In the first of a multi-part series we will examine where the “public”
thinks a player should be ranked versus where an “expert”
ranks those same players. The reason we want to make this comparison
is if we can find a large variance between the public and expert
we can find bargains and conversely, we can also spot where the
public is overrating a player to avoid paying too much.
We will use the average of 2,693 mock drafts from June 10, 2022-June
20, 2022 on FantasyFootballCalculator.com as representing the
current public consensus and our highly-knowledgeable team at
FFToday.com projections from June 16, 2022 as our “expert.”
Below, you can find the comparison of the two rankings and there
is a lot we can learn from the chart.
- The public obviously doesn’t know that Davis isn’t
a running back for the Atlanta Falcons anymore and is stuck behind
the returning J.K.
Dobbins and Gus
Edwards (both coming back from ACL injuries). Barring setbacks
for the top-two backs, Davis is just experienced backfield depth
(read insurance) and should not be drafted.
Carson - The public also may not
be aware that Carson’s neck surgery may or may not allow him to
play at all in 2022. He should not be drafted ahead of rookie
(ranked 39th with a 97.2 ADP) or the running back selected by
his own team, the Seahawks, in the second round of the 2022 draft
– Kenneth Walker.
Hubbard - Another over-drafted player
is Hubbard. Hubbard likely isn’t going to be the handcuff for
McCaffrey, That job is more likely to fall to D’Onta
Foreman, who was signed in the off-season and ran better than
Hubbard and was a better receiver than Hubbard in Tennessee. There
Foreman averaged 4.3 ypc and 13.7 ypr in 2021 versus 3.6 and 10.2
for Hubbard. If/when Foreman wins the handcuff role, Hubbard is
Robinson - Continuing with the overpriced
theme, Robinson is next on the list. Robinson tore his Achilles
in December and isn’t likely to be ready to start the season.
Add the return of Travis
Etienne and Robinson shouldn’t be drafted as the 31st running
back. At best, when he returns he’ll be in a solid time share
with Etienne. Etienne also made himself a better receiver in his
final year at Clemson and should see a majority of the third-down
receiving work. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I know to ignore
anything Doug Pederson says in the off-season … its typical “coach
speak.” Yes, Robinson can be a three-down back again, but Pederson
has always used his backups in a significant role. He has never
had a back run for 900 yards in a season. That won’t change in
Jacksonville. It will be a true RBBC when Robinson returns.
Now let’s talk about where the bargains are!
Here are three early round RBs to target.
Fournette– I’m not sure why there
is a lack of “love” for Fournette, perhaps a residual effect from
his frustrating years in Jacksonville. Fournette was excellent
in the Bucs’ Tom
Brady led offense finishing sixth in total RB fantasy points
(255.6) and fourth in FPts/G average (18.3). There is no one to
challenge him for the early-down work (Ronald
Jones is now in Kansas City) and Fournette has made himself
a very good pass receiver with 69 receptions last season despite
supposed third-down specialist Giovani
Bernard being on the roster.
Conner– Conner may not be an explosive
runner, but when it comes to getting into the end zone there was
no one better in 2021. He had 28 rushing attempts from the opposing
10-yard line and in and scored on 12 of them. This compares favorably
to Damien Harris
Taylor (13-of-41) and Austin
Ekeler (10-of-25). It comes despite his quarterback, Kyler
Murray, scoring five times on the ground - all from inside
the 12-yard line. Conner does come with some baggage (a low 3.7
ypc and having never played a complete 16-game schedule), but
the Arizona running back room doesn’t hold a lot of high-level
Benjamin and rookie Keaontay
Hall– The public doesn’t appear
to be excited for Hall, but our experts are. In fact, we are projecting
a 1,000-yards rushing and significant participation in the passing
game with 36 receptions. Meanwhile, the public has Hall behind
No. 2 backs like Tony
Hunt and even his teammate Michael
Carter. Hall was a three-down back at Iowa State and the first
running back selected in the draft and should not only be the
Jets early-down back but get his fair share of the receiving work.
For this reason, we have him ranked at No. 19, a full 20 spots
ahead of the public.
And a later-round RB to target!
Spiller– It was just a few months
ago that Chargers’ starting running back said he wanted to limit
his workload for the upcoming season in order to stay fresher
late in the season. The GM obviously agreed with his star back
and in April selected Spiller out of Texas A&M in the fourth round
of the draft after two 1,000-yard seasons for the Aggies. Spiller
should beat out veteran holders Joshua
Kelley (3.1 ypc) and Larry
Rountree III (2.4) to be the handcuff with Ekeler. That too
good a value at his current 155.4 ADP. Make sure to claim him
around the 14th-round to guarantee he’s on your roster.