With the Super Bowl behind us, it's time to turn our attention to the NFL Draft and the incoming 2023 rookie class. Jonathan Fuller breaks down the pros and cons of Zach Evans as a dynasty prospect and what kind of fantasy impact he can make at the NFL level.

Zach Evans

Fantasy Outlook

Zach Evans fell all the way to the sixth round of the NFL Draft but ultimately landed in a decent spot where he can compete to be the primary backup behind RB Cam Akers.

Evans will have to compete with Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers but both of those players are smaller receiving backs while Evans offers more physicality and the ability to handle a larger workload.

Akers was on thin ice with the Rams last season so it's not unreasonable to think that relationship could go south again and create an opportunity for someone like Evans.

The fantasy floor is nonexistent for a sixth round RB, but Evans should be very cheap in dynasty rookie drafts which makes him a reasonable dart throw to stash in order to see how the beginning of his career plays out.


Zach Evans was considered an elite prospect coming out of high school and played his first two collegiate seasons at TCU before transferring to Ole Miss for his final year.


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He was very efficient on a per-carry basis throughout his career but never managed to earn a massive workload, topping out at 156 touches in his final season. Although Evans has shown flashes of his tantalizing upside, he has failed to string together long stretches of dominance for a variety of reasons.

Despite being a smooth runner, Evans is a bit rough around the edges as a prospect. Let’s take a closer look at his strengths and weaknesses to evaluate how his game might translate to the next level.


Big play potential

Evans’s remarkable career 6.9 yards per carry was a function of his ability to create explosive plays on breakaway runs. Per Pro Football Focus (PFF), at least 45% of his rushing yards in each season of his college career came on breakaway runs (15+ yards).

He didn’t test at the NFL Combine, and his reported pro day numbers weren’t electric, but there is enough film of Evans creating explosive plays against high-level college competition for me to believe his burst will translate to the pro level.


In addition to his ability to create explosive plays, Evans has the power and contact balance to shed arm tackles and create yards after contact.

While Evans isn’t the biggest back, he seems to have great lower body strength and has shown the ability to finish runs through contact to pick up extra yards. Evans also isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder and meet a defender head-on when it's the best path forward.


Poor vision

For all of his athletic gifts, Evans is lacking in a couple of key areas. Most notably, there are numerous examples on film of him missing cutback lanes or failing to see his blocks develop in front of him.

Zach Evans

Sep 3, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Zach Evans (6) runs the ball during the first half against the Troy Trojans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

As a result, Evans can be too quick to bounce his runs to the outside when there isn’t a clear running lane. He will need to learn to have more patience and wait for plays to develop if he is going to find consistent success in the NFL.

In fairness, there are also instances of Evans making a nice read and cut to create a big run, but those plays are inconsistent and offset by just as many negative examples.

Lack of Receiving Production

One area where Evans failed to produce in college was as a receiver. With just 30 career receptions over the span of three seasons, it's difficult to project whether or not he will ever fill that role in an NFL backfield. Evans has the athletic profile to be a dynamic receiver, but whether he can develop the hands and route-running ability is hard to predict.

Without receiving usage, Evans would have a much more problematic path to finding fantasy relevance. He would need to consolidate the early-down work and get the majority of an offense’s goal line touches to become a valuable asset in fantasy football. While such a role is still within his range of outcomes, it isn’t the most likely result for Evans's NFL career.

Fantasy Impact

Despite a disappointing college career relative to his hype, Evans will still enter the NFL with plenty of upside. He has the size, speed, and power to be a feature back if a team wants to give him that opportunity, but Evans is expected to be an early Day 3 selection, so there's no guarantee that he will get that opportunity.

Personally, I think Evans’s current rookie draft ADP is a bit rich, and I prefer several of the RBs who are currently being drafted after him. However, it's impossible to ignore the upside given his athletic profile and natural ability as a runner if Evans were to land in the right spot.

Do you disagree? You can draft Evans in the late rounds and ALSO get a 100% deposit match of up to $100 on Underdog Fantasy, just for signing up! Follow the offer below to claim your deposit match.

Dynasty Rookie Profile
Jonathan Fuller
Jonathan Fuller
Jonathan Fuller is an editor for Fantasy Life as well as a contributing writer for Spike Week. He is the type of person who drafts best ball teams in March and competes in a 96 team dynasty/devy league. He spends more time than he would care to admit listening to fantasy football podcasts and discussing strategy on Discord and Twitter. Outside of fantasy football Jonathan works in the wealth management industry and enjoys following the other football ⚽️ as well as spending quality time with his wife and their puppy.