2021 Fantasy Football: Rookie RB Rankings Based On Prop Bets

  • Najee Harris’s season total for rushing yards is set at 949.5.
  • Javonte Williams total for rushing yards is set at 749.5 yards.
  • Travis Etienne has his total for yards at 624.5 yards.

LAS VEGAS — With the NFL season creeping up closer by the day, it is time for those that partake in fantasy football to start digging into where the value lies when it comes to rookies. Especially when it comes down to the rookie running backs.

When looking at this year’s draft class of running backs, there are plenty of names that should come to mind: Najee Harris, Javonte Williams and Travis Etienne.

One way that fantasy players could get a leg up on their research is by looking into their season totals for rushing yards set on NFL sportsbooks.

Najee Harris Fantasy Value

Of all the rookie running backs in this draft class, Najee Harris is being set up to succeed right from the jump as he will be taking over RB1 duties for the Pittsburgh Steelers now that James Conner is no longer with the team.

Fantasy goers should take his rushing total for the season as an indication that he will have a strong rookie season. He is coming off of two seasons in a row where he rushed for over 1200 yards at the University of Alabama.

Najee Harris Rushing Yard Total

  • Over 949.5 -115
  • Under 949.5 -115

Something else to dive into here is the fact that Harris has six weeks on the Steelers schedule to look forward to against the Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, and two against the Cincinnati Bengals. What these teams have in common is that they ranked in the bottom 10 for opposing running backs yards per game.

With that said, when taking a flyer on a rookie running back, Najee Harris is the smartest of the bunch with the most upside.

Javonte Williams Fantasy Value

Javonte Williams is headed into the 2021 season with the Denver Broncos with a similar layout to the one he had while playing for North Carolina. By the looks of things, Williams will be splitting the carries with Melvin Gordon, who is listed as the RB1, which is also the main reason as to why his season total is set where it is.

Javonte Williams Rushing Yard Total

  • Over 749.5 -120
  • Under 749.5 -110

Although Williams is coming off of his first 1000+ yard season in college, he could have some trouble not only hitting that mark again in the NFL but even hitting the Over for his yards total.

As for the weeks to look out for, Weeks 1, 6, 10, 14, 15, and 16 all come against a team who allowed the most rushing yards per game in the 2020 season. However, the Broncos do have their fair share of games against top rushing defenses as well in Weeks 1, 4, 5, and 7.

With that, he could be a streaming back in leagues with less than 10 managers and a weekly option in leagues of 12 or more.

Travis Etienne Fantasy Value

Of the three running backs selected in the second round, Travis Etienne has the lowest rushing yard total of the bunch. That comes easy as he will likely be involved in a 50/50 split with James Robinson, who put up a 1000+ rushing yard season in his rookie year for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020.

Travis Etienne Rushing Yard Total

  • Over 624.5 -115
  • Under 624.5 -115

Where Etienne stands out though is his ability to catch the ball in which could turn out to hurt his rushing yard total if the Jags decide to utilize him in pass-catching situations only. That reason alone could have bettors thinking otherwise and leaning towards the Under.

The upside about his pass-catching ability though comes especially for those that play in a PPR format as he could show his value through that.

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