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Let’s Look at Some Top College RBs

College Football officially starts tonight and it got me in the mood to watch some tape on potential members of the 2020 draft class. These guys aren’t playing tonight but they are some popular names across the college landscape. Here are my quick thoughts on D’andre Swift from Georgia and AJ Dillon from Boston College.

D’andre Swift (Tape- 2018 vs Auburn and Florida)

I have to admit I have some Georgia bias as they are tied for my favorite college team. This guy is my RB1. I’ve watched him since his freshman year and I don’t think you can get any better than this guy. Swift is not just his name- but also the way he runs. Swift change of direction, swift decision making finding the hole and swift in his ankle breaking techniques. But being swift isn’t the only way he wins.

 For a guy that has gamebreaking speed (and gets to his top speed insanely quick) he isn’t afraid to lower the should and finish runs with a vengeance. Georgia backs aren’t known for their pass catching ability but he has strong and confident hands when he has the chance to catch the ball. I haven’t seen this kind combination of power and speed since Saquon Barkley. Yes I’m serious. D’andre Swift is my RB1 and possibly my 1.01 depending on how these WRs shake out this year. I’m the conductor of the D’andre Swift hype train so y’all better hop on board before you get left in the dust.  

AJ Dillon- Boston College (Tape- 2018 vs Miami)

There’s been some talk about AJ Dillon being a top back in next year’s draft. From the little tape I’ve watched I’m inclined to believe that he is probably in the second tier of RBs. I think the D’andre Swifts and Travis Etienne’s of the world are clearly above him but AJ Dillon will be a quality prospect next year. He’s one of the bigger backs this year coming in around 6’0 245lbs but he has quick feet for a big man. He’s fantastic in between the tackles and always falls forward for positive gains. He doesn’t have much wiggle to him but he makes up for it with a punishing running style that makes him tough to bring down when he gets going. He lacks the breakaway speed to make him a truly elite back in the NFL but has enough speed to break of chunk plays and be effective on the outside. 

He needs to improve on his pass blocking but he has the tools to fix that issue. Not super smooth catching the ball but does it well enough. His vision at the line of scrimmage and at the second level is what will separate him from the boring plodding NFL backs that we all hate. He reminds me a bit of James Conner with his vision and Derrick Henry’s running style and quick feet. He’s probably a back that will need a complementary piece to him in the NFL but he has the skills to succeed at the next level. 

Those are my thoughts as they are fresh in my head after watching a few pieces of tape on these guys from last year. There’s a chance my opinions may change as I gather new information (probably not on Swift, but potentially on Dillon). Let me know if you agree or disagree on twitter @FootballBry15 and as always don’t forget to check out JetSet Fantasy football on all major podcast platforms for more football takes, fun and stupidity then you can shake a stick at.

Don’t Discount Devonta Freeman

Devonta Freeman may be the most underrated back in football. He missed most of last year battling injuries and has fallen to the back of people’s minds. With Tevin Coleman out of the town and a full offseason to heal I think Devonta Freeman is primed for one of the best years of his career.  

Coming off a year where he only played two games after being hindered by a groin injury, Devonta Freeman is being criminally undervalued. He is currently the 18th RB off the board behind the likes of Aaron Jones, Marlon Mack and Kerryon Johnson. Those are some names that haven’t consistently produced at a high level that are being taken in front of a guy that has finished as an RB1. 

Freeman has consistently produced as a top 15 RB throughout his career and that was with Tevin Coleman cutting into his bottom line. Now Coleman is on the west coast fighting for carries with the 49ers and Devonta’s biggest threat is Ito Smith (I used the word “threat” very loosely here). He’s primed to finally be a full blown bell cow back. Bonus if you are in a PPR league- Freeman hasn’t had less than 30 receptions in a year (except for last year of course) and has had as many as 73. I’m not sure he will get to 73 again, but I think it’s a safe bet to say his floor is about 50 additional receptions added to his bell cow workload.

Even though sometimes it feels like he’s been in the league for forever- he is still in his prime and is only 27 years of age. Freeman is primed for a RB1 type season and I can see him being the steal of your fantasy drafts this year.  Agree or disagree let me know on Twitter @FootballBry15. Don’t forget to listen to Jet Set Fantasy Football podcast every week (rate, review, subscribe) to play along with some games, listen to some bad jokes and some less bad fantasy football thoughts. 

Saquon vs CMC- the Battle for the #1 Spot

I have to admit- I am selfishly writing this article. I recently found out in my longest standing redraft league that I will have the 1st pick in the draft this year. There’s a consensus quickly forming for the #1 overall pick in PPR leagues: Saquon Barkley seems to be the most popular pick to go off the board first. However, Christian McCaffery had himself a helluva season last year and I think he could make the case for best back this year (especially in PPR leagues). Let’s make a case for both guys to be the #1 pick and see who has the stronger argument. 

Saquon Barkley-  352 touches for 361.60 PPR Points last year

Saquon exploded onto the scene last year as well as anyone could have hoped for finishing as RB3 on the year. He only had one game under 10 pts and only 3 under 20 points all season. OBJ has been swapped out for Golden Tate (who is facing a 4 game suspension) and the other unproven weapons in the offense don’t strike fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators. How will Saquon perform being the primary focus of defenses week to week? I also think that if rookie QB Daniel Jones see any serious playing time this year that boosts Saquon more because they will most likely lean even heavier on the run game. 

The only other thing that scares me is the miniscule chance of a one year wonder.. We’ve seen guys throughout the years like Peyton Hillis, RGIII, Gary Barnidge, Trent Richardson and Jeremy Hill have one monster seasons then fall off the map. I’m not saying that’s where I think Saquon is heading- but I’m a big proponent of safety first in the early parts of the draft which may keep me away from Saquon at the first overall. 

Christian McCaffery- 343 touches for 380.5 PPR Points

CMC finished the fantasy season as the RB1- almost a full 20 points ahead of Saquon. CMC had 4 games under 20 points last year but ZERO under 10 (13.50 PPR points in week 1 was his season low). That is the kind of consistency I like to see out of my #1 pick. 

There have been some rumblings that Panther’s Head Coach Ron Rivera has wanted to scale back CMC’s plays- but not his touches. Not sure how that makes sense but that is the one concern I have for CMC. They don’t have a proven backup or change of pace back in Carolina and CMC looks like he is ready for a full workload by putting on a ton of muscle. The other concern is that we never really see a RB put back to back overall RB1 seasons. 

I’m not sure you can really go wrong with either of these guys as a the 1st pick of your draft. If I was a betting man (which I am) I would probably lean toward CMC as my first choice off the board. The chances of him repeating as the overall #1 are low, but the fact he had double digit scoring every single week last year is enough for me to take him when the draft clock starts ticking. 

Who are you taking to kickoff your fantasy drafts this year? Let me know on Twitter @FootballBry15. Don’t forget to listen to Jet Set Fantasy Football podcast every week (rate, review, subscribe) to play along with some games, listen to some bad jokes and some less bad fantasy football thoughts.