2024 Pre-NFL Draft Rookie RB Dynasty Rankings


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2024 Pre-NFL Draft Rookie RB Dynasty Rankings

In this article, I will be ranking the top rookie running backs for your dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts.

I will be approaching this year’s article only slightly differently from past seasons (2023, 2022, 2021). Rather than rank these prospects entirely by their analytics profile, I am now more heavily weighting both projected draft capital (courtesy of NFL Mock Draft Database) and Brett Whitefield’s film score as key variables. However, the bulk of the analysis below will remain very analytics-driven.

For a deeper dive into a player’s film-based evaluation, please consult the (totally free to read) Fantasy Points Prospect Guide.


My RB strategy for dynasty leagues is simplistic: I’m Team #BellCowOrBust.

I want bell-cow RBs — every-down RBs who are used as both runners and receivers, and who rank highly in snaps, carries, targets, and red zone opportunities. In most cases, non-bell cow RBs — early-down workhorse RBs, scatbacks, change-of-pace options, handcuffs, or backups — do little more than eat up valuable roster space

RBs like Tank Bigsby, Kenneth Gainwell, Alexander Mattison, Israel Abanikanda, Justice Hill, and Jerick McKinnon — who are more one-dimensional or lack starting-caliber traits — are just about free in dynasty leagues, as they should be, while RBs like Breece Hall, Bijan Robinson, and Christian McCaffrey are worth their weight in gold. My model mirrors that preference in many ways, although not intentionally.

In other words, if I had listed a running back like Bigsby or Gainwell as “do not draft,” my model wouldn't necessarily consider it a “miss.” And I believe that's accurate. In fantasy, you want immediate contributors and high-end fantasy producers at the RB position, or you want no RBs at all.


The bad news: This is a poor RB class. It’s the first class since 2014 without a guaranteed bell cow at the top, but on the whole reminds me more of the 2022 class (with Jonathon Brooks being a much lesser version of Breece Hall, and Trey Benson being a slightly lesser version of Kenneth Walker). So, this class doesn’t have any premier (Bijan Robinson- or Jahmyr Gibbs-level) talent at the top, and it doesn’t appear especially deep either. Rather, I’m seeing a lot of future backups. Or, in other words, a lot of near-worthless roster-cloggers.

The good news: For fantasy, volume is almost all that matters at the RB position. Because it’s so important, you don’t need to be a great prospect to be a meaningful or even high-end fantasy contributor in the pros. Draft capital and landing spots are two massively important variables yet to factor into the equation. Right now, this class looks poor, but it could and should look quite a bit better in May – especially given all of the barren RB rooms around the league (Giants, Chargers, Panthers, Cowboys).


1. Jonathon Brooks, RB, Texas Longhorns

Height: 6-0, Weight: 216 lbs, 40-yard-dash: N/A

SPORQ: DNQ, Former: 4-star, Age (on Draft Day): 20.8 (3rd-youngest)

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 3 (RB2)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 77.6 out of 100 (RB5)

Brief Bio

From Sports Reference

High School: 4-star recruit. As a high school senior, he had 3,530 rushing yards (12.0 YPC) and 70 total touchdowns (2nd-most in state history.)

Freshman + Sophomore: Played sparingly throughout his first two seasons, but was at least efficient with his limited volume – 6.67 YPC on 51 carries… And I don’t think we should penalize Brooks too severely for the misfortune of being stuck behind top-10 pick Bijan Robinson (1.4 years older) and Round 4 pick Roschon Johnson (2.4 years older).

Junior: Brooks served as the team’s bell cow through 10 games before a late-season ACL tear. [1] Through those 10 games, Brooks’ numbers were not at all dissimilar to Robinson’s marks in the previous season. And his 142.1 YFS/G would have ranked as the best single-season mark of any Power 5 RB in the class.

Prospect Profile

We don’t typically like to see one-year wonders, but this matters much less for RBs than WRs. And it’s easy to almost fully overlook this in Brooks’ case, given the elder talent in Texas throughout his tenure. [2] But the small one-year sample size does at least inject some uncertainty into the projection.

Again, for emphasis: Brooks’ one substantial season was strikingly similar to what Bijan Robinson – whom my model considered the best RB prospect since Saquon Barkley – did in the previous season, albeit with a better supporting cast. Notably, Brooks was even more involved through the air and only slightly less efficient everywhere else.

By seemingly every metric that matters to me and to my model, Brooks’ 2023 season ranks no worse than in the 70th percentile (in comparison to all Power 5 RBs drafted Days 1-2 since 2015). And by missed tackles forced per touch – perhaps my favorite stat – Brooks’ 2023 ranks in the 91st percentile, behind only seasons from Javonte Williams, Travis Etienne, Bijan Robinson, David Montgomery, and Zack Moss.

Brooks' 9.9 YPT average in 2023 (81st percentile) also ranks as the best season from any Power 5 RB in this class. He also easily led the class in missed tackles forced per reception (0.52, well above next-closest Bucky Irving’s 0.38) and PFF pass block grade (77.0). This is all key in justifying my ranking of Brooks; he profiles as the best (and perhaps even “only”) three-down RB in this class and, thus, possesses the most fantasy upside. Remember, targets are worth 2.53 times as much as a carry in PPR leagues.

That said, it’s worth dwelling on the fact that Brooks will be only five months removed from ACL surgery by the time he gets drafted. This isn’t going to significantly impact my rankings – where, generally, I’m just trying to draft the most talented player and hold them for as long as possible. But this matters a lot more once we remember there’s a cost associated with every player we draft (or trade for).

The issue here (beyond any effect this might have on draft capital) is that RBs are historically poor bets in their first year back from ACL injury. These RBs typically (but not always) see a drop-off in performance and an increased risk of injury. And then note, with Brooks, this would work in tandem with the fact that rookies (especially rookie RBs) tend to start their careers off slowly when they’re forced to sit out much of preseason and training camp. (Although, purportedly, Brooks is on track to be cleared on July 1.)

In other words, there’s a really good chance you can buy Brooks at a much cheaper price 6-12 months from now.


Analytically, Brooks reminds me a bit of Miles Sanders (who was stuck behind Saquon Barkley through two seasons at Penn State), except with more upside than Sanders has shown throughout his career.

Given Brooks’ pass-catching potential and his good-to-great rushing abilities, I feel confident in saying that — at least in a vacuum — he’s the best (cost-agnostic) long-term bet in the class. (Hence, he’s listed as my RB1.) But I wouldn’t fault anyone who wanted take Trey Benson ahead of him, given the ACL concerns.

2. Trey Benson, RB, Florida State Seminoles

Height: 6-0, Weight: 216 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.39

SPORQ: 88.3, Former: 3-star, Age: 21.8

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 3 (RB1)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 78.7 (RB3)

Brief Bio

> From Sports Reference

High School: 3-star recruit.

Freshman: Redshirted as a freshman at Oregon due to multiple injuries (torn ACL, MCL, lateral and medial meniscus, hamstring). Played in zero games.

Sophomore: Earned only 6 carries in 10 games, playing behind relative no-names Travis Dye, C.J. Verdell, and Byron Cardwell. He then transferred to Florida State.

Junior: Led a three-way committee backfield (40% carry share) alongside two more relative no-names – Devy RB138 Lawrance Toafili (24% carry share) and Devy RB107 Treshaun Ward (24% carry share) – but did not lead in YPC (Ward) or receptions (Toafili). That said, as we’ll discuss later, this was a freakishly elite season by the more advanced efficiency metrics.

Senior: Hit 1,100 YFS for the second straight season, scoring 15 total touchdowns (up from 9)… Benson remained in a three-way committee, and his volume and production almost perfectly mirrored what he had accomplished in the previous season, except with a few more touchdowns and a few more receptions, but less efficiency by the more advanced efficiency metrics.

Prospect Profile

Benson’s profile is somewhat antithetical to that of our RB3 Blake Corum. Benson didn’t have the raw counting stats my model likes to see, and he never dominated his own backfield in any season. But whereas Corum never really impressed in the more advanced efficiency metrics, Benson’s 2022 season was otherworldly in this regard.

By missed tackles forced per touch, it was the greatest season by any Power 5 RB in PFF College-history (2014-2023). He forced a missed tackle on half of his total touches (0.50), edging out Javonte Williams’ 2020 season (0.47), which edged out Travis Etienne’s 2019 season (0.42) for the best mark over this sample. Even after era adjustments, this remains the best mark in PFF College history. [3]

By yards after contact per attempt, it ranks as the 4th-best season by any ACC RB since at least 2014 (min. 150 carries), behind only seasons from Travis Etienne, Khalil Herbert, and Javonte Williams.

Benson took a slight step back by the same metrics in 2023 but still showed out strong.[4] Or at least strong enough to hold the freaking PFF College record for career missed tackles forced per touch.

Though Benson’s advanced efficiency metrics are beyond elite, my model does view his lack of volume (he eclipsed 20 touches only once in his career) and unimpressive raw counting stats as a concern.

Because volume is so important at the RB position for fantasy, we want to be drafting RBs likely to become high-volume players in the pros – ideally, every-down bell-cows heavily involved in both the running and passing games. Typically, the high-volume RBs we see in the pros were also high-volume college players. But not always. Talent tends to rise to the top at the NFL level. In many instances, my model should have prioritized hyper-efficiency over raw counting stats – Alvin Kamara, Josh Jacobs, Priest Holmes, etc.

So this raises the question: If Benson is so good and so hyper-efficient, why didn’t he dominate the backfield? Was it simply coaching incompetence/stubbornness, as was surely the case with Kamara?

Ultimately, we have no way of knowing, even if the NFL Mock Draft Cognoscenti has occasionally hinted at coaching stubbornness on the part of HC Mike Norvell. At a bare minimum, I think it’s fair to question Benson’s pass-catching upside at the next level, as he never once led his backfield in receptions.[5]


Even though Benson projects to be (merely) an early-down workhorse (rather than a bell cow), he projects to be a great one.

With Brooks, the upside argument was, “Well, maybe he can be 90% of Bijan Robinson in the pros, like he was last year at Texas.” With Benson, it’s “Well, maybe he’s somewhere similarly high on the Nick Chubb spectrum.” In a weak class otherwise devoid of fantasy-RB1 upside, I can’t help but want to veer hard into Benson’s upside argument. The argument that…

Benson is an extremely high-level athlete (88.3 SPORQ). He’s the best tackle-breaker in PFF College history.[6] He’s also the best homerun-hitter in the class, leading the class in percentage of career carries gaining 15 or more yards (11.7%, 97th percentile). Balancing both points, Benson easily led the class in YPC when contact was initiated at or before the line of scrimmage (8.62) and YPC when contact was initiated after the line of scrimmage (2.89). And these are exactly the traits one would think of most when thinking of Chubb and exactly the stats that Chubb (and only Chubb) routinely dominated. And so, Benson appears to offer the best of all worlds as a runner. The only thing we are missing is raw volume.

Or at least Nick Chubb would be Benson's probably too-lofty upside-analytics comparison. More realistically, he’s probably somewhere between Kenneth Walker (his athletic clone), Javonte Williams, and Khalil Herbert.


3. Blake Corum, RB, Michigan Wolverines

Height: 5-7, Weight: 205 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.53

SPORQ: 56.8, Former: 4-star, Age: 23.4

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 3 (RB3)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 79.4 (RB1)

Brief Bio

From Sports Reference

High School: 4-star recruit.

Freshman: Served as the RB2 behind Hassan Haskins (Titans) but ahead of Zach Charbonnet (Seahawks) and Chris Evans (Bengals) in Michigan’s COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Sophomore: Again served as the RB2 behind Haskins, averaging 14.0 touches per game to Haskins’ 20.6. But Corum was vastly more efficient (6.6 YPC vs. 4.9).[7]

Junior: With Haskins gone, Corum served as Michigan’s bell cow. He was both hyper-productive and hyper-efficient, averaging 5.95 YPC, 132.5 rushing YPG, and 1.73 total touchdowns per game [8] before suffering a knee injury late in the year, which also required surgery (a full meniscus repair). This season, Corum earned a 96.2 overall PFF Grade – the highest mark ever awarded to a running back.[9]

Senior: Corum racked up an insane 28 total touchdowns in 2023 – the 4th-most of any Power 5 RB since at least 2000. [10] That said, he saw a dramatic decrease in rushing efficiency (4.83 YPC, down from 5.92) on near-identical volume. That’s disheartening, but perhaps it’s important to note that he was still considerably more efficient than Michigan RB2 Donovan Edwards (4.18 YPC) – current Devy RB13 and Dane Brugler’s top RB prospect heading into the year… Corum turned 23 years old before the end of this season, making him one of the oldest RBs in this class.

Prospect Profile

Just based on our “Brief Bio” section, Corum easily has the best resume of any RB in this class. But his profile starts to look a lot less impressive the further we investigate.

For one thing, Corum benefited from high-end offensive line play throughout his career – only 55% of his career rushing yards came after contact (the lowest rate in the class). My model definitely liked Corum’s counting stats, but his advanced efficiency metrics were alarmingly bad. Throughout his career, Corum averages 0.23 missed tackles forced per touch and 3.05 yards after contact per attempt. Among the 298 RBs to fall below both marks since 2018, only three were ever drafted before Round 6 – Tyrion Davis-Price, Alexander Mattison, and Joshua Kelley.

Make no mistake – these can be viewed as death-knell-level marks.

Corum was significantly less efficient in 2023, averaging just 4.97 yards per touch (9th percentile). And so, we’re left to wonder how much of this should be put on the fact that he suffered a meniscus tear and MCL sprain only nine months before the start of the season. The question is raised: is this simply who he is now (after losing too much tread from his tires), or should we expect an efficiency bounce-back in his rookie season (another year removed from surgery)?

But even beyond that, it’s not as if he was all that impressive before that injury, either. He certainly was in terms of his counting stats, or by YPC or touchdown-adjusted YPC, but not by the efficiency metrics my model cares about most.

Ultimately, Corum’s impressive counting stats are important – his profile hints at an archetypal workhorse RB capable of receiving 18-20 carries per game in the pros. However, his lack of pass-catching volume, production, and efficiency means that upside is capped – he can be a workhorse, but probably not a highest-end volume-back. And then his dreadful efficiency marks in key metrics and his poor 2023 season raise an even greater concern – are we sure he’s talented enough to warrant 18-20 carries per game?


Earlier in the process, I viewed Corum as an archetypal low-risk / low-upside prospect. But after digging deeper, I saw a lot more risk — and still not much reward.

And so, after he underwhelmed at the Combine,[11] I started viewing Corum as something akin to a slightly richer man’s Alexander Mattison. Where I’m not sure he can be a premier starter in the league, but he’s probably no worse than a highest-end backup capable of playing three-downs and cobbling together some DFS tournament-winning weeks should he ever command a bell cow workload.

I know that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but that’s more of an indictment on the class as a whole. I don’t love Corum, but analytically, he’s still no worse than tied with any other RB we’ve yet to discuss. And then his tie-breaker is a massive one – Brett Whitefield gave Corum the highest film grade in the class (79.4).

As a bonus aside, Corum’s most likely landing spot has to be Round 2 or Round 3 to the Los Angeles Chargers (to be reunited with HC Jim Harbaugh.) If that happens, I have a hard time imagining Corum doesn’t immediately vault up to the mid-Round 1 range of rookie drafts (or late-Round 1 in superflex drafts). And as pessimistic as I might be on Corum, I wouldn’t really be all that mad at that price tag.


4. Marshawn Lloyd, RB, USC Trojans

Height: 5-8, Weight: 220 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.46

SPORQ: 91.0, Former: 5-star, Age: 22.3

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 4 (RB6)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 79.0 (RB2)

> From Sports Reference

After three underwhelming seasons with South Carolina, Lloyd broke out in 2023, averaging an insane 8.15 yards per touch – the highest mark in the class and the 18th-best mark of any Power 5 RB (min. 125 touches) since at least 2000.[12] He averaged 7.10 YPC (the 2nd-best single-season mark in the class) coupled with an even more obscene 17.8 YPR average.

And this season looks just as impressive, according to my favorite stat – missed tackles forced per touch. Among all Power 5 RB seasons since 2014 (min. 100 carries), Lloyd’s 2023 season ranks 3rd-best (0.445), behind only Trey Benson’s 2022 (0.500) and Javonte Williams’ 2020 (0.469).

And I’m not even so sure Lloyd is just a one-year wonder. Although he averaged just 5.2 YPC in 2022 (behind a South Carolina offensive line that ranked 7th-worst in the Power 5 by PFF run block grade), his advanced efficiency metrics all look great. Among all Day 1-2 RBs since 2014, Lloyd’s 2023 season ranks in the 74th percentile by yards after contact per attempt and in the 98th percentile by missed tackles forced per touch. His 2022 season ranked (respectively) in the 80th percentile and the 74th percentile.

Although Lloyd was handicapped by offensive line play, he did greatly benefit from facing light fronts at one of the highest rates in the class (80.6%). But I’m not as worried about this with him as I am with Jaylen Wright (82.2%) because (unlike with Wright), Lloyd was still excellent against stacked boxes, averaging 4.57 YPC, which ranked behind only Braelon Allen, Trey Benson, and Blake Corum among all Power 5 RBs in this class.

That said, his raw volume and counting stats clearly left much to be desired.

Unlike some other RBs in the class, Lloyd was at least his team’s clear RB1 in his final season. His 11.7 touches per game seem low – especially in light of RB2 Austin Jones’ 5.92 yards per touch average – but his 50% share of the backfield touches wasn’t too far off of Corum (54%), Allen (53%), Estime (52%), and Benson (48%) in 2023. And so, I believe much of this can be explained away by USC’s top-10 pass rate.

But Lloyd also has two more major concerns we’ve yet to discuss:

  1. He displayed major fumbling issues in college, fumbling once every 35.9 career touches. For perspective, the FBS average is once every 96.3 touches. And Oregon RB Bucky Irving fumbled just once on 638 career touches.
  • More alarmingly, he’s probably the single most landing spot-dependent RB in this class. Lloyd was dramatically more efficient in man/gap rushing concepts throughout his career (7.1 YPC) than on zone runs (4.1 YPC). In fact, both his 4.1 YPC and 70.7 PFF rushing grade ranked worst in the class on zone runs. So, it appears crucial that he lands with a man/gap-heavy NFL team. This concern then gets amplified by how few ideal landing spots there actually are for him – only 8 NFL teams utilized man/gap rushing concepts over half of the time last year.

My model more or less hated Lloyd initially due to his pedestrian career-best 820 rushing yards through four collegiate seasons, which implies a lack of workhorse potential. But – given his hyper efficiency – it’s easy to see the upside. And in helping us to lean further into that, it’s important to note that:

  • He has ideal size (98th percentile BMI) and he crushed at the Combine, recording a 91.0 SPORQ Score (RB3), while also flashing the sort of explosive traits that also show up in the numbers.

  • Brett Whitefield was blown away by the tape, giving Lloyd the 2nd-best film score in the class (79.0).

  • Lloyd impressed at the Senior Bowl, being voted as the National Team’s top RB.

I think we still have to admit Lloyd has questionable bell-cow or pass-catching upside, given his lack of target volume throughout his college career (career-high 18 receptions in 2022). And so – with a capped fantasy ceiling – he’s still not quite a player I’m all that excited to draft. But I did end up liking him more than I ever expected to.

5. Audric Estime, RB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Height: 5-11, Weight: 221 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.72

SPORQ: 32.1, Former: 4-star, Age: 20.7 (2nd-youngest)

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 4 (RB7)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 75.1 (RB9)

From Sports Reference

Estime barely saw the field as a true freshman, playing behind Kyren Williams. As a sophomore, he led the backfield in YFS (but not touches). In his third and final season, he set a Notre Dame record in rushing touchdowns and led the FBS (min. 200 carries) in YPC (6.39).

That’s pretty great. But what’s most impressive is how these numbers fare in comparison to Pro Bowl RB Kyren Williams’ junior season just two years earlier – Estime had 6 additional carries, 339 more rushing yards, and 4 more rushing touchdowns in the same number of games.

Although Estime was dramatically more efficient than Williams (6.4 YPC vs. 4.9), that doesn’t necessarily mean these numbers were elite — Kyren Williams was a fifth-round pick for a reason. We should also note that Williams was still dramatically more involved and more effective in the passing game.

That said, Estime’s numbers are still quite excellent. Among all Day 1-2 RB seasons since 2014, Estime’s 2023 season ranked in the 86th percentile by yards after contact per attempt, in the 72nd percentile by missed tackles forced per touch, and in the 65th percentile by YPRR. His 10.7 career YPT average is tied for best in the class.

Although Estime did benefit from a top-15 offensive line throughout his career (thanks, Joe Alt!), Notre Dame’s offensive line was similarly elite throughout Williams’ tenure.[13] And, in contrast to all other RBs in this class, Estime was massively disadvantaged by usage (enough to more than fully negate any offensive line advantage). As we’ll discuss in more detail in our next section with Braelon Allen, Estime faced stacked boxes at the 2nd-highest rate in the class, and then easily led the class in box-adjusted-YPC throughout his career.


Heading into the Combine, I was sure Estime was going to be one of “my guys.” For this class, his analytics profile was probably no worse than RB4. And although I’m not a film guy, I was enamored with Estime’s tape. I love the way he runs. (See: exhibits A, B, and C.)

Every guy has a type – some like them short, some like them tall, or skinny, or thick. Estime is exactly my “type”: big, thicc, powerful, explosive, surprisingly agile for his size, but lacking in top-end speed.

The issue, of course, is that Estime completely bombed the Combine, recording a death-knell equivalent score of 32.1. He opted out of the agility drills, impressed in the jumps (89th percentile by Burst Score), and then ran slower than a slug in the 40-yard dash (7th percentile).

That’s pretty brutal. This could be enough for teams to drop him down to a late Day 3 grade.

Of course, Estime could also be an outlier – just like his former teammate Kyren Williams. The problem is that he’s going to have to be. Estime’s 89.1 Speed Score ranks in the 13th percentile. Since 2000, 103 RBs have recorded a score below that. Of those, only 2 (or 1.9% of our sample) have ever eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards in a single season at the professional level – Kyren Williams and Justin Forsett.

PRO DAY UPDATE: Estime improved his 40-yard dash time to 4.61 at his Pro Day[14], boosting his 32.1 SPORQ Score to an unofficial 53.8. Pro Day numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt, and Estime’s Speed Score still wasn’t very good (43rd percentile). But I nonetheless felt this was encouraging enough to bump Estime back up a few spots in my rankings.

The range of outcomes on Estime still appears massive. But then again, that’s probably a good thing with later-round rookie picks. Because at the end of the day, upside wins championships, and a player’s upside is vastly more valuable than their downside is detrimental. And so, at least at cost, Estime is still going to be one of “my guys.”

6. Jaylen Wright, RB, Tennessee Volunteers

Height: 5-10.5, Weight: 210 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.38

SPORQ: 92.5, Former: 3-star, Age: 21.1 (4th-youngest)

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 3 (RB4)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 76.4 (RB6)

From Sports Reference

If Wright turns out to be elite, he would be the exact sort of prospect my model would miss on.

It’s easy to see high-end potential with Wright. In 2023, he became one of only 11 Power 5 RBs (since 2000) to record 100-plus carries, 20-plus receptions, and average at least 7.1 YPC in a single season. On that list, we’ll find the following names: Larry Johnson, Reggie Bush, Dalvin Cook, Travis Etienne, Javonte Williams, J.K. Dobbins, Jahvid Best, Tevin Coleman, Michael Carter, and Lynn Bowden. (Wright’s 7.43 YPC ranked 8th-best on that list.) If that’s not insane enough on its own, Wright accomplished this feat with easily the worst run-blocking offensive line of any RB projected to be drafted on Day 1-2. Tennessee ranked 49th of 64 Power 5 teams by PFF team run-blocking grade, but all other consensus top-9 RBs in this class ranked inside of the top 35.

This is really cool, but my model was a great deal more concerned over Wright’s lack of raw volume than excited over his hyper-efficiency. If Wright is good, why was he given only 36% of the team’s carries out of the backfield? He was clearly more efficient than his competition (7.43 vs. 5.16 YPC), and yet he still averaged only 13.3 carries per game.[15]

Compounding this last point and then throwing some cold water on the first one, it’s important to note that Wright’s hyper-efficiency was inflated by ideal usage. A class-high 82% of Wright’s career carries have come against light fronts. Since at least 2017, we’ve never seen a RB eclipse that mark in college and then reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark in any season at the NFL level.

And only two RBs saw light fronts at a higher rate and were drafted before Round 4 — Jahmyr Gibbs and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. We must remember that pass-catching efficacy was the driving force behind the draft capital for both players, and Wright’s pass-catching resume pales in comparison.[16] And it's not as if we have any reason to believe Wright has untapped potential against stacked fronts either; Wright averaged a class-low and 5th-percentile 2.54 YPC against stacked fronts throughout his career.

And so, with Wright, I’m reminded a lot of the aforementioned Tevin Coleman, and then only a little bit of Alvin Kamara. (This isn’t just a helmet comp — Wright modeled his game after Kamara.) Which is to say… Maybe he’s just a one-dimensional runner – an explosive speed demon who is great in space but lacks other important traits – forever capped at 8-12 touches per game. Or, perhaps, like with Kamara, this was just something akin to coaching stupidity.

Unfortunately, my model and I both lean far more towards the former comparison than the latter as being more likely. But luckily for Wright, upside is more valuable than downside is detrimental. And this class is uniquely devoid of upside.


Wright smells like the sort of RB who might be better in real football than fantasy football — forever capped at 8-11 touches per game (with the vast majority of those touches coming on the ground) but offering the rare explosive ability that NFL coaches typically covet. In other words, he profiles as a “change-of-pace” back. And even if he’s an elite change of pace back, that still equates to near-worthless levels of fantasy production.[17]

This is almost certainly who Wright is today. But he does offer ideal size (5'10.5" and 210 pounds) and athleticism (92.5 SPORQ) for the position. So it’s possible he can grow into something more (perhaps even a bell cow) later into his rookie contract. Still, I’m not all that optimistic, given Wright’s pedestrian film score (76.4, RB6) – which obviously is not a great sign for a player who projects to be better at real football than fantasy football.


7. Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin Badgers

Height: 6-1, Weight: 235 lbs, 40-yard-dash: N/A

SPORQ: DNQ, Former: 4-star, Age: 20.3 (youngest)

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 3 (RB5)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 71.1 (RB14)

> From Sports Reference

Brief Bio

High School: 4-star recruit. Graduated high school one year early, making him the youngest player at any position in this year’s draft class.

Freshman: As a true freshman, Allen split the backfield evenly alongside third-year RB Chez Mellusi. Despite earning only 13 extra carries, Allen bested Mellusi with 453 additional rushing yards and over twice as many rushing touchdowns. He finished the season with an 186-1268-12 line as a rusher, averaging 6.82 YPC.[18] Absurdly, Allen accomplished all of this before his 18th birthday.

Sophomore: Allen earned significantly more work as a sophomore, although he was less productive and dramatically less efficient, falling from 6.82 YPC to 5.40. But at least this was again significantly better than RB2 Mellusi (4.22 YPC).

Junior: Allen’s numbers as a junior were very similar to his sophomore campaign. This was his least-productive season, but before a leg injury suffered against Ohio State, he was at least a little more efficient on the ground (5.87). He also earned a threefold increase in receptions per game (3.3, up from 1.1). However, he wasn’t at all efficient with those receptions (4.2 YPR).

Prospect Profile

Allen’s profile is very similar to that of Blake Corum.

  • The counting stats are very good – he easily leads all Power 5 RBs from this class in career YFS per game (110.5).

  • He had at least one historically great season by YPC.

  • His least-productive season came in his final year.

  • He was far less efficient against tougher competition.

  • He seriously underwhelmed by all of our key efficiency metrics.

In comparison to all RBs drafted Day 1-2 since 2015, Allen is in the 16th percentile by career era-adjusted missed tackles forced per touch (barely ahead of Corum), and he’s only average by career yards after contact per attempt. Of course, Allen’s freshman season was incredibly impressive (94th percentile by yards after contact per attempt), but that was also three years ago. And in that season, he benefited from an offensive line that led the Power 5 in PFF run block grade (88.6).

Although Corum and Allen both benefited from elite offensive lines, they were both disadvantaged by usage. Nearly half of Allen’s career carries (49.5%) came against stacked boxes. That led the class, with Audric Estime (45.7%) and Corum (45.4%) being the only other RBs over 40%.

Once this handicap is factored in, Allen certainly looks much better, and also much better relative to Corum. Throughout his career, Allen averages 5.84 YPC against stacked boxes — the best mark of any Power 5 RB (min. 120 such carries) since at least 2018. That’s extremely impressive but needs to be digested within the context that he ranked below average in terms of efficiency against light boxes (5.84).

Ultimately, Allen improved from 9th-best in the class by YPC (5.84) to 5th-best by box-adjusted YPC (+21%), well ahead of Corum, who improved to 10th-best (+13%). That’s a nice little perk, but ultimately, not quite enough for Allen to overcome Corum in my final rankings. And, in actuality, it was Estime who saw the biggest boost, easily leading the class in career box-adjusted YPC (+28%).

Like Corum, Allen has workhorse potential, but probably not much pass-catching upside — a crucial point because targets are worth 2.5 times as much as carries in PPR leagues. And although Allen’s collegiate career becomes even more impressive within the context of his age, age-adjusted production isn’t anywhere near as predictive with RBs as it is with WRs.


Analytically, there’s not all that much separating Allen from Corum. Their profiles were very similar, except that Corum had way more touchdowns on a much better team. However, the analytics profile is only one of our variables. Allen’s athleticism is no better than a question mark and probably more of a red flag — he opted not to run the 40-yard dash at the Combine and then his Pro Day. And, more importantly, Corum crushed Allen by film score (RB1 vs. RB14).

Ultimately, Allen feels much more like “a very good RB2” than a bonafide workhorse at the next level.


8. Mar’Keise “Bucky” Irving, RB, Oregon Ducks

Height: 5-9, Weight: 192 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.56

SPORQ: 10.1, Former: 3-star, Age: 21.7

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 4 (RB8)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 73.2 (RB12)

From Sports Reference

At first glance, Irving’s profile oozes with potential.

Last season, he went 56-413-2 as a receiver. That’s 23 more receptions than any other projected top-12 RB in this class has produced in any season. And Dillon Johnson (under Mike Leach in 2021) is the only other FBS RB to reach 350 receiving yards in a single season.

But Irving was also an incredible runner. Over the last two seasons, if we had spotted Irving just two additional yards after contact, Irving would have ranked tied with Bijan Robinson for the Power 5-high in yards after contact per attempt (4.17) and also tied with Robinson and Trey Benson for the Power 5-high in missed tackles forced per attempt (0.40) among all RBs with over 275 total touches over this span.

Just on these metrics alone, there’s a case to be made that Irving has no worse than the 3rd- or 4th-best analytical profile in the class. But of course, things are rarely this straightforward, and there’s a lot left for us to nitpick as well.

Irving massively benefited from light fronts throughout his career (79.2%). The vast majority of Irving’s catches were from negative aDOT screens and dump-offs (a less valuable form of target volume). He also never truly dominated his backfield in terms of carries and was less efficient — by YPC (but not the more advanced efficiency metrics my model prefers) — than teammate and consensus Devy RB18 Jordan James in his final season (7.1 YPC vs. 6.3).

All of this we could live with. But Irving’s biggest red flag is a damning one: his lack of ideal size (11th percentile BMI) and UDFA-tier athleticism (10.1 SPORQ Score). Irving could still be “a thing” at the professional level, but he’d have to be an outlier, and even if he were an outlier, he still almost certainly would never be a workhorse or a bell cow at this size.

9. Tyrone Tracy, RB, Purdue Boilermakers

Height: 5-11, Weight: 209 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.49

SPORQ: 86.9, Former: 3-star, Age: 24.4

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 5 (RB12)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 76.1 (RB7)

From Sports Reference

Tracy played six seasons of college football (four at Iowa, two at Purdue), and well, that isn’t great. But Tracy also played five of those seasons as a WR.[19] In his sixth season – his only season at RB – Tracy finished only 3.9 touches per game behind Devin Mockobee for the team-high but easily bested him in terms of efficiency (6.3 YPC vs. 4.7). And his numbers looked even more impressive by the advanced metrics.

Among all Power 5 RBs in this class (min. 100 carries), Tracy’s 2023 season ranked 1st in yards after contact per attempt (4.44) and 2nd in missed tackles forced per attempt (0.41). For a guy who had zero experience playing the RB position[20], that’s pretty damn impressive. (Although it’s a little weird he didn’t lead Purdue’s backfield in receiving yards.)

Ultimately, Tracy is unlikely to get high-end draft capital – despite his good size (5-11, 209) and impressive athleticism (86.9 SPORQ) – and shouldn’t be expected to do all that much early in his NFL career. But he’s still easily my favorite sleeper RB at the position and the ultimate Upside Wins Championships pick in your rookie drafts. All for the same reason we were so high on Antonio Gibson – as a former WR, Tracy offers massive bell cow-upside or PPR cheat-code upside for the position (i.e. 2016 David Johnson) — if he can just be a little better than adequate on the ground. And his 2023 numbers were all very encouraging in this regard, as was his film grade (76.1, RB7).

10. Will Shipley, RB, Clemson Tigers

Height: 5-11, Weight: 206 lbs, 40-yard-dash: N/A

SPORQ: DNQ, Former: 4-star, Age: 21.7

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 4 (RB10)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 78.0 (RB4)

From Sports Reference

The upside argument for Shipley isn’t too difficult – he was the No. 1 RB recruit coming out of high school, and we did get to see him deployed as a bell cow in college — he’s the only Power 5 RB in the class to have both 200-plus carries and 35-plus receptions in a single season. Shipley’s counting stats were all quite strong, peaking at a 210-1182-15 rushing line alongside a 38-242-0 receiving line through 14 games in 2022.

But he struggled mightily in 2023, just barely edging out Devy RB12 Phil Mafah in touches per game (16.5 vs. 15.4). And worse yet, he was abhorrently inefficient in that season, and really, every season of his career.

To be fair to Shipley, Clemson’s offensive line was pretty terrible in 2023, ranking 13th-worst in the Power 5 by PFF team run block grade. But then again, Clemson was slightly above average before that. And then, to fully negate this point, Shipley faced light fronts on 81.9% of his career carries, just barely behind Wright for the class-high (82.2%). In other words, Shipley was at a massive situational advantage relative to the rest of the class, and he still seriously underwhelmed.

And I can’t help but view this altogether as an analytical death knell. This is a pretty terrible analytics profile.

But because Shipley registered as a freak athlete at his Pro Day[21] — and because Brett Whitefield was so enamored with his tape — I do feel like I have to come up with some sort of excuse in case I’m wrong.

And so, I suppose, it’s important to note that NFL superstars Jahmyr Gibbs and Christian McCaffrey (two of Shipley’s closest upside-comps) were never that much better than Shipley by yards after contact per attempt and (non-era-adjusted) missed tackles forced per touch. I’ve spoken to a few people around the industry, and it’s possible PFF’s charting isn’t totally optimal, as their lack of leniency in charting missed tackles (i.e. a player needs to be touched) benefits bigger, more physical backs to the detriment of players of the Shipley/Gibbs/McCaffrey archetype.

It’s possible. But these are still among the most predictive metrics we have. And Shipley undoubtedly bombed in these key stats.

Again, Shipley’s analytics profile is pretty poor. But he does have among the best do-it-all upside in this class, even if that’s only based on his usage in 2022, and the percentage chance he hits that is still quite low.[22] And, he is a high-level athlete, although undersized (16th percentile BMI) – he recorded an unofficial 69.5 SPORQ Score at his Pro Day (7th-best in the class). And at least according to Brett Whitefield, his film was terrific (78.0, RB4).

So, after hedging for all that, Shipley checks in as my RB10.

11. Re’Mahn “Ray” Davis, RB, Kentucky Wildcats

Height: 5-8, Weight: 211 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.53

SPORQ: 50.8, Former: 2-star, Age: 24.5

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 4 (RB9)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 75.3 (RB8)

From Sports Reference

Immediately, I need to note that Ray Davis will be 24.5 years old on Draft Day — over four full years older than Braelon Allen. Davis had an abhorrent prospect profile heading into last season (after two seasons with Temple and two seasons with Vanderbilt). That said, his 2023 season was no worse than mildly exciting.

Let’s make a comparison…

From Sports Reference

It’s tempting to compare Davis’s numbers with those of fellow Kentucky RB and Round 6 pick Chris Rodriguez (see above).

Davis was significantly more involved in the passing game than Rodriguez ever was. His 21 total touchdowns were also 9 more than Rodriguez had in any season. His 5.74 YPC was better than Rodriguez’s mark the year before (5.17). That said, Rodriguez averaged 6.13 in his only season with Liam Coen and then blew Davis out of the water by the more advanced efficiency metrics (in just about every one of his seasons at Kentucky).[23]

What excites me most about Davis is his pass-catching upside and his ideal size – the combination of which hints at immense fantasy potential. Rodriguez averaged 6.4 catches per season before Davis exploded for a 33-323-7 line as a receiver in 2023. Davis didn’t really pop in any of the advanced receiving stats I typically like, but his 7 receiving touchdowns are pretty incredible – and also surprisingly predictive.[24]

By an even more predictive metric — yards from scrimmage per team play — Davis’ 2023 season ranks as the second-best season of any FBS RB in this class (2.03) and well ahead of any season from Rodriguez.

This is still a mediocre (NFL backup-caliber) analytical profile. And his perfectly average 50.8 SPORQ Score didn’t help matters. But his film score (75.3, RB8) helped him make up some ground in my final rankings.

Other / Quick Hits / Notes

Isaac Guerendo, RB12, Louisville (99.1 SPORQ) — Guerendo was a 3-star wide receiver recruit who then switched to RB at Wisconsin. He would then spend the next four seasons buried (behind Jonathan Taylor as a freshman and then behind Braelon Allen as an upperclassman) on the Badgers depth chart. In 2023, Guerendo transferred to Lousiville, finishing behind backfield-mate and projected Round 6 pick Jawhar Jordan in carries (181 to 132), receiving yards (246 to 234), and YPC (6.2 to 6.1).

That said, Guerendo was more impressive by the advanced stats. Last season, and among all Power 5 RBs in this class (min. 100 carries), Guerendo led in YPRR (1.69) and ranked 4th-best in yards after contact per attempt (4.11).

Ultimately, we’re talking about Guerendo mainly because he’s a freak athlete, earning an insane 99.1 SPORQ Score. Even though I typically argue that “athleticism is overrated”, it’s actually quite important and probably underrated when you’re talking about athleticism in the top-one percentile. So, who knows, perhaps Guerendo is just the next Isiah Pacheco (another RB who didn’t have much going for him beyond high-end athleticism).

Blake Watson, RB13, Memphis (74.5 SPORQ) – My model has a strong bias against Group of Five players, but Memphis comes close to being the one Group of Five team I’d make an exception for. (Shoutout to their scouting department, which has produced NFL RBs in Tony Pollard, Antonio Gibson, Kenneth Gainwell, Darrell Henderson, and Patrick Taylor over the last six draft classes.)

Remember we loved Jonathon Brooks’ three-down potential given his 103.5 rushing YPG and 26.0 receiving YPG in 2023? Well, Watson averages 103.5 rushing YPG and 39.7 receiving YPG over his last 20 games. And that’s not even close to being Watson’s dankest stat.

In 2022, with Old Dominion, Watson forced a missed tackle on 39.3% of his career touches. This ranked as the 2nd-best mark by any Group of Five RB since at least 2014 (min. >175 touches), behind only Ashton Jeanty (who is still in school). Watson also averaged 4.57 yards after contact per attempt, which ranked 9th-best of any Group of Five RB since at least 2014 (min. >150 carries). Within the top-13 on that list, we’d find only the following names – Rashaad Penny (Round 1), Kareem Hunt (Round 3), Devin Singletary (Round 3), Tyjae Spears (Round 3), Darrell Henderson (Round 3), Darwin Thompson (Round 6), DeWayne McBride (Round 7), Devon Johnson (UDFA), and Ashton Jeanty (still in school). In case you can’t tell, this comes very close to being a list comprised exclusively of the only successful Group of Five RBs to come out over the past decade.

In 2023, now with Memphis, Watson was dominant once again. His 1,634 YFS and 17 total touchdowns were (respectively) 2.2X and 1.9X as much as from any other Memphis RB since 2020. And he was again hyper-efficient. In contrast to all Group of Five RBs since 2014 (min. >150 carry or min. >150 routes), he ranked in the 90th percentile by missed tackles forced per touch, in the 86th percentile by yards after contact per attempt, and in the 85th percentile by YPRR.

And then, unlike the next few names on our list, Watson also happens to be a highly intriguing athlete although a little undersized (see below). Add it all up, and he’s easily my favorite super-deep-sleeper despite being the NFL Mock Draft Cognoscenti’s RB26 (proj. UDFA).

Just don’t get too carried away here… Non-Combine Invite players, like Watson, rarely ever get drafted. My model is justified in its disdain Group of Five prospects; even apparently elite ones rarely get drafted or ever seem to do much in the Pros once there. And Watson is also one of the oldest players in this class (24.5 on Draft night) – he transitioned from WR to RB in his second year with Old Dominion (2019), before the school cancelled their season in the following year due to COVID. Still, I like him exponentially more than the next two names we’ll discuss.

Dylan Laube, RB14, New Hampshire (52.9 SPORQ) — In 2022, Laube had three games with 150-plus rushing yards and three or more rushing touchdowns. In 2023, he had one game with 12 catches, 295 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns. Laube also has four return touchdowns over the last two years, which is two more than any other RB or WR in this class.

On a per-game basis over this span, he averaged 18.3 carries, 5.3 receptions, 87.2 rushing YPG, 52.9 receiving YPG, and 1.5 total touchdowns per game.

That appears insanely impressive, but this all came against inferior competition in the FCS, which my model views as being akin to single-A ball relative to the Group of Five’s triple-A relative to the Power 5’s majors. (Laube played at New Hampshire. Did you even know they had a football team?) And so, all of Laube’s numbers need to be massively discounted within that context.

Ultimately, Laube is a massive longshot. His rushing efficiency metrics were legitimately horrible (and especially so after adjusting for level of competition). So, his absolute ceiling at the NFL level is probably just as a scatback, never getting more than a handful of carries in any games. But who knows? Maybe he’s the next Danny Woodhead.

Isaiah Davis, RB15, South Dakota State (46.6 SPORQ) — Davis put together a dominant career with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Unfortunately, that’s an FCS school. And my model has a major bias against small school prospects, let alone non-FBS prospects. (And so do I!) Right now he’s looking like a slightly richer man’s Pierre Strong Jr. (his former teammate). If Davis gets drafted before Round 5, I’ll owe you a longer write-up.

Other — All other RBs were ignored due to low projected draft capital (Round 6 or later). In particular, Jaden Shirden (23.9), Michael Wiley (18.2), Emani Bailey (16.5), Dillon Johnson (14.7), Cody Schrader (14.6), Jawhar Jordan (10.3) were all ignored due to death knell-equivalent SPORQ Scores coinciding with low projected draft capital. I’ll owe you a write-up if any of them get drafted much earlier than expected.

Ideal Landing Spots

Since the running back position is so landing-spot dependent for fantasy — especially with a weaker class — let’s look at where we should be rooting for some of the top prospects to land during NFL Draft weekend.

Root for Jonathon Brooks to land on a team with a zone-heavy run scheme. (You can consult the Fantasy Points Data suite to discover which teams those might be.) Throughout his career, Brooks averaged 6.9 YPC on zone runs as opposed to just 5.0 YPC on man/gap concepts.

Although Greg Cosell disagreed based on film, Trey Benson would also qualify, as he averaged 6.2 YPC on zone runs as opposed to just 5.1 YPC on man/gap concepts.

On the other end of the spectrum, MarShawn Lloyd was dramatically more efficient on man/gap concepts (7.1 YPC) than on zone runs (4.1). Because there was such a vast discrepancy here, and because zone concepts are more prevalent in the NFL (55% of all RB runs), I noted this being a red flag for Lloyd. However, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue if he lands with New England (for instance), which utilized man/gap concepts on 63% of all RB runs last year.

In addition to Lloyd, Tyrone Tracy (8.3 YPC vs. 5.5), Braelon Allen (6.5 YPC vs. 5.1), Bucky Irvin (6.9 YPC vs. 5.7), and Blake Corum (5.9 vs.5.0) were all significantly more efficient on man/gap concepts as well.


By the way, Jonathon Brooks’ backfield competition was also exceedingly difficult in 2023. He was playing alongside Devy RB5 CJ Baxter and Devy RB9 Jaydon Blue, both now entering their third year at Texas. Baxter was actually named Texas’ starter heading into the season, but at the time of Brooks’ injury, he had 2.4X as many touches as the next-closest Texas RB.

Josh Jacobs never out-touched Damien Harris in three seasons at Alabama. Alvin Kamara, in his final season at Tennessee, was handed 19 fewer carries than Jalen Hurd and only 5 more carries than John Kelly. Priest Holmes was also famously buried behind Ricky Williams, also at Texas, before later becoming an NFL fantasy superstar (26.5 FPG from 2001-2003).

PFF has been far more lenient (30% more lenient!) in charting missed tackles since 2019. My model accounts for this change, but keep this in mind throughout the remainder of this article… FBS RBs averaged 0.22 MTF/A over the last five seasons, up from 0.17 MTF/A across the previous five seasons.

In comparison to all Power 5 RBs drafted Days 1-2 since 2015, Trey Benson’s 2023 season ranked in the 73rd percentile by missed tackles forced per touch, although he was slightly below average by yards after contact per attempt.

Maybe I’m just blinded by Trey Benson’s upside in a weak class, but I do think he has potential as a pass-catcher. Among all Power 5 RBs in this year’s class, Benson ranks no worse than 4th-best in career YPT (9.5), career yards after the catch per reception (11.9), and career missed tackles forced per reception (0.38).

This is technically true of Trey Benson, but remember, we’re dealing with a smaller sample size, which decreases our level of certainty. For instance, Trey Benson forced a whopping 18 missed tackles on just 11 carries against Duquesne (I didn’t even know they had a football team). If we removed that one game from our sample, Benson would fall from “best ever” to “merely great.”

By YPC, Blake Corum’s 2023 season ranks 17th-best season by a Big Ten RB (min. 140 carries) since 2002. Excluding RBs who haven’t yet had a chance to be drafted, we’ll find 10 names (some made this list more than once) – four Round 1 picks (Ezekiel Elliott, Larry Johnson, Melvin Gordon, Laurence Maroney), three Round 2 picks (Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, Carlos Hyde), one Round 3 pick (Tevin Coleman), one Round 4 pick (James White), and one UDFA (Devine Ozigbo).

There are only 5 instances of a Power 5 RB clearing each of these marks in a single season (since 2014) – Blake Corum in 2022, Jonathan Taylor in 2019, Leonard Fournette in 2016, Ezekiel Elliott in 2015, and Melvin Gordon in 2014… Corum’s numbers also dwarf that of Hassan Haskins in the previous season – whether by YPC (5.95 vs. 4.91), rushing YPG (132.5 vs. 94.8), or touchdowns per game (1.73 vs. 1.42).

PFF Grade is a decently predictive metric, but still not a very good one.

Total touchdowns are an inglorious metric, but surprisingly predictive.

Blake Corum returned an only slightly above-average 56.8 SPORQ Score at the Combine. He’s a little slow (41st percentile Speed Score) and a bit small for the position (5’7.5”, 205 lbs), but did rank in the 91st percentile by Agility Score (three-cone plus short shuttle).

As impressive as this is, it’s worth noting that UDFA Kennedy Brooks, also under Lincoln Riley in 2018, ranked well ahead of Lloyd on this list.

Notre Dame would have led the Power 5 in team run blocking grade (89.7) in 2020.

This is according to Dane Brugler’s The Beast. Brugler sources directly from multiple NFL teams which means his numbers are as official as we’re ever going to get.

Poor ball security may have played a big role – Jaylen Wright fumbled once every 51.0 touches over the last two seasons, versus an FBS average once out of every 96.3 touches.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 55 receptions in his best season (versus Jaylen Wright's 22), and Jahmyr Gibbs had 104 career receptions (versus Wright's 30).

Over the past 15 seasons, there’s only been one instance of a RB clearing 170.0 PPR fantasy points (equivalent to last year’s RB31) in a season in which they averaged <11.0 carries and <3.0 targets per game. Who was that RB? You guessed it – Tevin Coleman in 2018.

By YPC, Braelon Allen’s 2021 ranks as the 14th-best season by a Big Ten RB (min. 140 carries) since 2002. Excluding RBs who haven’t yet had a chance to be drafted, we’ll find nine names (some made this list more than once) – eight of them were drafted in Rounds 1-2, and all nine were drafted Rounds 1-3.

Tyrone Tracy never would have gotten drafted if he stayed at WR, but his sophomore 2019 season with Iowa was moderately impressive (36-589-3). He finished only 133 yards shy of future Round 5 pick Ihmir Smith-Marsette for the team-high in receiving yards (722), and well ahead of a freshman Sam LaPorta (188). Better yet, he actually led the team in YPRR with 2.26 (on 261 routes run). For perspective, proj. Round 1 WR Adonai Mitchell averaged just 1.72 YPRR in his best season. And proj. Round 2 WR Keon Coleman never reached that mark in any season, with highs of just 2.07 (non-Power 5) and 1.74 (Power 5).

Tyrone Tracy had only 33 career carries (never more than 17 in a single season) before the 113 he saw in 2023.

SPORQ penalized Will Shipley for his small size, but he recorded an 83rd percentile 40-yard-dash, a 70th percentile Speed Score, an 89th percentile vertical jump, a 73rd percentile broad jump, an 82nd percentile 3-cone, and an 89th percentile short shuttle time.

Will Shipley was PFF’s worst-graded runner against stacked boxes. But that’s just decisively not who he is. Just like that’s not who Jahmyr Gibbs is, either. And that didn’t seem to slow Gibbs down in his rookie season, as he finished as the RB9 in PPR scoring. Perhaps Shipley brings enough of an element through the air for teams to overlook this, like they did with Gibbs. But, by my estimation, Gibbs was one of the best pass-catching RB prospects of the last decade, while Shipley merely appears “adequate.”

Through five seasons at Kentucky, Chris Rodriguez never once fell below 3.84 yards after contact per attempt – a mark that Ray Davis never reached in any of his 5 seasons. (Davis only once reached 3.40 yards after contact per attempt.) By career missed tackles forced per touch, Rodriguez ranks in the 92nd percentile, while Davis ranks in the 73rd percentile.


Scott Barrett combines a unique background in philosophy and investing alongside a lifelong love of football and spreadsheets to serve as Fantasy Points’ Chief Executive Officer.