The 2017 NFL draft is now history, putting a few rookies in excellent positions to make an immediate fantasy impact. Running back is not the same must own position like it was a few years ago. Fantasy team owners today are rightfully focused on trying to find that perfect combination of high point producing wide receivers.
However, every league uses at least two running backs, and often a flex position, so with a reduced crop of high point scorers, finding a rookie sensation could mean a fantasy championship trophy. Here are two running backs that may turn out to be pleasant surprises for those sharp enough to take them on draft day.
- Marlon Mack
The Indianapolis Colts defensive problems have been well documented. As a result, they took defensive players with their first three draft selections. With 3 picks waiting for them in the 4th round, they started out by shoring up the offensive line, then drafted one of the more intriguing picks on day two of the draft.
Once a highly touted All-Florida prep star, Marlon Mack ended up at the University of South Florida, sort of falling out of the national limelight. He packs breakaway acceleration and was able to put up solid numbers running behind a suspect O-line in Tampa.
No one has been able to supply the Colts with a consistent rushing attack, and Frank Gore is on his last leg. Look for Mack to be an instant contributor to a team vastly in need of an improved running game.
- D’Onta Freeman
The second running back may need to be followed a little more closely. Houston we have a problem, is the ongoing situation at quarterback for the Texans. With a defense, that on paper may be one of the most imposing in all of professional football, head coach Bill O’Brien is going to mandate the running game be a featured part of the Texan’s offense. Queue 3rd round Houston draft pick D’Onta Freeman.
Freeman stays in the Lone Star state, navigating his way from Austin across state to Houston. With Texas Longhorns, Freeman was a workhorse back with the power and speed to be star in the NFL. With a Texans rushing game that hasn’t found consistent production since the days of Adrian Foster, Freeman is going to get his opportunities.
In between fumbling around with your daily MLB lineup, don’t forget to do your homework on all the newest running back additions to the NFL fantasy draft. Everybody will know the players who have high expectations for the upcoming season, but the key to a fantasy league championship may revolve around finding the rushers with the biggest opportunity to produce starting week number one. This pair should be on every fantasy team owner’s draft radar.