Three Risk/Reward RBs in Dynasty (Fantasy Football)

Unlock Bonus Episodes, Premium Stats & More

Join the #FootClan

Young RBs in dynasty are a beacon of hope in the midst of a wasteland filled with the names of yesteryear.

Todd GurleyDavid JohnsonEzekiel Elliott.. 

Dynasty RBs have an expiration date that is alarmingly short and often we fail to miss how short some of these windows are for players that dominated for us in fantasy.

Unlock Bonus Episodes, Premium Stats & More

Join the #FootClan

On Wednesday’s Livestream, the Footballers discussed three RBs that carry an equal dose of risk and reward: J.K. Dobbins (Andy), Cam Akers (Jason), and Chase Edmonds (Mike). By risk, there is a downside that perhaps you’re overvaluing future fantasy gold based on small sample size or glimmer of hope. On the flip side, the reward of finding a true difference-maker at the RB position for multiple years is truly a holy grail if you find it. Find out where these RBs and others line up in their dynasty startup rankings found in the Dynasty Pass.

For each player, I’ll outline their current dynasty ADP, others players being drafted around them in startup drafts, and finish by outlining recent examples of risk and reward in dynasty with a similar archetype.

J.K. Dobbins
Current Dyno ADP Ballers Consensus Andy Jason Mike
J.K. Dobbins RB11 10 10 9 12

Let’s just get this out of the way: JK is short for J’Kaylin, in case you always wondered. Dobbins was a fantasy force in the second half last year if you had the patience to wade through Mark Ingram szn. From Weeks 11 to 17, Dobbins was the RB8 averaging 16.7 fantasy points per game. I mentioned earlier this offseason that his nine TDs are the most ever by a rookie RB with fewer than 140 carries. That is a ridiculously high TD rate and causes you to question: did he show double-digit TD ability or is there regression coming? From the eye test, the dude looks like belongs on the field finishing top-10 in PFF’s Elusive Rating with more yards after contact than Ezekiel Elliott & Alvin Kamara.

Unlock Bonus Episodes, Premium Stats & More

Join the #FootClan

Other players drafted close in dynasty startups

Risk: Were those final two months of TDs a big enough sample size to convince you? Here’s a recent example of top-10 Dynasty RB ADP based on a high rookie TD rate: Jordan Howard. Way back in 2017, his dynasty ADP was RB6.  The risk is that because Howard never learned how to catch the football, he became extremely TD-dependent. Howard never returned value after that rookie season and at this point, he’s barely holding a spot on NFL rosters.

Reward: You’re getting Nick Chubb. Nine percent of Dobbins’ rush attempts were 15+ Yards, the highest in the NFL. The TD rate might come down but the explosive runs were always part of his profile coming into the league. Chubb has remained ridiculously efficient because he’s just better than everyone else and is on a team committed to running the ball. We know the Ravens are set on the same principles. Chubb has remained in the top-7 of dynasty ADP among RBs for three years in a row since 2019.

Cam Akers
Current Dyno ADP Ballers Consensus Andy Jason Mike
Cam Akers RB8 8 8 8 9

Lauren Carpenter’s Fantasy Report Card on Akers is a must-read. She details some of the good and bad of his 2020 season. But even more importantly, she mentions how HC Coach Sean McVay has already referred to Akers as his every-down back and a special player”. From Week 12 on, he saw 5th most RB carries (despite missing Week 16) and came alive in January. In two playoff games, averaged 24.5 touches for 136 yards & a TD, good enough for 21.4 fantasy points per game. The hype is real as Akers is now a top-10 RB in both redraft and dynasty leagues.

Other players drafted close in dynasty startups

Getty Images / Icon Sportswire

Risk: It’s a similar situation to Dobbins: was that final month a big enough sample size? But Akers’ is even smaller. Grab your barf bag because here are some recent top-10 dynasty RBs that are almost laughable that they rose that high after a solid end of season in their rookie years: C.J. Anderson (ADP of RB10 in 2015), T.J. Yeldon (ADP of RB8 in 2016), and Jay Ajayi (ADP of RB9 in 2017). Woof. I’m not comparing Akers to those three guys but there is a scenario where that insane run Akers had

Reward: On the other end of the spectrum, there was a rookie RB who had a scorching end-of-season stretch vaulting him to becoming the RB1 in fantasy the next season: David Johnson. We forget how good DJ was in 2016 but he was the #1 player in fantasy after being drafted towards the back of the 1st round in redraft leagues, similar to where Akers is going. He could easily finish in the top-5 for the next two or three years at the position.

Unlock Bonus Episodes, Premium Stats & More

Join the #FootClan
Chase Edmonds
Current Dyno ADP Ballers Consensus Andy Jason Mike
Chase Edmonds RB28 33 35 30 33

Edmonds’ value is all over the place this year because we don’t know fully what his role is in Arizona. He’ll also be an unrestricted free agent in 2022 which skews things in dynasty. He’s 25 years old and only 5’9, 210; so he’s built like Dion Lewis from a build standpoint and his utilization on the field. Edmonds quietly finished as the RB28 last year on the back of the 6th most RB targets, tying for 7th most routes run among RBs, and seeing the 3rd most Snaps in the Slot among RBs. In other words, this guy is an elite pass-catching back but he’s being propped up as having a bigger role with Kenyan Drake on his way to Las Vegas. James Conner was brought in and profiles as the main goal-line back. Don’t forget from Weeks 2-8, Conner was the RB8. Perhaps Conner has a Todd Gurley-type of season where his efficiency stinks but he bangs in near ten TDs on the ground. I mentioned this duo in the NFL Schedule Release article as they have a juicy early stretch.

Other players drafted close in dynasty startups:

Risk: Edmonds is overdrafted and you get a one-year rental for a player who ends up as a committee back at best for the rest of his career. He’s Ty Montgomery (ADP of RB23 in 2017) or Jerick McKinnon (ADP of RB15 in 2018) who both looked like they could stay on the field as excellent receiving backs but their value and fantasy production nosedived to the point of irrelevance.

Reward: You get one magical year where Conner can’t stay healthy and Edmonds sees 15+ touches a game on an offense that works for fantasy. Edmonds receives a second contract to either stay in Arizona or brought on somewhere else like Kenyan Drake essentially was from Miami to Arizona. Drake went as high as RB20 in 2020 dynasty startups ironically holding value for a couple of years with Edmonds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *