ADP Trends: Running Back

The first thing that jumped out when looking at the latest ADP is how many running backs are losing ground compared to the number who are climbing. It’s such a fickle position that, as noted in the preseason Top-50, has already been emphatically overtaken by wide receivers as the top priority for fantasy drafters.

Somehow running backs are being valued even less than they were a month ago, when they were at an all-time low. We know the fantasy community loves to take trends to the extreme. So, is this the year of the running back over-correction? Or is this the new norm? 

The ADP data is pulled from NFFC leagues, which are always PPR.

Risers

Player Team July ADP Current ADP +/-
Darren McFadden Dal 226.8 214.1 12.7
DeAngelo Williams Pit 126.0 113.9 12.2
Jeremy Langford Chi 76.1 67.2 8.9
James White NE 256.3 247.7 8.6
Chris Thompson Was 243.3 235.2 8.1
Arian Foster Mia 119.5 113.4 6.1
DeMarco Murray Ten 59.9 55.0 4.9
Chris Johnson Ari 228.5 223.9 4.7
Alfred Morris Dal 241.1 236.9 4.2
T.J. Yeldon Jax 103.4 99.8 3.6
LeGarrette Blount NE 175.6 172.3 3.4
Shaun Draughn SF 242.6 240.0 2.7
Chris Ivory Jax 109.6 107.0 2.6
Ryan Mathews Phi 76.4 74.0 2.4
Devonta Freeman Atl 19.5 17.7 1.8
Derrick Henry Ten 120.6 118.9 1.8
LeSean McCoy Buf 42.8 41.1 1.6
Danny Woodhead SD 63.4 61.9 1.5
Jeremy Hill Cin 78.3 76.9 1.3
Darren Sproles Phi 175.4 174.2 1.2
Matt Forte NYJ 44.5 43.3 1.2
Jamaal Charles KC 26.1 25.0 1.1
Adrian Peterson Min 14.1 13.4 0.8
Thomas Rawls Sea 50.4 49.7 0.6
Todd Gurley LA 6.1 6.1 0.0

Darren McFadden (+12.7)
This is a head-scratcher. McFadden is hurt (again) and seemingly in jeopardy of losing his roster spot, or at least his backup role to Alfred Morris. Starter Zeke Elliott finally took his first game reps last night for Dallas and looked as advertised. Perhaps that will be McFadden’s death knell.

DeAngelo Williams (+12.2)
Williams was fabulous filling in for LeVeon Bell in 2015. With Bell out for at least three games to the start the 2016 season, owners should feel comfort that Williams is around again to save the day. A Bell-Williams tandem could be as strong a scoring combination in fantasy leagues as you can find in the NFL. At pick 113, the ninth-year veteran is a handcuff you’re guaranteed to use.

Jeremy Langford (+8.9)
Rookie RB Jordan Howard hasn’t proven to be a threat to Langford’s starting job, rushing for just 3.6 yards per carry over two preseason games. While Langford didn’t set the world on fire from a statistical perspective in 2015, he has posted a more robust 5.2 YPC in exhibition games.  Now the only question is, will coach John Fox’s notorious committee approach rear it’s ugly head in Chicago?

James White (+8.6)
Dion Lewis is out indefinitely with a knee injury and White is the benefactor. White, though, has looked pedestrian as a runner since entering the league in 2014 and judging by his still low ADP of 247.7, fantasy owners aren’t convinced. Keep an eye on Tyler Gaffney as the potential breakout back in New England.

Fallers

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Player Team July ADP Current ADP +/-
Devontae Booker Den 166.9 167.3 -0.4
C.J. Anderson Den 40.9 41.4 -0.5
Eddie Lacy GB 31.4 32.0 -0.6
Theo Riddick Det 103.0 103.7 -0.7
David Johnson Ari 6.9 7.9 -1.0
Ameer Abdullah Det 90.4 91.6 -1.2
Latavius Murray Oak 57.4 58.7 -1.3
Javorius Allen Bal 149.9 151.3 -1.4
Ezekiel Elliott Dal 9.8 11.4 -1.7
Carlos Hyde SF 48.9 50.9 -2.0
Jerick McKinnon Min 177.3 179.5 -2.2
Le’Veon Bell Pit 7.1 9.4 -2.3
Giovani Bernard Cin 71.1 73.4 -2.3
Doug Martin TB 33.8 36.3 -2.5
Bilal Powell NYJ 150.4 153.1 -2.7
Justin Forsett Bal 116.5 119.3 -2.8
Mark Ingram NO 27.8 30.6 -2.9
Shane Vereen NYG 143.9 146.8 -2.9
Isaiah Crowell Cle 127.4 130.5 -3.1
Lamar Miller Hou 15.3 18.5 -3.2
Duke Johnson Jr. Cle 64.3 67.5 -3.3
Spencer Ware KC 221.5 225.1 -3.6
Matt Jones Was 58.8 62.8 -4.0
James Starks GB 176.9 181.4 -4.5
Charles Sims TB 95.1 99.8 -4.6
Paul Perkins NYG 194.0 198.9 -4.9
Rashad Jennings NYG 109.9 114.8 -4.9
Dion Lewis NE 52.3 57.2 -4.9
Frank Gore Ind 82.1 87.7 -5.6
Melvin Gordon SD 84.1 90.0 -5.8
Jonathan Stewart Car 86.6 92.8 -6.2
Tevin Coleman Atl 123.3 130.7 -7.5
Wendell Smallwood Phi 175.3 184.5 -9.2
Kenneth Dixon Bal 147.3 157.3 -10.0
Jordan Howard Chi 155.9 166.6 -10.8
Ronnie Hillman Den 230.9 244.1 -13.2
C.J. Spiller NO 213.8 227.3 -13.5
DeAndre Washington Oak 154.0 168.4 -14.4
Tim Hightower NO 230.8 245.7 -15.0
Charcandrick West KC 176.1 192.0 -15.9
C.J. Prosise Sea 138.5 155.2 -16.7
Jay Ajayi Mia 77.0 94.1 -17.1
Karlos Williams Buf 143.3 162.6 -19.4
Kenyan Drake Mia 214.4 238.9 -24.5
Josh Ferguson Ind 209.8 244.1 -34.3

Josh Ferguson (-34.3)
Ferguson is a scatback and Frank Gore will never die. Gore is also a top-notch pass protector, so there isn’t much opportunity for Ferguson get meaningful touches in Indy. He is a watch list candidate, though, that could carve out a niche in a comittee with Robert Turbin if Gore were to get hurt.

Karlos Williams (-19.4)
I will refrain from Karlos Williams fat jokes and just point out that the second-year back is suspended for four games, remains unsigned and shouldn’t be on your draft board.

Jay Ajayi (-17.1), Kenyan Drake (-24.5)
We should probably believe the Dolphins when they tell us Ajayi is not their preferred feature back. Miami first sent signals by signing an offer sheet that Denver matched for C.J. Anderson, then they settled on Arian Foster later in the offseason. It’s hard not to see Foster running away with the job, if healthy, which is always a big if. Neither back is making an ironclad case for the job in exhibition games, but if Ajayi continues to fall, he could become quite a bargain in the likely event Foster does miss time. The rookie Drake doesn’t profile as an every down back and hasn’t been able to get on the field in camp due to injury issues that also dogged him at Alabama.