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Second-Year Scouting Report: Rachaad White

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June is underway. and we are getting closer and closer to the 2023 regular season. Best ball leagues have been drafting for months now and they are getting more popular now that we understand landing spots for veteran free agents and rookies.

 

Every year, rookie fever emerges and the previous class gets pushed aside by the shiny new NFL toys. This usually results in a rookie surge of ADP, which opens up pockets of value, especially with players from the previous class who may not be as established as some long-time veterans in the league. This happens even though most fantasy analysts (and players) understand the largest leap occurs from year 1 to year 2.

Throughout the summer, FTN will be releasing second-year scouting reports to keep these players fresh in fantasy managers’ minds. The series shifts today to Rachaad White, the second-year running back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This article is a breakdown of White’s first season and what fantasy managers can expect from him going forward in 2023 and beyond.

Rachaad White, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Few players were as productive as Rachaad White during his two-year stretch with the Arizona State Sun Devils. White transferred in as a JUCO running back and immediately flashed explosive ability, carrying the ball 224 times for 1,420 yards and 20 touchdowns in just 15 games. He also proved to be an adept receiver, compiling 51 receptions for 607 yards and two receiving scores. White finished his two years in Tempe with 6.3 yards per carry and a whopping 11.9 yards per reception.

Rachaad White then hit the jackpot coming out of the 2022 NFL Draft. He was selected in the third round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and found himself on a team with a stellar offensive line, Tom Brady at quarterback and Super Bowl aspirations. Yes, he would have to contend with touches with incumbent starter Leonard Fournette, but there was still a path to playing time in a loaded offense.

What Went Wrong

Rachaad White Tampa Bay Buccaneers Second-Year Scouting Report

White’s season started slowly as he acclimated to a team with Super Bowl aspirations in a veteran-laden offense. In Weeks 1-9, White averaged just 4.2 carries and 2.8 targets per game while topping out at a 43% snap share. Additionally, White’s general efficiency metrics weren’t great compared to other running backs in the NFL. FTN’s advanced statistics show that White logged just an 18% breakaway run rate (runs that went for 15-plus yards) and the running back posted just a 3.2 yards per carry mark against stacked boxes in his first season. Those marks were 41st and 33rd, respectively, among NFL quarterbacks with at least 100 carries.

By and large, it was a very successful season for a third-round rookie in a veteran offense. Aside from some efficiency issues, the rookie saw his role consistently grow throughout his first year in the NFL.

What Went Right

Throughout the season, Rachaad White saw his role expand in the offense thanks to injuries and ineffectiveness from Leonard Fournette. In Weeks 10-17 (the Buccaneers rested their starters for most of Week 18), White’s workload jumped to 12.4 carries and 4.7 targets per game. His yards per carry jumped up to 4.0 during that stretch as well.

Arguably the biggest impact White had throughout his first season was his pass-catching acumen. The rookie caught 50 of 58 targets for 290 yards and two touchdowns on the season. It speaks volumes that White was able to carve out a 7% target share in a Tom Brady offense surrounded by Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Leonard Fournette and others. White finished his rookie season with eight games with at least four targets, including two games with eight or more.

 

Prognosis Entering 2023

Currently, White is being drafted on Sleeper as the RB29 with an ADP of 79.6. His valuation is relatively similar with an ADP of 80.2 and RB25 status.

Determining White’s value heading into the 2023 season is difficult. On one hand, he’s slated to lead the Buccaneers’ backfield after the team released Leonard Fournette before the draft. Tampa Bay elected to not draft any competition and just brought Chase Edmonds on as a veteran player in the backfield. At the very least, White is going to get a lead-back workload on the ground and should see a decent portion of Fournette’s 83 vacated targets from 2023.

On the other hand, White finds himself on a significantly worse offense than in 2022, which struggled even with Tom Brady at the helm. Tampa Bay’s offensive line is a mess and Brady’s retirement means that White will be lining up behind either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask to start the 2023 season. He will be running into more stacked boxes as teams force the Tampa Bay quarterbacks to beat them over the top.

Currently, White is valued as a high-end RB3 in both traditional drafts as well as best ball drafts. This seems appropriate given what we know. White will command a large enough workload to justify a top-24 finish, but the overall efficiency of the offense makes it hard to claim he will be an RB1 despite the expanded role.

Dynasty Outlook

Dynasty managers can be a bit more optimistic about White’s long-term outlook. The Buccaneers may be bad enough to secure one of the top quarterbacks in the 2024 draft cycle, which would immediately make the running back’s life easier. Tampa Bay has a legitimate chance to finish the 2023 season with a bottom-10 record, which gives them an avenue to improve the offensive line if they can’t upgrade the quarterback position.

Most dynasty rankings have White firmly planted in the RB2 range of running backs long term. While that is a fair assessment for now, he has numerous paths to improve his standing long-term, especially if he can avoid the team adding significant competition through the draft or free agency after this season. He’s worth price-checking if you’re looking to acquire in dynasty leagues, especially if he (and the offense) starts slow next season.

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