Rookie running backs are the acquisitions that win your fantasy league each year. Whether getting the top guys in rookie drafts or week one waiver pickups. They are the reason you win or lose your league; know that.
Knowing and acquiring the top guys isn’t the move that wins it for you. Getting the Elijah Mitchell’s or Alfred Morris’ are the types of moves that make a bigger impact. No one expected either of those guys to be things as rookies, but they immediately were.
This brings us full circle to the main point today, look beyond the top-tier runners. Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker II are your top-of-the-class type guys. Who do you need to know after that, though, and what should you do with them?
Our goal is simple today, clear up the murky water surrounding these rookie RBs. There are pearls in these waters; you have to know where to look.
This piece will be one you’ll want to save and have open during rookie and startup drafts. These guys will be worth monitoring as your drafts unfold and could be massive value picks or trade targets.
If they aren’t mentioned, then assume at this point they don’t need your attention.
James Cook, Buffalo Bills
James Cook has the upside to be the top guy in this rookie class in year one. I will be honest, I have seen no one see that much upside outside of myself, so be sure to hear me out. He is coming in fresh, he is on the NFL’s best offense, and Cook should be the RB1 for the team. What other rookie RB can say they have those things? None, and because of that, I am potentially too optimistic, but he is a complete back in rushing and receiving. Cook has the chance to be a complete weapon for the Bills this year.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This backfield would be much more exciting if Bruce Arians were still the coach. For the current situation, though, I see value in Rachaad White, just not as much as Arians would have given. White is a twitchy type of RB, a nice compliment to Leonard Fournette. What worries me is how much Todd Bowles will use as the rookie runner. For now, remain cautiously optimistic.
Tyrion Davis-Price, San Francisco 49ers
One of the shocker picks of the draft at RB possibly goes to the best situation. Kyle Shanahan loves using his RBBC; the only thing is his committee left town. The departures of Raheem Mostert and Jeffrey Wilson leave so many carries up for grabs now. Who is there to grab them up? Elijah Mitchell and the rookie Davis-Price. They will be eating plenty, and you should too by getting some shares.
Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
This will include a disclaimer of investing at your own risk because Brian Robinson Jr is joining a committee. Coach Ron Rivera said after the team drafted Robinson Jr., they would have a rotation of him along with Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. Robinson Jr. has the talent and was one of my top rookie RBs, but the loaded backfield is concerning.
Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans
Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead are all that stand in front of Dameon Pierce. That thought alone should be all you need to hear to be all in on Pierce being one of the best rookie RBs this year. To expand on the thought, Pierce was misused at Florida and will be coming into the league fresh. He blocks well, earning him passing down reps, and he has a good vision to be a reliable runner.
Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons
The last of the rookie RBs we want to touch on is Tyler Allgeier. Atlanta drafted the BYU rookie, but they resigned Cordarrelle Patterson and then acquired Damien Williams. It will be a loaded backfield, but it makes Allgeier one of the best taxi squad candidates among the rookie class.
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