As we close in toward a new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy football values constantly on the move, and nothing shakes up the league like the recently finished NFL Draft, where young rookies begin their NFL careers.
Devon Achane’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
Out of all the landing spots to complain about coming out of the 2023 draft — and there are several — there is one running back who received the perfect landing spot and draft capital. That is Achane, who the Dolphins drafted as the RB5 off the board at pick No. 84 overall.
With Isaiah Spiller out of the picture, Achane thrived in his final season for the Aggies, rushing for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 36 passes for 196 yards on 44 targets. While size (5’8 1/2″ and 188 pounds) is unquestionably the elephant in the room, that didn’t stop him from heavy usage, including his final game against LSU, where he totaled 38 carries for 215 yards and two touchdowns after missing a few games due to an injury.
Now will that same level of workload follow him into the NFL? Absolutely not. But what will follow Achane is his world-class speed, and I don’t mean that lightly. He blazed a 4.32 40-time and, during the summer of 2022, ran the 200m and 20.02 seconds. For context, that’s the same time as multiple-time Olympic medalist and World Champion Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake.
Achane has speed that changes leverage on defense, and if we were going to pick a dream landing spot, it was going to be Miami, where Mike McDaniel prioritizes fast running backs who can accelerate and hit the edge in his wide zone, rushing scheme.
Miami re-signed Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. this offseason on one-year deals, but I don’t see that stopping Achane from impacting immediately. Wilson and Mostert will do what they did last year and eat away at each other’s opportunities.
After Wilson joined the squad in Week 9, he averaged 10 carries for 49 yards and nearly 0.4 touchdowns per game through Week 18. Mostert averaged an almost identical workload at 10 carries for 55 yards and 0.25 touchdowns per game. Both missed a game over the stretch and posted nearly identical points-per-game outputs as the RB32 and RB33.
Achane can instantly take every opportunity and turn up the wick on the production. Given his size, he’ll unquestionably need to be an outlier, but he has the speed to facilitate this.
While he’ll never be a workhorse-style RB, if Miami provides Achane around 10+ opportunities per game — with a handful of them being targets — he’ll unquestioningly be a fantasy starter. Even though I feel Achane’s going to be higher valued in Best Ball than redraft/traditional dynasty formats, that is the case for most running backs in a committee that are more scheme dependent.
Devon Achane Fantasy Ranking
Achane has bounced around quite a bit in my rankings over the last year. He’s been as high as RB4 but as low as RB8, and was on the lower end of things coming into the draft. It was all going down to the fit and seeing what the NFL thinks. At the end of the day, draft capital represents a team’s overall confidence in a player’s ability to produce and help their franchise move forward.
Just in terms of this rookie class, Achane currently is the RB5 going into rookie dynasty drafts. However, I wouldn’t fault anyone taking him as high as the RB3 behind Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs. Achane has a perfect landing spot, and players like Kendre Miller and Zach Charbonnet could need to wait at least one season before they realize their value potential.
Achane also comes in as the RB27 in the current dynasty RB rankings, though there is still some processing that needs to happen as we dive more and more into how players like Achane will impact their rosters.
Achane’s former coach, Jimbo Fisher, said it quite well: “He’s an all-around football player who just happens to have world-class speed.”
I would agree. Whether it’s single back, pistol, shotgun, slot, screens, sweeps, or wheel routes, McDaniel can leverage Achane’s speed and turn them into a weapon across this offense.
I don’t see Achane receiving a high enough workload to reach the upper RB2 range. Still, as the currently ranked RB27 in dynasty, Achane is right on the cusp of RB2/RB3 territory and will be worth plugging into your RB3/Flex spots. He’ll bring a dynamic upside to any dynasty roster, but you’re also banking on Achane being the outlier we hope he can be, as his size will be a concern until he proves it’s not.
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