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Updated Mid-Round Running Backs To Target For ZeroRB Drafters

Two weeks ago I brought you my first installment of mid-round running backs to target if you choose to go ZeroRB in your drafts this year. With two preseason games in the books, and more information, things have changed in the running back landscape and I am giving my first update.

This article will cover running backs being drafted in the middle rounds that make for excellent ZeroRB targets. Next week, I will have one more update after teams play their final preseason game with the starters in the lineup.

As always, things change fast in the NFL, so take advantage of these values now before their ADP rises beyond sleeper status.

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Dropping Off

  • Royce Freeman - The hype has reached peak levels and he is now a late fourth rounder. I still like him a lot when he is available later.
  • Marshawn Lynch - Still love to get him when I can, but his ADP has crept up into the sixth round, making him technically too rich for this article.
  • Rex Burkhead - Dealing with a "slight" tear in the knee and now a sixth rounder.
  • Kerryon Johnson - Borderline seventh rounder but doesn't appear he has done anything to earn a larger role. Would like him more at a cheaper cost.
  • Marlon Mack - I still think the Colts want Mack to be the guy, but hamstrings can linger and his ADP hasn't budged. If his cost drops I'll take the risk but too expensive for me at the moment.


Staying On

  • Chris Carson - Despite Rashaad Penny dealing with a broken hand, and Carson playing well as the starter, he still has a ninth-round ADP. Well worth it at that cost.
  • Giovani Bernard - Still one of my favorite handcuffs and often goes in the 11th/12th rounds.
  • Corey Clement - Offers stand-alone value and could see a big increase if Ajayi gets hurt. His ADP has somehow dropped a full round for no real reason.


Running Back Watch List - Newcomers

Sony Michel (RB, NE) ADP: 7.03

It appears Michel and Rex Burkhead are swapping ADP places. The thing that made Burkhead so appealing is now the exact thing that makes Michel so appealing. Yes, he is dealing with a knee injury but so is Burkhead. Despite the knee injury, there is no reason to think Michel will not be the lead back once he returns. Prior to the knee injury, he was being drafted like a lead back, and the Patriots likely didn't spend a first rounder on him to let him sit behind Burkhead. Michel has a ton of upside and is now priced at a discount.

Jamaal Williams (RB, GB) ADP: 9.01

I regret not adding Williams last time. I thought about it but worried about Ty Montgomery's impact in the receiving game and Aaron Jones when he returns from suspension. But after the first two preseason games, I regret not being higher on him. Williams played every snap with Aaron Rodgers while Ty Montgomery only came in with the second unit. Yes, Williams injured his ankle but reports are it isn't serious. Williams has a chance to run away with this backfield in the first two weeks, and given the offense has tons of upside.

Peyton Barber (RB, TAM) ADP: 12.06

Barbers ADP has skyrocketed the last two weeks as rookie Ronald Jones has looked anything but ready for NFL action. While Barber doesn't offer immense upside, getting a starting running back in the 12th round doesn't happen often. As long as his ADP stays within a reasonable range (11th/12th) he's worth drafting. If he performs well in the team's third preseason game we could see him work his way into the single digits. But for now, Barber is a great value and offers a nice floor for teams who waited on running back.


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