You have to start somewhere. When beginning to prepare for the 2023 fantasy football season, the first step should always be to complete your personal rankings. While keeping in mind that there will be multiple iterations and your rankings will be an ever-evolving entity, you have to start somewhere. That somewhere is by evaluating your rankings against current ADP to find both potential values and pitfalls. With that in mind, let us take a look at three running overpays that become evident when I compare my rankings to their current ADP (as of 7/18 via Fantrax).
ADP vs. Ranks – 3 Running Back Overpays
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints, 74 (Standard)/78 (PPR)
Granted it is only a four pick difference, but first, let us get past the initial shock of Kamara hanging around for a few more picks in PPR leagues as compared to standard. With that being said, I would still venture that Kamara represents a running back bust entering the 2023 season in each format, with an emphasis on standard leagues.
Let us, for the purposes of this discussion, put Kamara’s legal issues aside, but from that perspective, there is nothing more to worry about. While it does not make what took place any better, the court system will not keep Kamara off the field in 2023. What could, and very well might, keep Kamara off the field is the potential of a suspension from the NFL. Despite the fact that it likely would not be lengthy, it is still something to consider and factor into his draft price.
When on the field, it is also difficult to feel incredibly confident in Kamara. He peaked at 932 rushing yards in 2020 and finished with 898 and 897 yards, respectively, in the next two seasons. That type of production only works when he is finding the end zone and is a legitimate factor in the passing game. Over the past two years, Kamara has just six combined rushing touchdowns and after New Orleans signed Jamaal Williams in the offseason, it is difficult to expect that number to improve.
Where were truly seeing the value from Kamara was in the passing game, and after beginning his career with four straight years of at least 81 receptions, he has dropped to 47 and 57 catches in the last two years. The fact that New Orleans also drafted Kendre Miller in the third round gives me some pause before calling out Kamara’s name on draft day.
Breece Hall, New York Jets (30 PPR/25 Standard)
The explosive rookie really was starting to find his groove last year and then he tore his ACL which put an end to all that success. In seven games, Hall carried the ball 80 times for 463 yards (5.8 yards per carry) with four touchdowns and one 100-plus yard game. Hall found the end zone in each of his last four games and 351 of those rushing yards came over that stretch as well.
With Aaron Rodgers now under center for the Jets, we know that their situation will improve, and that will certainly benefit Hall, but how much will we see out of the running back in 2023?
At this point, things are trending toward Hall being ready for Week 1 of the regular season, but he will also not be ready for the start of Training Camp so it ultimately puts into question what we will get out him of to begin the year.
Hall is a large part of the Jets’ future and there is no incentive to push him or ask for more than he is initially capable of. At the same time, and perhaps looming even larger for me, is the track record of players, especially running backs, in their first year back from ACL surgery.
While Hall did prove capable of an extended workload prior to his injury, we can’t expect him to initially be at his peak, and this price is too expensive to pay in an effort to find out for the first half of the season.
Dalvin Cook, Free Agent (55 PPR/44 Standard)
To be clear, Dalvin Cook will be playing football in the NFL in 2023 as part of someone’s backfield. At the same time though, it is troubling that we are getting ready for Training Camp to open around the league and Cook is still on the outside looking in, without any definitive travel plans.
If you follow the betting markets, then Cook will be headed to New England and we know how interchangeable players are to the Patriots and Bill Belichick from a fantasy standpoint. Aside from that, Rhamondre Stevenson proved last season that he is worthy of a substantial role, so Cook will not come in and be the unquestioned leading back. Another team that he was rumored to go to, the New York Jets, have Breece Hall in the backfield, so regardless of where Cook goes, he will be in line for a downgrade compared to last season.
Cook continued his success last season with his fourth straight year of at least 1,135 yards, although with eight touchdowns, he was down from his double-digit peak. While he will catch a few passes per game, Cook is not exactly an explosive option from that perspective and last year was the first time he appeared in every game of the season although he did deal with some health issues.
Ultimately, Cook will be on the field for Week 1, but it likely will be in a reduced role compared to what we were previously accustomed to. The problem with this is the fact that Cook is still be drafted as if he is in his prime in Minnesota.
For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!
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— Fantrax (@Fantrax) July 4, 2023