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2024 CFF: Top 5 G5 Running Backs Outside of the Top 24 Rankings

Last week I brought you 2024 CFF: Top 5 G5 QBs Outside of the Top 24 Rankings. This week, I want to talk about my Top 5 G5 RBs who are Outside John Laub’s Top 24 Players. My friend, John Laub, wrote an article, First Down: 2024 College Fantasy Football Rankings. In my introductory piece for Fantrax, I wrote about my love for the G5. Heck, I co-host a podcast called the G5 Hive. In this article, we’ll talk about my Top 5 G5 RBs who can be difference-makers for your teams and who are outside John Laub’s Top 24.

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Top G5 RBs Outside John Laub’s Top 24

Note: The running backs below will be listed in the order of John Laub’s rankings and include each player’s Fantrax CFF ADP and May C2C ADP. C2C ADP is courtesy of Any PPG talk is assuming 1 point per reception (PPR) leagues.

(#32): Dean Connors – Rice (86.5/NA)

Last year, Dean Connors averaged 16.8ppg. That was good for RB21. He only averaged 10 touches/game, and he was 3rd in the G5 in terms of RB targets/game (3.5). He ranked 37th in yards/game at the G5 level. The O-Line brought back 4 of 5 of their starters. Look for the continuity as a whole to raise all ships in 2024. Things are trending up for a BIG Dean Connors year.

(#64): Kanye Roberts – Appalachian State (96/NA)

Kanye Roberts shared the backfield with Nate Noel in 2023. Noel was top 20 in the G5 in terms of total yards/game. He and his 18 opportunities/game (6th in the G5) are off to Missouri. I like Roberts to fill this role in 2024. I know Appalachian State threw the ball more in 2024 than in previous years. But Come’on. You saw what I laid out above for Noel. Top 20 in the G5 for opportunities and total yards?!? An ADP of 96 in CFF leagues and a UDFA in C2C leagues?!? Sign me up!

(#74): Lee Beebe – University of Alabama Birmingham (127/NA)

Jermaine Brown Jr. Averaged 14.6 touches/game last year. While Isaiah Jacobs, yes brother of Josh Jacobs, averaged 14.4 touches/games. They averaged 3.3 and 3.4 receptions/game, respectively. Brown Jr is gone and Jacobs is returning from a knee injury he suffered in late September of 2023. Turns out, he played the game against Tulane with a torn ACL and didn’t even know it. Anyway, let’s do some quick math. If Jacobs is back, I would assume we see Beebe take the Brown Jr. touches. If he is not healthy to start the year, Beebe has the opportunity to get up in the neighborhood of 29 touches/game. We are talking about upwards of 30 opportunities/game going in the 11th round of CFF leagues and a UDFA in C2C leagues. Draft Lee Beebe.

(#75): Marquez Cooper – San Diego State University (75/245)

Marquez Cooper transferred to Ball State following the 2022 season. He averaged 15 rushing attempts/game and 1.75 receptions/game. That is 16/17 opportunities/game. He was 5th in the G5 in missed tackles forced (46), so you know he can make things happen. He was RB47 and averaged 13.5ppg in 2023.

I mentioned he transferred to Ball State. Why? His Head Coach, Sean Lewis, left Kent State for the OC position at Colorado. Lewis is now the Head Coach at San Diego State. He brought a familiar face, Cooper, into this RB room. Under Lewis, Cooper averaged 17.9 opportunities/game (14.6 ppg) in 2021 and 24.4 opportunities/game (18.9 ppg) in 2022.

Note: It did take a while for Cooper to commit to SDSU. There is something a little off, in my opinion. If you don’t see as many opportunities as you thought you’d see in the first 3 games or so, feel free to cut bait. I don’t want you to get caught holding the bag.

(#83): Ayo Adeyi – James Madison University (234/NA)

James Madison lost near everyone to Indiana, but in comes Bob Chesney. Chesney has coached at the D3 and D2 levels before most recently coaching at Holy Cross. Why is that important? In my opinion, college coaches recruit players to fit their system. On the surface, it seems odd he brought in Dylan Morris to be the QB. Morris is the exact opposite QB mold of what he had at Holy Cross. But let’s take a step back.

He is working with what he has available to him via the portal. At the D3 level, more than the D1 level, you don’t always get to choose who you bring in. At those lower levels you tend to adapt your scheme to your players. I see no difference here.

Jordan McCloud transferred to Texas State. Chesney needed a QB. He goes out and gets Morris, who enrolls on 1/5/24. Ayo Adeyi (North Texas Transfer) enrolled on 1/7/24 and George Pettaway (North Carolina Transfer) enrolled on 1/8/24. Historically, Chesney likes to run the ball with two guys, the QB and the RB. Trust me, the leading rusher for James Madison in 2024 will not be Dylan Morris.

We will see Ayo Adeyi and George Pettaway lead the way on the ground for the Dukes in 2024. In an episode of the Worker Bee Series for the G5 Hive, the JMU beat reporter mentioned the RB1 would be Ayo Adeyi. He also mentioned Chesney is having Adeyi out in front of the media. Why is that important? The CFF Podcast, Chasing The Natty says, “It’s important to note who’s being given interviews. They’re going to go with guys they trust, guys that they think are bought into their program, and those things tend to translate to on-field playing time.” If you want the full quote, you can hear it here. I couldn’t agree more! At the current ADP, give me all the Adeyi shares I can get.

There you have it. Those are my Top 5 G5 RBs outside John Laub’s Top 24. College Fantasy Football (CFF) and Campus2Canton (C2C) drafts are starting up. There is only one place to do your college fantasy football drafts, and it’s FANTRAX! Knowing G5 players can help give you edges in your drafts. The return on investment can be HUGE! Now, go use this information you learned here and crush your drafts in 2024! CFF and C2C leagues, to the moon baby!

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