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Fantasy Football Draft Targets: Zamir White, Gus Edwards, Jaleel McLaughlin (2024)

Fantasy Football Draft Targets: Zamir White, Gus Edwards, Jaleel McLaughlin (2024)

There’s value to be had at running back across your entire fantasy draft in 2024. Let’s take an early look at some of my must-have running backs.

Must-Have Running Backs

Early-Round RB Targets

*Note: I’m excluding the top three backs because your ability to draft them is 100% dependent on your draft position.

Mid-Round RB Target

Zamir White (RB – LV) 

Zamir White still must make it through the draft without any significant addition to the Raiders’ backfield. But, White is set to take on a lead back role for the Raiders and has RB1 potential with his three-down back skillset. The draft is looming but the Raiders signed Alexander Mattison in free agency — who will likely fill a backup role — and retained Ameer Abdullah. They don’t need to make a significant investment at running back. Our sample size with White is limited but in Weeks 15 through 18, White was the PPR RB12 in average points per game. White’s average draft position (ADP) will likely rise if the Raiders don’t make a major addition but he’ll still be a strong zero-RB target for fantasy managers.

Late-Round RB Targets

Gus Edwards (RB – BAL) 

The Chargers will make an addition at running back during the draft. Jim Harbaugh has been adamant Gus Edwards will play a significant role in their offense. Given Harbaugh’s tendencies with the run game, they’ll need to make an addition to what should be a run-heavy offense. Despite the likely addition of a running back, Edwards is still a strong value pick if he’s used in a role similar to his role in Baltimore.

Jaleel McLaughlin (RB – DEN) 

Predicting anything for the Broncos is a tall order. They have major holes to fill on offense but their running back room is stable with three backs under contract in Javonte Williams, Jaleel McLaughlin and Samaje Perine. McLaughlin was the highest-graded back between the three, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). McLaughlin led the Broncos’ backs in yards per carry and yards after contact per attempt with the highest elusive rating. Williams still has first rights to the lead back but the Broncos utilized all three in rotation. If McLaughlin continues to outperform Williams he could bully his way into a starting position similar to Chuba Hubbard in 2023.

Honorable Mention

Whoever the Cowboys Draft

In what was set to be an underwhelming draft class with such a strong free agency class, the Cowboys did the unthinkable and failed to sign a running back as Tony Pollard exited in free agency. Heading into the season with just Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn would be ill-advised. There are several strong options for the Cowboys, including Trey Benson, Jonathon Brooks, Blake Corum and Jaylen Wright. Each back would have the opportunity to become the RB1 of one of the league’s most productive offenses.

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