Running Backs With 150+ ADPs
August 26, 2014 | Chet
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Jerick McKinnon – Matt Asiata is currently Adrian Peterson’s direct backup, but McKinnon is the guy with the most upside. His athletic ability is not in doubt. He has 4.4 speed, 11-foot broad jump, 40.5 vertical and a stout 5’9 209 pound frame. Think Barry Sanders and Ray Rice. Of course the questions for him focus on his ability on the field. Pass protection and receiving were the big question marks since in college he was a hybrid QB/RB at Georgia Southern, but the news out of camp has been great as far as his hands go and he has looked good at pass pro in his preseason chances. He has a ways to go before we should all get on the redraft bandwagon, but he is a must own in dynasty and the guy I’d rather have as Peterson’s backup this season.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw is scary. Not Halloween scary, but I think you know where I’m headed. He’s got Peyton neck and neck injuries are scary, just ask David Wilson. But he is still just 28 and has looked better more recently than Trent Richardson has. He was back on the field in their last preseason game and didn’t die, so that’s a good sign. I believe the Colts won’t be able to run with Richardson, so they will need to throw more and Bradshaw is much better suited for that type of offense. I will be very surprised if it isn’t a timeshare early in the season with Bradshaw gradually taking over.
Bryce Brown – Brown is high on my list of bench stash running backs because he is in a run-first system, is behind the oft-injured C.J. Spiller and old man Fred Jackson. Plus we know that Brown can flat out run the ball. In 2012 we saw him have back-to-back huge games while LeSean McCoy was out, totaling 372 yards and four touchdowns. Of course he fumbled a whopping three times in those two games, but that’s something that can be fixed, the 372 yards can’t be learned. His ability could actually be better than Spiller/Jackson if he can put everything together.
Roy Helu – Helu should get a bigger role this season with Jay Gruden as the new offensive coordinator. He is great in pass protection (ranked 3rd for RBs by PFF), he has good receiving skills (caught like 50 passes in that one game), and he’s also a good running back. Morris isn’t going anywhere, but if Washington’s defense can’t keep them in games they will most likely need to use Helu a lot with more passing downs. And if Morris were to go down after quite a bit of use the last two seasons, Helu would become a hot commodity.
Latavius Murray – Murray is an athletic freak, but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He had two foot surgeries last season, but looks to be back to 100% now and is running as the third running back behind Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. His upside as a 6’3” 223 pound back who runs a 4.38 forty is pretty high and we know that MJD and McFadden are injury risks. Take the plunge.
Jonathan Stewart – Stewart is still way down the line of ADP at 186 overall the last time I looked, which was five seconds ago. And yes, he’s burned us over and over and over again, so I understand the hesitation, but he is sooooo cheap and at the moment, healthy. But I could be wrong by the time I post this. Anyway, he’s back on the field and looking strong. If he can stay healthy he’s the better player between himself and DeAngelo Williams and gets more receiving work.
Theo Riddick – I’ve been touting Riddick for a while now and I’m still high on him, maybe higher than I was earlier. He looks like he’s going to be lined up all over the field in Lombardi’s offense and that means opportunities. In the third preseason game he didn’t put up big numbers, but was heavily involved, lining up with four receiver sets, was in the backfield with Joique Bell and even received a carry close to the goal line. His versatility could make him worthwhile even as the third running back, but of course an injury to Reggie Bush or Bell would really set him free.
Benny Cunningham – Cunningham made a surprise start over Zac Stacy in the Rams third preseason game and has out-gained him this preseason as well. Coach Fisher says this was just to see Cunninghawith the first team and that Stacy is still the #1 RB, but the production and playing time is worth keeping in the back of your mind when looking at these two for fantasy. I like Stacy and think he will be fine. The Rams have a good defense and want to run the ball a lot. But that also means that the backup running back has some value as well and we can now be 100% sure that Cunningham is that guy and maybe, just maybe Stacy has a shorter leash than before. If you draft Stacy, Cunningham is a must grab, but even if you don’t, he makes for a nice bench player with upside.
Joseph Randle – Lance Dunbar will see plenty of work in Scott Linehan’s system, so it feels like he should be DeMarco Murray’s handcuff for fantasy, but the real handcuff will be Randle who has looked good this preseason. He was injured in the last game, but was on the field rehabbing today. Ryan Williams has also looked good this preseason, but I think Randle gets the nod and would take over Murray’s every-down role while Dunbar would remain the Darren Sproles type back in the offense.
Shaun Draughn – Draughn is nothing special in terms of talent that can lead a team, but he is currently the back up to Matt Forte, who is the lead back in an offense that will pass to their running backs and get the ball into scoring position. If we had to rely on Draughn to run his way into fantasy points based on just his ability I don’t think I’d be too high on him even if he were the starter, but as it is, his situation would allow for a few easy looks and receptions as well as goal line carries if Forte were to go down, which he has in the past.
Jonathan Dwyer – Dwyer seems to have locked up the backup running back duties in Arizona. The Cardinals are adamant about using Andre Ellington as an every down back, which I’m all for, but that also means his small frame will get some punishment. Dwyer is nothing special, but like Draughn, you don’t have to be great if you are in a good offense. Dwyer could see goal line looks and some early downs with Ellington in there, so he does have some deep league appeal and if you have Ellington, he is your handcuff.
Kyle Juszczyk – I love me some hybrid fullback/running back/tight ends. Charles Clay and Marcel Reece have been the guys to make a fantasy impact recently and Juszczyk may be next in line. He has 4.7 speed, Harvard brains (stole them in a lab) and is 6’1, 248 pounds. Oh, and he plays for the Ravens if you were wondering. The Ravens have plenty of players ahead of him, but he has led them in receptions this preseason and his versatility should help get him on the field. His upside is not insanely high, but I think he can have value at some point this season.