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Must Have Running Backs for Later Rounds: Fantasy Football Breakouts Tyler Allgeier, Ty Davis-Price, Kenyan Drake

Tyler Allgeier - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

There's no "best" way to win in fantasy football, but there are some good ways, and one of those good ways is to draft good players in the late rounds. Sounds easy, right?

Not really! How many times have you spent a 14th-round pick on a player and then dropped him after Week 2 because he was doing absolutely nothing? Every year, right?

I can't guarantee that the four running backs below will be good this year. If you're taking a risk on someone that late in a draft, there's a good reason why they're going so late. But I am going to suggest four running backs with late-round ADPs that I'm most interested in. (ADP data is from FantasyPros for half-PPR leagues and all players are being drafted outside of the top-50 running backs.)

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Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons

Pick 161, RB54

Cordarrelle Patterson is set to start at running back for the Falcons. Patterson was pretty good last year, but there's just one small issue: he's not a running back.

Yeah, yeah, sports are becoming positionless and all that. But Patterson spent most of his NFL career as a wide receiver/returner, then transitioned into a running back in 2020 with the Bears before becoming the lead back in Atlanta last year.

Patterson is a huge weapon when he's on the field, but you have to think that the Falcons will want to give some snaps at running back to a natural running back, right?

That's where Tyler Allgeier comes into play. There's been plenty of chatter about Allgeier's role this upcoming season being larger than originally anticipated:

And also some of this:

Getting a potential starting RB past RB50 is a great value, even if there are definite concerns about the ceiling that Allgeier will have since he's a running back on a bad offense and will give away passing-down work to Patterson. He should still end up with enough volume to be a fantasy RB3/4 once he gets that early down work.

 

Tyrion Davis-Price, San Francisco 49ers

Pick 197, RB61

If you're looking for a running back sleeper, why not grab one from a team that we know will run the football?

Last season, the 49ers finished sixth in the NFL in rushing attempts with 499 of them. 207 went to starting running back Elijah Mitchell, while 79 went to Jeff Wilson Jr., though he played just nine games.

The team added rookie Tyrion Davis-Price to the mix this year. How much usage will he get? We'll have to see. But the 49ers'w backfield under Kyle Shanahan has been pretty wide open in the past.

Last year, Mitchell took over the backfield, finishing with over twice the carries of the No. 2 player. But in 2020, Wilson and Raheem Mostert both had over 100 carries and Jerick McKinnon had 81. In 2019, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert shared the team lead in carries with 137 each, while Matt Breida saw 123. In 2018, it was Breida leading the team with 153, followed by Alfred Morris at 111. In 2017, Carlos Hyde led the team with 240 carries.

So, every year with Shanahan as the head coach, a different running back has led the team in carries, and just twice has a player gone over 200 carries.

History suggests that this backfield is not as settled as you might think. TDP has a great chance to see 100-plus touches.

 

Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders

Pick 210, RB63

This is less about Kenyan Drake and more about how I want the backup running back on the Raiders, whoever it winds up being. That might be Drake. It might be fourth-round rookie Zamir White. It probably won't be Brandon Bolden, but I guess that's an option.

Josh Jacobs has just been used so much in his first three NFL seasons, with 732 carries and 107 receptions. That's a lot of usage for Jacobs.

But last year suggested that the team realizes that, as Jacobs dropped from 273 carries to 217 carries in the same number of games, which also contributed to him going from 71.0 rushing yards per game to 58.1.

Now, a new coaching staff should continue that trend.

Josh McDaniels has spent a lot of time in New England, where his offense really compartmentalized the running back position, usually having one guy in there to run and another back to receive. Last year, Jacobs saw more targets than Drake, but with McDaniels controlling things, I wouldn't be surprised to see more clear roles, with Jacobs getting early down run work and Drake (or someone else) playing more on passing downs.

The last time McDaniels was a head coach was in 2010, so things have definitely changed in the NFL since then. But even that season with a young Knowshon Moreno, McDaniels used a 32-year-old Correll Buckhalter more than you'd expect, with Buckhalter seeing just nine fewer targets in the passing game than Moreno.

Josh Jacobs is still the lead back, but the Josh McDaniels offense should offer more opportunities for a second back than the previous Raiders offense did. Grab the Raiders backups at their ADP and see which one ends up working out for you.



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