by Phil Gentile, @iHateJJRedick
1. Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers
Here's what we know......the Bucs starter Doug Martin is suspended for the first three games. Last season Rodgers filled in admirably for Martin, collecting two 100+ rushing games. You could easily snag Jacquizz in the 8th or 9th round and have an automatic RB2 for the first three weeks (vs. Dolphins, Bears, Vikings). If he performs we could be headed for a timeshare in Tampa in the very least.
2. Ty Montgomery, Packers
I was skeptical about Ty-Mont last season but he slowly won me over. In PPR leagues he's basically a receiver that gets you some bonus rushing yards. Head coach Mike McCarthy called him a "full threat" and praised his pass protection earlier this offseason. Rookie Jamaal Williams will try to steal some carries but Rodgers has a great rapport with Montgomery, who could easily hit 1,500 total yards and double digit touchdowns. He's a solid RB2 you can get around the 5th or 6th round.
3. Frank Gore, Colts
Probably the least sexy pick you can make in your drafts this year but hear me out. There have been rumblings that Andrew Luck might not be ready for the start of the season. If that happens Gore will be the beneficiary. He finished 2016 with his 5th 1,000 yard campaign in the last six seasons. Steady yet boring production. According to FantasyFootballCalculator.com, he's the 33rd running back off the board so you won't need to reach for him.
4. Eddie Lacy, Seahawks
It wasn't long ago that Eddie Lacy was a 1st round pick. What the hell happened? Well when you can't stay healthy people tend to forget about you. Lacy signed with the Seahawks in the offseason in an attempt to get his career back on track. Seattle was 25th in the league in rushing yards and could use a bruising back like Lacy. While it's hard to be overly confident in Lacy playing a full season, he can be had with a 6th or 7th round pick. Unfortunately Pro Football Focus ranked this offensive line as the worst in the league heading into the 2017 season so maybe a big, brusing back is exactly what they need.
5. Rex Burkhead, Patriots
If you've ever owned a Patriots running back in fantasy football you know how freaking annoying it is week-to-week to predict who gets the bulk of the carries. To that point Dion Lewis and James White are still around and the team brought in Mike Gillislee from Buffalo. On paper it seems like a mess. I totally get it. Burkhead is an above average pass catcher and he can run between the tackles better than expected. His expansive skill set will make him a favorite of Tom Brady's sooner rather than later.
6. Samaje Perine, Redskins
While most of the rookie running backs will be drafted early in most fantasy drafts, Perine seems to be available late despite so pretty clear upside. His competition? Rob Kelley, an undrafted player who the team has zero investment in and could barely beat out his competition for the starting gig at Tulane. Oh plus his nickname is "Fat". I had Nora Princiotti from the Washington Times on the podcast this week. She let me know Perine was excelling at everything....except pass protection. Once he picks that up I'm assuming he steals the starting gig and could be a sneaky RB2 play in the Skins offense.