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2018 RB Lotto Ticket Rankings

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And we're back!

In 2016 and 2017 we had a thread that folks seemed to find valuable so I am starting another version for 2018 - it's a living, ongoing list of potential King Makers - the idea is to be PREEMPTIVE on RBs most likely sitting on the Waiver Wire (depending upon league size, sharks or guppies, etc.).  The definition of this thread is generally re-draft.

Please note that this list is being updated every week on subsequent pages of this thread - what follows is the state of the list post-week-1

To paraphrase @TZMarkie from 2016: "This is for re-draft and we are looking for the ones with the best combination of availability, upside and possibility of a big workload. That combination would likely give the average owner the best chance at hitting the "lottery ticket RB" that could change an owners season...The point is, regardless of however you see it, and whatever your league preference and/or breakdown may be, in most cases a typical owner (think redraft with 5-7 bench spots) will only be able to truly "take a shot" on one or two of these guys"

I don't have time to watch film and I only follow pros so I am dependent upon the opinions of others.  I am going to give the list a jump start by plagiarizing content various sites.

Candidates for Season Changing RBs for re-draft 2018 going forward - Here is a Post-Week-1 list, completely (for now) un-ranked:

  • GB - A Jones
  • SF - Which back to own?  Breida? Morris?  While they both may be rostered in most leagues, a valuable question is which to own going forward?  It's Shanahan after all.  Please visit my thread on this topic here:  Breida v Morris Which to Own?
  • NE - Need opinions here with the NE backfield constantly changing - I'm betting Michel but he is probably rostered in 95% of leagues 
  • NE - Ralph Webb
  • NE - James Develin
  • FA - Darkwa? suggested by @msudaisy26
  • DEN - Lindsay
  • IND - Mack or Himes?
  • SEA - Penny? if impatient owners have dropped him
  • DET - Abdullah due to the possibility of him being traded
  • PHI - Sproles 
  • PHI - Clement becomes the guy if Ajayi goes down IMO <-- per @Buck Bradcanon
  • JAC - Corey Grant
  • HOU - A Blue
  • FA - Devante Mays
  • TEN - Derrick Henry - I know, but he might be available in some leagues
  • TBB - R Jones
  • CLE - Chubb
  • MIA - Kalen Ballage
  • JAC - Grant per @DBDynasty
  • OAK - Martin per @Stompin' Tom Connors
  • ARI - Chase Edmonds per @Buck Bradcanon  and @zamboni included in his "break glass in case of emergency" handcuff guys
  • John Kelly - @zamboni stated "break glass in case of emergency" handcuff guys that could be very effective three-down backs with a big workload in case of injury"
  • Rod Smith - @zamboni stated "break glass in case of emergency" handcuff guys that could be very effective three-down backs with a big workload in case of injury"
  • LAR - Kelly & Brown deserve to be on the watchlist b/c God forbid an injury happens to Gurley <-- per @4th and Inches  
  • OAK - Richard - suggested per @cloppbeast  while @Stompin' Tom Connors states:  "Not a lottery ticket RB, IMHO.  Richard's role and value doesn't change a bit based on the primary back, Lynch, being out.  And, FWIW, I think he has value in redraft PPR as it stands right now, especially against stout run Ds."
  • BAL - maybe Buck Allen now that Kenneth Dixon is on IR and out of the way and Collins keeps fumbling <-- per @Ted Lange as your Bartender

Thoughts?  Opinions?

P.S. I want to give a shout out to @SameSongNDance for starting this annual tradition back in 2016!

P.S.S. I want to give a shout out to @Mr. Irrelevant on his excellent thread 2017 Trends that could repeat in 2018.

Edited by daylight
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Great thread, thanks for doing this again.

Would add Doug Martin as a low-end lottery ticket -- low end given that the Raiders offense is suspect at this point in time, and we've only seen what Martin can do wearing Silver and Black in just one game, which was middling -- he looked good with a 5 yd/carry avg against a stellar DLine, and looked speedy on a 13 yard off-tackle burst, and got 2 receptions on 2 his targets. He also was brought down a few times (including on those passes) at or behind the LOS, but again, stellar DLine.

Jury is out, but this much is true:

  • Gruden is committed to featuring the run more in this offense
  • Lynch is no spring chicken
  • If Lynch goes down, Martin becomes the defacto starter for all those touches and the similar kind of work - first two downs, short yardage/stripe work
  • He would face little competition in that role from other backs (Richard more of a COP/passing down back, Washington is too and just recovering from knee scoping)

So while Martin isn't the kind of back who automatically becomes a Top 10 fantasy performer if Lynch goes down, he does IMHO deserve to be on this list as someone who would command the majority of carries in an offense that desperately needs to run to set up the pass and be more multi-dimensional.

ETA: To fit the bill in terms of the tenet that RBs should have the "best combination of availability, upside and possibility of a big workload," Martin is only owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues as of today.

Edited by Stompin' Tom Connors

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I might add a few "break glass in case of emergency" handcuff guys that could be very effective three-down backs with a big workload in case of injury:

I think it's a short list, but John Kelly, Rod Smith and Chase Edmonds jump out at me.

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2 minutes ago, zamboni said:

I might add a few "break glass in case of emergency" handcuff guys that could be very effective three-down backs with a big workload in case of injury:

I think it's a short list, but John Kelly, Rod Smith and Chase Edmonds jump out at me.

Was just about to post about Kelly, but as it appeared in week 1, Malcolm Brown was the sole backup to Gurley. While I think that's likely just a week 1 thing, I think both Kelly & Brown deserve to be on the watchlist b/c god forbid an injury happens to Gurley, you gotta think the lead back in LAR will have at least RB2 value, right?

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2 minutes ago, 4th&inches said:

Was just about to post about Kelly, but as it appeared in week 1, Malcolm Brown was the sole backup to Gurley. While I think that's likely just a week 1 thing, I think both Kelly & Brown deserve to be on the watchlist b/c god forbid an injury happens to Gurley, you gotta think the lead back in LAR will have at least RB2 value, right?

Yeah, I think Kelly was inactive, but maybe it's due to Brown playing on special teams - don't know. But you're right, if could be either one if Gurley goes down. Just seems like Kelly has that kind of ability, but stuck in a bad spot for fantasy relevance.

Edited by zamboni
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39 minutes ago, cloppbeast said:

How 'bout Oak Richard? Likely a low end RB2 in ppr leagues ros.

Not a lottery ticket RB, IMHO.

Richard's role and value doesn't change a bit based on the primary back, Lynch, being out.

And, FWIW, I think he has value in redraft PPR as it stands right now, especially against stout run Ds.

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A vote for Corey Clement in Phi, which is not a ringing endorsement of his current status.  One week in and all that but he didn't get the usage and looks like a handcuff only right now.  Sproles role probably remains regardless of the starter, but Clement becomes the guy if Ajayi goes down IMO.

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18 minutes ago, Stompin' Tom Connors said:

Not a lottery ticket RB, IMHO.

Richard's role and value doesn't change a bit based on the primary back, Lynch, being out.

And, FWIW, I think he has value in redraft PPR as it stands right now, especially against stout run Ds.

Ok well what about Giovanni Bernard?

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Love the effort and this thread - with all gratitude, maybe the list could be split based upon the guys that should be added now - or maybe just highlight.

Lindsay should be in that group, Mack, A Jones 

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If available after this week's waiver run, Ekeler is a high-end handcuff verging on value independent of backup status (especially in PPR).

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J. Samuels is on my radar - he's currently 2nd on the Steelers depth chart - and as we know Steeler backup RBs in recent memory have performed well when called upon.  Let's assume for the sake of this thread that Bell isn't in the picture - if you want Bell "news" and/or discussion you can visit the thread over hear: Leveon Bell  If/when Bell shows up we can cross Samuels off the list, but for now he's apparently next in line for being "run into the ground" by the Steelers.

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10 minutes ago, Jed said:

De'Lance Turner. A Collins fumble away from getting a lot of work.

Anyone have any info on Turner? Buck Allen is the backup/receiving back, but has never seems to have gained the team's trust to be the lead RB despite a lot of turnover at the position there.

Edited by zamboni

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23 minutes ago, The Dude said:

Love the effort and this thread - with all gratitude, maybe the list could be split based upon the guys that should be added now - or maybe just highlight.

Lindsay should be in that group, Mack, A Jones 

@The Dude - Yeah, we will split it into multiple lists such as "Potential King Makers", "Candidates", etc. shortly - after we have at least a full day of commentary.  :)

 

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24 minutes ago, Steeler said:

J. Samuels is on my radar - he's currently 2nd on the Steelers depth chart - and as we know Steeler backup RBs in recent memory have performed well when called upon.  Let's assume for the sake of this thread that Bell isn't in the picture - if you want Bell "news" and/or discussion you can visit the thread over hear: Leveon Bell  If/when Bell shows up we can cross Samuels off the list, but for now he's apparently next in line for being "run into the ground" by the Steelers.

I just picked him up in a deep league. I'm surprised he's not getting more attention. He's one injury away from being the next big waiver pick up.

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Maybe more of a long shot but I like Murphy in Buf. Good preseason and seems to be #2 on the depth chart now. He could be a solid PPR back this season. 

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I'm gonna go with Keryon Johnson. He's the only lions RB that can be a 3 down back. I thought he was solid in the limited snaps he had. It's just a matter of time until Patricia realizes the flow of his offense will run alot smoother when giving that 1 RB the reps needed to be effective.

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1 hour ago, Jed said:

De'Lance Turner. A Collins fumble away from getting a lot of work.

I like this one.  Collins and Allen could easily be replaced by this kid if he continues to show promise in the next couple of weeks.  True lottery ticket, but I'd rather buy now before anyone else has a chance to hear about him.  

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What links can folks share to articles that rate the most prolific NFL *backfields* we can use to measure workload and support for some of these lotto tickets? 

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Spencer Ware as mentioned above would be my #1 home rune. After all, he would have been starting last year without the injury and West was traded.  Second would be Rod Smith in Dallas. 

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Marcus Murphey RB Buffalo Bills

Currently making room for him in dynasty. Shady goes down? This kid will get every opportunity - 

 

Flashed preseason and also week 1 NFL action

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1 hour ago, Ray Barboni said:

Marcus Murphey RB Buffalo Bills

Currently making room for him in dynasty. Shady goes down? This kid will get every opportunity - 

 

Flashed preseason and also week 1 NFL action

This. Murphy might be my #1 "dart" RB.

I called him the best RB you've never heard of in another thread. Murphy has essentially come out of nowhere & is legit, IMO. He was mostly a STer in the past.

This might be blasphemy to some, but if Murphy isn't as good as McCoy right now, he's close. Murphy is electric & runs MUCH bigger than his size (weight) would indicate. And McCoy aint gettin' any younger.

Sounds like nothing is going to come of McCoy's legal issue, but you could do a lot worse than Murphy as a stash in dynasty leagues. McCoy's contract runs through 2019, but he'll also turn 31 before next season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Football Jones

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I also like Jaylen Samuels long-term despite how good Conner looked in week 1.

The Steelers' feature back job will likely be open next season & Samuels has the talent to excel, especially in their system.

Edited by Football Jones

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A good "what-if" RB I like is Malcolm Brown. The Rams have a very good offense so if Gurley goes down, Brown could be worth his weight in gold.

I'm sure Kelly would get some touches, but there's a good chance Brown would be their feature back & he's probably more available than Kelly in dynasty leagues.

Edited by Football Jones

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2 hours ago, Ray Barboni said:

Marcus Murphey RB Buffalo Bills

Currently making room for him in dynasty. Shady goes down? This kid will get every opportunity - 

 

Flashed preseason and also week 1 NFL action

I also grabbed Murphy in dynasty. Yes the team sucks but if Shady goes down he is immediately relevant and good chance they cut Shady due to financial/rebuilding reasons.

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So he hasnt been mentioned yet, but what happens if Saquon Barkley misses time?  Wayne Gallman? Jonathan Stewart? Shane Smith?

In their game vs Jacksonville:

Jonathan Stewart: 10 plays, 2 carries, 8 yards, 0 targets

Wayne Gallman: 6 plays, 1 carry, -1 yards, 2 targets, 2 catches, 9 yards

Shane Smith: 5 plays, no carries or targets

Are any of these guys worth rostering? Would it be committee? If you were the Barkley owner would you carry any of them as a handcuff?

Edited by CaptainJT

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Cj anderson could be available and would get a ton of work if cmc missed any time.

 

Someone on Washington after AP wears down?

 

 

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14 hours ago, chad in Indy said:

Spencer Ware as mentioned above would be my #1 home rune. After all, he would have been starting last year without the injury and West was traded.  Second would be Rod Smith in Dallas. 

In the scenario where Elliott is gone, what can we really expect to get out of Rod Smith in that Dallas offense?  They'd be Buffalo bad at that point.  Seems like we should expect 15/30/0 type lines.

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He's probably rostered in most leagues already, but Latavius Murray has value now and if something happens to Cook he'd put up some nice numbers.

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Add Darius Jackson to the list. If Jones doesn't perform as expected, and/or gets hurt, Jackson is such an elite athlete he could take over. I could see him being possibly the best athlete at RB on the team right now

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41 minutes ago, Dr. Dan said:

Add Darius Jackson to the list. If Jones doesn't perform as expected, and/or gets hurt, Jackson is such an elite athlete he could take over. I could see him being possibly the best athlete at RB on the team right now

That could be interesting. He is basically Christine Michael minus the hype.

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1 hour ago, davearm said:

In the scenario where Elliott is gone, what can we really expect to get out of Rod Smith in that Dallas offense?  They'd be Buffalo bad at that point.  Seems like we should expect 15/30/0 type lines.

Hard to know and it doesn't look good now, but things can change and it seems certain that Smith would be the workhorse.

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So I did a thing in my spreadsheet where I attempted to rank handcuffs based on opportunity, talent, their offense (taking into account an injury to starting RB) and OL (run blocking). I weighted opportunity twice as heavily as every category. The scale is from 1-5.

It's pretty subjective, I'll be wrong somewhere but at least I gave it a shot. It'd be cool if people could point out where I may be wrong (especially when it comes to OLs).

It also is probably missing some players as it's hard to include players who split carries. There are also some more obscure handcuffs I could add like Cannon (NYJ), Newsome (LAC), Boone (already added him) and etc. 

This was the end result.

  1. S. Ware
  2. A. Ekeler
  3. C. Clement
  4. B. Allen
  5. R. Smith
  6. M. Brown
  7. G. Bernard
  8. P. Lindsay
  9. L. Murray
  10. J. Samuels
  11. T.J Yeldon
  12. I. Smith
  13. C. Edmonds
  14. A. Jones
  15. J. Kelly
  16. S. Ridley
  17. F. Gore
  18. M. Gilislee
  19. A. Blue
  20. D. Booker
  21. C. Anderson
  22. J. Rodgers
  23. B. Cunningham
  24. T. Montgomery
  25. N. Chubb
  26. W. Gallman
  27. D. Martin
  28. J. Richard
  29. S. Perine
  30. M. Boone
  31. J. Stewart
  32. R. Kelley
  33. K. Ballage
  34. D. Fluellen
  35. M. Murphy
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43 minutes ago, SameSongNDance said:
  • S. Ware
  • C. Clement
  • G. Bernard
  • J. Samuels

I hope you are correct, I have all these guys in my main league :thumbup:

And nice work as always SSND!

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50 minutes ago, SameSongNDance said:

So I did a thing in my spreadsheet where I attempted to rank handcuffs based on opportunity, talent, their offense (taking into account an injury to starting RB) and OL (run blocking). I weighted opportunity twice as heavily as every category. The scale is from 1-5.

It's pretty subjective, I'll be wrong somewhere but at least I gave it a shot. It'd be cool if people could point out where I may be wrong (especially when it comes to OLs).

It also is probably missing some players as it's hard to include players who split carries. There are also some more obscure handcuffs I could add like Cannon (NYJ), Newsome (LAC), Boone (already added him) and etc. 

This was the end result.

  1. S. Ware
  2. A. Ekeler
  3. C. Clement
  4. B. Allen
  5. R. Smith
  6. M. Brown
  7. G. Bernard
  8. P. Lindsay
  9. L. Murray
  10. J. Samuels
  11. T.J Yeldon
  12. I. Smith
  13. C. Edmonds
  14. A. Jones
  15. J. Kelly
  16. S. Ridley
  17. F. Gore
  18. M. Gilislee
  19. A. Blue
  20. D. Booker
  21. C. Anderson
  22. J. Rodgers
  23. B. Cunningham
  24. T. Montgomery
  25. N. Chubb
  26. W. Gallman
  27. D. Martin
  28. J. Richard
  29. S. Perine
  30. M. Boone
  31. J. Stewart
  32. R. Kelley
  33. K. Ballage
  34. D. Fluellen
  35. M. Murphy

Coleman?

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1 minute ago, VikingFrog said:

Coleman?

I struggle with discerning between "handcuff" and a RB who is in a RBBC. I mean, obviously Coleman is near the top (would likely score the highest) but he's owned in every league and already splits snaps. Do I then include Powell, Crowell, Riddick, Kerryon, White, Burkhead etc. etc. I don't know what the threshold is in which a player goes from handcuff to platoon mate. Some of the inclusions are already debatable, optimally I'd like to have a nuanced discussion about every backfield. 

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4 hours ago, davearm said:

In the scenario where Elliott is gone, what can we really expect to get out of Rod Smith in that Dallas offense?  They'd be Buffalo bad at that point.  Seems like we should expect 15/30/0 type lines.

So he's only going to average 2 yds per carry and zero catches?  C'mon. Not saying he accrues Elliots stats, but the criteria is there. Immediately becomes Bell-cow 3 down RB. At WORST, you are gonna get solid RB2 production. 

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4 hours ago, davearm said:

In the scenario where Elliott is gone, what can we really expect to get out of Rod Smith in that Dallas offense?  They'd be Buffalo bad at that point.  Seems like we should expect 15/30/0 type lines.

:no:

Smith would be very startable imo

 

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