Depending on how many different analysts you read, there are probably thirty different breakout and sleeper candidates at running back every year. Some do break out (Ryan Mathews
, Rashad Jennings
, Knowshon Moreno
last year) and some don't (David Wilson
and Daryl Richardson
). There are less candidates for busts, because let's face it that's just not as sexy. But any sound draft strategy needs to try and spot both real breakouts, and the guys who won't breakout. In this article I am going to play the pessimist (always fun!) and look at some players that I don't see breaking out in 2014 - you should avoid these players at their current ADP.
Don't be Fooled by These 3 "Breakout" Running Backs
Trent Richardson - ADP: RB27, 69th Overall
Okay so this one is more of a reemergence than a breakout. Richardson was a first round draft pick last season following his high prospect grade and a promising rookie season. He looked terrible last year. A 3.0 YPC? No thank you. On the bright side, there is almost no way it can get worse. Through two preseason games, Richardson has averaged 2.4 YPC. It is just the preseason but he looks like the same guy he did last year. Joique Bell
is going right after him and I would rather have him 100 times out of 100. Despite his youth and status as a 3rd overall pick, I would not be surprised if Richardson is a backup midway through this season.
RBs to Draft Around Richardson's ADP: Joique Bell, Ray Rice, Ben Tate
Lamar Miller - ADP: RB33 , 93rd Overall
Miller was a breakout candidate last year following the departure of Reggie Bush
. Rightly so, his ADP has fallen this year yet he still remains a potential breakout with what should be an improved offensive line and new offense. I'll pass. Even behind that offensive line, Miller's seven games with 20 or fewer rushing yards is unacceptable. He manged to pass the 100 yard mark just once. They now bring in Knowshon Moreno
coming off a career year. With preseason knee surgery most have simply written Moreno off, but Moreno is making good progress and should be set for the regular season. He is a solid blocking back which should get him on the field plenty and he showed some excellent receiving skills last year with 60 receptions. I see a committee here so if you are taking Miller hoping for a breakout, think again.
RBs to Draft Around Miller's ADP: Knowshon Moreno, Danny Woodhead, Pierre Thomas
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Bernard Pierce - ADP: RB38, 113th Overall
Pierce is a popular mid/late-round breakout pick because he will be starting the first two games while Ray Rice
is suspended. Unless you really need a starting RB those first two games, I would pass. As bad as Rice looked last year, Pierce somehow managed to look worse. A YPC that matched Trent Richardson with a yards per catch considerably worse does not inspire much confidence. If you don't like Richardson but you're high on Pierce, I don't know what to say. Go compare their numbers. Go compare their numbers, age and pedigree. I see a Trent Richardson with less opportunity and that is a player I will not touch in any league.
RBs to Draft Around Pierce's ADP: Knowshon Moreno, Danny Woodhead, Terrance West, Carlos Hyde