Plant Your Flag, Running Back

The Footballguys staff makes a bold call at running back

We asked our staff to make a call on a running back. Who will surprise - either good or bad?

Phil Alexander

If you're afraid to draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the top half of the first round, you're overthinking it.

The only thing ever standing between Edwards-Helaire and elite fantasy production in year-one was Damien Williams. Williams removed himself from the equation, and none of Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson, or DeAndre Washington, are good enough reasons to fade Edwards-Helaire as a rookie.

Not enough people seem to realize pass protection won't impact Edwards-Helaire's opportunities to fill up the box scores. Kareem Hunt played on 65% of Kansas City's offensive snaps as a rookie despite pass-blocking on only 11% of those snaps. He was too busy carrying the ball, running routes, and scoring fantasy points when he was on the field for pass-blocking to matter. Why won't the same be true of Edwards-Helaire? His competition is too weak, the training camp buzz too loud, and Patrick Mahomes II' endorsement too meaningful to manufacture reasons to doubt him.

Ryan Hester

Chris Carson (currently being drafted in the RB18-20 range) and Josh Jacobs (currently RB8-10) will each finish where the other is being drafted.

Carson has a dynamic quarterback on his side and plays for an offense that is not only committed to the run but good enough to have game scripts to support that desire. And he has shown the ability to catch passes.

Jacobs will be the early-downs workhorse, but the only thing we have to make us feel comfortable about his passing game involvement is him saying he’d like to catch 60 passes. But the team’s retention of Jalen Richard, draft selection of Lynn Bowden Jr, and signing of Theo Roderick suggest they don’t think Jacobs is ready to do that.

Jeff Tefertiller

Kareem Hunt finishes the 2020 season in the top 12 RBs in PPR leagues.

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