🔎 Clarity On A Committee?

Telling reports out of Washington...

Fantasy Life
July 9, 2024

Underdog Fantasy

One of the many new-look NFL backfields entering 2024 features the Commanders, who boast a bit of a "Thunder" and "Lightning" duo between incumbent starter Brian Robinson and free agency addition Austin Ekeler.

While many assumed the latter longtime fantasy superstar would have an easy path to significant touches from day one in Washington, The Athletic's Ben Standig isn't so sure.

"How much Ekeler eats into Robinson’s usage depends on how the veteran, who has over 1,400 career touches, holds up physically. … Projecting eight to 12 touches per game seems fair for now."

The idea of Robinson being the clear No. 1 RB goes hand-in-hand with one of Matthew Berry's 25 most interesting things he heard at the combine. Current Fantasy Life projections agree as Robinson is expected to lead the way in carries (167 vs. 130), although Ekeler gets the nod in targets (50 vs. 30).

Ultimately, the Commanders join the Broncos, Giants, Chargers, Cowboys and Browns as the only backfields without a single RB with an ADP inside fantasy's top-100 options. Both Robinson and Ekeler are reasonable enough zero/hero-RB targets at their present RB3 price tags – but it's the former back who currently profiles as the fairly clear-cut starter, something that could lead to plenty of fantasy upside should No. 2 overall pick Jayden Daniels prove capable of elevating the ceiling of this offense in a hurry.

What is in today’s newsletter?

  1. A Rookie RB primed to leap not one, but two spots on the depth chart? Thor Nystrom breaks it down.

  2. Ian and Dwain missed our last staff meeting because they got caught up chatting at the watercooler. About a league-winning RB, you say?

  3. ICYMI: FantasyLife+ is live—your personal Assistant GM in the palm of your hands.


Dynasty Sleepers

Rookie Sleepers for 2024 Dynasty Leagues

by Thor Nystrom

This is part 1 of a series that includes 12 rookie sleepers who are being undervalued in dynasty drafts.

To keep things fair, and include intel for those in our deepest dynasty leagues, I’ve broken each position into three categories: Day 2 picks, Day 3 picks, and UDFA.

Below are my rookie running back sleepers for dynasty fantasy football in 2024.

Day 3: Kimani Vidal (Troy), RB - Chargers

  • 5077/213 | RAS: 8.81 | Player Comparison: Jaylen Warren

New Chargers HC Jim Harbaugh watched his bell cow at Michigan, Blake Corum, get snapped up in Round 3 by the other Los Angeles team. So Harbaugh turned around three rounds later and snapped up a discounted version for his run-first offense.

Vidal and Corum are nearly the same dimensions, both rolling off the bowling-ball-build assembly line. But Vidal is actually the better athlete, with nearly 90th-percentile athleticism. And he proved he could handle heavy volume at the collegiate level by rushing for 4,000 rushing yards in the FBS.

Vidal’s running style is a little different than Corum’s. Vidal packs a surprising amount of power into his sawed-off frame. He runs low, a no-nonsense, battering-ram style. And he’s got a nasty stiff arm.

Vidal has great contact balance. He does not have joystick agility in space, but is shifty and bouncy in tight quarters, and he’s tough to square up. He ranked No. 2 with 92 broken tackles in 2023.

Additionally, Vidal adds real value on passing downs. He was arguably the best pass-blocker among RBs in the past class. As a receiver, he had either 22 catches or 200 receiving yards in all four years on campus. Vidal showed off slick route-running chops at the Senior Bowl.

Harbaugh is going to start the best running back on the Chargers’ roster. I believe that is Kimani Vidal.




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Around the Watercooler

The latest analysis and insights from our merry band of football nerds:

🚨 ICYMI: There’s a whole lot to be excited about at Fantasy Life. Making your life easier, your teams better and, hopefully, your pockets fatter.

👀 This RB2 could be a league-winner in 2024… but can you trust his new OC?

🐟 #SFB14 is officially underway! Stay up to date with the official Scott Fish Bowl tool.

🤔 Everyone is looking for this year's version of Sam LaPorta. But will this rookie even be a full-time TE?

✍️ Joe Burrow had some interesting prospective changes to the NFL schedule. I don't like it, I love it.

🐴 Who will lead this CHEAP Broncos backfield? Reading between the lines.


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