As already noted, running backs are being taken at an alarming rate in the early rounds, with average draft position showcasing 10 running backs in the first 13 picks in fantasy football drafts.
That doesn't leave much value available for running backs.
With round six, there isn't much to choose from with running backs, but there are some interesting decisions to be made with draft strategies. Picks 61 through 72, according to ADP on FantasyPros, includes:
61. Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots
62. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
63. Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
64. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
65. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
66. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
67. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
68. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
69. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
70. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
71. Michael Crabtree, WR, Baltimore Ravens
72. Carlos Hyde, RB, Cleveland Browns
Hyde's stock is rising
For some reason, many experts downplayed Hyde so much in the offseason that he was rated closer to 100 than 50.
That seems a little overboard.
Gradually, Hyde has gotten back in the discussion as a solid flex, which is deserving. He's not going to be a three-down running back, but he's going to dominate the first and second down carries. Don't worry about Nick Chubb taking some of his work.
Chubb doesn't have the NFL ability as his former Georgia teammate, Michel, so I don't anticipate Chub to be a factor just yet for the Browns.
Hyde was still able to be a RB1 fantasy scorer last year by splitting time part of the year. He's probably not going to be in that realm this year with the Browns, but Tyrod Taylor has to have a running game to be competent.
The coaching staff knows that, so the volume will be enough to warrant Hyde as at least a Flex option for fantasy rosters. You're getting solid value with Hyde at this position.
Diamonds in the rough
I always like to find some diamonds, so I'm favoring Jones and Davis as possible diamonds in this position.
Jones has been a colossal disappointment in the preseason. But he's only a rookie and there's likely to be some growing pains. He was still one of my favorite rookie running backs in the draft for a reason and that shouldn't be dismissed because of a rough preseason. Because, well, it's only preseason.
He will eventually win that job in Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers have been known to support a solid fantasy football running back. Jones won't be a Flex right away, but if you're patient with him, he can create solid depth for your roster.
Davis is one of my favorite sleepers this season. He was a disappointment in his rookie campaign, but he's the main weapon for quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is now healthy. The offense is different and I get a player who now has some experience in the league.
With Davis, you're getting a player in the sixth round capable of being a primary WR2, who when he returned from injury last season in the playoffs, totaled 15 combined targets, 98 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Don't lose your mind over minimal production for the majority of his season last year. Rookies improve and Davis has the possibility of being a special addition.
I'm still fading quarterbacks
No thanks on Brees. He's an aging quarterback, with New Orleans' patented two running back approach in the first four games being on the shelf.
And Wentz was really good last year when he played, but I'm concerned with how long it will take for him to get back to that playing ability with his injury.
There are some quarterbacks around the corner who can provide better numbers for fantasy football rosters.
Maybe. Everybody is high on Johnson, but I'm not seeing it. Detroit has been a dumpster fire for consistently good fantasy football running backs and I'm not buying a rookie will change that.
Michel and Hogan have some value, but New England has long scared me with consistently good fantasy football scorers. And we already know who Lynch and Coleman are in fantasy. They'll offer some points here and there, but won't be the consistent options necessary to carry your roster on a weekly basis.
I'm trending toward the latter portion of this round, with Davis and Hyde as my main targets.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football draft coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH