Fantasy football has returned as the NFL gears up to kickoff the regular season in Early September. As you dust off your drafting skills, you may look for some tips and tricks in drafting in standard leagues. Standard drafts tend to favor running backs early, so here are some notes regarding approaching running backs in standard drafts this fall.
The first round should see several running backs flying off the board. Barring any crazy unique rules for your league, Jonathan Taylor should go as the 1.01 in your draft. His production last season speaks for itself, but if you could guarantee a healthy season for Christian McCaffrey, there could be a strong debate up top. Derrick Henry gets his biggest boost at the average draft position in standard leagues. He was getting a record workload last season before he got hurt. This year, the Tennessee Titans offense is expected to take a giant step back, which means they should rely on Henry that much more.
One player that you should keep an eye on is Joe Mixon. He is currently being drafted as the RB7 in standard leagues, which seems plenty high. I have him high as the RB5 and think that he shouldn’t fall past the 1.05 in your drafts. He sees incredible usage, and the Cincinnati Bengals went out and greatly improved their line. Mixon should be in line for a great season and has about as much upside as anyone.
Looking further down, I like JK Dobbins this year. The Baltimore Ravens traded away their best wide receiver in Marquise Brown, and quarterback Lamar Jackson was already starved for reliable pass-catchers. The Ravens enjoy deploying an option to throw off defenses and utilizing Jackson’s legs. With teammate Gus Edwards guaranteed to miss the first four games, Dobbins could start the year seeing an extra workload.
If you are looking for a sleeper that isn’t exactly sleeping, depending on much you’ve been on social media, Houston Texans rookie Dameon Pierce has turned heads in the preseason. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect the Texans to be good, but he should at least see a good workload early in the year. Another rookie to look at late in your drafts would be Isiah Pacheco of the Kansas City Chiefs. I don’t think he beats Clyde Edwards-Helaire out for the starting gig, but he should see some work and would fill in if CEH went down with an injury. This makes him worth a late-round flier that you stash on your roster.
There aren’t too many fades regarding the running back position. Antonio Gibson of the Washington Commanders is plummeting down draft boards from his relegation to the kick return team in the preseason, but that could mean nothing as we get into the regular season. Damien Harris of the New England Patriots should be downgraded because of the emergence of teammate Rhamondre Stevenson, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have some value. All other rulings on which running back over another can be answered by checking out our rankings down below.