As the offseason rolls along, we are laying the groundwork for early best ball drafts, new dynasty startups, and everything else under the fantasy sun as we gear up for the next NFL season.
Below you will find 2023 fantasy football running back rankings along with a profile for every ranked running back.
These running back rankings will move and be updated throughout the offseason as the landscape changes. I will also have more detailed player write-ups in the tiers breakdown — those will be available to Sharp Draft Kit subscribers in June.
Fantasy Football Rankings:
2023 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings:
Updated May 17
1. Christian McCaffrey: The only thing that has stopped McCaffrey from being a fantasy stud has been injuries. Over his past five seasons, he has been the RB3, RB1, RB1, RB5, and RB2 in points per game. After joining the 49ers, McCaffrey was an RB1 scorer in eight of his final ten games of the season with just one week outside of the top-17 scorers at the position over that span. If looking for something to monitor looking from a wider lens, the 49ers did alleviate McCaffrey’s workload when Elijah Mitchell was available. In four regular season games with Mitchell active, McCaffrey averaged 15.0 touches per game (with one game over 15 touches) compared to 23.5 touches per game (with one game with fewer than 17 touches) the other six weeks.
2. Austin Ekeler: Ekeler has been a top-12 scorer in points per game in each of the past four seasons, closing as the RB6, RB12, RB3, and RB1 in per-game scoring over that span. He was forced to carry this offense a year ago given all of the injuries on the Chargers. He had a career-high 311 touches and led the NFL in total touchdowns (18) for the second consecutive year. With Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missing so much time, Ekeler led the team with career-highs in targets (127) and receptions (107). The forced volume did sap his previously prestige efficiency, however. Ekeler averaged just 6.7 yards per catch and 5.7 yards per target, the lowest rates in his career by far. Entering the final year of his contract at age 28, the Chargers and Ekeler have hinted at reducing his workload, but the team added no viable candidates on the depth chart to warrant significant touches.
3. Saquon Barkley: Playing a full season (he did rest Week 18) for the first time since his rookie season, Barkley was the RB5 overall and in points per game last season. Barkley was third in the NFL in touches (352), fifth in yards from scrimmage per game (103.1), and tied for 10th at the position with 10 total touchdowns. He led all running backs in rate of snaps (75.4%) on the season. Barkley had seven RB1 scoring weeks and just three weeks lower than RB17 all season. The Giants have added no tangible candidates to push Barkley off of significant touches again in 2023.
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