Biggest Boom or Bust Running Backs
With talent to spare but tenuous situations at hand, these backs will leave you going big or going home come the end of the fantasy season.
Chase Edmonds, Dolphins
I suppose you could pick any of the three backs the Dolphins added in free agency this off season for this category, but Edmonds is the only one they paid 6.1 million to to join their ranks. That kind of investment in a running back generally means the team intends on involving said back heavily. The lead back on now a run heavy team, with enough of an arsenal at receiver to keep defenses honest is a fantasy rich asset on its own. Throw in that it could be a versatile back like Edmonds, and you have the makings of a PPR monster. Then again, Edmonds could get mired in a RBBC with Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel and even Myles Gaskin all vying for touches.
Marlon Mack, Texans
Mack was sitting pretty as the probable 2-down back for the Texans for about a month, before Houston added powerfully explosive rookie Dameon Pierce to the fold during the draft. Texans GM Nick Caserio stated, after the draft, that Pierce wouldn’t be given anything and that he’d have to make a role for himself in the backfield. If you take this at face value, Mack is still the front-runner to lead the Texans rushing attack. In his last outing as a lead back, Mack accumulated over 1,100 yards and 8 TDs. That was three seasons ago, but Mack has shown, in a very limited role since Jonathan Taylor joined the Colts, that he still has life left in him. Pierce only played sparingly at his alma mater of Florida, so it’s very possible that he flounders if thrust into a lead role, leaving Mack to shoulder the bulk of the in between the tackles carries for Houston. It’s also well within the realm of possibilities that Pierce is everything he’s purported to be and more, and his lack of “experience” has just kept him fresh all this time.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs
Newly re-signed Jerrick McKinnon was the Chiefs’ best back down the playoff stretch last season, and Ronald Jones looks like the frontrunner as the top 2-down back in Kansas City. This leaves Edwards-Helaire with a nebulous role as of now. What could save his fantasy life this season is an elevated role as a pass-catcher, which is what the scuttlebutt is out of camp. With no Tyreek Hill around, there is a vacuum for playmakers on the KC offense, and the role of a utility back of sorts is Edwards-Helaire’s best chance at fantasy relevancy. If he can manage double-digit touches on a weekly basis, he can pay off for savvy drafters. But if he can’t find his niche, Edwards-Helaire will be a PPR flex at best in good matchups.