1. De’Veon Smith – Maulers (Michigan)
Long time RBs coach Kirby Wilson said he was going to have an old school ground and pound Pittsburgh offense, and he drafted to back it up. Wilson put together an impressively statured and run oriented offensive line mixed with a bulldozer in Winston Dimel at fullback. Smith, who was a leading rusher in the XFL will have more than enough holes to pick from. An added bonus to his fantasy stock is that the Maulers only drafted two running backs and their quarterback ranked at the bottom of most rankings, so Smith’s back may begin to hurt from the load of carries he will have. He is the best pick at RB as far as fantasy value and Kirby Wilson are concerned.
2. Darnell Holland – Stars (Kennesaw State/TSL Generals)
Holland has the massively unfair advantage of having his quarterback and head coach from his last team which won The Spring League championship in 2020. You will only think it’s unfair if he’s against you though. With the new rules the league introduced, Bart Andrus is going to get creative with his offense, and what better player to craft those plays around than a running back he alre
ady trusts. Circumstances aside, Holland is an elite back with great speed (4.46s 40 Time), fantastic size, and decent hands, which will come in handy in the league that is dubbing itself an “Air
Raid”. He will see a good volume of touches, and in fantasy football, quantity leads to quality.
3. BJ Emmons – Bandits (FAU)
Emmons was blessed to be drafted by a coach who is known for his use of the RPO and a QB who specializes in it. They will be forced to open the RPO and Haley’s vertical attacks with the run, and a lot of it to Emmons delight. He is also a fantastic option in the pass game as he showed in college at FAU, and will be a great drop-down option for Ta’amu if downfield options aren’t opening up. While Kirby Wilson of the Maulers stated he believes Todd Haley will “throw it every play” come week 1, we think the run game will still be a steal of points for fantasy owners.
4. Dalyn Dawkins – Gamblers (Colorado State/NFL Titans)
The Houston Gamblers are going to have a fast paced Sumlin offense and Dawkins is going to be the right hand man to Thorson as he runs it. Tennessee Titans RB coach Tony Dews was high on Dawkins after his preseason showing, but veteran runners took priority AKA Derrick Henry (Go figure). Dawkins has fantastic vision in the trenches finding and exploiting holes, and jukes like a Madden player. He will be dangerous behind the big offensive line Sumlin drafted and we think if he is there when you are picking a RB, you might want to take a gamble on him.
5. Tony Brooks-James – Stallions (Oregon)
Books-James is the second fastest RB on our list, but it’s hard to find someone faster on the field against him. A standout at Oregon in both the running and passing game, he fits into Skip Holtz zone read offense scarily well. If you are in a PPR league he may even be higher on your list as Coach Holtz caught the passing bug and never looked back. A slight downside is that his fellow RB CJ Marable in the Stallions backfield is basically a copy of Brooks-James but a tad slower, so they will most likely split time. Despite the competition in the backfield, look for Brooks-James to put up consistent numbers in this backfield as he gallops past the inevitably slower defenders.
6. Reggie Corbin – Michigan Panthers (Illinois)
While most are looking at Stevie Scott III to be the standout back of the Panthers, we believe Reggie Corbin is going to become Fisher’s bell cow in this backfield. With extremely similar size between the running backs, Corbin breaks away with far better speed than his counterpart. In the dual QB system the Panthers are rumored to have (YUCK), we think swing passes and check downs will go hand in hand with Fisher’s old school run game. Corbin will have plenty of chances to both run and catch the ball with the Fighting Jeff Fishers this season.
7. Mike Weber – Generals (Ohio State)
People who know this Ohio State alum may be saying “why isn’t he higher?!?” and my answer to that is Mike Riley. While Weber is an excellent back with power mixed with decent speed and a repertoire of good games against great talent, he will be limited by play calling. Riley uses single back sets, which we are sure Weber will be the main back for, but his play calling is tilted heavily on the passing side. Riley will use Weber to get short yardage and to open the passing game, but his fantasy stock will take a hit when his coach catches the passing fever. So, while Mike Weber makes the top ten list, he sits respectably at 7.
8. TJ Logan – Breakers (North Carolina)
Logan was the third RB taken by the Breakers, but first in Coach Fedora’s heart. He is absolutely electric in both the run and pass game, and will mesh well with their mobile QB in Kyle Sloter. As if that wasn’t enough to convince you he’s worth a fantasy pick, he also is a great returner which in most traditional leagues could bring a wave of extra points on top of what he gets from scrimmage, no pun intended. Logan will most likely be in a heavy rotation as mentioned by several Breakers players, but if we had to choose one RB on this roster to draft, its TJ Logan.
9. Stevie Scott III - Panthers (Indiana)
10. CJ Marable - Stallions (Coastal Carolina)
11. Mark Thompson - Gamblers (Florida)
12. Larry Rose III - Breakers (New Mexico State)
13. Juwan Washington - Bandits (San Diego State)
14. Garret Groshek - Maulers (Wisconsin)
15. Trey Williams - Generals (Texas A&M)
16. Devwah Whaley - Gamblers (Arkansas)
17. Cameron Scarlett - Panthers (Stanford)
18. Jordan Ellis - Breakers (Virginia)