The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

2024 Offseason Dynasty Buys: Running Backs

A lot can change with free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean dynasty football GMs can’t make some bets right now early in the offseason. There are always risks with fluctuating team depth charts, particularly with fluid, uncertain backfields. However, dynasty GMs can and should make trades based on the best available information even with much changing from now until September. Here are the best dynasty buys at running back prior to free agency based on their current dynasty ADP per Dynasty League Football (DLF).

What!? Your fantasy football league wasn’t hosted on Fantrax last season!? Once you see how Fantrax stacks up to the competition, we think you’ll be singing a different tune this season.

2024 Offseason Dynasty Buys: Running Backs

Josh Jacobs, RB – Raiders

January dynasty ADP: RB14, 54th overall

Many dynasty GMs might be surprised to learn that Josh Jacobs only just turned 26 years old in February. It feels like he’s been in the league forever, and while Jacobs has gotten a ton of touches already, he’s still in his prime.

Las Vegas used the franchise tag on Jacobs last offseason, and while a second franchise tag would be expensive at a projected $12 million, there have been reports that the Raiders want stability at running back given uncertainty at the quarterback position heading into 2024.

Josh Jacobs

Although Jacobs wasn’t particularly efficient in 2023, much of that can be attributed to a flailing Raiders offense as a whole, as their offensive line was just average in run block win rate at 18th in the league. Plus, with an amalgam of Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer, and Aidan O’Connell under center along with a midseason coaching change, Las Vegas ranked only 26th in offensive EPA per play last year.

Regardless of where Jacobs is playing in 2024, he’s a proven three-down back, having ranked seventh in yards per route run (YPRR) in 2023. He’s also shown that he can withstand a large workload, having led all running backs in opportunity share last season. Jacobs is an older veteran and so isn’t the most exciting option, but that lack of hype is exactly what makes him one of the best dynasty buys at running back right now. He’s still in his prime with top-five fantasy running back upside but is currently being drafted behind wide receivers nearing the end of their career like Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams as well as behind young, unproven assets like George Pickens and Christian Watson, which is a mistake.

Buy for a late first-round rookie pick or less.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB – Patriots

January dynasty ADP: RB22, 80th overall

This past season was disappointing for Rhamondre Stevenson. From Weeks 1 to 12 prior to a high ankle sprain, he was just the RB24 in PPR points per game (PPG). That’s a significant drop from his 2022 finish as the RB13 in PPR PPG. However, some of Stevenson’s struggles can be attributed to a stagnant Patriots offense overall.

Although New England wasn’t great under offensive coordinator Matt Patricia in 2022 with a -0.047 EPA per play (24th), they somehow got even worse in 2023 under Bill O’Brien with a -0.189 EPA per play last year, which was the second-worst mark in the league behind only the Jets. In fact, among 41 quarterbacks with 200 or more dropbacks in 2023, the two worst quarterbacks per Pro Football Focus (PFF) were Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.

Stevenson has shown flashes of talent but has been let down by a depressingly bad New England offense in recent seasons. However, there’s hope on the horizon with Alex Van Pelt hired as the new offensive coordinator. Although Kevin Stefanski called the plays in Cleveland, Van Pelt helped design the offense and coached the quarterbacks, and the Browns’ offense was fairly efficient in 2023 despite having had four starting quarterbacks over the course of the season.

On top of the coaching change, the Patriots could potentially upgrade at the quarterback position in a big way next year, as they currently hold the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Stevenson could bounce back in a big way if the Patriots’ offense can improve as a whole, but he’s currently being drafted behind backup/complementary running backs like Zach Charbonnet and Jaylen Warren as well as behind depth WR3/4s like Jameson Williams and Diontae Johnson.

Buy for an early second-round rookie pick or less.

Chase Brown, RB – Bengals

January dynasty ADP: RB114, 33rd overall

There’s already been quite a bit of hype surrounding Tyjae Spears given his potential to succeed Derrick Henry in Tennessee, but there have been fewer rumblings about Chase Brown with a similar opportunity in Cincinnati. That makes Brown among the more underrated dynasty buys at running back heading into the offseason.

Last offseason, much uncertainty surrounded Joe Mixon and whether the Bengals would move on from him. He eventually accepted a pay cut to remain in Cincinnati for the 2023 season, but his status is again up in the air heading into this offseason. Mixon is due a $3 million roster bonus on March 18th, so the Bengals could save nearly $6 million against the salary cap if they were to release him prior to then.

Chase Brown

Although Mixon gained over 1,400 yards from scrimmage and had 12 total touchdowns last season, much of that was due to volume rather than efficiency. The soon-to-be 28-year-old had just 3.2 yards created per touch (35th among running backs), 1.4 YPRR (16th), and a 3.1 percent breakaway run rate (41st). While on a much smaller sample size, Brown outperformed Mixon in all three metrics as a rookie with 5.6 yards created per touch, 5.0 YPRR, and a 9.1 percent breakaway run rate.

Cincinnati would likely bring in more running back depth even if they were to part ways with Mixon, but there’s a real chance that Brown could be the lead back even if in a committee for 2024, and he’s much cheaper to acquire than other touted second-year dynasty buys projected to step into bigger roles in Year 2 like Tyjae Spears and Keaton Mitchell. Brown has the potential to become a boom/bust RB2 in fantasy next year but is currently being drafted behind role players like Elijah Moore, Rashid Shaheed, and Dalton Schultz.

Buy for a late second-round rookie pick or less.

Chuba Hubbard, RB – Panthers

January dynasty ADP: RB41, 136th overall

Some of the best dynasty buys are players who don’t have much name value or hype, and Chuba Hubbard fits that description to a T. The Panthers gave Miles Sanders a four-year, $25 million deal in free agency last offseason, which baffled many given Sanders’s mediocre play in Philadelphia. Carolina soon realized their mistake, though.

Sanders saw the bulk of the touches early in the season, and Hubbard averaged a miserable 8.2 PPR PPG from Weeks 1 to 7. However, the Panthers transitioned to a bigger workload for Hubbard coming out of their Week 7 bye, and he averaged 10.5 PPR PPG over the next five games from Weeks 8 to 12 and was the RB31 in PPG over that span.

And after they fired Frank Reich, the interim head coach, Chris Tabor, made Hubbard the clear lead back from Week 13 onward. From Weeks 13 to 17, Hubbard’s 13.9 PPR PPG was good enough to make him the RB19 in PPG. Over those final five games, Hubbard scored at least 11.1 PPR points in every game, and he had one weekly RB1 finish and two weekly RB2 finishes. Plus, he managed to accomplish this in spite of the Panthers having finished dead last in offensive points per game (13.9) last year.

There’s no guarantee that new head coach Dave Canales and new offensive coordinator Brad Idzik will continue utilizing Hubbard as the lead back, but it’s hard to see them going back to Sanders barring a significant improvement in play from him. Even though he’s far from an elite talent, Hubbard could hold onto the lead role in an improved Carolina offense next year. Hubbard’s current dynasty ADP behind older veterans like Raheem Mostert and behind mediocre WR4s like Gabe Davis and Treylon Burks seems like a major oversight.

Buy for a late second-round rookie pick or less.

For more fantasy football and NFL content, follow me on Twitter @FFA_Meng.

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites over the last few years, and we’re not stopping now. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.