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Early Best Ball Running Back ADP Analysis: Top Overvalued RBs

Ted uses Value Score (TM) to find the most overvalued running backs in early Underdog ADP.

CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 10: Chase Brown #30 of the Cincinnati Bengals carries the ball during the second half of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paycor Stadium on December 10, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

With the Super Bowl over, we have now undeniably moved into the 2024 fantasy football season. With that in mind, I am going to continue using my made-up, mostly useless metric known as Value Score (TM) to try and identify overvalued and undervalued players in early Best Ball ADP. For a full explanation of how I am calculating Value Score, you can check out my Overvalued Quarterbacks article, but the short of it is that I am comparing 2024 ADP to 2023 points (both total points and points per game) to identify the players who are being projected farthest away from their previous results. As you’ll see shortly, this metric is essentially useless without context, but I still think it is an interesting exercise to see who the fantasy community is predicting to have dramatically changed production in 2024. Let’s get started!

Overvalued Running Backs 2024 Fantasy Football

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
  • 2024 ADP: RB19
  • 2023 Total Points: RB86
  • 2023 PPG: RB29
  • Value Score: -77

This one is unsurprising. Chubb made it just five quarters into 2023 before his season ended due to an ACL injury. As a result, his streak of four straight top-10 finishes at the RB position came to a thudding halt with an RB86 finish. Fantasy managers (obviously) don’t expect another finish outside the top-75 running backs from Chubb, but his RB19 ADP also shows that no one is expecting a total return to form from the 28-year-old coming off a major injury. At his current price, Chubb is a high-risk, high-reward pick. If he is even close to his former self, RB19 is a bargain. But we all know how quickly aging running backs can fall off a cliff, especially when lower-body injuries are involved. This far out, I would probably prefer a safer running back option at that stage of the draft (David Montgomery is the next back off the board at RB20, for example), but don’t be surprised if Chubb climbs up boards if the Browns haven’t made any substantial moves at the RB position by the time we get to training camp hype season.

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Chase Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
  • 2024 ADP: RB32
  • 2023 Total Points: RB65
  • 2023 PPG: RB70
  • Value Score: -71

Again, it’s easy to see why Brown pops out on a metric like this. He spent 2023 in a change-of-pace role behind Joe Mixon, but many fantasy players are predicting (hoping?) that the Bengals will cut Mixon and hand the reigns over to the sophomore heading into next season. I hate to be a hater, but I think that outcome is a very unlikely one. Even if the Bengals do move on from Mixon, I don’t see Brown (a 2022 fifth-rounder who ranked 113th out of 129 backs in 2023 PFF Rush Grade) being their lead back. It is true that he’s not exactly surrounded by bell cows at RB32 in ADP, but his floor outcome is just so much more likely than his ceiling that I’ll pass at his current price.

Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders
  • 2024 ADP: RB38
  • 2023 Total Points: RB60
  • 2023 PPG: RB69
  • Value Score: -53

White is similar to Brown, not just in that they both have colors for last names, but in the sense that his ADP is higher than his 2023 production because many are optimistically hoping that he will take the Raiders’ RB1 job in 2024. However, I think White has a few things going for him that Brown doesn’t. For one, the veteran White is hoping to supplant (Josh Jacobs) actually is a free agent, unlike Mixon. For another, the Raiders are much further from contention than the Bengals and, therefore, may be less likely to prioritize adding depth at a luxury position like running back. And, most importantly, White’s ADP is a couple of rounds lower than Brown’s. With that in mind, I’m less out on White than I am on Brown … which isn’t saying too much, as I still think it is unlikely he remains on top of the Raiders’ depth chart or this high in fantasy ADP in September.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans
  • 2024 ADP: RB18
  • 2023 Total Points: RB38
  • 2023 PPG: RB46
  • Value Score: -48

Spears looks like a natural third member of the “young backs hoping to claim the top job as veterans depart” trio, but his situation isn’t quite the same as the other two. In my opinion, he is actually more likely than not to be the Titans’ featured back in 2024 … unfortunately, the fantasy community agrees, and this is reflected in his RB18 ADP. At just 200 pounds, Spears may be hard-pressed to see enough volume to return value at that price, especially in Half-PPR, but his more guaranteed role and sky-high upside leave me much more willing to take a chance than with either Brown or White.

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
  • 2024 ADP: RB6
  • 2023 Total Points: RB35
  • 2023 PPG: RB14
  • Value Score: -37

I’m going to keep this one short. JT was injured for much of 2023 but should be fully healthy in 2024. Given the shortage of true bell-cow backs in the league right now, I’m not going to argue with an RB6 ADP for a guy who is only 25 and was the RB1 overall just two years ago.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
  • 2024 ADP: RB17
  • 2023 Total Points: RB40
  • 2023 PPG: RB31
  • Value Score: -37

Jones’ situation is very comparable to Taylor’s. His dominance in the real-life playoffs proved that he can still be one of the league’s most productive backs, but his 2023 fantasy season was derailed by injuries. I’m slightly more worried about Jones’ ability to bounce back given he just turned 29, but I still think RB17 is a more than fair price for the dual-threat back who was healthy and productive the last time we saw him.

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings
  • 2024 ADP: RB36
  • 2023 Total Points: RB49
  • 2023 PPG: RB58
  • Value Score: -35

I think Value Score is absolutely right here that Chandler is not worth his current ADP. I know he is currently the Vikings’ RB1, but I would be absolutely shocked if Minnesota doesn’t make significant changes to their running back room over the offseason. Chandler does have a few promising advanced metrics, but it’s hard to see the Vikings rolling with him after spending most of last season playing Alexander Mattison and/or Cam Akers ahead of him.

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears
  • 2024 ADP: RB35
  • 2023 Total Points: RB47
  • 2023 PPG: RB52
  • Value Score: -29

This is another one where I will agree with Value Score. Johnson had a lot of hype heading into his rookie 2023 season but was a disappointment as one of three mouths to feed alongside D’Onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert in the Bears’ backfield. Foreman will likely be gone in 2024, but Herbert isn’t going anywhere. Johnson had just one game above 10 carries as a rookie despite both Herbert and Foreman missing time; in Half-PPR, that won’t cut it as a top-40 RB.

Honorable Mentions: A Whole Bunch Of Handcuffs

I skipped over a whole chunk of players who, according to their Value Scores, should have made this list. Zach Charbonnet Kendre Miller, Eric Gray, Israel Abanikanda, Tank Bigsby, Elijah Mitchell, and Ronnie Rivers all had value scores between -70 and -31, but I’m grouping them together because they all have two important things in common: They’re being drafted outside of the top 32 running backs and aren’t being drafted as the top backs on their teams. To put it another way, they’re handcuffs. And it makes sense for handcuffs to be valued higher than their production the season before (and therefore show up as overvalued according to Value Score) because the whole point of a handcuff is that they are only truly valuable if the back in front of them goes down. Of this group, I would argue that Charbonnet (who is being drafted as if he has standalone value, which he sure didn’t in 2023), Miller (who is not even the clear-cut RB2 for the Saints with Jamaal Williams in town), and Bigsby (who was so inefficient as a rookie it’s hard to believe the Jaguars don’t bring in some competition for him) are overvalued, but the rest have fair or even bargain prices for the upside they bring.