I live a sedentary, gluttonous lifestyle. It’s not a matter of skills; I understand how I can be healthier. It’s a matter of will. I enjoy Taco Bell at 2am and binge-watching the World Series of Poker instead of drinking enough water and going out for a walk for 20 minutes a day. I still feel more “in control” of the health of my fantasy football rosters. They don’t judge me at all, even if that’s all I do to them.
The 2022 season is almost upon us, with the season slowly warming to a steady simmer. Whether you’re aiming for the running back position early in your drafts or waiting until you have enough receivers, position is critical to your chances of winning a fantasy championship. It’s just as important to line up the RBs that will stay healthy and produce, as it is to avoid those who can single-handedly ruin every prayer of a deep playoff run. These are the RBs I’ll be avoiding (on their ADP) in my fantasy ladies this season.
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Nick Chubb (CLE): ADP RB8
As good at football as Nick Chubbis, he hasn’t been a shining example of fantasy production compared to some of his peers. Like Lamborghini, he doesn’t have to advertise. His reputation as an elite pure runner of football should equal to more fantasy points, but unfortunately not. The Browns have pigeonholed Chubb in a role that has peaked at a paltry 36 receptions. That was even before Kevin Stefanski’s current regime took over in 2020. Chubb has only had 36 receptions in the past two seasons combined.
Nick Chubb is a top-10 RB in standard leagues. Unfortunately, the vast majority of fantasy leagues have made the switch to PPR. This makes Chubb’s RB10 ADP a monumental overpay, as he still hasn’t been a top-10 RB under Stefansky. This ADP range offers a litany of less talented RBs who make up for it with a much more significant role in their team’s passing attack. I’ll go through Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones, and Leonard Fournette before I’m ready to draft Nick Chubb in 2022. By then he will be long gone and I still don’t long for his presence on my team.
David Montgomery (CHI): ADP RB17
I may like Monty in 2022, but probably won’t put him on one of my redesign teams. While he thinks he’ll have a tighter receiver role than Chubb, he’ll also get stuck on more commission than he was under Matt Nagy for the past two years. Monty plummeted from RB4 in 2020 to RB19 last season. It could have been worse if he hadn’t scored seven touchdowns. With Montgomery out four games with injury, the late round rookie they shouldn’t have worried him about was excellent in his place.
Khalil Herbert is the back I prefer in this offense (at cost). It would be ludicrous to draft Monty with his current ADP of RB17, especially following in the footsteps of reports predicting a full rolling commission from Matt Eberflus’ regime. There is also concern that some of that crucial work would be wiped out by Trestan Ebner, an explosive Baylor rookie. Monty’s bell-cow days are behind him, so only grab him when he slides a lot further down.
Josh Jacobs (LV): ADP RB20
This one is a no brainer. The Raiders’ new head coach is Josh McDaniels. In typical Patriots fashion, McDaniels plans to schedule as many RBs as possible and cycle maniacally through them on a weekly basis. Jacobs has long been a consistent but inefficient bell cow for Las Vegas, but now finds himself as the “starter” hoping to maximize efficiency on a much smaller proportion of offensive snaps. The 64 passing goals Jacobs earned in 2021 will be a distant memory this season and his fantasy relevance will depend on his nose for the end zone resisting a reduction in snaps and touches.
Jacobs’ future with the Raiders is very uncertain, as the franchise has turned down its option for its fifth year. They fielded a former 5 star soccer and track athlete from RB University in Zamir White and brought in some solid satellite props with Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden. The Kenyan Drake is also still on the roster. The Las Vegas strike will be very good in 2022, but it would take a wild turn of events for Josh Jacobs to pay his ADP of RB19.
Elijah Mitchell (SF): ADP RB21
I save myself a lot of stress in fantasy concepts by avoiding RBs from New England, Miami, and San Francisco. It’s a personal preference, but one that has paid off. The 49ers have an elite rushing offensive. Elijah Mitchell is their best running back and will take on most of the workload. He rushed for over 100 yards in five games last season and scored six touchdowns in 11 games. Why wouldn’t I want to buy that? There are two reasons: Shanahan will run into him and throw him out later, and they don’t go to their running backs often enough to justify ADP.
Mitchell only averaged 1.8 goals per game last season. When I’m drafting an RB in the fourth or fifth round, the last player I look for is an undersized back who already had a thump last season and isn’t catching any passes. I like Mitchell’s make-up as a novice traffic jam in the NFL when I turn on the TV on Sunday afternoons, but he looks like Chubb in that his role kills any possibility of fantasy on its head. Trey Lance’s emergence as the starting QB in San Francisco diminishes my desire to put Mitchell even further down the list, as he shall Losing scoring opportunities on the goal line. RB23 is way too rich for my blood. Give me a WR in that range 10 times out of 10.
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