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NFL Fantasy Preview: RB Sleepers and Busts – August 13

By Lior Lampert

In fantasy football, the running back is the most prioritized, valuable and important position for a competitive roster. Managers will do anything they can to get their hands on a workhorse running back. In real-life NFL football, the running back is one of the least highlighted positions and the true three-down running backs are becoming a dying breed in an effort to keep backs healthy. With that being said, let’s see which RBs are ranked too low or not low enough according to FantasyPros PPR draft rankings.

Last season’s RB12 on a per game basis, Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb, is currently being ranked as a borderline RB1/2 as the overall RB13. While Chubb is arguably the best pure rusher in football, he should not be viewed as such in fantasy football. Chubb is attached to an offense that will be led by career-backup QB Jacoby Brissett for a large portion of the season until (if) Deshaun Watson returns from suspension. Not to mention, he is a virtual zero in the receiving game considering his team prefers his backfield mate, Kareem Hunt as the receiving back. Hunt caught more passes in eight games last season than Chubb did in 14.

Last season’s RB19 was Chicago Bears RB, David Montgomery. Montgomery received nearly 270 touches last year, which helped make up for the inefficient play throughout the year. He is being ranked as the RB17, shockingly ahead of a couple of guys who I will touch on shortly. Montgomery has recently been involved with the special teams unit at training camp, something that workhorse RBs are not typically tasked with doing. Any sort of reduced workload will drastically damper Montgomery’s outlook.

Elijah Mitchell was given an opportunity to take over the San Francisco 49ers backfield and once he did, he never looked back. Mitchell was one of the biggest waiver wire additions of the season and is headed into this year as the unquestioned starter. Being ranked as the RB24, behind David Montgomery, I think Mitchell could be in for a top-15 RB finish. In just 11 games, Mitchell finished with 1,100 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns. He plays for one of the most offensive-minded and run-oriented head coaches in the NFL, behind a top offensive line and seems to be locked into a large workload. Drafting Mitchell as your RB2/3 in the mid-to-late rounds is a recipe for success.

Another player who I am shocked to see ranked below David Montgomery, Green Bay Packers RB A.J. Dillon. Unfortunately, Dillon is the second half of a 1-2 backfield punch. On the bright side, there is plenty of room for both him and Aaron Jones to rack up the stats. The departure of Davante Adams will force the Packers to adjust: I believe the adjustment will be running the offense through the backs. Last year, Jones and Dillon both finished as top-12 and top-24 RBs respectively. Jones and Dillon’s workloads were very similar last year, averaging 14.9 and 13 touches per game each. With Adams gone, why can’t both players push for nearly 20 touches per game this upcoming season? And if anything were to ever happen to Jones, Dillon instantly becomes a top-7 fantasy RB (and that may be generous). Listed as RB25, not many players have the league-winning upside he does at that point in drafts.

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your plays.

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