In dynasty, regardless if you are in rebuild or contending, finding some quick return assets for the 2022 season is always appealing- here we look at RB options.
Tony Pollard (DAL)
One thing to consider when looking to buy low on running backs is whether they are in a contention window to take the RB1 slot from the current lead back, ideally on the decline. Pollard definitely falls into this category. Let’s be honest, Ezekiel Elliott has declined significantly over the past two years and lost a lot of the juice in his legs. Yes Zeke was fantasy friendly last year but from a real world perspective he has declined a lot and it’s only a matter of time before Pollard takes over.
I can hear a lot of you saying ‘but Zeke got paid the bag’ and yes he did but this is something that actually works in Pollard’s favour. The Cowboys aren’t exactly going to be looking for another back anytime soon after spending big on Zeke.
Tony Pollard is actually a very very good running back. Last year he ranked second amongst all running backs with over 100 touches in yards per carry behind Rashaad Penny, now that is a sentence I never thought I’d ever say. Pollard also ranked 2nd in yards per touch and 1st amongst all running backs in yards per route run.
Pollard can easily handle 15 touches per game and be very productive. He is good in the passing game and he also has a coach that likes to roll out two running backs. A key thing to note, last year Pollard had 23 touches in the red zone and only tapped in twice however I would fully expect a positive touchdown progression this year. Right now, Pollard has a high-end RB3 floor with the potential to be a high end RB2 – worse case scenario, he may carry on in a committee for the next few years and you will have an ‘upgrade Kenyan Drake’ on your hands.
AJ Dillon (GB)
Dillon is an affordable target but he won’t come cheap. In startups, Dillon’s value appears to be way lower than where he should be and he’s a player that will have an immediate impact. For instance, from week 8 onwards in 2021 he was the overall RB11 in PPR formats and showed he is good as a pass catching back as he averaged 8.4 yards per catch.
Aaron Jones is a player that is going several rounds ahead of AJ Dillon however down the stretch last year across the last 10 games, Jones featured in 8 games. In those games, Dillon averaged 13.7 carries per game and Jones averaged 10.2 carries per game – maybe the times are changing in Green Bay?
As we saw last year, if Jones goes down then AJ Dillion steps straight in as an every down back. Furthermore, A-Rod is likely to be around for only another year or two and once he moves on the Packers will hand the ball off a lot more, therefore even if he’s a committee back he’ll still be a valuable asset.
Let’s not forget the targets vacated by Adams. Sorry to disappoint those of you that have drafted Christian Watson but no way will the majority of those targets go to Watson.
Alexander Mattison (MIN)
Next year Alexander Mattison becomes a free agent and what better time to capitalize on him than right now. Mattison is a player that has proven time and time again that when Dalvin Cook goes down that he’s more than capable of picking up the workload. Last year, in the four games that Mattison started he ranked as the overall number four running back in PPR.
As Mattison hits free agency he could land on a team that is in need of a new running back next year. Alternatively he could end up in a 1a or 1b role as part of a committee. He may even stay in Minnesota and remain the most valuable handcuff in football.
A lottery pick, but one that I’m more than happy to pay for.
Tyrion Davis-Price (SF)
TDP is the current RB70 right now, don’t ask me why. The only thing that I can think of is that a lot of Trey Sermon owners are not willing to take a risk on another rookie running back in San Francisco.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, TDP is my favorite rookie sleeper. The 49ers spent a third round pick on him and they will be looking to lighten the load on Elijah Mitchell who was banged up a lot last year. Shanahan is a coach that likes to feature two running backs in games and therefore TDP is ready to make an instant impact.
I know that the San Francisco backfield is harder to crack than the Da Vinci code but once you solve it then it’s a fun ride, just ask the Elijah Mitchell owners. At his current ADP he’s well worth a shot even if it’s just for the fun of playing the 49ers RB guessing game.