Dynasty Football Debate: Rachaad White

by Taylor Michel
Dynasty Football Debate: Rachaad White

Here we go again with another dynasty player debate! I will be writing one each week during the 2023 NFL season. Last week we discussed why Anthony Richardson is worth the risk in Dynasty at his current ADP. This week we're on to the Dynasty Football Debate: Rachaad White.

White, the second-year running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was highly sought after in many dynasty league start-up drafts during the summer. He is in line to be a three-down workhorse back potentially, and that is somewhat rare to find these days. Many folks in the fantasy community are all in, but some are wondering if he's the real deal or if it's time to consider trading him away.

I personally do not draft running backs on bad offenses. To me, White is a little bit of a trap in Dynasty, and today we will discuss why you should consider moving him from your roster while his stock is elevated.

Dynasty Football Debate: Rachaad White

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Analyzing White's 2022 Stats

Before we get into the reasons for trading White, let's take a closer look at his 2022 statistics. In his rookie season, White managed to put up some decent numbers, but they may not be as impressive upon deeper examination.

He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and scored only three total touchdowns. While he did contribute in the passing game with 50 receptions, these statistics raise questions about his efficiency and ability to consistently produce as the lead back in Tampa Bay.

Obviously White was playing second fiddle to Leonard Fournette for most of the year, but they both experienced struggles when it came to running the football. There should still be opportunities for some check down passes from Baker Mayfield (11.9% check down rate), but I'm not convinced that's going to be enough, especially if the Bucs are not scoring touchdowns or even getting into the red zone very often.

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Offensive Line Woes

One crucial aspect to consider is the performance of Tampa Bay's offensive line in 2022. White, along with Fournette, struggled to break the 4.0 YPC (yards per carry) mark. Now, in 2023, the situation has taken a hit with the absence of star center Ryan Jensen due to injury. An already struggling offensive line becomes even more concerning without a key anchor. This spells trouble for White's prospects of becoming a dominant force on the ground.

The evidence was there in the 2023 preseason...this offensive line is still not very good. It is going to be tough sledding for White and this run game to get going.

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The Brady Effect

Another significant factor to take into account is the departure of the legendary quarterback Tom Brady. The Buccaneers' offense was highly productive under Brady's leadership, but now they'll be led by Mayfield.

While Mayfield is a somewhat talented quarterback at times, he's obviously nowhere near the same league as Brady when it comes to production and experience. This transition is likely to result in a less potent offense overall, impacting White's opportunities to put up fantasy points.

Save for some Brady magic last year, this offense was difficult to watch most of the time. Brady led the league in pass attempts with 733 in 2022, and I do not foresee the Bucs allowing Mayfield to drop back 733 times. New offensive coordinator Dave Canales is a good coach and was part of that fun Seahawks offensive game plan last season, but Geno Smith threw the ball nearly 200 times fewer than Brady with 572 attempts. I think between 550-600 pass attempts is a realistic expectation for Baker. So if they are throwing the ball less and their offensive line and run game are still bad, I think it's safe to assume the TDs will not be there.

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Comparing White to Other Running Backs

When evaluating White's fantasy value, it's essential to compare him to other running backs who may offer more promising situations. Here are a few players worth considering ahead of White in dynasty drafts:

  1. James Cook: Cook is in a better offensive situation with the Bills and just overall looked better in his opportunities last season. I'll take the guy paired with Josh Allen over White.
  2. David Montgomery: Montgomery is a proven talent, and the Lions are a good offense that scores a lot of points. Even with Jahmyr Gibbs set for a monster rookie campaign, this is a team that proved they can support two viable fantasy running backs.
  3. Zach Charbonnet: Charbonnet, a second-round pick out of UCLA, is playing with another high-powered offense in the Seattle Seahawks. It looks as if he will be the go-to passing down back if not more. Give me the rookie on a better team even if he's in a timeshare with Kenneth Walker.
  4. Cam Akers: Akers finished last season with three 100+ yard games despite being behind a mediocre offensive line. Now he's back with a healthy Matt Stafford and Sean McVay calling the plays. There's more of an argument to be made for White, but I still like Akers' situation a bit more.

All of these running backs have more favorable offensive situations compared to White, making them safer and potentially more productive fantasy choices.

Trade Opportunities

White is currently ranked inside the top 22 dynasty running backs in many rankings and even higher in others. There's a good chance you can leverage his perceived value to make a trade that benefits your team. Consider trading him for draft capital or upgrading to a more established running back in a better situation. Dynasty leagues thrive on savvy trades, and this might be the perfect time to capitalize on White's potential before any possible struggles become apparent.

I have even seen White go for projected late-first-round rookie picks in some leagues. If you can capitalize on a deal like that, I would personally advise you to do so immediately.

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Conclusion

While White certainly has the potential to be a productive running back in the NFL, there are several red flags that suggest he may be a little overrated in dynasty fantasy football. His rookie season statistics, struggles of the Tampa Bay offensive line, the departure of Brady, and the presence of other running backs in more favorable situations all contribute to the case for trading him away.

Trading White away while his value is relatively high could be a strategic move that pays off in the long run. Consider exploring trade opportunities that allow you to strengthen your roster or secure valuable draft picks, as there are likely more reliable and promising options available in your dynasty league.


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