3 Breakout Running Backs for Best Ball 2024

Finding the breakout running backs is one of the big keys to winning Best Ball tournaments. Anyone who stumbled their way into De’Von Achane, Rachaad White or Isiah Pacheco in the last calendar year was sitting on cloud 9, and we’re going to help you find the guys in 2024 who can get you there. Thankfully, Stokastic’s FREE Best Ball Rankings are LIVE, and we update them regularly to ensure your Underdog Best Ball running back rankings are adjusting to the trends. Here we will examine the three biggest breakout running backs for Best Ball 2024, guys like Zamir White and Zack Moss.

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Breakout Running Backs for Best Ball 2024

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Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders

  • Overall Ranking: 80
  • RB Ranking: 18
  • ADP: 87.9

While the numbers were very pedestrian for White most of last year, what we’re looking at the most are the last four games of the season, games Josh Jacobs missed. White averaged just under 115 scrimmage yards on 23.3 touches per game in those four, including a pair of 100-yard outings. Well, now Jacobs is out of the picture, the Raiders are committed to their hard-luck quarterback room and White is all alone in the backfield.

Career backup Alexander Mattison is White’s only threat at the position, and Mattison has rarely, if ever, impressed in his opportunities. 20-plus touches a game is a pretty reasonable expectation for White in 2024. Though we can’t count on those 115 scrimmage yards on 23 touches every time out, that kind of volume is definitely going to be in play most weeks, especially if Las Vegas struggles to get the passing game going with Aidan O’Connell and/or Gardner Minshew.

We project White nearly identically to Rhamondre Stevenson and D’Andre Swift, two more proven backs who are also in good situations this year. We also have him five running back slots higher and nearly eight overall spots higher than ADP does. This is a potential smash breakout spot in the earlier middle rounds if White lives up to the volume that we are projecting for him.

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Zack Moss, Cincinnati Bengals

  • Overall Ranking: 88
  • RB Ranking: 22
  • ADP: 92.1

Admittedly, we have cooled slightly on Moss’ prospects in the last week or so. Not long ago, he was our RB18 and our No. 71 overall player against an ADP of 90.5. Now the public has dropped him a couple of slots and we have dipped his projections enough to get him RB22 and our No. 88 overall player. Still, we value him slightly above the public.

The Bengals will give Moss his first true chance at being a starting running back, and he proved last year with the Colts that he could do big things with a larger workload. Moss averaged 111.3 yards on 22.3 carries in his first four games last year, games that Jonathan Taylor missed. And then he put up some good numbers while sharing the backfield with Taylor as well.

Now, the reason for the softening on our aggressive projections is there being more indications that Cincinnati will look a little harder to Chase Brown as RB2. Brown was OK in limited action last year as a rookie, but this year he projects for much more usage and is currently our RB38 (No. 130 overall).

Still, Brown’s lack of experience and Moss’ solid 2023 put him position to potentially be a 1,000-yard rusher this year, making him a strong breakout candidate in the middle rounds of Best Ball drafts.

Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys

  • Overall Ranking: 125
  • RB Ranking: 35
  • ADP: 140.6

I know what you’re thinking: This is too much of a backfield share for either Cowboys running back to be a strong Best Ball option. But the truth is that this situation is far more complementary than it looks, and both Dowdle and Ezekiel Elliott project much better than where they are currently being drafted.

At this stage in his career, Elliott is more of the short-yardage, high-leverage back who will get the nominal “starts” and touches near the goal line. Dowdle, however, has more upside to be a three-down back and is almost certainly going to be more active in the receiving game. Plus, just last year a Patriots running back proved to be a better fantasy option despite ceding a lot of work to Elliott, and now Rhamondre Stevenson is a top-20 fantasy back.

Because of those high-leverage touches, we still rank Elliott a few spots ahead of Dowdle at RB33 and No. 114 overall. However, both of their rankings outpace ADP by at least 12 spots, and they split first-team reps during OTAs. Mike McCarthy described them as a “1A and 1B.”

I’m not saying this is a Raheem Mostert-De’Von Achane situation; Dowdle isn’t Achane’s level of explosive. I am saying that he can carve out a big enough workload to make him a great value in his draft range and start to look like fringe RB1 material entering 2025 drafts.

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Sam Smith is a writer and editor with Stokastic and OddsShopper. He has been immersed in the world of professional sports data since 2015, while also writing extensively on the NFL for a multitude of blogs and websites. With Stokastic, Sam looks to blend his sports and editorial expertise with Stokastic's data to bring you the best fantasy information possible.

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