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Fake Teams fantasy football mailbag: Which rookie running backs aren’t worth their ADP?

Plus who to take with the 10th pick overall.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks-Minicamp Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Get ready for a draft oriented mailbag this week as we’ve a bunch of good questions revolving around who to and who not to take this year.

If you want to send in your questions for next week’s mailbag (it comes out every Thursday, just in time for football), here are the ways to join:

  • tweet @petemrogers or @Faketeams using #FTFFmailbag
  • email at
  • leave your question in the comments!

Onto the mailbag:

Q: Which rookie running backs are not worth their ADP?
— @labeccaryan

The obvious answer is Rashaad Penny. Penny just had surgery on his nad to repair a broken finger yet is going in the top of the fifth round (per Fantasy Football Calculator). I’m sure his ADP will drop but for now, I’m avoiding him.

Ronald Jones in Tampa Bay also falls on this list given that head coach Dirk Koetter has said Peyton Barber will be their starting running back. This totally could just be a sneaky ploy to get Penny motivated and playing better but are you willing to take that chance in the middle of the fifth? Kerryon Johnson is going four picks later and he all but has Detroit’s starting gig locked down given his performance in training camp and last week’s preseason game.

Going around Jones in the fifth? Tom Brady, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry and Chris Hogan. I’d rather have any of those guys than Jones right now.

PS, hi wifey

Q: Landed the 10th pick in my PPR 12 man league and have no idea who to take. skeptical of rb depth later but could land a top 3 wide receiver. thoughts?
— Brad C.

A quick peek at PPR ADPs says Melvin Gordon, Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt and maybe even Odell Beckham will be around at 10 overall. First off—bear with me as I go on a tangent—Odell Beckham should be nowhere near the second round people. NO. WHERE. NEAR. In non PPR leagues his ADP has dropped to 2.01 which just blows my mind. I understand there are a lot of fun great RB talent out there any everyone wants to get their hands on them but sweet Brady you people can’t be serious? If I’m sitting with number 10 and Odell’s there, I’m taking him in a heartbeat and finding me running backs somewhere else. A healthy Beckham is a top five fantasy wide receiver. That’s a lock. He’s done it his entire career. Don’t be stupid and pass on him.

Tangent over.

So you know who I think you should take if Odell is available. If he’s not, if you’re picking between Gordon, Fournette or Hunt, I’d pick them actually in that order. Gordon has been wonderfully consistent in San Diego/LA and that’s not going to change while we all know Jacksonville’s entire offense is literally built around getting the ball to Fournette and out of the hands of Blake Bortles. Which—please forgive another tangent—seems like a clear sign the Jaguars should’ve replaced their quarterback. I don’t know, call me crazy but wanting the ball out of your quarterback’s hands doesn’t exactly scream confidence in him.

Anyways, Gordon, Fournette then Hunt, in that order.

Q: Biggest steal at RB and WR?
— @buttfumblepod

Lamar Miller is a popular choice but I’m a big fan of Dion Lewis. We still have yet to see exactly how the backfield in Tennessee will play out between Lewis and Derrick Henry but Lewis has shown fantasy potential in the past and is coming off a season where he finished RB12 in standard leagues. He’s currently going at the top of the sixth, 6.01 at RB29. If the Titans can replicate something like what the Saints had last year, then Lewis could easily climb into top 15, maybe even top 10 RB territory this season.

At receiver, we all know how I feel about A.J. Green who somehow is going 2.10. That’s just mind blowing to me. I also love Chris Hogan in the fifth round. Outside of Gronk, Hogan received the most redzone targets on the Patriots last year despite playing only nine games. Tom Brady is looking to get him the football when they get near the endzone and that means touchdowns galore for him. I’d be very comfortable with him as my WR2.

Q: Cook, McCaffrey, Freeman, Howard and Mixon are all guys I see going in the second. Who do you prefer?
— Casey T.

Well some of this depends on where you’re picking but if you have the top pick in the second and get to pick from all these guys, my money is on Dalvin Cook. Yes he’s coming off of ACL surgery but we know that that is far from the career ender that it once was and Cook could return to the field just as explosive as he was last year. Don’t forget that Cook light the league up during the four games he played.

Honestly, I like all these guys. McCaffrey could be in for more of a rushing attack this year without Jonathan Stewart but will I’m sure still be integral in the passing game. Devonta Freeman is a perfect RB2 pick in the second to pair with one of the stud backs you can get in the first.

The highest upside in the group might be Joe Mixon who had a questionable rookie season but has looked great in the preseason so far. He is a complete back who could change the Bengals offense and turn them into a legit threat again.

Have fantasy football questions? You can email them into or tweet them at @petemrogers or @faketeams using the hashtag #FTFFmailbag.