Devon Achane Fantasy Forecast
After spending three years at Texas A&M, Devone Achane was drafted in the most optimal placement to take his talents when he landed with the Miami Dolphins and the Mike McDaniel offense. McDaniel’s offense and his time in Shanahan’s system relied upon tremendous speed in their outside zone scheme. Elijah Mitchell (4.40 40-yard dash) and fellow Dolphin Raheem Mostert (4.43) are good examples of the backs McDaniel prefers. With only Jeff Wilson and the oft-injured Mostert joining him in the backfield, Achane has a prime opportunity to earn touches in what should be a high-octane offense.
With Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs secure as the top two running backs of the 2023 draft class. Anything after that warrants discussion. With that in mind, what can we in the fantasy community expect from Devon Achane in year one and beyond?
Pre-NFL Draft Overview
The 4-star recruit from Missouri, Texas had his breakout year as a true freshman in 2020, playing across six games as the backup to Isaiah Spiller and producing well on limited touches. What stood out most of all that year was his Orange Bowl performance. Across 12 carries, Achane rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns and was named the MVP for his efforts. Devy League connoisseurs from then on started to keep tabs on the Aggie running back. He attended Texas A&M for two more years, again sharing the backfield with Spiller for one more season before earning the top role and commanding the touches in his third and final year at the university. That season he would rush for 1102 yards across 196 rushing attempts and take it to the endzone for eight rushing touchdowns and another three touchdowns through the air. For PPR leagues, it is also worth noting that he had a 12.3% target share his final year in college; Jahmyr Gibbs had a 12.8% target share during his last year for Alabama and figures to produce heavily in the Lion’s passing scheme. Devon Achane has that same opportunity for the Dolphins.
At the NFL Combine, Achane showed off his elite speed with a 40 time of 4.32, the fastest across all offensive players; Wide Reciever Trey Parker Palmer would time at 4.33, while Jahmyr Gibbs would have the 2nd fastest 40 times for a running back at 4.36. However, be aware that Achane’s Combine weight of 188 has an inherent risk for anyone interested in the speedster. Since 2011, there hasn’t been a sub-190-pound back to carry the ball more than 100 in a given season. Tarik Cohen’s 99 rushing carries during the 2018 season are the closest comparable. That might explain Miami’s interest in bringing in D’andre Swift, even after drafting Achane, before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Simply put, there should be an expectation that Achane will never be a bell cow back. While the current NFL landscape has made it so that bell cows are a rare breed anyway, it still is worth mentioning.
The 2023 Fantasy Season
Even when keeping expectations grounded, it wouldn’t be bold to claim that Achane will eat for the Dolphins. His only real receiving threat for targets is Mostert, who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. Since 2017, he has only had two healthy seasons where he played 16 games (2019, 2022) and has missed 30 games during that span. It might not be best to target Devon Achane in standard formats as the expectation would assume a thunder-and-lightning combination with Jeff Wilson, who will eat up goal-line carry situations. For PPR leagues, however, he will be a worthy target as a dart throw in the late rounds of redraft leagues. Successful Running Backs are quick to hit the ground running during their rookie seasons; given his day-two draft capital alongside the perfect landing spot for his talents, the Dolphin’s Offense is very enticing as a combination. If positive training camp news rolls in he may climb exponentially higher on draft boards, especially if Mostert succumbs to historical injury trends for the NFL year.
For dynasty rookie drafts, Achane figures to be a late first-early second selection. That’s a great spot to take a chance on him. Across several rookie drafts, he has generally selected around 1.10-2.3 in 12-team Superflex leagues that reward points per reception. In 12-team 1QB dynasty leagues, I would feel comfortable taking him at 1.8, assuming that Flowers, Addison, and Kincaid were already selected. Overall, Devon Achane is very comfortably the RB3 rookie back. Kendre Miller of the Saints the only other reasonable option to consider for that spot, but he will contend with Alvin Kamara (barring legal issues) and Jamaal Williams for touches in the short term. Achane does not have that same dilemma in Miami. If the 21-year-old back can meet his range of outcomes that has him quickly earning touches in their high-octane offense, his dynasty value will skyrocket. With the awareness that he will probably never be a workhorse back, do not be afraid to take a chance on the highly efficient back in your drafts, especially in PPR formats.
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Josh Butler is an avid dynasty football enthusiast born in Rhode Island. A lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, when he isn’t enjoying football, he decides to follow his other passion: movies. Josh is a David Lynch fanatic, with Twin Peaks: The Return being his favorite cinematic experience. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from Central Washington University and now works as a social worker in Portland, OR. Josh constantly challenges himself to improve his skills in the fantasy football realm and is happy to help you win, too!