Now that the 2017 NFL Draft is a fond memory, it is time to start thinking about your dynasty fantasy league and which rookies on which you should take a flier. Let’s take a look at the running back position and how this year’s rookie class will impact your dynasty team. Which rookie running back landed in the best opportunity?
Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – 1st round, Pick 4 – Fournette is going to be a starter right out of the gate. Jacksonville is desperately seeking that “bell cow” running back and this young man could be the answer. He could play a key role in the progression of Blake Bortles and the offense.
Outlook: Expect a heavy workload and plenty of fantasy points in 2017 and beyond.
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – 1st round, Pick 8 – With Jonathan Stewart getting up in years, this was a smart pick. Stewart still has some juice left in the tank but it won’t take long for McCaffrey to become the lead back. Don’t expect him to be the highest-scoring rookie running back this year, but don’t sleep on him for too long.
Outlook: Excellent long term investment.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – 2nd round, Pick 9 – With virtually no competition, Cook figures to play a prominent role in this offense. With Sam Bradford slinging the rock around like he did last year and a revamped offensive line, expect plenty of room for Cook to run.
Outlook: Solid pick for early and long term returns.
Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – 2nd round, Pick 16 – If he can keep his off-field issues behind him, Mixon may not have to battle too hard for playing time. Giovani Bernard is coming off an ACL tear and Jeremy Hill just hasn’t made the leap to be a consistent starter. If Mixon comes out of the gate strong, look for Bernard to have to watch from the sidelines. While the upside is there, a wait-and-see approach might not hurt for him. This is a true boom-or-bust type of player.
Outlook: Use caution but don’t wait too long in your draft.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – 3rd round, Pick 3 – Kamara finds himself behind the great Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram. As long as those two are healthy, look for Kamara to fight for playing time. Pick him up in the later rounds and stash on your taxi squad for a year or two.
Outlook: Could have some long term value but it is still a long shot.
D’Onta Foreman – Houston Texans – 3rd round, Pick 25 – Lamar Miller is the lead back. Foreman should provide plenty of breathers for Miller as Houston will look to focus on the running game in order to keep pressure off of whoever starts at quarterback. Look for Foreman to snag a few carries here and there but nothing spectacular.
Outlook: Mid-to-late-round flier as insurance for Miller and down the road long term.
Kareem Hunt – Kansas City – 3rd round, Pick 22 – Hunt may have competition with Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West on the roster but many don’t expect him to be sitting on the sideline for long. This will be a running back by committee with none of the three posting huge numbers for the season because of it. Hunt’s value comes in deeper leagues with more potential down the line instead of the 2017 season.
Outlook: Late-round flier.