Last week, we took a look at five running backs who were suddenly gaining popularity with best ball owners, resulting in their Average Draft Positions rising to meet demand. This week, in order to retain a sense of balance and provide a yin to last week’s yang, we will be looking at five players who, for one reason or another, are not the apples of quite as many eyes as they were last week.
The five players we’ll be looking at saw the biggest drop in average draft position (ADP) for the period between May 30 and June 6, information that can be found using the RotoViz MFL10 ADP app.
Samaje Perine (Cumulative ADP Decrease -0.84)
The fantasy appeal of Samaje Perine obviously took a massive nose dive in the spring, when Washington drafted Derrius Guice. But it seems that he is managing to become even less popular with best ball drafters recently.
Even his highest draft spot over the last week, namely somewhere around the 180th pick, is nothing to shout about. Perine was distinctly ordinary as a rookie. He averaged 3.4 yards per attempt on his way to 603 rushing yards. It was this type of output that led to Washington emphatically declaring that RB was a spot that they needed to upgrade heading into 2018.
There have been recent reports suggesting that Perine is viewed as the Washington short yardage back. This role could certainly give him some weekly touchdown upside. But with Guice set to get the lion’s share of the carries, and Chris Thompson there to handle the receiving work, a lot has to happen for Perine to justify even his current low ADP.
Chris Carson (ADP Decrease -0.84)
Chris Carson is one of the few Seattle RBs to look the part since the halcyon days of Marshawn Lynch. He was averaging 52 yards per game in 2017 before a broken leg ended his season prematurely. Despite his cumulative ADP dropping in the last week, towards the end of the week, he was certainly more popular than he had been at the beginning.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been effusive in his praise of Carson, stating that
“He’s just looked so fit and just so cut and quick and explosive and all of that. He’s the guy that just stood out in that regard.”
When it comes to unbiased analysis of players, Carroll is up there with the Miami Dolphins in the blue sky thinking sweepstakes. But this message could be seen as encouraging. At least it would be, had the team not spent a first-round pick on Rashaad Penny. The team has made no secret of their view that Penny is a three-down back. He will be the key player in their plan to “run the football when people know you are going to run.” But if Penny were to get injured, Carson is likely to be the next man up to assume the workhorse role. His current ADP, however, is a bit too expensive for a player who is currently a handcuff at best.
DeMarco Murray (ADP Decrease -0.56)
While not currently being on a team does not seem to have totally put best ballers off Adrian Peterson, this state has done nothing to make people think DeMarco Murray is worthy of a roster spot. The difference in his performances from 2016 and 2017 certainly present the appearance of a player for whom the tank is beginning to run dry.
Murray visited with the Dolphins all the way back in March. But they decided to instead add Frank Gore and left Murray out on the street. Since then, it has all been rumors and speculation for Murray. The legendary former Chargers back LaDainian Tomlinson believed that he and the Seahawks were a perfect fit. Bill Barnwell believes that Murray would look just fine in an LA Rams uniform. Murray has enjoyed playing against the Rams in his career, that much is certain.
But if Murray were to sign for either of these NFC West teams, he would strictly be a backup. The Seahawks have their workhorse in Penny, while some guy named Todd Gurley owns the backfield for the Rams. Assuming Murray is even back to something approaching full health, the uncertainty surrounding his 2018 plans make him something approaching a wasted pick at his current ADP.
Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde (ADP Decrease -0.30 and -0.29)
A double dose of Browns backs will close us out this week, with the curious case of the falling ADP for both Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde. While both players enjoyed greater popularity at the end of the week than they had earlier on, it is odd to see them both falling. Usually in this sort of situation, to quote the legendary Optimus Prime, one will rise and one will fall. But the confusion surrounding which of these players will be the primary early-down back for the Browns seems to be all-encompassing.
Hyde is currently being taken earliest of the two, perhaps befitting his veteran status. But it is hard to ignore the fact that the Browns did spend a high second round pick on Chubb. The fact that the Browns can save more than $3.5m by cutting Hyde after one year of the three-year deal he inked in free agency may be leading some to suspect Hyde’s leash is not a long one. One thing is certainly clear, however, and that is that neither of these two backs will be getting substantial passing down work. The Browns extended Duke Johnson this past week, leaving Hyde and Chubb to battle for what fantasy owners will be hoping is one spot. A timeshare is something that will just make the picture too damn muggy, especially with Johnson hogging the receptions.