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Israel Abanikanda Dynasty Fantasy Football Value

By C. H. Herms 3:52pm EDT 5/12/23


Israel Abanikanda, RB, Jets

Height: 5’10
Weight: 216
BMI: 31.0
Draft Age: 20.6
NFL Draft Pick: Round 5, Pick 143
Draft Sharks Model Score: 6.69
Analytics Score: 0.56
Film Score: 0.52
Production Score: 0.54


Israel Abanikanda Dynasty Fantasy Football Value

Abanikanda is a raw, young prospect with a high ceiling. What he lacks in vision and decision making, he makes up for with big-play ability, size, and long speed.

He could develop into a strong early-down runner. But the rawness and landing spot present huge obstacles to immediate opportunity.

Even so, the potential for becoming the handcuff to Breece Hall makes Abanikanda an intriguing fantasy asset.


Israel Abanikanda Team Fit: New York Jets

Abanikanda landed in the right scheme. The Jets operate with an outside zone running scheme that fits his speed and acceleration.

Unfortunately, Abanikanda will be stuck behind Breece Hall for the foreseeable future.

It's possible he can eventually seize the RB2 role in this offense, but he won't be without competition for the job.

Michael Carter has been effective in the past and has two more years on his rookie deal.

Zonovan Knight racked up solid production in a three-game stretch as the starter last year with 230 rushing yards.

Training camp fantasy football news will give us a better idea as to how much we can expect from Abanikanda.

Hall is still recovering from an ACL tear last year, and whoever wins the RB2 job will potentially have a chance to show what they can do early in 2023.

Until then, it's tough to say how much value Abanikanda will present.


Dynasty Valuation

Our Dynasty Draft War Room assigns dynamic player values based on your league’s specific settings. These values range from 100 to 0, with 100 being the most valuable player in your league and 0 being the worst rostered player. Use these values to compare players at the same position and across positions for help with draft, trade and add/drop decisions.


Israel Abanikanda Dynasty Values:

  • Dynasty: 1-QB, Non-PPR – 19.8
  • Dynasty: 1-QB, PPR – 15.0
  • Dynasty: 1-QB, PPR, TE Premium –  18.4
  • Dynasty: Superflex, Non-PPR –  17.4
  • Dynasty: Superflex, PPR –  16.9

Tip: Create your own Dynasty Draft War Room now to see how Abanikanda fits in your specific dynasty league.


Israel Abanikanda Combine Results

Arm length: 32"
Hand size:
 8 1/4"
40-yard dash: 4.45*
10-yard split:
Bench press:
Broad jump:
3-cone drill:
20-yard shuttle:

* indicates measurements recorded at Pitt's pro day on March 29.

This is a web chart of the different athletic traits Israel Abanikanda possesses that are pertinent to his dynasty fantasy football value.

Percentiles vs. Combine running backs since 1999, per MockDraftable.


Israel Abanikanda Stats

GMS car Yds ypc Tgts rec Yds ypr tds
2020 6 28 95 3.4 32 11 5.5 2
2021 13 123 651 5.3 3024 197 8.2 8
2022 11 239 1,451 6.0 1712 251 12.2 21

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Abanikanda was a three-star recruit in 2020. He won the Gatorade Player of the Year for New York as a senior.

Abanikanda was also a decorated track athlete. As a sprinter, he achieved first-place finishes in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash in New York City's 2019 Mayor’s Cup Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Abanikanda chose Pitt among 17 scholarship offers.


Steady Ascension to Stardom

As a freshman, Abanikanda contributed little behind teammates Vincent Davis and A.J. Davis.

Opportunity found him in 2021. Abanikanda received 19 fewer carries than Davis but led the Panthers in rushing yards (651) and rushing TDs (7). 

Additionally, Abanikanda ranked 13th in PFF's elusive rating (117.6) and 30th in run grading (87.2) among all college RBs (min. 100 carries).


Production Sets Stage for 2022 Breakout

Abanikanda had a remarkable junior season, leading the ACC in carries (239), rushing yards (1,431), and total scrimmage yards (1,577). His 21 total TDs ranked first among all FBS RBs.

Though he saw a massive drop in elusive rating in 2022 (58.1, 109th in FBS), Abanikanda saw his PFF run grade rise to 15th in the nation (90.6) with 38 runs of 10+ yards.

His monster 2022 season solidified Abanikanda's status as an electric home-run hitting RB.

But does his film back up what the numbers say?


Israel Abanikanda Highlights

Games watched: West Virginia 2022, Western Michigan 2022, North Carolina 2022, Tennessee 2022, Virginia Tech 2022

Abanikanda is a YOLO-type player.

He's more raw athlete than true RB, which can been good and bad.

This play shows Israel Abanikanda take a reception 24 yards into the end zone against West Virginia in 2022.


Abanikanda gets antsy behind the line of scrimmage. He often looks to make a cut or juke before meaningfully diagnosing the path ahead of him.

When he misreads the running lane, Abanikanda finds himself pounding his body directly into contact and going nowhere.

His vision isn't consistent, but proper coaching could resolve this issue in time. 


Young Prospect with Room to Grow

It's also important to remember that Abanikanda ranks among the youngest prospects in this class. He won't turn 21 until October, leaving room for optimism that his talent is still developing.

More patience will be key for earning Abanikanda an early-down role in the NFL.

Just look at what happens when he makes the proper read and hits the hole:

Israel Abanikanda shows off his long speed against Virginia Tech. This acceleration will be key to his dynasty fantasy football value.
Israel Abanikanda makes a good read between the LT and guard to break off a solid chunk run against Tennessee. More consistently good reads will help his dynasty fantasy football value.


At his best, Abanikanda uses smooth footwork to set up runs, reaching the second level and beyond with ease.


Israel Abanikanda 40 Time -- Speed Confirmed

After not participating in drills at the NFL Combine, he posted a 4.41-second 40 time at the Panthers' pro day.

Between that and his track background, we can confirm the speed is real -- and a major asset.

Abanikanda can develop into a player like 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell.

He outweighs Mitchell by 15 pounds and runs a slightly slower 40 time, but both tested similarly in several speed-based metrics and possess big-play rushing upside.


What Abanikanda Needs to Deliver Early

Abanikanda has the potential to contribute right away in a zone-blocking system that presents him with open space closer to the line. That scheme can also mitigate his lapses in vision and judgement.

Worst-case scenario, Abanikanda might need to sit for a while and work on his patience.

Abanikanda is a ball of clay that, if molded properly, will make fantasy managers look silly for not taking a chance on him.


More Dynasty Fantasy Football Info

Abanikanda's position in our dynasty rankings figures to depend heavily on his NFL Draft position.

He cracked the top 10 RBs in our dynasty rookie rankings and the top 36 overall in our superflex rookie rankings.

Dig into the rest of our rookie RB profiles:

Bijan Robinson
Jahmyr Gibbs
Zach Charbonnet

Zach Evans
Devon Achane
Tyjae Spears
Tank Bigsby


Early Rookie RB Rankings

Want to learn more about the top rookie RBs ... as well as some sleepers?

Check out this fantasy football podcast on the rookie RB class.

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