ADP SMASHERS – RUNNING BACK
Howdy, Rush Nation. Back again with part two of the ADP Smashers series. This time focusing on which Running Back’s will obliterate their Average Draft Position. To check out which Quarterbacks will work their magic for you this year and to learn a bit more about what ADP is, click here. As mentioned in the last article I’ll be using FantasyPros.com ADP tool. Let’s get it!
All ADP correct as of 5th August 2022.
ALVIN KAMARA – NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
In 2020, Alvin Kamara finished as the overall RB1 in 2020 and single handedly ruined my christmas. He destroyed the Minnesota Vikings with SIX Touchdowns and over 150 yards on the ground. Since entering the NFL back in 2017, Kamara has been an absolute stud for Fantasy Football. He’s never finished outside the top 10 in PPR and had under 80 catches last year, for the first time.
Even when Alvin has missed games due to minor injuries, his pass catching upside allows him to remain a top option and should be one of the first guys off the board in PPR leagues. Despite missing 4 games last year he finished as the RB8 on the season. The thing that stands out the most for me in 2021 is, in 13 games he ran the ball 240 times. Eclipsing his previous most by 46 attempts. Whilst still being targeted 67 times out of the backfield keeping that pass catching upside very much alive.
OFF FIELD ISSUES
It’s no secret that Kamara’s antics off the field at the Pro Bowl is what has led to his slide in ADP. He has an impending court case to deal with which has now been pushed back for a third time. It’s unlikely the NFL will impose a suspension before their is a ruling. Meaning it’s more likely he could face a ban in the 2023 season should he be found guilty.
Veteran Running Back Mark Ingram is back in Louisiana for 2022. This is more of a insurance piece then anything else and Kamara will without doubt be leading the backfield. Jameis Winston will be back for 2022 after suffering a season ending injury last year. There’s also the return of Michael Thomas, free agency signing Jarvis Landry and Rookie out of Ohio State Chris Olave.
With a potential change in system now Sean Payton has left the team and an unknown pass catching group, Kamara could see an uptick in targets again for 2022 as Winston’s reliable option. On pace for over 300 carries last season(if he played all 17 games) mostly due to a lack of offensive weapons. I’d expect that to regress again in 2022 with the new signings. Allowing him to be used more again in the passing game out of the backfield, like we’re used too seeing.
Currently being drafted at his floor now is the time to pick up AK. Coming off the board as the RB10 in PPR he has never and will not finish lower then that in 2022. A man who averaged over 100 targets and 80 catches along with 1500 scrimmage yards and around 14 scores a season, pre 2021, with last season being an outlier. Alvin Kamara is primed for another big year, with things looking up all round in New Orleans.
EZEKIEL ELLIOTT – DALLAS COWBOYS
Anyone who knows me, knows about my slightly unhealthy obssession of drafting Zeke. Since being drafted by Jerry Jones back in 2016, Zeke has only finished outside the top 12(RB13) once. This was in 2017 when he only played 10 games as a Sophomore. Elliott is super efficient averaging over 4 yards per carry in all 6 of his campaigns so far.
Zeke also boasts good receiving ability and has a chemistry with Quarterback Dak Prescott. After Week 5 in 2020 when Prescott got hurt, Zeke’s production took a hit only scoring twice the rest of the season and putting up over 15 points three times in 10 games. Many people in the Fantasy space thought it was to be Pollard’s time to shine in Dallas after his week 15 exploits putting up 33.2 points including 132 scrimmage yards against the 49ers. Zeke still finished 2020 as the RB9.
ZEKE THE FREAK
Elliott’s durability is ranked as a 5 on Draft Sharks. Despite knee problem’s throughout 2021, including a partially torn PCL from week 4 onwards, Zeke still put up RB1 numbers on the year. His counterpart Tony Pollard saw an increase in target share(up 2.6% from 2020) and carry share(up 9.6% from 2020). Just enough to keep Zeke from missing time.
Although under contract to 2026, this could be a big year for Zeke. Dallas have a cheap out on his deal next year. Pollard is also in the final year of his Rookie contract, so will need paying at some point. Elliott will be the bellcow this year so Jerry get’s his money’s worth, whilst preserving Pollard. If they think he’s the future at AT&T Stadium.
Currently Elliott’s ADP is RB15. An absolute bargain. I love drafting a bonafide RB1 at value like this, it almost feels like cheating. The pass heavy offense won’t be frightened to look to their Running Back for receptions after the departure of Amari Cooper. Zeke could be a PPR god this year. I’m smashing the value every draft it’s there.
Ok, it’s time to swing for the fences again! Each week I’m gonna throw in a wildcard that we can pick up late on in drafts. This guy could be perfect if you’ve found yourself in a Zero RB build. If you think Zeke was giving you extreme value as RB15 or Kamara as RB10 at their ADP. How about the current RB60?
SONY MICHEL – MIAMI DOLPHINS
I’m unsure there’s 59 Running Back’s better then Sony Michel in the NFL. Other then 2020 where he only played 9 games, he’s put up 900+ yards twice in New England and 845 on the ground for the Rams last year. Miami also have the 3rd easiest strength of schedule for Running Backs in 2022. All promising enough for someone who’s basically not being drafted.
You could argue he’s in a massive committee where nobody really knows who’s gonna have what role. Mike McDaniel taking the reigns in Miami is positive for the Running Back room. He was a vital piece of Kyle Shanahan’s puzzle in the offensive coaching staff last year. Raheem Mostert is aging and injury prone, Myles Gaskin is toast Chase Edmonds has never won a starting job. Michel is worth a punt, worst case you throw him to the waiver wire for an in-season gem.