Koerner’s Latest Undervalued Upside Ratings For Fantasy RBs

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Stephen Maturen/Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Scott

It’s very tricky to “rank” backup running backs based on their sleeper value. Instead, it’s much easier to categorize them by their current role, then use that as the starting point in mapping out the various paths to hitting their ceiling.

That’s the foundation of my Undervalued Upside Ratings, which I use to identify backups whose ceiling isn’t being fully factored into their average draft position (ADP). I analyze the backups with the most upside on every team here, but below is the full chart that powers those ratings, which I’ll continue to update as relevant news breaks.

Skip to my definitions for each role.

Undervalued Upside Ratings

Role Glossary

Workhorse

This is the lead back who will handle most rushing, receiving and goal-line work for their team’s rushing attack. These are typically the best RBs in the league and require an early-round draft selection to obtain.

Lead RBBC

Lead committee backs are their team’s starter and are likely to handle most of the rushing, receiving or goal-line work. However, there are RBs behind them on the depth chart who are expected to steal most of the touches from one of those three areas.

Lead committee backs tend to have less job security than a workhorse, which means they have a much lower floor. However, they have some hidden upside in that if backs behind them on the depth chart miss any time, they may become a workhorse.

Even RBBC

This is a real position battle that can be a very volatile situation to invest in. I use the player’s current ADP to decide if the risk/reward is worth it. The Colts and Lions are the two teams that currently fall under this label. Each team had talented RBs heading into 2020 but decided to spend high draft capital in the draft to land D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor.

Trail RBBC

I would consider this the most valuable bucket to target.

A player who trails in a committee is likely to be discounted in their ADP, however, they can carve out a role significant enough to see fantasy value at times while likely seeing RB1/2 value if their RBBC-mate were to miss time. There is also the chance they could overtake the starter, when healthy, and become the lead back.

It’s their high floor/ceiling combo, typically at a discounted price, which makes this my favorite type of RB to invest in.

Strict Backup

A RB who likely needs the starting RB to miss time to see fantasy value. Their only downside is that they take up bench space, and there is no guarantee they will ever get the call to start. I only invest in those who offer the most upside or handcuff them to a workhorse RB to protect my investment.

Strict Backup RBBC

This is the worst possible situation to take a flier on. It’s typically a RB who needs several things to go their way to see fantasy value. They likely need the starter to miss time, but their role would be unclear even in that event. It’s mostly a position battle to see who the spot starter will be. They typically aren’t worth using up bench space outside of extremely deep leagues.

Third Down

This is a back who dominates the passing down work. They typically have a high floor because they are able to provide steady Flex value in PPR formats. However, their upside is usually limited and only in rare cases are they capable of stepping up into a workhorse role.

These are backs to target if your RB depth is thin and you need a safety net play.

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