Redraft bargains and busts are inevitable. Every year the hype train barrels down the tracks for certain players that end up being huge busts. Conversely, every year there are diamonds in the rough or values that are too good to pass on. The 2020 season is no different. In part two of a four-part series, we will examine one of each scenario at the running back position. All ADP is courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator.
The running back crop is pretty top-heavy this season. We have a few studs at the top such as Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliott, but then we start to creep into players with a lot of questions marks surrounding them. This list includes Joe Mixon, Kenyan Drake, and even Aaron Jones.
RB Bargain: Leonard Fournette (RB 20, ADP 32.2)
The redraft bargains and busts start with our bargain at the running back position. You may wonder how someone with an ADP so high can be considered a bargain. Just open up Twitter and you will find all the shade you need to understand why the veteran running back is being labeled a bargain.
RB1 at RB2 Cost
Leonard Fournette has been an RB1 in two of his three years in the league. The outlier came in 2018 when eight games were missed due to injury. Even then he averaged 15.05 points per game. This would have been good for a finish of RB11 had he kept that pace up for the entire year.
Therefore, you are getting a sure-fire back end RB1 at the cost of a low-end RB2. A look at the finishes over the past three years in correlation to some of the ball carriers being selected before him are shown below via the Yearly Data app at Dynasty League Football.
Point Per Game Monster
The LSU alum has averaged over 15 points per game all three years he has been in the league. Two of those three, over 17 points per game were achieved. All told, the former Tiger has an average weekly score of 16.63. Not too shabby for an “RB2”, right? Take a look using the same app above, but filtering for points per game instead.
Agree to Disagree
My colleague is probably going to cringe when he edits this article. [Editor’s note: truth!] Mike, Mr. Draft Buddy, has Fournette ranked as the RB19, right around his ADP. Maybe after he reads this, his mind will be changed.
How Soon We Forget
The disrespected bruising back finished as the RB7 in 2019. This was ahead of some big named studs such as Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, and Joe Mixon. Let others pass on the solid production and grab yourself an RB1 at the end of the third round or beginning of the fourth. Do not be afraid to draft a stud early to pair with Fournette to cement your backfield for the season.
|1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR||469.2||29.3||16||287||1387||4.83||15||143||116||1005||8.7||4|
|2. Aaron Jones, GB||318.8||19.9||16||236||1084||4.59||16||69||49||474||9.7||3|
|3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL||315.6||19.7||16||301||1357||4.51||12||72||54||419||7.8||2|
|4. Austin Ekeler, LAC||313.0||19.6||16||132||557||4.22||3||108||92||993||10.8||8|
|5. Derrick Henry, TEN||300.5||20.0||15||303||1539||5.08||16||25||18||206||11.4||2|
|6. Dalvin Cook, MIN||296.4||21.2||14||250||1135||4.54||13||63||53||519||9.8||0|
|7. Leonard Fournette, JAC||261.4||17.4||15||265||1152||4.35||3||100||76||522||6.9||0|
|8. Nick Chubb, CLE||261.2||16.3||16||298||1494||5.01||8||50||36||278||7.7||0|
|9. Alvin Kamara, NO||250.0||17.9||14||171||797||4.66||5||97||81||533||6.6||1|
|10. Saquon Barkley, NYG||244.1||18.8||13||217||1003||4.62||6||73||52||438||8.4||2|
RB Bust: Kenyan Drake (RB 11, ADP 12.0)
The redrafts bargains and busts continue with our bust. There are a lot of question marks surrounding the former Miami Dolphin. Much like last week’s bust at the QB position, Kyler Murray, the upside is certainly there. This is not meant to be a hate on the Arizona Cardinals thread by any stretch, but the ADP is getting out of control for both players.
Boom or Bust
While Drake did manage to finish as the RB17 in 2019, keep in mind six of his eight touchdowns came in a two game stretch in Week 15 and Week 16. In fact, 32.2 percent of the Alabama grads points came over that two game span.
A peek at the Player Scoring History app available from DLF, shows all the ups and downs over the course of the season in South Beach and in the desert. It is not if the opportunities were not there. Drake received 10 rushing attempts or more from Week 9 on. Have a look and decide for yourself if this is someone you want to invest a late first or early second-round pick on.
Reason for Optimism?
It is not all doom and gloom for the former national champion. Drake has always made the most of his opportunities. Kliff Kingsbury would be wise to get his versatile back more touches. Another useful filter in the yearly data app at DLF is the Point Per Opportunity section. Here we see he blew away the competition in that aspect.
Yet Cause for Concern
A big part of the 26 years old’s appeal is the skills he has shown in the passing game, having surpassed 50 plus receptions each of the past two seasons. Enter Eno Benjamin. The Arizona State grad is the perfect fit for the third-down role in the aforementioned Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense. A look at the market share for receptions of the past two seasons illustrate just that.
Oh, and Chase Edmonds and D.J. Foster are still around to compete for a job that is not completely guaranteed to Drake. The head coach himself stated he would like to have three backs to deploy in his offense.
Again, this is not an article to discredit the player, but rather the cost to acquire said player. Take a much safer Nick Chubb, Aaron Jones, or Austin Ekeler a little later and breathe easy.
Thank you for reading part two of the redraft bargains and busts. The hope is this breakdown helps steer you towards some value during your upcoming draft. If you cannot snag a McCaffrey, Barkley, or Elliott, you can still find some value a little later. Just try to avoid the land mines, as you would at any position.
As mentioned in the open, the position is thin. We need to find value early and not miss on those picks. Wide receivers are up next and we will see you back here soon. Feel free to leave comments below and I will respond as soon as possible.