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3 Fantasy Football Draft Picks to Avoid: Running Backs (2024 Fantasy Football)

3 Fantasy Football Draft Picks to Avoid: Running Backs (2024 Fantasy Football)

The 2024 fantasy football season is still months away. Much will change in the fantasy football world over the next several weeks, with free agency underway and the NFL Draft just around the corner. However, it’s never too early to start preparing for the fantasy season. While everyone wants to focus on breakout stars or ADP values, I have three running backs I will avoid drafting this year.

Running Backs to Avoid

ADP courtesy Underdog Fantasy

Alvin Kamara (NO): ADP 67.7 | RB17

Kamara was a polarizing fantasy pick last season. Many thought he would receive a hefty suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Instead, the veteran only missed the first three games with a suspension. Despite missing four games last year, Kamara ended the season as the RB14, averaging 15 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, he was the RB5 on a points-per-game basis, posting a higher average than Saquon Barkley and Jahmyr Gibbs.

While the former Tennessee star had a productive fantasy season, his success was because of a massive role in the passing game. Kamara had 81 or more receptions in four consecutive years to begin his career, playing alongside Drew Brees. However, the veteran running back averaged a career-high 5.8 receptions per game last season, partly thanks to two performances with 12 or more catches early in the year.

However, Kamara was once an explosive running back. He averaged five yards per rushing attempt over the first four years of his career. Unfortunately, the veteran running back has averaged four or fewer yards per rushing attempt in three consecutive seasons. With Kendre Miller potentially becoming a co-starter with Kamara in 2024, I have no interest in drafting him at his current ADP.

Nick Chubb (CLE): ADP 79.7 | RB21

There haven’t been many more reliable fantasy football running backs than Chubb over the past few years. The former Georgia star had 106 rushing yards and 14.7 half-point PPR fantasy points in Week 1 despite not finding the end zone, making fantasy players believe the veteran was on track for another outstanding season. Unfortunately, he suffered a gruesome knee injury in Week 2, ending his season after only 28 rushing attempts.

Yet, the veteran running back averaged 6.1 yards per rushing attempt in 2023, including 4.18 yards per attempt after contact (per Fantasy Points Data). While Chubb played at a high level before the injury, fantasy players should worry about his productivity next year. He is coming off a massive knee injury, the second significant injury of his career. Chubb turned 28 in December, putting him in the age range where running back’s production starts declining without two massive knee injuries on their resume.

The former Georgia star might not be back in Cleveland. Reportedly, the Browns will ask him to take a pay cut this offseason to stay on the roster. Even if Chubb is back with the team in 2024, it likely won’t be for Week 1. Following the second surgery to repair his knee, Cleveland announced that Chubb would return at some point during the 2024 season. Unfortunately, there are too many red flags surrounding the veteran running back.

Raheem Mostert (MIA): ADP 94.7 | RB29

Mostert was one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 season. The veteran ended the year as the RB2, averaging 17 half-point PPR fantasy points per game despite missing the final two contests. Many fantasy players dismissed Mostert heading into the season, saying he would only have value early in the year. Whether it was because of his injury history or the preseason hype surrounding De’Von Achane, many didn’t even consider drafting the former Purdue star.

Fantasy players who took the late-round chance on Mostert likely won their fantasy league. The veteran finished first in the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns, totaling four more than any other running back. Furthermore, he tied Christian McCaffrey for the most offensive scores (21) in 2023 despite playing one fewer game. While his success last year made him a league winner for fantasy players, I have no interest in drafting Mostert in 2024.

The veteran running back had 14 rushing touchdowns and 19 offensive scores over the first eight years of his career before last season. Furthermore, 36.7% of his career fantasy points came in 2023, scoring more than 92 total fantasy points in a season only twice before last year. At soon-to-be 32 years old, the veteran is too old to be considered a breakout player. More importantly, Achane is a star in the making. He should have an expanded role next season, limiting Mostert’s fantasy appeal.

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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