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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2023 Draft Rankings

Christian McCaffrey Note
Christian McCaffrey photo 1. Christian McCaffrey SF (vs . LAR)
CMC was traded to the 49ers prior to the team's Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. But it didn't take long for him to take on a massive role, going for 40-plus fantasy points in just his second game in a San Fran uniform. He would go on to lead all running backs in fantasy points scored from Weeks 8-17 averaging 20.5 fantasy half-points per game (also first). From Week 8 onward (13 games including postseason play), CMC averaged 19.5 points per game and 17.3 expected fantasy points per game. Both would have ranked first among all RBs in 2022. McCaffrey averaged nearly 20 touches per game - 76% average snap share in non-blowout games - while catching nearly five balls per game as PFF's third-highest-graded running back. Even with the 49ers opening the season with a very crowded offense in 2023, McCaffrey while healthy is the best bet to see the highest production among the talented group in the Bay Area.
13 weeks ago
Nick Chubb Note
Nick Chubb photo 2. Nick Chubb CLE (at CIN)
Nick Chubb just put together the quietest 1,525 rushing-yard season in recent memory. The Browns running back averaged 5 yards per carry (again) and posted a career-high 13 touchdowns. He finished the year as the RB6 overall with a top 10 backfield opportunity share (64%), but most of his fantasy production came prior to Deshaun Watson returning to the lineup. During Weeks 1-12, Chubb was the RB4 overall and in points per game. From Weeks 13-17 with Watson at quarterback, he was the RB23 overall and RB33 in points per game. These splits likely won't carry over into 2023 based on Watson likely boosting the offense's overall efficiency making Chubb a near-bust-proof draft pick based on his track record of consistency. Chubb also can capture a more prominent role as a receiver with Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson no longer on the roster. 2022 5th-rounder Jerome Ford is pegged as the No. 2 RB. In Week 18, Chubb played a season-high 75% snap share, ran a route on 71% of dropbacks and caught 5-of-6 targets (22% target share) for 45 yards.
13 weeks ago
Bijan Robinson Note
Bijan Robinson photo 3. Bijan Robinson ATL (at NO)
Texas running back Bijan Robinson was the consensus No. 1 RB across all pre-draft publications and was selected 8th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
Robinson finished the 2022 college football season as PFF's second highest-graded rusher in the FBS, tallying 18 rushing TDs and 1,575 rushing yards en route to a 37% dominator rating in his final year as a Texas Longhorn. He forced 104 missed tackles (40% broken tackle rate) which has shown to be super predictive of success rushing at the NFL level. Compared to last year's running back class, only Breece Hall posted a higher dominator rating (40%). Factor in that Robinson also finished third among RBs in yards per catch (16.5) with zero drops and there's no question as to why he's the locked-in 1.01 for rookie drafts and top-3-ranked running back in season-long formats. At 5-foot-11 and 215 pounds, Robinson has the requisite size and all the tools to be a successful three-down running back in Arthur Smith's offense. Last season in Atlanta's offense, Tyler Allgeier finished as PFF's highest-graded rookie running back and 6th in rushing EPA as a former 5th-round pick. Allgeier also averaged nearly 18 carries and 96 rushing yards per game from Week 13 onward. If Robinson inherits that workload, he is easily projecting 300-plus carries and 1,500 rushing yards in an offense that ranked first in early down run rate and +13% in run rate above expectation.
13 weeks ago
Austin Ekeler Note
Austin Ekeler photo 4. Austin Ekeler LAC (vs . KC)
No player has scored more touchdowns over the past two seasons, than Austin Ekeler. The Chargers' red-zone machine scored 18 TDs (5 receiving, 13 rushing) a year after scoring 20 touchdowns in 2021. Simply put, those that faded Ekeler due to TD regression narratives got burned this past season. And the touchdowns were just part of Ekeler's RB1 finish in half-point scoring, as he lead all RBs in receptions and targets, which substantially boosted his fantasy numbers. Ekeler was fully unlocked as a receiver with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams combining for 13 missed games. Until the Chargers WRs can prove they can stand the test of a 17-game season, Ekeler will remain the focal point of LA's offense. Especially if the Chargers fail to make any worthwhile addition in their backfield, because nobody currently on the depth chart is "forcing" their way onto the field.
13 weeks ago
Derrick Henry Note
Derrick Henry photo 5. Derrick Henry TEN (vs . JAC)
Derrick Henry made fantasy drafters that overlooked him look silly in 2022, finishing the season as the RB4 overall and in points per game (18.3). He finished second in carries and third in rushing yards (23.4 touches per game) while also posting career highs in targets, receptions and yards per route run. The bad offensive situation hardly influenced Henry's fantasy numbers and he did not seem hampered by the foot injury that knocked him out of the second half of the 2021 season. Fading Henry in 2022 was betting on him to hit the wall playing behind a shaky offensive line finally. And that bet did not go well. But another year of a heavy workload combined with the Titans' grim 2023 outlook with major questions on offense, will bring concerns about drafting Henry early in 2023.
13 weeks ago
Tony Pollard Note
Tony Pollard photo 6. Tony Pollard DAL (at WAS)
Tony Pollard will play for the Cowboys on the franchise tag in 2023. Dallas has all the incentives in the world to run him into the ground, in what should be a solid rushing attack in 2023. Ezekiel Elliott has been released after showing a major lack of juice as a rusher in 2022, averaging a career-low 3.7 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Pollard finished the season as the fantasy RB7 - despite ranking outside the top 25 in touches per game - as PFF's 3rd-highest graded running back. Pollard scored more fantasy points than any other running back (19.3 per game) from Weeks 7-16 when he was consistently playing 53% or more of the snaps as the team's featured back. The team added Ronald Jones in free agency and drafted Deuce Vaughn late on Day 3, but neither are threats to a healthy Pollard's touch volume. He's slated to be a locked-and-loaded fantasy RB1 pending any FA addition to the backfield.
13 weeks ago
Saquon Barkley Note
Saquon Barkley photo 7. Saquon Barkley NYG (vs . PHI)
Saquon Barkley was finally healthy in 2022 and reaped the rewards of playing in a much better offensive environment. The Giants RB finished as the RB5 overall and in points per game, as he was able to recapture his explosive upside as both a rusher and receiver. Barkley finished second in overall touches (352) and backfield opportunity share (80%) behind only Josh Jacobs through 17 weeks. He also scored 10 rushing TDs with 23 carries inside the 10-yard line. In 2021, Barkley totaled just 13 red-zone touches all season. Let Barkley's return to glory show that you want to target young impending FA RBs in improved offensive situations that project to earn high volume with proven records of production. Without a long-term contract in place - even after agreeing to a new one-year incentive-based deal worth up to $11 million - expect the Giants to run Barkley hard in 2023. They have no long commitment to him, and Barkley likely will want to maximize his financial gains from his on-field play. Per Spotrac, If Barkley earns all the incentives and earns the $11 million, his franchise tag value will increase to up to $13.2 million in 2024 or a $24.2 million payout over two years. His incentives are each $303,000 (1,350 yards rushing, 65 catches, 11 total touchdowns) and are also tied to the Giants making the playoffs based on a report from the NY Post.
13 weeks ago
Josh Jacobs Note
Josh Jacobs photo 8. Josh Jacobs LV (vs . DEN)
Josh Jacobs was arguably the most valuable fantasy asset during the fantasy football regular season based on his finish as the RB2 overall in relation to his super cheap draft-day ADP. The market was convinced that Jacobs would become part of a dreaded RB-by-committee under new head coach Josh McDaniels, but that was hardly the case. He was a full-blown bellcow for the Raiders leading the NFL in touches through 17 weeks. The 24-year-old will have to play on the franchise tag after leading the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards. With a similar cast of characters returning as depth behind him, it's hard to envision the Raiders not heavily leaning on him again as a true featured back. But there's a lot of risk involved considering Jacobs is threatening to hold out into the regular season. He is not going to report to training camp. Furthermore, only 2 RBs finished as RB1s the following year after leading the NFL in touches since 2013.
13 weeks ago
Joe Mixon Note
Joe Mixon photo 9. Joe Mixon CIN (vs . CLE)
It truly was a tale of two seasons for Joe Mixon. In Weeks 1-8, Mixon struggled immensely averaging 3.3 yards per carry as the RB19 in points per game. No running back scored fewer fantasy points versus expected because he just couldn't seem to find the end zone. But as the newer pieces of the offensive line started to gel, Mixon's production took off in the form of positive touchdown regression. He finished the season (including the postseason) as PFF's second-highest-graded running back headlined by an elite 5-touchdown game versus the Panthers in Week 9. In his eight healthy games from Weeks 9 to the conference championship, he averaged 16.7 fantasy points per game (equivalent to RB5 on the season). All in all, Mixon finished 6th in touches per game (19.5) and second in carries inside the 10-yard line (28) from Weeks 1-17, but only scored five touchdowns. The career-high receiving usage (60 catches for 441 yards on 70 targets) paved the way for Mixon's RB8 finish in points per game. However, it should be noted that the team did involve Samaje Perine more down the stretch after he filled in admirably during Mixon's injury (Weeks 11-13). Perine out-snapped Mixon in two of the Bengals' three playoff games and routinely ran more routes. But Mixon still averaged nearly four catches per game. I wouldn't envision his receiving role on early downs changing even if he loses snaps to another RB on third downs. Former Michigan running back Chris Evans projects to take a larger role on third downs after Samaje Perine signed with the Denver Broncos.
13 weeks ago
Rhamondre Stevenson Note
Rhamondre Stevenson photo 10. Rhamondre Stevenson NE (vs . NYJ)
Damien Harris has been officially replaced by Ezekiel Elliott, who signed a one-year contract worth up to $6 million ($3 million base contract) with the Patriots this offseason. The incentives-based contract suggests that Zeke will be nothing more than a breather back for New England coming to
take the load off Rhamondre Stevenson, while also seeing an opportunity for goal-line usage. The red-zone opportunities are the only legitimate downside to Elliott signing with the Patriots from the Stevenson perspective. But in every other capacity, Stevenson should remain the team's featured back because Elliott is way best his prime.
Therefore, Stevenson's role in 2023 will be more of what we saw from Weeks 5-16 of 2022 when he was the RB13 in points per game as the Patriots' lead back. And recall that even when Harris played alongside Stevenson, the big running back STILL finished third in route participation (58%) and targets (82) among running backs.
Also remember that Stevenson's strong campaign en route to an RB10 finish was not fueled by touchdowns. Stevenson was one of the worst RBs converting from inside the 10-yard line as he scored just thrice despite 19 goal-line carries. His teammate Harris scored thrice from inside the 10, on just 6 carries. In yet, Stevenson still finished as backend fantasy RB because he's a super-efficient running back - PFF's 11th highest graded rusher - with pass-game chops. Stevenson finished as RB1 in 44% of his games last season, which tied Chubb for 6th-highest at the position.
If Stevenson experiences positive TD regression, it's just gravy on top of his fantasy projection. It's not like Elliott bogarting goal-line usage in Dallas stopped Tony Pollard from being a fantasy football stud. Buy the ADP dip on Stevenson that Zeke's signing will undoubtedly cause.
13 weeks ago
Najee Harris Note
Najee Harris photo 11. Najee Harris PIT (at BAL)
The Pittsburgh Steelers running back took a slight step backward in his second season, falling to RB14 in points per game after a top-5 fantasy season as a rookie. However, his usage metrics were still very strong across the board. Harris still operated as a pseudo-workhorse ranking 6th in opportunity share (70%) and 8th in total touches through the first 17 weeks of the season. Harris also improved drastically after the team's bye week operating as the RB7 in points per game over the last 9 weeks of the season. After tallying zero games with 20 carries through the first 8 weeks, Harris totaled 5 games with 20-plus carries during the second half of 2022. Should the Steelers undergo an offensive surge in Kenny Pickett's second season with a drastically improved offensive line, Harris could easily get back into the top-tier fantasy RB tier.
13 weeks ago
Travis Etienne Jr. Note
Travis Etienne Jr. photo 12. Travis Etienne Jr. JAC (at TEN)
From Weeks 7-17 - removing the game versus Baltimore when Travis Etienne left with an injury - the Jaguars running back averaged 15 fantasy points per game (RB8 in points per game) and was the standing RB10 in total half-points scored. ETN would proceed to finish the 2022 fantasy regular season tied for 5th in carries inside the 10-yard line (23), but he only scored four touchdowns on those carries. He's primed to see his TD numbers climb with the backfield all but his from the get-go in 2023 in ascending offense. Etienne also just scratched the surface of how he can contribute in the passing game. The receiving "role" has been his in terms of routes run most weeks in 2022, but targets did not always follow with Trevor Lawrence preferring Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram - who all stayed healthy in 2022. If one of those guys goes down in 2023 we will probably see ETN see a boosted receiving role. The second-year rusher averaged a 22% target rate per route in 3 of his last four games played. No. 2 running back/pass-catcher JaMycal Hasty, former Cleveland Brown D'Ernest Johnson and 2023 third-rounder Tank Bigsby are behind him on the current depth chart.
13 weeks ago
Jahmyr Gibbs Note
Jahmyr Gibbs photo 13. Jahmyr Gibbs DET (vs . MIN)
Jahmyr Gibbs spent his first two college seasons at Georgia Tech, posting a 24% dominator rating as the team's RB1 alongside future NFL running back, Jordan Mason. In both his years at Georgia Tech, Gibbs finished second in PFF receiving grade. However, he elected to not stay at GT for his junior year and instead transferred to Alabama to be the Crimson Tide's next RB1. He led Alabama with 926 rushing yards and flashed receiving ability by catching a team-leading 44 passes for 444 receiving yards. Gibbs finished third in the FBS in receiving yards, one year removed from leading all RBs in the nation in receiving yards (470). He also flashed his explosiveness by ending the year fifth in the class in PFF's breakaway run rate (53%).

At 5-foot-9 and 199 pounds, Gibbs is on the smaller size for an every-down role. But he more than makes up for it with his receiving and speed. And the Detroit Lions hardly seem concerned about his size, considering they selected him 12th overall in the NFL Draft. The draft capital alone mitigates any workload concerns for Gibbs based on his somewhat smaller frame. Detroit paid a premium, and that means he is going to get his touches (likely high value in the form of receptions) regardless of what the team paid David Montgomery during free agency.

Last season ex-Lions and newly acquired Eagles running back D'Andre Swift was uber-efficient on a per-touch basis: fourth in fantasy points per touch, third in yards per carry, 23rd in points per game and 19th in yards after contact per attempt. Swift (10.3) and Jamaal Williams (16.1) combined for 26.4 touches per game. Even with a projected 50-50 split, Gibbs is looking at a 224-touch workload. With a 55% split, Gibbs is flirting with nearly 250 total touches over a 17-game season. Simply put, the former Alabama running back needs to be ranked as back-end RB1.
13 weeks ago
Kenneth Walker III Note
Kenneth Walker III photo 14. Kenneth Walker III SEA (at ARI)
Kenneth Walker III stood as the RB8 from Weeks 6-17 after Rashaad Penny was placed on IR with a season-ending injury. The rookie was the RB9 in points per game. If you remove the two games, he missed due to injury (Weeks 13/14) he averaged 16.4 fantasy points per game, which would have placed him as the RB8 in points per game. Walker's late ADP last season made him a draft-day steal.
We all knew that Rashaad Penny was never going to be "the guy" for the long run based on his injury track record and that Walker would likely take over RB1 duties as an uber-talented second-round pick. He did just that and got absolutely FED after returning from a late-season ankle injury. Walker was either consistently playing 70 percent-plus snaps or carrying the ball 23-plus times. And at times, we even saw Walker earn targets while leading the backfield in routes run.
But overall, he underwhelmed as a receiver as he did at the college level. And his tendency to look for home runs rushes resulted in a rushing success rate that ranked second-to-last (31.4%) among rushers with at least 100 carries in 2022. He also missed games because of injuries.
And his path to RB1 upside will be that much tougher to realize after the team added Zach Charbonnet in the second round of this year's draft. Charbonnet posted the 5th-highest PFF receiving grade and tied for first in receptions per game (3.7) among his draft class. The former UCLA running back also finished with the highest positive run rate (57%) and lowest bust rate (4%) among drafted running backs.
The rookie Seahawk can't deliver explosive rushes like Walker, but he can be trusted to hit doubles as a rusher and receiver consistently. That's concerning for those hoping Walker was stepping into a workhorse role this season, which was very appealing about his fantasy profile last year.
And to add literal insult to injury, Walker has popped up this offseason with a groin injury, forcing him to miss time in training camp. The rhetoric out of the Seahawks' camp is that this is they are just being overly cautious, so it's not a MAJOR cause for concern. However, it needs to be noted that Walker missed two games last season and dealt with a sports hernia early on during last offseason that required surgery. He missed Week 1 last year as a result but returned in Week 2.
All in all, I'd buy the dip his "injury status" calls for. Because the bigger injury is to his teammate Charbonnet, who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Because Charbonnet caused the big dip in Walker's ADP after the NFL Draft, any missed time by the rookie is a massive win for KW3. The other RBs on Seahawks depth chart include fourth-year pro DeeJay Dallas and 2023 7th-rounder Kenny McIntosh.
13 weeks ago
Aaron Jones Note
Aaron Jones photo 15. Aaron Jones GB (vs . CHI)
Drafters were expecting Aaron Jones to lead the Green Bay Packers in receptions and receiving yards in the post-Davante Adams lineup, which did not come to fruition. Although his 59 catches did rank second on the team behind only Allen Lazard, Jones caught fewer passes than the year before. His catches per game (3.5) were identical to the year before. He saw a career-high in targets (72), but that was based on his 17 games played. His 4.3 targets per game were also identical to the year before. And Jones was the epitome of a boom-or-bust running back that his fantasy managers are too familiar with that isn't super obvious based on his RB9 finish and RB12 status in points per game. A.J. Dillon got more involved in the second half of the season, especially in the red zone. From Week 9 onward, Dillon out-carried Jones inside the 10-yard line 14 to 5. And they scored the same amount of points total from Week 11 through Week 17, with Dillion scoring 6 rushing TDs. If Dillon's goal-line role carries over from the tail-end of the 2022 season, that significantly could hinder Jones' fantasy upside even after a year that saw the 28-year-old finish second in PFF rushing grade. Dillon finished 5th in PFF rushing grade last season and will hit free agency at the end of the 2023 season.
13 weeks ago
Dameon Pierce Note
Dameon Pierce photo 16. Dameon Pierce HOU (at IND)
The Houston Texans looked like they struck gold with Dameon Pierce early on during the season, as the rookie running back looked like the early favorite to take home offensive rookie of the year honors with a hot start. Pierce stepped in and immediately became the team's bellcow in Week 2. From that time until Week 10, Pierce ranked 5th in the NFL in rushing yards (739) averaging north of 19 carries and 92 rushing yards per game. He was the fantasy RB12 overall and in points per game. Other Texans RBs combined for just 11 carries versus Pierce's 154 over this stretch. However, the Florida product seemed to have hit a wall in the middle of the year totaling just 16 rushing yards against Washington and Miami through Weeks 11-12. However, these two defenses would turn out to be some of the tougher matchups for all RBs, so that's likely the cause of Pierce's fall-off in production. The tackle-breaking machine more than proved that he still had juice left in the tank with two strong outings to conclude his season versus Dallas and Cleveland. However, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury that would knock him out for the rest of the season - just 61 yards away from 1,000 rushing yards on the year. Despite the missed games, he still finished 4th in missed tackles forced and 1st in missed tackles forced per attempt (28%) among RBs with at least 100 carries. Pierce should lead the Texans backfield in 2023, but an entirely new coaching staff and Pierce's 4th-round draft capital suggest that his undisputed workhorse role could change. Devin Singletary signed a one-year deal worth $3.75 million with the Texans, presumably to fill the role of Pierce's primary backup. Singletary totaled just nine more carries than James Cook from Weeks 13-Week 20 but ended the year 10th in PFF rushing grade (two spots ahead of Pierce).

Overall, Singletary probably won't unseat Pierce as the team's No. 1 rusher, but he poses a much bigger threat to Pierce's workload than JAGs like Rex Burkhead, Mike Boone, and Dare Ogunbowale. His PFF pass-blocking grade (73.2, 8th) might get him usage on passing downs as Pierce struggled in this capacity as a rookie (32.3, 52nd). Although it does work in Pierce's favor that Singletary has never flourished as an actual receiver, giving Pierce the slight edge on attaining a full three-down workload if he can shore up his pass protection in Year 2.

Singletary's addition shouldn't completely change the way you view Pierce as it was highly unlikely the team would add zero running backs between now and the start of the season. He's not the worst running back they could have added, but he's hardly a reason to fully fade Pierce for fear that Singletary will carve out a massive role on offense.
13 weeks ago
J.K. Dobbins Note
J.K. Dobbins photo 17. J.K. Dobbins BAL (vs . PIT)
Coming back from major knee surgery, J.K. Dobbins' 2022 season debut was delayed until Week 3. And he posted middling results, failing to surpass 50 rushing yards or 13 carries in any game with little receiving usage to speak of (6 targets). It was revealed that Dobbins needed another knee surgery after Week 6 and he was placed on IR until Week 14. It wasn't until Dobbins came back later in the year that fantasy managers got a glimpse of what the talented RB displayed as a rookie. The Ravens RB1 played in five games (including playoffs) averaging 6.6 yards per carry, 92 rushing yards, and 14 carries per game. Although he still split time with Gus Edwards - nearly identical carry totals in the Wild Card Round loss to the Bengals - and Dobbins' receiving usage remained obsolete with just 7 targets total to close out the year (5 of which came versus Cincinnati).
13 weeks ago
Breece Hall Note
Breece Hall photo 18. Breece Hall NYJ (at NE)
There's no denying that Breece Hall possesses the talent to be one of the best running backs in the NFL after a stellar rookie season that was unfortunately cut short by a torn ACL. The Jets' first-year running back was the RB6 in half-PPR points per game in just seven games played (15.4). He averaged 5.8 yards per carry as a rusher and ranked fourth in yards after contact per attempt (4.13) before his season-ending knee injury. Hall also ranked fourth in RB receiving yards while posting an elite 34.4% target rate per route run. The only hesitance with drafting Hall stems from his October ACL injury that can keep guys off the field for nine to 12 months. The team also signed veteran Dalvin Cook to a one-year deal worth up to $8.6 million, the largest signing of any RB during this free-agency period. It signifies that Cook is going to have a massive role to start the year with Hall coming off an injury. But even when Hall returns to full strength fantasy managers are likely looking at a 1A/1B crowded situation. Hall needs to be viewed as a fantasy RB2 with his upside case based on what he can do in the second half of the season. Hall was recently activated off the PUP list, while Cook continues to rehab his shoulder.
13 weeks ago
Miles Sanders Note
Miles Sanders photo 19. Miles Sanders CAR (vs . TB)
Miles Sanders signed with the Carolina Panthers reuniting him with many familiar faces from his days with the Philadelphia Eagles. Duce Staley (former Eagles RB coach), Frank Reich (former Eagles coach) and Josh McCown (former Eagles QB) have all seen what Sanders can do, and that surely played a part in bringing him on as the team's 1-for-1 replacement for new Chicago Bears running back D'Onta Foreman. At a minimum, Sanders will operate as the main back on early downs, while Chuba Hubbard (RB62) and Raheem Blackshear split work on third downs. But I say at a minimum because those guys still have to prove themselves to the new coaching staff to earn substantial roles. Sanders has already proven his worth with these coaches before. And last year he showed everyone what he was capable of when he finished as the RB10 in half-point scoring overall/RB13 in points per game from Weeks 1-17. He ended the year averaging just south of five yards per carry and scored 13 rushing TDs after scoring zero in 2021. His carries inside the 10-yard line ranked inside the top five among all RBs.

And when Sanders saw his best-receiving usage to date - 50 receptions for 509 yards as a rookie in 2019 - it was under Staley's tenure.

With Sanders' uber-efficient rushing running behind an offensive line that finished 9th in adjusted line yards in 2022, Carolina is a great landing spot for him. His rushing alone should earn him production similar to what we saw from Foreman after the team traded away Christian McCaffrey. From Week 7 onward, Foreman sat as the RB21 in total points and RB22 in points per game. He ranked fourth in the NFL in total rushing yards (852). But his path to back-end RB2 status was not consistent whatsoever. Foreman rushed for over 110 yards in half of the last ten games, while finishing with fewer than 40 rushing yards in four of his others. His inconsistency was due to a lack of pass-game work causing him to be completely phased out of games that Carolina was out-matched in. But, I don't think that will necessarily be the case for Sanders. The former Eagle has the chance to be a full-blown workhorse with an expanded receiving role based on the four-year, $25 million ($13 million guaranteed) commitment from his new team.
13 weeks ago
Alexander Mattison Note
Alexander Mattison photo 20. Alexander Mattison MIN (at DET)
Alexander Mattison smashed in most games that Dalvin Cook missed from 2020-2021. The Vikings RB2 posted five games with at least 23 touches over that stretch, including two games with 32 touches when Cook was sidelined. He averaged 23.7 PPR points and 90 rushing yards per game in those contests. The problem in 2022, was that Mattison never got the opportunity to carve out a bell cow role because Cook stayed healthy for the entire season. Aside from the occasional goal-line touch, Mattison operated strictly as RB2 for Minnesota. And that hurt Mattison's chances of boosting his stock in free agency as he settled in on returning to his old team on a 2-year, $7MM contract with $6.35MM guaranteed.

The 25-year-old running back was at least efficient in 2022 when he carried the ball, finishing with a career-high 84.2 PFF rushing grade which ranked 15th among 61 running backs with at least 70 carries in 2022.

And although, he's never been a featured back for an entire season -- the glimpses of him in a full-time role as a Viking shed some light on his potential upside should he ascend to RB1 status. Dalvin Cook has been released, suggesting the job is Mattison's to lose. Currently, it's Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride and Kene Nwangwu behind him on the depth chart. Still, there are risks involved selecting Mattison high in 2023 as there's a lot of projection with him as the team's featured back for an entire season. That's something he has never done. And drafting players simply on the situation tends to not work favorably in the long run.

Remember, nobody ever vied for Mattison to get touches over Cook over the last four weeks. He was always the inferior back. So although he's no longer the most inferior back on the roster, that doesn't mean he is back to get overly excited about for fantasy football.
13 weeks ago
Cam Akers Note
Cam Akers photo 21. Cam Akers MIN (at DET)
Cam Akers was a total zero from the get-go, getting benched in Week 1 and he looked like he was going to be outright cut by the Rams. Eventually, Akers inherited the Rams' RB1 role and he delivered as the fantasy RB4 during the last six weeks of the season. With LA in a rebuilding year, Akers will again be a truly polarizing player. Did he do enough in the final 6 weeks as the NFL's leading rusher averaging 85 rushing yards per game to retain bell-cow-type usage?

The good news is that Sean McVay is remaining in Los Angeles, which bodes well for Akers to remain the go-to guy in the backfield. Recall, that Akers played 100% of the snaps in the Rams' season finale.
And with so many needs on the Rams' current roster, they did not add any running backs in the draft until the sixth round. That means Akers will be competing for volume with Zach Evans, alongside Day 3 scrubs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers.

And although it seems impossible considering his career arc, Akers isn't even 24 years old yet. With free agency on the horizon, the Rams have all the reason in the world to ride Akers into the ground during a contract year.
13 weeks ago
James Conner Note
James Conner photo 22. James Conner ARI (vs . SEA)
When James Conner was healthy in 2022, it was hard to argue with his elite production and role in the Arizona Cardinals offense. He was the RB4 overall in his last eight games, averaging 17 fantasy points per game (RB6, RB10 in expected points per game) while playing over 90% of his team's snaps in five contests. No other Cardinals running back was able to threaten Conner's volume, which led to him to an absurd workload. And Arizona did not invest anything into the No. 2 running back position this offseason so we could easily see Conner's high workload remain intact while he stays healthy. Keen fantasy managers need to be aware of his durability issues. He missed four games entirely and left three other games early because of injuries. Conner is entering his age-28 season. But the team has all the incentive in the world to ride him into the ground with a potential out in his contract at the end of the season.
13 weeks ago
David Montgomery Note
David Montgomery photo 23. David Montgomery DET (vs . MIN)
David Montgomery signed a 3-year deal worth $18 million ($11 million guaranteed) with the Detroit Lions this offseason, setting him up to be the new Jamaal Williams on the field for the foreseeable future. In Montgomery's 15 healthy games played last season, he averaged 10.9 fantasy points per game as the RB26. But in 11 games, he played alongside a healthy Khalil Herbert, Montgomery saw an even bigger decline in production averaging just 9.2 fantasy points (RB35), 13 carries, and 48 rushing yards per game. Monty's rushing EPA of -15.3 ranked 32nd, while Herbert's 1.17 rushing EPA ranked 12th.
And with the new addition of 12th overall draft pick, Jahmyr Gibbs, it's hard to envision Montgomery as anything more than a fantasy RB2/RB3 with the highly coveted goal-line role likely his main path to appealing fantasy production. Keep in mind that last season, Jamaal Williams carried the ball a league-high 45 times inside the 10-yard line en route to an RB12 fantasy finish and a league-high 17 rushing TDs; not too far off his 16.4 expected touchdowns.

A similar red-zone role will lead to more scoring for Montgomery which will supplement solid fantasy production at a relatively cheap price tag. Williams' role from 2022 - 262 carries (6th), 16.1 touches per game - and Montgomery's contract suggests the team will be featuring enough (likely as a rusher on early downs) to be fantasy viable alongside Gibbs.
13 weeks ago
James Cook Note
James Cook photo 24. James Cook BUF (at MIA)
James Cook was used in a limited fashion during his rookie season, topping out at just a 56% snap share in Week 18 versus the Patriots. However, it should be noted that Cook forced a 60-40 split from Week 13 onward with veteran Devin Singletary. The first-year rusher averaged a 40% snap share over the team's final seven games, matching Singletary point-for-point (RB25 in points per game). Cook was also the superior rusher in the season's totality capping off his year by averaging 5.3 yards per carry (5th). He earned PFF's No. 1 ranking in breakaway run rate (44%). The spurts of explosiveness and receiving ability will work in Cook's favor as he enters Year 2 with the potential to emerge as Buffalo's Day 1 starter, with Damien Harris as his main competition.

The Harris signing signifies that the second-year pro is locked-in to the elite pass-catching role vacated in the backfield. In 2022, Singletary finished third among all running backs in route participation (57%). Considering Cook's 27% target rate per route run - equal or better than Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara in 2022, 5th among all RBs with at least 30 targets - I fully expect him to take on a much larger role as a receiver in a Bills passing attack that is shrouded with question marks behind Stefon Diggs. Nyheim Hines' season-ending injury further solidifies Cook as the No. 1 pass-catcher out of the backfield.
13 weeks ago
Jonathan Taylor Note
Jonathan Taylor photo 25. Jonathan Taylor IND (vs . HOU)
Jonathan Taylor is going to miss the first four weeks of the season on the PUP list, after the Colts failed to find a trade partner prior to 4 PM ET on Tuesday 8-29-2023. The disgruntled running back is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery but will undoubtedly be in a no rush to return to the franchise that had been reluctant to give him a long-term deal. Even after the first four weeks are up, there's no guarantee JT is even ready to go by October. It's a very tricky situation that could still very well put Taylor on a new team if the trade demands change in the Colts' building after games are played. For those drafting now, he's an extremely risk pick in the early rounds. I'd only feel "comfortable" taking a shot at him in Round 6.
13 weeks ago
Javonte Williams Note
Javonte Williams photo 26. Javonte Williams DEN (at LV)
Javonte Williams was limited to just 4 games in his second year after tearing his ACL, LCL and PCL in Week 4 against the Raiders. The injury may end up being a blessing in disguise as Williams may have struggled mightily in the Denver Broncos atrocious offense. Even before his injury, Williams ranked as the RB35 in points per game (9.0) despite ranking as the fantasy RB12 in expected points per game. And Williams' underlying metrics were still elite, as his 116.3 PFF elusive rating ranked first among all RBs with at least 45 carries. Considering the time frame of Williams' injury, the expectation should be that he is back by the start of the year (he has avoided the PUP) but the severity/complexity of his knee injury is eerily similar to J.K. Dobbins from the past year. Williams could easily come out of the gates sluggish, and the moves that Broncos have made this offseason reflect that narrative. They've added Samaje Perine and Tony Jones Jr. to the backfield.
13 weeks ago
Isiah Pacheco Note
Isiah Pacheco photo 27. Isiah Pacheco KC (at LAC)
Isiah Pacheco's outstanding season as a 2022 7th-round pick should not be understated. From Week 10 through Week 17 (when Pacheco cemented himself as the team's starter), the former Rutgers running back was the RB21 in points per game and ranked sixth in total rushing yards. Both he and Jerick McKinnon were top-21 scoring RBs over this stretch, but Pacheco kicked his performance into high gear as the Chiefs made their postseason run. He averaged 13 touches for 65 rushing yards to McKinnon's seven touches per game. The aggressive runner capped off his rookie campaign with an impressive Super Bowl outing (15-76-1) that helped clinch victory for Kansas City. Even as a 7th-round pick, Pacheco should be viewed as the early-down starter for KC as he heads into Year 2, with room for his role to grow should he see his pass-game usage expanded. His six-catch game versus the Bengals in the conference championship suggests a boosted receiving role is firmly in his range of outcomes.
13 weeks ago
Rachaad White Note
Rachaad White photo 28. Rachaad White TB (at CAR)
Rachaad White saw his role grow during the second half of the season, forcing a timeshare with Leonard Fournette. From Weeks 10-17, White operated as the 1A in the Buccaneers' backfield averaging 11 fantasy points per game (RB26). He wasn't great as a rusher - four yards per carry, 66.4 PFF rushing grade - but no running back was particularly efficient behind Tampa's patchwork offensive line. The first-year rusher was still better than Fournette on the ground, as the veteran finished third-to-last in rushing EPA (-39.13). And there was no better display of White edging out Fournette on the field than in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Fournette carried the ball just 5 times for 11 yards while White started and rushed for 41 yards on 7 carries, adding 4-of-6 targets for 36 yards (56% snap share). White's superior season and proficiency as a receiver (50 receptions, 11th among all RBs) solidify him as the RB1 moving forward. Tampa Bay released Fournette, signed Chase Edmonds in free agency and added Sean Tucker as an undrafted free agent.
13 weeks ago
Alvin Kamara Note
Alvin Kamara photo 29. Alvin Kamara NO (vs . ATL)
Alvin Kamara had a year to forget in 2022 with QB/TE Taysom Hill seeing an increased role as a backfield rusher in the Saints offense. Hill earned more touches inside the 10-yard line (8 vs. 12) which limited Kamara to just two rushing TDs. AK41's receiving usage also fell off a cliff toward the end of the year. From Weeks 13-18, Kamara never caught more than two passes. His target share fell from 22% to 11%. The days of him being a game-breaker as a receiver seem to be long gone as he has seen his pass-catching numbers fall off drastically compared to his first four years in the NFL when he was averaging nearly 90 receptions per year. The overall lack of TDs and receiving was heightened more so when Kamara's poor rushing efficiency failed to make up for his loss in other production. The Saints running back ended the year second-worst in the rushing EPA (-41). Before the schedule eased up over the last four games, Kamara had just two games with 65 rushing yards. He still managed to finish as the RB15 in points per game (12.8), which might need to be his new fantasy expectation when he plays in 2023. He is going to miss the first three games of the year with a suspension, regulating his fantasy stats to backend RB2/high-end RB3 status amid a potential four-headed Saints RB room with veteran pass-catching back, Kareem Hunt, a likely candidate to join the backfield after a great FA visit.
13 weeks ago
Dalvin Cook Note
Dalvin Cook photo 30. Dalvin Cook NYJ (at NE)
We may have finally seen the end of Dalvin Cook's elite status among fantasy RBs in 2022. The Vikings star RB finished dead last among all ball carries in rushing EPA and rushes for zero or negative yardage. Cook ended the season as the RB8 overall and RB10 in points per game despite earning the league's 4th-highest opportunity share (78%). With Minnesota re-investing in the running back position with Alexander Mattison returning, Cook was let go from the roster. Given Cook's downfall in efficiency, fantasy football managers need to proceed with caution drafting him even with him inking a big one-year deal with the New York Jets. He will likely be used the most during the start of the season, with Breece Hall returning from injury. However, the Jets have a brutal schedule through the first six weeks, providing Cook no easy path to fantasy production besides volume. And when Hall returns to full health, we are looking at a 1A/1B backfield situation that is hardly ideal for fantasy managers invested in Cook and/or Hall. Cook himself is also recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, giving him limited time to get caught up to speed in the Jets offense.
13 weeks ago
Khalil Herbert Note
Khalil Herbert photo 31. Khalil Herbert CHI (at GB)
Khalil Herbert was better than David Montgomery in nearly every single rushing metric in 2022. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry to Montgomery's flat 4.0 yards per carry average. Herbert rushed for just 70 fewer yards on 72 fewer carries. Monty's rushing EPA of -15.3 ranked 32nd while Herbert's 1.17 rushing EPA ranked 12th. Had Herbert not gotten hurt in Week 10 versus the Detroit Lions, there was a non-zero chance he would have completely usurped Montgomery as the team's lead back.

In the two games that Herbert led the backfield due to a Montgomery injury, the Bears second-year rusher averaged 117 rushing yards and 19.5 carries. Herbert also has just had as many career games (4) as Montgomery with at least 90 rushing yards.

With Monty leaving in free agency, the rebuilding Bears let him walk and added D'Onta Foreman to join the backfield. Foreman's flashes of high-end early-down starting potential for two straight seasons are going to earn him opportunities in Chicago. Even though Herbert has shown out on limited opportunities, it's hard to envision anything but another usage split between Herbert and Foreman similar to the split between Herbert and Montgomery last season.

Foreman and Herbert earned nearly identical rushing EPA per attempt last year (inside the top 15). Fantasy managers might be best off taking the cheaper of the two in drafts because there may not be a true No. 1 rusher in the Windy City unless there's an injury. If the Bears are as run-heavy as they were last season, there's a chance that both can return value, but keep in mind that Justin Fields' own rushing will take away volume chances from both backs.

Fantasy managers also have to consider 4th-round rookie draft selection, Roschon Johnson. Johnson's efficient rushing style, bell-cow size and pass-protection props figure to complicate the Bears backfield into a potential three-headed monster.
13 weeks ago
Brian Robinson Jr. Note
Brian Robinson Jr. photo 32. Brian Robinson Jr. WAS (vs . DAL)
Brian Robinson Jr. took little time getting adjusted to NFL bellcow duties after missing the first four games of his NFL career after suffering gunshot wounds in August. From Week 6 onward, B-Rob averaged 9.4 fantasy points per game (RB34). But the points per game hardly depict Robinson's rookie campaign because he was getting fed with volume. He ranked fourth in carries (17.8 per game) and averaged over 70 rushing yards per game as PFF's ninth-highest-graded running back (82.1). The Commanders running back's lack of receiving usage - just 9 catches for 60 yards on a 6% target share - and lack of TDs was the reason for his underwhelming fantasy box scores. And although his receiving usage likely won't change too dramatically with Antonio Gibson back under contract in 2023, I'd fully expect him to experience positive TD regression. Robinson finishes the fantasy regular season 13th in carries, but with just two rushing TDs. His 14 carries from inside the 10-yard line were the most of any player to score fewer than three rushing TDs.
13 weeks ago
D'Andre Swift Note
D'Andre Swift photo 33. D'Andre Swift PHI (at NYG)
2022 was another year of ultimate teasing by D'Andre Swift. The Lions running back came out of the gates red hot, but got hurt. And when he returned, the Lions refused to give him the featured role in the backfield, opting to use Jamaal Williams as their goal-line battering ram instead.
Swift was still uber-efficient on a per-touch basis - fourth in fantasy points per touch, third in yards per carry, 23rd in points per game and 19th in yards after contact per attempt - but the lack of touchdowns and overall touches was soul-crushing. Swift seemed to never be 100% healthy at any point during the year, which likely influenced his reduced role. And Detroit's lack of willingness to get Swift involved was a sign of things to come as they would eventually trade him to the Philadelphia Eagles for a future Day 3 pick.

With a full bill of health heading into 2023, Swift will again be productive on a per-touch basis in his new offense. But be warned that his injury history and draft capital spent on Swift guarantees him nothing under a new coaching staff in Philadelphia. Fantasy managers should also be aware that Swift and fellow newcomer Rashaad Penny are both solid rushers, posting identical success rates last season.

Swift also won't be used as often in the passing game, after the Eagles finished dead last in RB target share last season (12.1%) and total RB targets.
13 weeks ago
AJ Dillon Note
AJ Dillon photo 34. AJ Dillon GB (vs . CHI)
Drafters were expecting A.J. Dillon to carve out a formidable role in the Packers backfield in 2022, but he was a complete afterthough for the majority of the season. His highly-touted "red-zone role" resulted in one touchdown (Week 1) in the first 11 weeks in a struggling Green Bay offense. Dillon eventually got more involved in the second half of the season, especially as a red-zone threat. From Week 9 onward, Dillon out-carried teammate Aaron Jones inside the 10-yard line 14 to 5 while splitting snaps exactly 50/50. And they scored the same amount of points total from Week 11 through Week 17, with Dillion scoring six rushing TDs. If Dillon's goal-line usage carries over from the tail-end of the 2022 season, that would significantly hinder Jones' fantasy upside while stabilizing Dillon's fantasy value. The bruising running back finished fifth in PFF rushing grade last season and will hit free agency at the end of the 2023 season. He also flashed top-tier handcuff upside when Jones got banged up versus the Bears in Week 13. Dillon tied a season-high with 18 carries for 93 yards and one touchdown to go along with three catches for 26 yards.
13 weeks ago
Antonio Gibson Note
Antonio Gibson photo 35. Antonio Gibson WAS (vs . DAL)
Antonio Gibson's production fell off substantially in 2022 as he split work in the Commanders' backfield with rookie Brian Robinson Jr. In Gibson's last nine healthy games played - he missed the end of the year with a foot injury that required surgery - he and Robinson operated as fantasy RB3s as the RB34 and RB30 respectively in points per game. AG was still the much more involved receiver with an impressive 14% target share - three catches, four targets and 22 receiving yards per game - but he was out-carried 9.7 rushing attempts per game to 16.7 by Robinson. B-Rob's status as the starter on early downs entering the season will surely make Gibson - a free agent at the end of 2023 - an enticing late-round running back option based on his pass-catching prowess and RB1 fantasy production his first two years in the league. Keep in mind, that J.D. McKissic is coming off a neck injury with an out in his contract, slating Gibson to reprise the full-blown receiving role for Washington. Gibson's 80.5 PFF receiving grade ranked third among all RBs in 2022.
13 weeks ago
Jamaal Williams Note
Jamaal Williams photo 36. Jamaal Williams NO (vs . ATL)
How does a running back finish as the RB12 while catching only 12 passes? Touchdowns. That's exactly how the season played out for Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams. He took on the role as the Lions' goal-line back, carrying the ball a league-high 41 times inside the 10-yard line for 13 rushing TDs. Williams would finish the year with a league-high 17 rushing TDs - not too far off his 16.4 expected touchdowns.

Touchdown regression pundits will shout to the heavens that Williams cannot duplicate his 2022 success and his new landing spot in New Orleans confirms this. He signed for 3 years, $12 million, $8 million guaranteed but will now compete for red-zone touches with both Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill. Kamara totaled just eight carries inside the 10-yard line last season with Hill chipping in 12. But Kamara's3-game suspension will boost Williams' early-season fantasy value for zero-RB drafters as the Saints offense has never shied away from featuring the likes of Latavius Murray or Mark Ingram when AK41 has missed time in the past. He will likely be the early-down grinder and red-zone back, so even a potential addition like Kareem Hunt taking on receiving duties won't impact Williams too drastically.
13 weeks ago
Samaje Perine Note
Samaje Perine photo 37. Samaje Perine DEN (at LV)
Denver signed ex-Bengals running back Samaje Perine - 2 years, $7.5 million, $3 million guaranteed - after releasing Chase Edmonds (Buccaneers) and moving on from Mike Boone (Texans).

With Javonte Williams potentially delayed in return from his knee injury, I'd suspect that Perine (RB 46 ADP) picks up the slack to open the year if he stays in the Mile High City. The Broncos have zero other RBs of note currently under contract. Therefore, Perine has the chance to provide immediate fantasy value to start the year after carving out a role in the Bengals' offense alongside Joe Mixon last season. He served as the primary third-down back for the entire season.

And when Perine got the starting nod from Weeks 11-13, the 27-year-old went OFF averaging 23.6 fantasy points per game.

Perine is a legitimate threat to Williams' workload as he could easily earn the passing-down work after finishing last season 6th in PFF pass-blocking and 14th in RB targets.
13 weeks ago
Zach Charbonnet Note
Zach Charbonnet photo 38. Zach Charbonnet SEA (at ARI)
Zach Charbonnet started his college career at Michigan in 2019, where he started ahead of the future NFL draft selection, Hassan Haskins. But in 2020, Charbonnet's numbers regressed in a six-game season for Michigan due to COVID-19. He split time with Haskins again, while also losing out to work to another NFL-drafted Chris Evans and up-and-coming running back star, Blake Corum. Charbonnet was part of a major running back by the committee as a Wolverine so he transferred to UCLA in 2021 and immediately saw his production skyrocket. He would post a 25% dominator rating as a junior, finishing third among all RBs in PFF rushing grade. Charbonnet's 2022 senior production was also elite, as he finished 4th in PFF rushing grade among all RBs topping his grade from the year before. But more importantly, for fantasy purposes, the 6-foot, 214-pound running back improved on his receiving game, catching 37 balls for 320 yards on 44 targets. He posted the 5th-highest PFF receiving grade and tied for first in receptions per game (3.7) among his draft class. The former UCLA running back also finished with the highest positive run rate (57%) and lowest bust rate (4%) among drafted running backs.
The Seattle Seahawks selected Charbonnet in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft (52nd overall) pairing him with last year's second-round pick, Kenneth Walker III. Charbonnet can't deliver the home run rushes like Walker, but he can be trusted to hit doubles as a rusher and receiver consistently. Charbonnet's 3-down skill set combined with his draft capital suggests he will be used by the Seahawks plenty as a rookie, and he could end up being the better fantasy asset compared to Walker, who is currently dealing with a groin injury.

Keep in mind that head coach Pete Carroll is never afraid to shake things up when it comes to his backfield. The team drafted Rashaad Penny in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft. But former 7th-round draft pick Chris Carson was the team's leading rusher in 2018, 2019 and 2020. One of Charbonnet's closest comparisons based on his size and weight is Carson.
13 weeks ago
Rashaad Penny Note
Rashaad Penny photo 39. Rashaad Penny PHI (at NYG)
Rashaad Penny inked a one-year deal with the Eagles reportedly worth $1.35 million with $600,000 guaranteed and a max value of $2.1 million. It's not much but it puts him in the conversation to be the team's early-down lead back in full Miles Sanders fashion. In his five games played before his injury in 2022, Penny averaged over six yards per carry. He ranked second among all RBs in rushing percentage that resulted in 10-plus yards (17.5%).

His only game where he failed to surpass 54 yards on the ground was against the eventual number one run defensive unit: the San Francisco 49ers. The on-field production and talent have never been in question with Penny. It's just been the availability due to health that has been the big issue. Quarterback Jalen Hurts' presence at the goal line will obviously hinder Penny's TD potential to some extent but make no mistake that Penny's explosive game means he can score beyond just the 5-yard line. Of his 14 career touchdowns, 11 have come on 10-yard-plus plays. Seven (50%) have been 30-plus plays from scrimmage.

Although it should be noted that the Eagles traded for D'Andre Swift and re-signed Boston Scott. Penny's deal is worth $1.35 million with $600,000 guaranteed - less than Scott's $2 million with $1.08 guaranteed. Swift is the superior pass-catcher, but an argument can be made that Penny is as good is not better as a pure rusher.
13 weeks ago
Raheem Mostert Note
Raheem Mostert photo 40. Raheem Mostert MIA (vs . BUF)
The Dolphins opted to bring back Raheem Mostert on a two-year deal ($5.6MM, $2.2MM guaranteed) and also re-sign Jeff Wilson to a 2-year deal worth up to $8.2 million ($2.65MM guaranteed). Miami also drafted speed demon Devon Achane in the 3rd round. His speed element overlaps most with Mostert (a fellow former track star) suggesting Achane's playing time will likely come at the expense of Mostert. However, as the only healthy veteran of the group, expect Mostert to get the Week 1 nod and provide fantasy managers instant RB2 production from the get-go while Achane recovers from his own injury suffered during the preseason.
13 weeks ago
Elijah Mitchell Note
Elijah Mitchell photo 41. Elijah Mitchell SF (vs . LAR)
Elijah Mitchell got hurt in Week 1 and the team traded for Christian McCaffrey by the time he was fully healthy enough to return to the field (Week 10). In his first game back, he rushed 18 times for 89 yards. He saw middling usage over the next two weeks - eight carries for 47 rushing yards per game - before getting hurt again. Mitchell's gone two straight seasons without being able to stay healthy - definitely a downside factor to being undersized running back in the Kyle Shanahan run scheme. But his efficient play at least solidified him as the primary handcuff to McCaffrey in 2023. He might see occasional spike weeks of production even while CMC is healthy (as he did at times in 2022) but I'd hardly project him for any consistent role as the No. 2 running back on the depth chart. Although it should be noted that No. 3 running back Jordan Mason graded out as PFF's second-highest graded rusher in 2022, and could potentially push Mitchell for the backup job. Mason's larger stature will make it easier for him to hold up over an 18-week season.
13 weeks ago
Tyler Allgeier Note
Tyler Allgeier photo 42. Tyler Allgeier ATL (at NO)
Tyler Allgeier enjoyed an extremely successful rookie season, finishing the year as PFF's No.1-graded rookie running back (86.7) ahead of stars like Kenneth Walker and Breece Hall. That accomplishment puts Allgeier into an elite company with RBs such as Jonathan Taylor, Josh Jacobs, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara and Rhamondre Stevenson - all who were top-8 fantasy RBs in their second seasons after taking home the crown as PFF's highest-graded rookie RB in their first years. Allgeier's strong finish was the driving force behind his final standing - 6th among all RBs in rushing EPA - as the team unleashed him from Week 13 onward. He was the RB11 in half-point scoring points per game averaging 17.8 carries and 96 rushing yards per game. Alas, Allgeier's accomplishments were all for naught as his fantasy value was immediately vaporized after the team decided to draft Bijan Robinson 8th overall. It puts Allgeier into straight backup duties, where he likely will have no fantasy value without a Robinson injury. At least fantasy managers and zero-RB zealots can be assured that Allgeier will produce if/when called upon based on his rookie-year accolades.
13 weeks ago
Jaylen Warren Note
Jaylen Warren photo 43. Jaylen Warren PIT (at BAL)
Former undrafted 2022 free agent, Jaylen Warren shined with every opportunity he got in the Steelers backfield last season. After earning the No. 2 role behind Najee Harris, Warren finished third in rushing success rate (45.5%) and second in the 2022 RB class in yards per route run behind just Breece Hall. Warren's efficient play suggests he will continue to see snaps alongside Najee Harris. But further baked into his upside case is that should Harris miss anytime, the 215-pound Warren would inherit bell-cow duties without any other Steelers RBs behind him yearning for touches.
13 weeks ago
Damien Harris Note
Damien Harris photo 44. Damien Harris BUF (at MIA)
The Buffalo Bills signed Damien Harris (RB42 ADP) to a one-year contract to fill the void left by Devin Singletary. Bills general manager Brandon Beane stated earlier this offseason that the team wanted to add another back with more "size" to compliment smaller running backs like James Cook and Nyheim Hines. Harris, at 216 pounds, fits the mold of the bigger back that Beane was after, so it's not a shock to see this deal completed.

Last season, the former Patriots running back was plagued by injuries, playing in just 11 contests - two of which he left early. And in his nine healthy games, Harris averaged just 8.8 fantasy points, 11 carries, and 49 rushing yards per game. He took a major backseat to the surging Rhamondre Stevenson, who operated as the RB1 in the backfield for the majority of the season.

Now with Buffalo, Harris' best fantasy prospects are for him to land the Bills' red-zone back role. He scored just as many times as Stevenson from inside the ten-yard line last season (thrice) despite being out-carried in that area of the field 19 to six.

In 2022, former Bills RB Devin Singletary totaled just four rushing TDs inside the 10-yard on 16 carries. QB Josh Allen is frequently deployed as a goal-line rusher which might limit Harris' touchdown totals in 2023. However, we have seen quarterbacks run less at the goal line as they get older, so there's still a chance that Harris flirts with double-digit scores should his arrival mean the team leans on him more as their preferred rusher near the pylon to protect their franchise quarterback in the long term.
13 weeks ago
De'Von Achane Note
De'Von Achane photo 45. De'Von Achane MIA (vs . BUF)
Miami is the perfect fit for De'Von Achane; his elite track speed in an outside zone running offense is going to terrify defenses. And it's not too crazy to think Achane can rise the depth chart that currently consists of a 31-year-old injury-prone Raheem Mostert and journeyman Jeff Wilson Jr., who was just placed on IR.
13 weeks ago
Tank Bigsby Note
Tank Bigsby photo 46. Tank Bigsby JAC (at TEN)
Cartavious "Tank" Bigsby has been a force for the Auburn Tigers since he first stepped on the school campus. He took over as the team's starting running back as a freshman in 2020, earning a 20% dominator rating. Bigsby would build off his hot start as a sophomore with a 25% dominator rating followed by a career-high 27% dominator rating his junior year. The 6-foot, 210-pound back finished 6th in yards after contact per attempt (4.16), 11th in forced missed tackles, 11th in PFF rushing grade and 7th in breakaway run rate among his 2023 draft-eligible RB peers.

Although Bigsby is not overly athletic, based on his "meh" testing at the combine. 26th percentile vertical jump, 54th percentile broad jump and a 4.56 40-yard dash (47th percentile). Bigsby did improve on his 40-time at Auburn's pro day, running a 4.45.

He was drafted by the Jaguars in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft and will compete for the No. 2 job behind Travis Etienne. Head coach Doug Pederson has spoken all offseason about building a deep RB room, so the Bigsby selection was not shocking.
13 weeks ago
Ezekiel Elliott Note
Ezekiel Elliott photo 47. Ezekiel Elliott NE (vs . NYJ)
I was vehemently against drafting Ezekiel Elliott across all formats in 2022. I was convinced that his best days were behind him, and that Tony Pollard was the clear-cut better running back in the Dallas backfield. And I felt like the stance was mostly correct. Zeke finished as RB19 versus Pollard's RB7 status. Elliott posted career lows in yards per carry (3.7), receptions and targets. But he was an absolute TD monster, finishing second in expected touchdowns with 12 real rushing scores. Only Joe Mixon and Jamaal Williams totaled more carries inside the 10-yard line than Elliott. And ultimately the scoring was what made Zeke a usable fantasy asset especially after he returned from injury. He scored eight touchdowns from Weeks 11-17. For him to sustain any fantasy value in 2023, Elliott will need to carve out a role as New England's primary red zone back after they signed him to back up Rhamondre Stevenson this offseason. However, Zeke will find that running behind a patchwork Patriots OL is much different than running behind Big D's elite unit. He's nothing more than a handcuff to Stevenson, with the occasional spiked week in production if/when he falls in the end zone on an offense that we hope can be at least average in 2023.
13 weeks ago
Jerick McKinnon Note
Jerick McKinnon photo 48. Jerick McKinnon KC (at LAC)
From Weeks 10-17, both Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon were top-21 half-point scorers. Jerick McKinnon was the RB7 in points per game, third in RB receptions at 35 with seven receiving TDs. The Chiefs scatback made the most of his opportunities as a receiver out of the backfield especially with Mecole Hardman sidelined. Because Hardman's injury correlated with a massive spike in usage for McKinnnon. In eight games with Hardman in the lineup, McKinnon was averaging close to just three targets per game. That number jumped to five in the nine games with Hardman out, as did McKinnon's receptions totals (2-to-4). His yardage also spiked from just under 20 yards to nearly 40 receiving yards per game. It's clear at this point in McKinnon's career that he cannot be deployed as anything more than a breather/pass-catching back in the rotation with another. He is already 30 years old and probably has the most fantasy value if he remains a Chief. His re-signing in KC is ideal for anyone invested in Pacheco, as McKinnon's return makes it less likely that KC invests significantly into another veteran running back option.
13 weeks ago
Kenneth Gainwell Note
Kenneth Gainwell photo 49. Kenneth Gainwell PHI (at NYG)
Kenneth Gainwell was seldom used throughout the 2022 season as his passing-catching skill was not needed with the Philadelphia Eagles dominating their opponents en route to a Super Bowl 57 cameo. But his usage down the stretch should be noted as his role increased drastically. He out-targeted Miles Sanders 18-5 from Week 15 onward. And in Sanders' last five games, the early-down starter played fewer than 40% of the snaps after never playing fewer than 50% of the snaps from Weeks 1-16. Gainwell and Sanders split touches nearly 50/50 in the team's last four games, with Kenny G seeing the preferred usage on third/passing downs. With Sanders not returning to the team, Gainwell would be a favorite to see an expanded role on the ground in addition to his confirmed receiving role on offense. It's a major "if" newcomers Rashaad Penny and D'Andre Swift can actually stay healthy for a full season. And "if" they cannot (a very probable outcome) Gainwell will benefit as will Boston Scott. Gainwell is dirt cheap as the RB56 in best ball drafts.
13 weeks ago
Devin Singletary Note
Devin Singletary photo 50. Devin Singletary HOU (at IND)
Devin Singletary signed a one-year deal worth $3.75 million with the Houston Texans, presumably to fill the role of Dameon Pierce's primary backup.

Singletary operated as the 1A in the Buffalo Bills backfield for the majority of the 2022 season finishing the year as RB23 overall and RB27 in points per game. However, unlike the last two seasons that ended with strong finishes for the undersized rusher, Singletary was in a full-blown committee with rookie James Cook to close out the year. The first-year rusher averaged a 40% snap share over the team's final seven games, matching Singletary point-for-point (RB25 in points per game, 52% snap share).

Cook was also the superior rusher in the season's totality, capping off his year by averaging 5.3 yards per carry (5th). Singletary totaled just nine more carries than Cook from Weeks 13-Week 20 but ended the year 10th in PFF rushing grade (two spots ahead of Pierce).

Overall, Singletary probably won't unseat Pierce as the team's No. 1 rusher, but he poses a much bigger threat to Pierce's workload than JAGs like Rex Burkhead, Mike Boone, and Dare Ogunbowale. His PFF pass-blocking grade (73.2, 8th) might get him usage on passing downs as Pierce struggled in this capacity as a rookie (32.3, 52nd). Although it does work in Pierce's favor that Singletary has never flourished as an actual receiver, giving Pierce the slight edge on attaining a full three-down workload if he can shore up his pass protection in Year 2.
13 weeks ago
Roschon Johnson Note
Roschon Johnson photo 51. Roschon Johnson CHI (at GB)
Rookie running back Roschon Johnson posted an absurd 49% missed tackle rate in 2022, while also finishing fourth in yards after contact per attempt among the 2023 draft class. Simply put, he would be talked about much more had he not been seated on the depth chart behind college football's best running back: Bijan Robinson.

He only started five games in 47 total games played at Texas.

But Johnson possesses bell-cow size at 6 feet and 219 pounds with tenacity to boot. He jumped 122 inches in the broad jump (78th percentile) at the NFL Scouting Combine

Johnson was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft and will compete with veterans D'Onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert for snaps. Johnson will find earning playing time will be much easier to do competing with the likes of non-Bijan Robinson running backs.

Don't be surprised if RJ beats out Foreman by the time training camp concludes. His trusted work on special teams and pass protection should get him on the field sooner rather than later.
13 weeks ago
Gus Edwards Note
Gus Edwards photo 52. Gus Edwards BAL (vs . PIT)
Chuba Hubbard Note
Chuba Hubbard photo 53. Chuba Hubbard CAR (vs . TB)
Chuba Hubbard finished the 2022 season as PFF's 21st-highest-graded rusher averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He also flashed efficiency in the receiving game ending the year tied for 6th in yards per route run (1.55) with Austin Ekeler. After the team traded Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers, Hubbard's role increased from Week 7 onward as he was able to carve out a 1B role in the backfield alongside D'Onta Foreman. With a three-down skillset, Hubbard has massive fantasy football appeal as a handcuff to Miles Sanders in 2023. Hubbard also has a chance to capture the main RB receiving role in the Panthers backfield.
13 weeks ago
D'Onta Foreman Note
D'Onta Foreman photo 54. D'Onta Foreman CHI (at GB)
D'Onta Foreman inked a one-year deal worth $3 million with the Chicago Bears to replace David Montgomery in the Bears backfield alongside Khalil Herbert, Travis Homer and 2023 4th-round draft pick Roschon Johnson. Per Aaron Wilson, Foreman also had interest from the Bills, Panthers, and Giants but chose to go with the Bears.

The interest doesn't come as a surprise after Foreman's breakout play in 2022. From Week 7 on, Foreman was the RB21 in fantasy scoring and RB22 in fantasy points per game. He ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing yards (852) over that span. But his path to back-end RB2 status was not consistent whatsoever. Foreman rushed for more than 110 yards in half of his last 10 games while finishing with fewer than 40 rushing yards in four of the others. His weekly half-point PPR fantasy finishes over those last 10 games were RB13, RB5, RB42, RB9, RB48, RB27, RB27, RB70, RB3, and RB53. Foreman was also a zero in the passing game, with just five receptions as the team's starter.

Even so, Foreman's flashes of high-end early-down starting potential for two straight seasons are going to earn him opportunities in Chicago. Even though Khalil Herbert has shown out on limited opportunities, it's hard to envision anything but another RB usage split between a trio of capable RBs similar to the split between Herbert and Montgomery last season.
13 weeks ago
Kendre Miller Note
Kendre Miller photo 55. Kendre Miller NO (vs . ATL)
Kendre Miller spent his first two seasons in a two-way platoon with Zach Evans before the latter transferred to Mississippi. Miller flashed talent in limited sample size, leading the FBS in yards after contact per attempt (5.06) in 2021. But with Evans gone in 2022, Miller was thrust into the RB1 role for the Horned Frogs, where he posted a career-high 23 percent dominator rating. The bell cow rushed for nearly 1400 yards at 5-foot-11, 215 pounds (identical to Bijan Robinson), and his size is enticing in addition to the efficiency he displayed on a per-play basis at the college level. Miller's career of 3.14 yards per play ranks fourth best in the class. He's explosive with the ball in his hands, as indicated by his 21 rushes of 15-plus yards last year (tied for the fifth-highest in the class).

Per Sports Info Solutions, Miller also posted the 4th-lowest bust run rate (percentage of plays that resulted in EPA below -1) and finished first in his class in broken tackles per 100 touches (18).

Miller did not test at all during the pre-draft process (recovering from post-season knee surgery), but that didn't stop the New Orleans Saints from investing a third-round pick in him during the 2023 NFL Draft. Miller is an ideal home-run hitter and 1-2 punch fit with veteran Jamaal Williams with Alvin Kamara slated to miss the first three weeks of the regular season. Thus, he needs to be stashed on benches. His explosiveness will be on full display - especially in comparison to the plodding Williams - and that will get him noticed by his NFL coaches and other fantasy managers. Just temper expectations for immediate production if a veteran is added like Kareem Hunt, who would slide in directly as the veteran pass-catching back until Kamara returns.
13 weeks ago
Jeff Wilson Jr. Note
Jeff Wilson Jr. photo 56. Jeff Wilson Jr. MIA (vs . BUF)
Jeff Wilson was viewed to be a potential starter in the Dolphins offense, but will miss time to start the year after being placed on IR. He will miss at least the first four weeks of the season. That puts Raheem Mostert in the driver's seat to be RB1 opening day, with rookie De'Von Achane breathing down his neck for touches. Wilson should not be drafted in shallow formats, and only in deeper ones that have IR-eligible spots.
13 weeks ago
Tyjae Spears Note
Tyjae Spears photo 57. Tyjae Spears TEN (vs . JAC)
Tyjae Spears boosted his draft stock dramatically as a buzzy player at the Senior Bowl, and his atomic rise up the draft boards continued at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Spears weighed in at 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds. He did not run the 40-yard dash but instead nearly jumped out of the building in the explosion drills. His vertical jump of 39″ ranked in the 92nd percentile and was second only to Chase Brown. Spears' broad jump ranked third in the class at 125″ which ranked in the 89th percentile.

The Tulane running back will be one of my top rookie running back targets after he posted a 31 percent dominator rating in 2022, finishing 5th in the FBS in rushing yards (1,586), second in rushing TDs (19), and fourth in yards after contact per attempt (4.55). Per Sports Info Solutions' total points model, Spears finished third in total points per game and total EPA generated per game. He also finished second in the class in pass pro snaps per game (8.1), something NFL coaches will drool over.

Throughout his career, he boasts an impressive 3.00 yards per play (seventh best in the class) - a great indicator of future success at the NFL level.

The Titans selected Spears in the 3rd round of the 2023 NFL Draft despite scary reports regarding Spears' short shelf life based on previous knee injuries. For 2023 alone, he's a high-upside handcuff option should anything happen to Derrick Henry.
13 weeks ago
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Note
Clyde Edwards-Helaire photo 58. Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC (at LAC)
Jerome Ford Note
Jerome Ford photo 59. Jerome Ford CLE (at CIN)
Zamir White Note
Zamir White photo 60. Zamir White LV (vs . DEN)
Zamir White could see a larger role after a redshirt rookie season with Josh Jacobs' touches having nowhere to go but down and him threatening to hold out by missing training camp. Josh McDaniels is notorious for never featuring rookie RBs, so White's lack of playing time in Year 1 is not shocking. White was a polarizing prospect in last year's draft process before he was selected in the 4th round by the Raiders. He runs with strong intent and decisiveness at the line of scrimmage. Knows where to go and how to hit the hole. Solid explosiveness and burst; constantly gets yardage after first contact. Elusive in space as a receiver.

The former Georgia Bulldog is built like a three-down back and posted Great testing measurables from the NFL Combine: 4.40 40-yard dash (93rd percentile) and 128 in the broad jump (94th percentile). White's overall counting stats are not particularly great, but that's because he split work with James Cook and Kenny McIntosh, like most Georgia backs often do.

What matters more is White's career three yards per snap - a mark that stacks up with the likes of Michael Carter, Rachaad White, James Cook, and Tyler Allgeier.
13 weeks ago
Joshua Kelley Note
Joshua Kelley photo 61. Joshua Kelley LAC (vs . KC)
Cordarrelle Patterson Note
Cordarrelle Patterson photo 62. Cordarrelle Patterson ATL (at NO)
Zack Moss Note
Zack Moss photo 63. Zack Moss IND (vs . HOU)
Zack Moss' status as the Colts RB2 is in jeopardy after he broke his arm in training camp. He will likely miss the next 6 weeks, which will put him right on the cusp at the start of the season. Moss was traded to the Colts last season in exchange for Nyheim Hines, and he started the final four games after Jonathan Taylor got injured. Moss was decent in relief, tallying 4.8 yards per carry as PFF's 14th-highest-graded RB over the final four weeks. He showcased his tackle-breaking elusiveness that he excelled at in college, breaking 20 tackles (29% missed tackle rate). When healthy, Moss should be viewed as the handcuff to Jonathan Taylor as the team's primary rusher and goal-line back. But that grip on the No. 2 job will be tested with him slated to miss time. His 6-week injury time frame will place his first eligibility prior to Week 2.
13 weeks ago
Ty Chandler Note
Ty Chandler photo 64. Ty Chandler MIN (at DET)
Kyren Williams Note
Kyren Williams photo 65. Kyren Williams LAR (at SF)
Evan Hull Note
Evan Hull photo 66. Evan Hull IND (vs . HOU)
Evan Hull was a draft-day steal for the Colts on Day 3. The Northwestern product spent the past two seasons owning his team's backfield as a mega-producer posting back-to-back seasons with a 35% dominator rating. The 5-foot-10 and 209-pound back hauled in 87 passes for 800 receiving yards as a full-blown three-down back while forcing over 100 missed tackles.

With a decorated production profile and desirable athleticism - 78th percentile or better tester in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and 3-cone drill - Hull rising the ranks in Indy's backfield should surprise nobody. He led all FBS running backs in receptions and receiving yards in 2022. Hard to not view him as the best long-term bet in the Colts backfield with Zack Moss sidelined due to a broken arm and JT out the first four weeks of the season on the PUP list. As a Day 3 rookie, he likely won't start in Week 1, but could easily see his role grow based on his talent and preseason play.
13 weeks ago
Chase Edmonds Note
Chase Edmonds photo 67. Chase Edmonds TB (at CAR)
Deuce Vaughn Note
Deuce Vaughn photo 68. Deuce Vaughn DAL (at WAS)
Dallas addressed running back in Round 6 of this year's NFL Draft, adding Deuce Vaughn from Kansas State. It's hard to look past the sheer dominance Vaughn displayed in his three years at Kansas State. Vaughn totaled over 4,800 yards from scrimmage and 43 TDs en route to a class-leading 35% career college dominator rating

He's not a bruiser by any means but he could emerge as a nice breather-back for No. 1 rusher Tony Pollard. Vaughn is 5-foot-5, 179 pounds soaking wet.

Chris Vaughn - Deuce's father - is a veteran scout for the Dallas Cowboys. Probably helps his odds of making the roster.
13 weeks ago
Sean Tucker Note
Sean Tucker photo 69. Sean Tucker TB (at CAR)
Michael Carter Note
Michael Carter photo 70. Michael Carter ARI (vs . SEA)
Chase Brown Note
Chase Brown photo 71. Chase Brown CIN (vs . CLE)
Deon Jackson Note
Deon Jackson photo 72. Deon Jackson NYG (vs . PHI)
Before the Colts traded for Zack Moss in 2022, Deon Jackson was used as the team's No. 2 rusher to Jonathan Taylor. He filled in admirably from Weeks 5, 6, and 9 when Taylor was unable to play. The former 2021 UDFA drew the start in two of the contests while averaging over five catches per game. The third-year pro also led the backfield in targets over the final four weeks of the season. Considering the team's efforts to add more RBs to the roster after they saw Jackson play in 2022 - draft Evan Hull, and trade for Zack Moss - he is likely their last-ditch effort to address their RB room. But given Taylor's PUP status and Moss' broken arm (projected to miss Week 1 based on the 6-week recovery timetable), Jackson could be in line for starting RB duties based on his back-to-back starts in the team's last two preseason games.
13 weeks ago
Pierre Strong Jr. Note
Pierre Strong Jr. photo 73. Pierre Strong Jr. CLE (at CIN)
Kareem Hunt Note
Kareem Hunt photo 74. Kareem Hunt CLE (at CIN)
There should have been a stronger case made that the Browns offense would struggle in 2022, making Kareem Hunt a tough bet to also deliver as the 1B to Nick Chubb's 1A. Hunt's bizarre lack of usage is what really held him back, but highly drafting No. 2 RBs in offenses with major question marks or turnovers is a tough sell. Hunt played over 50% of the snaps once all year (Week 1) and averaged just 9.4 touches per game, which ranked outside the top 50 running backs in 2022. In 2021, Hunt averaged nearly 3 more touches per game. He was also not particularly efficient with a career-low 3.8 yards per carry. He reportedly had a great visit with the Saints to fill-in as the team's receiving back with Alvin Kamara out the first 3 weeks of the season and Eno Benjamin placed on IR. That would give him some value in PPR formats to open the year as a fantasy RB4. He is also going to visit the Colts, which would be a major boon for his fantasy value amid the Jonathan Taylor situation.
13 weeks ago
Zach Evans Note
Zach Evans photo 75. Zach Evans LAR (at SF)
Zach Evans spent his first two college seasons at TCU, seeing seldom usage alongside fellow 2023 draft prospect Kendre Miller. Evans was the clear frontrunner in the backfield to start his sophomore campaign but suffered a turf toe injury that cut his 2021 season short. Evans would go on to transfer to Ole Miss at the start of the 2022 season, where he posted his best college counting stats to date with a 17 percent dominator rating. His 15% boom percentage per Sports Info Solutions led all RBs in his class.

However, he failed to fully take over at the backfield as he did at TCU, losing out on touches to freshman running back Quinshon Judkins.

The fact that Evans has struggled to fully take over a backfield at the college level -- along with no contributing role as a receiver -- is a major red flag as he makes his way into the NFL, but his efficient play when on the field suggests he can deliver when called upon. His career average of 3.47 yards per play ranks second-best among the incoming rookie RBs I sampled earlier this offseason.

Yards per play is a great indicator of future success, with recent late-round standouts in that category the past two years including Elijah Mitchell, Rhamondre Stevenson, Rachaad White, and Tyler Allgeier. Evans also boasts decent size at 5-foot-11 and 202 pounds - albeit the weight he measured at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine was much lighter than his listed weight at Ole Miss (216 pounds).

At the Ole Miss pro day, Evans posted a 4.45 40-time, ran a 4.26 20-yard shuttle and finished the 3-cone drill in 7.08 seconds.

In the 2023 NFL Draft L.A. traded No. 252 and a sixth-round pick in 2024 to the Bills for Pick 215, where they selected the Ole Miss running back. Evans' best-case scenario was landing on a weak depth chart, and there is nobody threatening behind Cam Akers in the Rams backfield.
13 weeks ago
Keaontay Ingram Note
Keaontay Ingram photo 76. Keaontay Ingram KC (at LAC)
Isaiah Spiller Note
Isaiah Spiller photo 77. Isaiah Spiller LAC (vs . KC)
Latavius Murray Note
Latavius Murray photo 78. Latavius Murray BUF (at MIA)
Latavius Murray performed well when Denver scooped him up during the middle of last season after Javonte Williams went down with a devastating knee injury. In 12 games from Weeks 6-18, Murray was the RB24 in half-point scoring averaging 10.3 points per game (RB30). He was PFF's 10th-highest graded rusher (82.8) and averaged 15 touches per game. Murray also averaged nearly 70 yards from scrimmage and 3 targets per game. Not too shabby for the 33-year-old running back.
13 weeks ago
Leonard Fournette Note
Leonard Fournette photo 79. Leonard Fournette BUF (at MIA)
Tom Brady's retirement marked the end of Leonard Fournette with the Buccaneers. The team was pressed up versus the salary cap (31st in available salary cap space) and they took the out in Fournette's contract by releasing him. With Fournette out, Rachaad White would become the entrenched starter entering the season. White saw his role grow during the second half of the season, forcing a timeshare with Fournette. From Weeks 10-17, White operated as the 1A in the Buccaneers' backfield averaging 11 fantasy points per game (RB26) versus Fournette's 11.3 (RB23). White wasn't great as a rusher - four yards per carry, 66.4 PFF rushing grade - but no running back was particularly efficient behind Tampa's patchwork offensive line. The first-year rusher was better than the 28-year-old on the ground, as the veteran finished third-to-last in rushing EPA (-39.13) and 6th-worst in PFF rushing grade (67.6). Lombardi Lenny posted his worst efficiency marks since joining the Bucs in 2022, ranking 4th-worst in NFL next-gen stats rushing yards over expectation per attempt (-0.36). There was also no better display of the Bucs' hierarchy in their backfield than White edging out Fournette on the field than in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Fournette carried the ball just five times for 11 yards while White started and rushed for 41 yards on 7 carries, adding 4-of-6 targets for 36 yards (56% snap share). Fournette's disappointing campaign - outside all the dump-off receptions/targets - has definitely hurt his interest in the FA market.
13 weeks ago
Matt Breida Note
Matt Breida photo 80. Matt Breida NYG (vs . PHI)
Chris Evans Note
Chris Evans photo 81. Chris Evans CIN (vs . CLE)
Boston Scott Note
Boston Scott photo 82. Boston Scott PHI (at NYG)
Israel Abanikanda Note
Israel Abanikanda photo 83. Israel Abanikanda NYJ (at NE)
Israel "Izzy" Abanikanda didn't do much at Pittsburgh during his first two years there, but he finally broke out in 2022 as the team's No. 1 running back. The 5-foot-10 and 216-pound running back rushed for 1,426 yards and 20 touchdowns en route to a 39% dominator rating. Abanikanda would go on to finish as PFF's 8th-highest rusher in his draft class.

At Pitt's pro day, Abanikanda ran an unofficial 4.41 40-yard dash with some reports claiming he got under 4.3. He also jumped out of the building hitting 41 inches in the vertical (97th percentile) and 128 inches in the broad jump (95th percentile). His size/speed profile is extremely enticing.
13 weeks ago
Jordan Mason Note
Jordan Mason photo 84. Jordan Mason SF (vs . LAR)
D'Ernest Johnson Note
D'Ernest Johnson photo 85. D'Ernest Johnson JAC (at TEN)
JaMycal Hasty Note
JaMycal Hasty photo 86. JaMycal Hasty NE (vs . NYJ)
Tyrion Davis-Price Note
Tyrion Davis-Price photo 87. Tyrion Davis-Price SF (vs . LAR)
Salvon Ahmed Note
Salvon Ahmed photo 88. Salvon Ahmed MIA (vs . BUF)
Ronald Jones II Note
Ronald Jones II photo 89. Ronald Jones II FA (BYE)
Rico Dowdle Note
Rico Dowdle photo 90. Rico Dowdle DAL (at WAS)
Rico Dowdle has been listed as the No. 2 Cowboys RB on the 2023 preseason unofficial depth chart, ahead of Malik Davis, Ronald Jones and Deuce Vaughn. Dowdle was listed ahead of Davis during the 2022 preseason as well and made the roster back in 2020 as an undrafted free agent. He's been on Dallas for three straight seasons despite ending up on IR the last two seasons. Seems like Big D is more than happy to let Dowdle earn the No. 2 job over the rest of the roster, unless he suffers another injury. He offers decent size at 215 pounds, so it's easy to see him working alongside Tony Pollard.
13 weeks ago
Eric Gray Note
Eric Gray photo 91. Eric Gray NYG (vs . PHI)
Eric Gray first burst onto the college football scene at Tennessee in 2020, rushing for 758 yards and four TDs with 31 catches for 262 yards en route to a 26% dominator rating as a sophomore. After the season, Gray transferred to Oklahoma for his last two years of college ball. His numbers fell after he lost his starting job in 2021, but he regained RB1 duties the following year. And he made his final year count, posting a 26% dominator rating with Kennedy Brooks off to the NFL.

Gray finished the 2022 season third in the class in PFF receiving grade and fifth in PFF rushing grade. The 5-foot-9 and 207-pound rusher finished the year third in positive rushing EPA and fourth in boom rate (rushes generating an EPA of one-plus). And per Sports Info Solutions, Gray posted the highest missed tackle rate per 100 touches in the class.

It's also entirely possible that Gray could have been selected earlier by the Giants if they had more picks available to them. Big Blue didn't have any other picks after 73rd overall until they selected Gray with the 172nd pick. Considering New York's RB depth chart is barren behind Barkley, Gray is a player worth monitoring. Could easily see this Giants coaching staff falling in love with Gray. He totaled 549 carries in college and never fumbled.
13 weeks ago
Myles Gaskin Note
Myles Gaskin photo 92. Myles Gaskin MIN (at DET)
Trayveon Williams Note
Trayveon Williams photo 93. Trayveon Williams CIN (vs . CLE)
DeeJay Dallas Note
DeeJay Dallas photo 94. DeeJay Dallas SEA (at ARI)
DeeJay Dallas is expected to have a larger role on offense during the preseason given the injuries to Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet. He has been splitting 1st-team reps with 2023 7th-round rookie selection, Kenny McIntosh. The team knows what they have in Dallas after he's spent three years within the organization. Pete Carroll has said that Dallas has bulked up to nearly 230 pounds, which gives him bell-cow size to handle a massive workload. And while McIntosh might offer more upside as a one-play receiver/explosive rusher, Dallas is built more to take on a workhorse role if presented with the opportunity. The team has never shied away from using the bigger back as part of their receiving game, as he has been targeted at least twice in half of his NFL games played where he recorded snaps on offense. The trust and reliability Dallas owns might give him the edge over McIntosh, despite the latter offering more "sexy" appeal as an unknown rookie. Even though Dallas owns better draft capital (4th-round versus 7th) and is a superior athlete. Remember, there's a reason that McIntosh was drafted in Round 7. He ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at 204 pounds. (23rd percentile). Dallas ran a 4.58 40-yard dash at 217 pounds. McIntosh also surpassed 15 carries just twice in his four-year collegiate career. Dallas could easily be this year's Samaje Perine. A la, a completely forgotten backup RB who finally delivers when called upon.
13 weeks ago
Zonovan Knight Note
Zonovan Knight photo 95. Zonovan Knight DET (vs . MIN)
The Jets leaned on Zonovan Knight down the stretch in 2022 after injuries hit their backfield between Breece Hall and Michael Carter. "Bam" Knight forced a broken tackle on 34% of his rushes - which ranked No. 1 in NFL last season among RBs with at least 80 carries. The 2022 undrafted free agent completely supplanted Carter as the team's RB1 after the latter suffered an injury in Week 12. He maintained starting usage even after Carter returned to the lineup in Week 14. In Knight's first three games as the featured back (Weeks 12-14), Knight averaged 15.2 PPR points, 76 rushing yards and 18.6 touches per game. Also was a perfect 10-for-10 in the receiving game. Per PFF, for the next four weeks he was running into WALLs with a rotating carousel at QB. -7 yards before contact. 77 yards after contact for a total of 70 rushing yards. He earned it all. Considering Carter finished dead last among all RBs in offensive rushing EPA/attempt last season, I'd bet Knight gets the nod over him on the Week 1 depth chart behind Dalvin Cook and Breece Hall. Per the Athletic's Zak Rosenblatt, Knight has been the Jets best running back in camp. And it's not just one source. Robby Sabo of JetsXFactor also believes Carter is losing this RB battle, quote saying, "Where Michael Carter lacks, Bam Knight excels." Also references Knight's comfort running behind a fullback which should be a new wrinkle in the Jets run game under Nathaniel Hackett.
13 weeks ago
DeWayne McBride Note
DeWayne McBride photo 96. DeWayne McBride MIN (at DET)
DeWayne McBride has been doing it all for the UAB Blazers over the last three seasons, totaling a top five dominator rating (27 percent) for his excellent efforts. He ranks first in the class in career yards per play (4.18) for being so efficient anytime he is on the field. His production is captured in his PFF grades, with him finishing second, eighth, and third, in PFF grading the last three seasons, respectively. Aside from being a complete afterthought in the passing game, McBride checks off a lot of boxes you want to see from a smaller school prospect, and he easily saved his best for last as a junior, finishing second in the FBS in rushing yards (1702, 155 yards per game), second in yards after contact per attempt (4.6) and fifth in dominator rating (35 percent) among the 2023 draft class. Per PFF, his 36 percent missed tackle rate ranks third all-time since the data started being tracked.

With desirable size at 5-foot-10 and 209 pounds, McBride is emerging as one of my favorite sleeper running backs in the incoming class. He was selected in the 7th of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
15 weeks ago
Ke'Shawn Vaughn Note
Ke'Shawn Vaughn photo 97. Ke'Shawn Vaughn TB (at CAR)
Ke'Shawn Vaughn is viewed as the Buccaneers No. 2 RB heading into the 2023 season, over free agent addition Chase Edmonds. It's high praise coming directly from TB's new OC Dave Canales.
13 weeks ago
Malik Davis Note
Malik Davis photo 98. Malik Davis DAL (at WAS)
As PFF's 4th-highest graded rookie running back last season (80.6), Malik Davis could see an expanded role as the No. 2 RB behind Tony Pollard. His main competition for backup duties includes NFL journeymen Ronald Jones and Rico Dowdle plus rookie Deuce Vaughn.
15 weeks ago
Melvin Gordon III Note
Melvin Gordon III photo 99. Melvin Gordon III BAL (vs . PIT)
After being completely cast off from the Broncos in 2022 - PFF's worst-graded rusher - Melvin Gordon has found a new home in Baltimore. The running back signed a one-year contract with the Ravens worth up to $3.1 million.
13 weeks ago
James Robinson Note
James Robinson photo 100. James Robinson GB (vs . CHI)
James Robinson was unwanted by two different teams in 2022 and was benched in favor of an undrafted free agent Zonovan Knight with the Jets. He was cut by the Patriots earlier this offseason, before being brought in as a potential handcuff with the New York Giants.

J-Rob's addition likely prevents Big Blue from adding anybody else better amid Saquon Barkley's contract holdout.
13 weeks ago
Justice Hill Note
Justice Hill photo 101. Justice Hill BAL (vs . PIT)
Chris Rodriguez Jr. Note
Chris Rodriguez Jr. photo 102. Chris Rodriguez Jr. WAS (vs . DAL)
Ameer Abdullah Note
Ameer Abdullah photo 103. Ameer Abdullah LV (vs . DEN)
Raheem Blackshear Note
Raheem Blackshear photo 104. Raheem Blackshear CAR (vs . TB)
Kenny McIntosh Note
Kenny McIntosh photo 105. Kenny McIntosh SEA (at ARI)
Kenny McIntosh is expected to have a larger role on offense during the preseason given the injuries to Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet. The 7th-round rookie out of Georgia has been splitting 1st-team reps with fourth-year pro, DeeJay Dallas, showcasing his explosiveness at sub-200 pounds and proficiency as a receiver. Head coach Pete Carroll says he was one of the "highlighted players" during off-season activities and training camp.
Per usual of most Georgia running backs, Kenny McIntosh had to bide his time before getting the opportunity to shine in the Bulldogs' offense. With Zamir White and James Cook drafted to the NFL in 2022, McIntosh got his shot to perform. He led Georgia in rushing yards (824) and thrived as a receiver out of the backfield. McIntosh earned PFF's highest receiving grade among all RBs in the FBS (86.8) due in part to compiling the second-most receiving yards among RBs (509). With solid size (listed as 6-foot-1 and 204 pounds) and a dynamite receiving profile, McIntosh could have some serious fantasy football sleeper appeal with his newfound opportunities in an injury-ridden Seattle backfield.
Shouldn't be overlooked that in 2021, McIntosh was posting better per-snap numbers than both White and Cook as both a rusher/receiver as PFF's 8th-highest graded RB in the FBS among running backs with at least 50 carries. McIntosh can compete, and the path for touches is there for the taking in Seattle.
13 weeks ago
Kene Nwangwu Note
Kene Nwangwu photo 106. Kene Nwangwu MIN (at DET)
Jaleel McLaughlin Note
Jaleel McLaughlin photo 107. Jaleel McLaughlin DEN (at LV)
J.D. McKissic Note
J.D. McKissic photo 108. J.D. McKissic FA (BYE)
Kenyan Drake Note
Kenyan Drake photo 109. Kenyan Drake FA (BYE)
Deneric Prince Note
Deneric Prince photo 110. Deneric Prince KC (at LAC)
Craig Reynolds Note
Craig Reynolds photo 111. Craig Reynolds DET (vs . MIN)
Julius Chestnut Note
Julius Chestnut photo 112. Julius Chestnut TEN (vs . JAC)
Dontrell Hilliard Note
Dontrell Hilliard photo 113. Dontrell Hilliard FA (BYE)
Darrell Henderson Jr. Note
Darrell Henderson Jr. photo 114. Darrell Henderson Jr. FA (BYE)
Mike Boone Note
Mike Boone photo 115. Mike Boone HOU (at IND)
Ty Montgomery II Note
Ty Montgomery II photo 116. Ty Montgomery II NE (vs . NYJ)
Keaton Mitchell Note
Keaton Mitchell photo 117. Keaton Mitchell BAL (vs . PIT)
Kyle Juszczyk Note
Kyle Juszczyk photo 118. Kyle Juszczyk SF (vs . LAR)
Ronnie Rivers Note
Ronnie Rivers photo 119. Ronnie Rivers LAR (at SF)
Travis Homer Note
Travis Homer photo 120. Travis Homer CHI (at GB)
Kevin Harris Note
Kevin Harris photo 121. Kevin Harris NE (vs . NYJ)
Darrel Williams Note
Darrel Williams photo 122. Darrel Williams FA (BYE)
Brandon Bolden Note
Brandon Bolden photo 123. Brandon Bolden LV (vs . DEN)
Emari Demercado Note
Emari Demercado photo 124. Emari Demercado ARI (vs . SEA)
Anthony McFarland Jr. Note
Anthony McFarland Jr. photo 125. Anthony McFarland Jr. PIT (at BAL)
Gary Brightwell Note
Gary Brightwell photo 126. Gary Brightwell NYG (vs . PHI)
Emanuel Wilson Note
Emanuel Wilson photo 127. Emanuel Wilson GB (vs . CHI)
Chris Brooks Note
Chris Brooks photo 128. Chris Brooks MIA (vs . BUF)
Corey Clement Note
Corey Clement photo 129. Corey Clement ARI (vs . SEA)
Ty Johnson Note
Ty Johnson photo 130. Ty Johnson BUF (at MIA)
Mark Ingram II Note
Mark Ingram II photo 131. Mark Ingram II FA (BYE)
Dare Ogunbowale Note
Dare Ogunbowale photo 132. Dare Ogunbowale HOU (at IND)
Elijah Dotson Note
Elijah Dotson photo 133. Elijah Dotson FA (BYE)
Rex Burkhead Note
Rex Burkhead photo 134. Rex Burkhead FA (BYE)
Alec Ingold Note
Alec Ingold photo 135. Alec Ingold MIA (vs . BUF)
Tyler Badie Note
Tyler Badie photo 136. Tyler Badie DEN (at LV)
Trey Sermon Note
Trey Sermon photo 137. Trey Sermon IND (vs . HOU)
C.J. Ham Note
C.J. Ham photo 138. C.J. Ham MIN (at DET)
Demetric Felton Jr. Note
Demetric Felton Jr. photo 139. Demetric Felton Jr. CIN (vs . CLE)
Snoop Conner Note
Snoop Conner photo 140. Snoop Conner JAC (at TEN)
Patrick Ricard Note
Patrick Ricard photo 141. Patrick Ricard BAL (vs . PIT)
Darrynton Evans Note
Darrynton Evans photo 142. Darrynton Evans MIA (vs . BUF)
Tony Jones Jr. Note
Tony Jones Jr. photo 143. Tony Jones Jr. ARI (vs . SEA)
Patrick Taylor Jr. Note
Patrick Taylor Jr. photo 144. Patrick Taylor Jr. GB (vs . CHI)
Reggie Gilliam Note
Reggie Gilliam photo 145. Reggie Gilliam BUF (at MIA)
Jakob Johnson Note
Jakob Johnson photo 146. Jakob Johnson LV (vs . DEN)
La'Mical Perine Note
La'Mical Perine photo 147. La'Mical Perine KC (at LAC)
Michael Burton Note
Michael Burton photo 148. Michael Burton DEN (at LV)
Keith Smith Note
Keith Smith photo 149. Keith Smith ATL (at NO)
Nick Bawden Note
Nick Bawden photo 150. Nick Bawden NYJ (at NE)
Caleb Huntley Note
Caleb Huntley photo 151. Caleb Huntley FA (BYE)
Khari Blasingame Note
Khari Blasingame photo 152. Khari Blasingame CHI (at GB)
Hunter Luepke Note
Hunter Luepke photo 153. Hunter Luepke DAL (at WAS)
Trestan Ebner Note
Trestan Ebner photo 154. Trestan Ebner FA (BYE)
Mohamed Ibrahim Note
Mohamed Ibrahim photo 155. Mohamed Ibrahim DET (vs . MIN)
Damien Williams Note
Damien Williams photo 156. Damien Williams FA (BYE)
Mike Davis Note
Mike Davis photo 157. Mike Davis FA (BYE)
Spencer Brown Note
Spencer Brown photo 158. Spencer Brown CAR (vs . TB)
Zander Horvath Note
Zander Horvath photo 159. Zander Horvath FA (BYE)
Malcolm Brown Note
Malcolm Brown photo 160. Malcolm Brown FA (BYE)
Xazavian Valladay Note
Xazavian Valladay photo 161. Xazavian Valladay NYJ (at NE)
J.J. Taylor Note
J.J. Taylor photo 162. J.J. Taylor HOU (at IND)
Adam Prentice Note
Adam Prentice photo 163. Adam Prentice NO (vs . ATL)
Tiyon Evans Note
Tiyon Evans photo 164. Tiyon Evans FA (BYE)
Benny Snell Jr. Note
Benny Snell Jr. photo 165. Benny Snell Jr. FA (BYE)
Jonathan Ward Note
Jonathan Ward photo 166. Jonathan Ward TEN (vs . JAC)
Royce Freeman Note
Royce Freeman photo 167. Royce Freeman LAR (at SF)
Ty'Son Williams Note
Ty'Son Williams photo 168. Ty'Son Williams FA (BYE)
Jaret Patterson Note
Jaret Patterson photo 169. Jaret Patterson LAC (vs . KC)
Jashaun Corbin Note
Jashaun Corbin photo 170. Jashaun Corbin NYG (vs . PHI)
John Kelly Jr. Note
John Kelly Jr. photo 171. John Kelly Jr. CLE (at CIN)
Tevin Coleman Note
Tevin Coleman photo 172. Tevin Coleman FA (BYE)
Godwin Igwebuike Note
Godwin Igwebuike photo 173. Godwin Igwebuike PIT (at BAL)
Dwayne Washington Note
Dwayne Washington photo 174. Dwayne Washington DEN (at LV)
Taiwan Jones Note
Taiwan Jones photo 175. Taiwan Jones FA (BYE)
Derrick Gore Note
Derrick Gore photo 176. Derrick Gore WAS (vs . DAL)
Hassan Hall Note
Hassan Hall photo 177. Hassan Hall FA (BYE)
Aidan Borguet Note
Aidan Borguet photo 178. Aidan Borguet FA (BYE)
Larry Rountree III Note
Larry Rountree III photo 179. Larry Rountree III FA (BYE)
Greg Bell Note
Greg Bell photo 180. Greg Bell FA (BYE)
Phillip Lindsay Note
Phillip Lindsay photo 181. Phillip Lindsay FA (BYE)
Robert Burns Note
Robert Burns photo 182. Robert Burns CHI (at GB)
Sincere McCormick Note
Sincere McCormick photo 183. Sincere McCormick LV (vs . DEN)
Nick Bellore Note
Nick Bellore photo 184. Nick Bellore SEA (at ARI)
Tyler Goodson Note
Tyler Goodson photo 185. Tyler Goodson IND (vs . HOU)
Jordan Mims Note
Jordan Mims photo 186. Jordan Mims NO (vs . ATL)
Jermar Jefferson Note
Jermar Jefferson photo 187. Jermar Jefferson DET (vs . MIN)
Qadree Ollison Note
Qadree Ollison photo 188. Qadree Ollison PIT (at BAL)
Lew Nichols III Note
Lew Nichols III photo 189. Lew Nichols III PHI (at NYG)
Jason Huntley Note
Jason Huntley photo 190. Jason Huntley FA (BYE)
Owen Wright Note
Owen Wright photo 191. Owen Wright BAL (vs . PIT)
Aaron Dykes Note
Aaron Dykes photo 192. Aaron Dykes FA (BYE)
Patrick Laird Note
Patrick Laird photo 193. Patrick Laird TB (at CAR)
Alex Armah Jr. Note
Alex Armah Jr. photo 194. Alex Armah Jr. WAS (vs . DAL)
Jake Funk Note
Jake Funk photo 195. Jake Funk FA (BYE)