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Buy Low/ Sell High: Running Back

Updated: Apr 23

Sell High.

Derrick Henry, Ravens

“Wow mroviedo, sell a 30-year-old running back, great advice.”  I get it yes but hear me out; Henry landed in an incredible situation and has people screaming “long live the king.”  His ADP has risen on many other experts rankings and websites, causing people to target him earlier than expected on draft day, and ignore some outside factors.   The only other warm bodies at running back for the Ravens are Lama…. Keaton Mitchell nursing a horrific knee injury, and third down back Justice Hill.  The workload will be there; but will the efficiency?

Remember, people were also ready to write off Henry as far back as his 2021 when he suffered a foot injury.   Henry also had his worst full season in terms of attempts (280, fewest in a full season since 2018) yards, (1167 fewest since 2018) and his fewest yards per carry in his career (4.17 yards per carry)

Plug Henry into the offense that rumbled to 2600 yard and 26 touchdowns in 2023 and the possibilities are definitely exciting.  We want Henry to stiff arm would-be tacklers into the ground.  We want the Derrick Henry of old; so you can sell high.  

The Ravens may look to add a running back with a later selection in the draft and may choose to bring back J.K Dobbins at a reduced rate, but none of them should cut much into the workload Henry is expected to receive early in the year.  History has not been kind to either Ravens running backs or running backs on their second contract in the tail end of their careers.   Stay the course if Henry is off to a blistering start, try to flip him for young established talent, or 2025 first round picks.  

Don't miss the opportunity to maximize your return on investment.

Buy Low:

Brian Robinson Jr.  Commanders: I admittedly wasn't a huge fan of BRob, but some advanced metrics changed my point of view.  He averaged 5.1 yards per touch (per PFF) and led the NFL in average yards per reception at the running back position with 10.2 yards per catch and was 12th in yards per route run by running back (also per PFF).  

Enter Kliff Kingsbury as head coach.  Kliff’s Cardinals were extremely efficient at running the ball, finishing 10th, 7th, 10th and 22nd in his tenure in Arizona from 2019-2022.  The Commanders will add a top-tier qb in the draft, which should open up some running room.   Cardinals running backs amassed 417 targets in the four year span ( 104 targets per year on average ) which should feed the Washington backfield with precious targets.  Robinson earned the 12th best pass blocking grade amongst running backs ( again, thank you PFF ) and his size ( 6’1” 228 lbs ) is much more suitable to block.  

Also remember, this is the team that allowed Sam Howell to be sacked 65 (SIXTY FIVE) times in 2023.  Running the ball is difficult when your quarterback is under constant duress, and needing to earn more than 10 yards for a first down.  Ideally, as the Commanders are investing heavily in a new quarterback, they should also invest in more Offensive Line help to open up some running room.  

Don’t fear Austin Ekeler; his arrival in Washington only helps you acquire Robinson cheaper.  Ekeler’s feet are in the quicksands of time in terms of NFL running backs.  In fact, Robinson may be one of the cheapest potential starting running backs you can target prior to the draft, as his perceived value is quite low. 

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