We are back with another installment of Buy, Sell, or Hold for devy leagues. This week we are back to running backs. There are so many intriguing backs this year, so it was hard to just pick a few for this article. You can check out the last installment on running backs here. Now let’s get to the players you should be looking at making a move on.
BUY: Dontavius Braswell, South Carolina
I always look for a running back who would not necessarily be a sleeper but is not in the top tier of freshmen coming into the season (usually outside the top ten). Last year, it was Jaydn Ott at California and this year, it is Braswell. In all my devy leagues and Campus2Canton leagues, I have tried to get Braswell wherever I can. He was the 15th-ranked running back in the 2023 class and it was a big get for South Carolina to get a four-star player out of Georgia. He had offers from Alabama and Florida State before he decided to choose South Carolina.
Braswell could make an immediate impact for the Gamecocks as returning backs have less than 300 yards from last season. Top back Marshawn Lloyd transfers to USC and now there is a wide-open depth chart. In watching Braswell’s high school film, you can see his burst and explosion as he returned punts and had many long touchdown runs. He shows great patience in setting up blocks and his balance allows him to break tackles to gain big chunks of yards.
Braswell is currently being drafted as RB55 on Campus2Canton’s ADP but is currently 26th in their devy rankings. Now is the time to go get him before the hype gets too big and you have to pay much more.
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SELL: TreVonte’ Citizen, Miami
Sometimes for incoming freshmen, it is not their own fault that they fall behind or do not break out. That is true for Citizen. He was highly touted last year as the number eight back in the 2022 class and a top 135 prospect. He suffered a knee injury in a scrimmage before the 2022 season and missed the whole season. The Miami offense was underwhelming but the bright spot was running back Henry Parish Jr, we transferred from Ole Miss and led the backfield in carries, yards, and receptions. Parrish looks to lead the backfield, but Donald Chaney Jr and Citizen will be in competition for touches.
I think Citizen is very talented and all signs point to him returning this year but how effective and explosive will he be? Also, it will be hard for him to take the top spot from Parrish. Because of the crowded backfield, I worry that Citizen may not get a full workload until 2024. He is currently being drafted as RB11 according to Campus2Canton’s ADP but in DLF Devy Rankings he is the RB28. The big gap in ADP and rankings should allow for a good trade value before the season. Trevor Etienne and Kaytron Allen are behind Citizen in ADP and should get more work this coming year. You could get one of them plus extra for Citizen.
HOLD: Omarion Hampton, North Carolina
I was very high on Hampton last year as he was coming to an open situation at North Carolina and was the 11th-ranked RB in the 2022 class. The Tar Heels also brought in RB12, George Pettaway, who is more of a pass-catching back and a slasher. I thought Hampton would get more of the touches carrying the ball and early on he did. In two of the first three games, Hampton had over 100 rushing yards but after that, he did not ever get over 40 rushing yards.
Even with the lack of production throughout the season, Hampton finished third on the team in rushing. QB Drake Maye finished first on the team with only 698 yards. Hampton finished with 4.7 yards per touch from scrimmage and I see him having a big improvement from his first to second year. I think the Tar Heels would like to see Maye rush less this year and have more balance in passing and rushing production as a team. 39% of Hampton’s designed runs went for 15 yards or more. Even though he is a bigger back, he has a good burst and can create explosive plays. He is RB99 on Campus2Canton ADP and is not in DLF’s top 36 running backs, so you are not going to get good value back. This is why I want to hold on Hampton and wait to see how much he improves in his second year.
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