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2024 NFL Free Agents: J.K. Dobbins, Ezekiel Elliott, Gus Edwards (2024)

2024 NFL Free Agents: J.K. Dobbins, Ezekiel Elliott, Gus Edwards (2024)

Let’s dive into the 2024 NFL Free Agency Primer for Running Backs in Fantasy Football. Just like quarterbacks, free agency plays a crucial role in shaping Super Bowl contenders.

Here are some notable impending free agent running backs and how fantasy players should view them for 2024 fantasy football redraft leagues, best ball leagues and dynasty leagues.

2024 NFL Running Back Free Agency Primer

J.K. DobbinsGus Edwards

The last time we saw J.K. Dobbins healthy (2022), he averaged an impressive 6.6 yards per carry, 92 rushing yards, and 14 carries per game over a five-game stretch. He started 2023 out with a TD on 10 touches before going down in the season opener versus Houston.

As we project this backfield into 2024, there are a few key things to address. Both Edwards and J.K. Dobbins (torn Achilles) are free agents. This backfield has the chance to look very different in 2024, with potentially Keaton Mitchell (torn ACL) and Hill the top 2 backs under contract.

Mitchell finished as the RB38 in points per game (9.3) as PFF’s second-highest graded rusher (92.5). Averaged 8.4 yards per carry.

But if the Ravens have taught us anything from the way they had addressed their backfield in past seasons, they love to build a stable and run a committee backfield. That was true even as the offense transitioned from Greg Roman to Todd Monken.

Be aware that this rotation is often defined by roles – Gus Edwards is the closer/goal line back, and Justice Hill is the change-of-pace pass-catching back, so don’t be overly confident that we see a clear-cut RB1 emerge for the entire season. Unless they make a splash move at the position in free agency.

Edwards finished the season as the RB32 in points per game (10.4), while Hill finished as the RB48 (6.2). Edwards entered the year with 13 career TDs and scored 13 rushing touchdowns in 2023 alone. No RB had more carries inside the 5-yard line than Edwards.

The team to keep an eye out for one of these free-agent Ravens RBs is the Chargers. Why? The Jim/John Harbaugh brotherly connection. And the fact that Greg Roman (formerly of the Ravens) is also the Chargers’ new offensive coordinator.

LAC also desperately needs another RB, with Joshua Kelley and Austin Ekeler hitting free agency.

Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott was far from washed with the Patriots, taking over a three-down role after Rhamondre Stevenson was lost for the season. He played 81% or more of the snaps in the Patriots’ final five games.

He can still be viable in the passing game – 51 catches for 247 yards – and be a team’s primary goal-line rusher. Should Kellen Moore fail to convince Tony Pollard to join forces with him in Philly, Zeke might be the next call he makes.

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