Draft Him, Not Him! (RB Edition)

There exists a website called Eat This, Not That! which gives practical advice on how to lose weight and eat healthier without going on an explicit diet. I love the concept enough that I wanted to translate it to Fantasy Football.  Below is the second part in a four-part series of simple, practical drafting advice columns regarding players I would avoid in drafts this year, along with alternative solutions that are being drafted in later rounds.

Link: QB Edition

RB

Draft Him: Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
ADP:
2nd Round
Notes:
He is far from being the most efficient player at the position, but MGIII has what matters: volume. His rushing attempts and receptions have gone up year over year since being drafted in 2015. If you can get a heavy volume RB1 on the way back in the second round, you do it, instead of overpaying for…

NOT HIM: Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
ADP:
1st Round
Notes:
Two peaks at the beginning and the end of the season, with a valley in between the two – that was the story for Hunt in his rookie season last year. He’s a talented guy and his advanced metrics are great, but with Spencer Ware back in the fold and Andy Reid’s penchant for arbitrarily letting his running backs disappear, I’m not spending my first round pick on him.

 

Draft Him: Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
ADP:
5th Round
Notes:
All it takes is a quick look at Miller’s splits pre-Watson injury versus post-Watson injury to realize he’s being undervalued at his current ADP. He’s a three-down back that has gone over 1000 yards and 6+ TDs for four straight seasons, and he’s going in the fifth round? Maybe it’s not a flashy pick, but he can be a solid, steady RB2, and is much safer and smarter than…

NOT HIM: Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers
ADP:
3rd Round
Notes:
His measurables were off the charts coming into the league, but one reservation many experts had was his ability to stay healthy and withstand the grind of being an every-down back. Lo and behold, he already suffered a leg injury that resulted in him missing the majority of this preseason. People are using a top 3 pick on a guy that has spent four years in the league and still never broken 1000 yards from scrimmage or the 5 TD mark? I’ll pass.

 

Draft Him: Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots
ADP:
7th Round
Notes:
Given Sony Michel’s surgery, if he can stay healthy for all (or at least a majority) of the season, it seems like he’s going to be the guy in New England. Sure, picking the Patriots running back to own is always a massive crapshoot, but the dual threat nature of Burkhead should allow him to be utilized frequently. His route-running and pass-catching ability is far superior to that of…

NOT HIM: Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
ADP:
5th Round
Notes:
Beastmode sure is fun to watch, but I’m not aware of many fantasy leagues that award points for broken tackles (though I wouldn’t be opposed to such a concept). At the end of the day, you have to look at the raw numerical production Lynch puts up. From a fantasy perspective, it just isn’t worth one of your first five picks. Add that to the fact that he’s 32 and has carried the ball over 2000 times in his NFL career, and you should come to one conclusion: let someone else overpay for his services.

 

Draft Him: Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers
ADP:
13th Round
Notes:
Remember earlier when I suggested that you would be wasting a third-round pick on McKinnon? In the same vein, people are really missing out on the value of nabbing Breida with a flier in one of the last rounds of a draft. He’s a young guy that is more likely to get significant playing time this season than…

NOT HIM: Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
ADP:
9th Round
Notes:
I understand that Carlos Hyde has a significant injury history, but I’m not using a pick in the first ten rounds banking on someone getting hurt. Add that to the fact that Duke Johnson has parked himself in a role in the backfield during passing down situations, and I just cannot justify selecting the rookie.

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