As the NFL offseason comes to a close, so does the offseason in fantasy football. In dynasty formats, the preseason is truly a pivotal portion of the calendar. This year, we have some some quickly-ascending rookies with strong preseason performances in Steelers WR George Pickens, Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco, Texans RB Dameon Pierce and Commanders RB Brian Robinson, just to name a few. One rookie Raider who has popped back up on the dynasty radar is seventh-round pick RB Brittain Brown after his strong performance against the Vikings on Aug. 14.
Brown saw a big workload for a preseason game, registering 54 rushing yards on 14 carries and also adding seven receiving yards on two catches. Brown also punched in a one-yard rushing touchdown on the day.
Brown followed up his big game against the Vikings with an even more impressive showing against the Dolphins on Aug. 20, rushing for 70 yards on nine carries for a 7.8 yards per carry mark. Brown also caught two more passes for 7 yards.
The rookie running back figures to slot in at best as fourth on the depth chart behind Josh Jacobs, fellow rookie Zamir White and Ameer Abdullah, and he might start the season on the practice squad. But if Sunday was any indication, Brown is an intriguing deeper running back option who looks like he has the skillset to handle an NFL role if there happen to be injuries ahead of him this season.
Brown played five seasons of college football, spending three years at Duke in the ACC before transferring to UCLA in the Pac-12. His best years in college football were his first and last, posting 862 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman and 744 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns as a senior.
Brittain Brown is not a high-ceiling prospect due to his age (he’ll turn 25 in October), lack of speed (4.69 40-yard dash at his Pro Day) and low draft capital, but in deeper leagues, running back ceiling is not nearly as important as the chance to simply hold a spot on a depth chart. In Week 3 of 2021, former Raiders RB Peyton Barber had a monster day against the Dolphins with 142 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. It was his only fantasy relevant game of the season, but it shows what spot-start running backs can do. If you’re in a deep dynasty league, stash Brittain Brown while the Raiders depth chart shakes out.
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