The NFL preseason has officially kicked into full gear. In honor of this, the Ditka boys are talking running backs on this week’s podcast. There are many ways to approach this all important position on draft day but one thing is certain, you’ll need a strong running back core by playoff time if you want to reach the fabled fantasy football championship immortality. Listen in as B_Don and Donkey Teeth walk you through everything you need to know about the running back position for 2018 fantasy football.

In this episode, you’ll find in depth player profiles of Jay Ajayi, Alex Collins and Chris Carson. The guys also delve into their respective running back rankings (see below) hitting on Melvin Gordon, Dalvin Cook, LeSean McCoy, Tarik Cohen (DA BEARS!) and many more. Taste the saaaaasage right here!

Plus, the guys make a stogie bet with Donkey Teeth taking Alex Collins and B_Don taking Jay Ajayi.

B_Don Rank Name Team B_Don Tier DT Rank DT Tier
1 Le’Veon Bell PIT 1 4 1
2 Todd Gurley LAR 1 1 1
3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 1 2 1
4 David Johnson ARI 1 3 1
5 Melvin Gordon LAC 2 10 2
6 Alvin Kamara NO 2 9 2
7 Leonard Fournette JAC 2 7 2
8 Saquon Barkley NYG 2 8 2
9 Kareem Hunt KC 2 6 2
10 Dalvin Cook MIN 3 5 2
11 Devonta Freeman ATL 3 11 3
12 Jordan Howard CHI 3 12 3
13 LeSean McCoy BUF 3 19 3
14 Christian McCaffrey CAR 4 17 4
15 Joe Mixon CIN 4 13 4
16 Jay Ajayi PHI 4 23 4
17 Kenyan Drake MIA 4 15 4
18 Lamar Miller HOU 5 18 4
19 Alex Collins BAL 5 16 4
20 Jerick McKinnon SF 5 14 4
21 Dion Lewis TEN 6 34 4
22 Derrick Henry TEN 6 29 4
23 Ronald Jones II TB 6 48 5
24 Carlos Hyde CLE 6 27 5
25 Sony Michel NE 6 21 5
26 Tevin Coleman ATL 6 32 5
27 Royce Freeman DEN 7 26 5
28 Mark Ingram NO 7 24 6
29 Marlon Mack IND 7 45 6
30 Rex Burkhead NE 7 37 6
31 Rashaad Penny SEA 8 22 6
32 Marshawn Lynch OAK 8 25 6
33 Isaiah Crowell NYJ 8 33 6
34 C.J. Anderson CAR 8 31 6
35 Jamaal Williams GB 8 28 6
36 Kerryon Johnson DET 9 20 6
37 Nick Chubb CLE 9 49 6
38 Doug Martin OAK 9 58 6
39 Giovani Bernard CIN 9 47 6
40 Ty Montgomery GB 9 44 6
41 Theo Riddick DET 9 55 6
42 Chris Thompson WAS 9 51 6
43 Chris Carson SEA 10 30 6
44 Bilal Powell NYJ 10 53 6
45 D’Onta Foreman HOU 10 56 6
46 Latavius Murray MIN 10 59 7
47 Peyton Barber TB 10 43 7
48 Duke Johnson CLE 10 46 7
49 Corey Clement PHI 10 61 7
50 LeGarrette Blount DET 11 54 7
51 Frank Gore MIA 11 Unranked 7
52 Aaron Jones GB 11 36 8
53 Devontae Booker DEN 11 42 8
54 Jonathan Stewart NYG 11 62 8
55 Tarik Cohen CHI 11 35 8
56 James White NE 12 Unranked 8
57 Chris Ivory BUF 12 Unranked 8
58 Austin Ekeler LAC 12 52 8
59 Samaje Perine WAS 12 39 8
60 Kenneth Dixon BAL 12 Unranked 8
61 Javorius Allen BAL 12 Unranked 8
62 Jordan Wilkins IND 13 38 8
63 Rod Smith DAL 13 Unranked
64 Mike Gillislee NE 13 Unranked
65 Ameer Abdullah DET 13 Unranked
66 Matt Breida SF 13 41
67 Spencer Ware KC 13 57
68 Wayne Gallman NYG 13 Unranked
69 Nyheim Hines IND 13 60
70 T.J. Yeldon JAC 14 Unranked
71 Darren Sproles PHI 14 Unranked
72 Kalen Ballage MIA 14 50
73 John Kelly LAR 14 Unranked
74 C.J. Prosise SEA 14 Unranked
75 Corey Grant JAC 14 Unranked
76 Elijah McGuire NYJ 14 Unranked
77 Chase Edmonds ARI 14 Unranked
78 DeAndre Washington OAK 14 Unranked
79 Robert Turbin IND 14 Unranked
80 Joe Williams SF 14 Unranked
81 Jalen Richard OAK 14 Unranked
82 Justin Jackson LAC 14 Unranked
83 James Conner PIT 14 Unranked

  1. Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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    16 team dynasty PPR with smallish IDP slots (6 total starters there). in fantrax so we can IR slot anybody who can’t play for any reason (short term injury, IR, PUP, suspended, inactive, byes, any other thing) but due to this we cannot midseason add players hurt worse than short term (no IR/PUP/suspended/inactive players legal to be added after draft, unless they become active, and after a bye you have to activate/drop/trade away all guys stashed during bye). in this league all teams are named after a real life team and need at least 7 players from that team (could in stash slots)

    i’m ARI, and lost quite a few ARI guys in offseason (palmer, j.brown, mathieu, last year c.campbell, m.floyd etc). we’re doing a slow draft and i have the 11th in all rounds.

    QB (1, max 3, basically you can have 2 or more from any ONE real life team active, and UP to one from a different team, this way we fulfill both letting enough be available and you can lock up a team’s QB’s)-
    bradford (traded keenum for him just now to add ARI players, they seem close enough), trubisky

    RB: (2, max 6): d.johnson, drake, hyde, kelley
    WR: (3, max 7): evans, doctson, garcon, m.williams,mart bryant, j.brown (BAL now)
    TE (1, max 3): ertz, RST (ARI)
    1 R/W/T flex
    IR: perine, j.williams (GB), breida, hightower, t.williams (LAC), lad green (TE)
    K (1, max 3): lambo
    team D (1, max 3) ARI, LAC
    DL (2, max 3): c.campbell, c.heyward
    LB (2, max 3): barron, ogletree
    DB (2, max 3): bucannon, mathieu
    IR: trevathan, burfict, levy, mcdougald, freeman

    so i’m clearly trying to draft at least one of rosen/kirk, could also drop lambo for the ARI kicker (that probably wouldn’t cost me that many points till i find more useful ARI players). am in talks with the fitz owner. i’m trying to trade from my RB/WR for b.baker DB ARI as well.

    1. guessing drake is far too young and highly ranked to trade him + another one of my RB/WR for fitz here as i’d guess he has at most 2 years left? i have too many RB/WR if they all get healthy but they are at least somewhat better than most FA options for teams with shitty depth. guy won’t move fitz for multiple non-drake included RB/WR guys.

    2. same guy wants j.will (GB) is offering his 3rd rounder (3.1, overall pick 33) + lower pick but i don’t see the space for drafting a bunch of other players when i’m going to have to drop people anyway, sound about right?

    3. who’s my drops if/when i need to do those, guessing at least one of the WAS RB’s, j.brown or mart bryant or m.williams maybe.

    4. mahomes for some reason was dropped in offseason, drop trubisky for him? could own both ARI guys + one other non ARI QB. or just rosen + one other non ARI QB.

    i’m trying to trade from my RB/WR for b.baker DB ARI as well.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: That’s a really solid squad in a 16 team PPR.

      1) Agree, Drake+ is too much IMO. I’m fine with trying to sell high on Drake but don’t give him away. Maybe try to package him and one or two others for an upgrade, then draft some AZ guys to fill your requirements. Chase Edmunds is another guy to look at, solid DJ handcuff and could contribute right away in PPR.

      2) Yes, sounds about right

      3) Really tough call on the drops, it feels like all these guys should be rostered with 16 teams. The John Brown reports have been very positive out of camp so I’d keep him. Rob Kelley could become expendable if AP looks good. I’d really try all trade outlets before dropping these guys though, there has to be some ugly teams out there to trade with.

      4) Yes, I’d drop Trubisky for Mahomes and try to get Rosen to pair with Bradford. I like Mahomes to be the best of those 4 QBs for this season by a decent margin …do what you can to get him.

      I like the Buddha Baker idea, he’s a top DB…

      That’s quite the league, hopefully I understood everything correctly. Good luck man.

      • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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        @Donkey Teeth: is hyde + m.will (LAC) too much here for baker? surprisingly the OAK owner isn’t that much connected to mart bryant. what about one of the WAS guys or breida + m.will?

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:
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            @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: It seems like a lot to give for a DB in a pretty shallow IDP league.

            Since you may have to cut some of these guys anyway, I’d be fine giving Williams with Breida or Kelley…you just might end up regretting it in the long run, Williams still has great upside.

            I’d ask around and make sure you can get something better for Williams and an RB from another team before pulling the trigger.

            • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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              @Donkey Teeth: what about these:

              1. trade m.will + 2.11 for baker
              2. trade j.will for 2.3 (i’d then have picks at 11th overall and 19th, rather than 11th and 27th)

              then i’d not be maxed out on RB or WR with these:
              RB: dj, drake, hyde, both WAS guys (could even draft guice for next year), breida
              WR: ty williams, garcon, evans, mart bryant, john brown, doctson

              and would likely go rosen in 2 picks, guice or somebody high ranked at 2.3 (kirk possibly), if need be edmonds later. or even dj moore/sutton maybe in 2 picks (so i could replace m.will with near equal level prospect WR from this year’s class), hope rosen is around at 2.3 in 10 picks.

              here’s who’s gone thus far:
              barkley, freeman, chubb, penny, k.johnson, gesicki (MIA owner), michel, ridley, mahomes

              • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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                @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: realizing it’s a near guarantee that rosen IS around at 2.3, this being a one QB starting league. no rookie QB has even gone yet. but there is a gamble to doing that. probably better off locking rosen up (need ARI players long term), nabbing best available or guice at 2.3 if these are done.

                • B_Don

                  B_Don says:
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                  @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: I’d consider the J Will for 2.3. There should be some nice players there and you have to move him off you IR soon probably anyway. I would do it to take the the upside on one of the WRs, but probably not for any QB in this draft.

                  And if you can play any IDP, I wouldn’t trade for a DB.

                  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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                    ok, moving j.will for 2.3 giving me picks at 11th, 19th, and 27th then. but not getting baker (and i DO in almost all instances agree outside of top end LB’ers not trading for IDPs at all) means even assuming i get rosen (at 2.3 likely) i’ll need more ARI players, likely kirk here. but not trading away m.will gives me little space on that front IF i draft non-guice in 2 picks (starting to sound like drafting guice is the way to go at 1.11) as i’d have:
                    garcon, m.will, t.will, evans, doctson, kirk (near necessity if i don’t get baker), dropping j.brown and if i try for one of the better this year names (sutton/moore/gallup/miller) that means dropping mart bryant as well. m.will DID grade out as slightly better than nearly all of this year’s class (outside of ridley, who’s gone anyway) so holding him could work well, esp as it often takes 3 years till a WR (even top end guys) shows decent value (ask m.lee, agholor, treadwell, many others)

                    ok, so keep m.will (meaning i don’t go after a high end this year WR at all), nab 2.3, grab guice/rosen/kirk with my highest picks, seems good. having m.will and t.will could easily end up working out very well, if either get hurt it helps the other one. only j.brown gets dropped out of him and mart bryant.

                  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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                    @B_Don: oh wait, you read that as “play ANY IDP”. here we start
                    2 LB
                    2 DB
                    2 DL
                    would that change this much? we don’t have IDP flexes (yeah pretty clearly in those you play LB’s near exclusively besides TOP end DB or DL’s)

                    • B_Don

                      B_Don says:
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                      @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: I’d be perfectly happy with Kirk if you can get him and just stay put with what you have currently. Get Rosen or Edmonds later. And no, I still wouldn’t trade for Baker at that asking price.

  2. B_Don

    B_Don says:
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    1. Yes, I wouldn’t be looking to move Drake in a deal where Fitz is the piece coming back in a keeper format.
    2. I agree w/ your reasoning. Pass.
    3. IF you do need to drop people, I think it starts with John Brown. I’ve always like him from a talent standpoint but BAL barely can handle 1 good WR in the offense and he has his own health related concerns as well.
    4. Yes, I would drop Mitch for Mahomes.

    I also like Chase Edmonds and Brice Butler as guys you may be able to use to get to your 7 ARI players without making a deal that hurts too much.

  3. Yr Never Too Old For Balloons says:
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    20 team dynasty full IDP keep up to 30th, i’ve won this thing 3 years in a row, need at least 10 WAS players at all times (IR slots count, can stash 1 or more to make this min). rushing yards 10 per point, receiving 15, PPR. IDP’s DO score more here than in some leagues. my LB depth is no small part of why i’ve won all those years. i will very likely be able to grab guice at 1.20 and will. have 8 right now.

    QB (1) goff, cousins (so i’m set really good here other than losing a WAS guy)
    RB (1) perine, kelley, thompson, and can fit 2 out of these 3: lat murray, blount, ekeler
    WR (2) k.benjamin, doctson, m.will (LAC) and 1 of r.grant (appears to be the IND #2 now), pryor (he seems blocked by 3 better WR at NYJ)
    TE (1) reed, VD, RSJ (ARI) i really would rather have an extra WR or RB here, but VD is a need with reed and they have an early bye (4)
    K (1) WAS kicker
    LB (3) burfict, kwon A, l.david, e.kendricks (MIN), bucannon
    DT (2) j.allen (WAS’s 1st rounder last year, long term value probably), donald
    DE (2) cam heyward (has DT now too), c.campbell
    S (2) mathieu, baker, k.joseph (i will likely be able to trade mathieu for swearinger to add a WAS player)
    CB (2) none right now, but these are the easiest to replace, some rookie often scores the best since they get targeted, also some good ones aren’t being kept

    1. what’s best order in this league of keeping these: blount, ekeler, lat murray?
    2. should i hold RSJ over keeping all 3 of those RB’s above?
    3. grant has to be over pryor now right, due to the depth on NYJ vs IND?
    my draft plan here is to grab guice, then probably best WR in draft, a CB, stash guice, post draft grab 2nd CB.

    • Yr Never Too Old For Balloons says:
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      @Yr Never Too Old For Balloons: for reference these will be available, plus all rookies:
      RB: yeldon, austin (WR), j.hill, sproles, ivory, prosise, j.rodgers, stewart, gallman, gillislee, c.grant
      WR: j.brown (BAL), t.will (LAC), snead, j.brown (SEA), t.benjamin, gabriel, hardy, k.wright, b.butler
      TE: dickson, mcdonald, l.willson, celek, s.anderson

      so maybe i could throw back grant and pryor and RSJ, keep all three RB’s, grab 2 WR (+ guice and CB) if that works.

      • Yr Never Too Old For Balloons says:
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        @Yr Never Too Old For Balloons: 1 offensive flex too. R/W/T but of course with rushing worth more starting 2 RB is generally the way to go.

        • B_Don

          B_Don says:
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          @Yr Never Too Old For Balloons: I was going to say let go of Latavius, but I’d rather just cut Blount. Lions RBs aren’t overly successful to begin with and he’s splitting duties with 2 others. The other option would be to shop Blount around and see if there are any believers or shop Ekeler/Latavius to the Melvin/Dalvin owners.

          I think you should keep RSJ and toss back Blount.

          I agree that Grant is over Pryor right now. Pryor has all the talent, but still can’t actually play WR, and he’s likely running out of chances.

          • Yr Never Too Old For Balloons says:
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            @B_Don: no time for trades here, draft is shortly away. ok, so keep RSJ, and lat murray/ekeler, drop smoke some RB’s (blount) then have the 3 draft picks at 20, 40, 60th, grab guice (stash after draft, grab CB 2 then), WR at 40 (depending on whether that’s somebody who’s best rookie or most this year value but i have no clue who’s gonna be there), then my CB #1 at 60.

            – what is odd is that rudy’s bot is giving pryor slightly more PPR points than grant, even though his depth charts have grant as the #2 WR on a luck offense. i get it that the 2 TE’s on IND will get targets but a #2 WR has to have more value on an at least decent offense (IND with luck) than NYJ’s 4th WR. grant was somebody i just happened to have with all of WAS’s WR injuries last year, but in a league of this size his value has to have gone up now. IND let a bunch of WR’s just leave (dorsett/moncrief), didn’t sign anybody of note.

  4. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    same 2 QB half PPR with 4 IDP flexes dynasty 12 teamer doing slow draft. finished 2nd round. somehow rosen was around at 2.10 (some non rookies have been drafted)
    QB: rodgers, foles, rodfather, mahomes, lynch, rosen
    RB (2): kamara, ingram, burkhead, perine, michel
    WR (3): k.allen, thielen, jordy, d-jax (TB), edleman
    TE (1): ertz
    2 R/W/T flexes
    IR m.lee (assuming he gets this, if not lynch is the drop)
    K (1) KC kicker
    team D (1) JAX
    IDP flexes (4): r.jones, ogletree, t.smith, trevathan

    due to losing m.lee i probably should grab a WR here, i’ve merged you 2’s rookie rankings and for now (there’s 9 picks before me) best of those are: washington, kirk, callaway, chark, t.smith. guessing if they are still there though one of these is preferrable: cole (lee handcuff too), meredith
    some others also out there: allison, enunwa, t.will (LAC)

    2. and where would j.ross go into this list (the rookies list)

    • B_Don

      B_Don says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: Hey Joey, yes, I’d have those rookie WRs over the guys you have listed. I know that Donkey Teeth is higher on Cole, and you can listen to us profile him on our WR rankings disputes show which should be posted soon. Neither of us are big Cam Meredith fans. Geronimo Allison would be the guy I’d consider among this list over the rookies, and he’d probably go after washington, kirk, and smith for me. Enough question marks around Callaway off the field I could see going the other way on that one, and DJ Chark has loads of talent, but not sure he’s much of a receiver yet.

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @B_Don: meredith, kirk, washington all gone now, middle of round, 3 more till me. people are drafting non rookies a lot now though (some IDP’s eifert, DEN D, kittle!?)

        what you guys thinking on j.ross CIN

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: Hey Jo Jo,

          I’d rank your options as follows: James Washington, Antonio Callaway, DJ Chark, Keelan Cole (could bump him ahead of Chark if you think you’ll need someone to contribute sooner but much higher upside with Chark IMO), Geronimo Allison, then John Ross.

          Washington and Callaway are in their own tier for me.

          There’s still hope and upside with Ross, but I’m personally not a huge believer. I’d much rather take one of the fresh rookies or one of the two that can likely contribute right away for you.

          Good luck!

          • B_Don

            B_Don says:
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            @Donkey Teeth: I’d go Callaway, Washington, Allison, Cole, Chark.

            • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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              @B_Don: NOW i’m seeing why cole didn’t get any press earlier, he was UNDRAFTED, nuff said there. i knew this last year and had no interest as clearly dede got all the press.

  5. Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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    same 16 teamer dynasty slow drafting from above.

    QB (1, max 3, basically you can have 2 or more from any ONE real life team active, and UP to one from a different team, this way we fulfill both letting enough be available and you can lock up a team’s QB’s)-
    bradford (traded keenum for him just now to add ARI players, they seem close enough), trubisky

    RB: (2, max 6): d.johnson, drake, hyde, kelley
    WR: (3, max 7): evans, doctson, garcon, m.williams,mart bryant, j.brown (BAL now), kirk
    TE (1, max 3): ertz, RST (ARI)
    1 R/W/T flex
    IR: perine, j.williams (GB), breida, hightower, t.williams (LAC), lad green (TE)
    K (1, max 3): lambo
    team D (1, max 3) ARI, LAC
    DL (2, max 3): c.campbell, c.heyward
    LB (2, max 3): barron, ogletree
    DB (2, max 3): bucannon, mathieu
    IR: trevathan, burfict, levy, mcdougald, freeman

    finally might have gotten some value out of the OAK owner for mart bryant (who i’d have to drop later probably anyway, along with j.brown) and would get baker back (meaning i wouldn’t HAVE to grab rosen or edmonds, but might anyway with at least one of them)

    that exact pick that i was trying to trade for (2.1) was used for guice by somebody else.
    trade idea:
    i get: MIN D (slightly better than LAC), baker (i could drop DB after that), reddick (he threw him in for no extra charge i guess i throw kelley or perine away if i kept reddick), and lat murray
    i give: j.will GB, mart bryant, LAC D.

    gotta think lat murray and j.will are pretty similar (when AAron jones is back that GB backfield will be giant mess anyway).

    • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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      @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: or
      2. the much simpler version my LAC D + mart bryant for MIN D + baker. i might just do the simpler one now to make sure i don’t let this owner off the hook. this way in case i might have outside chance of locking up WAS’s RB if it does become kelley.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves: I think the other guy is still getting more value in this deal, but it’s not bad if you really want Budda. While I do agree about the Packers backfield, I think Jamaal Williams still has quite a bit of value in a 16 teamer.

      • Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves says:
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        @Donkey Teeth: exactly on j.will, whereas lat murray could end up being barely used once cook is back into swing of things. for roster maneuvering it’s better that i got something i wanted for mart bryant as well, outside of john brown he could’ve been a drop when t.will is healthy. now i could drop john brown and actually draft rosen too (albeit it’s maybe not likely that somebody else even drafts him at all, we start 1 QB here and you can’t have 3 QB’s from 3 different teams). or cut bait on kelley (or perine) and nab edmonds to handcuff my DJ.

  6. Brent

    Brent says:
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    Any recommendations for a flyer at my final bench slots?

    Right now I have Nick Chubb and TJ Yeldon

    On waivers is: Hines, Gore, Foreman, Buck Allen, Dixon, Wilkens, Gurley’s handcuff, That Saints Rookie….

    Stick with who I have or grab one of the other guys?

    • Brent

      Brent says:
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      @Brent: Kelley and Perine are there too

      Its 16 tm, standard and I had McKinnon as my RB2 so that’s why I’m hoping for a flyer now since Morris got grabbed

      My RBs are: Zeke, AP, Barber, Chubb, Yeldon….is Kelley better to have as AP insurance or hope for Chubb or Yeldon to break thru? 3rd pick in a 16 is tough…

      Thanks!

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:
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        @Brent: I’d say you can ditch Yeldon, but I’d probably keep Chubb.

        Is that Jordan Wilkins? If so I’d go with him and see what happens with that Indy backfield.

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