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RB3s With RB1 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

RB3s With RB1 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

Zero RB drafters, this article is for you — RB3s with the potential to finish as RB1s and be absolute steals in your fantasy drafts. Let’s look at some of the top candidates with low average draft positions (ADP) and high potential!

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RB3s with RB1 Potential

Chuba Hubbard (RB – CAR) 

Chuba Hubbard was one of my favorite sleepers in 2023. While he wasn’t a league-winning asset, he unseeded Miles Sanders as the RB1 and the Panthers have publicly verbalized Hubbard is their lead back heading into 2024. Ironically, Sanders’ existence could be a positive for Hubbard. The Panthers have no financial advantage to cut Sanders, so he’ll remain on the roster. While the Panthers may draft a running back, an early pick is unlikely with clear holes at other positions. Hubbard’s 2023 numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping but consider the circumstances. The Panthers had no passing threat and minimal goal-line opportunities, limiting Hubbard’s ceiling. Once he took over as the starter in Week 6, Hubbard was the RB19 overall, averaging 12.5 fantasy points through the end of the season. Hubbard will benefit from Dave Canales’ new system and see increased goal-line opportunities and receiving work. That combination would give him low-end RB1 upside.

Tyjae Spears (RB – TEN)

Speaking of Chuba Hubbard, this year’s upgraded version of Hubbard could be Tyjae Spears. Spears fits the same narrative — an incumbent running back whose team signs a new running back but has the potential to outperform the newcomer and earn the RB1 role. Heading into free agency, fantasy managers were legitimately giddy over the thought of Spears taking over for Derrick Henry. Tony Pollard‘s signing was a letdown, but there’s still potential for Spears in 2024. Spears played a complementary role to Henry in 2023 with the majority of his production coming through the air — 52 receptions on 70 targets for 385 yards — comparable to that of Jahmyr Gibbs. He had just 100 carries for 453 rushing yards but was graded as a top-10 back in Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) elusive rating. The signing of Pollard was a bit perplexing. Spears and Pollard have a redundant skillset and adding a back with more success at the goal line would’ve been a logical pairing with Spears. It’ll be interesting to see how the workload is split but we can’t deny how electric Spears looked in 2023. Even a 60/40 split would allow Spears to be showcased as the superior back and earn a higher workload.

Raheem Mostert (RB – MIA) 

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious RB1 candidate here, but it’s 2024, and we are still drafting Raheem Mostert as an RB3 even though he finished as the overall RB5 in PPR and RB4 in average points per game with over 1,000 rushing yards and a league-leading 18 touchdowns. I understand the hesitation with Mostert. He’s a 31-year-old back with a terrible injury history and he shares the backfield with a player that could truly be the most electric running back in the NFL. Mostert has been relatively healthy seasons two years in a row and, despite the incredible production in 2023, his workload last season was modest with just 209 carries. De’Vone Achane is the higher-value back but won’t command the backfield alone. Mostert will retain a committee role in an offense that can produce two weekly top-12 backs, and you get the luxury of drafting him as an RB3.

Zamir White (RB – LV) 

At this point, any article I write mentions Zamir White. I hate to be repetitive but White’s potential is undeniable. When the Raiders drafted White in 2022, many fantasy managers believed the fourth-round pick could eat into Josh Jacobs‘ workload. Instead, White was nonexistent and Jacobs had a career year with 340 carries and led the league in rushing yards. But, in 2023, Jacobs suffered an injury and missed the final four games of the season. White stepped in as the lead back and, in those final four games, was the RB12 in average points per game with two games with over 100 rushing yards. White had the most attempts and third-most yards of any running back over that period. The Raiders signed Alexander Mattison, likely serving as a backup, and they could make an addition via the draft but White is set to lead the team in 2024. He has true top-12 potential.

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