These 5 Running backs are undervalued for 2020 fantasy football. The Counselor tells you who they are and when to draft them.
Let’s talk in fantasy football running backs that are undervalued. I’m excited about this episode because I think it’s a very interesting year this year. I think a lot of running backs are undervalued this year, some big names and guys that just aren’t big names but are in a position to get a lot of volume. And that’s one thing I look at when I look at a running back, a guy that is primed for a lot of volume. That’s what I look at, and talent of course. Talent is up there as well.
1. Todd Gurley
So I’m going to dive into five running backs that I think are undervalued. I think their ADP should be a lot higher and I think they’re going to finish a lot higher than where they’re being drafted. All right the first running back here, guys, let’s talk about. He is completely undervalued. He’s sitting 16th right now on the consensus rankings. The guy I’m talking about is Todd Gurley. Now he’s typically coming off in mid to late-second round, typically. Now I’ll tell you why I love this guy and what the drawbacks are. Let’s start with the drawbacks, it’s very important here. The only real drawback to Todd Gurley is the arthritic knee. Now he’s already passed the physical going into 2020 fantasy football, so I’m not concerned. I’m really not concerned about him at all, knock on wood, hopefully, he’s healthy. Last year with the Rams, 15 games, 223 attempts, 857 yards, 3.8 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns. Understand we talked about this before and I’m going to keep talking about it, he was held to a minimum amount of attempts. They were trying to preserve Todd Gurley. It’s not that he couldn’t do it because when he came on the field mid to late season, he was performing optimally. Now, the good news is the Falcons believe in him. The Falcons have an octane offense and they’re not going to see a lot of stacked boxes. This is what you got to understand here. They’ve got Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones on the outside. They’ve got great pass protection, great pass protection with Hayden Hurst. They’ve added him to the roster as well. Now I understand their defense is suspect but these guys are going to put up a lot of points. Matt Ryan, clearly upset from last year’s performance is going to step it up this year.
And Todd Gurley’s going to be a focal point of that offense and he’s going to be catching a lot of balls. Hooper is not there anymore. And I don’t know if Hayden’s going to be a big pass-catcher. I see the ceiling there and I think he’s a great value at tight end, but Gurley’s definitely going to be catching the ball at the backfield and maybe catching some short passes as well. And I’m just beyond excited about Todd Gurley this year. Again, the opportunity’s there, the talent is there, the volume is going to be there. He’s going to get that goal line to work. I don’t see any other way around it. I think they got to use him if they want to win, they’re going to use their best player. He signed on to one year I believe and they’re going to utilize him to his full extent. So Todd Gurley looking for a big year. And understand guys, this guy also has a chip on his shoulder similar to the guy we’re going to get through at number three here. Because everyone is saying, “Oh, you’ve got arthritis. You’re washed up, you’re done.” Dude, he’s not done. The guy, he’s not done. Everyone is saying, “Oh, Todd Gurley, he’s done.” And that, to me, is going to really inspire me to succeed. I think he’s what, 25 years old, born in ’94. He’s a young, young guy and there’s still a ton of upside for this guy.
So Todd Gurley is a guy that’s undervalued. And you’re saying, “Well, Joe second round isn’t undervalued.” This guy is going after Austin Ekeler. That’s all I got to say. He’s going after guys like Kenyan Drake in the draft. That is undervalued, considering those guys suck for fantasy. Now you’re going to say, “Oh, well Joe, how can you say Austin Ekeler sucks? He was phenomenal last year. He did amazing for me. He’s a PPR monster. He finished, what, fourth in PPR last year.” I understand, but he doesn’t get the volume. He maxed out at 132 attempts, 557 yards. And Phillip Rivers is not there. He only had three rushing touchdowns.
Now I just did a post on Instagram, @fantasyfootballcounselor, and I said Austin Ekeler sucked. And I mean that in fantasy, some people take it literally and personally. Go check out that post, and Austin Ekeler chimed in and asked me to explain it. And I explained, “Hey man, dude, they brought Kelly in. Rivers is not there. You had a pinnacle year.” So Austin Ekeler chimed in. And I’m going to pull up the post here. If you’re watching on YouTube, I’m going to pull it up here, you can see it. Again, what can I tell you? I say these players suck, sometimes they get a little butt hurt and upset about it. Ekeler seems like a super nice guy. Fournette had DM’ed me about a time that I was talking crap about him. But hey, guys, I’m all about the best interest of you guys. If I’m drafting a guy end of first round, early second, it’s not going to be Austin Ekeler, I’ll tell you that much, especially with a new offense with Tyrod. I’m staying away. And that’s why he had a good year last year and that’s why these guys are undervalued. So I want to make a point of that. When you’re all looking at Todd Gurley and these guys I’m going to mention, it’s because Ekeler and Chubb and all these guys that aren’t that phenomenal and are in positions that aren’t going to be that phenomenal for them, they had a good year last year and the mainstream copied and pasted their rankings and that’s why they’re so high. And that’s why these guys are undervalued.
2. Leonard Fournette
All right, coming in at number two here, Leonard Fournette. He’s sitting 15th on the consensus rankings. Last year Leonard Fournette had a pretty decent year, finished seventh amongst running backs in PPR. Now the nice thing about Leonard Fournette is his ceiling is still high. I still think he’s going to have a great year. Only three touchdowns on the ground, which I think is going to definitely go up this year. I love Leonard Fournette this year considering he wants to get a pretty good lump sum of money with the next team that’s going to be interested in him. So he’s got to perform, he’s got to show what he’s got so that he can attract other teams and hopefully get a big payday. He’s got to show the league that he is an ultra-elite running back. This is the year to do it. I like Leonard Fournette. When I say undervalued, he’s coming off, again, late second round. Again, 15th, mid to late second round as well. It’s between him and Gurley in the second round, mid to late. So when you’re looking at Gurley or Fournette, either one of these guys are going to be good, viable options in the second round, great value and they’re going to get a ton of workload.
And what I also look at is the attempts, 265 attempts last year for Leonard Fournette. That to me is pretty phenomenal, similar to his numbers finishing seventh. Also seventh in attempts with his 265, 1,152 yards on the ground, it’s 100 targets, 76 receptions, so not the best but still solid numbers, top-seven potential in PPR. I like that and he’s completely underrated sitting at 15 amongst running backs. Again, seeing guys like Ekeler and Drake ahead of him shows that he’s undervalued.
3. David Johnson
Coming in at number three, you guys know this guy, pretty obvious, David Johnson. I’m not going to get into too much about him, other than the fact that he’s an amazing value coming off in the third as late as the fourth round, pretty phenomenal. His ADP is rising and will if you see any type of training camp or hear any reports because this guy is going to eat. I’ve talked to a guy that knows the guy on the Texans, and he is going to be a focal point of that offense. There’s no doubt about it. They invested a lot of capital in him, trading pretty much Hopkins for David Johnson. And they want to look smart, and believe me, David Johnson is going to make them look smart. If you’ve been watching his social, he’s been doing pretty good. He’s ready, he’s focused, chip on his shoulder. What happened in Arizona last year has got to fuel this guy. When he was endorsing my brand a couple of years ago I met him, and he hates haters. He doesn’t like haters. So he’s all about, “These haters are talking about me, I’ll show you,” type thing. And he’s got the talent, he’s got the upside, he’s got the opportunity there in Houston to really be a significant impact for fantasy.
And when you look at a guy like Carlos Hyde who sucks, who had over 1000 yards last year, and over 242 attempts, you can only imagine David Johnson is going to get more than that. Not only more goal-line work but also in the passing game, he’s going to get a lot of volume that way as well. So I’m beyond excited about David Johnson, amazing value, third to fourth round ADP, absolutely love him. Now I’ve seen him come off as early as the second. Now if you want David Johnson, here’s the tricky thing. It depends on your leads. Some leads may sleep on him, depending on if you’re on Yahoo or any of these sites. His ADP is pretty low so some people may sleep on him. But if a person’s smart or if they listen to me, if you’re getting a first-round pick at the end of the first round, you’re drafting at the end of the first round, let’s say you go to Jacobs, you come back and if you don’t get David Johnson here you got to wait for 24 picks. He may not come back to you in the third round, so that’s something to think about. Be cautious, you may lose him on the turn in the third or fourth round if you’re going late first round.
4. David Montgomery
All right, next guy here, number four, David Montgomery. Listen, this guy is an animal and I know a guy who works with this guy as well. He’s been training with him, working on his speed, working on everything. He’s going to be more of an explosive player. That’s something that he lacked last year. And that’s partly because of the old line. They have made improvements in that offense including bringing Nick Foles in, who could be a starter off the gate, we’re not sure. He’s going to be safe and solid. He’s going to do some good things for that offense. But I am excited about David Montgomery. He may see some stacked boxes. I’m not so sure how good Allen Robinson is going to be on the outside. But listen, David Montgomery is hungry, he is ready to go, and I think if Foles comes in that’s going to help him. I think Nagy being on the hot seat knows he’s got to run the ball more. That’s something he got criticized a lot for last year. David Montgomery is set and primed for a workload. Last year he finished 24th in PPR amongst running backs, 242 attempts, 889 yards, 3.7 yards per carry and 6 touchdowns. That can only go up, I’m telling you. We’re looking at 1200 yards, 10 touchdowns as a floor for this guy this year, and he’s going to be involved more in the passing game. Love David Montgomery, he’s completely undervalued. You can get this guy rounds four to five, which is an absolute steal.
5. Le’veon Bell
Next guy here, I’m not a fan of at all, but for the value not bad. He’s sitting 19th. You get him in the third round. 19th amongst running backs in the consensus rankings, that is. You get him in the third round and he is a workhorse running back. So as much as I don’t like the Jets and Le’veon Bell, which is who I’m talking about here, I like the value. And I’m not going to draft him personally but I will tell you he is being undervalued. Last year he was overvalued and I told you to stay away in the first round. But I think he’s slightly undervalued. And it’s not so much because of his talent. He is pretty talented, obviously, but it’s the fact that he’s going to get the workload. There’s no doubt about it, he’s going to get work. He finished 16th last year amongst running backs. He had 245 attempts, 789 yards, 3.2 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns. That’s only got to go up.
So I can imagine him finishing maybe 12th. Maybe he cracks the Top 10. I’m not sold on him, but if he’s sitting at 19th amongst running backs, and I think he’s going to finish anywhere from 12 to 15, that’s still undervalued by about 5 spots. And predicated on the fact that we know he’s going to get that volume. He’s a safe guy. He’s a safe RB2 you could plug in every week. Personally, with me, I just don’t like the Jets, so I’m going to personally stay away from him for fantasy, but completely undervalued based on the opportunity and the volume that he could get. And of course the talent, as much as I’m not a fan, he is pretty talented. So a guy that you may want to consider in the third round. Again, I’m not getting him. If I see David Johnson and Bell, I’m going with David Johnson in the third round. I see more of a high ceiling there. But Le’veon Bell, safe and solid and undervalued by about five positions going into 2020.
So there you have it guys, Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette, David Johnson, David Montgomery, Le’veon Bell, five running backs that are undervalued. And the main reason I like these guys other than the talent is, of course, that volume. They are workhorse running backs who are not in committees. And that’s something they all have in common that really is attractive for fantasy football and what is drawing me to this list.
So make sure you guys smash your thumbs up, leave your questions below, text me, and get that 16-round draft solution. It is the game-changer, guys. It’ll help you guys dominate your leagues. I appreciate you guys being here. Thank you, and those are your five undervalued running backs for 2020 fantasy football that are in the earlier rounds. Appreciate you being here, smash your thumbs-up and I am out. Thank you.
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