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]

Rookie Roulette - Which First-Year RB is #1 in Rookie Drafts?


This year's rookie class didn't feature an undisputed 1.01 player like 2018 did with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, who was a unique talent who led to people selling their entire dynasty teams and possibly their firstborn child to draft him. That paid off, but this year doesn't feature someone you should go all out for.

It does feature some good players, though, and three running backs who can make an argument for being the first back taken. If you are in the position to have one of the first picks in your dynasty league's rookie draft, you may be eyeing an RB, but which one?

Let's talk about Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, and David Montgomery and figure out who you should draft first.

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!

 

The Case For Josh Jacobs

Jacobs was the only running back drafted in the top-50, so it's pretty easy to just say "yes, Jacobs is the first running back you should take because of that fact" and move on, but things are more complicated than that, you know?

Oakland's a team in need of a running back after Marshawn Lynch's retirement, and while Jacobs doesn't have an extensive background as a workhorse back, he's shown flashes of being able to be a team's primary back.

Jacobs has great vision and an ability to quickly find and pick the right holes, and while his top-line speed isn't great (a 4.69 40-yard dash time puts him in the 29th percentile among running backs), he's got enough burst to get through those holes. Those speed concerns are going to likely be an issue, as Jacobs won't be breaking off many big gains, which means he'll need a good number of touches to produce, and we didn't really see in college if Jacobs could handle a heavy workload.

But while speed concerns hurt, Jacobs is a physical runner, which will help him in the red zone, and he's able to make positive things happen in space, which should allow him to be useful as a receiver as well. The Raiders do have a pretty good receiving back in Jalen Richard right now, but Richard is likely not in the team's long term plans.

 

The Case For Miles Sanders

Sanders finds himself in an Eagles backfield that is...maybe not the world's clearest backfield.

The Eagles brought in Jordan Howard this offseason, and Howard's the kind of bruising, downfield runner that a team like the Eagles could make good use of in the red zone. But Howard's also on the final year of his contract, so he's not going to stand in Sanders' way beyond this season.

The Eagles also have three backs on the roster who played a role on this team last season: Corey Clement, Josh Adams, and Wendell Smallwood. None of the three were super impressive last year.

Clement's likely to occupy the biggest role this season, as a healthy Clement would likely see the bulk of the pass-catching opportunities on this team. Smallwood is a very good insurance policy, a guy who can make positive things happen on the ground and in the receiving game, and Adams is still a fairly raw project, and he basically fell out of the rotation by the playoffs. It's hard to see how he fits into things.

That leaves us with Sanders to discuss. He'll be a good change of pace option right away for the Eagles, but there are valid concerns about his vision and his ability to take on defenders that make you question if he can be a lead back. Hopefully, those are the kinds of issues that Sanders can improve on as he gets experience playing in the NFL.

Sanders can be an active part of the Eagles passing attack, though, and he's a solid pass blocker who has the ability to shift into the slot and serve as a receiving option. That should help him get on the field more.

 

The Case For David Montgomery

Montgomery will be Jordan Howard's replacement in Chicago, and while the team has Tarik Cohen to serve as their receiving back, Montgomery should end up seeing the bulk of the carries as head coach Matt Nagy will look for other ways to get Cohen involved.

Like the other backs from this class, Montgomery's not a speedster, but he makes up for that by being nearly impossible to tackle. Over the last two seasons, no back from this draft class forced more missed tackles, and that should make him a more dangerous threat in the open field than Howard was.

Montgomery is also a better receiver than Howard. I'm not sure how much that matters since Cohen will be the team's main receiving weapon from out of the backfield, but we did hear last year that the Bears wanted all their backs involved in the passing game, something that was limited by Howard just not being that good at receiving.

Basically, I see Montgomery as a potentially better version of Jordan Howard. He should get 200-ish touches this season, though we'll have to see if he gets the team's red zone work or if they trust Mike Davis to do that. But even if he loses work to Davis, Montgomery is set to be the team's lead back for at least the next few years.

 

And The Winner Is...

Josh JacobsWhile I like all three backs, Jacobs has the most upside of any of these and starts his career as the clear lead back on his team. A part of dynasty value that we sometimes forget about it immediate value, and Jacobs has more short term value while also possessing a lot of value down the line as well. Yes, the concerns about whether or not he can handle a full NFL workload are real, but the talent and the opportunity are there, and when I'm drafting for dynasty leagues, I value talent and opportunity a lot.

My bigger question is which guy I'd rank second. After a lot of thought, I'm going with David Montgomery. Sanders might very well have a longer career, but Montgomery gets to spend his rookie contract on a team that's built for a back like him to be successful, while Sanders is on an Eagles team that seems to forever be trapped in the world of running back committees.

More Dynasty League Strategy




More Recent Articles

 

Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Darius Slayton, Christian Kirk, Kareem Hunt

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 11 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


Week 11 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's crunch time, with precious few games left before the fantasy regular season ends. There aren't many new names emerging on the waiver wire at this juncture but the RB situations in Atlanta and Detroit bear watching, while the Jets passing game has shown signs of life. No, really. Each week, we will advise you... Read More


Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 11

Rotoballers, if you're not active on the waiver wire this time of year, there are only two reasonable explanations: 1) You're sitting at 3-7 (or worse) and don't find it enjoyable to play spoiler to your league mates, or 2) You're 8-2 (or better) and have nothing but matchup-proof studs on your starting lineup and... Read More


Week 11 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 11 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 11 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More


Week 11 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

It's Week 11, and we're getting closer and closer to the fantasy football playoffs. The consistent options are getting more and more clear, especially at the kicking position. We're also going to start dealing with everyone's favorite factor, which is inclement weather, especially up north. The margin for error in these weeks is slim, and... Read More


Week 10 Surprises? We Must Overreact Immediately!

In Week 10, Christian Kirk, Darius Slayton, Tyreek Hill, and Michael Thomas all had beatable cornerback matchups and finished as the top-four wide receivers in PPR scoring. At running back, Derrick Henry exploited a poor Chiefs run defense and rumbled for 188 yards and two touchdowns, finishing as the No. 1 running back on the week. Ronald... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 11)

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


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 11

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 11. Some of you are in the favorable position of only needing slight modifications to rosters that are destined to enter the fantasy playoffs. But many of you are still searching for the most effective... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 11

Did you survive the terrible, no good, very bad six-team bye week? If so, welcome to the other side, when roster building gets slightly easier going forward. If not, I'm sorry, but you still have time to get things back on the right path. Let's talk about some wide receivers who might be able to... Read More


Week 11 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football squad is still in the playoff hunt heading into Week 11, then congratulations on not being the Pat Shurmur or Freddie Kitchens of your league. Fantasy football players will have to live without New York’s Evan Engram, Green Bay’s Jimmy Graham and Tennessee’s Jonnu Smith as their teams are on bye.... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 11

We've got plenty to unpack at the quarterback position following an exciting Week 10. While no major injuries occurred in game, the revelation of Matthew Stafford's back injury was quite a surprise and left some owners scrambling just before lineups locked. So the year of the backup continued this week, as 16 of the 32... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 11 Lightning Round

With 10 weeks down and only a few more weeks of the fantasy regular season to go, your vision for the playoffs should be coming into focus. The Giants, Packers, Seahawks and Titans are on bye -- with the Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings in Week 12 to round out the weekly vacations. To help... 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


Week 10 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

We got a good one on Monday night folks. Both for the NFC West division and, more importantly, for fantasy. Two of the top teams in the NFL matchup at Levi's Stadium. We can finally find out if the 49ers are for real, or if they were just beating up on bad teams all season.... Read More