordon. He has only played all 16 games once in his career. He has averaged UNDER 4.0 yards per carry in FOUR out of the five years that he has been in the league. His 75-percent catch rate for his career is far from impressive for a back as well. His 14 fumbles across 67 games is also terrible. Phillip Lindsay is flat-out a better player.
Damien Williams , Kansas City Chiefs
This is less about Williams and more about Edwards-Helaire. I think CEH is a perfect fit for the Chiefs offense and I would like to see him get all the volume. Williams appears to be a solid player, but how much of that is strictly based on the fact that he is a part of an explosive Chiefs offense?
Sony Michel , New England Patriots
A known Michel hater, this was an easy pick. I have never thought Michel was a good player and he has vastly been overrated by the fantasy community on a yearly basis. People need to accept that this guy is a bust and has no place in the NFL.
Frank Gore , New York Jets
I am just sick of this guy and I have no clue why he continues to get contracts. He has averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry in four of the last five years and in three of those years he averaged less than 3.7. He had a good career, but this guy is washed up and no longer an NFL talent. I hate the fact that he is now third all time in rushing yards, considering he has never been a top-three back in any year of his career.