RB Sleepers & Busts
As the season begins to creep up on us it is important to plant our flags and pick some sleepers and busts. Always remember to stay fluid in drafts but below are three sleepers and busts at the running back position for the 2020 season.
Running Back Sleepers
David Montgomery - After a less than stellar rookie debut last year Monty enters his second year in a Chicago offense that is still trying to find an identity. The hype of Montgomery has all but completely died out after his extensive touches amounted to very little production on the ground which has turned him into a perfect mid-round target at a much better value than last year. Montgomery is going as th 22nd running back off the board in drafts and for someone who had almost 250 carries last year, even with the inconsistencies, that should lock in a top 20 running back. Montgomery saw 86% of Chicago’s carries inside the 5-yard line which was the highest percentage in the league. He is being drafted at his floor and his number of carries could even increase in this offense if Foles gets under center sooner rather than later. If Monty can add a higher touchdown total than his 6 last year and improve in his yards per carry, he can become a steal in this year’s draft.
Matt Breida – Matt Breida leaves a much better situation for running the football in San Francisco for much murkier waters in Miami, however, he does have more clarity in determining his role in this offense and should see much more consistency in his touches. Jordan Howard will eat lots of carries on the ground in this offense but Breida should get enough targets a game to be relevant in PPR in a flex role in good matchups. He managed 564 rushing yards and added 34 receptions for 232 yards in a crowded backfield last year in San Francisco; he may be leaving a much more efficient Kyle Shanahan offense, but that usage is not going to dwindle down to nothing in Miami.
(Photo Credit: Miami Herald)
Chase Edmonds – I know that everyone under the sun loves Kenyan Drake this year. He has quickly become the fantasy darling of the year and with good reason; if you add up all of the production in Arizona between running backs last year it would translate into the RB3 last season and it did look to become Drake’s job at the end of last year. Edmonds does not carry much standalone value but the backup in this offense is worth just as much as the other most valuable handcuffs like Alexander Mattison and Tony Pollard; though he is going much later than them in ADP in best-ball leagues.
Running Back Busts
Melvin Gordon – Gordon did not look like his old self last season in an offense that he has been a part of since entering the league. Now he switches the scenery for Denver in a backfield where he will be sharing carries with Phillip Lindsey and Royce Freeman; both of which have had spurts of talent and production previously. Gordon should slide into the feature role in the offense but there are so many weapons that this team has in the passing game with Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and Jerry Jeudy. It is difficult to foresee a viable passing down role for Gordon under an offense run by Drew Lock without a substantial step up in the quarterback’s development.
Devin Singletary – After the surprise landing spot of Buffalo for Zack Moss it leaves Singletary in a strange situation. Zack Moss has a very similar skillset to Singletary but with a bigger frame. That is not ideal for the second-year running back who will lose much of the goal line work to Josh Allen. Singletary did not even get the proper workload last year with Frank Gore in the mix.; he only scored a touchdown per every 75.5 carries in 2019. This will be a one-two punch between Singletary and Moss and the lack of upside without the consistent goal-line work there is not enough appeal to draft Singletary at his current ADP despite the talent.
(Photo Credit: Unknown)
Raheem Mostert – Raheem Mostert had a Cinderella story of a year last year in a rollercoaster of a running back room among Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and Jeff Wilson Jr. It was difficult to predict who would receive the bulk of the carries throughout the year and though Breida has been traded to Miami the reemergence of Jerick McKinnon does not invoke confidence in the possibility of a repeat performance for Mostert. Mostert was the RB7 between weeks 12-17 last season though the offense does not seem to go on a hot hand approach as Coleman still received plenty of work throughout the year. McKinnon has been kept on this roster for a reason and though many believe this could become a clearer picture with potentially only a two-running back committee it seems to remain a three-headed monster going forward with not enough consistency to take the one with the highest ADP. Taking Coleman later or McKinnon in the last round seems a far more viable strategy than hoping that Mostert can find that magic again.