Devy running backs are desirable assets and these three superstars are holding down that top stud tier.
Christian McCaffery and Saquon Barkley are the two most sought after dynasty assets. Miles Sanders and Josh Jacobs are going off the board early in start-up drafts. Clyde Edwards-Helaire landing with the Chiefs skyrocketed his value. Jonathan Taylor running behind an outstanding Colts offensive line has dynasty owners investing heavily in the rookie running backs.
A simple-yet-vital connection that your devy running backs’ value will only increase once they transfer to your pro squad, so get them NOW. This article will be the first installment in a devy series breaking down the running back tiers for devy leagues.
These three stud ball carriers- Travis Etienne, Chuba Hubbard, Najee Harris- will command 1st round capital in devy start-ups and a hefty price tag in trades. The reason why is they are worth it.
#1 Travis Etienne – Clemson
How many running backs could be closed in by four defenders near the sideline, two yards behind the line of scrimmage and still somehow get through to the endzone?
Well, we know one: Travis Etienne.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) January 2, 2020
Travis Etienne shocked the dynasty world. Many dynasty diehards had the Clemson running back slated as a top 5 rookie pick in 2020 drafts. Then he decided to return for his senior year to continue his dominance with future No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence, which made those 2021 draft picks even juicier. He will look to win his third straight ACC Player of the Year award.
This 5’10”, 210 lb running star looks destined to be a stud in the NFL. Etienne is a complete back with elite athleticism who’s put eye-popping numbers (4,605 scrimmage yards and 62 total TDs in 3 years) on a Clemson squad loaded with talent and only one ball to share.
Though his elite speed and breakaway runs are what probably excites most football fans, the Tigers star also possesses the perfect compact build and is also dangerous catching the ball out of the backfield. Etienne is currently ranked as my #1 overall prospect in non-Superflex formats and is the top devy investment across 1QB formats.
#2 Chuba Hubbard – Oklahoma State
Running Back No.1 Chuba Hubbard pic.twitter.com/q5WAb0bSfX
— Ray G 🏁 (@RayGQue) May 10, 2020
After receiving limited D1 offers, the Alberta native made a name for himself quickly with a solid freshman campaign (124, carries 740 yards, 7 TDs) splitting time with Baltimore Ravens’ Justice Hill. In his sophomore season, Hubbard announced his presence with authority as he darted his way to FBS-leading 2,094 rushing yards and 21 rushing TDs.
The 2019 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year is a threat to break a big run every time he touches the rock. The longtime track star is a sprinter for Team Canada and posted 10.55 100m dash time when he was only 17 years old.
The 6’0”, 201 lb speed back patiently waits for his blocks to develop, quickly finds the hole then accelerates through it like a sprinter out of the blocks. Hubbard gets through the hole so quickly that he is barely touched near the line of scrimmage. Once he turns the corner or finds space, most defenders aren’t catching the Canadian speedster.
On top of being a top 5 rookie prospect, the OSU stud is a beast in a Campus-to-Canton devy format. Dynasty owners will need a top 5 pick or a monster trade package to invest in the highly sought after running back.
#3 Najee Harris – Alabama
Things Najee Harris accomplished in ONE play for @AlabamaFTBL:
– Trucked a defender
– Hurdled a defender
– Broke a tackle to score a TD
ALL on 4th down. Sheesh.pic.twitter.com/EwF7e7zHOi
— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) May 27, 2020
While Etienne and Hubbard dazzle us with speed, Harris barrels over dynasty owners with raw power and brute force. His film will remind many Crimson Tide fans of Derrick Henry. Though just like the 2019 NFL rushing king, Harris’ superhuman strength causes many fans to overlook his impressive speed and surprising athleticism.
The monstrous 6’2” 230 lbs running back is an aggressive runner who breaks through arm tackles with ease and fights for extra yards. Harris’ ability to pick up yards after contact will immensely help his transition to the NFL. The Bama back battling his way through SEC defenses is one heck of warm-up to the pro game as well.
The 5-star recruit out of Antioch, CA had a breakout performance as a junior with 1,224 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. For an added bonus, Harris showed off his receiving upside 27 catches for 307 yards and 7 more TDs. The Tide’s tank also has zero fumbles over 424 carries. What’s not to love with THAT?
Though he’s third on this list, he still deserves to be in the same tier as Etienne and Hubbard and offers the best value as a mid-to-late 1st round pick in devy start up drafts.