Welcome to our 2019 Player Profiles series. We are going through the top 100 in the consensus PPR rankings of Heath Cummings, Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard to give you the case for and the case against drafting each player. By the time you're done, you'll know everything you need to know for drafting in 2019.
Stretching from the end of Round 8 to the beginning of Round 9, the 91-100 portion of our ranks includes seven running backs who might be just depth or in a few cases much more:
100. Derrius Guice, RB, WAS
The Case For: It was just a year ago when Guice was viewed as the second best running back in his draft class. His recovery from his torn ACL has gone well and he should have plenty of time before the start of the season to get ready. Washington's defense could be good enough for a run-heavy attack to work, and with their roster it's probably the only chance for success.
The Case Against: Washington re-signed Adrian Peterson, drafted Bryce Love, and still has Chris Thompson, so it sure seems like the Redskins are going to have a committee in 2019. They're also going to have almost no passing game, which will mean a lot of eight-man boxes for the running backs to navigate. Guice is still a strong hold in Dynasty, but we may have to wait one more year to see him truly break out.
99. Ronald Jones, RB, TB
The Case For: Jones' struggles as a rookie are well-documented. But there are mitigating factors. He was the youngest back in the 2018 class. A lingering hamstring issue was cited at the combine when he pulled up in the 40-yard dash, and it was again his hamstring that landed him on injury reports and inactive lists throughout a significant chunk of last season. A former district champion in the 100-yard dash as a high schooler in Texas, it's possible a year of seasoning and some better health is all Jones needs to live up to his lofty second-round draft status. The Bucs not investing much to improve the position this offseason seems to indicate they still believe.
The Case Against: Jones just wasn't very good as a rookie. He only earned 30 touches and averaged 2.6 yards per touch. Even if you buy injury as a primary cause, hamstring issues are bad news for running backs, and one that started in February and was still popping up during the season isn't a great sign.
98. Courtland Sutton, WR, DEN
The Case For: Sutton is the best outside receiver the Broncos have. Daesean Hamilton is good in the slot, as is Emmanuel Sanders, though Sanders is recovering from an Achilles tear. If Sutton develops as a route runner he could lead this team in targets and be the best red zone option..
The Case Against: After Sanders went down in 2018, Sutton was a disappointment and was outplayed by Hamilton. He really only looked comfortable going downfield and his new quarterback has been risk averse in the later years of his career.
97. Royce Freeman, RB, DEN
The Case For: As Fantasy depth goes, Freeman's appealing. He's not expected to be the primary bell cow in Denver, but he can still serve a role as the thunder to Phillip Lindsay's lightning. It's worth noting he converted downs of 1-yard to go 86 percent of the time, which is very good. He averaged 10.3 touches per game and could settle in right around there so long as Lindsay is healthy -- and would obviously get more if Lindsay were to miss time. There's nothing wrong with putting him on your bench and seeing what happens.
The Case Against: Freeman squandered his opportunities when he got 10-plus touches last season. In five such games, he amassed 10 non-PPR points twice and 15 PPR points once. His best-case scenario involves Lindsay missing playing time and regularly finding touchdown chances. That seems like a lot to hope for. Otherwise, Freeman's a touchdown-needy running back you'd reluctantly start in a pinch or as a bye-week replacement.
96. Peyton Barber, RB, TB
The Case For: Tampa Bay did not spend a draft pick on a running back. That leaves Barber and Ronald Jones as the main options for the starting role and I'm assuming you watched Jones play football last year. Barber should be the feature back in Bruce Arians' offense, which can be a very productive position.
The Case Against: Barber is the definition of "just a guy" and Jones is a former second round pick. Even if Barber wins this competition he's likely a flex at best. Also, don't be surprised if UDFA Bruce Anderson pushes both of these backs in camp.
95. Jordan Howard, RB, PHI
The Case For: It's rare you can find a 1,000-yard back with double-digit touchdown upside this late in the draft. Especially one on a team as good as the Eagles. Howard should be just as good in Philadelphia as he's been in Chicago, maybe better. And what he's been in Chicago is mostly a must-start running back.
The Case Against: Howard did not have fewer than 270 touches in any season in Chicago. Josh Adams led the Eagles with 127 touches last season. Since Doug Pederson arrived in Philadelphia, no running back has had even 200 touches in this offense. That limits his upside. But what really hurts is the team drafting Miles Sanders, which could eliminate Howard's floor as well. I'd expect him to be a rotational back in 2019.
94. Ito Smith, RB, ATL
The Case For: Smith will inherit the Tevin Coleman role this season, and with Devonta Freeman's recent health, that may just turn into a feature role. Coleman was a top 20 running back in 2018 and finished No. 22 in both formats in 2017. Smith should see 180 touches even if Freeman is able to stay healthy, making him a worthwhile flex in a worst-case scenario.
The Case Against: Last year when Freeman went down, the team still went with a committee between Coleman and Smith. So there may not actually be workhorse upside in the event of another Freeman injury. Also, Smith was far worse than Coleman on a per-carry and a per-catch basis last year. You have to be efficient to be good in a committee, and Smith didn't show us any signs last season that he will be.
93. Carson Wentz, QB, PHI
The Case For: Wentz is a definitively good quarterback in a great system surrounded by very good weapons. Over the past two seasons his 16-game pace has been 4,247 yards and 36 touchdowns. With the creativity of his coaching staff and weapons like Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, and DeSean Jackson, Wentz looks like a surefire top-12 quarterback available in the second half of the draft.
The Case Against: He's missed eight games over the past two seasons with significant ailments, the last being a back injury. He averaged fewer than three rush attempts per game in 2018, so you can't count on the rushing production you got from him in 2017. Wentz probably will be a top-12 quarterback if he lasts 16 games for the first time since his rookie year, but he won't be a difference maker.
92. Curtis Samuel, WR, CAR
The Case For: Samuel is the clear No. 2 in an above-average offense, and he's coming off a sophomore campaign where he scored seven touchdowns. On a per-game basis he actually outscored D.J. Moore in both formats.
The Case Against: Samuel only outscored Moore because of those touchdowns, which probably aren't predictive. In 2019 he'll be behind Moore, Christian Mccaffrey and Greg Olsen in the pecking order. If you want to use a late-round pick on him in best ball that's fine, but he won't be a reliable Fantasy option.
91. LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF
The Case For: McCoy is still the lead back in Buffalo, and the Bills made every effort to make this offense better. They've added a bunch of receivers, which should give McCoy more room to maneuver. They added a bunch of offensive linemen, which should make that unit better, if not yet good. We won't likely ever see peak Shady again, but McCoy should bounce back to be a serviceable starter in 2019.
The Case Against: We're talking about a running back who will be 31 at the start of the season and just averaged 3.2 yards per carry. He only had six games with at least 15 touches and lost rushing production to Josh Allen. His team added Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and drafted Devin Singletary. I'm not even sure McCoy is in the Bills' 2019 plans.