2021 Fantasy Football Running Back Do Not Draft List

by Dylan Clemons
2020 fantasy football week 5 drop list

Welcome back Fantasy nerds, this is the Fantasy Six Pack 2021 Fantasy Football Running Back Do Not Draft List.

This list will consist of players who I will struggle to draft this Fantasy Football season for a multitude of reasons.

Whether it’s because their ADP is too high, their situation might have gotten worse, or that a player had such a good year the previous season, that it could be nearly impossible to repeat it.

Now let's get into some of those Running Backs who I believe will disappoint if you draft them at their current ADP, in the 2021 Fantasy Football Running Back Do Not Draft List.

2021 Fantasy Football Running Back Do Not Draft List

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D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions 

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D’Andre Swift is coming into his 2nd season in the NFL, after showing flashes of being a stud last season. Especially in the passing game, where he ranked 12th in receptions amongst running backs, and 11th in receiving yards. He did that while only playing 50% of the running back snaps. Unfortunately for him, things around him on the Lions have gotten worse as well. The Lions traded long-time quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Rams and got Jared Goff in return. 

Obviously, that’s a downgrade, and the Lions will be in a negative game script almost all the time. That does not bode well for Swift’s fantasy upside. Last season the Lions ranked 30th run plays per game according to Player Profiler. However, there is a different coaching regime in Detroit now with Dan Campbell, so that may go up, but I wouldn't count on it.

Dan Campbell has been with the Saints for the last five seasons as an Assistant Head coach. I’m thinking we may see some similarities within the offense. When the Saints offense is firing on all cylinders they are using two running backs in their system.

I believe when they signed Jamal Williams this offseason to a two-year 10 million dollar deal, wasn’t just for a depth piece, but to be an important piece to the offense. So Swift might not see his snap share go up that much, thus capping his upside.

Injury Concerns

The last thing that is scaring me off of D’Andre Swift is the concussion that he suffered in Week 10 against the Washington Football team. He ended up being sidelined for three weeks. He ended up having post-concussion issues. Teammate Adrian Peterson said Swift wasn’t acting like himself after the concussion, which is very scary.

Swift’s ADP according to fantasydata.com is the 30th player off the board. That’s just too early for my taste, and I’m not feeling him as my RB2 on any of my rosters. I’m definitely going to play it safer and go with someone like Chris Carson, or David Montgomery over him.

J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens 

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J.K. Dobbins showed off his athleticism and his ability to hit the big play. According to Player Profiler Dobbins was fourth in the league in break-away runs with 11. Also, he ranked first in the NFL in break-away run percentage, so Dobbins is a big play waiting to happen.

Unfortunately, we should temper our expectations for Dobbins this season. Dobbins is still stuck in a committee backfield with fellow running back Gus Edwards. Edwards resigned this off-season on a two-year nine-million-dollar deal, which means he is still going to be very much a part of this offense.

Last season, Dobbins played 48% of the snaps, and Edwards played 34.7%, then the rest went to Mark Ingram who is no longer on the roster. Dobbins was a little bit touchdown and big play dependent last season. He led the team in rushing touchdowns last season with nine powering him RB23 on the season.

The Lamar Jackson Effect

There is also one more person in the way of Dobbins fantasy value as well, and that’s quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson was actually the player on the roster who led the team in carries with 159 last season. He was also second on the team in rushing touchdowns with seven. So as long as Jackson is carrying the ball as much as in the past, that caps Dobbins fantasy upside.

Dobbins also didn’t show much in the pass-catching department last season either. He only saw 24 targets while catching 18 of them. However a few weeks back, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Dobbins will have an increased workload in the passing game.

I’m personally not sold on that happening. In the last three seasons with Jackson as the quarterback, the Ravens on average only threw it to the running back position 49 times per season. Which ranks as one of the least amounts in the NFL. With Dobbin's fantasy upside capped by the presence of Jackson and Edwards, I will be allowing someone else to draft Dobbins this season.

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders 

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Josh Jacobs is the only running back on this list to make it on here for the second consecutive year. He made me eat my words to a certain extent, finishing as the RB8 last season. He averaged about 15 fantasy points per game which ranked 12th amongst running backs. However, I challenge you to ask a Josh Jacobs owner about his experience with him last season. I’m going to guess that they won’t be ecstatic talking about him.

The coaching staff promised us last season that Jacobs was going to be more involved in the passing game. It was a slight uptick, but he only finished with 45 targets on the season which was good enough for only 24th in the NFL. The addition of running back Kenyan Drake in the backfield could hinder his little passing game usage.

After a season and a half of being the starter in Arizona, Kenyan Drake signed a two-year 14 million dollar contract with the Raiders this off-season. It will be pretty interesting to see how coach John Gruden uses these two running backs. Considering most of Gruden’s career he has used one workhorse running back for the most part. Josh Jacobs played on 63% of the snaps last year which ranked 14th in the league. I would expect about a 60-40 snap split between Drake and Jacobs, capping both of their fantasy upsides.

Dismantling Of The Offensive Line

The weirdest part of the Raiders off-season in my opinion was the shuffling of the offensive line. There are only two remaining starters left from the line a year ago, and that's left tackle Kolten Miller and center, Rodney Hudson. After losing Richie Incognito, Trent Brown, and Gabe Jackson.

They then proceeded to use their 1st round draft pick on Alex Leatherwood who was rated as a second-round player by most. So I believe that what used to be a strength of the team, is now one of the biggest weaknesses of the team. Josh Jacobs already wasn’t one of the most efficient running backs in the league, averaging only 4.3 yards per touch, which ranked 53rd in the NFL.

With all the changes to the offensive line and the signing of Kenyan Drake, Josh Jacobs is someone I'm avoiding at his current ADP of the 36th player off the board. I look at Jacobs as more of a flex option this season, than an RB2 option. I’m talking guys like Myles Gaskin and Mike Davis over Jacobs this season.

Quick Plug

I hope you enjoyed the 2021 Fantasy Football Running Backs Do Not Draft List. If you liked what you read please follow me on Twitter @dclemons2222. Be on the lookout for more awesome content around the website. Please Like and subscribe to the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube channel as well

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers!

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