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Fantasy Football Value Picks: Five Running Backs To Target



With the NFL season right around the corner, it’s time to target some Fantasy Football value picks. Let’s take a loot at some Running Backs who seem to be a bit overlooked in regards to their current NFFC ADP. Here are 5 Value Running Backs that I am targeting in my Best Ball and Seasonal drafts.

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Devonta Freeman

With a current ADP of 35, the Atlanta bell cow is one of the first Running Backs on the board that stands out as a “value pick”. Freeman is still relatively young at age 27 and is entering the season fully healthy after basically missing all of 2018 with injuries. In addition to health, Freeman no longer has to worry about splitting snaps with former teammate Tevin Coleman.

Freeman is a proven 3-down back and will be running behind arguably the best offensive line in football. The Falcons are going to score a lot of points this year and you can bet Freeman will be getting in the end zone early and often. There is no reason to think Ito Smith will bite into Devonta’s workload.

All in all, Freeman is going to be a workhorse in 2019 and if he stays healthy (needless to say) he is a lock to be back in the Top-10 fantasy running back tier. With a price tag of a third-round draft pick, Devonta Freeman is absolutely one of the top fantasy football value picks.

Kerryon Johnson

After a very impressive rookie season, I am all over Kerryon Johnson in 2019. Kerryon showed all sorts of ability during the 2018 campaign with an elite 5.4 yards per carry and a catch rate of over 80%. He certainly passes the “eye test” as a stud running back, and I’m extremely excited to see the fantasy numbers he puts up under the new, run-heavy, Offensive Coordinator, Darrell Bevell.

There are certainly concerns with the Offensive Line, but I currently have Johnson ranked as the #11 fantasy running back (much higher than most in the industry), so I am more than happy to draft him early in the third-round where his ADP currently sits.

Tevin Coleman

Tevin Coleman packed his bags and headed out west to get back together with his old Offensive Coordinator, Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan has always been looked at as an “offensive guru”, so I am extremely excited to see Tevin get a chance to be a 3-down running back for a whole season.

We have seen flashes of how explosive Coleman can be over the past few seasons in Atlanta, but now we get the chance to potentially see that for a full season, as the RB1 in San Francisco. I do not care what anyone says about Jerick McKinnon or Matt Breida, the RB1 spot for the 49ers should be Tevin’s job to lose.

I look at it this way:

  • Coleman is only 26 years old and is coming off of his best season in the NFL
  • He will be entering an offensive scheme he is very familiar with and has succeeded in the past
  • Coleman has excellent “big play ability” (great for Best Ball leagues) and his extremely durable (in comparison to McKinnon/Breida)
  • The offensive line in San Francisco is above average, and should continue to improve throughout the season

With an ADP of 70, Tevin Coleman is the poster boy for my fantasy football value picks in 2019. If you need an RB2/RB3, feel confident in drafting Coleman towards the end of Round 5.

Lamar Miller

I never thought I’d have to tout Lamar Miller, but he is still clearly the RB1 in Houston (which should be a Top-10 Offense in 2019) and is coming off his his best fantasy season since he first broke-out in 2014. Miller is currently being drafted as a borderline RB2/high-end RB3 in the late 6th round… there is simply too much value in Lamar Miller at that point in 12-team fantasy drafts.

The Texans were well aware that their offensive line needed help after the 2018 season and that’s exactly what they addressed in the NFL Draft where they locked up two Offensive Linemen in the first two rounds.

There are talks that D’Onta Foreman is finally ready to produce at the running back position for the Texans, but I’m confident that Lamar Miller will have plenty of chances to sustain the RB1 job in Houston. He is a talented runner and a capable pass catcher in a high-octane style offense. At the end of Round 6, why get cute with a “sleeper” when you can just pencil in a starting RB from a high scoring team?

Ronald Jones

Believe it or not, Ronald Jones is my favorite fantasy football value pick in this article. Jones did absolutely nothing in 2018 to warrant excitement for the 2019 season, but Bruce Arians is now the Head Coach and that’s about all I needed to buy-in to Ronald Jones Fantasy stock for 2019. That, and the fact that the Bucs did not take a running back in this year’s draft. I’m assuming this means they are quite certain Ronald Jones can handle the duties as the RB1.

The last two seasons when Arians had a healthy, lead running back, his scheme produced a Top-10 fantasy running back both times (David Johnson in 2015 and 2016, injuries plagued the 2017 season). Obviously, Johnson is a special talent at the running back position so please do not think I’m saying Ronald Jones can produce at the level of a healthy David Johnson.

Jones will likely never become the player David Johnson was in 2015-2016, but it is no secret that Arians loves to give touches to his lead running back (both via the pass and run). When you’re drafting Ronald Jones in the early part of round 10 in 12-team leagues (ADP is currently 121), you’re drafting a successful system for fantasy running backs.

If he doesn’t pan out, it will not hurt your team as he is borderline risk-free with a 10th-round price-point.

Honorable Mention

  • David Montgomery (ADP ~61, round 5 in a 12-team draft)
  • Latavius Murray (ADP ~95, round 7 in a 12-team draft)
  • Jaylen Samuels (ADP ~82, round 9 in a 12-team draft)
  • Adrian Peterson (ADP ~156, round 13 in a 12-team draft)
  • Kalen Ballage (ADP ~160, round 12 in a 12-team draft)
  • Ryquell Armstead (ADP ~240, round 20 in a 12-team draft)


Content Director for Win Daily Sports NFL/MLB. Creator of the AETY Model. Chicago White Sox die-hard. Focusing on helping others manage their bankroll and cross the pay line in NFL/MLB Cash Games & GPP's. CoFounder of thoroughbred horse racing partnership, Reta Racing LLC.

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