We are back for our second article diving into the prizes to draft and the ones to leave at the door. Today we are talking running backs. You know the usual credentials so let us not waste any time and get to what we care about and that is my opinion.
1.) Draft; Kenyan Drake (ARI)
Drake came over from Miami and absolutely shocked the world when he dominated David Johnson right out of the job. I expect that Drake will continue to be the dominant factor in Arizona. He can also provide a nice security blanket for Murray to pass to with his pass-catch ability. Get him in the second round cause he will most likely be gone by then!
1.) Avoid; Dalvin Cook (MIN)
It might be dumb, but this hold out situation is starting to make me a little bit nervous for Cook’s situation. I see two things happening from this. One, the Vikings will give him his money. Two, Cook will get injured this season. Now that is a big prediction to make, and honestly I hope it doesn’t happen, but it has happened to backs in the past. Cook’s injury history doesn’t make me keen on taking him either based on one really good year. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather play it safe.
2.) Draft; Joe Mixon (CIN)
I wasn’t sold on Mixon a lot last year, but towards the end of the season he proved me wrong. Something tells me with a rookie quarterback in the fold with Joe Burrow that he will try to rely on the running experience of Mixon to help him out. It’s hard for me to entertain the thought of taking any Bengals player, but I took Boyd last year and it panned out so maybe taking Mixon this year won’t be such a bad idea that a lot of people think it’s going to be.
2.) Avoid; Miles Sanders (PHI)
Can Sanders be good this year? Sure. Can he be great? Now that’s an interesting question. Philadelphia has been trying to find the next best running back in their arsenal. Even LeSean McCoy didn’t reach the heights they wanted. So the question is this. Is Miles Sanders worth the risk of that? I don’t believe so. He could be good, but he could flop at the same time, and I don’t that worrying me.
3.) Draft; Le’Veon Bell (NYJ)
This one is kind of a toss up, but I have faith that the former Steelers running back will get it together for the Jets this season. Adam Gase has to realize that his running backs mean something to him and not to misuse them. If he can get his head out of his ass on that, then Bell should do fine as a great running back and receiver to Darnold. The offensive line I had to assume got better after free agency and the draft, so Bell should have more room to run and should expect a lot more passes thrown his away now that the number one target Robby Anderson is gone.
3.) Avoid; David Johnson (HOU)
I took a big chance drafting David Johnson last year and it came back to bite me and it bit me hard. He was run out of town by Kenyan Drake in the offseason as he was traded to the Houston Texans in exchange for DeAndre Hopkins. Now Johnson is on a team with two other running backs in Lamar Miller and Duke Johnson. This is a bad sign that he will not live up to expectations. Don’t make the same mistake I made. Just avoid him at all costs.
4.) Draft; Todd Gurley (ATL)
Most people will look at Gurley in two ways. One, he is in a new system with a team that desperately needed a running back after letting go of Freeman. Then some people look at him and go “I don’t know man his knee issues make him really hard to draft this year”. He passed his physical with the Falcons so to me this is a no brainer to take him late when a lot of people are having those injury concerns with him. I think he will do just well for the Falcons.
4.) Avoid; Mark Ingram (BAL)
Mark Ingram did great things for the Ravens last year, but it was clear who the real run threat was; Lamar Jackson. He had a lot his rushing yards taken away from him by the quarterback of the team. To make matters worse, they drafted another running back by the name of JK Dobbins because Ingram is getting up there in age. It wouldn’t surprise me if both of these ideas come to light and Ingram misses a large part of success he had last season.
5.) Draft; Cam Akers (LAR)
While we all know Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be the main rookie picked out because his on the Chiefs, another name of a running back is being overlooked and I cannot stress enough that Cam Akers should be in your roster this upcoming season. He will start the position and work his way up to try to fill in the void that Todd Gurley left behind. I think the kid can do it. His footage looks great, and if you have you have to take a chance on a rookie after Clyde is gone, then this is your guy!
5.) Avoid; Sony Michel (NE)
After a great year in the 2018 season, most would have thought Michel was going to keep that going in 2019, but he fell off the wagon and was constantly in my sit’em column for running backs. Now with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, many people will think Michel will have a comeback year with them relying on the ground game a lot. Here are two things I’ll say to that. One, never trust the Patriots running backs. Two, I would put a lot more chips in my basket on James White instead because of his pass catch ability. Michel will have to do a lot to get back into my good graces especially when it comes to drafting him. Stay away from him!