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2023 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs

With the 2023 season kicking off in just over 24 hours, we're continuing with the release of our 2023 fantasy football rankings. The Quarterback and Tight End rankings have already been released and can be found on the site. For now, we'll dive into the top 50 running backs for this year before our final set of rankings, featuring the wide receivers. Be on the lookout for the final positional rankings dropping later this afternoon!

 

1. Christian McCaffrey (SF, 9)

2. Austin Ekeler (LAC, 5)

3. Saquon Barkley (NYG, 13)

4. Bijan Robinson (ATL, 11)

I know it seems like a reach to have a rookie in the top 5 of his positional rankings and a potential top 10-ranked player, but the talent and situation are all there for Bijan Robinson. Robinson was the consensus No. 1 running back in the 2023 NFL Draft and was regarded by most as the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley. Robinson steps into an offense that was the number one rushing offense in 2022 and thrust fifth-round rookie Tyler Allgeier to a 1,000-yard season, clearing the way for a big year for the rookie from Texas. Furthermore, Robinson showed his explosiveness as a pass catcher during his time in Austin, hauling in 80 receptions for 805 yards and 8 touchdowns. With a young and unproven QB in Atlanta and their emphasis on running the ball, Robinson could be in for a possible RB1 season.

5. Nick Chubb (CLE, 5)

6. Derrick Henry (TEN, 7)

7. Tony Pollard (DAL, 7)

We’ve seen glimpses of Tony Pollard’s talent through the first four years of his career, even though he’s been stuck in a timeshare with Ezekiel Elliot. But with Elliot now in New England, the backfield has been cleared for Pollard to take over. Pollard earned a career-high in carries last year which led to his first 1,000+ yard season as a pro and nine rushing touchdowns. He also saw an increased role as a receiving back, tying his career-high in receptions. On those 39 receptions, he totaled 371 yards and 3 touchdowns, helping him finish 2022 as the RB8. The Cowboys have yet to add another veteran running back and Jerry Jones sounds committed to Pollard for the 2023 season. In an offense that has been dynamic over the last few seasons, Pollard is a dark horse candidate to finish as the RB1 and will likely finish a top-five RB.


8. Josh Jacobs (LV, 13)

9.Joe Mixon (CIN, 7)

10. Rhamondre Stevenson (NE, 11)

11. Aaron Jones (GB, 6)

12. Jahmyr Gibbs (DET, 9)

13. Najee Harris (PIT, 6)

14. Travis Etienne Jr. (JAC, 9)

15. Kenneth Walker III (SEA, 5)

16. Breece Hall (NYJ, 7)

Breece Hall was on his way to finishing among the top RBs in fantasy as a rookie before suffering a torn ACL in week 7 against the Broncos. There’s a lot to be worried about when considering drafting a running back who’s one year removed from an ACL injury, but Hall is worth any potential risk. Hall has worked his way back, has already been cleared and will play week 1 versus the Bills, although we’re not sure what his workload will look like. The Jets also brought in Pro-Bowl running back Dalvin Cook after he was released by the Vikings this offseason. With Cook in the mix now too, it looks like the pair will share the workload for at least the early part of the season. If I were to guess, Cook will likely see a larger role in the first few games as the Jets work Hall back into rhythm and make sure he’s fully back before putting him back into a larger role. When addressing the Jets’ backfield specifically, I believe that Hall is the better long-term investment for 2023 and should be viewed as a fantasy RB2 for this season.


17. Miles Sanders (CAR, 7)

18. Dameon Pierce (HOU, 7)

19. James Conner (ARI, 14)

20. Rachaad White (TB, 5)

After working in a timeshare with Leonard Fournette, Rachaad White took over during the back half of the season. Due to Fournette’s inefficiency and the struggles of Tampa’s offensive line, White took a larger workload down the stretch and in the playoffs, averaging more carries and targets than Fournette. White averaged 11 points per game while splitting with Fournette and came away with 50 receptions which was good for the 11th most among running backs (FantasyPros). The Buccaneers released their three-year starter in Fournette earlier this offseason and brought in Chase Edmonds and undrafted free agent, Sean Tucker. Tampa also saw QB Tom Brady retire and replaced him with Baker Mayfield, which is surprisingly good news for White. No QBs targeted running backs in the passing game more than Mayfield did in 2022 as 29% of his pass attempts were intended for RBs (@AlexCaruso on Twitter/X). With this being said, it’s fair to assume that White will see even more targets in 2023. With the mentioned acquisitions in Tampa’s backfield and the offseason departures, it’s all but guaranteed that White will be the RB1 in this offense and will carry the workload.


21. Alexander Mattison (MIN, 13)

22. James Cook (BUF, 13)

23. Cam Akers (LAR, 10)

24. Alvin Kamara (NO, 11) SSPD

*Will miss the first 3 games due to suspension*

25. Jonathan Taylor (IND, 11)

26. David Montgomery (DET, 9)

27. J.K. Dobbins (BAL, 13)

28. Isah Pacheco (KC, 10)

29. Dalvin Cook (NYJ, 7)

30. Javonte Williams (DEN, 9)

Javonte Williams had high expectations entering his second season, but his sophomore campaign ended in just four games after Williams suffered a knee injury. Tearing his ACL, LCL and PCL in week 4 versus the Raiders, Williams would be sidelined for the remainder of 2022 and originally looked like he’d miss the beginning of 2023 too. But after rehabbing and training in the offseason, Williams was able to participate in the preseason and avoid the PUP list to begin the regular season. However, Williams’ effectiveness could still be down compared to the past due to the return from such a complex injury and because he could begin the year on a limited snap count. The Broncos addressed the backfield accordingly, signing Samaje Perine of the Bengals in free agency. Williams is another case where drafting him is a long-term investment and fantasy owners will have to be patient with him in the early period of the season. But as he continues to get back into rhythm and adjust to being back on the field, Williams will be a great handcuff to have on your roster. He’s already ahead of schedule in his return to play and Denver’s offense is expected to be much better in 2023 with Sean Payton coaching.


31. D’Andre Swift (PHI, 10)

32. Khalil Herbert (CHI, 13)

33. Antonio Gibson (WAS, 14)

34. Samaje Perine (DEN, 9)

35. AJ Dillon (GB, 6)

36. Brian Robinson Jr. (WAS, 14)

37. Rashaad Penny (PHI, 10)

38. Jamaal Williams (NO, 11)

39. Zach Charbonnet (SEA, 5)

40. Jerick McKinnon (KC, 10)

41. Jaylen Warren (PIT, 6)

42. Damien Harris (BUF, 13)

43. Raheem Mostert (MIA, 10)

44. Kenneth Gainwell (PHI, 10)

45. Jeff Wilson Jr. (MIA, 10)

46. Tank Bigsby (JAC, 9)

47. Elijah Mitchell (SF, 9)

48. De’Von Achane (MIA, 10)

49. Tyler Allgeier (ATL, 11)

50. Ezekiel Elliot (NE, 11)



*All stats and scored were received from ESPN Fantasy, ESPN Stats & Info. Department and FantasyPros.com*

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