Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 25, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Now I know some of you have already had their fantasy football drafts or in some cases drafts, but I have mine coming up in a couple of weeks. If you did have yours already I hope it went well for you, but drafting this early can always be difficult; at least for me it is.

Fantasy football is oddly different than actual football. In the NFL there is a high priority put on the quarterback, but in fantasy football it’s more important to find that top tier running back. Unfortunately with the shift in the way running backs are used that’s getting harder and harder for fantasy football owners to do.

Last year in one of my leagues my partner and I had the 1st overall pick and we took Christian McCaffery of the Carolina Panthers. Well due to injury McCaffery was more or less a total bust for anyone who selected him, but he’s back at the top of the running back list this season. Now it makes sense because if he’s healthy he’s true double threat as he’ll not only get those rushing yards for you, but he’s used as a receiver in the Panthers offense. You’d have to think that McCaffery will be the top pick in most drafts.

With McCaffery off the board there are still a few other running backs that get a high number of carries for their teams. Derrick Henry comes to mind right away, but there’s also players like Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones and Ezekiel Elliot.

Even once you get past this group of running backs there are still some other running backs that should get the majority of the carries for their team, but there are questions with all of them.

Saquon Barkley is coming back from a serious injury and there are no plans for him to get any carries this pre-season; so you have to wonder how that will carry over into the regular season. Barkley could be a very good pick if he’s given the football, but the New York Giants have been so careful with him you have to wonder how they’ll handle him.

I know there are a lot of people who have Nick Chubb very high on their running backs lists, but don’t forget that Kareem Hunt is still on the Cleveland Browns roster and could take away not only carries from Chubb, but receptions as well. Chubb had more rushing yards 1067 yards to 841 yards for Hunt, but Hunt had 38 receptions to Chubb’s 16 receptions. You just never know when Hunt is going to get the hot hand in the backfield and that would take away from what Chubb will produce.

Jonathan Taylor is another running back that I’ve seen very high on most people’s list coming into this season. Now Taylor is coming off very good rookie season and you would think that he would be the clear cut #1 running back on the Indianapolis Colts, but they always seem to find a way to mix in other running backs. You have to wonder if Marlon Mack is and can stay healthy this season if he’ll take carries away from Taylor. The Colts also still have Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins on their roster and they always find ways to get them carries as well. You’d think that Taylor should be a good fantasy pick, but there are some questions that come along with drafting him.

There’s a solid group of running backs that should be their teams #1 guy, but the teams they’re on probably won’t be playoffs contenders and in a lot of cases could have losing records. That could mean that these teams may be throwing the football more than giving to their top running back. These running backs should all be 1st round picks, but there will be questions with there team more than the running backs themselves.

I’m talking about running backs like Antonio Gibson, David Montgomery, Austin Ekler, Joe Mixon and Josh Jacobs. All of these running backs should get the bulk of the carries for their team, but those teams ight not be very good and you have to wonder how much of an affect that will have on there production.

Then there are the two running backs that will be taking over as their teams #1 running back do to injury. James Robinson with the Jacksonville Jaquars and Darrell Henderson with the Los Angeles Rams. Now the Jaquars are coming off a 1-15 season and while they might be improved this season they’re not going to be a Super Bowl Contender any time soon. That means there’s a chance they’ll look at other running backs and Robinson carries may fluctuate from week to week. Henderson may be one of the sneaky later 1st round picks as running backs have had success in the Rams offensive system. It should also help Henderson’s value that the other running backs on the Rams roster have never carried the football in a regular season game.

The top rookie running back in fantasy this season is Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers. People believe that the Steelers are a run first team, but Ben Rothlisberger does throw the football as much as anybody else. Harris however should get the majority of the carries this season; so that could equal some nice numbers for any fantasy owner that has him.

Then there’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Chris Carson. Both of these running backs play on teams that are quarterback dominated and they’re also both coming off of injuries from last season. Obviously both of these players are 1st round running back picks, but there’s risk involved with taking either of them. If you take one and he stays healthy he could put up big number for you in the offenses they play in. Of course you could take one of these running backs and they could get hurt Week 1 and then you’re scrambling the rest of the season, but they’re both worth the gamble.

J.K. Dobbins has become an interesting name coming into this season as most people believe he’ll be the Baltimore Ravens #1 running back this season. The Ravens still have Gus Edwards on their roster; so there’s a chance that they’ll use each running back equally.

There are still a few running backs out there that I haven’t mentioned that will go early in fantasy drafts, but it will be hit or miss with those guys. Hopefully it will work out for you if you take one of those running backs, but if your luck is anything like mine it won’t.

If you’ve had your fantasy draft please let me know how you think it went and if you like drafting that early or not. If you have a draft coming up feel free to share you thoughts on these running backs and if there was one that you would’ve liked me to mention or went into more detail on.

Hopefully you’ve been listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if for some reason you haven’t been you can still hear the podcast. Just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast anytime you want to.

You can also look me up on Twitter if you’re interested in doing that; I’m @Burketime

Comments
  1. I wonder what is more difficult for the fantasy player? If a player who has good stats and then has a disappointing season or a player who gets injured and is lost for the year?
    What is the more likely of those two scenarios?
    I don’t have the patience to get into one of those leagues although I must admit that they are extremely popular.

    Like

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