Every year as fantasy football owners prepare for their drafts, they pay close attention to the running back position. In recent years, rookie running back like Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, and Christian McCaffrey became fantasy studs in their rookie campaigns. Unfortunately, not every rookie running back pops in their first season, but that doesn't mean that greatness will elude them.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Last season, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs led all rookies in rushing yards. In 13 games, Jacobs ran for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns. Fantasy owners need to take note of the situation in Las Vegas. The Raiders have several backs on their roster, but Jacobs is without question the leader of the backfield. Fantasy owners are drafting Jacobs in Round 2 of fantasy drafts. His early ADP is 19th overall.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
Many analysts in the fantasy industry expected Eagles running back Mies sanders to get off to a slow start last season and pick up more production as the season went on. That is precisely what happened. Sanders finished the season on a tear, scoring over 20 points in three of his last five games. Philadelphia plans to use Sanders like the Panthers use McCaffrey. That news should have you going crazy over Sanders. He has a top-ten ADP in early drafts. Even though Philadelphia has a crowded backfield, Sanders has the best skill set and is the back to own.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
David Montgomery was expected to give the Bears running game a boost in his rookie season, but that did not happen at all. Montgomery carried the ball 242 times last season, but he only averaged 3.7 yards per attempt. The Bears offensive line played a role in his underwhelming play. Bears beat writer Gene Chamberlain sees a path to a bounce-back for Montgomery this season stating that,
Nick Foles, could change all of this. His history is finding the back coming out of the backfield or throwing to the tight end. He's more likely to hit Montgomery in time to let him run with the ball in the open field.
If Chamberlain is correct, Montgomery could be a steal on draft day. In early drafts, he is drafted 27th among running backs.
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary only played in 12 games due to injury. When he was healthy and playing, he showed flashes of his versatility. I consider there to be more risk with Montgomery, though. One problem is the Bills drafted running back Zach Moss out of Utah this year. Moss is a skilled running back who could lead the Bills in running back targets and touches in 2020.
Read The Full Video Transcript Here:
Kaitlin O'Toole: Sports Illustrated is taking you inside the world of fantasy sports. Joining me now is SI's fantasy and gambling analyst Corey Parson. Corey, who are the second year running backs that fantasy owners should be going after this season.
Corey Parson: The second year running backs have a tendency to be sometimes overlooked, but they really can determine how your season ends up. So let's start with Los Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. Last season, he actually led all rookies in rushing yards, running for over 1100 yards on 4.8 yards per carry. Right now in early drafts, he's going off the board in the second round. He's a true bell cow back. Now you have Miles Sanders of the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year, Sanders started off slow, but he finished very strong. As a matter of fact in the fantasy playoffs, he was excellent, scoring double figures over 20 points in each of those games in PPR formats. This year in some early drafts, he is going as high as a top 10 pick. So I think he will be locked into that first round, and I don't disagree, especially with reports that the Eagles plan on using Sanders like the Panthers use Christian McCaffrey.
Kaitlin O'Toole: There's some second year running backs that we're just not sure about yet. Who are those question marks we need to look out for?
Corey Parson: Well, let's start in Chicago with the Bears and David Montgomery. Montgomery carried the ball 242 times last season, but he averaged only 3.7 yards per carry. Now listen, the Bears offensive line and offensive scheme were both terrible. Coming into this season, an advantage that he does have is if Nick Foles wins that starting job to be the quarterback. Nick Foles likes to dunk it to the back out of the backfield, but it's still a little shaky on David Montgomery. Also, Devon Singletary. He was banged up for the Buffalo Bills at times last season, Kaitlin. But one of the things that he did do, he did flash and show some potential when he finally got healthy. The Bills drafted Utah's Zach Moss in the draft and that kid can really play. So I think Singletary will be in that timeshare with Moss, I think Moss will end up taking over that one. Singletary is a guy that's not on my board.
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