On this edition of the Fantasy Film Projector, we discuss Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols and where his skill set fits into the NFL fantasy picture as a rookie in 2017.
McNichols played 3 seasons at Boise State and recorded 55 total touchdowns combined rushing and receiving. His 2,255 all-purpose yards were the second-most in a season in Boise State history. A high volume RB, McNichols carried the ball 314 times in 2016, tied for fourth most among all NCAA FBS running backs.
At 5'9, 212 lbs, McNichols is a bit undersized but plays strong, showing the desire to bull over defenders by initiating contact first. A lot of draftniks are worried about McNichols size and lack of elite athletic ability at the pro level, but by getting caught up in that, they miss the overall scope of McNichols' ability.
The most intriguing aspect to McNichols game in terms of fantasy value is what he can do as a the receiver out of the backfield. McNichols has the cutting, vision and catching skill set reminiscent of players like Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman. His vision allows him to see lanes the after the catch and decisively move to the correct spot. He's at identifying cut back lanes which him helps elude defenders and his good balance allows him to string multiple moves together as you'll see in the video above.
Durability is one of the main concerns surrounding McNichols draft stock. He's expected to undergo surgery on his labrum this coming offseason. The former Bronco has dealt with shoulder issues throughout the past season.
How he could help you in fantasy
Overall, while McNichols doesn't possess overwhelming size at 5'9, there are plenty of running backs who have his skill set that have been great fantasy options. For example, Devonta Freeman stands 5'8, 206 lbs and has been a top 10 fantasy RB for two seasons now. Great coaches and franchises maximize talent, and McNichols has the receiving skills and vision that can be maximized in the right offensive scheme with the right coach.
If you're looking to draft him to your dynasty team, you can expect him to be selected in the mid to late rounds of the draft and if he lands in a good situation, he'll bring some good fantasy value as a backup RB that could see some increased playing time if the starter goes down.