Elite Running Back that Vegas is Fading in 2024

There's a lot of hype around this rookie- but should we be worried?

Elite Running Back that Vegas is Fading in 2024.

Long-time Las Vegas gambler and ranked high-stakes fantasy player Frank Taddeo (@RespectedMoney on X) is always watching Vegas oddsmakers to identify best bets and fantasy values.


COULD THIS RB1 BURN FANTASY MANAGERS in 2024? 

In our initial series of highlighting players who are witnessing significant movement in their 2024 NFL betting markets here at Fulltime Fantasy, we dove into a rookie running back expected to make a major impact in 2024 as well as a wideout who may struggle to return fair ADP value.

A major component of my success playing high-stakes fantasy football at the FFWC is incorporating player projections of oddsmakers into my NFL model. I began creating my model back in 2010 when I created the only over-the-counter DFS program offered to date in a Las Vegas sportsbook.

The latest installment leads us to new Eagles star running back Saquon Barkley. The former Giants standout lands in Philadelphia after signing a three-year, $37.75 million contract in free agency. The expectations are the highest they have ever been for the two-time Pro Bowl back who has scored 47 touchdowns in his first six seasons in the NFL. 

Fantasy managers are investing premium draft capital in Barkley in early FFWC drafts. The 2018 OROY owns an ADP of 15.9 / RB6 after coming off the board as high as 13 with a low of 18.

Due to the dynamic running ability of dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts, can Barkley yield enough production in his first season on Broad Street to reward those who invest high draft capital?

VEGAS ODDSMAKERS FADING POTENTIAL PRODUCTION

Over the last three seasons, three different Eagles players have led the club in rushing: 2023 D’Andre Swift (1,049); 2022 Miles Sanders (1,269), and 2021 Jalen Hurts (784). 

Oddsmakers, who initially installed Barkley with a rushing yard betting projection of 1125.5, have adjusted the tailback down to a betting demand of 1025.5 at DraftKings. While only shaving his production by 100 yards, the most alarming move is currently being witnessed in his overall total rushing touchdown projection sliced from 9.5 to 6.5.

“A FULL three rushing touchdown fade may lead to a higher ADP in high stakes drafts held later this summer as word of this move spreads. ” – Frankie Taddeo

Following the retirement of future HOF center Jason Kelce, many expected the Eagles to employ the “Tush Push” less frequently with Barkley now owning lead backfield duties. However, oddsmakers are now tempering their expectations for significant goal line volume.

Barkley, who came off the board at 2.5 in the latest Circa Championship Draft held on June 30, has also seen his receiving yards betting projection reduced from 325.5 yards to 300.5.

The move in his receiving yards market is perplexing as Barkley totaled 288 receptions for 2,100 yards and 12 touchdowns working out of the backfield – despite less-than-ideal QB play during his NY tenure. If we remove his 2020 campaign (torn ACL – played only two games), Barkley has averaged 408 receiving yards per season (721, 438, 263, 338, 280). 

In Philadelphia, Barkley will now play with one of the best signal-callers in the NFL in Hurts. Last season Eagles RBs hauled in 74 receptions, sans a back of Barkley’s pass-catching prowess. Despite the fade in betting markets, fantasy managers should not be afraid to invest second-round draft capital in the dynamic Barkley as he will be playing in a Top 5 NFL offense for the first time in his career.

 


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About Frank Taddeo 56 Articles
Frankie is a Villanova alumni who created the first Casino Fantasy Sports program in Vegas book. He was the 2019 FFWC 10K Top Gun Champion & 2017 + 2018 Back-to-Back Top 100 Players in World Invit. Champ! He is a sports fanatic, a Vegas whisperer, and a horse racing expert handicapper!