Three stud RBs will be leaving for the NFL at the end of the season. The 2021 Devy running backs scene will be buzzing over who inherits their heavy workloads.
Position scarcity make running backs incredibly important building blocks in constructing a competitive dynasty squad. The 2021 NFL Draft will feature three unbelievable talents in Travis Etienne, Najee Harris and Chuba Hubbard. If you want more information on these players, readers can check out this preseason preview by clicking here.
These players have large workloads that will need to picked up by SOMEBODY. Opportunity means value in all fantasy football formats. For this article, we will be looking to who may be the “next man up” when these star RBs fulfill their professional football dreams.
These potential replacement players could skyrocket up the 2021 devy running backs rankings if they make the most of their opportunity. It’s much cheaper to get them now than later, so take a risk.
Devy Running Backs Stud: Najee Harris (A massive, complete all around back that will get NFL GMs excited)
Devy Running Backs in Waiting: Trey Sanders (The top high school RB two years, waiting patiently)
62 YARD TD RUN ‼️
— Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) November 3, 2018
It’s a safe bet that whoever is the lead back for the Crimson Tide will be a productive college player and a potential NFL player. Once Najee Harris goes on to become the next great Bama back in the NFL, Trey Sanders might finally have his turn as the workhorse in the Tuscaloosa rush attack.
Sanders checks all the boxes for an elite RB prospect- compact, strong build, blazing speed, excellent balance, can make defenders miss or just run through them. He has outstanding field vision to set-up his blocks then extends his runs by finding open space. A product of the high school football powerhouse IMG Academy, he was the top ranked running back in the entire country, according to 247sports.
However, the 2019 season brought on a season-ending foot injury and he was redshirted. Though Sanders has only a handful touches in 2020, it’s only because the ball belongs to Harris until he departs for the pros. Alabama is loaded with other young talented backs (Roydell Williams, Jase McClellan), but Sanders should be the front runner to finally lead this backfield.
Sanders could be a steal right now with Harris taking all the work or certain Sanders’ managers unsure if he will be “the guy” or not. In your negotiation, a smart move is dropping Williams’ and McClellan’s names to build up that uncertainty and then snag up Sanders at a cheap price. Sanders has a chance to be one of the elite devy running backs next year.
Devy Running Backs Stud: Travis Etienne (A historically great RB who will be a freaking stud in the NFL)
Devy Running Backs in waiting: Will Shipley (5- star senior at Weddington High School in Matthews, NC)
— Recruiting Analytics (@RAanalytics) June 20, 2020
This selection means no disrespect to a trio of talented RBs in Lyn-J Dixon, Darien Rencher and Chez Mellusi, who are currently getting touches for Clemson. Will Shipley is simply different and should be a 1st round pick in a 2021 Devy drafts.
As evidenced by the video above, Shipley will be one of the fastest Tiger players the moment he steps foot on campus. Shipley is a patient runner who sets up his blocks extremely well, then he’s off to the race. If a defender can catch up to him, Shipley’s balance, strength and agility makes him break tackles or make people miss with easy. If that wasn’t enough, he’s a fantastic receiver out of the backfield. Who does he sound like? He sounds like Travis Etienne!
According to his stats on MaxPreps, Shipley has rushed for 3,457 yards (8.8 YPC) and scored 49 rushing TDs. As a receiver, he added 62 catches, 975 yards (15.7 YPR) and another 12 scores to an already impressive resume. This kid should be a top 5 freshmen off the board in your Devy drafts and turn himself into one of the better devy running backs sooner than later.
Devy Running Backs Stud: Chuba Hubbard (A blazing speed RB who has been a force in Stillwater since Day 1)
Devy Running Backs in waiting: Dezmon Jackson, Deondrick Glass & LD Brown (What a mess)
— OSU Cowboy Football 🇨🇦🤠 (@CowboyFB) December 19, 2018
Before we get ahead of ourselves, none of these guys will do close to what Chuba Hubbard has accomplished. However, all of these guys are quite inexpensive to get in your leagues.
A hyped 4-star recruit billed as Hubbard’s replacement, Glass’ career at Oklahoma State started off a little rocky by getting redshirted in 2019 to get into better shape. The Katy, Texas product has yet to record a touch this season as well. The OSU backfield depth was already well established, so Glass may just not be needed. He may be worth throwing a depth piece and a late round devy pick to see if you get him.
Dezmon Jackson came to Stillwater after playing at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College. The Cowboy junior rushed for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns on 163 carries in 2018 at Hutchinson. Jackson has only 13 touches, but is averaging 7.8 yard per carry.
LD Brown has served as Hubbard’s primary back-up. He is an explosive player who also handles the Cowboys’ kick return duties. A 2021 timeshare seems to be the most logical solution in this situation. Managers may just want to stay clear from this trio as a whole. If you are feeling lucky, Glass would be the only player worth rolling the dice on given he’ll have three years of eligibility left.