Late Round RBs Poised to Crush ADP in 2019 – by Dalton Kates @DaltonGuruFF
We see it every year. Those running backs who you can grab cheap in drafts or on the waiver-wire and they become massive producers for your fantasy team. We saw it with Nick Chubb, James Conner and James White last year as they helped lead lots of fantasy owners to championships. Who are the backs we should be targeting this year to help us win championships?
Matt Breida enters 2019 as part of a committee in San Francisco. With newly signed Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon returning from injury it would seem Breida is on the outside looking in. Breida does have the upper-hand as he is the only one of the three to have actually played with the team so far. He is an incredible back himself and may actually be the best RB between all three. Last year he finished top 10 amongst RBs in breakaway run rate, breakaway runs, yards per touch, and true yards per carry. Matt Breida was insanely efficient when given touches as he was one of six RBs since 2000 to have over five yards per carry on 150 rushing attempts and over 85% catch rate on 25 or more receptions. He joins a pretty impressive list of RBs and despite not receiving the volume these other guys had, he stacks up well as he was the second-most efficient on the ground and as a receiver from this group.
Even more impressive is the fact that Breida basically played all of the year injured. He suffered a knee hyperextension in Week 3 and suffered both a shoulder sprain and ankle sprain in Week 5. His toughness showed as he was expected to miss two to three weeks with his injuries after Week 5, but didn’t miss a single one. Clearly Breida is a talented running back, but is currently the cheapest in the committee as he has an ADP of 14.01. There may or may not be enough touches for Breida to have standalone value in a committee, but whoever the lead back is under Kyle Shanahan will be sitting on a gold mine of fantasy points. Give me the cheap and talented RB option in Breida as the best way to play this backfield.
Similar to Matt Breida in the sense where he is the third RB drafted from his own team, there’s tons of upside here in a good offense. In most leagues Justin Jackson will likely be undrafted as he currently doesn’t have an ADP in the top 15 rounds, but that’s what makes him such a value. If an injury happens to Melvin Gordon or Austin Ekeler, you better believe Jackson will get work in the offense and be productive while doing so. In the four games in which either Ekeler or Gordon missed time, Jackson averaged 12.5 per game including 17.5 points in the lone game he was the featured back.
Jackson was an underrated prospect heading into the draft last year as his profile suggests he can be a very productive NFL running back. He was extremely productive as a back in college that burst onto the scene as a freshman with just under 1200 rushing yards and put up another 200 receiving yards on 22 catches.
What may even be more impressive is he is actually top 10 of all-time in yards from scrimmage in college amongst RBs. Jackson has elite agility and he showed it on the field last year with a 32.3% juke rate which would have put him top ten among RBs had he qualified. His best comparable player is Shane Vereen, who scored the 28th most points from a RB from 2013-2017 surpassing the likes of Alfred Morris, Doug Martin and PPR machine Danny Woodhead during this span. Justin Jackson is a guy who you can get in the late rounds of drafts and likely acquire for very cheap in dynasty leagues at the moment. Make sure you have him on your roster before there is a mad scramble for him if an injury happens to Gordon or Ekeler this year as Jackson possesses top 24 upside in this scenario.
Naturally I had to put a rookie RB on here as they are usually undervalued late in drafts compared to veterans. Hill enters a depth chart where Mark Ingram is entering his vaunted age 30 season and Gus Edwards is just an average RB. There is defintely opportunity for Hill to emerge as the lead guy by the end of the year. Hill burst onto the scene as a freshman at Oklahoma State where he over doubled the production of stud NFL RB Chris Carson.
Hill improved on his great freshman season and more importantly caught 31 balls as a sophomore. Hill looked primed to be one of the top backs in the class heading into 2018 before he got last season. He then put his name on the map with by far the most explosive combine of any 2019 draft eligible RB. His elite speed and burst compares his favorably to Reggie Bush and despite his smaller frame he can be dynamic as a change-of-pace RB. As a 21 year-old rookie, if he can carve out a role in the Ravens or even become the lead guy he will certainly make good on his ADP of 13.08 in re-draft formats. Hill is exactly the type of high-upside RB to take a shot on late in drafts and as more people catch on it’s very likely his ADP rises as we enter training camp and preseason.
Make sure you fill your bench spots with these players to help your team later in the season as injuries will happen and backups will start to emerge. These are some of the better backups in the league in good situations and all it takes is an opportunity for a player to start racking up fantasy points for your squad.