Fantasy Football: Ranking the top rookie running backs

Fantasy Football

This year’s rookie running back class has several players who should have a major impact on Fantasy Football.

Running Backs are usually the best bet to be difference makers in the fantasy football world. It’s a position that doesn’t take much adjustment and where someone can get a ton of touches. Last year’s rookie running backs where highly successful for fantasy purposes.

This group included studs like Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars), Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers), Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings), Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) and Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs).

Hunt finished the season at the league’s leading rusher while Kamara provided value running and receiving the ball. Both players say their value increase in PPR leagues.

This ESPN Fantasy Football Mock Draft has each of the above players coming off the board by the beginning of the third round. It shows they type of season they each had as rookies and how their role should increase this year.

The 2018 NFL Draft saw three running backs selected in the first round with Saquon Barkley going No. 2 overall. There were four running backs who came off the board in the secnd round. The later rounds also produced some players who could make an find a role this season.

There’s a case to be made for Barkley to be one of the first picks in your fantasy draft.

For some, it will be important to monitor the results of the preseason. An injury could see one of these rookies elevated into a larger role. This is especially true for some of the players that were selected later in the draft.

9. Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins

Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore figure to open the season as the Miami Dolphins main running backs. Gore is still a steady producer despite his age and Drake showed big-time potential last year.

Drake is the best bet to get a majority of the carries, but he has a long injury history. Much of his college career was hindered by injuries. However, he’s been mostly available thus far in Miami.

Kalen Ballage figures to be the next man up should Drake or Gore falter. The Dolphins used a fourth round pick on this talented runner.

Ballage features a big frame while also flashing an elite burst. There are times that he looks like the best athlete on the field. You just don’t see many people with his size move with that type of quickness.

The problem is that Ballage’s motor runs very hot and cold. Throughout his college career, he appeared to give less than max effort. This won’t fly with Adam Gase who will quickly sit him down.

Ballage isn’t someone who I’ll target in my fantasy draft. However, I will be keeping a close eye on his play and look to put in an early waiver claim if he starts to see an uptick in carries.

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