Frequently running back is shown to be the most injury-prone position in football and when a team’s RB1 goes down, often a lesser talented player is able to become a fantasy star thanks to volume alone. Whether you’re looking for a best ball Zero RB target or a dynasty asset that you can flip for picks, these are some of the RB3s, and those close to them, in Expert Consensus Rankings, with RB1 potential in 2023.
- Dynasty Trade Value Chart
- Derek Brown’s Dynasty Rookie Draft Sleepers
- Dynasty Rookie Draft Pick Trade Strategy & Advice
- Latest Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft
Under-the-Radar Running Backs with RB1 Upside
RB42 – Alexander Mattison (RB – MIN)
The Vikings re-signed Alexander Mattison, despite a reasonable draft class and plenty of other options on the open market. They also have been rumored to be ready to move on from Dalvin Cook, who is going to be 28 when the season starts. Mattison has sat behind Cook since he was drafted in the 2019 draft, making only six starts in games when Cook missed out. In games with Cook, Mattison averaged 5.4 rush attempts per game and struggled to be fantasy relevant with 4.74 PPR points per game, but in those six games that Cook missed, Mattison returned true RB1 numbers with 20.38 PPR points, combining for an average of 36 receiving yards and 79.5 rushing yards. If the Vikings decide to move on from Cook and save $9 million, then Mattison could see his ADP and ranking spike by 30 spots very quickly.
RB44 – Rashaad Penny (RB – PHI)
Rashaad Penny is entering his sixth season in the NFL and finds himself on a new team for the first time, where he’ll be hoping to stay healthier than he has managed for the majority of his career. Over the last three fantasy seasons, Penny has played a total of 16 games. When Penny is on the field, though, he is undoubtedly one of the best pure rushers in the league, second all-time in yards per carry with 5.69, and in his last eight healthy games, has averaged over seven yards per carry. Aiming to kick start his career, Penny will have the opportunity behind one of the league’s best offensive lines in Philadelphia. It’s also worth noting that the league’s competition committee might look to outlaw the Eagles QB-sneak package that was so effective in 2022. If that were to happen, then more goal-line carries might be available for a powerful back like Penny. When it comes to Penny, there will always be an element of risk and reward, but fantasy football is a game to chase ceiling outcomes, and Rashaad Penny’s ceiling is looking quite high in Philadelphia.
let's introduce Eagles fans to Rashaad Penny pic.twitter.com/MmY09deWBM
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) March 14, 2023
RB49 – Samaje Perine (RB – DEN)
After an impressive 2022 campaign, Samaje Perine hit the open market at a perfect time and was snapped up by the Denver Broncos, who are seeking a solution to their running back woes with Javonte Williams recovering from a torn ACL and LCL injury. Williams suffered the injury on October 2nd, giving him 11 months to be fully recovered in time for the season, which is by no means a sure thing. In 2022 we saw JK Dobbins need significant time to ramp up on his return from a similar injury, as did fellow Raven Gus Edwards. It shouldn’t be surprising to us if the Broncos aren’t in a rush to get Williams back on the field and prefer that he returns healthy when able to do so. Recent reports speculate a wide range of outcomes for Williams, with anything from no missed time to an entire season possible. Samaje Perine showed in 2022 while filling in for Joe Mixon that he’s an able running back, outproducing Mixon in forced missed tackles per game and yards per reception. His ability as a three-down back in what looks set to be a run-heavy scheme under Sean Payton could produce a lot of fantasy points.
RB finishes the year after a torn ACL over the last decade:
* AP 20.5 PPG (RB1 lol)
* Gurley 15.2 PPG (RB6, rookie)
* Jamaal Charles 4.1 PPG (RB75)
* Gio Bernard 8.1 PPG (RB38)
* Dalvin Cook 12 PPG (RB20)
* Saquon 9.9 PPG (RB33)
* Dobbins 9.7 PPG (RB31)
* Gus Bus 6.6 PPG (RB52)
— John Daigle (@notJDaigle) March 22, 2023
RB33 – Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS)
The Washington Commanders are a team that is hard to understand on paper. They have some exciting players on offense but are counting on a fifth-round draft pick, Sam Howell, to take a meaningful leap in 2023 after just a single start in 2022 when he couldn’t earn more playing time than Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke, who are both now off the team. The team has yet to make any moves at running back, leaving the backfield to be carved up between Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. The backfield was a mess at times in 2022, with neither Gibson nor Robinson providing much in the way of fantasy returns, but where Gibson stands out is his work in the receiving game, averaging 3.9 targets per game in comparison to Robinson’s 1.0. If, for any reason, Gibson becomes the RB1 of the backfield, he has the skill set to capitalize.
RB51 – Jaylen Warren (RB – PIT)
2022 represented a break from the norm with Mike Tomlin, who typically prefers one running back to absorb as much of the workload as possible. Jaylen Warren, a former undrafted free agent, earned his way onto the field while Najee Harris was struggling with a foot injury, and Harris never managed to wrestle back complete control of the backfield. Harris’s opportunity share was 83% in 2022, but that dropped to 63%, with Warren taking some of the work away. Warren outproduced Harris in yards per carry with 4.8 to Harris’s 3.8 and had 8.3 yards per reception to Harris’s 5.5. If Harris struggles in 2023 or suffers another injury, Warren could be one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy football.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio