<
>
Get ESPN+

Running backs with red flags heading into 2018

There are plenty of reasons for being optimistic about Joe Mixon's 2018 fantasy upside, but there are also legitimate concerns. Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire

It's no secret that volume is king in fantasy football, but a player needs to be #goodatfootball in order to earn and retain said volume.

Evaluating efficiency is far from an easy task in such a team-dependent sport overrun by variance and injuries, but over time, trends emerge. Analyzing categories like yards after contact (YAC), forced missed tackles and -- yes -- even yards per carry (YPC) can help us make the best evaluations.

The Jerick McKinnon problem

Though I'll be covering several players in this piece, the man who inspired it was McKinnon. After four seasons in Minnesota, the 2014 third-round pick and super-athlete heads to San Francisco, where he's positioned as the 49ers' feature back in coach Kyle Shanahan's running back-friendly scheme.

The hype surrounding McKinnon's 2018 prospects has been rampant