Exploiting Value Through KTC: RB Buys

Exploiting Value Through KTC: RB Buys

KeepTradeCut (KTC) is a free and fantastic tool for the dynasty gamer. It is a great way to gauge how the dynasty hive mind values different players and picks. This website essentially provides “market value” for all kinds of assets, using over 900,000 data points and counting. It is important to note, however, that the market is not always correct. The best part of this crowdsourcing tool is that it allows the savvy dynasty manager to recognize and exploit weaknesses in the market. 

Checkout the other editions in the series here:

The purpose of this article is to pinpoint the running backs who are currently the most undervalued by the dynasty market. These players are great buy candidates, as you will likely be able to get them for less than they’re worth. On the other hand, if you own any of these players, it is highly recommended that you hold onto them for the time being.

Note: All of the KTC values used in this article are assuming a Superflex/0.5 PPR format.  


D’Andre Swift

Current KTC Value: 6254

Current Positional Ranking: RB11

Sample Trade using KTC’s trade calculator:

The Lions surprised a lot of people when they decided to ignore their dire need at WR this offseason completely. Instead of selecting DeVonta Smith like some expected, the team went with OT Penei Sewell, widely considered the top offensive linemen in the 2021 draft class. Both of these developments are very positive for second-year running back D’Andre Swift. Because of the extremely weak pass-catching group outside of TJ Hockenson, Swift is going to be absolutely peppered with targets. What’s more, the addition of Sewell solidifies the offensive line and ensures Swift will be running behind one of the better lines in the league. 

Why then is D’Andre Swift one of the top fallers on KTC?

The primary reason for dynasty managers souring on Swift is that Anthony Lynn has made it known that he plans to go with the hot hand this coming season. The Lions also signed Jamaal Williams earlier this offseason to a 2 year, 6 million dollar contract. 

It is important to note that Lynn said similar things about Ekeler and Justin Jackson last offseason. That didn’t stop Ekeler from averaging 16.5 fantasy points per game (9th amongst RBs) on 6.5 targets and 11.6 carries per game. Furthermore, new Lions head coach, and former Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell, has been vocal about utilizing Swift in a ‘Kamara-esque’ type role, lining him up out of the slot and getting him the ball in space. 

While Lynn has discussed using a ‘hot hand approach,’ he’s also mentioned that he believes Swift can be a three down running back. “We have to keep him on the field, and I believe he wants to be on the field,” Lynn said. “And we’ll find someone else to be on the field with him, but I’m excited by what I saw on tape.” It is very likely that we see both Williams and Swift on the field together quite frequently, as Williams is known for his blocking skills, and Swift is a dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands. It is highly recommended you acquire Swift anywhere and everywhere you can. 

David Montgomery 

Current KTC Value: 5,187

Current Positional Ranking: RB22

Sample Trade using KTC’s trade calculator:

Let’s play a game. I give you two mystery running backs’ stats, and you choose who you’d rather have on your fantasy team. No cheating!

*In parenthesis is how each stat ranks amongst all eligible NFL running backs.**In parenthesis is how each stat ranks amongst all eligible NFL running backs.*

*In parenthesis is how each stat ranks amongst all eligible NFL running backs.*

Player A is Jonathan Taylor, and Player B is David Montgomery. 

Although Taylor did outdo Montgomery in terms of YPC, Montgomery ranked comparably or favorably in almost every other key RB metric. Taylor also enjoyed one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in the league, while Montgomery had to run behind one of the worst.

This is not to say that Montgomery should be valued above Taylor in dynasty. However, the fact that there is a 20 spot difference in where they’re ranked (Taylor RB2 and Montgomery RB22) seems fallacious. While the return of Tarik Cohen will almost assuredly bring down Montgomery’s passing game production, Taylor has a similar situation with backfield mate Nyheim Hines. 

One huge reason for Montgomery’s breakout performance in 2020 was his work with one of the best speed trainers in the country, Chris Korfist. More specifically, “Since he started working with Korfist, Montgomery hasn’t run a true timed 40-yard dash. But Korfist estimates that Montgomery is now at a 4.44 mark, a vast improvement from the 4.63 he clocked at the NFL Combine in 2019. Montgomery has added 1.5 miles per hour to his speed since he began with Korfist a year ago.” 

This speed upgrade is evident when looking at Montgomery’s 2020 metrics in comparison to 2019. Montgomery improved in both yards per carry and yards per reception by 0.6 yards per attempt. He also went from averaging 1.19 yards created per touch (2019) to 1.49 (2020). Lastly, he went from 7 total touchdowns in 16 games (2019) to 10 total touchdowns in 15 games (2020). 

Last but not least, the Bears’ selections in the NFL draft will prove to be a tailwind for Montgomery in 2021 and beyond. They drafted their QB of the future in Justin Fields, who will help the offense as a whole take a big step forward once he takes over the starting job. Moreover, the Bears drafted two offensive linemen (in the 2nd and 5th rounds) who should help upgrade the run-blocking for Montgomery.  A low-end RB1/high-end RB2 performance will be easily attainable for Montgomery; a great value for his current price. 

Tony Pollard

Current KTC Value: 2883

Current Positional Ranking: RB37

Sample Trade using KTC’s trade calculator:

Tony Pollard is a fantastic player to acquire and stash on your bench for the next year or two. Although he’s currently stuck behind Ezekiell Elliott, he is a free agent in 2023, and could very well get a chance to be a lead back. In the meantime, Pollard remains one of the highest upside handcuffs in fantasy football. If anything were to happen to Zeke, Tony becomes a must-start.

In 2020, it’s worth noting that Pollard actually outproduced Elliott in some key efficiency metrics. Namely: 

  • Yards per Carry Pollard: 4.3, Elliott 4.0 

  • Breakaway Run RatePollard: 5%, Elliott: 1.6% 

  • Yards Created Per TouchPollard: 1.54, Elliott: 1.12

  • Yards Per ReceptionPollard: 6.9, Elliott: 6.5

Pollard flashed his game-breaking ability when he got the feature back role against a solid 49ers defense in week 15. He finished with 31.2 fantasy points on 132 total yards and 2 touchdowns. That fantasy performance was better than any of Elliott’s in 2020, as Zeke’s highest output came in at 27.7 points in week 1 (with Prescott at QB). 

Despite being the more efficient weapon out of the backfield in 2020, don’t expect Pollard to take over Zeke’s job just yet. When he does get his chance though, you’ll be happy to have him stashed on your dynasty team. Go get him now while he’s still cheap. 

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