Year of the Dragon? Nah, 2024 is the Year of the Pig
Highlighting over 50 RB situations that are at risk of producing a fat pig in the backfield. You'll want to keep an eye on each of these situations this offseason.
Yesterday was Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Rabbit. And here's how dumb I am. I'm still writing the Year of the Pig on my checks.
- David Letterman, TV Personality
The Chinese Zodiac will tell you that 2024 is the ‘Year of the Dragon’. However, I’m here to tell you that that is wrong. According to the VolumePig calendar (a vastly superior tool to any of its kind), 2024 is officially the Year of the Pig (which is actually my Chinese Zodiac sign, if you can believe it or not).
Yes, I’ve done the calibrating, and then the re-calibrating. I’ve meditated with Eastern Buddhists— fasted for several days in an isolated cave, far, far away from here. And like a vision in the night, it came to me suddenly “Wait a minute, all three of Ashton Jeanty, Ollie Gordon, and Omarion Hampton are true sophomores who are coming back next year? Holy fucking shit.”
I then checked the VP Calendar’s calculation just to confirm, and I can, in fact, confirm that it is the year of the Pig. Not just because of the three names listed above, in fact, I’d argue that the true quality of this year’s stellar RB class is simply in the depth. Players like RJ Harvey and Tahj Brooks coming back is just wicked sick.
There are so many intriguing names, and only so many roster spots to fill them with, that the only conundrum College Fantasy Football (CFF) players are faced with this upcoming season is how to fit all of them onto their squads.
That’s a problem for another day—we’ll cross (waddle across) that bridge when we get there. For now, let us simply take a look at the farm, and pontificate on the possibilities of all those fat ass pigs playing around in the mud.
The sections of this article are organized into four groups: Severely Obese Alpha Pigs, Obese Alpha Pigs, Fattened Pigs, and Potential Pigs. Each one is explained in its own section.
Severely Obese Alpha Pigs (SOAPs)
The fattest bastards in the yard, these fat fucks are overfed and overweight (severely). They make excellent RB1s, and are quite literally the stuff CFF wet dreams are made of. The ones who are on this list are RBs who were already elite RB1 status players in CFF a year ago, receiving elite carry volume, and with no noticeable new blemishes on their profiles headed into 2024. If all else fails, you can identify this group of players by asking yourself, do they fall under the waiver wire policy of “don’t drop the SOAP”?
The order of which these players, and every other player is listed in the proceeding sections, is not meant as a ranking.
*Some post publication corrections have been made to the returning OL snaps. Apologies for the confusion.*
Ollie Gordon (Oklahoma State) — No new changes to the coaching staff, nor any new big names added to the RB room. This one’s a slam dunk for a player who was arguably the RB1 in CFF last year. While leaving OGII off of this section would be ludicrous, one thing that does stand out is OSU’s lack of returning snaps on the OL. *Post publishing correction: OK State actually returns close to 100% of returning snaps at OL. Apologies for any confusion.* Shoutout to CFBWinningEdge for these stats.
Ashton Jeanty (Boise State) — If OGII wasn’t RB1 in 2023, then that distinction has to go to Jeanty. Now, without old man Holani snooping around, it’s all systems go for the sunshine kid. Returning OL snaps: 46.86%.
Tahj Brooks (Texas Tech) — Brooks became an obscenely fat pig for the Red Raiders in 2023. It was a movement that was most unexpected for me, as the staff — as far as I know — do not typically lean to heavy rush concentration through one player. While Brooks’ output may not be as a gaudy as some of the others in this group, his input volume was virtually unrivalled. Any draft getting Brooks in the second round this summer is off to a good start. Another one with low returning OL snaps: 22.25%. Shocking.
Darius Taylor (Minnesota) — You could make the argument that Sieh ‘Bang Man’ Bangura’s inclusion into the room now tarnishes Taylor’s profile. I’m not buying it, however, as I've seen many a MAC RB get lost in the shuffle. In fact, we literally saw this very thing with former MAC RB Sean Tyler this past season. Taylor’s not losing his spot. The only concern I would have is if Bang Man carves out enough of a role for himself to eat significantly into Taylor’s monopoly on rushing TD production. Taylor’s performance in the Bowl Game alleviated any concerns I had about his returning from injury. Returning OL snaps: 79.73%.
Omarion Hampton (North Carolina) — Hampton was sort of a borderline inclusion in this group. I like that he finished with over 250 carries, but his numbers were somewhat up and down, and he finished the season with two duds. You might also say, well, the QB Drake Maye and the star WR Devontez Walker both move on to the NFL this offseason, wouldn’t that affect the offence in 2024? Yes, but it’s not clear how that would affect Hampton. On one hand, if the offence stalls out more, TD opportunities will be more limited. On the other, the team should rely more on the run game to move the chains. I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the Hamp Man here entering 2024. Returning OL snaps: 17.81%.
Obese Alpha Pigs
These are players who were strong CFF RBs last year, but suffered from volatility that the above group did not. Or, their touch volume was simply not heavy enough to warrant the coveted SOAP designation.
Kyle Monangai (RU) — I have a profile coming on Rutgers’ Kyle Monangai, who I think is going to be a very good CFF player to have this upcoming season. The schedule for the Knights is not bad at all, avoiding Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa in 2024. Returning OL snaps: 76%.
RJ Harvey (UCF) — Returning OL snaps: 46.9%.
Jalen Buckley (WMU) — Returning OL snaps: 75%.
Devin Neal (KU) — Neal was a borderline selection for the severely obese group, but his touch volume and the staff turnover let him down. I can’t in good conscience place a player who barely carried the rock over 200 times last year in the severely overweight category. That would be unconscionable. Returning OL snaps: 47.89%.
Jalen White (GaSo) — Returning OL snaps: 50%.
Le’Quint Allen (SYR) — Returning OL snaps: 80%.
Jaydn Ott (Cal)— I wasn’t a believer in the offseason; in fact, I’m still somewhat trepidatious. The problem here is the staff turnover. His OC left for Baylor this offseason. The Bears hired internally to replace him, promoting the OL coach to OC. That coach was the OC at UNT when DeAndre Torrey rushed for over 1000 yards. So, there’s hope here still for 2024. Returning OL snaps: 59%.
Malik Sherrod (FSU) — Returning OL snaps: 74.5%.
Cameron Skattebo (AZST) — Returning OL snaps: 58%.
Kay’Ron Adams (UMass) — That’s right, the fattest pig in Massachusetts is returning to the UMass program after announcing that he would 1) enter the NFL Draft and then 2) that he would actually be staying in college but