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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Late-Round Rookie RBs to Target in Dynasty Drafts

The 2019 NFL Draft is over, and the preparation for your fantasy football league’s upcoming season should be starting now, not in late August.

In standard year-to-year fantasy leagues or keeper leagues where you can only hold onto a minimal amount of players, you are not going to find many late-round rookie running backs on rosters once the league’s draft concludes. There is just no reason to waste a roster spot on a sixth-round longshot when you only have room for 17-20 players and cannot hold onto most or any of them the following year, especially when the player projects to be nothing better than the third-best back on his NFL team.

The story is much different in dynasty leagues, though, where fantasy players can draft a late-round rookie and stash him with the hopes that in a year or two he will be a bell-cow back that can rack up several 1,000-yard seasons. Look no further than the 2017 draft that produced Green Bay’s Aaron Jones (5th round) and Seattle’s Chris Carson (7th round), or the 2016 draft that Philadelphia’s Jordan Howard (5th round) came out of. Here is a look at the late-round rookie runners fantasy owners in dynasty leagues should target in 2019!

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!


Ryquell Armstead, Jacksonville Jaguars (5th round)

 Armstead is a run-first back who was no Le’Veon Bell when it came to making plays in the passing game during his time at Temple (29 receptions in four college seasons). While his college numbers do not look very overwhelming on the surface compared to other drafted backs, he impressed scouts at the NFL combine with his size and 40-yard-dash time.

Armstead is the epitome of a downhill runner, and his rushing style fits perfectly with Jacksonville’s offense and offensive line. It is not like the Jags will suddenly turn into a run-and-shoot squad with Nick Foles as their quarterback. Jacksonville’s roster is still built to rely on running and short passes and the offense should be suited for Armstead, at least when he is on the field during early-down situations.

Jacksonville’s franchise back is Leonard Fournette, who is a risk due to his well-known injury history and checkered off-the-field history. The Jaguars have little in the depth department behind Fournette as Alfred Blue, a five-year veteran backup with a career yards-per-carry average of 3.6, and Benny Cunningham, a journeyman who has never had more than 66 carries in a season, are the duo ahead of Armstead on the depth chart. Armstead has one of the most appetizing situations of the late-round runners drafted this year and should be focused on by dynasty owners thinking about the long-term as much as the short-term.


Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs (6th round)

 If Thompson was selected by Kansas City during the 2018 draft, his fantasy outlook would have been as murky as an ocean after an oil spill because of Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware being K.C.’s top two at RB, but now with Hunt in Cleveland and Ware in Indianapolis, the path for playing time is much more open for Thompson.

Ahead of Thompson in the pecking order of Kansas City’s debatable backfield is Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde. While Williams was fantastic after replacing Hunt as the top tailback last season (10 touchdowns over final four regular-season games and two playoff games), does his super stretch make you forget about his four forgettable seasons with Miami? The sample size is too small to make Williams a lock for 1,000 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, Hyde is on his fourth team in less than two years, so he cannot be counted on to be a sure bet for a solid season, either.

Thompson only played one season at Utah State, but he showed that he can play on all three downs (averaged 6.8 yards per rush and 15.3 yards per catch) and that he can score inside the red zone (16 touchdowns). His one year of college experience and the below-average defenses he faced in the Mountain West conference might scare off some fantasy owners not willing to take a chance on a late-rounder, but Thompson could be a fantasy force in future years in this Patrick Maholmes-led offense if everything breaks right.


Travis Homer, Seattle Seahawks (6th round)

You look at Homer’s collegiate career and his numbers do not jump out and grab you like how Ray Lewis used to jump out and grab running backs looking to turn upfield. Homer never had a 1,000-yard rushing season, he only scored 13 touchdowns over two full years and he only caught 37 passes out of the backfield. These sound like the stats of a sixth-round running back.

Homer has home-run potential when he is handed the ball, however. He is under six feet tall, so he can get lost behind his offensive linemen and before defenders know it he has turned the corner and turned tail towards a 30-yard gain. He also sticks his hat in between the tackles just enough to keep front sevens honest, which opens up big plays for him off tackle when defenses overcommit.

Seattle has a strong top two at running back with 1,000-yard rusher Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny, so Homer is going to need some things to fall perfectly into place for him to make any fantasy noise in 2019. Do not be shocked if Homer makes his mark in 2020, just like Indianapolis’ Marlon Mack, Pittsburgh’s James Conner and Carson himself did last year in their second seasons.


Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins (7th round)

 Some might consider Gaskin a seventh-round steal after the Washington product posted four straight 1,000-yard years and scored 62 touchdowns during his college career, but many teams probably passed on him because of smallish size (5’9”, 205). The jury is out on whether he can consistently stick his hat in the middle of NFL front sevens and come away unscathed. He looks like more of a third-down, change-of-pace back who could turn out to be a poor man’s Darren Sproles if used correctly at the NFL level.

Gaskin enters a Miami backfield that is far from filled with steady and capable performers. Kenyon Drake might have scored on the Play of the Year against the New England Patriots, but the man only had 10-plus carries in five of Miami’s 16 contests last season, so he is not a proven workhorse and most likely better suited in a RB-by-committee backfield.

Kalen Ballage is No. 2 on the Dolphins depth chart at tailback and all he has to his credit is one very good game at Minnesota towards the tail end of last year. A rookie runner could not have entered a better situation than Gaskin did, so take him in the late rounds of your dynasty draft and by the time 2020 and 2021 come around you might be happier than Bill Belichick is every offseason when he hears Tom Brady isn’t planning to retire.

More Dynasty League Strategy

More Recent Articles


Week 8 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

This was a REALLY difficult week to rank, because there are so many usable DSTs this week. There are usable options all the way down to Tier 4 this week, and you're going to have something available to you on the waiver wire in even the deepest of leagues. Below are RotoBaller's Week 8 defense... Read More

Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's Chase Edmonds' world, we're just living in it. Wait, what? Hopefully you added him, as suggested in this column the past two weeks, because even if David Johnson is deemed healthy enough to actually play, it's likely Edmonds continues to see action. In QB news, by the halfway point of Thursday night, we already had... Read More

FAAB Bidding - Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More

We Must Overreact Immediately! Week 7 Outliers

Week 7 seemed extremely fluky for fantasy football purposes. Devonta Freeman was ejected, and players like Will Fuller, Adam Thielen and Kerryon Johnson were both forced from their games very early on which hurt a lot of fantasy owners. The Rams wide receivers were supposed to light the world on fire against a Falcons secondary that... Read More

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 8

We're past the halfway point of the regular fantasy football season, which means you'd better start making some serious moves if you have any weaknesses in your roster. Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when the waiver wire is at its most desolate. But that's why I'm here. To navigate you through... Read More

The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 8)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More

Week 8 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 7 is over, and a few things have changed. The Los Angeles Rams learned how to play offense again, and the New York Jets came back to Earth, among other things. Week 7 was an especially quiet week for kickers across the NFL. A lot of kickers weren't able to get on the field... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered planning for Week 8. Some of you are ecstatic with the level of production that has been delivered by your running backs. But many of you have been contending with unwanted developments at this position including injuries, inconsistent usage, and... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

We're heading into Week 8 of the NFL season. By now, some of y'all are getting a good sense of where you're at fantasy-wise, if you're heading to the postseason or playing for fun or, in a dynasty league, building for the future. This look at wide receivers is for all of you. As we... Read More

Week 8 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

A two-team bye week is a lot easier for fantasy football players to navigate than a four-team bye week. Fantasy owners are going to have to live without Dallas’ Jason Witten and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews in Week 8. If you have one of the those players as your starting tight end, the problem is that... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 8

Tragedy struck a few top quarterbacks this week, as both Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan left games with injuries. We already know Mahomes will miss 3-6 weeks, while more will be revealed about Ryan's status later today. Either way, owners of these quarterbacks will need a backup plan in place, and this week the waiver... Read More

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups List

Back by popular demand in 2019... RotoBaller has brought back for the NFL season our Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also try our other lineup tools below. Using your phone? Be sure to also download our free app which includes news, notifications, injury alerts & articles.   Rankings WizardWeekly... 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 7 Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss several weeks. Matt Ryan is out for the game with an... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 8 Lightning Round

The better part of seven weeks is in the fantasy football books, making those early trends very real -- for better or worse. One must still consider the matchups played thus far and those to come, but usage and volume are becoming reliable. Week 8 sees the Ravens and Cowboys hit their bye week. To... Read More

Week 7 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Even if this doesn’t turn out to be great MNF game, at least it's a divisional game with some importance. This is what Jets fans need to tell themselves heading into their second Monday Night Football game of the season. With the New England Patriots coming to town off their annual semi-bye in which they... Read More