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

 

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs is in the books, and hopefully you're still writing another chapter in it. Week 14 was absolutely brutal from an injury perspective, with several big name players getting carted off the field and burying multitudes of fantasy teams in the process. Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, Devante Parker, Alshon... 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 Le'Veon Bell (flu) is back at practice and should return for TNF. Bilal Powell (ankle, flu) is likely... Read More


Week 14 Surprises? We Must Overreact Immediately!

In Week 14, the quarterback position was littered with surprises. Drew Brees dropped over 40 fantasy points on a 49ers Defense that's given up the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season and Jameis Winston hung 456 yards and 5 touchdowns on a Colts Defense that's been solid against the pass all year. Mitch... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 15)

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 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 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 15 is here and for those of you that won the first week of your fantasy playoffs, congratulations. If you had a bye week, good luck to you this week. Kicker lives still matter, and three different kickers had 15 or more points last week. Three different kickers outscored Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 15 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 15 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

You have to love fantasy football. You have to, otherwise you would have given up by now. In a week that most likely represented the first matchup of the fantasy playoffs or a must-win in some form for the vast majority of players, we were treated to the following: Alvin Kamara netting three fantasy points,... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

It is almost inconceivable that we are progressing into the second week of fantasy postseason matchups. Congratulations to those of you whose teams are still competing in the playoffs. Your meticulous planning during the draft process and the regular season has been rewarded with an opportunity to win your leagues' championships. This critical week provides the opportunity to... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

Week 15 is upon us, which means that even the holdovers who play in leagues with four team playoffs and no byes are now in fantasy playoff mode. This is it: the home stretch. Are there any wide receivers left on the waiver wire who can help you in the playoffs? Let's look at some... Read More


Week 15 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football season is over, either because you did not make your league’s playoffs or because you have had enough of failing in DFS contests, then this column is not for you. Congratulations if you HAVE qualified for your fantasy league’s playoffs! To reach the postseason you must have received some decent play... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs in almost in the books, and if you're fortunate enough to have advanced then it's already time to start thinking about Week 15 lineups, especially for those who stream quarterbacks. Luckily, there are plenty of viable options available as eliminated owners have stopped making moves, and if you... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 15 Lightning Round

An injury-laden Week 14 decided many matchups, with several big names going down in a Red Wedding-esque affair. Not only was Josh Jacobs was a late inactive, but Jared Cook, Devante Parker, Albert Wilson all left with concussions, Mike Evans pulled up with a hamstring injury, Calvin Ridley and Ryan Griffin hurt their ankles, Derrius... Read More


Monday Night Fantasy Football Starts/Sits - Week 14

Finally, we had a good fantasy matchup last week. And now, as punishment, we get this. The Eagles against the Giants is a good rivalry game. But for fantasy? Not so much. Even key players Saquon Barkley and Carson Wentz have been severely disappointing in 2019. The game is not going to be something to... Read More


Week 14 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 14... 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