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Fringe RB1s with High-End Upside (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jun 22, 2022
James Conner

We dig into three running backs on the fringe of RB1 status based on early expert rankings and average draft position (ADP) that have a shot at returning high-end RB1 value in 2022 fantasy football drafts.

Rankings noted using FantasyPros half-PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Consensus ADP.

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Leonard Fournette (TB)
ECR RB12 | ADP RB15

Workhorse Uncle Lenn is back to trigger the haters in 2022. In Weeks 4-14, Leonard Fournette played less than 61% of the team’s snaps in only two games. Over that stretch, he averaged 19.7 touches and 103 total yards per game as the RB5 in fantasy. Fournette was also fantastic in the passing game. In that sample, he led all running backs in targets (63) and was fourth in receiving yards (344). Rachaad White might be his heir apparent, but Tampa Bay has Super Bowl aspirations, and it’s difficult to envision Tom Brady trusting a rookie in the backfield to protect him.
– Derek Brown

James Conner (ARI)
ECR RB14 | ADP RB20

James Conner will be the Cardinal’s dependable workhorse again in 2022. In Weeks 9-14, he never played less than 77% of the snaps averaging 21.8 touches and 114.4 total yards per game. He was the RB2 in fantasy behind only Jonathan Taylor in that five-game span. His 18 total touchdowns seem hard to replicate at first glance, but it isn’t. Last season Arizona was eighth in red zone rushing rate. Conner has minimal competition on the depth chart that could take him off the field on passing downs or near paydirt.
– Derek Brown

Saquon Barkley (NYG)
ECR RB15 | ADP RB14

Last season was nightmare fuel for Saquon Barkley. In his return from the ACL injury, he posted his career’s lowest breakaway run rate (3.1%, per Playerprofiler.com) and yards after contact per attempt (2.69, per PFF). With Joe Judge and Jason Garrett’s special brand of season-destroying special sauce gone, Barkley has all the motivation to crush this year as a pending free agent. With the additions of Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, and first-round pick Evan Neal to pair with holdover Andrew Thomas, the blocking upfront should be much improved. A massive bounce-back campaign could be brewing.
– Derek Brown

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