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Week 9 Rookie Report: Running Back

Running back is brutal position and injuries often open the door of opportunity. @Culture_Coach dives into some rookie running backs to see what the dynasty landscape looks like.

After a couple of week hiatus, I am back with the Rookie Report. As we are getting later in the season, more rookies are earning playing time and producing for fantasy. To that end, I am splitting the rookie report in positions: 1. Running Backs 2. Wide Receivers 3. Quarterbacks and Tight Ends.

Let’s look at the Week 8 rookie running backs.

Ken Walker III, RB Seattle Seahawks

26/109/2 ru / 4/3/20/0 rec; 56 (77%)

Four weeks ago, Walker ascended to the starting role after Rashaad Penny suffered a season-ending injury. Walker has been RB2 in the last four weeks, seemingly fulfilling the promise fantasy managers saw in him. He has also shown himself to be a capable pass catcher, reeling in 12/16 targets on the year.

Walker has shown himself to be very elusive, checking in as RB5 in Juke Rate and RB3 in yards created per attempt with 4.12 yards. His 10.6% breakaway rate is third in the NFL behind Breece Hall and Tony Pollard.

Rashaad Penny will likely not be resigned, leaving the job the Walker in 2023. Walker has played 70+ percent of the snaps since taking the job full-time, and I expect that to hold in 2023.

Dameon Pierce, RB Houston Texans

27/139/0; 47 (78%)

Pierce was the first rookie running back to grab a starting role. Checking in at RB16 on the season, Pierce is operating as a three-down back in Houston. While Pierce has caught 20/24 targets, he is ceding some two-minute work to Rex Burkhead. Look for Pierce to be a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside for the rest of the season. The overall performance of the Texans offense may cap his upside as they will be playing from behind often.

Tyler Allgeier, RB Atlanta Falcons

10/99/0 ru / 1/1/24/0; 23 (38% )

Allgeier has logged double-digit carries in seven of eight games played and had a season-high in receiving production in Week 8. After playing 57% or higher in Weeks 6-8, Allgeier’s snap share dipped to 38% with Corderrelle Patterson’s return. Still, Allgeier had two explosive plays with a 50-yard run and a 24-yard reception.

When we look at the advanced metrics from FantasyData.com, Allgeier checks in with a 27% juke rate, good for 23rd in the league. He has been productive despite facing a stacked box, an eighth most 23.8%.

The return of Corderrelle Patterson leaves Allgeier in a split backfield, and it was Patterson who got the goal line work this week. Unfortunately, I suspect Arthur Smith will defer to the veteran at the goal line, capping Allgeier’s fantasy upside in 2022.

Rachaad White, RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8/27/0 ru / 3/3/7/0 rec; 29 (35%)

Rachaad White has established himself as the RB2 in Tampa. White has played about 30% of the snaps in the last five games. I don’t expect White to displace Fournette in 2022. White is the type of speculative running back I like to target. He is a good pass catcher and will not draw a lot of attention behind Fournette, but he has the ability to step into a timeshare next season. Or, if things break his way, he could get the opportunity to be the guy.

Isiah Pacheco, RB Kansas City Chiefs

5/5/0 / 1/1/4; 22 (22%)

Pacheco made his second straight start in Week 9. While Pacheco is out snapping former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, he is, in turn, being out-snapped by journeyman Jerick McKinnon. The Chiefs use Pacheco to eat up the clock, so his snaps and touches are limited if the game is close or the Chiefs are playing catch-up. Pacheco looks to be a depth player for dynasty purposes.

Isaiah Spiller, RB Los Angeles Chargers

7/27/0; 13 (19%)

Spiller made his season debut in Week 7, playing just four snaps. The rookie paced the Chargers as the RB2 by out-snapping veteran Sony Michel behind starter Austin Ekeler. Spiller has eight games to show the Chargers and fantasy managers that he is the successor to Ekeler.

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