Dynasty Fantasy Rookie Running Back Rankings — June Edition
We are now less then a month away from the start of NFL training camp 2017. Luckily, none of the top running back prospects have suffered any major injuries (fingers crossed). As you prepare for your rookies draft, keep in mind that OTA news pretty much mean absolutely nothing.
If your favorite prospect isn't getting the system, who cares. They are professionals, they will get it. If they have been called out of shape by the media, its probably not true. We can start getting worried in July when training camp officially begins. For now, lets take a look at the post-OTA’s rankings for dynasty running back prospects.
1. Leonard Fournette, JAC
Shocker, right? Forunette was the first back taken off the board at the NFL Draft, so its only natural that he is listed as the best rookie back in dynasty. This doesn't mean Forunette’s situation is glitter and gold though. It is no secret that Jacksonville has a struggling offensive line. Not to mention the passing game doesn't really help out Fournette’s situation as well.
Jacksonville’s offense is looking to use Forunette as a workhorse back in hopes to improve every aspect of the offense. So he may not be banging out 200 yard games like he did in college, but expect him to get majority of the workload in the backfield. Again, keep in mind Jacksonville ranked 22nd overall in rushing and ranked 30th in rushing touchdowns. As good as Fournette is, his situation has a Todd Gurley sophomore season feel to it.
2. Joe Mixon, CIN
This may not make the McCaffrey stans’ happy but yes, Mixon will be a good fantasy back. Actually, Do not be surprised if Mixon becomes the most successful rookie running back in 2017. I am a strong believer in the fact that Mixon is the most talented running back in this draft. If his 2014 incident never happened then this wouldn't even be a debate.
The only issue for Mixon is the fact that the Bengals never moved Jeremy Hill or Gio Bernard in the off season. This could cause some congestion in the Cincinnati backfield, but eventually Mixon could take over completely. Hill only averaged 3.8 yards per carry in 2016 as Bernard missed multiple weeks due to injury. When Bernard was healthy and got majority of the workload, he still struggled. Mixon should have no issues winning RB1 in Cincy.
3. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
Here we go. Christian McCaffrey had a very solid college career. He took over the media with his 2,000-plus yards season in 2015. The next season wasn't as impressive, but at the same time it was still impressive. McCaffrey’s versatility has become his biggest strength heading into his rookie season. He had some reps at slot receiver at practice in addition to his running back drills.
Although Carolina seems like a strange landing spot for the Stanford alum, Carolina loved him so much during recruiting that offensive coordinator, Mike Shula must have some sort of tricks up his sleeve to utilize him. Fantasy wise, McCaffrey seems like a Danny Woodhead type player, which is exciting if you ever had Woodhead on your team.
4. Dalvin Cook, MIN
Dalvin Cook’s fantasy value has been a roller coaster ride since the beginning of the 2017 off season. Many major fantasy sites had Cook listed number one over Fournette for quite some time. After he dropped to the Vikings in the second round, owners who were heavily interested in Cook have shifted their attention elsewhere.
Minnesota ranked dead last in overall rushing in 2016. Some would say it is because Adrian Peterson suffered his injury, but there is more to it. Minnesota’s offensive line has been atrocious. For a downhill runner like Cook, it could be tough to get past the guys up front. Not to mention, Cook is competing with Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray for carries. Rumor has it that Cook will win the starting position over in camp, but Murray and McKinnon will slow up Cook’s progression.
5. Kareem Hunt, KCC
Kareem Hunt has a good chance to have immediate results in Kansas City. With Jamaal Charles gone, Hunt only has to sit behind Spencer Ware, who had an average season. Ware finished with 921 yards and only three touchdowns last season. Hunt will most likely be paired with Ware as a committee to start, but things could change.
Hunt may not be the most flashiest back in this draft, but he had tons of production at Toledo. Unlike some of the other prospects, Hunt finished all four seasons in college. While he may not have had major rushing numbers, he ended on a high note in 2016, with 1,475 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also decent in the passing game with 41 receptions with 403 yards. That is always a plus in an Andy Reid offense.
6. Alvin Kamara, NOS
Alvin Kamara will only be valuable in the Saints passing game for the first season. While I don't think Adrian Peterson will make as big as an impact as others may expect, Mark Ingram still remains on the roster. Kamara being buried behind two veterans is a blessing and a curse.
Kamara will get tons of knowledge from his veteran mentors, but don't expect him to make any immediate impact in his rookie season. Kamara is a good player to have stashed away until the future.
7. Samaje Perine, WAS
Samaje Perine may have been overshadowed by Joe Mixon at Oaklahoma, but don't expect that to be the case for long at Washington. The Redskins backfield situation has been messy over the last season. Matt Jones went from future star to healthy scratch and Rob Kelley came out of nowhere against the Packers and went off.
I cant forget to mention that Chris Thompson has been able to steal some of Kelley’s carries as well. So Perine has a very busy situation in Washington, but the workhorse position is wide open. Perine fits right into the Redskins system with his power style running. If you have Kelley or Thompson already, then drafting Perine to handcuff is a must.
If you have any questions, reach out via Twitter @JGrasso_ or E-Mail: JustinGrasso32@gmail.com