Over/Under-Rated RBs – Phong Ta

by Phong Ta

Hello there Fantasy Football enthusiasts, it’s good to see you again. At long last, regular season football is just on the horizon, and for those of you scrambling for a bit of last minute FF Draft advice, well do I have the article just for you. So without further ado, here are a pair of RBs I think are going under and over drafted so far.

By the way this is going off of 12 Team PPR, and any and all ADP data used is from Fantasy Football Calculator.

Overrated RBs

Saquon Barkley, NYG

I know a lot of people are high on Barkley, and I can understand why that is. I fully expect this guy to be a future stud with his level of talent. But as for Fantasy, as the 6th RB off the board and 7th player overall? No thanks. He’s talented, but even talent can only makeup for so much. The Giants’ O-Line is better, but by how much? Sure, they massively overspent on Nate Solder and drafted Will Hernandez in the 2nd Round, but is that really enough to salvage what was probably the worst O-Line in the league last year? Not to mention we can’t really count on the passing game to help Barkley out much either. Odell Beckham is coming off of a major injury, we still don’t know if Eli Manning was a victim of circumstance or simply an aging skill set (of which I’m betting on the latter), and that questionable O-Line effects both the run and pass game. I’m not saying avoid rookie runners, I mean I was pounding the table for folks to take Ezekiel Elliott in the Top 3 his rookie year, but his situation combined both incredible individual talent on his part as well as an amazing situation where he got to run behind the best O-Line in football. Barkley doesn’t get to have that luxury. So until I see him do it for real, give me the safer, more established options who are going after him like Melvin Gordon and Kareem Hunt.

Jay Ajayi, PHI

Ajayi is currently going at 47th overall, right at the tail end of the 4th Round, and even that feels too rich for my blood. Ajayi is talented, but consider the competition around him. Corey Clement and Darren Sproles will definitely take a chunk of the backfield touches for themselves, which is particularly problematic as the Eagles scored just 9 Rushing TDs last year. This is not the makings of a team where Ajayi can be a low-end RB2 right now. I’m not even confident in predicting 15+ touches a game for him as it stands. He still has some upside to him of course. The Eagles have an amazing O-Line and a lot of receivers who will prevent opponents from loading up the box, so maybe he can still be efficient enough on around 225-ish touches to get you 1000+ Total Yards and 6-8 TDs. Plus LeGarrette Blount‘s departure opened up close to 200 touches in the backfield. But considering how no RB had more than 181 touches last year for the Eagles last season, you may want to look elsewhere for your RB2.

Underrated RBs

Tevin Coleman, ATL

How… How is this man only going in Round 7? He had the same output per touch as teammate Devonta Freeman (5.1 Yds/Tch), had only 49 fewer touches but still managed to score just as many TDs (8 each), and yet Freeman is a mid-2nd Round pick. Well if the Fantasy masses won’t believe in him, I will. Particularly in PPR Leagues, where he should nab a nifty 30-35 catches. 927 Total Yds and 8 TDs is some pretty solid evidence he’s for real, and as your RB3/Flex Player, you can do MUCH worse, especially in the SEVENTH Round. He also has extra value in that if Freeman get hurt, he’s the next man up. He should also make for a fine trade piece come the Bye Weeks as well, or if Freeman does get hurt.

Derrick Henry, TEN

I have no idea why Henry is going in the 4th Round, but it’s a travesty, even for PPR. With DeMarco Murray and his 184 carries gone, Henry has a clear path to 300+ carries behind one of the best O-Lines in the NFL. Sure, Dion Lewis may siphon off a few carries, but his main job there will be to catch a lot of passes out of the backfield. Henry meanwhile can focus on grinding out 1200+ Yards and 10+ TDs on the ground. Not sure why he’s going so low. I get that he’s probably not gonna get you more than 15, maybe 20 catches, but does that really matter when you’re in line for 300-325 carries? Ride this soon to be workhorse to the Fantasy Promisedland my friends. You won’t regret it.


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