With the popularity of PPR leagues on the rise, more and more fantasy managers will be opting for elite wide receivers early and waiting until the later rounds to draft their running backs. If you’re going the zero running back route, or if you’re just looking for depth, these late-round runners have the potential to deliver big weeks.
- 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit
Here are five late-round players to target at the running back position. These players are currently being taken in the ninth round or later in fantasy drafts, and the value is there.
Rashaad Penny, Eagles
Average Draft Position: RB38
I get that Penny has a long injury history, and I get that Penny is going to a team with a stacked running back room, but can’t the same things all be said for Eagles teammate D’Andre Swift, who is going four rounds earlier? Meanwhile, Penny has proven to be one of the most efficient runners in the league with a whopping 5.7 yards per attempt in his career. For the past two seasons with Seattle, he averaged more than six yards per carry, and now he lands on a team with the top-ranked offensive line in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Swift will certainly be used in the passing game, but no team targeted running backs fewer times than the Eagles in 2022 (61). Swift’s career yards per attempt is 4.6, and while I expect that to improve, I would rather grab the value with Penny.
Devon Achane, Dolphins
Average Draft Position: RB39
The speedy but undersized runner could find his way into more playing time with veterans Raheem Mostert and Jeff WIlson Jr. the veterans in front of him — both of whom have dealt with multiple injuries over the last few seasons. Mostert is entering his age-31 season while Wilson is 27, and Achane’s pass-catching ability has already impressed in training camp. The third-round pick out of Texas A&M could end up with a role in Mike McDaniel’s offense assuming they don’t sign a veteran like Dalvin Cook in the coming weeks.
Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs
Average Draft Position: RB43
McKinnon is one of my favorite late-round targets for PPR leagues. With the recent injury to Kadarius Toney, Kansas City’s pass-catching corps has even more question marks. Enter McKinnon, who was one of Patrick Mahomes’s favorite targets down the stretch in 2022, scoring nine of his 10 total touchdowns in the last six games of the season, essentially taking over the Mecole Hardman’s targets in his absence.
Tyler Allgeier, Falcons
Average Draft Position: RB46
Yes, the Falcons drafted Bijan Robinson and yes, the eighth overall draft pick will be heavily featured for the Falcons, but I just don’t think the Falcons are going to completely turn away from Allgeier, who averaged 65 rushing yards per game last season (more than both Rhamondre Stevenson and Tony Pollard) with an incredibly efficient 4.93 yards per carry on a healthy 210 attempts. HIs 723 yards after contact on carries ranked eighth in the NFL last season. I expect Allgeier to be used more than expected and not just to spell Robinson. Also, should anything happen to the rookie runner, Allgeier can step right in.
Jaylen Warren, Steelers
Average Draft Position: RB48
Do I believe in a Najee Harris bounce-back season? Yes. But, I also believe in insurance. Warren excelled in every opportunity he had when Harris was out last season, and there’s no doubt he will be involved in the run game for Pittsburgh with the possibility of assuming bell-cow responsibility should Harris miss any time. Warren averaged 4.9 yards per attempt on 77 carries in 2022 while also catching 28 of his 33 targets for 218 yards in the air.