By: Brendan Coleman (follow on Twitter @GenZ_FF)
July 14, 2016
1. Todd Gurley, LA. ADP: 7.35 (RB2).
Gurley may very well be the most talented running back in the NFL but he may also be in the worst spot for a running back in the NFL. The Rams aren’t very good. I’m not talking just about their offense though. Their defense looks like it could take a huge step back this year. They lost defensive starters Laurinaitis, Fairley, Mcleod, and Jenkins but didn’t really replace them. They were widely thought of as a top defense last year but still only ranked 13th in points given up per game. With the possibility of giving up more points per game this year, the Rams might be forced to pass the ball more than they would like to this year. While Gurley could look to feature more in the passing game than he did last year, it should still be seen as a negative that the Rams might pass more than last year. Gurley is also Los Angeles’ only real quality player on offense. Opposing defenses won’t be scared of Jared Goff and his putrid receiving core. They’ll just load the box and overwhelm the Ram’s oline which PFF ranked 28th last year. Gurley may be in store for a ton of touches but they really aren’t the quality touches you look for when taking a RB super early.
2. Doug Martin, TB. ADP: 30.74 (RB11).
People seem to be drafting him based solely on what he did last year. He rushed the ball 288 times last year and he really can’t be expected to sustain that kind of load and stay healthy this year. In his first year as a pro he was given a workload near the same size of 319 rushing attempts and the next year he played in only 6 games. This is definitely a small sample size but Martin has shown a history of injury in his short four year career. Adding to this is his lack of involvement in the pass game. Charles Sims has shown his receiving quality and is the established 3rd down back which greatly lowers Martin’s ceiling. The Buccaneers also look like they have a lost offense this offseason which is compounded by the fact that they play the NFC and AFC West creating the 5th toughest strength of schedule. I don’t see the Buccaneers being up in games and needing to grind out the clock. Instead, I expect them to be down early and often, having to rely on their passing game which does not feature Martin. Martin also got payed this offseason. His effort level seemed like it was at an all-time high last year contract year in an effort to land that huge contract. It may dip this year with no real incentive to play for. Look for strong regression with Doug Martin.
3. C.J. Anderson, Den. ADP: 40.93 (RB14).
Anderson wasn’t as bad as his stats showed last year. He played most of the year hurt but it still looked like the Broncos lost confidence in him. Ronnie Hillman received a lot of work and impressed the front office enough to warrant a new 1 year contract in the offseason. Denver then went and drafted Devontae Booker to give them a crowded backfield. There’s reason to think that Anderson won’t stay healthy for the full year and Kubiak has shown that if C.J. isn’t fully healthy or playing efficient enough, then that backfield turns into a RBBC. So let’s just say that Anderson stays healthy the whole season and is their bell-cow. What really is his ceiling? Booker and Hillman are both capable receiving backs so it seems like they would eat into his touches in the passing game. Mark Sanchez looks like the probable starter and even though I don’t think he’s bad, I seriously doubt that he can lead them to being a high powered offense. Their oline wasn’t good last year and the departures of Mathis and Clady almost guarantee another sub-par performance. He’s being drafted as a high RB2 and I can only see him peaking as an average RB2. There’s just way too much potential for an RBBC in Denver for me to draft him for his limited upside.
4. Jeremy Hill, Cin. ADP: 71.53 (RB27).
The Bengals offense should be something you want a part of this year but will Hill be a big enough part of it to be drafted over bell-cows like Gore and Stewart who are being drafted after him? Jeremy Hill was a top pick last year but Gio Bernard greatly took away from his value by having a bigger role than most thought he would have. The increased touches given to Gio were warranted though. Hill couldn’t even reach 3.6 yards per carry while Gio had over 4.7 yards per carry. The product of LSU had almost no role in their passing game finishing with 15 catches while Gio more than tripled that total. If it wasn’t for Hill’s league leading 11 rushing touchdowns, he wouldn’t even be considered to go as high as he is going. By drafting Hill, you are relying on him getting the most unpredictable stat in fantasy football; touchdowns.
5. T.J. Yeldon, Jac. ADP: 87.76 (RB33).
Yeldon had a massive opportunity last year and didn’t do much with it. He proved to the coaching staff that he can’t handle being the bell-cow so they went out and got Chris Ivory. Yeldon received minimal work on the goal-line and the signing of Ivory just shows that he will continue that trend. Yeldon does get both running and receiving touches but it’s hard for him to offer any kind of upside when he is splitting touches with Ivory and has little touchdown potential.