Fantasy football can be an analytical endeavor where you project players statistically for the season and then grab the guys that offer the most value at each pick. But, it is also a game and finding “your guys” and going after them in a draft can be fun too. Of course, “your guys” are also likely players you feel can be had at great value at their ADP, but because you are much higher on them than most of your league mates.
Below, I will give you my guys. These are running backs I may reach ahead of ADP to grab, as I believe in their talent and opportunity this year.
The Seattle backfield has had so many question marks surrounding it this offseason that it’s become too ingrained in our psyches. The facts are, Chris Cason didn’t land on the PUP list and all signs point toward him being the starter and a full-go Week 1. With Rashaad Penny likely coming back closer to mid-season than Week 1, the team signed Carlos Hyde, but Hyde’s ability is set more for Carson’s job, which means he will be more of a strict backup than committee member. Carson is going in the third round so far in drafts, which is a spot I’ll take him every time.
Jonathan Taylor, Colts
If I had to grab Taylor in the second round this season, I would. I like him that much. The Colts have a strong offensive line and capable defense while Philip Rivers loves throwing to his running backs. Frank Reich isn’t going to ask Rivers to win every game with his arm at his point in his career, so the starting running back should be a big fantasy factor. Will Marlon Mack cut into Taylor’s touches too much? There’s a chance, but I’m not buying it. Taylor is a better all around back and I don’t see Mack holding onto in a committee for too long.
James White, Patriots
White is a solid player in a backfield full of question marks. He’s not going to take over lead back duties and go off in the conventional way, but he should be called on more often in high leverage spots. He also shouldn’t see a big dip in quarterback play, as Cam Newton has been throwing to Christian McCaffrey for a while now and we know how that turned out for the Panthers.
Duke Johnson, Texans
I have no faith in David Johnson this season. I do believe Bill O’Brien will do everything he can to justify trading away DeAndre Hopkins, which means plenty of work for David. At this point though, I believe Duke is worth that lottery ticket in what should still be a productive offense with Deshaun Watson at the helm.
Chase Edmonds, Cardinals
I love Kenyan Drake and believe he will be a strong fantasy player this season, but he has never had a full season as the lead back. He may be fine, but if he misses time, Edmonds would take over and quickly become a strong fantasy play. We saw it last season before he was injured. From Week’s 1 through 7, Edmonds rushed 51 times for 287 yards (5.1 ypc) and four touchdowns while catching ten passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury took him down and then he was Wally Pipp’d by Drake. If Drake falters at all, Edmonds is ready.