The Ultimate Zero RB Watch List provides analysis for Zero RB and RB-heavy owners alike. Blair Andrews examines the running back workloads for every NFC backfield from Week 7, and explains why the Next Miles Sanders now has the edge on the real one. Check out Shawn Siegele’s companion piece on the AFC.
Almost every fantasy team can use a breakout RB, whether they were drafted as a Zero-RB squad or not. The Ultimate Zero RB Watch List helps to find these breakout stars before they hit. But it also helps you understand which of the high-profile backs you should be buying and selling based on workload shifts.
We’ll use the RotoViz tools to dive deep into the Week 7 advanced stats for every NFC backfield, focusing on expected points (EP), fantasy points over expectations (FPOE), and opportunity (snaps, targets, and carries).
Kenyan Drake left Week 7 with an injury, opening up the backfield for Chase Edmonds, who drastically outperformed Drake in both phases of the game. But the huge delta in the two backs’ efficiency metrics just told us what we had pretty much known the entire season — Edmonds is probably the more talented RB in Arizona. How likely is it that Drake returns to discover he no longer has a job? That probably depends on a couple of answers to key questions:
- How will Edmonds perform in the running game? While he has been leading the way in receiving opportunity, Week 7 gave him the chance to show off his rushing efficiency. This was already a strong part of Edmonds’ game dating back to last season.
- Will Eno Benjamin carve out a meaningful role? Benjamin has yet to be active in a game this season, but he comes in with one of the most intriguing prospect profiles, as a Backfield Dominator star and also one of the only RBs in this rookie class to run a sub-7.0 three cone. The fact that Arizona is choosing to stash him on the 53-man roster even while he’s not getting on the field suggests they too are interested in seeing what they have.
If Drake’s injury invigorates trade talks, and you can get something in return for him now, it could be one of your last opportunities. Edmonds becomes both an intriguing buy and a potential sell, depending on your team makeup and your league’s going rate. I’ve made two trades in the past week involving Edmonds — one to acquire him, and one to turn him into a 2021 1st. If you can still add Benjamin for free, that should also be a top priority.