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The rise of season-long Best Ball has occurred rapidly, thanks in large part to Underdog. The company has tapped into the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) minds of us fantasy football sickos by offering tournaments with huge payouts, but instead of relying on one-game randomness, allowing us to project how the entire season is going to play out.
The Big Board recently filled, which was a $10 entry, $200,000 to first place contest. With many more tournaments coming, it's time to analyze the ADP data that was left behind in order to exploit it moving forward. This article utilizes data from Next Gen Stats and PFF to highlight three running backs to target and three running backs to fade based on their current draft cost.
Running Backs to Target
Breece Hall - ADP 25th Overall
There is a significant wide receiver craze on Underdog that pushes running backs down the board and is a factor in Hall's early third-round ADP. But there is no excuse for this. Hall was an awesome prospect entering the league last year and then proceeded to hit the ground running as a rookie in six fully healthy games before tearing his ACL in October. Hall was the RB8 in half-point PPR fantasy points per game (15.1) despite sharing time with Michael Carter and playing alongside quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Zach Wilson. Hall will play the entire 2023 season at just 22, and there have been no reports of complications surrounding his injury or recovery. Plus, the odds are high that he'll receive a significant quarterback upgrade, with it seemingly only being a matter of time before Aaron Rodgers comes to town. And Hall was a standout in 2022 in a number of PFF metrics. Out of 62 eligible running backs, Hall ranked first in elusive rating (measures the success of the runner independent of blocking), third in explosive run rate (percentage of rush attempts that went for 10+ yards) (19%), first in yards after contact per attempt (4.13), and second in yards per route run (2.00). Hall is a talented, young, dual-threat who projects for more opportunities per game in his second season in an improved offense. Target him in the second and early third rounds.
David Montgomery - ADP 80th Overall
Jamaal Williams had an incredible season in 2022, rushing for 1,066 yards and leading the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns, ranking second behind only Austin Ekeler in total touchdowns. But his production said a lot more about the offense and the role he played within it than about his individual talent. In fact, data from Next Gen Stats and PFF paint the picture David Montgomery arguably had the better year despite playing in the inferior offense.
|Statistic||Montgomery Ranking (Data)||Williams Ranking (Data)|
|Rush Yards Over Expected per Attempt||39th (-0.15)||33rd (0.13)|
|Rush Percent Over Expected (Success Rate - Percentage of Plays with Positive Rush Yards Over Expected)||34th (38.2)||41st (36.3)|
|Elusive Rating||19th (69)||56th (32.5)|
|Explosive Run Rate (10+ yard runs/rush attempts)||45th (8%)||45th (8%)|
|Yards After Contact Per Attempt||34th (2.90)||39th (2.78)|
|Yards Per Route Run||20th (1.17)||49th (0.61)|
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