Risky RBs for 2016?

smitty fantasy football advice

Each and every fantasy football season, a grip of big name players hold a ton of risk heading into the months of July, August and September. When does that risk outweigh the reward? Let’s dig into a handful of Risky Running Backs heading into 2016. Keep in mind, though, a player may be listed below and still be worth the risk, so read the write-up for each player!

Note: I’ve already written a ton on Devonta Freeman, a player that would normally top such a list. To read more on his 2016 value, click here.

Risky RBs for 2016

Jamaal Charles

Jamaal Charles | KC RB

With an ADP in the 2.01-2.04 range, there is a lot to like about Jamaal Charles (ACL). However, there is still a great amount of risk, as he is coming of ACL surgery and there are still a ton of solid and safer players to snag in that 2.01-2.04 range, players like Allen Robinson, Devonta Freeman, Lamar Miller, etc… So, in redraft, is the risk worth the reward at an ADP near 2.01-2.04? I say no, not before players like Ezekiel Elliott, AJ Green, Doug Martin, Dez Bryant, Lamar Miller, Allen Robinson and maybe even Mike Evans. So, once you include all the obvious choices, like Gronk and everyone above him, you’re looking at about 2.06-2.08 before I start considering Charles and his red flags (two major knee surgeries in 2 years). He is still a second-round pick, though, and we are talking redraft still… in dynasty, I think he has a solid 1-2 years left (likely 2)… and that makes him very undervalued in dynasty. Trade for him if you want to win now and can get him dirt cheap… second- or third-round dynasty value is not considered cheap, so buy lower than that or not at all.

Too Risky

Thomas Rawls

Thomas Rawls | SEA RB

This is a tough player to call out, as he is on the Bold Predictions list. However, he was added last year when his value was silly-low, and back then, it wasn’t even sniffing 3rd- or 4th-round value. His value has since climbed to crazy-high heights, heights I recommended to sell-high on months ago… now his value continues to fall as injury concerns continue to swirl. So, as it stands now, his ADP is still near the very bottom of the second-round, which is still kind of high given the risks of both injury and his short resume. I maybe like him as a late 3rd-rounder, and I loved him when he cracked the Bold Predictions at value way, way below 3rd- and 4th-round value… that time is gone, and those who traded for him on the cheap in dynasty back when he cracked the Bold Predictions, nice work… but I say there is way too much risk buying him at even high third-round value, and that’s where he is currently valued even with the recent doubt/injury concerns. I like the kid, as he is on the Bold Predictions list for a reason (given the value he once sat at)… but, everything boils down to value, or risk vs. reward… in redraft, with a late second-round ADP, you’re talking about safer options like Amari Cooper and Matt Forte potentially being available. In dynasty, there is little chance Cooper will be available in the late second-round, but there are still safer options over Rawls in dynasty if you ask me. Draft safer.

Too Risky

DeMarco Murray

DeMarco Murray | TEN RB

I have come to the conclusion that DeMarco Murray will be overlooked no matter what happens heading into August/September, as he has a super-solid 4.06 in redraft right now. It just doesn’t seem to climb, there is so much doubt! And, his dynasty value is at least that, if not lower. That’s low-risk, because you’re talking about players like Golden Tate, Matt Jones and Doug Baldwin being slotted around him. Not that those types aren’t strong fantasy options, but Murray arguably still has top 5RB upside. I know the risk is huge if you’re expecting that kind of output, but at 4.06, there is more than enough risk built into the value, and even if he shares carries more than we’d like, earning 4.06-type value is still attainable. I am 50/50 on Murray being able to return to his elite self, but I’m closer to 100% on loving the odds when looking at it from a 4.06 draft selection. Trade accordingly (value-wise) in dynasty!

Great Value! Buy/Draft!

Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy | GB RB

Eddie Lacy did look very undervalued heading into the very beginning of the 2016 fantasy football off-season. Since then, though, his ADP has climbed way too high, and we’re talking 2.05-2.08 range (for dynasty and redraft). That’s way too high if you ask me, as safer players like Doug Martin, Amari Cooper (in redraft), Mike Evans (in redraft) and Matt Forte (in redraft) are all likely to be available at Lacy’s draft slot. Sell on the high in dynasty, as his value is super good and you can get a much safer player in dynasty if you trade him in now. Even if he does rebound, remember, you’re getting a similar player that should work out as well, you’re just trading him in for a less risky player.

Too Risky

Carlos Hyde

Carlos Hyde | SF RB

The dude comes with a lot of risk merely because his coach is Chip Kelly. However, at a current redraft ADP of 4.01-4.03 (near the same in dynasty), risk appears to be built-in! Given the players around this 4.01 slot, I like the upside vs. the risk. Just handcuff him to his back-up to play it safe (for now it’s Shaun Draughn but that could change quickly).

Great Value! Buy/Draft!

Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon | SD RB

No one was likely more disappointed with Melvin Gordon as a rookie than I was. I had huge, huge expectations. I still love his skill set, and if he can pull in passes, hold onto the football, and make better decisions, I think he will have a big second season in the NFL. At a 6th- to 7th-round ADP in redraft (maybe a round higher in dynasty), I love the value. The risk is low, as you’re talking about players like Larry Fitzgerald, Frank Gore, and some TEs in that range.

Great Value! Buy/Draft!

Jeremy Langford

Jeremy Langford | CHI RB

At a 4.01-4.03 ADP, I love this value. There is definitely risk here, as Landford has a short resume and doesn’t have a super-lock on the starting running back job in Chicago. However, he is dynamic, I love what I’ve seen out of him thus far, and he currently does have the keys to the starting gig… I think top 10RB upside is possible if he stays healthy, so at 4th-round value, there is more to like than be concerned with! The key to this is ensuring you have the back-up, and that could be Jordan Howard or Carey.

Great Value! Buy/Draft!

1 Comment

  1. Whos_Ur_Doggie on June 27, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Nice write-up Smitty! Now, let’s see how all of this plays out in 2016.

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