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Five Fantasy Football Risers on New Teams in 2024

Ezekiel Elliott - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

With free agency and the draft now complete and OTAs heating up, NFL roster outlooks are looking a lot more clear than they were at the end of the 2023 season. Some players who switched teams will see a boost to their fantasy football value, while others will take on lesser roles in their new homes.

Running back is the most usage-dependent position in fantasy football, meaning that offseason moves can largely impact a running back’s outlook going forward. It seems that every season, a running back who had been productive just plummets off the face of the earth. Last season it was Dalvin Cook, who was an RB1 in 2022 and then finished as the RB77 overall in 2023 after switching teams from the Minnesota Vikings to the New York Jets.

It can go the other way, too, however. A great example of this is Marshawn Lynch, who was RB21 with the Bills when sharing a backfield with Fred Jackson. He finished as RB6 in his first full season in Seattle. Four running backs and one receiver stick out as candidates on the rise due to their new team situation.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Derrick Henry, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Derrick Henry’s production dropped from 1,538 rushing yards in 2022 to 1,167 rushing yards in 2023. He is now 30 years old and while it would be easy to point to his age as a reason for his decline, his situation was also less than ideal as he was running behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league with an inept passing offense.

Enter Baltimore, where the best rushing quarterback in NFL history will be creating headaches for opposing defenders while paired with one of the most prolific unicorn running backs that the game has ever seen. Henry is primed for a bounce-back season in an offense that is suited for his game. Gus Edwards, a much less talented running back, ran for 13 touchdowns in this scheme a season ago. This is one of the league’s most efficient offenses and Henry is bound to see more open lanes and red-zone opportunities. He’s also discounted due to his production drop-off a season ago. Buy in now.

 

Gus Edwards, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Speaking of Gus Edwards, the Bus moved from one favorable situation to another when he packed his bags and followed Greg Roman out west this offseason. Jim Harbaugh’s version of the Chargers will want to establish the run, as proven by their selection of Joe Alt with the fifth pick in the draft. With Alt and Rashawn Slater anchoring the line, Edwards is primed to get the first crack at being the lead back.

He is familiar with offensive coordinator Roman, who led the charge for most of his time in Baltimore. The Chargers also signed J.K. Dobbins, but the fact that he has only played nine games the past three seasons tells you all you need to know. Edwards will have a significant role in this offense a season after finishing as an RB2, and he will be set up to finish even higher this season.

 

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

The age-old fantasy football debate of Zeke vs. Tony Pollard was put to rest last offseason when Dallas moved on from Elliott and franchise-tagged Pollard. Or so we thought. After seeing his efficiency take a massive hit as the lead back, the Cowboys let Pollard walk in free agency. Where did that lead them? Right back to Elliott.

Elliott actually finished as the RB30 in fantasy last season in New England despite backing up Rhamondre Stevenson for most of the season. When Stevenson went down with an injury at the back end of the season, Elliott churned out a stretch of productive games in the league’s worst offense.

His burst is nowhere near what it once was and he is now 28 years old, but Elliott is still a viable fantasy option. As a matter of fact, he could even receive near bell-cow usage. The rest of the options in the Cowboys backfield are very underwhelming, and the team just trusts Elliott.

He should win the early-down job and should get passing-down usage as well due to his elite pass-blocking abilities. He was an RB2 when we last saw him in Dallas in 2022 splitting work with Pollard, and should be primed for the usage to end as an RB2 again in an offense that will be scoring points.

 

Zack Moss, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Since entering the NFL in 2020, Zack Moss has always carved out a niche role. His first opportunity to lead a backfield came last season when he had the chance to fill in for Jonathan Taylor, and he crushed. Moss played the lead role in six games and averaged 17.2 PPR points per game.

He signed a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason and is now expected to play a significant role with Joe Mixon being traded to Houston. Mixon finished as the RB6 last season even with the Bengals offense taking a backseat with Joe Burrow missing time. It should be wheels up in Cincinnati this season, and Moss’s only competition for playing time is 2023 fifth-rounder Chase Brown, who had just 179 rushing yards as a rookie.

Even in a split backfield, Moss offers RB2 upside and will see his fantasy value increase due to his role now being full-time. The 26-year-old should offer a great ROI for drafters this season.

 

Curtis Samuel, WR, Buffalo Bills

Finally moving away from the running-back position, Curtis Samuel is a riser based on his landing spot. Now in Buffalo, Samuel will play with the best quarterback of his career by far. He had a breakout season in 2020 in Carolina when he finished as the WR25 overall, but his move to Washington did not net similar results due to inconsistencies with quarterback play.

The offensive coordinator in Carolina in 2020 was Joe Brady, the offensive guru famous for his time at LSU during the Joe Burrow championship run. Brady is now calling the shots in Buffalo, offering a sense of familiarity for the 27-year-old Samuel. Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are both out of the picture, taking 44% of the targets with them. Rookie Keon Coleman was the only other significant add to the room alongside Samuel, and there will be plenty of targets for the two of them to step up and produce.

In Samuel’s productive 2020 season, he carried the ball 41 times for 200 yards and two scores. Paired with Brady once again, it is possible that he could be used as a hybrid type of player much like he was in college at Ohio State. Tied to an elite quarterback with targets to spread, Samuel is primed to see his fantasy stock rise.



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