Pundits share five running backs they believe are underrated in this fantasy football draft season.
5 undervalued running backs to target
Devin Singletary (BUF)
“Devin Singletary finished as RB3 in PPR scoring through the final six weeks of the season with a fantastic 17 points per game, despite the Bills maintaining a pass-first approach. Yet the editors are overly concerned about the addition of skilled passer James Cook. But with a proven track record and two years of using the bell cow in spurts, don’t be surprised when Singletary – PFF’s fourth-ranked running back in runs over 15 yards and seventh-ranked player in tackles forced misses in 2021 – is the highly sought-after RB breakout emerging from an ambiguous, high-octane backfield. ”
– Andrew Erickson
Elijah Mitchell (SF)
“Elijah Mitchell narrowly missed recording a 1,000 yard rushing season by just 37 yards despite playing just 12 games. Mitchell added 137 yards in the passing game to round out his regular-season scrimmage yardage total of 1,100. Mitchell was also a top 10 running back in fantasy points per game and yards after contact. However, some believe that Jeffery Wilson and Tyrion Davis-Price are threats to his workload. Stop. San Francisco will continue to be a first-run team — last year the 49ers ranked fifth in points per game with 30.4.
– Matt Donnelly
Kenneth Gainwell (PHI)
“One of the most curious statistics of the 2021 season is the fact that Miles Sanders failed to score a single touchdown after finding the end zone six times in each of his first two seasons. While I think it’s fair to expect a positive scoring regression for Sanders, that doesn’t change my opinion that Kenneth Gainwell is the running back to target and one of the big values in the early drafts as RB44 in FantasyPros ADP. Gainwell showed he was proficient both on the goal line and in the passing game last season, with five of his 68 carries resulting in scores, adding an extra touchdown through the air. With speculation growing that Gainwell could potentially push Sanders for the starting role, the cap for the high ground receiving return may be higher than anyone thought before camps opened. Gainwell is even more valuable in top ball leagues because even if the expected committee materializes, Gainwell’s receiving role and red zone ability should lead to several weeks of BB starting.
– Matthew Hill
Rachaad White (VG)
“When I’m looking for an RB in the later rounds, I’m usually looking for a guy with the ability to catch passes. That way he could already have a weekly role depending on the attacking pattern or the scenario of the game. I’m also looking for a guy with the ability to be a three-man back in case the guy in front of him goes down. It also helps if this guy is young. The guy I’m targeting is Rachaad White, mainly because of the things I just mentioned. He was third among FBS running backs in that draft class in targets and second in receptions. It’s easy to see him playing a role in a Buccaneers offense that should get the ball out early and often, but he can also replace Leonard Fournette should he be injured or ineffective. Coming off the board #126 overall according to FantasyPros ADP, this makes White available for you in round 11. He’s definitely the kind of running back I’m targeting in this range.
– Jon Young
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)
“Zeke has been a disappointing first-round pick for the past two years. In 2020, he lost Dak Prescott for the year and nearly his entire offensive line for long stretches of the season. Despite all that, he finished the season as the top RB2 in points per game. In 2021, Zeke tore up his PCL in Week 4 and completed the season’s split work with Tony Pollard. Despite this, he finished as the top RB2 in points per game. Zeke is now healthy and has his starting quarterback under center. A third-round pick on Zeke is a no-brainer for a back with the top 5 RB upside down with top-end RB2 ground.
– Robby Jeffries
Thanks to the experts for sharing their advice! To learn more, be sure to follow each expert on Twitter (click on their names above) and visit their respective sites.
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