Six Running Backs who should NOT be drafted in Fantasy Football 2024

Journeymen running can be tempting to grab hold in desperate times of the journey. Filling that RB2 spot can often be difficult unless you use the RB-heavy strategy. Avoid these six running backs in your draft this summer to avoid the fall.

Six Running Backs who should NOT be drafted in Fantasy Football 2024

Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys

Just because it’s a nice homecoming for Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas doesn’t mean he’s the same player he was two years ago. Although Elliott only spent one season in New England, his last one with the Cowboys wasn’t pretty either.

In both seasons, Elliott finished with fewer than 1,000 yards rushing. 2023 also marked the third straight year in which Elliott saw his yards per carry decline even when given a lighter workload.

Elliott benefits from PPR competitions as the veteran running back averages 10.3 points per game in this format. In standard competitions, he averaged just 7.3 points per game. While it may be tempting to give Zeke one last chance, someone has to be the one to give him that chance.

Tony Pollard/Tyjae Spears – Tennessee Titans

The Titans running backs are lumped into one box here because they are both not worth the hype heading into 2024. Tony Pollard struggled as a feature back last season in Dallas. As for Tyjae Spears, there’s a reason why the Titans felt it necessary to bring in Pollard.

Don’t be this guy.

Pollard averaged just under four yards per carry last season, and as the leader in today’s NFL, expect him to do more than barely break the 1,000-yard mark. While Spears was behind Derrick Henry, he didn’t even surpass 500 rushing yards.

Pollard finished with 10.5 points per game in PPR leagues and 9.9 points per game in standard leagues. Spears was as high as nine points per game in PPR with six points per game in standard leagues. As the kids say these days, the Titans’ backfield is “very middle.”

Austin Ekeler / Brian Robinson – Washington commanders

This is another tandem that is going to step on each other’s toes. Brian Robinson led Washington last season, averaging just over four yards per carry. Austin Ekeler finished 2023 with 3.5 yards per carry in 14 games for the Chargers. However, both running backs were well under 1,000 yards.

Ekeler was once a very good running back that fantasy owners fought over on draft day. Those days appear to be in the rearview mirror, and Robinson hasn’t shown much in his first two years in the league.

Putting these two in the same backfield is a recipe for disaster. Like the Titans above, this could very well turn into a running back committee. Play it safe and avoid them both.

Rhamondre Stevenson – New England Patriots

Rhamondre Stevenson was the definition of hit or miss in 2023. A third straight year back from Oklahoma, Stevenson saw his usage decline starting in 2022. Despite seeing a smaller role, he also failed to establish consistency.

Stevenson found the end zone just four times last season in a Patriots offense that struggled at best. In Weeks 2-4, he finished with 75-plus yards rushing, but the rest of the way, he gained 50 or more yards just twice.

If Stevenson can find his form from weeks 2-4, that would put him at a pace of around 16-17 points per game. That’s a big if, though. Until he finds some consistency, Stevenson should be avoided in fantasy drafts.

Running backs can quickly become a thin position in drafts. While the RB-heavy strategy isn’t for everyone, you can save yourself the trouble by not even bothering with these six running backs.

Main photo credit: Syndication: Detroit Free Press

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