3 Undervalued RBs in 2017 Fantasy Football Drafts

Redskins Rob Kelley

Every year after the NFL Draft is over, training camps approach and fantasy football drafts start getting underway many owners, myself included get excited about what we don’t know instead of what we do. Typically a rookie comes in and steals the headlines. Other times it is a well know free agent moving to a new team. Everyone gets excited about what could be.

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This optimism can cause older players to get overlooked. While often times there are reasons to like the potential, an overreaction can cause draft day value to be had. Let’s take a look at 3 undervalued RBs that will return their draft day value plus more this season

Robert Kelley | RB | Washington Redskins

It’s easy to overlook Robert Kelley in fantasy drafts. His nickname is Fat Rob for crying out loud. Nobody wants to draft anyone named Fat Rob. Especially when a newer and seemingly better version of the same players (Samaje Perine) was just drafted.

Despite being undrafted, Kelley vaulted himself to the top of the depth charts last season in the Nation’s Capital. He ran for 704 yards and 6 touchdowns on only 168 attempts. He averaged an impressive 4.2 yards per carry last season. He did start to wear down averaging 3.23 YPC over his final six games.

Some will use this data to “prove” that he really wasn’t that good. Draft Sharks Jared Smola points out the impressive run of defenses Kelley faced as the lead back.

He was very impressive considering his competition. He had 4.5, 4, and 3.9 YPC games in those final 6 games. He found the endzone in two of those games including one where he was relatively ineffective in terms of yards, salvaging his day for fantasy owners.

It seems like there is a ton of value for a player going in the 8th round in standard and the 9th in PPR. He is going a round plus after his rookie counterpart. I would take a shot on him in the middle rounds as a guy who should start initially if not for the entire season.

Jeremy Hill | RB | Cincinnati Bengals

All Jeremy Hill does is score touchdowns!!! The running back has averaged 9.67 touchdowns per season over his three years in the league.

Nobody every really wants to draft the plodding RB but there is value to be had. Everyone is quick to anoint rookie Joe Mixon as the next big thing and for good reason. The rookie has all the potential in the world. He can be a pass catching stud who has legit explosiveness in the open field. He also has good size to be a three down workhorse.

That said there is plenty of opportunity for Jeremy Hill to return value for his fantasy owners. He can return the value on his double digit round ADP. He should start the season as the feature back with Mixon working in the role voided by Giovani Bernard. Even if Mixon becomes the lead dawg early, Hill should get plenty of short yardage and red zone opportunities.

I will gladly take Hill in the double digit rounds, especially as a drafter who tends to lean WR heavy in the start of drafts.

Mark Ingram | RB | New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans backfield situation is a little different than Cincinnati or Washington but a new face has entered the fold causing a dip in Mark Ingram’s ADP. Adrian Peterson will play an NFL season for a team that is not the Minnesota Vikings for the first time 10 year career.

This is the same RB that has missed basically two full seasons over his last three years. Peterson looked awful before going down with the injury averaging under two YPC in 37 attempts. Let’s assume however Peterson rebounds somewhat and flashes some of his old brilliance. Ingram should still hold tremendous value.

Ingram was the RB8 last season in PPR and RB10 in non-PPR, despite owners immense frustration with Coach Sean Payton who clearly had screw loose playing so much Tim Hightower last season.

The season prior he was RB10 in PPR and RB15 in non-PPR. That season Hightower, Khiry Robinson, and C.J. Spiller split the duties behind Ingram.

I will gladly take Ingram in the 5th or 6th round before Bilal Powell, Mike Gillislee, Legarrette Blount, and Tevin Coleman who are going before him in PPR.

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