Throughout May, we will be layering in some additional context to go along with the player ranking tables.

After laying the groundwork this offseason with full dynasty player rankings, we are going to break that linear list down a bit into tiers with some added flavor.

You can also check out my full dynasty rookie rankings for those with rookie-only drafts on the horizon, and I have already published Dynasty tiers for quarterbacks and tight ends.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Tiers:

Some really quick methodology here if you are new to how I do fantasy tiers.

I make my dynasty tiers based on a blend of age, fantasy performance, career arc, team situation, and fantasy archetype.

There is some overlap to actual player rankings, but these tiers do not specifically follow the rankings, instead following those archetypes.

The purpose of tiers is not to be a carbon copy of player rankings.

The purpose is to spot a potential arbitrage situation and shop in different buckets based on how you are constructing your team in startups as well as looking for trade opportunities.

Top Down Running Back Notes

Age is a catalyst for analysis among all of the positions in dynasty formats, but it has no larger impact on perceived value than it does for running backs.

The position burns bright early and fades quickly.

Over the past 30 years, 35.3% of all RB1 scoring seasons have come from backs older than 26.

Just 26 of the 360 total individual top-12 seasons over that span have come from a back age 30 or older.

That has skewed younger over the past decade.

60% of all RB1 scoring seasons over the past 10 seasons have come from backs 25 years old or younger.

Just nine of those seasons have come from a back at age 30 or older.

18.3% of those seasons were from a running back over 27.

When looking at the pantheon of the position and the true players that impact seasonal outcomes, there have been just 14 running backs over the age of 27 to turn in a top-three scoring fantasy campaign in a given season over the past 30 years.

The last time that occurred was in 2015.

The last time a running back over the age of 27 was the highest-scoring running back overall came back in 2007.

We are also in a unique state of the position at running back position given that teams are now deploying more compartmentalized backfields and using more backs in specific roles.

The three-down running back is now a finite resource for fantasy football.

It is even harder to find one of those guys who does not play alongside a mobile quarterback, which can threaten their receiving work and goal-line opportunities.

Even with the added 17th game, touches continue to go down at the top of the position.

Even with the season expansion, we have only had an average of six running backs accrue 300 or more touches per year.

Paired with the opening notes on positional longevity, that makes it hard to overly invest in running backs from a dynasty stance. Especially in a startup league compared to wide receivers.

The producers at running back are on the “older” range of the age spectrum, and the position itself is impacted by committees and a surplus of viable candidates for the available jobs across the league, making running back the “softest” it has ever been for dynasty since I have been playing.

*Player Age = Age on 9/1/2024

Tier 1 Running Backs, Dynasty Fantasy Football:

  • Bijan Robinson (Age: 22.6)
  • Breece Hall (23.3)

As noted above, we lack a strong number of backs who check all the boxes we are looking for with every-down ability while ascending on their career arcs.

Bijan Robinson was as advertised in year one, turning in 1,463 yards and eight touchdowns himself on 272 touches.

Only five other running backs had more total yards than Robinson had a year ago, and he did that on 50.6% of his backfield touches. The others ahead of him had 69.5%, 72.1%, 62.2%, 76.0%, and 76.1%.

Robinson accounted for 16.9% of the Atlanta targets as a rookie, which trailed only Christian McCaffrey (17.6%) in his position.

Breece Hall has been the RB8 and the RB6 in points per game over his first two seasons in the league.

He turned 299 touches into 1,585 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns in 2023.

Only Christian McCaffrey finished with more total yards than Hall did among running backs last season despite a slow start to the season in terms of playing time and operating in one of the league’s worst offensive climates.

Hall did not even play 50% of the offensive snaps in a game until Week 5.

Entering 2024 fully removed from his ACL injury, with Aaron Rodgers returning and significant pieces added to the offensive line, Hall is set up strongly.

Tier 2 Running Backs, Dynasty Fantasy Football:

  • Christian McCaffrey (Age: 28.2)

Christian McCaffrey operates in a tier of his own for Dynasty purposes.

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