Every year, we are wrong about position battles. The amount of information out there is just too little, and sometimes, sh** just happens! Well, I wanted to look at five players today who I think have a real shot at big value but are amidst either a cloudy RB/WR room or are “behind” the shiny toy everyone just assumes will be the guy in 2024.

The best part is that all five players are final-round draft picks or will be available off of waivers. Let it be known that this is purely a redraft strategy. The goal here is to spend several weeks diagnosing the situation and cutting bait immediately to open up a roster spot for one of those nice early-in-the-season waiver wire adds. Also, I wouldn’t take more than one of these options, as filling your bench with a bunch of low-likelihood valuable players isn’t a great idea.

Chris Hilton Jr., LSU WR

Hilton is one of many LSU receiver options and fits perfectly for this strategy. Very quickly we will know where he stands in this receiver. Kyren Lacy is the lone guy we all feel confident as a solidified starter, but besides that, who will see those very valuable WR2 targets?

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Hilton played in seven games last season, securing 13 catches and two TDs. His 2023 season was very pedestrian, but this feels like a wide-open room. CJ Daniels was with the second team in the spring, and Zavion Thomas is more proven, but not by a whole lot in comparison to Hilton. With the start of the season being USC, Nicholls, and South Carolina, we should see LSU move the ball enough to determine a pecking order by Week 4.

Trey Sanders, TCU RB

TCU has churned out fantasy assets over the years, which is why Sanders is listed here. If I had written this article two months ago, then he wouldn’t have been listed because his ADP was much higher. Now, everyone is focused on Cam Cook, the talented young back, to be the RB1. I believe Cook is the guy, but what if he’s not? He scored six times in 2023 but only ran for 176 yards on 48 carries. Sanders is extremely cheap and again, we’ll quickly know the RB rotation and where he stands. 

Josh Williams, LSU RB

Much like Sanders, Williams is the unlikely RB1 thanks to a talented young RB who has impressed between his limited action and the spring game. Unlike Sanders, Williams was the guy last year and played well with the usage he was given. It was an RBBC between several guys, so Williams had just 55 attempts for 284 yards and 5 TDs. With Jayden Daniels, the RB usage was always going to be questionable, so I’m not writing off the fact that he saw 64 fewer carries than Logan Diggs, the leading LSU RB, in 2023.

Kaleb Jackson is the assumed starter at RB, but I think that could be a little bit of shiny toy syndrome. In last year’s bowl game, it was Williams who led the team in carries (12 for 51 yards), while Jackson had just two attempts. Wouldn’t the up-and-coming Jackson see more usage in a game like this? One of three things will happen in the first few weeks. Williams is the RB1, and you have a massive steal. Jackson is the RB1, and you can cut bait. If there’s an RBBC, and you cut bait. Considering that Jackson has an ADP in the single-digit rounds, I don’t mind shooting my shot here.

Ikaika Ragsdale, North Texas, RB

All of these players listed have risk and that’s the same with Ragsdale. He’s probably closer to the RB1 than the rest of the RBs listed, but he’s coming off what is believed to be a lower-body injury in Week 2 of last season. He’s expected to be fully available by the time the season starts, and for that reason, why not throw a dart here?

Courtesy of Denton Record-Chronicle

Oscar Adaway III and Ayo Adeyi both transferred in the offseason so the room is thin. Ragsdale’s main competition is Zach Evans, the Minnesota transfer who has 58 career attempts in two seasons. Ragsdale, on the other hand, has 251 career attempts and over 1,300 rushing yards. This offense has shown to put out productive RB1s, and Evans is the only guy in his way (and maybe it’s the other way around!).

Anthony Woods, Utah RB

Who? Well, if you’re unaware of who Woods is, then that means you haven’t been watching Idaho Vandals football lately. He’s the transfer RB from Idaho who ran for 1,126 yards and 16 TDs last season and 872 yards the year before that. He’s very clearly a talented runner to at least some extent and has shown some thump against Power 5 opponents in the past.

Oddly enough, we’ve seen FCS RBs out west perform well recently, including guys like Cameron Skattebo and Cody Schrader. He missed some, if not all, of the spring due to injury, but this is a position we want to target in CFF. The Utah RB is a coveted spot, as we’ve seen over the years. Why not take a shot on a guy who will, very early on, see if the coaching staff trusts them to get more than role-player usage?

*There are message board rumors that his injury may be season-ending, so beware of this when drafting.

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