That was a crazy NFL draft. Now that we have the landing spots for all the rookies, it’s time to look at the impact of the NFL draft. We dive into some veteran running backs who were winners and losers from the NFL draft.
No one is happier than the Tony Pollard owners, as the Cowboys did not draft a rookie running back high. With rookies like Bijan Robinson and Zach Charbonnet as popular landing spots, the Cowboys selected Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round. Vaughn is a solid pass-catching with yards after the catch ability. One major flaw with Vuaghn is his size: he is 5’5″ and 179 pounds. Pollard should be looked at as a solid top-10 RB1 in the dynasty. He’ll likely handle most of the workload in the offense as the rest pick up a portion of what Zek Elliott left behind. Dallas trusts Pollard to be the RB1 for the Cowboys’ offense.
I was a fan of Ingram in last year’s draft and thought the Cardinals were a perfect landing spot for him. The Cardinals left the draft without picking up a running back. While James Connor is still the starter, Ingram will have a shot to be his backup for 2023. Connor is already 27 years old and has a history of injuries, so it could only be a matter of time before he misses games. Ingram could step up and fill in as the starter and be productive. Ingram didn’t impress as a rookie, but he has good vision and speed in his game. He is an excellent buy-low option as a backup to grab.
Rachaad White owners can relax now since the Bucs left the draft without drafting a running back. Many rumors and visits connected the Bucs to a running back at the draft. They did get an offensive lineman Cody Mauch in the draft, which will help boost the run game. White was a top prospect who came out and flashed as a rookie last year. White should be the main guy for the Bucs, as KeShaun Vaughn and Chase Edmonds are the only other options in the backfield. Fantasy owners rejoice to have high-end RB2 in the dynasty still.
Isaiah Pacheco has to be excited that the Chiefs chose not to draft a running back in the draft. The former seventh-round pick had a solid rookie season that earned the coaching staff’s trust. Pacheco’s only competition at the moment is former first-round bust Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Pacheco produced 800 rushing yards on 170 carries last season and should eclipse over 200 careers in 2023. Pacheco is a solid RB 2 in dynasty who can do more if given enough of the opportunity to do it.
I feel so bad for Tyler Allgeier in fantasy right now. Allgeier, a surprising fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, ran for 1000 yards and seems on the verge of a 2023 breakdown season. He is in a run-heavy offense that likes to feature a running back. Unfortunately for him, the Falcons prefer to feature Bijan Robinson as they drafted him with the eighth overall pick. This now kills Allgeier’s dynasty values from a borderline RB2 towards a borderline RB 3. We don’t know what type of role he is going to have with Robinson there. He could rush for 500 to 600 yards, but his fantasy value will be inconsistent.
I’m at a loss for words with Kenneth Walker. Walker was the 1.02 in rookie drafts last year after being considered a three-down running back. The Seahawks felt differently as they drafted a highly profiled running back, Zach Charbonnet, in the second round of the draft. They also drafted Kenny McIntsoh in the seventh round, a very good pass-catching back. The Seattle offense will likely be a two-headed monster in the backfield. We’ve seen backfields be able to maintain multiple backs in fantasy football. For example, the Browns, Cowboys, and Saints all have shown us that two-headed backfields still give us fantasy points. Unfortunately, their values are capped until one outshines the other, or one gets hurt. McIntosh is also interesting since he could be a weapon as a pass-catching option, but his draft capital will make it harder for him to make an impact. Walker lost the top-five dynasty value and now looks more like a low-end RB 1 in dynasty.
Only two years ago were we talking up Michael Carter as the starter for the Jets heading into the 2022 offseason. Of course, Breece Hall went there, and Zonovan Knight was given the opportunity over him last season when Hall went down. Now the Jets used a fifth-round capital on the very young Irasel Abanikanda from Pittsburgh. Abanikanda was a favorite prospect of mine that had three down abilities. It seems Michael Carter’s value is at a time low, and he could be in danger of not making the team now,
Herbert is continuously shown that the Bears don’t trust him as a full-time running back. The new coaching staff did not draft Hebert and had no ties to him. They brought in D’onta Foreman and drafted Roschon Johnson in the fourth round. While the fourth round isn’t top capital, it’s still worth worrying about Hebert. Johnson, a backup in his college career, didn’t show to be a full-time player but flashed a lot with limited touches. While Hebert is with the team in 2024, his potential as a full-time starter still seems to have disappeared rapidly. He is an RB3 in dynasty at best right now.