HomeSportsEverything you need to know about the RB Dead Zone in 2023

Everything you need to know about the RB Dead Zone in 2023

Dead or alive. Not the one-hit wonders of the 1980s. More like the fantasy Running Back Dead Zone, which has changed a bit in 2023 due to the influx of pass catchers being drafted in the early rounds.

In each 2020-22 draft, 14 running backs were selected in the first two rounds. According to the current ADP, there are only 12 running backs in that range. Why is that?

Blame it on the improved wide receivers that have entered the NFL over the past four years, and the proliferation of teams using declining commissions instead of bell-cows in the form of Dirk Hendrik And Christian Macaffrey. Fantasy managers are still rushing to hit those players’ craft button, but that’s only partly because of the scarcity. Fantasy managers have grown weary of running backs’ turnover and have turned their sights to the seemingly healthier wide receivers.

This year, there’s been even more backtracking to the haunted Running Back Dead Zone, which my cousins ​​and I nicknamed La Llorona Zone in the early episodes of Familia FFB, after the Mexican legend that terrified so many kids for decades.

Consider yourself a retelling of the original story, especially since it still gives me goosebumps.

[Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Football league for free today]

The Running Back Dead Zone is that range in rounds 4-7 of drafts where fantasy managers sometimes turn their noses up before selecting a running back. They may be injured. They can be in timeshares. They may be in new roles that may see an increase in touch…or not. It can be scary, sometimes making fantasy managers avert their eyes. I explored this range further with Ryan Hallam from Spotlight Sports Group here.

From 2019 to 2022, between 12 and 15 running backs were drafted from picks 37 to 84 overall, with mixed results. Caught a lot, but there were happy to find diamonds there Josh Jacobs placed 48th overall last year and racked up 2,053 total yards and 328.3 fantasy points, ranking RB3 in PPR scores. Ramandre Stevenson (RB7, dial 86) and Tony Pollard (RB8 79) also went into that range.

All helped those who delved into these scary waters. In fact, in this time frame, between two and four running backs from the RB Dead Zone—and sometimes even further down the draft boards—went to the top 12 at position.

Currently there are 17 players in the Running Back Dead Zone. Here are explorations of some of the running backs being drafted in this range, and whether they’re worth the investment. The overall ADP of the players is in parentheses.

See also  William Byron and Martin Truex Jr. opening round of 12 at top

Mixon is a curious player as his overall stats give him a decent performance as the RB10. His 814 rushing yards were hardly inspiring, but his 60 receptions on 70 targets for 441 yards put him among the league leaders. He had 16 rushing tries within five and converted five for scores.

In all overall numbers, it should be noted that a total of 211 yards, five touchdowns, and 51.1 fantasy points came in Week 9. That’s 21.2% of his total points in a single game of the season. Of his 14 games played, Mixon scored less than 13 PPR points in seven of those games.

the Bengals’ Joe Burrow threw 610 passes, ranking fifth in the league. Their team’s 399 rushing attempts were No. 29. The way the Bengals push to pass the ball is more reason to get excited for Ja’Marr Chase And Tee Higginsthan Mixon, who leads the way TJ Hockenson and Burrow on Yahoo ADP.

The recommendation here is to pass on Mixon in favor of the high-end tight end and one of the top passers after the elite big three at the top.

The rookie is in an interesting range with Deebo Samuel, George Kittle And Amari Cooper go after him. All three of those players have great records, while Gibbs is the highly regarded rookie – but still a rookie. Still, he’s a rookie who was selected 12th overall, and the sight of his roster, and the draft room party that followed at Lions headquarters, is one that is etched in the memory of NFL fans .

I interviewed Fantasy Points’ Brett Whitefield, a respected talent evaluator, and he has a complicated ranking system for NFL Draft prospects. Since Gibbs began mapping incoming rookie running backs in 2015, Gibbs has finished in fifth place, sandwiched between Saquon Barkley and Todd Gurley. That’s a stubborn company.

Gibbs has been hailed as an excellent pass-catching back as he led the entire Alabama team with 44 receptions last year.

The opportunity for Gibbs is great. D’Andre Swift left via trade, but last year he drew 70 goals, 10th in the league. Gibbs should see at least that number of targets, and that number could go up Jameson Williams the first six games of the season. Gibbs also has the high draft pedigree, and ESPN’s Alex Caruso took a deep dive on Twitter of running backs who have been in the top 12 since 2006. The fantasy finishes in that study are proof enough to push Bijan Robinson and Gibbs up draft boards.

See also  Michael McDowell takes playoff spot and holds off Chase Elliott on Indy Road course

Sanders has only scored 26 and 34 goals in the past two seasons. This, after he saw 115 combined goals in his first two years with the Eagles. Which version of Sanders’ output will be seen with the revamped Panthers and their rookie quarterback, Bryce young?

This could be an important year for Sanders as the role of three players is up for grabs in Carolina. Sanders proved he can handle that burden too, as he had 259 carries for 1,269 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Eagles in 2022. Chuba Hubbard isn’t much of a threat in the passing game as he saw just 17 goals in 15 games. Young needs a safety valve, which could Adam Thielen or Hayden Hurst. But if Sanders is in the mix there, on top of the rushing load he’s likely to carry, the RB15 finish he had last year would be floor.

He is within range with JK Dobbins and next back on this list, ahead Calvin Ridley And Kenan Allen. That’s a tough decision, but the recommendation here is to take Sanders, because his workload can be very valuable.

Pierce is right in line behind Sanders. Pierce came out of this range last year and helped fantasy teams out of the flex or sometimes as an RB2 until he sprained his ankle in week 14 and missed the rest of the season. He fell just short of 1,000 rushing yards (939) and added 30 catches for 165 more yards. Pierce is a physical runner and earned 506 yards on contact, which was fifth in the league. Those ahead of him in the dead zone played three or four more games.

Pierce addresses new OC Bobby Slowik’s version of Kyle Shanahan’s attack, which many raves kindly return. It also likes to disperse the carriers, and the Texans have added Devin Singletarwho amassed a total of 1,099 yards in Buffalo last year.

Singletary is also much better at pass protection as he was eighth in metrics according to Pro Football Focus; Pierce came in 49th. Unless he improves, it will affect his hitting.

Because the ADP is so close between Sanders and Pierce, and Sanders was recommended above, Ridley and Allen look very even with Pierce in this range. That said, even with Singletary there, Pierce will have the advantage on touches as he can grind out the tough yards. I’ll take him second to run here.

See also  Teen Monday qualifier fires 63 to win on LPGA

Akers left many fantasy managers with a good taste in their mouths after his performance late in the season, as he was the RB3 in Weeks 15-17 with 54 carries for 306 yards and four touchdowns. He added 74 receiving yards on six catches to help many win fantasy titles. At least, when managers held him.

Akers missed two games when the Rams acknowledged he had asked for a trade, which never came. The sides were made up and Akers was the epitome of a bell cow back from week 13. Even with the games missed, Akers took 88.9% of Rams carries within five, who was second in the league behind Derrick Henry who took all Titans carries in that streak. Is that going through?

The running back room behind Akers includes rookie Zak Evans And Kiren Williams, who had his own rookie year marred by injury. It looks like it could be more of the same for Akers, who is in the final year of his own rookie contract. He stands for Dallas Goedert, DeAndre Hopkins And Justin Herbert in ADP. Only Herbert I’m considering drafting for Akers, as the best quarterbacks are running out at the moment.

Akers has the makings of a back that could remind fantasy executives of Josh Jacobs in 2022.

Mattison seems to have Dalvin Cook‘s roll, including 303 touches, 1,468 total yards and 10 touchdowns. Can the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Boise State product step into those big shoes?

Last year, Mattison didn’t have a game with more than 12 touches and had a high total of 60 yards. But Cook didn’t miss a single moment in 2022. The previous year, Cook missed four games, and Mattison went over 100 total yards in three of those games, averaging 21.7 fantasy points per game. Will we get that production level over 17 games?

The 25-year-old has a high of 134 carries and 166 combined touches in his four-year career. That would take a giant leap to reach the heights of Cook, and the Vikings project to be more pass-happy with a full season from Hockenson and rookie WR Jordan Addison complete a receiving corps under the direction of the electrician Justin Jefferson. Minnesota is also rebuilding its secondary, which could happen Kirk Cousinsguided firefights.

Darren Waller is behind Mattison at this distance, so it may be difficult to pass a tight end with the top to be his team’s top pass catcher for Mattison.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments