Lost password?

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


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

Under-the-Radar RB Signings: Fantasy Risers or Fallers?

There have been a lot of big-name signings so far in free agency, but what about some of the players who've flown below the radar? Guys who might not be stars, but could still be key contributors on their new teams and on your future fantasy teams.

Today, we'll be taking a look at some under-the-radar signings at running back.

Are these players going to be fantasy risers in 2021? Or will their new digs find them struggling to make an impact?

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Malcolm Brown - Miami Dolphins

Last year with the Rams was Malcolm Brown's highest-usage season in the NFL, as he had 101 carries and 23 receptions. His 124 touches were 52 more than his second-most touched(?) season.

But even with that, Brown only had 26.2 rushing yards per game, and two running backs on the team had more carries in Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr.

I'm tentatively higher on Brown in Miami because the competition for touches might not be as severe. Myles Gaskin seems set to be the starter in Miami, but behind him, there's not a clear-cut No. 2. Matt Breida is headed to Buffalo. Salvon Ahmed and Patrick Laird are football players who technically exist. But barring the team drafting a running back, Brown will probably be that No. 2.

So, a clearer role should make him a fantasy riser, theoretically. The problem is that a quick look at Malcolm Brown's efficiency numbers from PlayerProfiler is, uhh, not super encouraging:

We probably don't have time to dive into why these numbers aren't great, but they do suggest that Brown doesn't create many yards and doesn't really have big-play potential.

So, yeah...volume could help him have a decent season, but I don't see a ton of upside here.

Conclusion: Ri...ser?


Mark Ingram II - Houston Texans

It wouldn't take much for Mark Ingram to improve on what he did at the end of 2020, as he was a healthy scratch two of the last three weeks of the season, plus for both playoff games. His best game was Week 2 when he had nine carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. After that, he had over 40 yards just once.

So, just by virtue of maybe actually playing football in Houston, Ingram gets a slight boost.

But the potential for him to get a big boost was taken away when the team signed Phillip Lindsay, who should enter 2021 as the team's lead back, with either Ingram or David Johnson serving as the primary second-stringer. Ingram might get some decent short-yardage usage, but his upside will be limited.

We also don't know what the quarterback situation looks like in Houston, which adds some uncertainty into the mix. If Tyrod Taylor is the starter, will Houston end up running the ball more, adopting a Ravens-esque system that would help support the running backs in fantasy? But even then, would Ingram do much of anything?

Conclusion: A riser by default


Carlos Hyde - Jacksonville Jaguars

The running back market has not been fun this offseason. When Kenyan Drake to Vegas is the biggest name to change teams, well...yeah.

Anyway, Carlos Hyde signing in Jacksonville happened, and I guess we should touch on that move just a little bit.

So, Carlos Hyde joined a Jaguars team that relied a lot on rookie James Robinson last year, who had 95.62 percent of the running back carries for the Jags. But Jacksonville underwent a head coaching change, so we can't assume that Doug Marrone's running back usage carries over to Urban Meyer's running back usage.

What that should mean: Robinson falls off some as we see a more normal carry split with his backup -- presumably Carlos Hyde. But Robinson had an impressive rookie year, with PlayerProfiler showing him ranked sixth in yards created and fifth in evaded tackles.

Hyde, meanwhile, was 52nd in yards created and 36th in yards created per touch. He was 157th in expected points added and 45th in true yards per carry.

What I'm trying to say is that Hyde is going to get touches, but he isn't a huge threat to Robinson. Hyde had 356 yards and four touchdowns last season, plus added 16 catches for 93 yards. Maybe he gets around that in Jacksonville? Maybe? But Hyde also had the advantage in Seattle of having Chris Carson miss some time and also getting a lot of touches in a blowout win over the Jets.

At this point in his career, it doesn't feel like Hyde is much of a threat to Robinson. If everyone is healthy, I think he winds up with just four-to-six touches per game.

Conclusion: Faller


Jamaal Williams - Detroit Lions

The former Packer is now playing for cross-division rival Detroit, where he'll be backing up second-year back D'Andre Swift.

Considering how Swift came on over the final three games of the season, Williams feels mostly like insurance here. During those final three weeks, Swift saw 68.52 percent of the running back carries for the Lions, which is notable as he saw just 36.67 percent of the attempts over the first 13 games of the season.

In Green Bay, Williams had always been a threat to Aaron Jones' touches, as he's had 100 or more carries in each of his four seasons. But Williams also had averaged just 33.1 yards per his time with the Packers.

I'd say that Williams might be a slight riser over what he was in Green Bay due to the way Detroit should use the running game, especially with a switch from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff at QB, which should lead to more run-game reliance? Except, a bad Lions team might also play from behind more, offering fewer chances for the team to give their No. 2 back rushing attempts.

Again, I don't know. Williams doesn't really offer enough upside to excite me in fantasy, even if he might be in a slightly better situation.

Conclusion: Maybe a slight riser but probably not.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts


Bobby Miller40 mins ago

Carries On Scintillating Start
Josh Hader2 hours ago

Fires Perfect Ninth Inning
Brandon Belt2 hours ago

Exits Early On Saturday
Andrew Abbott2 hours ago

Extends Scoreless Streak
J.D. Davis2 hours ago

Back In The Lineup On Saturday
Carlos Correa2 hours ago

Hits Go-Ahead Grand Slam
Jarren Duran2 hours ago

Sitting Out On Saturday
Seiya Suzuki2 hours ago

Absent On Saturday
Josh Fleming4 hours ago

To Visit Specialist Next Week
Andrés Giménez4 hours ago

Andres Gimenez Absent On Saturday
Vinnie Pasquantino4 hours ago

Placed On Injured List
Anthony Rizzo4 hours ago

Out Of The Lineup On Saturday
Andrew Painter4 hours ago

To Throw Bullpen Session On Saturday
James Karinchak4 hours ago

Optioned To Minors
Damon Severson4 hours ago

Traded To Columbus
Adin Hill5 hours ago

Likely Between The Pipes In Game 4
Cedric Mullins6 hours ago

Has Resumed Baseball Activities
Garrett Cooper7 hours ago

Has Clean MRI On His Arm
Aaron Judge7 hours ago

Has Swelling Decrease In His Injured Toe
Tommy Hunter7 hours ago

Designated For Assignment
Vinnie Pasquantino7 hours ago

Lands On The Injured List
Ryan Mountcastle7 hours ago

Still Out Of The Lineup
Royce Lewis7 hours ago

Not In The Lineup On Saturday
Trey Lance9 hours ago

Spring Stats Weren't Very Impressive
C.J. Uzomah9 hours ago

Injured In Friday's Practice
Hunter Renfrow9 hours ago

Is Healthy
Las Vegas Raiders9 hours ago

Bilal Nichols Separating Himself This Offseason
Kyle Lowry9 hours ago

Posts 13 Points, Seven Assists In Friday's Loss
Aaron Rodgers9 hours ago

Takes Part In Friday's Practice
Ty Chandler9 hours ago

Looking At Increased Role
Bam Adebayo9 hours ago

Endures Another Rough Shooting Night
Seattle Seahawks9 hours ago

Mike Jackson Has Strong Minicamp
Jimmy Butler9 hours ago

Improves Efficiency In Game 4 Loss
DK Metcalf9 hours ago

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Impressing DK Metcalf
Bruce Brown9 hours ago

Comes Up Big In Fourth Quarter Friday
Jamal Murray10 hours ago

Continues Spectacular Playmaking In Finals
Nikola Jokic10 hours ago

Battles Through Ankle Sprain And Foul Trouble
Aaron Gordon10 hours ago

Scores Playoff Career-High 27 Points
Jared Goff23 hours ago

Has Complete Command Of Offense
Dalvin Cook1 day ago

Jets Would Consider Adding Dalvin Cook
Courtland Sutton1 day ago

Studying "Ways To Get Open"
DJ Moore1 day ago

"Developing Rapport" With Justin Fields
Dallas Cowboys1 day ago

Cowboys Part Ways With Takk McKinley
Los Angeles Chargers1 day ago

J.C. Jackson Doing Individual Drills
Dallas Mavericks1 day ago

Mavericks Have High Praise For Anthony Black After Workout
Atlanta Hawks1 day ago

GG Jackson, Julian Strawther Work Out With Hawks
Karl-Anthony Towns1 day ago

Executives Believe Karl-Anthony Towns Could Be Traded
Charlotte Hornets1 day ago

Ausar, Amen Thompson Work Out With The Hornets
Grant Williams1 day ago

Undergoes Successful Surgery On Hand
Jerami Grant1 day ago

Cameron Johnson On The Pistons' Offseason Radar
Chris Paul1 day ago

Spurs, Clippers, Lakers Are Possible Landing Spots For Chris Paul
Carter Verhaeghe1 day ago

Score Overtime Winner In Game 3
Matthew Tkachuk1 day ago

Scores Late Goal In Game 3 Victory
Damian Lillard1 day ago

Nets, Heat On Damian Lillard's Trade List
Milwaukee Bucks1 day ago

Joe Prunty, Patrick Mutombo Join Bucks Coaching Staff
Sergei Bobrovsky1 day ago

Has Bounce Back Performance In Game 3 Victory
Denver Nuggets1 day ago

Thunder, Nuggets Trade Various Picks
Charles Oliveira1 day ago

Returns To Action In Co-Main Event
Beneil Dariush1 day ago

Set For Huge Showdown
Adam Fugitt1 day ago

Looking For A Victory On Saturday
Mike Malott1 day ago

On The Hunt For Sixth Straight Victory Saturday
Brandon Montour1 day ago

Scores Opening Goal In Game 3 Victory
Jack Eichel1 day ago

Picks Up Assist In Game 3 Loss
Jonathan Marchessault1 day ago

Extends Scoring Streak In Game 3
Mark Stone1 day ago

Collects Two Points In Game 3 Loss
Sam LaPorta1 day ago

Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta Have Been Impressive
DJ Chark Jr.1 day ago

Does Team Drills Thursday
Tua Tagovailoa1 day ago

Has Bulked Up This Offseason
Zach Charbonnet1 day ago

Could Have Big Role In Rookie Season
Seattle Seahawks1 day ago

Devon Witherspoon Sees Work In Slot
Justin Fields1 day ago

Bears Won't Make Justin Fields Robotic
Alexander Mattison1 day ago

Vikings Plan To Use Alexander Mattison As Starter
Irene Aldana1 day ago

Can Irene Aldana Challenge The Champion?
Amanda Nunes1 day ago

A Heavy Favorite Again
Sacramento Kings2 days ago

Dwight Howard Wants To Play For Kings
MarJon Beauchamp2 days ago

To Play In Summer League
Tyler Herro2 days ago

To Remain Out For Game 4
Jamal Murray2 days ago

Dealing With Minor Injury
Noah Gragson2 days ago

To Miss Sonoma With Concussion-Like Symptoms
Eryk Anders2 days ago

Set For Middleweight Showdown On Enemy Turf
Marc-Andre Barriault2 days ago

Looks To Remain Undefeated In The UFC
Nate Landwehr2 days ago

Set For First UFC-Numbered Event
Dan Ige2 days ago

Looking To Start Another Streak At UFC 289
Jani Hakanpaa2 days ago

Will Have Offseason Knee Surgery
Adin Hill2 days ago

The Game 3 Starter For Vegas
Sergei Bobrovsky2 days ago

Named Panthers Game 3 Starter
Radko Gudas3 days ago

Expected To Play In Game 3
Andreas Athanasiou3 days ago

Signs Two-Year Extension With Blackhawks
Vladislav Gavrikov3 days ago

Kings Extend Vladislav Gavrikov For Two Years
Alex DeBrincat3 days ago

Senators Exploring Trade Options Involving Alex DeBrincat
Timo Meier3 days ago

Set To Begin Contract Talks With Devils This Week
Ivan Provorov3 days ago

Traded To Columbus
Adam Hadwin3 days ago

Looks To Bounce Back In Home Country
Matt Kuchar3 days ago

A Fade At RBC Canadian Open
PGA3 days ago

Matthew Fitzpatrick A Favorite In Canada
Dylan Wu3 days ago

Struggling To Find Form Heading To Oakdale
Doug Ghim3 days ago

Playing Well Heading To Oakdale
Robby Shelton3 days ago

Struggling With Consistency Heading To Oakdale
Eric Cole3 days ago

Making Debut At RBC Canadian Open
Brendon Todd3 days ago

To Play Through Shoulder Injury
Taylor Pendrith3 days ago

Making First Appearance At RBC Canadian Open Since 2015
Aaron Wise3 days ago

Returns To RBC Canadian Open
Alex Smalley3 days ago

Could Repeat Performance At RBC Canadian Open
Nick Taylor3 days ago

Hoping To Find Early Season Form Heading To Oakdale
Nicolai Hojgaard3 days ago

Looks To Bounce Back After Missed Cut Last Week
Keith Mitchell3 days ago

Looks To Continue Strong Play At Oakdale
Rory McIlroy3 days ago

To Defend Title At RBC Canadian Open
Cameron Champ3 days ago

Playing Better Into Canada
Will Gordon3 days ago

A Solid Sleeper In Canada
Corey Conners3 days ago

Looking To Rebound In Canada
Tyrrell Hatton3 days ago

An Elite Option At RBC Canadian Open
Cameron Young3 days ago

Will Struggle In Canada
PGA3 days ago

Approach Play Holding S.H. Kim Back
Jonathan Marchessault5 days ago

Scores Two Goals In Game 2 Victory
Adin Hill5 days ago

Makes 29 Saves In Game 2 Victory
Sergei Bobrovsky5 days ago

Pulled In Game 2 Of Stanley Cup Final
Amir Albazi5 days ago

Extends His Winning Streak
Daniel Pineda5 days ago

Unable To Earn A Victory Saturday
Jesse Butler5 days ago

Suffers Knockout Loss
Victor Altamirano5 days ago

Unable To Earn A Victory Saturday
Ketlen Souza5 days ago

Takes Submission Loss
Muhammad Naimov5 days ago

Shines With Second-Round TKO Win
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos5 days ago

Defeats Abubakar Nurmagomedov
Kevin Harvick5 days ago

Rounds Out The Top 10 At Gateway
Michael McDowell5 days ago

Scores Best Finish In Two Months
Carson Hocevar5 days ago

Strong Start Ends Early
Daniel Suarez5 days ago

Runs A Strong Race At Gateway
Ryan Blaney5 days ago

Building Momentum
Martin Truex Jr6 days ago

. Finishes Where He Began Sunday
Kyle Larson6 days ago

Eventually Moved Up To Fourth On Sunday
Joey Logano6 days ago

Finds Way To Third Place On Sunday
Denny Hamlin6 days ago

Takes Second Place At Gateway
Kyle Busch6 days ago

Wins At Gateway For Third Win Of Season