Fantasy Football Preview 2013: Six rookie RBs every owner needs to know

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Jul 27, 2013; Allen Park, MI, USA; A general view of a NFL football during the Detroit Lions training camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Running backs in today’s NFL have a notoriously short shelf life, and their time as a workhorse “feature-back” is extremely limited. The flip side of that is that there are constantly new options coming into the league and infusing new talent into backfields across the NFL.

Last year, rookie RB Alfred Morris exploded onto the fantasy football scene after dropping into the sixth round of the NFL Draft and set a high bar for this year’s rookie rushers to measure up to. With a thin running back class in the 2013 Draft, there were no running backs taken in the first round. That means you don’t have to worry about them for your fantasy team, right?

To borrow from a soon-to-all-over-TV-again ESPN College Football analyst “Not so fast, my friend!”

There are six rookie running backs every fantasy football owner needs to know going into draft day and several others that could emerge if opportunity comes their way via injury or a bigger workload. These are the six that should be drafted in standard leagues since they appear to be in the best spots. For each one, I’ll give you the upside, the downside, and my verdict on where I’d draft them.

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  • Patrick Allen

    Chiefs seem to be using Knile Davis a lot in camp. Don’t know how much work he will get behind Jamaal Charles but he’s a good bench stasher in Andy Reid’s offense I think.

    What do you think Zach?

    • Fantasy CPR

      Totally agree. The backup back’s in Reid’s system usually gets some work. Probably an end-of-the-draft selection in most league, Davis could pay off big-time if he gets the reps. A big part of earning that time will be improving his receiving and blocking in the passing game…. He’s definitely one to watch in preseason.

  • JT Sports Guy

    A couple names on here are not getting a lot of love early in camp from the media – Eddie Lacy is a different style back, really unclear what will happen in GB. I would stay away right now. Le’Veon Bell might be the most ready to take over and produce in a fantasy lineup. I like Giovani Bernard as a late late sleeper, but again – depending on rookies usually doesn’t win championships. Fantasy Football

    • Fantasy CPR

      I would agree that DEPENDING on rookies isn’t a great strategy, but knowing these guys situations and where they will get opportunities is vital headed into draft day. They have huge risk factors and should definitely be added as accesories when possible instead of as go-to options.

      Last year, rookies Doug Martin and Alfred Morris were two of the top five scoring RB’s and Trent Richardson also had a good year. Overall, players are making an impact sooner in the NFL so knowing your rookies is key for FF owners…