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Will Shipley Dynasty Value

By Shane Hallam | Updated on Mon, 22 Apr 2024 . 10:39 AM EDT
Will Shipley Dynasty Value: Can his speed and receiving make up for rushing limitations?



Shipley had a volatile college career that has led to an uncertain NFL outlook. 

Once touted as the next Christian McCaffrey coming out of high school, Shipley never lived up to the hype. He did not develop into a multifaceted weapon who could take over a game with his receiving and/or rushing.

This has bumped him squarely into Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

But, was this entirely his fault? 

Shipley was dealing with a Clemson offense that crashed over the past two seasons. The offensive line ranked 92nd in run blocking in 2023, per Pro Football Focus. 

Let’s look at Shipley’s history and skill set to see how his talent projects into the fantasy landscape of the NFL. 


Will Shipley Dynasty Values

Dynasty 1-qb Dynasty Superflex
Non-PPR 31.1 Non-PPR 22.5
PPR 29.3 PPR 25.6
TE Premium 28.7 TE Premium 25.8

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Will Shipley Draft Profile

Position: RB
Height: 5’11
Weight: 206
Draft Age: 21.7
NFL Draft Pick: TBD

Draft Sharks Model Score: 6.62
Analytics Score: 0.41
Film Score: 0.39
Production Score: 0.32

Will Shipley Combine Results

Wingspan Arm Length HAnd Size 40-yard Dash 10-yard split
74 1/8" 30 1/4" 9 5/8" N/A N/A
Bench Press Vertical Broad Jump 3-cone drill 20-yard shuttle

Percentiles vs Combine RBs since 1999, per MockDraftable


Will Shipley College Stats

Carries Rush YDs Tds YPC Targets Catches Rec Yds Rec TDs
2021 149 739 11 5.0 24 16 116 0
2022 210 1,182 15 5.6 42 38 242 0
2023 167 827 5 5.0 38 31 244 2

Dynamic High School Career

Shipley burst onto the scene as a multi-sport athlete in football, lacrosse, and track & field at Weddington High School in North Carolina. He received his first scholarship offer from South Carolina as a freshman.

In his final high school season, Shipley ran for 2,040 yards and 30 touchdowns while notching another 8 receiving TDs and even throwing for two more.

He led Weddington to a state championship after an undefeated season. 

Shipley would get offers from almost every major program including Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State. He chose to stay in the Carolinas with Clemson.

Shipley Flashes His Potential

Shipley was expected to take a backseat in his true freshman season to the veteran RBs, but Clemson simply couldn’t keep him off the field. He would lead the team in carries and score 11 TDs. 

In the Cheez-It Bowl, Shipley flashed his receiving potential with five catches for 53 yards against Iowa State. The arrow was pointing up for Shipley’s future.

Clemson Makes Shipley Focal Point

In Shipley’s sophomore season, the offense began to crumble around him. QB DJ Uiagalelei struggled to move the football consistently, so the coaching staff leaned on Shipley.

He would run for 1,182 yards with five 100-yard rushing performances. Shipley also caught 38 passes, mostly dump-offs and checkdowns. 

Shipley joined Giovanni Bernard and Lamar Jackson as the only ACC players since 2000 to rush for 11+ TDs in their freshman and sophomore seasons.

Shipley’s Role Reduced

Clemson saw numerous transfers ahead of the 2023 season, including the QB and most of the O-line. A new OC also proved negative for Shipley.

The new offense favored the between-the-tackles style of teammate Phil Mafah, who led the 2023 Tigers in carries. Mafah would see the red-zone work and often be on the field in two-RB sets with Shipley. 

This led to a drastic reduction in Shipley’s stats:

  • carries dipped from 210 as a sophomore to 167 as a junior
  • rushing yards from 1,182 to 827
  • even yards per carry (5.63 to 4.95). 

Shipley ranked just 245th in PFF grade among 440 eligible RBs.  

Impressive Off-Field Accomplishments

Shipley is the first Clemson player to graduate in three years with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He was also a Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist, awarded for community service and philanthropy. 

As a teammate and person, Shipley is unmatched in this draft class.

But the on-field performance leaves a lot of questions.


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Will Shipley Highlights

Games Watched: Syracuse (2022), Tennessee (2022), Notre Dame (2022), Duke (2023), Florida State (2023), Georgia Tech (2023), North Carolina (2023), Kentucky (2023)

Shipley’s stats his final year are questionable on paper, but was his film as bad as it seemed?

The highlights below tell a slightly different story of Shipley’s talent, though we will also address the red flags.

Elite Receiving & Contact Balance

Though he may not be Christian McCaffrey, Shipley can absolutely handle receiving work in the NFL. Most of his receptions were similar to the clip below, in which he catches a short throw vs. Florida State.

The key is Shipley’s ability in space. 

Will Shipley takes a short pass for a nice gain. That kind of play will lay the base for his dynasty value.

His receiver can’t sustain a block, and Shipley has to keep his balance through the contact. At the second level, he is met by a safety who can’t trip up Shipley.

In open space with adequate blocking, Shipley showed off his contact balance consistently on film in both his sophomore and junior seasons.

Shipley’s Quick in Space

Shipley’s footwork and quickness in traffic are underrated. He changes direction well and can navigate in space.

In the clip below, Shipley uses his feet to quickly cut and navigate into the zone gap to the left against Duke. There isn’t a wasted step to get around the guard and center and pick up additional yardage. 

Will Shipley navigates space well, creating extra yards. His ability in that area boosts his dynasty value.

A back with less skill in the short area would earn 3 yards there instead of 10.

Shipley Tougher Than He Seems

One surprising trait that popped for Shipley was his toughness. He isn’t afraid of contact and will churn his legs through it.

In the clip below, Shipley takes a 2nd-and-1 up the gut and uses power to pick up the first down and more against the Seminoles. At the end of the clip, he pushes the pile a bit to pick up additional yardage.

Will Shipley isn't big but shows more power than you'd expect on film, like in this play against South Carolina. Shipley would get a fantasy football value boost if he can earn more carries.

This showed up in nearly every game I watched. When Clemson would run Shipley on short-yardage plays, he almost always picked it up with sheer grit. That may not always work in the NFL but is often left off of his profile.

For a prospect whose fantasy strength will be catching the football, Shipley’s toughness between the tackles could be key to earning more playing time and even getting some TDs.

Shipley Lacks Vision

Shipley falls short is his explosion off the snap and vision when the hole is not obvious.

These can often go hand in hand with runners who are not confident in their ability to diagnose the evolving play. When a RB has to think before his cut, it usually spells disaster.

In the clip below, Shipley hesitates and loses his momentum against Florida State. Despite the poor blocking, there is an opportunity to pick up an extra few yards if Shipley cuts to the left and gets into the open field.

Will Shipley loses momentum by hesitating before he hits the hole, costing himself yardage. That issue presents risk for his dynasty value outlook.

Instead, he plows into his blockers and isn’t able to gain much. 

The blocking certainly doesn’t help, but Shipley will consistently miss post-snap reads and not be explosive enough to take advantage of the holes he does have.


Dynasty Value Conclusion

Shipley has a skill set that can help your fantasy team. A receiving back who has some size and toughness can produce PPR stats. 

But his lack of production in his final year and some major weaknesses leave questions. 

Shipley is clearly a few tiers below the top RBs in this class (Jonathon Brooks and Trey Benson). But, he has an early breakout age and skills that can be valuable in the right situation.

Our current rankings put Shipley squarely as a third-round rookie pick in all formats. In PPR especially, the receiving ability could allow Shipley to gain value and quickly look like a steal. (Check his current dynasty ADP.)

In redraft leagues, Shipley will need the right situation to be relevant as a rookie. (Check his current best ball ADP.)


Will Shipley Team Fit: San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone scheme is ideal for Shipley. The RB’s receiving ability and short-area quickness would make for an easy transition.

Christian McCaffrey is obviously the bell cow. But as he ages, he’ll need to cede carries to an effective backup. Elijah Mitchell hasn’t been able to stay healthy nor earn enough work to give CMC requisite rest.

Shipley going in Round 5 to the 49ers would not give him immediate fantasy value, but he could develop into a high-upside backup. If CMC falls to injury, Shipley turns into an instant fantasy starter with upside in the NFL’s best RB system.

Perhaps Shipley will never be the next McCaffrey. But being CMC’s NFL backup could be the right situation for a successful NFL career.


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