Nick Mimi @nmimi
This Year's Jonathan Taylor
Who will be this year's Jonathan Taylor? There are several running backs going at the end of the first, or second round that have the potential to overproduce their ADP and help win some championships. Last season that running back was Jonathan Taylor who is now the consensus top pick in every redraft league. Here are 4 running backs I think can make that leap.
1) Javonte Williams, NFC ADP – 11
Javonte Williams is a popular pick this season, and before Melvin Gordon resigned, he was talked about as a top-tier pick. Now with Gordon back, teams are afraid of the timeshare. Last season they both had 203 carries each. Javonte rushed for 903 yards and scored four touchdowns. He also added 43 receptions on 53 targets for 316 yards and three touchdowns. With a new quarterback in Denver, Russell Wilson, Williams should see an uptick in numbers. If Melvin Gordon were to miss any time, Williams could really have a massive breakout.
2) D’Andre Swift, NFC ADP – 14
Going at the start of the second round, D’Andre Swift is my personal favorite breakout this season. Last season, Swift played 13 games, rushing 151 times for 617 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 62 catches on 78 targets for 452 yards and two touchdowns. Obviously, he needs to stay healthy, but on a 17-game season, Swift may approach 100 targets and can exceed 1,000 yards rushing. The Lions had a fantastic offseason and added Jameson Williams to the offense. Jamaal Williams is in the backfield as well but is not a threat to the workload. Drafting a running back with 100 target potential in a PPR league is a win in my book, especially at the first-round turn.
3) Aaron Jones, NFC ADP – 24
Aaron Jones could be seeing a workload increase in Green Bay. Last season he played in 15 games, rushing 171 times for 799 yards and four touchdowns. He added 52 receptions on 65 targets for 391 yards and six touchdowns. With Devante Adams leaving Green Bay, it opens up 169 targets. The Packers get David Bakhtiari back as well. Yes, AJ Dillion is still present, but Aaron Jone's production hasn’t seen a change in several seasons. With the wide receiver question marks in Green Bay, there is no reason why Jones can't outproduce his 2021 season.
4) Saquan Barkley, NFC ADP – 26
Just a few seasons ago, Barkley was the top fantasy pick overall. After a couple of injury-filled seasons, he’s seen his ADP dip to the 3rd round in fantasy. The Giants drafted Evan Neal, and have Andrew Thomas playing great football on the line. With solid bookends, I would expect Saquan to revert to his breakout days. Last season the entire Giants team was a fantasy mess, but now going into the season healthy, Saquon is a very popular bounce-back candidate.