Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Under-the-Radar Free Agent RB Signings - Risers and Fallers


Free agency is in full swing and there's been a lot of movement among the league's big names. Odell Beckham was traded. Antonio Brown was traded. Le'Veon Bell signed with the Jets.

But there's been a lot of movement around the league that hasn't involved those big name players. After some of the bigger names like Bell, Tevin Coleman, and Mark Ingram, a whole host of backs have switched teams, though the running back market seems to be running a little slower than the wide receiver market.

Below are my thoughts on under the radar running backs who've moved to new places (and one who didn't), with some thoughts on their fantasy value.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints

Mark Ingram 2.0, basically. The Saints don't want to expose Alvin Kamara to every down work because a high volume of plays for Kamara is likely to have diminishing returns, so they've brought in Murray to play the role that Ingram played last season.

How well can he play that role? Here's a quick comparison of their numbers last year from Pro Football Reference:

The problem? While the numbers are close, Murray's were compiled in four more games. Ingram was a better runner last season, and Murray's move to New Orleans represents a downgrade for the Saints from a talent perspective.

Still, Murray's likely a decent enough approximation of Mark Ingram to maintain fantasy relevance next year, and anyone getting 150 carries in a high-powered offense has a chance to succeed.

Verdict: Murray is a riser relative to his own value last year, but don't just substitute him into your rankings in the spot you had Ingram.

 

Carlos Hyde, Kansas City Chiefs

With Damien Williams impressing at the end of last year, the Chiefs didn't need to bring in a new lead back in free agency, and in Carlos Hyde they get a player who can complement Williams without eating too much into his usage.

Hyde rushed for five touchdowns with Cleveland last year with all five coming on carries inside the 10-yard line, but he failed to find the end zone once he was traded to the Jaguars. Hyde's Jacksonville tenure was forgettable at best, so being in a new spot is good! He's likely to fill the role Spencer Ware held last year, with maybe some more red zone work mixed in. I'm not overly excited about that potential role, but it's a step up from what Hyde provided at the end of 2018.

Verdict: I mean, he's got to at least be a riser when compared to his time in Jacksonville, but he's not someone I'm going out of my way to target. Damien Williams should be the lead back.

 

Frank Gore, Buffalo Bills

Frank Gore continues to resist the linear advancement of time. Gore's signed with a Bills team that already had a pair of 30-year-old running backs, but with McCoy looking like he's taken a step back and Chris Ivory being Chris Ivory, Gore brings some positives to this team. For one, he can still run the ball effectively. While Gore's total rushing yards fell to 722 last year in Miami, the second-lowest mark of his career, he had his best yards per carry average since 2012.

Gore didn't find the end zone as a runner, though he did add a receiving touchdown, and his total carries aren't likely to increase with McCoy starting and Josh Allen's propensity for running the ball plenty himself, but he should be able to take on some of the load for Buffalo. I'd expect yardage somewhere in the 600s and maybe a couple of touchdowns. He's bound to be more useful in real life than he is in fantasy at this point, though.

Verdict: Faller. I love Frank Gore, but he won't see enough of a workload in Buffalo to justify me spending a fantasy pick on him.

 

Mike Davis, Chicago Bears

Tough to really know what to think of the Davis signing until we see if there's a corresponding move from the Bears to ship Jordan Howard out of Chicago. As it stands now, Howard takes the lead role, Tarik Cohen is the passing down back and also siphons off carries, and Davis is left with the Taquan Mizzel role? Except that while Davis is a capable receiver, he's done the bulk of his damage on the ground, so maybe we'd be looking at a three-headed backfield? I don't love Davis in that scenario, especially when Howard works much better as a goal-line option than Davis would.

If Howard moves on, though, we'd likely see Davis getting roughly half of the team's running back snaps and in that situation, I think his versatility gives him a little more upside than Howard in terms of receiving and total yardage, but with less touchdown upside.

Verdict: Check back later, because it all depends on Howard.

 

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins

That Peterson didn't change teams is what's shocking to me. Washington gets back Derrius Guice, who missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL, and have Chris Thompson for passing downs, which means the role Peterson slots into is...what, exactly? Does Washington not have faith in Guice and wanted an insurance policy? Do they want Peterson to mentor Guice? Do they just think Peterson still has enough in him to be a lead back?

Last year, Peterson had his eighth 1,000-yard season, though his 4.2 yards per carry were the lowest mark he's had in one of those 1,000-yard seasons. His seven touchdowns were his most since 2015, but it was also the first time Peterson played at least 14 games and didn't finish with double-digit touchdowns. Despite strong numbers, Peterson has hit the downside of his career, and with more players sharing the workload this season, Peterson seems bound for fantasy disappointment.

Verdict: Faller. Peterson sees a smaller role this year in a more crowded backfield.

More NFL Free Agency Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

Waiver Wire Express - Week 16 Lightning Round

After injuries destroyed many a playoff hope in Week 14, we saw some heroes rise from the ashes to guide us through Week 15. Still, injuries to Dalvin Cook, Chris Godwin and others would keep the medical industry afloat as the season winds down. There's no shortage of waiver action heading into the traditional FF... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 David Njoku is a surprise inactive for Week 15. Chris Godwin has been ruled out with a hamstring... Read More


Fantasy Football Mailbag - Q&A for Week 15

This article's content may vary week-to-week, but generally, it will be answering questions fielded from either the @RotoBallerNFL twitter account or my personal one (@RotoSurgeon). This week, the focus is on start/sit questions, and there were plenty. Every week, many of us struggle with which quarterback to start, or who to flex, and I am... Read More


Week 15 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 15... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More


Updated Week 15 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 15 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 15 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: David Njoku is a surprise inactive for Week 15. Bo Scarbrough has officially been ruled out. Josh Jacobs (shoulder) is expected to suit up and should be... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 15

Welcome to our Week 15 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 15

In Week 14, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas were the high-end options that came through with solid performances, both finishing in the top-five even though they had fairly tough matchups. A.J. Brown finished as the No. 1 receiver on the week, scoring two touchdowns off of just seven targets, while Darius Slayton and Emmanuel Sanders... Read More


Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Kenny Golladay, Kenyan Drake, James White

If there was ever a week to have more booms than busts in your fantasy football lineup, it’s this week. The playoffs are either underway or about to start in fantasy football leagues across the nation and around the world. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a playoff team, then... Read More


Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 15

Welcome to Week 15, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football playoffs. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More


NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 15) - Targets and Avoids

Week 13 was a pretty chalky one with just three underdogs winning outright. The biggest upset was the Broncos absolutely annihilating the Houston Texans who were still celebrating their "Super Bowl" win against the Patriots the week prior. Three weeks remain and I'd be a fool to think there are hundreds who are reading this... Read More


Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 15 Lineups

The trend of fresh faces being among the tops of the fantasy scoring leaderboard continued in Week 14. Across the skill positions, we saw players that took advantage of plus matchups and excelled for fantasy owners during the first week of the playoffs. Mitchell Trubisky and Drew Lock came out of nowhere to finish inside... Read More


Week 15-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Still doing things a little differently this week--for those of you who are still alive. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More


Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More


Week 15 Panic Room: Outlooks for Slumping and Injured Players

As you set your Week 15 fantasy football playoff lineups, there may be some players who make you feel very uncomfortable about starting them. Based on recent lackluster performances, injuries, or just an intangible bad vibe, it's a struggle to insert them into your lineup in a do-or-die week. But you may also nervous be... Read More