Running Back Busts to Avoid in 2020 Fantasy Football Drafts
It's obviously crucial to know who to target in your fantasy football drafts, but it's also incredibly important to know who not to draft.
Whether it's injuries, competition or a narrow role in an offense, some players just carry too much risk with not enough upside to be worth rolling the dice on.
With that in mind, here are three running back busts to avoid in 2020 fantasy football drafts.
3. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
Melvin Gordon may be the Denver Broncos' lead back, but he's not nearly as likely to be a true workhorse as his average draft position (ADP; per FantasyPros) of RB18 would suggest. Head coach Vic Fangio has said Gordon and Phillip Lindsay will share work, and even Royce Freeman (who led Lindsay in targets, 50-48, in 2019) is a threat to take some passing down work. At RB18 you want to be drafting potential workhorses like James Conner and even David Johnson, not committee backs like Gordon.
2. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
Being drafted at RB38, you can afford some committee potential when you draft Marlon Mack, but his upside is just way too low to get excited about. At best, Mack gives you an early-down rusher who isn't going to be involved in the passing game. We saw that in 2019 when he ran tallied 247 carries with just 17 targets, sitting on the bench in favor of Nyheim Hines on passing downs, or even just in games when the Colts were forced to play catch-up. Now factor in 2020 second-round pick Jonathan Taylor threatening to cut into Mack's early-down work, and he's just not worth drafting even at a reduced cost.
1. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Don't be blinded by his touchdowns — Aaron Jones shouldn't even be in the conversation as a top fantasy football running back. In 12 full games Jamaal Williams played (not leaving early with injury), Jones never played over 13 more snaps than Williams. On average, Jones out-snapped Williams by just 5.9 in that sample. Jones was utilized more heavily on his snaps, but still averaged 16.7 opportunities (carries plus targets) per game to Williams' 11.9 in the sample. For some context, the top 10 fantasy scorers at the position averaged 20.9 opportunities per game in 2019. Williams is still in town, and the Packers even made the backfield more crowded by drafting A.J. Dillon. Jones is not a true workhorse, and it's simply not a wise move to spend a second-round pick on a running back that projects for a relatively middling workload.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.