This is a weak rookie running back class. Most of us can agree on that. Here is why I think these RBs deserve a shot if the price is right.
To go along with my super-negative article that explains my concerns with every single RB that isn’t named Josh Jacobs, I’ve decided to put out a more positive piece. These running backs aren’t bad. They just have flaws. Every single one of them carries risk, and none of them are guaranteed to pan out, even at the low rate that we expect running backs to pan out at.
So let’s take a look at what these players do well. What do they bring to the table? Who do we want to take a shot on in our 2019 dynasty rookie drafts?
Miles Sanders is far and away the running back that I am most confident in. He isn’t a guaranteed success, and he isn’t a home run prospect, hell, I’m not even convinced that he will be the second best running back in this class, but I think that he is the least likely to fail in this class.
He has a high floor, and regardless of the level of success he achieves, I think that he will achieve some level of success in the NFL and be an asset to your dynasty teams.
His versatility is what stands out in this class. Most players can win with either balance or elusiveness, power or speed. Miles Sanders can win in multiple ways, and that is something that sets him aside in this 2019 rookie running back class.
In the open field, Miles Sanders can make defenders miss, juke them out of their shoes, hurdle them, break tackles, or run over them. He has a variety of ways to beat defenders in one-on-one situations, and that is important in the NFL.
He catches the ball well, displays the athleticism needed to excel as a route runner in the NFL, and should provide some nice receiving numbers for your dynasty fantasy football team if he carves himself out a significant role at the next level.
Miles Sanders has a good blend of vision and patience and is able to walk the fine line between a patient runner and a tentative runner very well.
Overall, Miles Sanders has a lot of positive traits that give him a well-rounded game. There are certainly concerns, and he isn’t dominant in any one aspect of his game, but he certainly looks like a prospect that could carve out a role at the next level. He is my RB2.
David Montgomery has insane contact balance. Every time you watch his tape, you get the feeling that he is going up against high school defenders that were never taught to tackle. As it turns out, this isn’t the case, and David Montgomery is just really good at breaking tackles and has ridiculous leg drive. Piles move when David Montgomery is behind them.
While he isn’t elusive, he has the innate ability to minimize contact, something that helps him maximize his ability to break tackles by providing very few solid tackling opportunities. He has a nice stiff arm that helps him work to the sideline while gaining positive yardage, and always falls forward. He’s a power back that knows how to maximize his balance.
His pass protection projects well to the NFL. He has good hands, and runs good routes, despite poor athleticism. He is one of the few backs that projects to be capable in a three-down role at the NFL level.
Despite my slander of Elijah Holyfield in my article listing each running back’s deficiencies, I’m still very much a fan of his tape. I’m going to hold off on defending him, because I have a whole article coming out tomorrow explaining why, despite his atrocious testing, I am still going to probably gamble on him and own plenty of shares on my dynasty fantasy football teams.
Trayveon Williams can catch passes, and he can pass protect.
That will earn him a role in the NFL.
Can he be a full time back at the NFL level? I don’t know. Can he be a change of pace back at the next level? In the right system, I think he can be.
Pass catchers are important in the NFL, and Trayveon Williams can catch passes. Without true rushing volume, it’s hard to project Williams as a top dynasty asset, but he IS a decent running back. I just have questions about how his game will translate to the NFL level.
The upside is that, if Trayveon Williams can find a way to carve out a role as a runner, his pass-catching ability will make him immediately valuable to your dynasty fantasy football teams. This rookie running back class isn’t loaded with sure-things, so most of these backs are a risk. Trayveon Williams is a running back with good contact balance that has his receiving ability to fall back on.
Darrell Henderson’s tape is littered with explosive plays. Only a running-back-hating-pessimist like myself could possibly walk away from his tape unimpressed. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what this 2019 rookie running back class has turned me into.
That said, there is a lot about his game that I love.
I love his speed. I love his burst. I love his receiving ability. His contact balance is good, especially for a slightly undersized running back. He will very likely find a role in the NFL. Speed kills, his balance is great, and he can catch the football. Those are fantastic traits to have. I don’t know if he can be a consistent producer or a true three-down back, but he is talented, and he’s a running back that I could easily see myself being wrong about in three years.
If you are going to bet that Rodney Anderson can stay healthy and that his injuries have been flukes, I will not stop you. Personally, the injuries scare me away. If they don’t scare you away, this is your clear RB2. His tape is good. No one would argue with you for taking him in the first half of the first round of your dynasty rookie draft, especially given the uncertainties behind this rookie running back class, but know that you are taking a risk.
From time to time, those iinjury-plaguedplayers pay off and are able to remain healthy when they reach the professional level. If Rodney Anderson is one of those guys, you are walking away with a steal.