Whether you’re searching for Zero RB candidates or aiming to add a late-round runner to your stable of thoroughbreds, Dan “Boom” Herron is a superb value in all fantasy formats. Concerns about Herron’s fantasy viability arose once the Colts signed veteran running back Frank Gore, but with a dirt-cheap 192.5 MFL redraft ADP, “Boom” is one of the best late-round selections a savvy drafter can make.
The Indianapolis Colts led the league in pass attempts, yards, and touchdowns in 2014. Somebody is going to have to be the recipient of Andrew Luck’s passes out of the backfield, and given Gore’s physical decline and marginal receiving abilities, he may not be who the Colts are going to rely on during passing downs.
In Frank Gore’s last four years with the 49ers, he had an average of 1.15 receptions and 9.35 receiving yards per game. Whether this is a result of scheme or Gore’s own catching ability (or lack thereof), the Colts will likely turn to one of its two younger, more versatile backs in passing situations.
Dan Herron appears to be the most qualified pass catcher for the Colts at RB. He is in the 84th percentile in agility score, meaning he has the lateral burst necessary to be a legitimate receiving threat out of the backfield. His agility score is higher than many other established pass catchers such as Matt Forte, Giovani Bernard, and even Jamaal Charles. Herron’s catch rate last season was No.11 in the league. Although this figure comes from a small sample size, it suggests he will be extremely efficient if he is given an expanded passing down role in 2015.
Rookie Josh Robinson, the Colts 6th round pick this year, showed in college that he has the potential to be a factor in the passing game, but his Player Profile shows that Herron is the superior athlete.
Aside from starting three games last year, Dan Herron has not had the opportunity to show what he is capable of doing on game day. He accumulated just 16 total touches in his first three seasons, so comparing both his and Robinson’s college statistics is a better way of understanding how these two backs have been able to produce in the past.
Josh Robinson emerged as a receiving RB in his final season at Mississippi State, delivering more than double the receiving yardage Herron recording during his best year. However, given that both of the QBs Herron played with were fantastic runners themselves (both happen to be playing WR now), it could be argued that this disparity in receiving performance stems more from what coaches asked Herron to do and less from what he was capable of doing. Herron’s success in the Colts’ passing attack thus far seems to confirm this.
Remember that running backs over 30 with 2,000+ carries have a difficult time remaining fantasy relevant, often succumbing to injury or simply an age-related drop in production. Frank Gore doesn’t just meet the aforementioned criteria, he transcends it: Gore is 32 years old with nearly 2,500 NFL carries. Dan Herron should have steady work as the Colts’ primary receiving RB, and when Gore goes down, Herron’s role could expand even further in an attractive timeshare situation with Robinson.
Dan Herron has the distinction of being the best receiving back on the league’s highest volume pass offense, which makes his current 192.5 average draft position the most irrational ADP in fantasy football. You will not find another player in his price range that offers his tantalizing combination of useful third-down ability and potential handcuff value. End your draft with a “Boom” and take him everywhere you can.