August 13, 2022

The Fantasy Coaches Network

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Late round dart throws: RBs edition

3 min read

Nyheim Hines 

Let me be perfectly clear, Jonathon Taylor is not going anywhere. However, the drum beat for his teammate Nyheim Hines has been growing louder throughout the offseason. Colts head coach Frank Reich has made claims that Hines will be much more involved with new quarterback Matt Ryan under center. Matt Ryan is known for being highly immobile and has a history of dumping it off to the running back. In fact, he just led a 30 year old Cordarelle Patterson to an RB9 finish, where he was tied for 6th place in receptions among all running backs.

It is likely we see a small dip in Jonathon Taylor’s insane workload from last year, leading to more opportunities for Hines. Plus, with a lack of proven pass catchers on this team outside of Pittman, there is a slight chance that Hines is the second leading receiver on this team. He is a superb pass catching running back, never finishing with less than 40 receptions on a season and having 63 on two separate occasions. These types of players always seem to find their way into fantasy relevance and Hines is a fine player to look at towards the end of drafts. 

Darrel Williams 

The hot name in the Cardinals backfield is James Conner and it is well deserved after his 18 touchdown performance in 2021. But let us not forget that his running mate Chase Edmonds was the RB20 through week 8 of last season before getting injured. He averaged a healthy 14 opportunities a game in that span including 4.6 targets. And on the season he was on the field an average of 53% of snaps. The Cardinals let Edmonds walk this off season but were quick to replace him with Darrel Williams who finished as the RB22 last season which may come as a surprise to many. He showed he was capable as a goal line back but also flashed as a receiver at times. His 47 receptions were enough to put him in the top 10 among all running backs.

Darrel Williams will not be the bell cow but James Conner has been no beacon of health by any means. 15 healthy games in 2021 were the most he has ever played in his career and although he was a touchdown machine, his yards per carry dropped to a career low 3.7. At worst I would say that Darrel Williams will be involved from the start like Edmonds was and could have true league winning upside were Conner to miss any time. The best part? You can snag Williams in the double digit rounds in most drafts as he is virtually forgotten about. 

Tyler Allgeier/ Dameon Pierce

The general rule of thumb is to want pieces of a good offense when looking for high upside in the later rounds, but sometimes it can be so simple. Remember James Robinson in 2020? Lack of competition is a major key when looking at projected backfield touches. Enter Tyler Allgeier (Falcons 5th round rookie) and Dameon Pierce (Texans 4th round rookie). Neither has insane draft capital but both are competing with aging players who were talented in the past, or returning from career altering injuries. The buzz around camp about both of these players is starting to grow. If seasons start to go south for these teams they should be more than willing to see what they have. Be weary of draft position, but if you see either start to slip in drafts, they are more than worth a stab at the end of your bench. You can always move on if things don’t work out with players like these but the upside is finding a starting back in double digit rounds which is a very rare thing.