Three Rookie Running Backs Who Will Be Immediate DFS Differ-ence-Makers

Posted on April 29, 2020

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs


The highest of the running back NFL picks and the only first-round running back selected squeaked in at 32 overall. The Kansas City Chiefs like Edwards-Helaire’s instincts and vision. At 5’7” and 207 pounds, he isn’t built for all downs, but there’s an opportunity to rack up snaps as a third down back. This dynamic offense has a lot of mouths to feed, but they averaged 28.2 points per game in 2019, so it would seem there’s plenty to go around.

Last season, the Chiefs took on LeSean McCoy and regretted it. Damien Williams missed five regular-season games and was dismal in the postseason. Williams rushed 12 times for 47 yards agains the Houston Texans in the first round, followed by 17 carries for 45 yards against the Tennessee Titans. Eventually, he did well in the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers with 104 yards on 17 rushes.

The inconsistency and injuries led to the Chiefs taking Edwards-Helaire. If the rookie can block well enough, then he should be slated for third down duties (at the very least) right out the gate. The selection also signals that Andy Reid isn’t overly fond of Darrell Williams and Darwin Thompson.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Tampa Bay Buccaneers


It was clear that when Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Buccaneers that the team would be looking for a new running back. Ronald Jones isn’t horrible, but the young back really struggled in pass protection. Brady needs reliable hands and blocking in the backfield.

In comes Ke’Shawn Vaughn, the 76th overall pick. Vaughn is ranked as the third-best pass protecting back in the draft, so it’s very possible that he could take the starting role sooner than later. The Vanderbilt product rushed for 1,000 yards the past two seasons and combined to catch 41 passes. This is a dream scenario, as Bruce Arians and Brady utilize running backs in the pass game often. James White was targeted 218 times over the past two seasons with Brady. Look for Vaughn to establish himself in DFS early on, and with his abilities to run, catch, and block we may even see Vaughn making an impact on Tampa Bay’s NFL over under line for win this up coming season.

Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts


With terrific dynasty potential and the ability to be a three-down back, Jonathan Taylor is very intriguing. Yes, the Indianapolis Colts still have 24-year-old Marlon Mack on the roster, but it shouldn’t be long before Taylor takes over as the lead dog. The Colts didn’t trade up to take him early in the second round for nothing. The Colts are hoping that their new dynamic running back will impact some of their NFL spreads next season.

Taylor rushed for over 6,000 yards in three seasons at Wisconsin. The back logged a ton of touches and scored 26 total touchdowns over his final season. He even nabbed 26 catches. Taylor will benefit from running behind Indy’s offensive line that ranked third-best last season. If Mack could rack up 1,000 yards last season, then watch what Taylor can do! He’s a star in the making.

Honorable Mentions


Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams

Anthony McFarland Jr. – Pittsburgh Steelers

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