Buy, Hold, Sell: Elite RB edition

Buy Giants RB Saquon Barkley NOW

By: Zach Kurt

Many people are in Panic mode 2 weeks into the season and I am going to address 3 Rbs drafted as top 12 RBs in most dynasty startups this year. The three backs I am going to highlight are Saquon Barkley, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (CEH), Antiono Gibson (Gibby). These are some high-profile guys who have had a less than stellar start to the 2021 season. As a dynasty owner, what are you supposed to do with these assets? I will tell you!

Saquon Barkley (RB-NYG) BUY!!

This one is the easiest decision of the three for me and it’s not particularly close. Saquon is the best running back in the NFL when healthy. He is a great pure runner of the ball and a pass-catching savant. He can turn any play into a TD and you don’t get that ability from many RB’s in the NFL (CMC, Henry, Dalvin, Saquon). He has been on a slow start this season. The man is coming off an ACL tear.

Let’s get some perspective here. Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in 2011 and in 2012 his first 2 games totaled 25 touches. Saquon in his first 2 games tallied 26 touches. It is okay to start slow as a skill player coming off this injury. If people are worried about him you absolutely should buy him he is the best running back in the NFL when healthy and he is a few weeks from being there. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB-KCC) Hold

CEH was heavily hyped a lot this offseason with the upgrades to the Chiefs O-line. Through two games in pass-heavy game scripts, CEH has been involved but not what you want for the workhorse back we were expecting him to be. It has been ugly for CEH thus far and despite the game scripts not being in his favor, he hasn’t impressed on any front. I believe that his trade value has taken a gigantic hit in the last two weeks that it is not smart to trade him right now. I have a few shares of CEH and have sent some offers out and the return I have been looking at is Chase Edmonds and Myles Gaskin. He is absolutely not worth selling for that. Wait for him to get a great majority of touches in a positive game script and his price will rocket back up because he is on the Cheifs.

Antonio Gibson (RB-WFT) SELL

Over this offseason, Antonio Gibson may have been the most hyped player in the fantasy community. People have been calling him CMC 2.0, Believing he would get a similar role to CMC. I had a lot of red flags when it came to this claim with Gibby and through a two-week sample, they seem to be coming true. J.D. McKissic was still there and was going to be the 3rd down back, Gibson was in for touchdown regression, and the more touches he saw his efficiency started to drop. All of those things have been happening two weeks in and I am a firm believer that they continue to happen. If you can sell Gibby for Saquon, Chubb, or David Montgomery I would sell Gibson for any of those guys very quickly. 

These first two weeks of NFL action have been peculiar but I believe that some of the evidence we have seen on the field is telling. None of what I have laid out here is a guarantee however sometimes it pays to buy low and sell high. Like I always say, send trade offers because Dynasty Never Rests.

Dynasty RBs to trade away

Top dynasty RBs to trade away right now

By Jesse Moeller via JMoeller05

After the chaos in the NFL we saw in week 1, I wanted to give you a list of players I am looking to trade away in dynasty. Unfortunately, I do not see these players holding the current value long-term, otherwise known as depreciating assets. Given this is dynasty, instead of listing only older running backs, I wanted to mention a couple of veterans and a few young running backs that I do not see living up to the billing. For this article, we will be using the dynasty rankings on the DLF website.

The Vets

Derrick Henry RB7

Henry is the biggest name to trade away in dynasty among all running backs. If you can get the value of a top 7 running back, you should move him immediately. The issue with Henry is his inflated rushing volume and nonexistent pass-catching, which limits Henry in PPR leagues. In addition, it makes Henry a game script dependant running back, where if the Titans fall behind as they did in week one, it practically takes Henry out of the game.

Henry has a very high ceiling only exceeded by the elite pass-catching running backs in fantasy, and my issue is more with Henry’s floor as it is much lower than other top-tier running backs. Let’s take game one and break it down to show you my point. Henry ran the ball 17 times in a blowout loss. That may seem like a lot, but that is one of Henry’s lowest totals of the past two seasons. He only has five performances with less than 17 rushes in that period. Now, if you spread that out throughout a 16 game season, you see the big picture issue for Henry. His season total rushing comes out to 272 attempts, which is 106 attempts lower than his 2020 pace. If you gave Henry the same efficiency, his rushing totals come out to 1,457 yards and 12 touchdowns, a whopping 570 fewer rushing yards and five touchdowns fewer. That’s a significant blow to Henry’s value and would crater his dynasty value if that scenario plays out. Given Henry was drafted at his ceiling, advanced age, and has a new offensive coordinator calling plays, he is the name I am screaming to trade away while he still carries that elite fantasy value.

Mike Davis RB31

The Falcons brought over Derrick Henry’s offensive coordinator, so it must be wheels up for Mike Davis, right? There was a lot to like about the hire of Arthur Smith and why teams with Davis rostered had to be excited going into the year. The Falcons did not spend high draft capital or big money on a free agent to give Davis competition as the lead back this year. It set up for Davis to smash a second consecutive year, or at least that was the thought behind buying into Mike Davis this year.

My issue is that the Falcons do not resemble the Titans on offense and should not deploy Davis in that role because it is not in the Falcons’ strengths as a team on offense. Instead, you have Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, and Kyle Pitts. Those are the big names in fantasy this year, paired with a far inferior offensive line. It is not an ideal fit for Mike Davis to exceed expectations. The Falcons have a worse defense and questions marks on the line. I don’t see how that setup is strong for Davis this year from a fantasy perspective.

The problem for Davis is that he feels like a ticking time bomb this year in dynasty. If Arthur Smith does not adjust to his talent, it could spell doom for Davis. The sooner you do it, the better. The Buccaneers are in town this week, and it could be a long game for the Falcons. I would be happy to move Davis for the cost of a top 30 dynasty running back.

Young Bucks

Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB12

I have never understood the CEH hype, as people draft him due to the situation and not talent. It is how you set yourself up for failure as a dynasty manager—propping up worse players due to where they were drafted or signed as free agents. With CEH, the signs are there for us to take notice. What continues to concern me about him is the lack of targets, CEH’s calling card in college. His ability to be a pass-catching weapon. The community thought he would explode attached to Mahomes and the Chiefs offense. Instead, it was an up and down rookie year with a disappointing finish that stuck in the craw of managers. The problem is that CEH stayed in the top 12 RB range this offseason. Meaning for CEH to live up to expectations, he needed to produce high-end fantasy numbers.

I have seen enough from CEH to move on to get the return of an RB1 in dynasty. Whether you are a win-now or in a rebuild, you can pivot off of CEH to better options. Talk to a team with Sanders, Ekeler, Dobbins, Williams, or Montgomery and see if you can get that player+ in a return trade. I happily make that type of move to give me a boost for the short and long term.

Michael Carter RB24


If you bought into the hype of Carter, you were likely feeling good about the situation during the offseason. The problem is that when you boost players up due to the landing spot, it tends to bite you in the butt more often than not. Unfortunately, Carter, much like CEH, falls under this category. There are monumental red flags with Carter at the moment. He has fallen behind Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman on the depth chart as the RB3 on his team. Suppose a player such as Carter cannot earn a role as a rookie, that makes me want to push the clock back another year or find a player similarly valued to try and trade-off Carter. The short-term and long-term prospects are murky at best. With the Jets’ offensive line issues, I do not want a Jets running back this year. I view the move as getting out before the floor collapses under this type of player in dynasty.

Think of the times you have held onto a player too long, and the value evaporated on your roster. I would much rather make a move and get a substantial return instead of being left holding the bag while you become a truther for this player.

Dynasty: Three RBs to trade for

Joe Mixon is a must trade for in dyansty

By Zach Attack @FFChalupaBatman

In dynasty leagues, typically the best way to improve your team immediately is by trading because the waiver wire usually does not have players that can make a significant impact on your starting roster. The key to any trade is understanding player value. You can trade for players when you feel that value is low which is “buying low,” but you expect to rebound so you don’t have to give up as much then reap the rewards if the player does bounce back and plays better. You could also “buy high,” which is when you trade for a high-performing player so you have to give up a lot to make the trade happen. However, you think that player can continue to play better and expect the value to continue to rise so now you have a stud player on your roster that still has more value in the future. We are going to highlight three running backs whose value has dipped and you should trade for now before their value bounces back when they play well this season: Joe Mixon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Chris Carson.

Joe Mixon

Joe Mixon’s current dynasty ADP, from DLF.com, is 24.17, which is the end of the 2nd round. Mixon’s lowest point of value was in March 2021 at pick 36 (end of 3rd round), and his value has been slowly rising since then. However, his peak value was a year ago in July 2021 when he was pick 7.17 (mid-1st round). Mixon’s value will continue to increase as more hype comes from training camp about him getting more snaps and targets, and if he finishes as an RB1 this season then his value will jump back up towards the end of the 1st round for 2022. Joe Mixon has burned a lot of fantasy football players because of his injuries, which may make it easier to “buy low” when trading for him. Here are the reasons why you should trade for Joe Mixon right now:

  • He will be 25 years old at the end of July, even though he is going into his fifth season. He is in the prime of his career
  • He signed his second contract last season and is under contract through 2024. We know teams can get out of contracts whenever they want, but there is some comfort he is now only in the 2nd year of his new contract.
  • Giovani Bernard is no longer on the roster, and Joe Mixon is expected to see an increase in workload this season because he will stay on the field for passing downs too.
  • In 6 games in 2020, averaged his most rush attempts/game in his career (19.8) and his most receptions/game in his career (3.5) for an average total of 23.3 touches/game.
    • In 2020, Dalvin Cook averaged 25.4 touches/game, Derrick Henry averaged 24.8, and Alvin Kamara averaged 18 to put Joe Mixon in perspective.
  • Before 2020, Mixon had only missed 4 out of 48 games (8.3%). We do not know how serious Mixon’s injury was in 2020, but when Burrow got hurt it was a lost season for the Bengals so it made sense not to risk Mixon for the rest of the season.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s current dynasty ADP, from DLF.com, is 25.83, which is the start of the 3rd round. CEH’s lowest point of value was in March 2021 at pick 27.33 (early 3rd round), and his value hasn’t changed much since he has only moved up 1.5 picks from his low point. CEH’s peak value was in October 2020 at pick 4.25 (early/mid 1st round). He skyrocketed in August 2020 after Damien Williams opted out due to COVID, which made CEH the starting RB of the high-powered Chiefs offense.  CEH had his highest points scored game Week 6 (10/19/20) against Buffalo with 20.9 PPR points. Then Le’Veon Bell joined the Chiefs and started playing in Week 7 and CEH’s dropped significantly. As a rookie, CEH had a good season, but so many people had such high expectations when he became the starter.  That disappointment is what dropped his value by 2 rounds.  Now is the time to trade for CEH because he will have a better season this year then his value will jump back up, and then you will need to give up more to acquire him. Here are the reasons why you should trade for Clyde Edwards-Helaire right now:

  • He is only 22 years old going into his second season.
  • Before Le’Veon Bell joined the team (Weeks 1-6), CEH averaged 21.3 touches/game, and then from Weeks 7-17 (7 games played), he averaged 12.7 touches/game. That is a significant decrease in workload and Bell is no longer on the team for 2021.
  • Damien Williams is not on the Chiefs anymore too, and it appears that CEH does not have competition from the other RBs on the roster for touches this season.
  • CEH only scored 5 total TDs in 13 games, 0.38 TD/game, and scored every 43.4 touches. For perspective, Nick Chubb had 216 touches in 12 games and scored 12 total TDs, 1 TD/game, and scored a TD every 18 touches. It is not likely that CEH will be that efficient at scoring in 2021, but there should be positive regression for his TDs.
  • The Chiefs made moves in the offseason to improve their offensive line, which can only help CEH improve his efficiency.
  • According to FantasyData.com, CEH was 27th in rushing attempts from within the 5 yard-line with 9 attempts and only scored 1 TD. J.K. Dobbins also had 9 attempts but was able to score 8 rushing TDs. CEH will improve converting goal-line touches into TDs.

Chris Carson

Chris Carson’s current dynasty ADP, from DLF.com, is 60.67, which is the start of the 5th round. Caron’s lowest point of value was March 2020 (84.33) and March 2021 (84.17) because fantasy managers were concerned that Carson would not re-sign with the Seattle Seahawks. Even though Carson’s value has jumped two rounds since he will be with Seattle and he does not have any expected significant competition for touches in the backfield. He is the oldest running back in this article, but he has been a consistent high-end RB2 and it will take fewer assets to acquire him compared to the other two RBs. Here are the reasons why you should trade for Chris Carson right now:

  • He is still only 27 years old and still looks strong going into his fifth season.
  • Carson is a model of consistency performing well:
    • 2020 – finished 14th in PPR PPG (15.7)
    • 2019 – finished 13th in PPR PPG (15.5)
    • 2018 – finished 15th PPR PPG (14.4)
  • He finished 8th in fantasy points over expectation/game, according to RotoViz.
  • Carson saw a dip in production from the prior two seasons and still was able to score RB2 level points. He is expected to bounce back in 2021 and he is being drafted at a value in the 5th round.

Dynasty RB buys to make now

Playing the value game in Fantasy

By: Andrew Metcalfe 

One of the things that makes Dynasty fun is the aspect of monitoring player values from year to year. If you trade away (“sell”) a player right before their value plummets, your team will likely reap the benefits for several years to come. It’s just as important to keep an eye out for players whose value is lower than their expected fantasy output and trade for (“buy”) them at a discounted cost. Here are three undervalued running backs that could help your Dynasty team this upcoming season and beyond:

Ronald Jones

Ronald Jones is a prime example of a young, raw player that needed time to develop after entering the NFL. He was only 20 years old when he was drafted in the second round by the Buccaneers in 2018- one of the youngest rookies ever. He struggled to find his way as a rookie and was inconsistent throughout his second season. Going into 2020, there were a few excited about a potential third-year breakout for Jones, but two weeks before the start of the regular season, Tampa picked up Leonard Fournette who had just been released by Jacksonville. This caused an uproar throughout the Fantasy community and countless “Jones vs. Fournette” debates ensued.

Jones began the season as the backfield leader, averaging over 15 touches per game over the first six weeks compared to 10 touches per game for Fournette. Going into Week 7, Jones was the RB13. Then the mid-season troubles started for Jones, as he was benched multiple times between weeks 7-9 for fumbles and/or missed assignments and Fournette ended up seeing more work during that stretch. Against the Panthers in week 10, Jones had his best game of the season by gashing Carolina for 192 rushing yards, and from that point on, he would lead the backfield in touches for the rest of his games played through the regular season (he missed weeks 15-16 with a finger injury).

We all know the story of “Playoff Lenny” where Fournette led the Tampa backfield throughout their playoff run, on the way to a Super Bowl victory. The quad injury to Jones during pregame warm-ups of their Wildcard game cannot be overlooked though. Jones missed their first playoff game and was limited for the remainder of the postseason because of it. Fournette was playing well, so there was no reason for the Bucs to force Jones onto the field, but I have no doubt that Jones would have been the leader if it weren’t for the quad strain. Fournette has the momentum going into 2021, but this is still Ronald Jones’ backfield. Go out and acquire him at backup RB cost before he shows it during the season.   

Nyheim Hines 

Nyheim Hines began the 2020 season as the third Colts’ running back. No one would have guessed that he would finish as the RB15 for fantasy. Despite the Jonathan Taylor breakout, Hines still managed to have his career-best season with 862 total yards and seven touchdowns. Due to Marlon Mack’s season-ending achilles injury, he served as the primary backup to Taylor and even out-produced Taylor on the ground in certain games where the rookie struggled.

Even though Indianapolis re-signed Marlon Mack, this seems like more of a “good faith” move than them actually wanting him back. He sat on the free-agent market for several weeks, but coming off of an achilles tear (an injury known to end young RB careers) there must not have been any interested teams so the Colts brought him back on a team-friendly deal. I expect Hines to remain as the second back behind Taylor.

While Jonathan Taylor gained all of the attention in the second half of 2020 during his hot streak, Hines also finished the season strong. Through the final six regular-season games, Hines averaged 10.8 touches and 5.1 targets in each game. He remained consistently involved, but the touchdowns were all going to Taylor. That’s why the perception is that Taylor completely took over the backfield.

Some view Phillip Rivers as the reason for Hines’ relevance, as he’s known to check down to RBs more often than other QBs, but Hines’ 76 targets last season were actually less than what he saw in 2018, as a rookie with Andrew Luck (81 targets). He has a well-established role in this offense and that will not change in 2021. Hines is a great low-end flex option to have available on any dynasty team and his cost to acquire is minimal.

Anthony McFarland

This is a DEEP sleeper, but Anthony McFarland is in a great position to earn a role behind the Steelers’ 2021 first-round pick, Najee Harris. Pittsburgh took McFarland in the fourth round of the 2020 draft after his redshirt sophomore season at Maryland. His 6.7 yards per carry during his college career is the third-best mark in Maryland history. He suffered a high ankle sprain early in 2019 and played through it, but it had a negative impact on his production and draft capital.

McFarland’s rookie season was forgettable, seeing only 33 carries on the year for just 113 rushing yards. His first game was in Week 3 where he carried the ball six times and gained 42 yards (7 ypc), but that would end up being the most action he would see in a single game. 

As I mentioned earlier, Najee Harris will be the lead back for the Steelers. At this point, it’s a battle for the number two spot between Anthony McFarland, Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels, and Kalen Ballage. Samuels and Ballage are career backups that shouldn’t be viewed as anything more than depth options, leaving Snell as the main competition for McFarland. While Snell appears to be the current favorite based on history, I wouldn’t be surprised if McFarland leap-frogged him. Snell stepped up as the starter when Connor was injured last season but he didn’t do much with the opportunity, averaging just 3.32 yards per carry. McFarland will be reunited with his college Head Coach, Matt Canada, who is now the OC in Pittsburgh. That’s a huge advantage for him to be familiar with the system and even though there’s a slim chance he ever becomes a lead back, Canada knows how to use him best and might have a role planned for him.  

McFarland is currently an afterthought for most dynasty managers. He’s an easy “throw-in” to add onto a trade deal or worth a late-round rookie pick on his own.

Three rookie RB/WRs with the most upside in dynasty

By Zach Attack @FFChalupaBatman

We are amid rookie fever as dynasty players have their rookie drafts. There are several strategies to construct a winning dynasty team, and drafting rookies with high upside is one strategy. Every rookie with upside will not hit their potential, but when they do on your roster you have a young asset in their prime. Below are three rookie running backs or wide receivers with enormous upside that you should acquire in drafts.

RB Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

Javonte Williams was drafted 35th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the third RB off the board. There may not be immediate upside since Melvin Gordon is currently on the roster, but in dynasty, you need to project into the future too. Gordon’s contract ends after the 2021 season, and he is not expected to be re-signed by the Broncos. The Broncos have built a young, talented offense and their offensive line is continuing to improve. They may only be a QB away from a high-powered offense or we could see Drew Lock improve his development this season. Williams has great all-around RB skills that project him to be a three-down RB when he takes over the backfield. That is rare nowadays in the NFL. Williams is also a young rookie since he just turned 21 years old at the end of April. All of these factors give Javonte Williams a high upside, and you do not even need to draft him at 1.01!

WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

Jaylen Waddle was drafted 6th overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the second WR off the board. Waddle’s junior season at the University of Alabama was cut short due to an injury, but he is expected to be fully healthy going into his rookie season with the Dolphins. Waddle did not run the 40-yard dash during his pro day, but everyone knows he is a speedster and can run an extremely fast 40-yard dash. Several analysts have compared Waddle to Tyreek Hill because of his size and speed, and this may be a lazy comparison but only time will tell to see how productive Waddle can be on the field. The Miami Dolphins have been collecting first-round picks for several years and they now have a good, young team and have more first-round picks in the next couple of seasons. Tua Tagovailoa, who played with Waddle in college, did not have a stellar rookie season, but he was coming back for a significant hip injury. The offensive coordinator has changed, and the team has extreme speed on the field this year after signing Will Fuller and drafting Jaylen Waddle. Tua will improve this season and Waddle will develop with this younger team. Waddle has the skill set to be a big play waiting to happen on any play. If he can be consistent with big plays then he can be a WR1 in fantasy football. Just like Javonte Williams, Waddle is capable of being a dominant player for many years to come and you do not need to have the 1.01 pick to draft him.

WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals

Rondale Moore was drafted 49th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the sixth WR off the board. Moore had an incredible freshman year at Purdue University with 135 touches, 1,471 scrimmage yards, and 14 total TDs in 13 games! Unfortunately, due to injuries Moore only played 7 games total for his sophomore and junior year. He is only 5’ 7”, but insanely explosive with a 4.29 40 yard dash and 42.5” vertical jump! Moore joins a dynamic passing offense led by QB Kyler Murray. He may start as the third WR on the depth chart behind DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green, if healthy, but he will get at least 60% of snaps. If A.J. Green does not perform well this season then he can be cut next offseason after 6/1 without a dead cap hit and a $2.5 million savings for the team. Moore is going to develop alongside Murray, who appears to be an exciting and dynamic young QB. Rondale Moore has the skill set to capitalize on big plays in this offense for many years to come. As with most rookie WRs, you may not get a lot of fantasy points this year, but there is so much upside for him to be at least a WR2 for several years soon.

3 RBs to Trade for/3 to Trade Away in Dynasty

Trade for these Dynasty RBs

By Calvin K (Twitter: @Calvin_SGF)

The running back position is always a tough one to evaluate in dynasty. Aging RBs tend to fall off really fast, but it’s easy for fantasy managers to want to hold on too long given their past production. However, most dynasty managers by now seem to be all in on the “youth movement,” and those older RBs can sometimes be overlooked as a result.

For the most part, though, elite running backs will command immense trade value regardless of their age, and the potential regret of bailing out on one a season too early overshadows the flip side of that in most managers’ minds. Fantasy managers also tend to overreact to situation changes in an RB room, when in reality, a talented RB will usually find a way to produce regardless of situation (see: 2020 rookie class). There are many other factors to consider when analyzing dynasty RB trade value, but these two will be the ones I’ll focus the most on in this article. Below are three RBs that I’d buy and three that I’d sell this offseason.

Buys

1: Antonio Gibson (Washington Football Team)

Gibson is one of many breakout stars from the 2020 RB class, and his price tag in dynasty is extremely reasonable given his potential. Gibson is currently the RB14 in FantasyPros’ dynasty consensus (PPR) rankings, and he is the #26 player ranked overall, a spot that could end up making rankers look foolish. Gibson’s production last year wasn’t great, but as Washington head coach Ron Rivera began to gain trust in him, his touch count increased. The highlight of Gibson’s season was an electric Thanksgiving Day performance against the rival Dallas Cowboys, but unfortunately, we didn’t see much from Gibson after that as he battled a turf toe injury.

Gibson missed two games with the injury in 2020, but even when he was back, he was not the same player. His usual burst wasn’t there, and he wasn’t getting to the line of scrimmage quickly enough, resulting in many minimal gains that he wouldn’t have otherwise had. However, it was clear by that point that Gibson had earned the coaching staff’s trust, and next year, he’s set up to be a workhorse.

The main concern about Gibson coming into the draft was that he only had 33 carries in 2019 at Memphis, and while his dual-threat ability as both an RB and a WR wasn’t questioned, discussions arose about whether he was capable of being a true NFL RB. He put those to rest in 2020, and in 2021, he will undoubtedly be ready to make a huge difference for his team. Now, the lack of workload in college is assumed to be a benefit to his value, as he assuredly has less mileage on his legs than most RBs his age, which could allow him to have a longer career.

Gibson’s target share last year (as well as QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 2020 lack of RB targets) is another concern that is discussed, but those shouldn’t be too worrisome given that he was a rookie and that his general workload increased throughout the year. Fitzpatrick also didn’t play with an RB like Gibson last year (Myles Gaskin, while good, can’t touch Gibson’s receiving ability), so the 38-year-old is likely to be prone to treating Gibson more like a WR in terms of targets. Overall, there aren’t many concerns to be had with Gibson’s fantasy value, and if he can continue to be a workhorse back, he will pay big dividends to his fantasy managers.

2: D’Andre Swift (Detroit Lions)

Yes, Swift does already have a hefty price tag (RB9 on FantasyPros), but that shouldn’t stop you from trying to make a move. The worries over backup Jamaal Williams’ potential role in the offense are at an all-time-high, as Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn had high praise for the newly signed Williams. However, the worries about Swift’s role decreasing are overreactions, and Swift’s talent should thrust him into a workhorse role almost immediately in Year 2.

The quote from Lynn does admittedly look a little worrisome, but keep in mind that he had extremely similiar praise for Swift earlier in the offseason. Jamaal Williams is a decent player, but there’s a reason that he’s been a career backup, and if Lynn decides not to put Swift in a workhorse role come Week 1, I’d expect him to earn it pretty quickly. Swift is an excellent pass catcher as well, and his ability to line up in the slot makes him able to be a three-down guy. Swift’s ability between the tackles also dwarfs that of Williams, as Williams just doesn’t have the same burst and explosiveness of the 22-year-old.

When you think about it, it’s not hard to understand why the Lions added a guy like Williams. The departure of Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson left a void at backup RB, a void big enough to where the Lions would’ve been crazy not to add another guy. The addition of Williams hardly means that Swift’s workhorse role is going away, it just exemplifies that the Lions lacked depth at the RB position. The other factor to consider is that Williams and Swift are both similar backs. It would’ve been one thing for the Lions to add someone such as a goal-line specialist who’d be more efficient than Swift inside the five-yard line. However, there’s really nothing that Williams does better than Swift, which should minimize concerns about a potential workload shift.

3: Javonte Williams (Denver Broncos)

It often can be difficult to buy rookies at a fair cost in the offseason given that their managers just drafted them in a rookie draft. However, as rookie fever subsides during the season, it could be possible to get Williams at a cheap price. The reward for a Williams trade would likely be tremendous, as the only other threat to his workload (Melvin Gordon) has his contract end at the end of the year. The Broncos traded up into the high second round to select Williams, showing that they believe in his talent, so even if he doesn’t produce great numbers right away, a jump can be expected near the end of the season or after Gordon leaves.

Williams is an excellent inside running back, and he was probably better than any 2020 college RB in terms of breaking tackles. He’s also a good pass catcher, which, as we know, can help him provide great value in PPR (point per reception) leagues. Williams’ lateral speed is a bit of a question mark, but his ability to drag out extra yards between the tackles is elite, so there’s not much reason to be concerned about his talent.

Denver’s offensive line is questionable, but they are solid at tackle, which will be helpful for Williams. Garett Bolles had a breakout season last year, and he was rewarded with a four-year contract to be the team’s left tackle of the future. Right tackle was definitely a weakness for the Broncos last year, but they should be helped by the presumed return of Ja’Wuan James, who missed most of the last two seasons due to injury.

Denver’s tackles will need to focus on keeping defensive ends inside the box – leaving space for Williams to run laterally – in order to maximize the potential of the running game. Either way though, the future looks bright for Williams, as it’s clear he’s a very talented player. Williams’ current RB22 ranking on FantasyPros probably won’t accurately represent his current trade cost (due to the usual rookie fever), but as the season gets underway, trying to buy him at that price should be a good investment.

Sells

1: Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans)

Admittedly, it may be a little hard to sell Henry for what you would ideally want want, given that most fantasy managers are now hearing cries of “sell” for the second straight offseason. However, there are definitely still managers that remain Henry truthers, and they will stand by him given last year’s elite production. I’m a Henry fan myself, but the sad truth is that now is the smart time to sell based on running back history in general.

Henry is 27 years old, which is exactly the age where star running backs tend to hit a wall. He also has had two straight seasons with an extremely heavy workload, following up a 321 touch season with 397 the year following. People in favor of Henry will say that he’s an outlier, and while that is true in terms of athletic ability, it doesn’t mean we can just forget about the extremely heavy workload he’s received.

Even if Henry has one more amazing year, it’s still worth it to sell him now. RB drop-offs tend to be quick and abrupt (see: Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson), and because of this, it’s better to sell early than late. Right now, the three guys I mentioned carry very little value in dynasty, so the risk of holding onto Henry for too long is the chance of getting virtually no value out of him in a later trade. Trading him now can garner several rookie picks/role players that can sustain a team for the longer term, and the best strategy is to look for a win-now team to trade with. That manager will likely put more of a premium on Henry’s short-term success, but while he certainly could be great in 2021, Henry is not a good bet for sustaining long-term value at this point.

2: Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys)

Elliott is another player who could be a hard sell in trade negotiations, but there are still managers out there who will value him close to his value from last offseason. Elliott had a down year for fantasy in 2020, but that can mostly be chalked up to the injury of star QB Dak Prescott, as well as a barrage of injuries sustained by the offensive line.

Surprisingly, Zeke will only be 26 years old entering this season, however, his heavy workload throughout his first five seasons still makes him a guy you should look to trade away. Elliott has shouldered at least 268 touches in each of his five seasons, he amassed well over 300 touches in three of those while piling up 296 in the other year. Like Henry, Elliott also has a good chance to have success next year, but even if he does, selling him now for a high price is worth it.

2020 put a damper on Elliott’s trade value, but he still is ranked as the RB12 on FantasyPros, and there are many managers who would assuredly value him much higher. Elliott has lots of name and production recognition, which helps boost his stock in the eyes of fantasy players. However, he is near that metaphorical wall, so selling him is the smart move. Managers wishing to sell could potentially get a package in return that includes a young RB, such as Antonio Gibson, along with draft picks/role players in addition. Not every fantasy player will be willing to make a trade like this, but because of his past production, there are people who are still very high on Elliott, so current Elliott owners should look to capitalize on a declining asset while they still can.

3: Chase Edmonds (Arizona Cardinals)

I mentioned earlier in this article that I would use two main factors to determine running back buys and sells. For the buys, I like to insist on getting talented guys currently in questionable situations, and as for sells, I (like many others) tend to emphasize elite, but aging RBs. Edmonds, however, is a different case than all of the others in my eyes, simply because I do not believe he has the ability to be a first and second down back in the NFL.

I have said throughout the offseason that I’m out on Chase Edmonds, and the best time to sell Edmonds would’ve been before the signing of James Conner to Arizona. However, he still commands enough trade value in dynasty to where he’s definitely worth sending away. Edmonds is currently FantasyPros’ RB28, near players such as Ronald Jones, James Robinson, and Myles Gaskin, who are all clearly superior in my eyes. All four of these players may struggle to put up numbers due to tough backfield situations, but the main thing that puts Edmonds so clearly below is simple: talent.

To be clear, Edmonds is great at what he does, and his talent for catching passes and being a third-down back is excellent for a running back. However, Edmonds simply isn’t built for a role between the tackles, which is why I expect James Conner to get the clear majority of the carries next year. Edmonds can still put up some numbers as a pass-catcher, but those weren’t consistent enough last year to make him a startable guy in fantasy. Many Edmonds truthers tend to act like he is good between the tackles, but the fact remains that when he’s had to step into the starting role, he’s been extremely inefficient.

In the two 2020 games where he got double-digit carries, Edmonds did not play particularly well. The first example of this was a disastrous 25 carry, 70 yard performance against a below-average Buffalo rushing defense where he just couldn’t get going. The second game had a better stat line (11 carries for 47 yards), but it was also against an Eagles defense that allowed the 11th most rushing yards per game in 2020, and 11 carries is hardly the amount given to a workhorse.

This is obviously a small sample size to work with, but in part, that proves the point I’m trying to make. Edmonds is not experienced in a between-the-tackles role, and the fact that he doesn’t have many games with high amounts of carries show that his coaches are aware of that. To reiterate, Edmonds is a very good backup RB, one who is excellent as a third-down back. However, it’s unrealistic to expect him to transition well to this completely new role. There’s a reason that Edmonds has been a backup for his whole career so far, and it’s not because he isn’t good at his role, it’s because he’s not the type of running back who’s meant to be on the field on all three downs.

Final Thoughts

This article should be helpful for anyone looking to make dynasty trades, however, it is meant to be a guideline, not something to be rigorously and exactly adhered to. There will be some managers with the same thought process as you regarding these players, making them difficult to obtain/sell. My advice when dealing with one of those managers is: don’t force it. Just because a player is recommended as a buy/sell doesn’t mean you should overpay/get a bad return just to get rid of them. If one manager isn’t interested in trading for/trading away a guy, you can always trade with another person instead (if you’re looking to sell), and if no one will pay/ask for a fair price, don’t be afraid to walk away from a potential deal entirely in order to avoid a scam.

Top 3 Running backs you need to Buy Now

Buy RB Chris Carson NOW

By: Taylor Ford Twitter: @Dadynastydad

No matter the type of fantasy football league you are in. Running back always has tons of value. Here is 3 backs that are over the age of 26, that you should buy now.

Introduction

Everyone is looking for young players in a dynasty setting, especially at the running back position given their short shelf life. The older the players get, typically means, the less valuable they get. With that being said, there are some running backs that are aging and still putting up solid numbers, and probably will do so for the foreseeable future. Two of these backs have been proven for a while and will continue to do so into their thirties, but the last guy is a bit of a sleeper. I am talking about Chris Carson, Melvin Gordon, and Mike Davis.

Chris Carson

Chris Carson is number one on this list because he is in a run happy system and is the youngest of the three. Carson turns 27 right as the 2021-2022 season begins. Carson missed about 5 full games in the 2020-2021 season with an injury, but if he could have stayed healthy, he might have had his third straight 1000+ yard season rushing. Carson has an ADP of 61.54 right now in dynasty start up drafts, which is way more than a bargain for a guy that puts up the kind of numbers he does. If you are in an active league and someone else owns him, try to trade for him before the rookie draft. The owner may look to replace him with someone much younger while you could receive a proven running back. The Oklahoma State product has shown that he can pound the rock and produce good numbers for fantasy owners.

Melvin Gordon

Everyone thought Melvin Gordon was declining when he sat out for a bit of the season a couple years ago and got out-shined by the younger Austin Ekeler. They would be wrong. Furthermore, He just turned 28 years of age and is still performing at a decently high level. Last year he was sharing touches with Phillip Lindsey and still hit just under 1000 yards rushing. The QB play was not the best in Denver last year and they did not utilize him in the pass game as well as they should have. That very well could change going into the NFL rookie draft, as Denver may be taking a young stud QB with the 9th overall pick. Now that Phillip Lindsey has departed to Houston, Melvin Gordon finds himself in a bell-cow type situation again, and he is about to have a great season. Besides his rookie season and last year when he sat out for the first part of the season, he has been over 1000+ all purpose yards for each season. He will continue to give good value to fantasy owners going forward. Gordon has a dynasty start up ADP of 83.74 which is about right for his age, but still a great deal for the production he gives.

Mike Davis

Mike Davis the sleeper is not that big of a sleeper given the great season he had last year standing in for CMC. He had 8 total touchdowns and over 1000 all-purpose yards in the 2020-2021 season. Davis showed he can be the bell-cow and that he is not afraid the bulldozed someone over on the field, every week. As of now he is the starter in Atlanta and probably will be. His dynasty start up ADP is 121.98 and he will probably be pretty cheap to trade for as well. He will put up really good numbers as the starter in Atlanta for the next few years, so if you are on the championship hunt, get him on your team now.

Summary

Yes, these guys are aging a bit, but not in their numbers. They will continue to be good pieces on fantasy owner’s teams if they are the starters. No one on their teams are really going to challenge for many touches, so they should see plenty of volume. All of them are very versatile in the pass game as well which will help even more in a PPR setting. Chris Carson is the most obvious buy with the biggest upside, but he still will come at a good price. Trading a second-round rookie pick would not be too farfetched for him. Melvin Gordon has had the better career out of the three and is going to have a great next couple of seasons with no one in Denver to take his touches. Mike the sleeper Davis is going to come at the best value because of people underestimating his ability. You could get him with a backend rookie pick and get solid numbers from a starting running back. If you need help at the running back position or even just some depth, these guys may all come with a good bargain deal and will immediately help you win some games.

3 Running Backs To Sell In Dynasty

Sell RB Derrick Henry

By: Dave Browne

Last week, we discussed three potential running backs to ‘buy’ in dynasty league formats. This week we’re going to venture into some running backs in which dynasty players should be looking to ‘sell.’ In life, we have a tendency to hold onto things for way too long. Stocks, relationships, grudges, and the list goes on. Dynasty is no different. As players, we have to know when to ‘sell’ our stock in what we perceive as assets at their highest peak before they implode or lose all of their value. Letting go may not always be easy, but it’s the right call. Here are three players we should be looking to ‘sell’ high on.

Derrick Henry- Derrick Henry is an absolute beast. Not too often do you see a running back put up monster fantasy points without adding a whole lot of value as a receiver out of the backfield. To put it into context, only 30.4 of his 333.1 fantasy points came through the air.

This is because the 2020 AP Offensive Player of the Year became just the eighth running back in NFL history to run for over 2,000 yards. 2,027 to be exact. Henry also hit paydirt 17 times. Henry ranked third in total running back points and in average points per game. He became the NFL’s first back-to-back leading rusher since LaDanian Tomlinson accomplished the feat in 2006.

Henry has been deemed the nickname ‘King’ for a reason. No one will doubt what he has accomplished throughout his career. However, rushing for over 2,000 yards holds credence and his value will never be ANY higher. Here are a few reasons to consider trading Henry.

  • History is not on Henry’s side to repeat such a dominant performance.
    • Of the seven running backs who have rushed for 2,000 yards, no running back eclipsed 1,500 yards the following season.
    • Only O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson eclipsed 1,500 yards in any season following a 2,000-yard season.
    • Only Eric Dickerson and Adrian Peterson have had multiple seasons of double-digit touchdowns following their 2,000-yard seasons.
  • Henry is by no means old, but he will be 27 1/2 years of age by the time the 2021 season starts. He has two more seasons before he hits the dreaded age 30 season.
  • Henry has carried the ball 681 times over the course of the last two seasons 896 over the last three. Henry plays a physical brand of football, and one has to wonder when the miles will catch up to him.
  • If Henry loses some leverage as a runner, he will not make up for production in the passing game.
  • Henry had his two best seasons under offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who is now the Atlanta Falcons head coach.

I wouldn’t bet against Henry being productive at football for the next two, three seasons. BUT do not count on him sustaining his 312.8 points per season that he’s averaged the last two seasons. We have to expect some regression, possibly as soon as next season. Sell high on Henry and expect a nice return.

Ezekiel Elliott- Ezekiel Elliott supporters must be salivating over Dak Prescott’s new four-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys. A presumably healthy Prescott means fantasy gold for ‘Zeke,’ right? That appears to be the case, as Elliott has finished as a top-five running back in three of his four full seasons with Prescott running the offense. Prior to Prescott sustaining an injury in Week 5 against the Giants, Elliott was the fourth-highest producing running back on a per-game basis averaging 22.3 points per game.

All of that is appealing in a fantasy sense. Dallas’s offense screams sex appeal in 2021. Even more so with the likelihood of a bad defense resulting in more shootouts. So why should we be looking to deal Elliott again? Here are a few reasons why we should be looking to trade Elliott sooner rather than later.

  • The offensive line- Elliott has had the luxury of running behind one of the best offensive lines in football since entering the league in 2016. What was once a strength of the Cowboys is becoming a glaring weakness. Center Travis Frederick retired prior to the 2019 season, Right Tackle La’el Collins is coming off hip surgery, left tackle Tyron Smith missed 14 games due to a neck injury, and guard Zack Martin missed six games with a calf injury. Age and injury concerns are starting to mount for the Cowboys’ offensive line. Their health is worth monitoring, as Zeke’s success largely depends on it.
  • Prescott’s health- Elliott’s success is largely contingent upon a healthy Dak Prescott. The Dallas offense was putrid when Prescott missed 11 games from his ankle injury. Coming off major ankle surgery with a shaky offensive line, things become murky for Elliott if Prescott were to miss any time.
  • Production- First and foremost, fantasy points are fantasy points. No one really complains about how their favorite players get points. But should we start worrying about Elliott? Let’s take a deeper dive into some of Elliott’s stats.
    • Since his rookie season, his rushing yards per game have dipped EVERY single season. He began his career by rushing for 108.7 yards per game. By 2019, his last full season with Prescott, he ran for just 84.8 yards per game. It’s not for lack of opportunity as he has had 300 plus carries in three of his first four campaigns as a professional.
    • More troubling are his advanced stats. Per SIS Data, in 2019 Elliott merely averaged 2.6 yards after contact (20th best in the NFL) and a broken tackle percentage of 14.6 which ranked outside of the top 20 amongst running backs with at least 75 carries. Elliott ranked 10th or worst in metric categories like true yards per carry, yards per touch, yards created per touch, breakaway runs, evaded tackles, and juke rate according to Player Profiler. Those numbers were with Prescott. 2020 was drastically worse without him.
    • Workload- Volume is king in fantasy football. We want running backs who are going to provide us a guaranteed touch ceiling. Elliott has averaged 330.8 touchers per year. However, this is a lot of mileage on a running back who hasn’t even reached his 26th birthday yet. Already missing eight games in his career, one has to wonder if his body will be able to sustain that type of workload in the long run.

Elliott may very well leave off where he left off prior to Prescott getting injured. He may provide tremendous value to dynasty players for the 2021 season. However, trading Elliott could land a healthy coup in a trade for a forward thinking manager.

Josh Jacobs- The Los Vegas Raiders’ signing of running back Kenyon Drake completely came out of left field. No matter how curious of a signing it was, this no doubt hurts the value of Josh Jacobs. You don’t give Drake a two-year contract worth 14.2 million dollars to ride the pine. However, the stars were aligning for a Jacobs ‘sell’ even before the Drake signing. The results for Jacobs have been a mixed bag through his first two seasons in the league.

  • Three-down running backs are harder to come by in today’s NFL. It is no fault of Jacobs’ own that Head Coach Jon Gruden has yet to fully unleash Jacobs thus far in his career. In 28 career games, Jacobs has 72 targets and 53 receptions. The Raiders have a propensity to play in shootouts. Per Player Profiler, Jacobs and the Raiders received a -2.71 game script score. This metric measures the average point differential at any point in any game during the season. Their inability to play effective defense often leads to point chasing as Player Profiler illustrates. Point chasing means we get to see less and less of Jacobs on the field with the lack of usage in the passing game. The defense does not fair to be much better in 2021.
  • Offensive line- The Raiders offensive line, once considered a strength now faces some questions heading into the 2021 season. In a surprising move, the Raiders released three-time Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson. The Raiders also shipped out right tackle Trent Brown and guard Gabe Jackson. Besides Kolton Miller and 38-year old Richie Incognito, the Raiders have little continuity on their offensive line.
  • Jacobs went from averaging 88.5 yards on the ground per game as a rookie to just 71 yards per game in his sophomore campaign.
  • Jacobs underlying metrics- Per Player Profiler Jacobs’ True Yards Per Carry (3.8, NFL rank 56), Yards Per Touch (4.3, NFL rank 53), and Breakaway Run Rate which measures the percentage of carries of 15 plus yards (3.3%, NFL rank 43) are way, way below average.
  • Jacobs’ 12 rushing touchdowns accounted for 31.1% of his 231.3 fantasy points. Touchdowns are a volatile stat that can’t be predicted from year to year. Banking on double-digit touchdowns is a dicey proposition.

Josh Jacobs is a household name who has yet to really ‘break through’ in the fantasy community. There is no denying the talent Jacobs possesses. However, there just seems to be too many question marks to bank on any sort of consistency week in and out. Look to deal him to another dynasty owner who is counting on a third-year breakout from the Alabama running back.

Follow me on Twitter at @BrownieNJD82 for fantasy and sports betting content.

3 Running Backs In Dynasty To Buy

Buy Chargers Austin Ekeler

Dynasty Football is a lot like the stock market. Fantasy managers need to know when to buy or sell their assets for their immediate and long-term needs. Here are three running backs who dynasty players should be buying stocks in now for their dynasty teams.

Austin Ekeler- Melvin Gordon’s departure to the Denver Broncos last off-season left dynasty enthusiasts chomping at the bits to acquire Ekeler at all costs. Ekeler’s competition for touches heading into the 2020 season was only Justin Jackson and rookie Joshua Kelley.

Sometimes, things don’t always go according to plan. Ekeler missed six games due to a myriad of knee and hamstrings injuries. For better, or worse recency bias is a stigma in fantasy football.

Ekeler is the 15th ranked dynasty running back according to Fantasy Pros so now is a prime opportunity to buy. Depending on where potential stud rookie running backs Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, and Javonte Williams end up, his stock could go down even further. If there is any time to pounce, now is the time.

Here are a few reasons why you should be buying Ekeler:

  • Ekeler averaged 53 yards rushing per game; on pace for a career-best in 848 yards.
  • On pace for 104 targets, 86.4 receptions, and 644.8 receiving yards over a 16 game span.
  • Averaged 18.1 points (6th best among RBs) per game in 9 full games played.
  • Over a 16 game season, Ekeler was on pace for 289.6 points (4th best).

If you’re concerned about durability, don’t be. Prior to the 2020 campaign Ekeler only missed two games in his NFL career. At age 26 to start the 2021 NFL season, he has years of good football left.

Chargers new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi recently compared Ekeler to former New Orleans Saints running backs Alvin Kamara, Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles. The one thing in common they all had was the utilization and success in the passing game. Expect that to continue in 2021.

The Los Angeles Chargers offense has the potential to be something special. The Chargers’ offense was leaps and bounds better than anyone could have expected in coming into a unique 2020 off-season. Justin Herbert won Rookie of the Year, and he should only improve in year number two. Keenan Allen proved again why he’s one of the most reliable wide receivers, in the NFL and Mike Williams continued to flash big-play potential. The only thing missing was a fully healthy Ekeler. If you’re on the cusp of winning a championship, Ekeler may be the asset to help get you there.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire- The Kansas City Chiefs possess the NFL’s most potent offense behind the mind of Andy Reid and the arm of Patrick Mahomes. When the Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the 32nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, dynasty players thought they struck gold. A rookie running back of Edwards-Helaire’s caliber married into THAT offense? The running back depth chart was razor thin with running back Damien Williams opting out of the 2020 season. Edwards-Helaire pre-draft stock went as high as a top-three pick in dynasty formats.

Edwards-Helaire showed flashes of brilliance yet was slowed down by inconsistencies and the signing of free agent Le’Veon Bell. Through nine weeks, Edwards-Helaire averaged 90 yards from scrimmage and 14.1 fantasy points per game. Solid, if unspectacular numbers, yet his production left a lot to be desired. In those nine weeks, he had 23 carries inside the 20, including 12 carries inside the ten. Of those 23 opportunities inside of the red-zone, he only scored two touchdowns.

Edwards-Helaire suffered an ankle and hip injury, which limited his impact towards the end of the season. He finished with 1,100 total yards (803 on the ground), 36 receptions, and five total touchdowns. While many are sour on CEH because he didn’t live up to the rookie billing, this could be a prime opportunity to buy the second-year back from LSU.

  • Besides CEH, only Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson are under contract at running back. Do not expect the Chiefs to invest high draft capital at the position in the 2021 NFL Draft. Expect CEH to get the volume to exceed expectations.
  • Touchdown regression. Of his 29 red-zone carries and 15 carries inside the 10, he reached the end zone just five times. Expect positive regression if he sees the same amount of red-zone looks.
  • CEH will have every opportunity to succeed in a dynamic offense. In year two in Andy Reid/Eric Bienemy offense, CEH should grasp the nuances and complexities of an NFL offense.
  • CEH recorded a 16% broken tackle rate (71 percentile).

Now is the time to go all-in on Edward Helaire’s sophmore campaign.

Cam Akers- It took a while for Cam Akers to find his niche at the NFL level. A three-headed running back committee with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson along with a rib injury cut into his early-season work-load (missed two and a half games, including weeks three and four). It took until Week 12 for Head Coach Sean McVay to finally show the confidence in Akers to play meaningful snaps. From Weeks 12-15 Akers averaged 97.5 rushing yards per game on 18.5 carries per game. Akers’ showcase game came on Thursday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, rushing for 171 yards on 29 carries. After missing week 16 due to injury, Akers rushed 21 times and a season-high four targets for 51 yards in Week 17 against Arizona.

Malcolm Brown has since departed in free agency to the Miami Dolphins leaving Akers and Henderson as the only two backs on the roster who will play meaningful snaps. Sean McVay recently said that Akers can be a three-down running back. Akers established himself as a viable receiver out of the backfield by amassing 69 receptions for 486 yards in his collegiate career at Florida State.

Akers could ingrain himself as a top 10 running back in fantasy football in year two of his career. Any semblance of a normal off-season for Akers should help him confidently understand the concepts and verbiage in McVay’s offense. Buy into Akers before his value increases dramatically in the summer.

You could myself on Twitter @BrownieNJD82 for your fantasy football and sports betting needs.

Dynasty: 3 Third Year RBs to Trade For

Dynasty: 3 Third-Year Running Backs You Should Buy Right Now!

I know we always hear about the third-year breakout in terms of wide receivers – but what about the running backs? Typically, we see production sooner, but sometimes external circumstances can slow the production like an injury or a crowded backfield. Here are three players you should be buying right now before they break out.

Damien Harris

Damien Harris overtook Sony Michel as the lead back last year in New England and I personally see nothing changing in that backfield. In the three games where both players were active (I know small sample size, but they both had injuries last year), Harris out touched Michel 41 carries to 17. With the passing down back, and James White being an unrestricted free agent this offseason, assumed not to be brought back, this makes 62 running back targets available. Damien Harris is actually a competent receiving back, having 52 career receptions for Alabama during his college career. I expect Damien Harris to inherit the role with some J.J. Taylor worked in. Damien Harris will not be a league winner for your dynasty team. BUT getting a lead back who can have a 100-yard rushing game any given week for a late rookie 2nd can bolster up any team’s running back depth or be a solid set-and-forget RB2 for a needy team.

Tony Pollard

One of my favorite buys this offseason, with or without owning Ezekiel Elliot. Though I do believe Zeke is still the unquestioned starter, he did show a decline over the back half of 2020.  This opens the door for Pollard, who is a BIG play waiting to happen. Pollard was one of only five running backs to have multiple rushing touchdowns over 40 yards. The others included Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Miles Sanders, and Jonathon Taylor. Whether we see Pollard unleashed or not, he still is the best handcuff in all of fantasy football, which we saw last year. When Ezekiel Elliot was out Week 15, Pollard exploded onto the scene. He finished #1 overall running back that week and scored 31.2 PPR fantasy points, rushing for 69 (nice) yards and 2 touchdowns while also catching 6 passes for 64 yards on 9 targets. Tony Pollard is only one Ezekiel Elliot injury away from being a Top 5 Running Back. That being said, he may have stand-alone value if Mike McCarthy has his way with the offense. We saw in Green Bay that McCarthy likes to use multiple running backs and already Pollard went from 86 carries in his rookie year to 101 in his sophomore campaign, while also doubling his targets from 20 to 40. Pollard has earned a bigger share of the pie in Dallas. Tony Pollard is a lottery ticket at worst, but I think he is so much more than that. At a minimum, he will have flex appeal for your dynasty team.

Miles Sanders

The most expensive on this list, but the one with the most upside. Now we all expected the breakout last year with him having 2nd round start up draft ADP. Miles Sanders was expected to ascend into Top 12 running back territory, but he let us down finishing RB23 on the season. I know he burned a lot of fantasy managers last year, but this creates the buying window. As mentioned before with Tony Pollard, Miles Sanders was one of only five running backs with multiple 40+ yard rushing TD plays. So, the BIG play is there. With Doug Peterson leaving, along with his obsession of a Running Back by Committee approach gone, we can truly see Miles unleashed. Now with a Dual-Threat QB in Hurts presumably under center in 2021, we will more than likely see lanes open up for Sanders. We saw Sanders’ best game of the season in Jalen Hurts’ first start versus a very good run defense of the New Orleans Saints, in which he scored 29.6 PPR points while rushing for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also catching 4 passes for 21 yards on 5 targets. With a full offseason and an offense built around the read-option with a workhorse workload, we will see Miles Sanders be the player we all thought he would be last year.

Any questions you can always find me @KidFlashFF on twitter.

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