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Five Undervalued Running Backs to Help You Win

The team at Dynasty Nerds dives to identify five undervalued running backs.

We are always looking for ways to grab value for our dynasty teams. The writers at Dynasty Nerds combed through our ADP to help identify some running backs to get a deal on.

Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys

One player who is being undervalued in ADP right now is Tony Pollard, as he sits as ADP RB15. We are talking about a player who finished RB7 last year in a split role with Zeke Elliott, who scored 12 rushing touchdowns. Pollard is the guy in 2023, and the Cowboys didn’t bring in any real competition to take significant opportunities away from him. Malik Davis and Ronald Jones have the same level of talent that Zeke Elliott brought last season. Yes, he is 26 now, but I’d expect a deal to get done to keep him in Dallas over the next two to four seasons.

Courtesy of George Walker/Icon Sportswire

I’d expect Pollard to take a similar path that that Austin Ekeler took when he turned 26. Ekeler would go from the lower 100s in carries to getting just over 200 carries the last two seasons. Pollard should see over 225 carries over the next few seasons and see the target volume to make him an RB1 in dynasty over the next few seasons. Pollard is going behind players like Williams and Etienne who saw their team bring in real competition for playing time. He should be going higher in start ups.

-Steven Pintado @CoachStevenP

D’Onta Foreman – Chicago Bears

D’Onta Foreman (RB50) has performed admirably the past two seasons as a backup running back converted to a full-time starter. In 2021, he replaced the injured Derrick Henry and rushed for 566 yards on 133 carries and three touchdowns and, in 2022, 914 yards on 2023 carries and five touchdowns. Foreman joined the Chicago Bears for 2023 that still has Khalil Herbert (RB41). The Bears also drafted Roschon Johnson in the 4th round (RB37). Foreman is perceived as the least valuable based on the current ADP of the three players in the Bears’ backfield. However, he has shown that he can produce when given the opportunity.

The most consistent one-for-one trade I find in the trade browser is a 2023 third-round pick which is well worth the potential upside. However, there are many more trades where Foreman is just a throw-in on a larger trade. With a split backfield on a team looking for contributors, D’Onta Foreman is significantly undervalued at RB50. I would much rather have Foreman at his current ADP than the following running backs with higher ADP:

  • Tyler Allgeier (RB42)
  • Chase Brown (RB43)
  • Rashaad Penny (RB46)
  • Zach Evans (RB49)

-Matt Plumb @DynasrtPlumb

Isiah Pacheco – Kansas City Chiefs

Incredibly, the starting running back from this past year’s Super Bowl is being drafted as an RB3 in dynasty startups. Pacheco is only 24 years old and set to be the starting back once again in 2023. The Chiefs have one of the best offenses in the league, and Pacheco is set up to be the lead back in both 2023 and 2024. The odds are never in favor of a seventh-round pick, but Pacheco looked the part of a starting back in the league. In the offseason, the Chiefs declined the fifth-year option for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, which further solidified the role for Pacheco in the future.

However, it is not all sunshine for Isiah Pacheco, which is probably why he is being drafted at RB27. The team re-signed veteran Jerick McKinnon, who will play a massive role in the pass-catching game. It was a no-brainer for a team looking to make a repeat run at a Super Bowl title, but it is only a one-year deal. That would leave Pacheco having to avoid one more roadblock in the 2024 draft for him to be the last man standing in this backfield. In the meantime, he will provide a great Flex option with a high touchdown upside for your 2023 rosters.

-Dan Toomey @DanT_NFL

Khalil Herbert – Chicago Bears

Heading into the 2023 NFL season, there is no more undervalued RB than Khalil Herbert. The Bears star led all RBs last season with a robust 5.7 ypc. With Justin Fields threatening defenders in the running game, they must focus on more than Herbert. He is essentially a poor man’s JK Dobbins. Just watch the defensive end over pursue Fields below and blow right past Herbert.

The Bears have made significant additions to their running back room but also lost their lead back from the last four seasons. David Montgomery was top 10 in the league in touches in 2021 and 2020, averaging over 20 touches per game. If Herbert can pick up even 25% of those, it would bump up his total by 50%. That would make him a legitimate threat for 1,000 yards rushing with the potential for seven or more touchdowns.

Rushing & Receiving Table
Games Rushing Receiving Total Yds
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Att Yds TD 1D Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt Touch Y/Tch YScm RRTD Fmb AV
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/10/2023.

With a current ADP of RB41, Khalil Herbert is one of the best buys in all of dynasty. He is criminally overlooked, being sandwiched between Antonio Gibson and Tyler Allgeier. Combine his efficiency with his position on the no.1 rushing team in the NFL, and you have one of the most undervalued running backs in all of dynasty.

-Dr. Matthew Mitchell @ReflipewtheNews

D’Andre Swift – Philadelphia Eagles

D’Andre Swift is undervalued at RB17. Swift underwent a change in scenery during the off-season. He left the Detroit Lions, where he had fallen out of favor. Swift managers were frustrated with his lack of opportunities despite his receiving skills and relative efficiency when called upon. The Lions wanted to replace him so badly that they drafted Jahmyr Gibbs, a back with a similar skill set, despite having a defense with so many holes that it often resembled Swiss cheese in 2022.

D’Andre Swift has moved on to brighter pastures. The Philadelphia Eagles somewhat concerningly gave up very little to snag Swift, but they offer a great opportunity. The lead back in one of the best offenses in the league. The Eagles have stuck to the Running Back By Committee (RBBC) approach for several years but haven’t had a back of D’Andre Swift’s talent (sorry, Miles). Swift will flourish in a contract year with the Eagles, finishing as an RB1 and making his dynasty value soar like his new team’s mascot. He is currently severely undervalued in dynasty at RB17.

-Steven Bradshaw @SteveBradshawFF

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