No One Likes A Crowded Backfield
Every fantasy owners hates the dreaded: running back by committee, aka RBBC. This is why workhorse backs like Ezekiel Elliott, LeVeon Bell and David Johnson are going off the board as the first 3 picks. Its also why there are 13 running backs currently with an ADP inside the first two rounds. Getting one of these studs could be essential to having a chance at winning a fantasy championship this year. What happens, however, when you start looking at the second and third running back for your team? Who are the guys to target?
Well, targeted guys and their rankings are purely your own choice. That is not what this article is about. What I am going to give you are the NFL teams with RBBC that you should probably steer clear of unless absolutely necessary.
Disclaimer: This article is strictly based on redraft leagues not dynasty.
Crowded Backfield: Use Caution
New England Patriots:
Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, James White, Mike Gillislee
I know that everyone is still feeling the Blount trauma from last year. Now everyone thinks Gillislee is going to repeat. Think about this. Since 2005, the Patriots have only had 2 RBs score over 200 fantasy points. Blount (2016) – 227 points and Ridley (2012) – 203 points. The Patriots have only had three 1000 yard rushers in that same time frame.
New York Jets:
Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire
There isn’t a lot to like about the Jets offense this year. As a matter of fact they may go down in history as the worst offense ever. It’s very unfortunate because Matt Forte and Bilal Powell could be relevant on a lot of teams other than the Jets. The fact is, Forte turns 32 years old in December and 2016 was his worst year of production for his career in nearly every statistical category. Powell theoretically should be the guy to come out of this backfield as the leader but on a stagnate and rookie Elijah McGuire breathing down his neck its unknown if he will get enough opportunities.
CJ Anderson, Jamaal Charles, Devontae Booker
Stop me if you heard this before. This is CJ Anderson’s break out year. New head coach Vance Joseph says the Broncos are going to have a competition at running back. He’s got to compete with Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker for the top spot on the depth chart. We should see the Broncos use a form of RBBC in 2017, and that will negatively impact Anderson’s fantasy value even if he’s the starter. Expect this situation to get worse before it gets better.
Jeremy Hill, Giovanni Bernard, Joe Mixon
This is a roll of the dice type of situation in Cincinnati. How do you pick THEE guy when the water is so muddy in Cincinnati? Jeremy Hill, who should have this job by the horns, has progressively gotten worse (rushing yards last three seasons: 1,124, 794, 839). Giovanni Bernard, the Bengals primary pass catching back for years, is recovering from an ACL injury. Newly drafted Joe Mixon, who can do it all, but probably won’t be given the keys to the car from day one. Mixon is being drafted too high and Hill is being drafted too low. I’ll stay away from all parties.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, Kareem Hunt, CJ Spiller
This backfield feels a lot like the Cincinnati Bengals situation. You have a guy who should have the reigns, but the team goes and pulls the rookie trump card. Ware delivered 1369 yards from scrimmage on his way to fantasy RB2 production last year. Unfortunately, he only had one 100 yard rushing game and a total of 3 TDs. West and Spiller have talent but probably will only be used to give the starter a breather. Kareem Hunt is the real threat to Spencer Ware. A lot of people believe its more of a when, not if he takes the position from Ware in 2017.
New York Giants:
Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa
The Giants haven’t had the most potent ground game in recent years. Paul Perkins seems to be a front runner for the majority of the work in New York. Unfortunately he will have to share with Shane Vereen in the passing game. There is a strong chance Perkins sees less than 200 rushes this year as Ben McAdoo expects to rotate in some of the other guys to ensure stability. It doesn’t help the Giants have an inferior offensive line. If I had to go with one guy here its Perkins, but I wouldn’t sleep easy at night.
Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine
Kelley led the Redskins with 704 rushing yards and 6 TDs as a rookie last year. His play was sufficient, but he benefited from bad backups behind him. The Redskins drafted Samaje Perine who could be an every down back if given the chance, but he’ll have to prove himself as a blocker first. Kelley will probably be the starter day 1 but chances are by day 30 it could be Perine, either way I’m not interested.
Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, Alex Collins, CJ Prosise
Thomas Rawls is not guaranteed a featured role in 2017, or even significant playing. Eddie Lacy and second-year talent C.J. Prosise look to make sure Rawls doesn’t get that opportunity. Rawls has the ability to be a stud running back, especially with the offensive line of the Seahawks. In order for that to happen, Lacy and Prosise will need to severely under perform or be injured, early in the season. This backfield that will most-likely not be sorted out before week 4 so drafting either Rawls or Lacy is like choosing between your wife or your mom. Either way you are going to hate yourself after.
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