My season long NFL Fantasy Football Draft is this Saturday, September 2. Right now, I'm doing my research figuring out which running backs I can take from Round 3 on should I end up going with a WR in Round 1.
There is no real right or wrong decision. These decisions are always tough. 2017 promises to be an even more difficult one for season long fantasy football fans because the RB pool appears deeper than the WR pool.
Top 5 Under the Radar RBs
1. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers
The 6′ 0″, 216 lbs, converted wide receiver rushed for a 5.9 per carry average last season. He might be the real reason that Green Bay made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game. It's difficult to see Montgomery going in Round 1. He might go in Round 2 although there is definitely a feeling among fantasy football fans that the Packers lean more heavily on Aaron Rodgers' arm than they do on Montgomery's legs.
That may be the case. Still, Green Bay should rush the football much more this season than they have in the past. The one real knock is that Montgomery has a tendency to get injured. If you play in a season long PPR league, consider grabbing Ty in Round 2. Remember, he's a former wide receiver.
2. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49'ers
New head coach Kyle Shanahan loves to run the football. Devonta Freeman became a star in Atlanta because Shanahan also threw passes to the rumbling RB. Hyde has talent. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's got some nice moves. Because the 49'ers project to have one of the worst offenses in the NFL this season, we might be able to wait on Carlos until Round 4. Maybe, even later.
Round 4 isn't a bad place to pick an RB that's guaranteed 15 to 20 carries and at least 3 catches per game. Shanahan knows Hyde is his best skill player on SF's offense.
3. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
RB Jeremy Hill got hurt. What it means is that Joe Mixon becomes the premier back in Cincinnati. Mixon has as much NFL running back skills as Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, or Leonard Fournette. Mixon's skills might be worth more to the Bengals than Fournette's skills are worth to the Jaguars this season.
It's hard to imagine Mixon lasting past Round 3 now that Hill is out. Still, Giovanni Bernard projects to eat into Mixon's playing time, meaning plenty of FF fans are going to turn their backs on the former star player from Oklahoma.
4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Cooks looked great running behind a rebuilt Vikings' offensive line. Dalvin had a shoulder injury in college. That's why I've got him at 4th on my under the radar RB list instead of at 1. if the shoulder injury is truly behind him, he's going to make someone look like a genius.
Cook, more than anyone else on this list, has the setup to pull an Ezekiel Elliott in 2017. The reason is because like Zeke in Dallas last season, Cook plays with a quarterback, Sam Bradford, that protects the football and runs the offensive system. Sam isn't a gunslinger. I doesn't care to be. He just wants to win football games.
Dalvin could go anywhere from Round 2 to Round 4. It all depends on how your season long NFL Fantasy Football Draft shakes out.
5. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
I love McCaffrey's skill set. Still, I wonder if Carolina is ready to use McCaffrey as much as they should. Christian is a complete running back. He blocks. He runs. He catches the football. He's got an incredible football mind. There are few things McCaffrey can't do.
To commit to a rookie, though, takes a lot of guts. RB Jonathan Stewart still has his legs underneath him. Almost as important is the fact that the Panthers play a one-back offensive system. Like everyone else who loves football, I know the Panthers' best chance of winning football games is to get McCaffrey onto the field as often as possible.
But does that mean Carolina benches Stewart? I don't know. It might be best to only draft Christian if Montgomery, Hyde, Mixon, and Cook are off the board.