2017 RB Prospect Lab: 20 Prospect Scores, 75 Evidence-Based Comps

The RB Prospect Lab uses age, weight, speed, agility, rushing production, TD production, and receiving numbers to give a scaled projection of a player’s NFL fantasy prospects. In the pre-combine edition, I provided a full list of scores from the last two years of projections. The Lab confirmed the community consensus on players like Ezekiel Elliott (92) and Todd Gurley (85), suggested you ignore the draft fall and snag Jay Ajayi (85), and located sleepers like Jordan Howard (65) and David Johnson (65). It also helped us avoid apparent busts like Ameer Abdullah (41), Matt Jones (40), and T.J. Yeldon (37). The Lab’s biggest miss was David Cobb (66). When evaluating a RB’s prospects, you want to consider other information as well, especially draft slot and opportunity in the landing spot. But I love the Lab’s ability to give us a draft-agnostic projection. Once the draft creates an anchor for rookie draft ADP, the Lab numbers can help us find exploitable opportunities.

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By Shawn Siegele | @ff_contrarian | Archive

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  1. Anything that jumps out when looking at the Prospect Lab, the staff rankings, Kevin's success model, and the Scouting Index results together?

    Do any of the top guys look like must-avoids? Anybody projected in the 2nd round of rookie drafts look like a priority target?

  2. Jason says:

    I still like Elijah McGuire. Doesn't really stand out or get knocked by any of the models it seems and his film looks good. Good size and some really nice receiving highlights. Won't reach on him but will monitor him closely.

    Foreman's comps scared me a little. Not going to go crazy on him in re-draft but his price should still be cheap. Love me some CMC and McNichols.

    Edit: Will add that Foreman's comps scared me with respect to rookie year production (I only play redraft). The price and situation would have to be really good for me to pay more than a later round (8-9+) pick for him I think. Still should have a great career though.

  3. Looking at the info that Graham Barfield pulls together about running backs, Foreman may have benefited from the same things that propped up Andre Williams, which scares me when I see Andre Williams as a comp there.

    The big knock on Williams coming out was that he played in spread out offense with lots of WR's on the field (and thus few defenders in the box), so he always had room to run. Graham noted that 2016 Foreman faced faced 8+ defenders in the box on 17% of his snaps, and 30% is the average across draft eligible running backs. Seems like that would leave wide open running lanes, and his physical/production comp to Andre Williams feels too accurate to feel good about Foreman.

  4. After all the Rotoviz research, in PPR Dynasty pre-draft I'm interested in:
    1st Round:
    Mixon (very dependent on being a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the real draft)

    2nd Round:


    Aaron Jones

    Assuming all those guys are there, which in McNichols case might be a stretch.

    Pass catching is so essential to an RBs floor these days, i can't get that excited for Fournette with his likely landing spots (every NFL team, amiright wink)

    We'll see if anyone else pops after the draft, a few places seem to like Hunt a bit. But that's my initial target list.

  5. I don't have the 1.01 pick in any league but if I did I would be trading it. Fournette may not even be a 3-down back, and I think that at draft time I'd rather have most top 20 ADP players than him for my dynasty team. Of course that could change based on his NFL landing spot.

    Cook also seems "too rich for my blood" with his athleticism concerns, and he will likely be gone before I'm willing to pick him.

    I really like McCaffrey, but... Is the NFL really going to give a white RB all of the chances to succeed that they otherwise would? I'm not saying he's any less of a prospect than race-agnostic models and observers would say, but I certainly believe there is some possibility that if he struggles or they have trouble figuring out the right fit, he could get the hook sooner because the coaching staff has either conscious or subconscious bias that will just see the situation as confirmation. Certainly the reverse is possibly true too, where decision-makers want to see a white RB succeed that they give him more chances. Just an interesting discussion, and fair or not, I really don't know at this point whether it should affect our risk profile of him. I'll hold my opinion until after we see how early and where he is really drafted.

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