Fantasy Running Backs: Late Round Gold

Chris Ivory is quickly moving up fantasy draft boards

Act now because Chris Ivory is quickly moving up fantasy draft boards

Chris Ivory, Jets:

After three seasons with the Saints, Ivory was shipped to the Jets as an intended first-line back to bolster a staggeringly weak offense. For the past two seasons, Ivory’s draft stock has gradually risen as he produced two 800-yard seasons and a career-high six touchdowns last year. Although his workload was considerably light, splitting some of the sparse touches he got with Chris Johnson, this future could be the next point on a career that is trending upwards. With Johnson signing with the Cardinals, the Jets’ running depth chart has become noticeably bare. The only two serious contenders are Ivory and former Patriots back Stevan Ridley, who is ten months removed from the ACL and MCL injuries that sidelined him for the majority of last season. With Ivory getting a serious number of touches this year and another season of experience under his belt, his average ADP of 81 looks a bit too high.

Ameer Abdullah, Lions:

Arguably the most impressive preseason rookie (perhaps a bit of my Lions bias is in play here), Abdullah’s ADP has risen nearly ten spots since the first list was compiled. This was mostly due to Abdullah’s explosive preseason week 1 performance against the Jets, which saw him gather 67 yards on just 7 carries and a comparison to Barry Sanders in terms of raw speed. An absolute phenom as a college player at Nebraska, Abdullah will have to wrestle the starting job away from Joique Bell and Theo Riddick, with the former trying to return to 100% before the end of the preseason. As he has crossed the threshold into the top 25 of RB ADPs, Abdullah is a safe RB3 with good RB2 potential, should he get the starting job in the Motor City.

Doug Martin, Buccaneers:

After two severely disappointing years in Tampa Bay following a spectacular rookie season, Doug Martin is in quick need of redemption. The negative signs that are pointing for owners not to draft Martin are surely there: a weak offensive line to work with and a solid trio of backs all competing for the starting job does not help Martin’s case for fantasy viability. However, he showed up to camp 15 pounds lighter and noticeably quicker, which could give owners flashes of the Muscle Hamster’s superb performances as a rookie. With Martin a frontrunner to start in Tampa, he is a safe RB2 selection.

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