100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 24: Best, Worst First-Round RB Values
At RotoWire, I examined some of the best and worst first-round running back values in 2013:
• RB C.J. Spiller, Bills: ADP 1.08
Currently getting selected eighth overall in PPR leagues, Spiller represents sensational value for fantasy owners this year. In terms of his average projected points, Spiller may or may not be in the right spot. But you have to consider Spiller’s upside here. He’s not an abnormally risky selection, yet he has No. 1 overall potential. This is a guy who has averaged 5.2 YPC over the course of his three-year career, totaling more than 1,700 yards last year despite touching the ball only 250 times. If the Bills ride Spiller like they’re insisting they will, he should be a top-five player. If they don’t, you’re still basically getting what you’re paying for.
And don’t forget running backs with Spiller’s speed produce at six times the rate as those who run 4.50 or worse.
• RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks: ADP 1.06
Lynch is 27 years old. While we’ve been conditioned to believe that most backs can maintain the same level of play until age 30, the truth is many are at near peak efficiency from the moment they enter the NFL, and it’s a slow decline from there.
Lynch is on the way down, yet he’s being drafted as if he’ll repeat his 2012 numbers. With nearly 400 rushing yards more than he ever recorded in any prior season, however, that won’t happen. Lynch also won’t see near 315 carries again this year. The Seahawks will give Russell Wilson a lot more freedom, including in many short-yardage situations to find newly-acquired Percy Harvin.
Plus, Lynch is a career 4.2 YPC player coming off of a season in which he ran for 5.0 YPC. Wilson’s rushing ability helped him, but Lynch has still rushed for just 4.4 YPC during his three years in Seattle. And if that weren’t enough, the Seahawks drafted a more talented running back in the second round in Christine Michael. Lynch’s contract situation gets dicey after this season, so there’s a good chance Michael will team up with Robert Turbin to lead Seattle’s rushing attack in 2014. If true, it could mean the Seahawks will try to get those guys some reps this season, cutting into Lynch’s workload.