Which RB Can be a Fantasy Star?
By: CJ Krause (@KidFlashFF)
We are in some of the most exciting times as a dynasty manager the season is over and we are now preparing for the 2021 season. Now this time of year I typically do not condone buying running backs because they have the highest possibility of being replaced in free agency or in the NFL draft. BUT, today I give you a list of 5 sleeper running backs that will more than likely return their current market price and only have room to go up.
Now admittingly the former first round pick has not lived up to expectations like the Seattle Seahawks thought, but, he has shown flashes that, when healthy, the he can carry the load. Let’s take a trip back to 2019. Simpler times.
Week 13 and 14 of 2019 while splitting carries with Chris Carson, we were truly seeing a usurp of Carson by the younger and more explosive player. Penny when getting his shot pre-ACL tear. In those two games, Penny ran for 203 yards on just 30 carries (6.7 YPC).
Now I do not expect him to keep that high of a YPC, but it shows what his ceiling potential is on limited work. In 2021, Chris Carson is an unrestricted free agent and with the Seahawks having under 3 million in cap space for 2021, I would assume Seattle will roll with Penny/Travis Homer/Deejay Dallas as their three running backs.
Based on tape and athletic measurables, I would bet Penny gets the lion’s share and he can be had for almost nothing right now. Penny should be a value 2 years post-ACL tear and in a run heavy offense.
Now here is a big name in the dynasty community this offseason. I must say buy with caution. BUT if it works out it’ll be a BIG hit.
Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are both free agents going into the offseason and a re-signing of either will throw some cold water on AJ Dillon. Until then, his upside here is there are 320 vacated carries with Jones and Jamaal gone. Taking that into play, Quadzilla will have more than enough opportunity to be a RB1.
His draft capital of a 2nd round selection in 2020 by the Green Bay Packers is also significant since that is very high capital for a running back when they had other needs. So, I assume the coaching staff has a plan for this young man.
Jeff Wilson Jr./Jamycal Hasty
Now I am kind of cheating listing both but what I’m really saying is pick up the San Francisco 49ers backfield up while you can. Almost every starting running back in the Kyle Shanahan offense has been successful no matter who he is.
Now I know Jeff Wilson is a restricted free agent, but I assume he will be back to the 49ers on a team-friendly deal, especially with McKinnon and Coleman coming off the books to clear up some space in the running back rotation. One thing to consider is the 49ers do have Raheem Mostert under contract. However, since he will be 29 years old when the 2021 season starts and he can be cut to save the 49ers 3.2 million, it may behoove them to do so.
Jeff Wilson is 25 years old and was the leading rusher for San Fran in 2020. Wilson also averaged 10.8 ppr fantasy points per game in 2020 while only having 10 total receptions weeks 1-16. Hasty is 24 years old and on a UDFA contract so I could totally see them using either or both next season.
This one might be my favorite on this list because I love his tape. Chase Edmonds was drafted in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Edmonds has been stuck behind running backs like David Johnson and Kenyan Drake his whole career and has still produced in the limited work he received. In 2020, Chase Edmonds averaged 10.9 PPR points per game even with Drake there.
Kenyan Drake is an unrestricted free agent and will most likely be on a new team next year, leaving the backfield to just Edmonds and Eno Benjamin. Eno didn’t see much of the field all season, so unless Arizona makes a big free-agent signing, this is Chase Edmond’s chance to prove himself, especially going into a contract year.
Lynn Bowden Jr.
Lynn Bowden Jr. had an inauspicious start to his NFL career after being drafted and then traded by the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Miami Dolphins traded a 2021 4th round pick for Bowden and Las Vegas a 2021 6th round pick. Lynn Bowden was a dynamic college player who was traded for “football reasons.”
We are still unsure what that means specifically, but it seems Gruden may have just handed a hidden gem to Miami. It took a while for Bowden to get his chance at the field, but he was repurposed to a hybrid player going from the backfield to running routes out wide.
Admittingly, he didn’t get his real crack on the field until Week 13 for significant snap share, but once he was let loose, he never left the field. In Week 13, he had 71% snap share, and in the last 3 weeks of the season, he was on the field for over 90% of offensive plays.
Another thing that makes Bowden an intriguing buy is he acts as more of a slot receiver, as he lined up in the slot on 58.4% of his plays. The fact you get the flexibility of this player and that he has a role on the team makes this a great buy on a young player.
Happy hunting! I hope you are able to land some of these running backs and they bring you to fantasy football glory!