2018 Dynasty Breakouts: Running Backs

As the Fantasy Football playoff season approaches, we enter the critical juncture for dynasty owners. This is the ideal time to identify trade targets that have longitudinal dynasty value for next year and beyond. Owners that are battling to make the fantasy playoffs may be willing to trade valuable dynasty assets that have underachieved for a better shot at this year’s championship. If your dynasty league has a trade deadline, it is still critical to identify the fantasy breakout candidates for next year and beyond.

Here are the best dynasty breakout running backs candidates for the 2018 season:

(All metrics from Player Profiler)

TARGET: Marlon Mack (RB) – Indianapolis Colts

Marlon Mack is the perfect dynasty league trade target. He is performing just poorly enough this season that a contending fantasy owner just might be willing to trade him. The 21-year-old running back ranks in the upper quartile in the 40-yard dash, Speed Score, and Burst Score, while also bringing a 10.9 percent (76th percentile) College Target Share from South Florida. He has all the tools to become the lead running back for the Colts as early as next season, despite being widely criticized this season.

While totaling 63 total carries this season, Mack has still produced four points per reception weeks where he was RB2 or better, which includes an RB1 performance in Week 5 (93 total yards and one touchdown). One of the most explosive rookies, Mack has five runs this season of 15 yards or more and will have the good fortune of having All-Pro quarterback Andrew Luck back under center next season. With Robert Turbin’s season-ending injury and Frank Gore’s unsuccessful request to be traded, the Colts’ Mack is on the of the best dynasty running backs to own in the coming seasons.

TARGET: Aaron  Jones (RB) – Green Bay Packers

The commonality between Aaron Jones and Mack is their coveted residency as the potential lead running back on a high volume passing offense with an All-Pro quarterback.  The biggest advantage for Jones? Before getting injured, he had already ascended to that position in his rookie season. While his season slowed because of a knee injury, it is important to remember just how impressive this Packers rookie running back was earlier this season.

The fifth-round pick out of UTEP possesses a 127.3 (87th percentile) Burst Score and 11.02 (86th percentile) Agility Score. Jones was a great receiving back in college and still ranks third among all backs with his 5.3 yards per carry average on 69 attempts. While fellow rookie Jamaal Williams impressed last week against Pittsburgh, he does not offer the complete three-down ability that Jones does. Ty Montgomery is still a converted wide receiver and will always have the injury concerns and lack of ‘between the tackle’ ability. Jones returned to practice in Week 13 and had one carry in overtime which turned into a 20-yard touchdown run to win the game. Dynasty owners should grab the versatile back now before he reminds the fantasy community of how great he can be.

TARGET: Duke Johnson (RB) –  Cleveland Browns

Do not forget that Duke Johnson just turned 24 years old in September. He became the all-time career rushing leader for the University of Miami in just three seasons and his potential has never really been in question. Coming off an incredibly disappointing season, fantasy owners will be ready to give up on a running back that accumulated 114 receptions in his first two seasons. Johnson has never had a consistent quarterback yet has solidified his place in an offense guided by an aggressive play caller in head coach Hue Jackson. Most importantly, he has been able to develop a rapport with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer and has still shown big-play potential for a Browns (0-11) team that has still yet to win a game.

Johnson continues to put up some impressive statistics that have gone unnoticed by most in the fantasy community. He is one of the most elusive and efficient running backs in the league. Johnson currently ranks fourth among all running backs in yards per carry against light defensive fronts with 6.1 and is also fourth with a 35.3 percent Juke Rate, which measures evaded tackles per touch. He has scored four total touchdowns and is averaging 5.3 yards per carry on 52 carries. While Isaiah Crowell is getting the goal line touches, Johnson has a tremendous upside if the Browns improve next season with development from Kizer and a successful NFL draft. Johnson is a great dynasty league target who is sitting on a huge 2018.

TARGET: Devontae Booker (RB) – Denver Broncos

The Broncos season is an absolute mess, but with chaos comes opportunity. It should be clear to fantasy owners that C.J. Anderson is not the short or long-term answer at running back. He turns 27 next season and has been injury prone and displayed a lack of efficiency. Jamaal Charles will be 31 years old and in all likelihood will not be back in Denver. This will allow the 5’11” 219-pound Booker to ascend to the starting running back position in 2018. After starting this season with a wrist fracture, Booker has recently started to dominate the touches in the Broncos backfield. Booker is currently thought of by many in the fantasy community as a possible league winner this season.

Booker was a workhorse in college at Utah, where he produced over 300 touches in both of his seasons as the starting running back. He is still only 25 years old and will more than likely have a major quarterback upgrade in the offseason from general manager John Elway. The fantasy world is full of Anderson truthers, so take advantage of the opportunity to grab next season’s star Broncos running back on the cheap.

By | 2018-01-16T21:34:22+00:00 December 6th, 2017|
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