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 also have more detailed player write-ups in the tiers breakdown.

Warren Sharp Rich Hribar Fantasy Football Package

Fantasy Football Rankings:

2023 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings:

Updated August 31

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. Tony Pollard: Pollard followed up his breakout in 2021 with an RB8 overall scoring season last year. He racked up 1,378 total yards and 12 touchdowns. Among 42 running backs with 100 or more carries last season, Pollard was second in the rate of carries to go for 10 or more yards (16.1%) and first in yards after contact per carry (3.82). Pollard’s touches and yardage have now gone up from the season prior in all four years of his career. With 232 touches last season, there is still room for that streak to continue with the Cowboys releasing Ezekiel Elliott. If there is one area where Pollard is unlikely to have as much fortune this season it is scoring touchdowns from long-range. Pollard had a career-high 12 scores last season, but just three came inside of the 10-yard line. The absence of Elliott can unlock his path to the goal line rushes as a potential solution to that issue.

4. Bijan Robinson: After racking up 4,215 yards and 7.0 yards per touch over three seasons at Texas, Robinson is arguably the best all-around running back prospect since Barkley in 2018. He has a 95th percentile career production score in the prospect model while checking every box we look for in a prospect. Robinson just turned 21 years old in January. His yardage and touchdown production increased every season of his collegiate career. He lands in a perfect spot in Atlanta. Injecting Robinson into a scheme that led the NFL in plays out of pistol in 2022, Atlanta running backs led the NFL in rushing yards (2,209) and yards per carry (4.9). They ranked second in expected points added per carry (0.04), were third in success rate (44.0%), and third in rate of carries to result in a first down or touchdown (25.7%). That was with a running back room that was largely a sum of parts and did not have supreme talent at the position.

5. 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.

6. Nick Chubb: Chubb was once again excellent in 2022. He posted career highs in carries (302), rushing yardage (1,525), yards from scrimmage (1,764), and total touchdowns (13). Chubb has now averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry in all of his five seasons in the league. Chubb handled 56.8% of the team’s rushing attempts in 2022, which was his highest rate since his second season in the league in 2019. He may be tasked to extend that workload further since the depth chart has been thinned out here. Outside of another workload spike, don’t discount this offense changing and benefiting Chubb. He was fourth in the NFL last season in rushing attempts with three or more wide receivers on the field (156) after 74 and 88 the two seasons prior. His light-box rate was the highest of his career while he simultaneously had the lowest heavy-box rate of his career.

7. Derrick Henry: Henry was the Tennessee offense once again in 2022. He led the NFL in rushing attempts (349) for the third time over the past four seasons, accruing 1,936 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He led the NFL in yards from scrimmage per game with 121.0 per game. Henry even set career highs in the passing game, catching 33-of-41 targets for 398 yards. Though the counting stats and usage for Henry remain robust, there have been some signs of wear and tear with his efficiency. Henry’s EPA per rush has declined from the season prior in each of the past two seasons. The Tennessee offense did not do him any favors here. Henry’s 0.79 yards before contact per carry in 2022 was the lowest rate in that department he has had since 2018. If you are drafting Henry, you are buying workload first. Henry turned 29 years old this January, and this Tennessee offense appears to have a ton of fragility in terms of being one the worst in the league.

8. Josh Jacobs: Jacobs led the NFL in rushing yards (1,653) and yards from scrimmage (2,053). He handled a career-high 393 touches last season, which also led the league. He played 74.5% of the offensive snaps, which trailed only Barkley (75.4%) among running backs. Not just predicated on volume, among all backs with 100 or more carries in 2022, Jacobs ranked first in the rate of runs to result in a first down or touchdown (27.4%), second in success rate (44.2%), eighth in yards after contact per carry (3.40), and 11th in rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (12.1%). After 53 total receptions over his first two seasons, Jacobs has 54 and 53 receptions in the past two seasons.

9. Joe Mixon: Mixon has dodged every obstacle this offseason and still sits on top of the Cincinnati depth chart by himself. With the loss of Samaje Perine, his situation even appears to be better at the moment.  His 2022 output was rough as a rusher. Despite leading the league in the percentage of runs to come against light boxes (42.2%), Mixon averaged 3.9 yards per carry on those runs (36th among all backs with 100 or more carries), 2.61 yards after contact per carry (39th), and just 8.4% of his carries went for 10 or more yards (34th). Mixon rushed for 100 yards in just two games. On a positive note, as a byproduct of the amount of two-high coverages Cincinnati saw last season, Mixon did set career-highs in targets (75), receptions (60), and receiving yards (441).

10. Rhamondre Stevenson: Stevenson accounted for 49.4% of the team’s rushing attempts. That was the highest rate for a New England back since 2019 and the second-highest rate over the previous 10 seasons. Stevenson handled 35.6% of the team touches, which was the highest rate for a New England back since 2016. As a rusher, Stevenson averaged 5.0 yards per carry (sixth among all backs with 100 or more carries). He was more of a boom-or-bust runner as his 37.1% success rate ranked 27th among the same group. 14.3% of his carries gained 10 or more yards, which was sixth in the league, while his 3.81 yards after contact per carry were second, trailing only Pollard. As a pass catcher, Stevenson drew 88 targets, which was second on the team behind Jakobi Meyers (96). It was the third-most targets for a New England back over the past 30 seasons, trailing just two James White seasons. Only Ekeler and McCaffrey were targeted more out of the backfield last season. There is a non-zero chance that Ezekiel Elliott can threaten for goal line work.

11. Jahmyr Gibbs: Gibbs had an elite runout this draft season. First by drawing immensely high draft capital going 12th overall to the Lions and second when the team traded D’Andre Swift. Gibbs was the best speed and space player at the running back position in this draft class. He averaged a class-high 3.3 receptions per game over his college career at Georgia Tech and Alabama. His receptions rose all three seasons. Detroit threw to their running backs 21.1% of the time in 2022 while their backs were ninth in the league with 119 targets. Tack on the suspension of Jameson Williams and the lack of front-end pass catchers on the roster outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Gibbs is set up to have a major impact as a pass catcher. The upside will go as far as his grasp on the money touches can go given his archetype being 5-foot-9 and 199 pounds. Detroit has David Montgomery on board to handle the grunt work of interior rushing and scoring chances. Gibbs has a high floor through receiving work, and any injury or missed time for Montgomery can give him a ceiling comparable to Ekeler.

12. Aaron Jones: Jones was efficient again in 2022, racking up 1,516 yards and seven touchdowns on 272 touches. Jones caught another 59 passes. He now has increased his reception total every season of his NFL career. With 5.6 yards per touch, Jones has averaged over 5.0 yards per touch every year of his career. What keeps Jones as an RB2 for fantasy is that he still lives solely as his touchdowns go. In the five games in which Jones reached the end zone, he was an RB1 in all five games and averaged 24.7 points per game. In the other 12 games without a score, Jones was an RB2 or better just four times and averaged 10.4 points per game. Jones now has 45 career games without a touchdown and has been an RB2 or better in just 12 of those weeks. To compound matters in that department, Jones has just six rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons due to the involvement of AJ Dillon near the end zone. Dillon out-carried Jones 10-to-2 inside of the 5-yard line in 2022 and 20-to-8 over the past two seasons.

13. Breece Hall: Hall averaged 5.8 yards per carry and 11.5 yards per reception with five touchdowns. No running back in the league that handled as many opportunities as he did averaged more yards per touch than Hall’s 6.9 yards. Unfortunately, Hall only appeared in seven games and handled 99 touches since he tore his ACL in October. He had his surgery on November 18th, putting the Week 1 start of the season right around nine months of recovery. That is around the shorter end of the typical timeline of recovery. I want to inherently move Hall down expecting a slower start to the season, but I also still would rather swing on Hall for the stretch of the season over just about anyone after him here. In the end, he will likely be a target in auction formats over snake drafts unless he dips, but Hall also fits the mold of backs that exceed expectations post-ACL injury given he is young, has high-testing athletic scores, and has high draft capital. Even with the risk, this is the firewall at the position.

14. Kenneth Walker: After Rashaad Penny was ruled out for the season in Week 6, Walker took over this backfield and delivered on his investment. From that time forward, Walker was third in the NFL in carries (205), fifth in rushing yards (904), and tied for fifth with eight rushing scores while even missing a game. Coming out of Michigan State as a boom-or-bust runner, Walker was exactly that as a rookie. 12.7% of his runs gained 10 or more yards (17th out of 66 running backs to have 50 or more carries). His 31.1% success rate ranked 60th while 23.7% of his carries failed to gain yardage (63rd). Walker was a non-factor as a pass catcher. He was 103rd in receiving grade among running backs per Pro Football Focus in 2022, and his 0.67 yards per route run ranked 57th at the position. In games in which Walker scored a touchdown, he averaged 19.9 points per game and was the average RB11 in weekly scoring. In games without a touchdown, he averaged 9.2 points per game and was the average RB33. Walker gets a boost in leagues that do not reward receptions.

15. Najee Harris: Harris saw a universal decline in his second season from his rookie campaign in any metric or counting stat you can find. The one area where he remained strong was matching the 10 touchdowns he scored over his rookie season. When the season ended, Harris still turned in 1,263 yards from scrimmage on 313 touches. Through eight games of the season, Harris rushed 108 times for 361 yards (3.3 YPC) and one touchdown. Over that span, he ranked 44th out of 46 backs in expected points added per rush (-0.22), 45th in success rate (28.7%), and 44th in yards before contact per carry (0.69). Then Harris rebounded as a workhorse overcoming a Lisfranc injury that impacted the start of his season. Over the final nine games of the season, Harris rushed 164 times for 673 yards (4.1 YPC) with six touchdowns. He was sixth in the league in rushing over that span. The yards per carry were still lacking, but he climbed to 24th in EPA per rush (-0.07), 16th in success rate (40.9%), and 30th in yards before contact per carry (1.33). Through two seasons, Harris has still been dependent on being a grinder, however. Where he is lacking is in explosive plays. Over the past two seasons, there have been 74 running backs with 100 or more carries. Harris has a run of 10 or more yards on 8.1% of his carries, which ranks 60th among that group. No running back with a lower rate of explosive runs than Harris over that span has as many carries as him. The next closest is AJ Dillon, who has 211 fewer rushing attempts.

16. Travis Etienne: After missing his entire rookie season due to a foot injury, Etienne handled 255 touches for 1,441 yards and five touchdowns during his first regular season in the NFL. After James Robinson was traded before Week 8, Etienne rushed 152 times (11th) for 710 yards (ninth). Out of 47 running backs with 50 or more carries over that span, Etienne ranked 18th in success rate (41.4%) while 20.4% of his carries failed to gain yardage (39th), so there is still meat on the bone for this running game moving forward. Where Etienne was at his best was maxing out his big gains. 51.1% of his rushing yardage came on carries that gained 10 or more yards, which was 10th in the league. The rub with Etienne comes with goal-line work (two touchdowns inside of the 5-yard line), which he could share with Tank Bigsby, and a lack of high-end output in the passing game. Etienne did not have a single game last season with more than three receptions.

17. Rachaad White: White is another back who has dodged several bullets this offseason but is still standing as the feature back for the Buccaneers at the moment. Tampa Bay is another hot spot to potentially add a veteran body. There is fragility in that regard if drafting now, but that also is being priced into his current ADP. After being selected in the third round (91st overall) a year ago, White struggled behind an anemic offensive line and running game top-down. Among 42 backs with 100 or more carries in 2022, White ranked 38th in yards per carry (3.8 YPC) and 42nd in the rate of runs for 10 or more yards (6.6%). White has legitimate pass-catching chops as a prospect to create a high floor in full-PPR formats, but the Tampa offensive line does not look much better on paper while the offense as a whole could be bad again in 2023 under the combination of Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.

18. James Conner: Conner is a solid back when he is available, but that was once again an issue in 2022 when he missed another four games. Through six NFL seasons, Conner has missed multiple games in each of those years. A 28-year-old running back missing multiple games per season does not do Arizona a lot of favors, but Conner did close the season on a positive note in an offense that was lackluster overall. Coming back from injury in Week 9 through Week 17 when he was last active in 2022, Conner was eighth in the NFL in rushing yards (582), seventh in EPA per carry (-0.00), and seventh in success rate per carry (41.9%). Arizona did not add any competition to this backfield, signaling that Conner is set up to once again be a bell-cow back while he is available to suit up.

19. Alexander Mattison: Mattison gains a lot of ground with the release of Dalvin Cook. Mattison has been a strong volume producer when Cook has missed time, but a lot of that output was volume-induced out of necessity. Mattison has also been lackluster in the efficiency department. Over the past two seasons, 74 running backs have had 100 or more rushing attempts. Among those backs, Mattison ranks 68th in yards per carry (3.7), 45th in success rate (37.5%), 43rd in explosive run rate (9.1%), and 42nd in yards after contact per carry (2.78). Even with Cook off of the team, the best window to draft Mattison has already passed.

20. James Cook: Cook only totaled 110 touches during his rookie season, but he averaged 6.2 yards per touch. 27.0% of Cook’s 89 carries resulted in a first down or touchdown, which ranked sixth among 66 running backs last season with 50 or more carries. In the passing game, Cook averaged 1.43 yards per route run, which was 16th among all backs to run 100 or more routes for the season. The downside is that the Bills still have Josh Allen as a goal-line threat while the team added Damien Harris and Latavius Murray as bangers to prevent Cook from accruing a large workload or the money touches.

21. Alvin Kamara: Even with Kamara “only” getting a three-game suspension, there are plenty of red flags here. Despite posting 1,387 yards from scrimmage, 2022 was another mild season for Kamara. He averaged just 4.0 yards per carry, which was 31st among 41 running backs to have 100 or more carries on the season. His 36.3% success rate ranked 30th among the same group. Kamara’s decline in rushing output also extends into the passing game. He did catch 10 more passes in 2022 than he did in 2021, but his 3.8 receptions per game were still well off the pace of his early career when he averaged over 5.0 catches per game in each of his first four seasons in the league. On top of all of that, Kamara also scored a career-low four touchdowns. Kamara should have more carries running into lighter boxes this season with the addition of Jamaal Williams, but that addition also is a potential thorn to any potential touchdown regression near the end zone while Taysom Hill still exists as another thorn in that area of the field.

22. Dameon Pierce: Pierce had a polarizing rookie season. Through 10 weeks, Pierce was third in the NFL in carries (165) and fifth in rushing yards (722). The downside is that he had just three rushing scores over that span due to the Houston offensive environment and was averaging 2.4 catches per game. He then rushed for 167 yards the next four weeks before being shut down for the season. At his best over that front stretch, Pierce accounted for 79.7% of the Houston rushing attempts. The addition of Devin Singletary compromises that workload while we still cannot count on a major spike in the passing game or touchdowns.

23. J.K. Dobbins: Returning from a torn ACL that cost him all of the 2021 season, Dobbins played in just eight games. When on the field, Dobbins did showcase his upside as a runner, however. Among all backs with 100 or more carries last season, Dobbins ranked first in expected points added per rush (0.07), first in the rate of runs to result in a first down or touchdown (27.6%), first in the rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (18.1%), and first in yards before contact per carry (2.50). While Dobbins has flashed, he does enter the 2023 season in the final season of his rookie contract with just one career game having more than 15 carries. He also has just 25 career catches in 23 regular season games. Since entering the league, Lamar Jackson is 40th out of 42 qualifying passers in target rate to running backs (15.2%).

24. Jonathan Taylor: 2022 was a season to forget for Taylor. A year after he was the runner-up for Offensive Player of the Year with a league-leading 2,171 yards from scrimmage and league-high 20 touchdowns, Taylor mustered up 1,004 yards and four touchdowns over his 11 games played. Among the 42 running backs with 100 or more carries last season, Taylor was 39th in EPA per rush (-0.16) and 37th in success rate (34.4%). 19.3% of his runs failed to gain yardage (34th). All of these struggles came attached to 38.5% of his carries coming against light boxes, which was the second-highest rate in the league. Taylor deserves a few passes here, especially following up on his monstrous 2021 season and elite collegiate pedigree. First, he injured his ankle in Week 4 and was just never the same. He missed the following two games and then re-injured the same ankle coming back, which forced him out in Week 9. He then re-injured that ankle once again upon return in Week 15 and was shut down for the remainder of the season. Taylor had surgery to repair his ankle in late January and is looking to be 100% to kick off this season. The Colts also were just a terrible offensive environment overall in 2022. Now with Taylor out at least the opening four games, we will be on watch to see if he is traded returning from the PUP or he and the Colts take things all the way up until Week 8 when he will need accrue enough time to log what registers as a season played.

25. Cam Akers: Coming back from an Achilles injury that limited him to just one game in 2021, Akers had limited playing time and production over the front half of the season. He played 40% of the offensive snaps or fewer in nine of the opening 11 games of the season and was even shut down for two weeks before the trade deadline due to being unhappy with his role in the offense. Then the team released Darrell Henderson and swerved into throwing Akers into the fire with nothing left on offense. Over the final six games of the season, Akers played 72% or more of the snaps in five of those games. Over that span, Akers led the NFL in rushing (512 yards), was eighth in expected points added per rush (0.05), and 10th in success rate (45.2%) carrying the football. While that late-season success is something the Rams hope is a sign of what a healthy version of Akers can provide and carry over into 2023, he is in the final season of his rookie contract with only fleeting moments of the Rams fully committing to him over the course of that contract.

26. Miles Sanders: Sanders ended 2022 as the RB15 in overall scoring and RB22 in points per game. He bounced back with career-highs of 1,269 rushing yards, 1,347 yards from scrimmage, 11 touchdowns, and 279 touches. Sanders has been one of the most touchdown-dependent fantasy backs in his career since his receiving output has dwindled each season in the NFL. Sanders averaged 20.3 points per game last season in weeks with a tip to the end zone as opposed to 6.0 points per game in his weeks without a score. A move to Carolina opens up the door for Sanders to catch more passes, but he still takes a step of faith in that department while playing in a projectably worse NFL scoring offense.

27. David Montgomery: Montgomery is just good enough to remain a viable source of production and just pedestrian enough to prevent a true allure of spike fantasy asset without a source of a major workload. Montgomery has posted over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in all four of his NFL seasons, but his rushing yardage per game has dropped from the season prior in each of the past two seasons. Over his rookie contract, Monty had 18 RB1 scoring weeks, but just one of those games on fewer than 15 touches with two handling fewer than a third of the overall team touches. Sharing a backfield with Jahmyr Gibbs makes Montgomery a bet that will be forced to lean on touchdown output or an injury to the rookie giving him contingency upside.

28. D’Andre Swift: Swift is not a running back that is going to project well or have a strong median outcome going to the Eagles, but his range of outcomes remains high. Swift has been productive on his limited NFL sample, averaging 5.5 yards per touch over his three years in the league. He has also scored a touchdown in 55.0% of his career games, which trails only Jonathan Taylor, Dalvin Cook, and Derrick Henry among active backs to play multiple seasons. He joins the most efficient running game in the NFL with an elite offensive line on top of things. The downside is that Swift has missed multiple games in all three years in the league and has exceeded 15 rushing attempts just twice so far in his early career. The Eagles can rotate him with Rashaad Penny to preserve both backs when healthy, but this system also limits Swift’s receiving upside. The Eagles were dead last in the NFL in targets to their running backs (61) last season. Even if Swift elevates that total, it is hard to see them pressing the league’s base rate in that department. Swift still has major upside given the potential of Penny missing any time and is efficient enough on his own to make the most of a backfield split, but he will be a target for specific builds throwing multiple bodies at their RB2 spot.

29. Javonte Williams: Williams is a tough one because of just how major his injury was last October. Not only did Williams suffer tears in both his ACL and LCL, but also in the posterolateral corner of his right knee. His recovery should limit the front half of his season if not the entire 2023 campaign even when he can return to the field. We also know Sean Payton has had no issues using a combination backfield. Williams is back in action this preseason and we have seen him on the field. This indicates that he is further along then where J.K. Dobbins was a year ago, but his workload likely will still be restricted early in the season while Samaje Perine could play on passing downs big picture regardless of where Williams’ health is.

30. Isiah Pacheco: Pacheco had just 47 touches through Week 9, but then closed the year as the primary ball carrier for the Chiefs. From that point forward, Pacheco was seventh among all running backs in success rate (44.4%) and seventh in yards per carry (5.0). Just 7.9% of his carries over that span failed to gain yardage, the lowest rate among 44 backs to have 50 or more carries over that period. Just 8.7% of his carries gained 10 or more yards (30th) while Pacheco played over 50% of the offensive snaps in just three games (with a high of 57%). With Jerick McKinnon returning to the team and the ghost of Clyde Edwards-Helaire still lingering around, Pacheco still has some fragility. Especially since Pacheco was underserved in the passing game. 83.7% of Pacheco’s fantasy output came via rushing, which was sixth among the top-48 scorers at the position.

31. Khalil Herbert: Herbert is a high-floor and high-ceiling rusher. 17.1% of his carries last season went for 10 or more yards, which trailed only J.K. Dobbins. Just 13.2% of his carries failed to gain yardage, which was the fifth-lowest rate in the league. While Herbert has incredible upside should he be the lead back with the Bears, he also stands to be part of a massive backfield committee with D’Onta Foreman, Roschon Johnson, and potentially even Travis Homer on passing downs. The Bears also did throw to their running backs at all in 2022, ranking 31st in targets (62) to the position.

32. Antonio Gibson: Gibson saw his workload slashed last season while operating in a committee. He dipped down to 9.9 rushing attempts and 13.0 touches per game while Washington increasingly ramped up the involvement of Brian Robinson. If looking for the silver lining, Gibson was still a far more productive back per touch than Robinson. He also no longer has to contend with J.D. McKissic in the passing game. That gives a runway for a solid receiving floor while offering an upside angle should Robinson miss any time. The downside is that Gibson has now stacked multiple injuries (he is coming off foot surgery this offseason) in the final season of his rookie contract. This regime may have lost enough faith in him overall to prevent any major breakout.

33. Raheem Mostert: Both Mostert and Jeff Wilson cannibalized each other to close the 2022 season. Mostert (80 carries) and Jeff Wilson (84 carries) had nearly identical rushing samples after Miami acquired Wilson at the trade deadline. Over that span, Mostert ranked third among running backs in success rate per carry (46.3%) while 16.3% of Mostert’s carries over that period resulted in gains of 10 or more yards (third). But for fantasy, Mostert’s only scoring weeks as an RB2 or better came in the weeks he played 60% of the snaps. With the addition of Devon Achane, this has the makings of a frustrating backfield split while Mostert only had 22 receptions all season. Mostert also turned 31 this offseason. But with Wilson landing on injured reserve for at least the opening four weeks and Achane picking up a shoulder injury, Mostert gets a significant early-season bump for gamers looking to fill a void to open the year. Miami also has a tough opening slate versus pass defenses, but some of those units are softer against the run.

34. Dalvin Cook:  Cook averaged a career-low 4.4 yards per carry while his 69.0 rushing yards per game were his fewest in a season since 2018 when he was coming off an ACL injury. Cook nosedived as the season wore on. To give Cook some benefit of the doubt here, the Minnesota offensive line was completely ravaged as the season pressed on. From Week 11 on, he had just eight carries with Christian Darrisaw, Garrett Bradbury, and Brian O’Neill all on the field at the same time. With all three on the field, he averaged 5.1 yards per carry. What is worrisome for Cook is that his receiving output has continuously declined, closing last season averaging a career-low 2.3 receptions per game. Joining the Jets, Cook feels like a bridge to a healthy Breece Hall. If Hall does return to full-speed at some point, then Cook could end up looking a lot like Ezekiel Elliott did to close last season. Cook is a target for WR-Heavy drafters looking for front of the season production, but the Jets also have a rough schedule to open the year.

35. AJ Dillon: Dillon has settled in as more of a touchdown-dependent FLEX play while sharing a backfield with Aaron Jones and is best kept as a contingency bet should anything happen to the latter. Over the early part of Dillon’s career, he has averaged 18.3 points per game with a touchdown as opposed to 6.6 points per game without. Over the past two seasons, just 6.3% of Dillon’s runs have gained 10 or more yards, which is dead last among the backs that have as many carries as him over that span.

36. Jamaal Williams: Williams gives the Saints a reliable workhorse to replace Kamara Weeks 1-3 and allows for a combination that could get Kamara more touches out in open space like in his early career. Williams led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns in 2022 to go along with his first 1,000-yard season on the ground. Only 8.4% of his carries resulted in a run of 10 or more yards (31st), while 92.3% of his fantasy output came directly via rushing output and 45.2% through touchdowns. Those are not sustainable rates that can be relied upon as more than a touchdown-or-bust asset while sharing a backfield.

37. Jaylen Warren: We are in prime handcuff territory and Warren is one of the best in that department. Warren chipped in 593 total yards on 105 touches as a rookie and was more efficient than Harris in just about every department. Among backs with 50 more carries (he handled 77), Warren averaged 4.9 yards per carry (15th) with a run of 10 or more yards on 14.3% of his carries (10th) and 45.5% success rate (sixth).

38. Samaje Perine: Perine was one of the biggest winners of the offseason. At what appears to be the worst outcome, Perine is a dual-threat back in a part of a Sean Payton committee backfield. At best, Perine is a dual-threat workhorse if Javonte Williams is limited. Williams is already back in action, so the latter outcome is reduced. Perine could still play passing downs all season and be a soft FLEX play in full-PPR formats, but loses on his early-season bellcow opportunity. When we saw Perine get any type of workload with Joe Mixon out last season, he had games as RB10 and RB3 in fantasy those weeks. Denver also was a sneaky source of running back targets last season, targeting their backs 22.6% of the time (fifth) even without Payton in control of the offense.

39. Kenneth Gainwell: Gainwell has averaged 5.4 yards per touch in each of his first two NFL seasons, but his lighter frame may always hinder him from extending into a high workload back. Gainwell has 177 touches through two seasons. There is some late-summer buzz that Gainwell has an inside track on carrying the load for the Eagles. That seems like a stretch to fully buy into since D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny have shown to efficient backs on their own, but Gainwell does have some positive metrics over his small NFL sample. Among all backs with 100 or more carries over the past two seasons, Gainwell ranks first in rushing success rate (50.4%) and first in rate of runs to gain a first down or touchdown (29.8%). He also has lowest rate of negative rushing attempts (9.1%) while only having a modest rate of those carries come against light boxes (31.4%, which is 23rd of the same group).

40. Rashaad Penny: Penny has been a hyper-efficient back the past two seasons in Seattle. He has the highest EPA per rush (0.13) among all running backs with 100 or more carries the past two seasons while leading all of those 71 backs in yards after contact per carry (4.43) and overall yards per carry (6.2). The Eagles led the NFL with 85.1% of their running back runs coming from shotgun a year ago. Penny has a limited sample of just 62 attempts from the shotgun the past two seasons, but he has averaged a gaudy 7.0 yards per carry on those attempts. The bugaboo for Penny is that he also has struggled to stay on the field. Penny missed 12 games a year ago and has not appeared in more than 10 games in a season since his rookie campaign in 2018. Penny is also next to a zero in the passing game. He has yet to have an NFL season with double-digit receptions.

41. Brian Robinson: Robinson was one of the better stories of the season returning from a preseason gunshot injury, but unfortunately great stories don’t pay off for fantasy. Ober his eight games active as a rookie, Robinson was an RB2 or better just twice. He was a non-factor in the passing game (nine total receptions for 60 yards) while one of the league’s most inefficient runners. Robinson averaged 3.9 yards per carry. 8.8% of his runs went for 10 or more yards (30th) while averaging 2.79 yards after contact per carry (35th).

42. Tank Bigsby: Bigsby has more size (210 pounds) than most of the backs in this draft class and could immediately be a threat to Travis Etienne in short-yardage situations. Living up to his name, Bigsby did convert 78.3% of his short-yardage carries into first downs or touchdowns in 2022, which ranked seventh in this class. He also was objectively reliable in pass protection, allowing zero sacks and just one pressure on 92 pass-blocking snaps a year ago.

43. Roschon Johnson: Johnson never handled more than 107 touches in a season over his final three years in college due to the arrival of Bijan Robinson, but he was an effective back on his limited opportunities. Checking in at 6-foot-even and 219 pounds, he also had an 86th percentile 10-yard split (1.58) at the combine. He is big and can go downhill. Johnson forced a missed or broken tackle on a class-high 35.5% of his carries in 2022. On inside runs, only Robinson had a higher missed tackle rate than Johnson (31.6%). He converted 83.3% of his short-yardage carries for a first down or touchdown, which was second in this class. 56.3% of his carries against eight or more defenders in the box resulted in a first down or touchdown, which also led the class. The Chicago backfield is certainly messy on the surface, but ambiguous backfields have provided the best values. If Johnson gets extended work, the Chicago running game is strong enough to offer upside.

44. Devon Achane: Achane is an electric open field back that takes some projection in finding a high workload in the NFL at 5-foot-8 and 188 pounds, but objectively he looks like a Raheem Mostert clone, which is fitting given his landing spot. Mostert was 190 pounds at his Pro Day back in 2015. Achane logged the fastest forty (4.32 seconds) at the combine. His 2.3 receptions per game over his career rank fourth in this class. 66.1% of his carries came on the perimeter, the fifth-highest rate in this class a year ago. Achane averaged 6.2 yards per carry on those attempts compared to just 4.5 YPC on inside runs, which was the second-lowest rate in this class.

45. Jerick McKinnon: Kansas City running backs were second in the NFL in receiving yards (826) in 2022 while leading the league with 12 receiving touchdowns. McKinnon was a huge part of that as he accounted for a 56-512-9 receiving line on 71 targets a year ago. He had just seven receiving touchdowns over his first six years in the league, so it will be hard to bank on a repeat scoring performance. In games in which McKinnon did not score a touchdown, he averaged 6.2 points per game.

46. Tyjae Spears: This past season, Spears averaged 4.0 yards after contact per carry, which is third among all backs in this class. His 4.1 YAC per attempt on runs in which he was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage ranked fourth. Against boxes with seven or more defenders, Spears averaged a class-high 7.5 yards per carry. He also converted 78.8% of his short-yardage runs for first downs or touchdowns, which ranked sixth. Derrick Henry has not shared much work over the past few seasons, which leaves Spears as more of a contingency bet than someone with standalone value.

47. Tyler Allgeier: Allgeier was second in the NFL in EPA per rush among all running backs with 100 or more carries on the season while his 3.58 yards after contact per carry ranked fifth. Over the final four weeks of the season, the Falcons leaned into seeing what Allgeier had. Over that span, he led the NFL in rushing yards (431) while averaging 5.5 yards per carry (tied for first) and 4.19 yards after contact per carry (first). While Atlanta’s overall team rushing volume keeps the door open for Allgeier to have some touches weekly, the selection of Bijan Robinson pushes him back to being a handcuff option.

48. Elijah Mitchell: Mitchell has had his value nuked through the trade of Christian McCaffrey but is arguably the best pure handcuff back in the league that has next to no standalone value outside of cleaning up games. Mitchell did have 60 touches over his four full games played with McCaffrey last season, but just 13 of them came in the first half of those games.

49. Gus Edwards: Edwards was also returning from an ACL injury last season and only appeared in nine games in 2022. He returned in Week 7 last season and then missed another two games due to a hamstring injury. Edwards was once again efficient in the Baltimore scheme, averaging 5.0 yards per carry in the regular season. Through four seasons in the league, Edwards has never been below 5.0 yards per carry on the ground.

50. Zach Charbonnet: Landing in Seattle, Charbonnet impacts Kenneth Walker’s outlook, but we do not know if there is enough meat on the bone for him to have standalone value on his own. Pete Carroll has talked up Charbonnet’s receiving ability. While better than Walker’s coming out of college, Charbonnet still leaves a lot to be desired on that front. He plucked 51 receptions (2.3 per game) the past two years, but the types of targets that Charbonnet received were more of the tertiary check downs. Charbonnet’s negative-55 air yards this past season was ahead of just one back in this class. Seattle may find Charbonnet to be a more consistent short-yardage back than the strikeout or home run style of Walker, though. As a runner, 39.5% of Charbonnet’s carries in 2022 resulted in a first down or touchdown, which was the highest rate in this draft class. He failed to gain yardage on just 9.7% of his carries, the lowest rate in this class.

51. Chuba Hubbard: Hubbard operated as a complimentary rusher and the passing-down back in Carolina after the trade of Christian McCaffrey last season. Both roles are on the table for him again this season. Miles Sanders has been one of the worst receiving backs in the league over the past three seasons when given opportunities. Carolina is screaming that they are going to run the football a lot and Hubbard also has handcuff value should anything happen to Sanders. After averaging 4.0 yards per touch as a rookie, Hubbard bounced back with 5.8 yards per touch last season. 24.2% of his carries resulted in a first down or touchdown, which ranked 21st among backs. He was also 15th in success rate per rush (42.5%) while just 11.6% of his carries failed to gain yardage (fourth best).

52. Devin Singletary: Singeltary takes a big hit going from the Buffalo offense to the Houston one. The only times that Singletary has been a useful fantasy asset is when he has had a backfield to himself. He has averaged 18.6 touches per game over his RB1 scoring weeks during his career and 12.0 touches per game in the other weeks. Not an elite rusher and a subpar pass catcher, it is hard to see a clear path for Singletary to be a strong fantasy play outside of an injury to Dameon Pierce.

53. Damien Harris: 56.1% of Harris’s career carries have come with eight or more defenders in the box during his career (sixth in the NFL since entering the league). Singletary was selected in the same draft as Harris and had just 25.3% of his career carries come against stacked boxes. While the Bills can offer more runway for Harris, where his true impact can be made is aiding the power running game, which has largely just been all Josh Allen the past few seasons. Since Harris entered the league, he has had a 77.3% success rate on short-yardage carries (non-first down runs needing 1-3 yards) while Singletary had a 69.7% rate.

54. Jerome Ford: Cleveland selected Jerome Ford in the fifth round last season, who should have a larger role behind Nick Chubb this season and compete to be the team’s RB2 and primary handcuff. Ford did not log an offensive snap during the regular season, operating as the primary kickoff returner on the team. Ford checked out physically at the combine as a rookie (5-foot-10 and 210 pounds) while registering a 74th percentile speed score (4.46 forty).

55. Clyde Edwards-Helaire: It is hard to know where Edwards-Helaire fits within the Kansas City backfield this season. He was phased out of the offense before missing the final seven games of the regular season and then was a healthy scratch in the Super Bowl. In the final season of his rookie contract, do the Chiefs give him another chance to make an impact in the rotation?

56. Zamir White: White was selected in the fourth round last season, but only played 40 total snaps as a rookie, rushing 17 times for 70 yards. Strictly a handcuff option, White is a handcuff to the running back that had the largest workload in the NFL last season and is currently threatening to hold out for a new contract.

57. Ty Chandler: The other option that could elevate in Minnesota should Alexander Mattison remain inefficient. After failing to post more than 813 yards through four seasons at Tennessee, Chandler produced 1,308 yards and 14 touchdowns at North Carolina in his final season, averaging a career-high 6.6 yards per touch with career marks in yards per carry (6.0) and yards per reception (14.4). That late-career breakout is always a red flag, but Chandler was one of the highest-graded runners in the preseason last year if that means anything and has already made an NFL roster. He stood out by running a 4.38 forty at the combine at 204 pounds, while also having 73 career receptions on his resume.

58. Ezekiel Elliott: Just 7.4% of Elliott’s carries resulted in a run of 10 or more yards. That ranked 56th in the league and was the lowest rate of his career. Elliott also averaged just 2.74 yards after contact per carry (the second-lowest rate of his career) while just 22.5% of his carries resulted in a first down or touchdown (also a career low). Elliott’s best bet for any standalone value outside of injury to Rhamondre Stevenson is as a touchdown vulture.

59. Chase Brown: Brown stands to be the beneficiary should anything major happen with Joe Mixon over the summer. In 2022, Brown accounted for 60.2% of the team rushes, 75.4% of the rushing yardage, and 39.6% of the total yards gained by the Illini. All of those marks were the highest in this draft class. By the end of the season, Brown handled 355 touches, producing 1,883 yards and 13 touchdowns. At 209 pounds, Brown has the size to step into a large workload should the Bengals be pressed.

60. Keaontay Ingram: The team selected Ingram in the sixth round last season, but he managed just 60 yards on his 27 carries as a rookie. With Arizona bypassing a major add in this backfield, Ingram’s largest in right now is that James Conner has missed multiple games every season in the league.

61. Jeff Wilson: Wilson is in the same spot as Mostert. He was effective after joining the Dolphins but has to contend with this backfield split. After coming to Miami, Wilson failed to gain yardage on just 11.9% of his carries with the Dolphins, which was the third-best rate among backs over that span. 13.1% of his carries with Miami went for 10 or more yards (eighth).



Sharp Football Betting Package
Take 15% off NFL Betting + Props