Frascella's Fantasy Corner: Stay away from these overhyped running backs
** Editor’s Note: With injury concerns piling up – Carson Wentz, Michael Thomas, Dak Prescott, Carl Lawson, Kenny Golladay and more of the like – savvy fantasy leagues have been holding off on their drafts. But with the pro football season opening up on September 9, we can only hold off for so long. With that in mind, I’ll be rolling out John Frascella’s fantasy football series over the course of the next few weeks. Let’s go! – Aaron Torres
Look, anybody can finger point the RB45 and tell you they might be a potential bust. You ain’t comin’ to John Frascella and Aaron Torres Online for that. I suggest you come to us for bolder takes; we’ll put our necks on the line and stick by our opinions.
Some big potential busts comin’ at ya, here:
16 games as a rookie, 13 as a sophomore and just two in year three. We are trending in the wrong direction, here.
According to the latest injury report, Saquon (ACL, MCL) is finally set to take part in joint team drills this week; but multiple other reports have indicated that he could still be on a snap count or more “limited role” in Week 1 hosting Denver.
If you selected Saquon last year and he played only two games for you, are you liking the sound of “limited role” right now? In Redraft, I know I’m not. We’re still buying Saquon – still just 24 years old – in Dynasty for the long haul (hoping things will normalize and even out), but I’m still gun shy in Redraft right now.
Here’s a kid coming off major ACL surgery, and there are so many other fish in the sea! As of the date of this writing, Saquon is the RB7 in Redraft, and I have absolutely no qualms taking Jonathan Taylor (RB8) or Aaron Jones (RB9) over him. I might even consider RB12 Antonio Gibson, whose stock is most certainly on the rise.
But let’s say you are going with well, Saquon is due to stay healthy this season. Fine, I suppose it’s a possibility. But what about that utterly crowded situation in New York? Sure, Saquon is the big man in the backfield, but what about Golladay (hamstring injury to monitor), Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and exciting rookie Kadarius Toney in the receiving corps? How about both Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph at tight end? What about potential wild cards like Devontae Booker, John Ross and Dante Pettis?
Saquon is clearly the go-to fantasy option for this team, but there are certainly a lot of mouths to feed, here. Ask yourself this, does New York really need to ride Saquon? Would that even be prudent?
If I’m the Giants, I’m protecting Saquon, coming off ACL surgery. To me, there is no logical need to overwork him. I’m going to use playaction, mix in some Booker in the backfield and spread the ball around to Golladay, Shepard, Slayton and Engram. Saquon should be the best and most-used player on this team, but he should not be overused or overworked, which is what we would honestly prefer from a fantasy standpoint.
As a frame of reference, Saquon’s rushing yard over/under looks awfully high at 1,185.5 (line provided by DraftKings Sportsbook). It’s easy to lean toward the under, even with the juice at -130.
All things considered: Coming off only two games played + ACL surgery + crowded fantasy situation = risky as the No. 7 overall selection in Redraft.
Zeke is a beast – I truly admire his toughness and willingness to put his neck on the line for his team - but he’s been severely overworked throughout his NFL career. This is a bellcow who has led the league in carries multiple times, and we all know running backs have limited lifespans at this level.
Zeke’s DraftKings Sportsbook over/under currently sits at 1,100.5; surely interesting relative to Saquon’s, but still a bit high to me considering wear-and-tear. And remember, with the general frequency of injuries at running back, unders have a tendency to connect at this position.
Furthermore, just as a matter of personal opinion, Zeke looked slower to me last season. He looked less bouncy. “Fresh legs” really didn’t seem to be a part of the equation. Tony Pollard, on the other hand, should be fresh as a daisy considering his relative lack of work. It just feels like this could be the season where things could even out to some degree.
Hey, we have to make some bold takes and plant our flag down, somewhere.
He seemed to come out of nowhere last season, but now everyone is getting a little too excited about him.
Here’s a 24-year old kid who only played seven games as a rookie and 10 as a sophomore. He already feels like a bellcow to you?
In terms of The Eye Test, I’m actually on board. Gaskin is lean, mean and versatile. I like the way he runs, I like his style and he gives you some different looks out there.
But now we are talking about the RB22 in Redraft and 23 in Dynasty, and he seems to be climbing those charts on a weekly basis. We have to look at him through a different lens now. We need to scrutinize and really dig deep, relative to value analysis.
In Redraft he is surrounded by guys like Miles Sanders, James Robinson, Darrell Henderson and one of my expected breakout players, Mike Davis. Sanders and J-Rob have become undervalued to the point where we have to react and grab that ROI. Henderson has stepped into a major opportunity with young Cam Akers out for the season. Indirectly, Davis benefits from Julio Jones’ trade to the Titans.
On DraftKings Sportsbook, Gaskin’s 750.5 over/under is juicy at 750.5. That is a low number, but proceed with caution, nonetheless.
So, all aspects considered, how does Gaskin stack up to his RB competition?
Look, you know I give it to ya’ll straight – no BS, no punches held – I’m just worried about a 5-foot-10 running back who hasn’t played more than 10 games in a season yet. Plain and simple. Odds are – also considering both Malcolm Brown and Salvon Ahmed in Miami’s running back room – that Gaskin won’t be able to connect on his ADP. I like the kid in a vacuum, but I don’t like the over-inflation of his draft stock.
John Frascella is a published sports author and Senior Fantasy Analyst for Aaron Torres Online. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football.
Also, make sure to subscribe to John's fantasy football podcast with co-host Wes Easley - below