Fantasy Football: Dr. Roto's NFL Draft Running Backs Preview
Daily Dr. Roto — April 24, 2018
With the NFL draft just around the corner, I’ve decided to step away from Fantasy Baseball for a few days and do some Draft previews.
There is only one who seems like a lock to be drafted in the top five overall picks, but there are a few others who might be selected on Day 1 (and Day 2) as well:
Saquon Barkley — Fans all over the Tri-State area are hoping that the Giants do not blow their opportunity to take a “once in a generational” talent in Barkley if the Browns take a QB at #1. Barkley is clearly the best RB in his class and can start in the NFL from Day One. He is a three-down back with amazing hands and game-breaking speed. And while his pass protection needs a little work, it’s nothing that will keep him off the field. Barkley comes from a family of athletes and is in peak physical condition to withstand the pounding that he will take as a 250+ touch RB. If the Giants take Barkley (as I hope they will), he will be a late first-round pick in all Fantasy formats.
Prediction: Drafted #2 Overall by the New York Giants
Derrius Guice — Guice was outstanding in 2016 before suffering various injuries in 2017 that seemed to slow him down for much of the season. He is back healthy once again, and teams late in the first round are eyeing him as a game-breaking RB who can get 12-15 carries a game. There has been some talk about Guice’s poor interviews at the Combine which turned many scouts off. Is it enough to drop him out of the first round? It’s quite possible. Does Guice have Fantasy value next season? Yes, but it will depend heavily on which team selects him.
Prediction: Late First Round/Early Second Round pick
Sony Michel — As good as Guice is, it seems like his interviews went so poorly in Indianapolis that teams are dropping him off their draft boards. If that happens, look for Michel to be a possible late first round pick for a team looking for a potential star. Michel was part of a terrific running back tandem at Georgia that used his skills wisely and put him in position to have success. He is more of an elusive runner with great open field vision than a runner who is going to bust through the tackles to grind out two yards at a time, but he has an extra gear that most other RBs do not possess. His performance in the NCAA Championship game also showed off his plus receiving skills. At the very least, Michel will be used in the NFL as a 3rd down back. If he ends up with the right team, he could be a 20 touch a game type of player in his rookie season.
Prediction: Rumors are flying around that Michel has some medical issue that might keep him from being taken in the first round. If this is true, he might last until Day 2.
Nick Chubb — People will talk about a lack of size when it comes to Chubb, but they will be overlooking his strength and determination which is off the charts. Chubb should have an excellent career as a first and second down RB in the NFL. He is also extremely hard to take down which should give him a chance to be a goal-line back as well. Chubb is never going to be much of a receiver (think LeGarrette Blount), but he is willing to work in that department and could improve to a guy who could get 20 receptions per season.
Prediction: Day 2 Selection
Ronald Jones — I would be somewhat surprised if Jones is taken in the first two days of the draft. While he has speed and ability, he has a slight frame and doesn’t look like he can take the pounding of a starting NFL running back. Jones rarely fumbled in college and can improve as a receiver if a team is willing to give him a chance. Jones has the look of a player who can fill the Jerrick McKinnon-type role when McKinnon was with the Vikings. He might not be a starter, but he will be on the field for about 15 touches a game and could be a sneaky good player in PPR formats.
Prediction: Day 3 Running Back