After an absolutely stunning Week 3 performance, every set of eyes in the fantasy world was forced to look in De’Von Achane’s direction. How could they not? The rookie running back out of Texas A&M put up unprecedented numbers against the hapless Denver Broncos, running for 203 yards at an insane clip of 11.3 yards per carry and scoring 4 total touchdowns.
Over 50 total FPs in your true NFL debut? Not too shabby. He looked damn electric doing it too:
A week later, it’s finally OK to exhale. As the Dolphins travel to Buffalo for the most anticipated game of the young season, Achane has been snapped up off of every waiver wire there is. Fantasy owners are salivating over Miami’s new toy, hoping last week wasn’t a fluke occurrence and the first year back is going to be plugged seamlessly into what has so far been a totally unstoppable offense.
Of course the question is: should you be starting Achane if you were one of the lucky owners who blew your FAAB wad on him this past week? Obviously, the answer is: it depends who else you’ve got. But we’ll dive deeper than that, I promise.
The case for playing Achane is fairly clear. He scored over 50 fantasy points a week ago, and he’s a speed guy on a team that knows what to do with speed guys. Seriously, no one craves or schemes speed more than Mike McDaniels. Calling Achane merely a speed guy is actually doing him somewhat of a disservice. Achane ran a blistering 4.32 forty yard dash at the combine, and he has both the second and the sixth fastest speeds in the league this year as far as what is clocked on the field in live action.
It is worth pointing out that every top speed in the top 6 so far this year was run by someone on the Dolphins–Tyreek Hill and backfield buddy Raheem Mostert are also very, very fast you may have noticed. The Miami Dolphins offense is basically lightning on a football field. Again, Mike McDaniels knows what he wants, and he knows how to use it.
You can reasonably ding some of Achane’s ridiculous numbers because he was going against the Broncos, who have an absolute joke of a defense. Achane was far from the only Dolphin who blew up–literally all of them ate. Raheem Mostert, Tyreek Hill, and Tua Tagovailoa all put up monstrous fantasy numbers. Even Robbie (Anderson) Chosen made an appearance. Achane sits atop the league in both missed tackles per attempt and yards after contact per attempt. How much of this is Achane and how much of it is the Broncos? I would assume it’s some of each.
Achane would seem to not only be a great fit for the Dolphins offense moving forward, but a good fit specifically for this upcoming game against Buffalo. The Bills have not defended well against gap runs, and Achane did plenty of damage on those very runs last week. His ability to plant his foot into the ground and accelerate is second-to-none. It’s a perfect fit for McDaniels’ wide zone scheme.
The shootout setup also plays into Achane’s favor. Points will be at a premium, and McDaniels will absolutely scheme his most explosive guys (Hill, Waddle, Mostert, and now Achane) up plenty of excellent designs to light up the scoreboard.
The case against Achane? Well, he’s a rookie who has had one great (all-time, even) game against a terrible defense. The Dolphins already have an astoundingly fast running back who is performing at an elite level this season. Raheem Mostert also scored 4 touchdowns against Denver, ran at close to a 7 yards a carry clip in the game, and is literally the overall RB1 in fantasy this season. It’s very hard to believe that Achane is going to take his job anytime soon, barring injury.
But Achane doesn’t need to supplant Mostert in order to be a viable fantasy starter. All he has to do is get enough touches, and it stands to reason that he will. It seems like a good bet that Achane will get 8-10 touches on the low end, and maybe as many as 12-15 depending on game flow and whether or not he (or Mostert) sees early success. If you believe that Achane is going to be anything remotely resembling the guy we all saw last week–and I’ll bet you do if A) you’ve gotten this far in this article and B) you spent all your FAAB on him–I don’t see how you can bench the guy coming off the 50+ point fantasy game.
Our own in-house expert and my podcast co-host, the Wolf of Roto Street himself, has Achane ranked as the RB26 this week. This puts him at the very top of the Wolf’s 6th tier. If I’m being totally honest, there are guys I like less who are ranked above him. But even if you don’t, the Wolf’s ranking places him as a fringe RB starter anyway–and a seemingly great option at a flex spot.
At the end of the day, if you went to the trouble of picking up De’Von Achane, roll him out. I predict he’s got a good chance of making it worth your while and I can almost guarantee it’ll be fun to watch. Between his speed, this game environment, and a limitless ceiling, Achane belongs in nearly all starting lineups this week.
De’Von Achane Week 4 Fantasy Projection: 14 touches (5 rec), 89 YFS, 1 TD