Fanelli’s Fantasy Files: 5 Double-Digit Round Running Backs to Target in Best Ball

Best Ball

As dynasty rookie drafts wrap up, the fantasy football world turns its attention to dynasty startup drafts and Best Ball drafts. The biggest benefit to playing Best Ball is the ability to draft and forget about it. Not only is it a great way to scratch the year-long fantasy football itch, but it keeps you from adding 20 leagues to manage during the season.

Like any form of fantasy football, finding the best value in the later rounds is critical to winning the championship. Which players with an ADP outside the top 120 on Underdog Fantasy should you target in your Best Ball drafts? Let’s look at five of my favorite running backs to draft in the double-digit rounds of Best Ball contests.

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Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans (ADP: 121.4)

Houston was an ideal landing spot for a rookie running back, given the veterans on the roster. Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead are Pierce’s competition for the starting role. However, they won’t keep Pierce from earning the lead role as a rookie. Mack had 37 touches over the past two years, while Burkhead had one game with over 47 rushing yards in 2021. Pierce will quickly earn the starting role and become a steal at his current price. Furthermore, he has a chance to become a critical part of the Houston offense early in the season as the team lacks proven weapons in the passing game. Rarely can you find running backs with mid RB2 upside outside the top 100 picks, but Pierce has that upside.

Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots (ADP: 123.5)

Stevenson was the RB41 last season, averaging nine fantasy points per game. Despite playing only 24.7 percent of the snaps, he scored 11.5 or more fantasy points in a third of his games. Stevenson averaged 4.6 yards per rushing attempt and had a 3.4 percent touchdown rate on only 147 touches. More importantly, he was a productive player when Damien Harris was out of the lineup. In the two games Harris missed, Stevenson averaged 15 rushing attempts for 68 rushing yards and 15 fantasy points per contest. Furthermore, Harris has missed 42.9 percent of the games in his career, including eight games over the past two years with various injuries. Stevenson could become the biggest steal at his current ADP if he takes over as the lead running back.

Darrell Henderson, Los Angles Rams (ADP: 149.3)

The secret to winning Best Ball leagues is to swing for the upside. That means targeting running backs that could become featured backs. Anyone who drafted Henderson this time last year likely won the league. Before Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles, Henderson was a dart throw or lottery ticket in Best Ball drafts. However, he became a fantasy star after the Akers injury. Henderson averaged 15.3 fantasy points per game over his first seven games of the season, scoring 14 or more in 75 percent of those contests. While Henderson has dealt with injuries in his career, Akers has played only 14 out of 33 games in his two-year NFL career. If Akers misses significant time again this season, Henderson will once again become a league winner.

Tyrion Davis-Price, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 171.3)

Every year the 49ers have a new leading running back, and that player turns into a pot of gold for fantasy players. The last time they had the same leading rushing in back-to-back seasons was Carlos Hyde in 2016 and 2017. Could Davis-Price become the lead rusher this year? Yes! Elijah Mitchell missed six games last year as he dealt with injuries, while Trey Sermon had only 41 rushing attempts last year. Furthermore, the 49ers might limit Deebo Samuel’s rushing attempts, as reportedly that is partly why he wants out of San Francisco. Even if Davis-Price is the lead back for only a third of the season, you will get a low-end RB2 with plenty of upside this late in the draft during those weeks.

Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders (ADP: 188.4)

Even after re-signing J.D. McKissic, Washington used a third-round pick on Robinson. He will see consistent touches as the Commands try to lighten Antonio Gibson’s workload. Gibson has only missed three games in his NFL career but has repeatedly been impacted by shin and toe injuries. Robinson will likely steal some early-down work and goal-line attempts from Gibson. Furthermore, there are reports that Gibson’s workload could vary one week from another. Robinson becomes a league winner if Gibson misses significant time with an injury. Even as a role player, Robinson could have a few massive fantasy weeks if he steals a touchdown or two at the goal line.

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Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
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