Late-Round Lottery Tickets: Running Backs

Now is the time of year to utilize the backend of your roster to take swings on potential breakout targets with high upside. According to FantasyPros ADP, all of the following players are available after pick 100 or in shallower formats, available on the waiver wire.

Thomas Rawls (Pick 104, RB40)


The Seahawks have a crowded backfield but he is listed as their No. 1 running back on the Week 1 depth chart. He was a third round pick in drafts last season after averaging 5.6 ypc on 147 attempts in 2015. Regardless of a looming ankle issue, a potential starting running back this late in the draft is theft.

Jeremy Hill (Pick 133, RB46)

Another unclear running back situation but Hill is listed atop the Bengal’s Week 1 depth chart. Joe Mixon looms but Hill showed just enough in the preseason to hold him off for now. There is a chance, albeit small one, that he holds Mixon off for the entire season. For what it is worth, Hill received the majority of the goal line work with the 1st team offense in the preseason dress rehearsal.

Wendell Smallwood (Pick 180, RB56)


LeGarrette Blount looked awful in limited work this preseason, compiling just 36 yards on 13 carries over three games. It is obviously a small sample but coupled with the fact that Doug Pederson’s reluctant to name a lead back, Smallwood could end up carving out a nice workload. However, his touchdown scoring value will be capped as long as Blount remains on the roster.

DeAndre Washington (Pick 188, RB59)

Washington showed decent burst in the preseason and appears to have edged out Jalen Richard for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. He averaged 5.4 ypc last season and has the ability to play all three downs. The only thing standing between him and a potential breakout is a 31-year-old Marshawn Lynch coming off a year and a half of not playing football, I’ll take my chances.

Alvin Kamara (Pick 198, RB60)


Kamara’s value will be primarily in dynasty and PPR leagues seeing as though he is behind Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson on the depth chart but he looked great in the preseason and they cut Travaris Cadet so his 3rd down role is safe. The ceiling is high for a pass-catching running back in a Drew Brees led offense.

Charcandrick West (Pick 221, RB64)

The fantasy world has gone gaga over Kareem Hunt and to an extent justifiably so but reports are that OC Matt Nagy could employ a committee. Hunt is the superior talent but has struggled with pass protection and West is a veteran within Andy Reid’s system and served as a lead back before. If Hunt struggles there is a chance Reid turns to the veteran and starting running backs in his system always hold strong value.

Charles Sims (Pick 236, RB70)

Sims is a pass-catching and 3rd down specialist making him an intriguing PPR flier. He is only one season removed from finishing at a top 20 RB (PPR). A season which he topped 1000 total yards and 50 receptions. With Doug Martin suspended for the first three contests, Sims could find himself contributing more than simply in a pass-catching capacity.

Matt Breida (Pick 314, RB92)


Breida finds himself second on the 49ers’ depth chart behind the oft-injured Carlos Hyde. With Joe Williams on I.R. and Tim Hightower being cut, Breida could be in-line for a Tevin Coleman type role in the Kyle Shanahan led offense. Obviously Coleman is the ceiling (if Hyde remains healthy) but for someone less than 10% owned and outside of the top 300, he’s great value.