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5 Unexpected Fantasy Running Backs Boosts Post-NFL Draft

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Running Back Fantasy Reactions

The 2017 NFL Draft is in the books, and if there is one thing I learned from this year’s draft it is that nobody truly knows what is going to happen. If you’re curious to see how your mock draft stacked up to the Gridiron Experts Staff Mock Draft, click here.

Now that the draft is over, that means we can start to look forward to the 2017 NFL season. I know it’s only May but we all know the research and investment stage is one of the most exciting times of the year for Fantasy Football fans. If you’re too afraid to admit to being a fantasy nerd and just need some advice, then this article is for you, but I will warn you these five running back fantasy reactions might bring out that inner fantasy nerd.

This article is based on a recent podcast. Subscribe to us on iTunes here

Spencer Ware

Kansas City Chiefs

Before I did the research on Spencer Ware, I thought his fantasy stock was low. After diving into the numbers and watching the tape, my mind has been changed.

The addition of Kareem Hunt (drafted in the 3rd round, 86th overall) puts a ceiling on Ware’s upside but it’s still Ware’s job to lose entering training camp. The overall perception of Ware isn’t great these days and I may have to remind you that Ware did, in fact, have a pretty good year last season.

Ware averaged 98 total yards from scrimmage a game in 2016. That was the eighth most among all running backs last season. He was on pace to finish as a top 10 running back but missed two games due to injury. He was on pace to finish as an RB1 and only had five total touchdowns or one touchdown every 49 touches.  In 2015 he averaged one touchdown every 13 touches for comparison.

Just be “aWare” of how good he was in 2017 before you make your fantasy decision on him.

Ty Montgomery

Green Bay Packers

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It looks like Montgomery will have to change his jersey number from 88 to something a running back would wear in 2017. Even after the team drafted three running backs, none higher than a late 4th rounder, the Packers have declared Montgomery the starter for this season.

In 2016, in games where Montgomery had more than 11 touches, the Packers were 7-1. Those numbers are including the playoffs. If you think for a second that a coach doesn’t look at that you’re crazy. Unless you’re Belichick and don’t care that the Patriots have never lost a game with Dion Lewis. But we can all agree that the Patriots beat to their own drum.

Montgomery does hold more value in a PPR league due to his ability to catch the ball but he isn’t just a one-trick pony. Montgomery can also run the ball with force. Last season he averaged 5.9 yards per carry on 77 carries. However, he did only score five times in 15 games but touchdowns are not easy to predict. What is easy to predict is the fact that he will have plenty of opportunities to score since he plays on a team with Aaron Rodgers.

Isaiah Crowell

Cleveland Browns

Obviously, since he plays for the Cleveland Browns, running back Isaiah Crowell won’t be any good… right? Your average fantasy player will think that, but since you’re reading this article in May, you my friend, are a fantasy nerd and will see the true value of Crowell. Personally, I think the Browns win six games in 2017, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s 5 more than they had last year. My college education was really highlighted in that last stat.

In all seriousness though we don’t honestly think that the Browns will be worse this season, do we? The Browns had seven quarterbacks play for them last year. Some weren’t even quarterbacks. Even with that terrible of a season Crowell still managed 4.8 yards per carry. This season the Browns will have a top five offensive line which will help open up holes for Crowell.

The Browns trust Crowell since they had 10 draft picks and only took one 7th round running back. Duke Johnson is a good pass catcher and shouldn’t be forgotten but Crowell had 40 catches last season. The last reason why I am a Crowell supporter, he doesn’t miss games.  He has never missed a game in his three-year NFL career.  Now that’ s impressive.

Frank Gore

Indianapolis Colts 

Father time himself. Gore is still in the NFL, will he ever retire? He entered the league in 2005, what were you doing in 2005? I was 12 years old and the only concern I had in life was what will I eat after my little league game.  Ah, man the good old days.

I was curious to see what the fantasy community thought of Gore so I tweeted out:

The answers were all very different, that’s because we don’t know how to react to an old running back who finished as a top 12 running back the last two seasons. I know I have said this before but I think Gore will be replaced this season. After Gore averaged 3.9 yards per carry and is only 35 carries shy of 3,000 career carries he has to be done soon right? right!?  The guy to replace him is named Marlon Mack, running back out of South Florida. Mack is explosive and will give the Colts the spark in the running game they need.

Carlos Hyde

San Fransisco 49ers 

I wrote about Hyde before the NFL draft with my 7 Fantasy Football Fools Gold Candidates for 2017. Has my mind changed then? Nope, if anything it has gotten worse. Can you really trust a running back who has missed 12 games the last two seasons?  Can you trust a player who is surrounded by plenty of back-ups at the running back position?

I know we say the only thing holding back Hyde is his health.  If Hyde plays all 16 games he easily has the most upside out of these running backs. With the question marks piling up surrounding Hyde’s injury issues, the 49ers drafted a name to not forget.  Meet Joe Willaims a potential workhorse running back a few years down the road. The coaches are sick of the injury issues and so should you. Which is why there have been multiple reports about the 49ers moving on from Hyde.

If you are looking for a more in depth running back reaction and want to hear a bonus of three more then please listen to The Empire Podcast.

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About the author

Mitchell Renz

Mitchell is a proud Centenary University graduate where he played baseball, worked for the New York Jets and in his free time majored in Sports Management. After college he moved to Germany for a year where he learned that football is actually played with your feet and beer is cheaper than water. While over there he worked for the Cologne Cardinals, a professional baseball team and Koelnmesse, one of the world’s largest exhibition sites. Currently, Mitchell works for The Parkview Sports Group, consulting sport facilities and managing a global YouTube star, Domingo Ayala. He is the defending champ in his family’s fantasy football league where he has been a member for the past ten years and is the Commissioner in league with his college friends. The only thing he enjoys more than a good glass of whiskey or a cold beer is withstanding fantasy football victories and the bragging rights that come with it. Mitchell may come from Danville, a small town in central Pennsylvania but his dreams of being in the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame are huge.

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