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NFL Fantasy Preview: Fantasy RBs – August 17, 2022

By Lior Lampert

The amount of opportunity a player can potentially receive throughout the season plays a large role in determining their fantasy value, especially when it comes to the running back position. There are not many RBs in the NFL anymore who are true three-down bell cow running backs, and as result, it makes the position feel like a cesspool on draft day after the first handful of RBs are selected in the first round. Let’s take a look at a couple of RBs who I believe have an excellent chance to exceed their respective draft prices and carry your fantasy team.

First, is Jacksonville Jaguars RB, Travis Etienne. After missing his entire rookie season due to a foot injury, Etienne is currently listed as FantasyPros RB19 (PPR), and that is still too low. The Jaguars spent a first-round pick on Etienne in last year’s draft, so the team clearly has high expectations and big plans for his involvement in the offense for the foreseeable future. Not to mention, his backfield mate James Robinson is still recovering from a torn Achilles.

Etienne got his first taste of NFL action in last week’s preseason game versus the Cleveland Browns. In one quarter of play, he got nine carries and three targets. Jacksonville is clearly doing what they can to get Etienne acclimated and prepared for what could be a big role this upcoming season. The Jags didn’t improve much from a talent standpoint compared to last year’s 3-14 team, but they got a big upgrade at the head coaching position. Going from Urban Meyer and the weekly drama that came with him to an experienced, offensive-minded, Super-Bowl-winning head coach in Doug Pederson should only work in Etienne’s favour. Etienne is going to be used all over the field as both a running back and a wide receiver, so when/if Robinson is eventually healthy, it shouldn’t hurt him much (if at all). Draft him before it’s too late!

While this player may lack for opportunity at times, Tony Pollard was undeniably electric with the ball in his hands last season. Pollard averaged an eye-popping 6.4 yards per touch, and The Cowboys lost one of their star WRs in Amari Cooper while WR Michael Gallup is still recovering from a torn ACL and not expected to be ready for Week 1. With that being said, the Cowboys will need to get creative at times and find ways to get other playmakers the ball. It only makes sense that Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore draw up plays to get Pollard the ball in space, right? Pollard caught 39 balls in 2021 and has proven to be a reliable pass-catcher.

Ezekiel Elliot seems to be showing signs of aging (his production and ability to stay healthy both declined last season) and there is little-to-no competition behind Pollard at the RB position for Dallas. Coming in as FantasyPros RB30 (PPR), Pollard has an opportunity to finish as a fantasy RB2, even if Ezekiel Elliot stays healthy all season. If Elliot is ever forced to miss time during the season, Pollard instantly becomes a top-10 fantasy RB, and that may not be high enough. He’d instantly step into a bell cow role as one of the most efficient running backs in the league and is on one of the more talented offensive teams in the NFL. Pollard is the exact type of low-risk high-reward RB you want to take a shot on in the mid-to-later rounds.

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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