The NFL Draft has come and gone and fantasy football drafts are still a couple of months away. This group of rookies may not have included a Saquon Barkley type of talent, but there were a few picks that could be fantasy gold this season.
If you play fantasy football long enough, you know how important the running back position is and how quickly the good ones get taken off the board. With the way the draft played out, there are three running backs who have a legitimate shot to put up huge numbers that could help you dominate your fantasy league.
Sanders sat behind Saquon Barkley at Penn State before he got his shot. When they called his number he went for 1,274 rushing yards at 5.8 per-carry. Not only is he a good runner, but he’s also got chops in the passing game too. Eagles GM Howie Roseman said after the draft “We have been looking for a back like Sanders for years.”
Sanders tore up the combine with 4.49 forty yard dash, a 10-4 broad jump, and ultra quick 6.89 three-cone time. The Eagles have one of the best offensive lines in football so the running lanes will be there. The only concern with Sanders is the Eagles affinity for “running back by committee” but Jordan Howard is a 2 down plodder with bricks for hands and Clement, Smallwood, and Adams are replacement level bit players. Sanders should be the man.
2. Josh Jacobs
Jacobs was the first and only running back drafted in the first round. This Alabama alum has plenty of tread left on his tires. He split playing time in college but took over when it counted. He’s 5’10, 219 pounds, and has solid hands so he’ll be capable of handling 3rd down work in the NFL.
With Isiah Crowell out for the season, Doug Martin and 3rd down backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington to contend with, the touches are there for the taking. Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams will keep defenses honest so Jacobs shouldn’t face any stacked boxes and will find plenty of room to run.
The Bears thought so highly of Montgomery they traded up to get him after sending Jordan Howard to the Eagles. Head coach Matt Nagy has compared him to his former running back Kareem Hunt and said: “When you have a guy that play all three downs, it’s nice for the play-caller, it’s nice for the offense.”
Montgomery caught 71 balls at Iowa State and he replaces Howard who only had 20 catches last season. Montgomery is an absolute bully when he has the rock and can also make defenders miss. In other words, he has more wiggle than he’s given credit for. Howard had 935 rushing yards with 9 touchdowns but Montgomery is a better runner and receiver.
Tarik Cohen will still get touches but there has already been talk of scaling those back. Mike Davis is a backup level talent so a big workload is definitely in the works for Montgomery. With Mitch Trubisky in year three and the offense starting to gel, the arrow is pointing straight up for Montgomery and the Bears.
The big name running backs will go early in most drafts but you should be able to get these three at a discount. Every year rookie running backs slip but it’s the one position that translates to the NFL without the steep learning curve. Keep an eye on these three in training camp and preseason. Let your opponents pass on them, grab them up and take that fantasy trophy!
Now you know Broe @broeham