Mike Weber Fantasy
One running back that is not getting the attention he deserves leading up to the NFL Draft, is Ohio State Mike Weber. After redshirting his freshman season, Weber became the starting RB for the Buckeyes in 2016, that season Weber led the Buckeyes in rushing with 1,096 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Weber rushed for 5.8 yards per carry (62nd percentile) for one of the best teams in college football over the past few seasons. He continued to be productive for Ohio State, despite losing significant snaps to running back J.K. Dobbins and dealing with nagging injuries. There should be more hype surrounding Weber, but there isn’t. His draft stock in fantasy rookie drafts is quite low, however, that could all change if an NFL team drafts him high, which will put the spotlight on the up and coming rookie prospect.
- Height: 5 ft 10 in
- Weight: 211 lbs
- Arms: 29 3/4″
- Age: 21
Fun Facts: (The Good & The Bad)
In all three seasons at Ohio State, Weber ranked within the top ten in yards per carry in the Big Ten conference. In 2016, Weber ranked 11th in yards per carry (6.1) out of all running backs with a minimum of 180 carries. That same number ranked first of all the prospects in the 2019 draft class. Another fact refers to his receiving game. He had 54 receptions for 297 yards and one touchdown at Ohio State. In 2016, his yards per reception (3.8), total yards after the catch (157), and total first downs (2) ranked 52nd (dead last) out of all NCAA running backs who received at least 31 targets.
In the 2018 season, Weber had the seventh highest yards per attempt (5.5), but had four fumbles which tied with three other prospects for the second-most fumbles in 2019 draft class. Overall at the college level, Weber had a total of ten fumbles. He had the worst fumble grade by Pro Football Focus of any running back in the 2019 draft class with a minimum of 170 carries. What Weber did grade highly in though was in run-blocking. He was the highest graded run blocker at the running back position.
NFL Combine Recap
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.47
- Bench Press: 22
- Vertical Jump: 33.5
Strengths & Weaknesses
In the video below you’ll find what the ceiling for Weber. Has great vision going through the line of scrimmage and busts out a few explosive runs. This was one of his best games in college rushing for 162 yards on just nine carries.
In some more of the clips below, you’ll see more clips on the strengths of Weber’s game that include breaking tackles and getting to the second level quickly. Weber is definitely a fast running back scoring an 81st percentile speed score and by running a 4.47 40-yard dash time which ranked in the 86th percentile.
Overall, Weber’s does everything fairly well. He has the skillset to potentially become a three-down RB at the NFL level. He’s fast, blocks well, and can catch passes. However as you’ll soon find out, Weber can be inconsistent at times especially in terms of explosiveness.
In 2016, Weber had just 14 rushing attempts over 15 yards, That ranked 41st of all running backs with 180 carries. His PFF Breakaway % rating was 35th ranked. In the following seasons, it was more of the same. In 2017 he had 7 rushing attempts over 15 yards that ranked 124th of all running backs with 100 carries. His PFF Breakaway % rating was 52nd ranked. And in his last season, His PFF Breakaway % rating was 45th ranked and he had just 13 rushing attempts over 15 yards. That ranked 40th. So over his total career at Ohio State, he had 34 rushing attempts over 15 yards. Darrell Henderson had 41 rushing attempts over 15 yards last season. Then ranking runs over 10+ yards, which could also be seen as explosive, it’s more of the same for Weber. In 2018, he ranked 12th in the 2019 class in rushes over 10 yards (32). In had 31 of those rushing attempts in 2016, and just 10 in 2017. He also had issues with ball security.
As alluded to earlier the fumbles are also concerning. Consider this. These are the lists of running backs who in their final collegiate season had four or more fumbles most recently. Ralph Webb, Jeff Wilson Jr., D’Onta Foreman, Dalvin Cook, Joe Williams, Marlon Mack, Corey Clement, Jeremy McNichols, Alex Collins, Dwayne Washington, C.J. Prosise, and Kenneth Dixon. A few nice names here, but not exactly great company to be grouped in with. If Weber does not clean up his fumble problems, I doubt his talent at the next level will be able to overshadow it.
The last weakness to his game is just is lack of upside in the passing game. Sure he can catch a ball thrown by the quarterback as a check down, but he won’t do much with it. He lacks dynamic playmaking upside in the passing game; which for fantasy is something owners are definitely looking for.
Best Fit: NFL Scheme
Weber is a committee running back but does possess a three-down workhorse like skillset. He just lacks the upside/talent for an NFL team to put him in that role as a rookie. Ideally, Weber’s best landing spot would be backing-up another three-down back in the NFL, thus taking over all running back duties if the starter were to go down with an injury. Weber is not a bad running back, but not confident he is a great one either.
According to FantasyData, Weber has never been the highest scoring fantasy product on his team. In 2016, Curtis Samuel in the H-back role scored over 300 fantasy points in PPR compared to Weber’s 189.9 total points. Weber ranked 56th is fantasy scoring in 2016 at the RB position with 12 games played. In 2017, Weber as behind J.K. Dobbins and ranked 99th in fantasy scoring. In 2018, again Weber was behind Dobbins and ranked 93rd in fantasy scoring.
The main takeaway and question to ask here for Weber are can he ever be the primary runner in the backfield? The closest thing that has been to happening was back in 2016, and that was because the next best running back on the roster is now playing wide receiver in the NFL. So is there a chance that if he goes to an NFL team with a weak running back room, could Weber emerge? Sure, but the concern is how deep the running back position is across the NFL, I just don’t see NFL teams drafting Weber to be their guy in the backfield.
I see Weber as running back that will not be drafted high in the real NFL draft, thus leading him to be buried on a running back depth chart. However, I do believe that Weber may at some point in his NFL career find himself in a starting role during particular weeks due to injuries and such, in which he will provide some fantasy value. Overall, don’t go out of your way to target Weber in dynasty rookie drafts this season. I found myself more often than not trying to find statistics to prop up Weber, but just to find that in reality, he’s not that special of a prospect.
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