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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 1 Half PPR Rankings

Christian McCaffrey Note
Christian McCaffrey photo 1. Christian McCaffrey SF (at PIT)
The 49ers were judicious in their usage of McCaffrey after acquiring CMC from the Panthers last October. But while McCaffrey didn't see the massive touch counts that categorized his early years in Carolina, he was still highly productive, averaging 21.7 fantasy points per game in 11 games with the Niners. McCaffrey's run-catch versatility makes him a hand-in-glove fit for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, and an abundance of surrounding skill-player talent makes it hard for opposing defenses to focus on CMC. Start McCaffrey with confidence this week even in a tricky road matchup against the Steelers.
25 weeks ago
Austin Ekeler Note
Austin Ekeler photo 2. Austin Ekeler LAC (vs . MIA)
The expectation is that in 2023, Austin Ekeler won't see the same insane volume he's had over the last two years, while he's scored more touchdowns than everyone else. With everyone healthy in the offense for Week 1, he probably won't be seeing an insane target share. But he's still the lead back on the Bolts' offense with the third-highest implied team total on the Week 1 slate. Chances are he is going to find the end zone on Sunday versus Vic Fangio's defense. In Ekeler's last three contests versus Fangio's Broncos, he has averaged over 17 fantasy points per game in half-PPR scoring, catching no fewer than three balls to go along with at least one TD score. Top-5 RB play in Week 1.
25 weeks ago
Nick Chubb Note
Nick Chubb photo 3. Nick Chubb CLE (vs . CIN)
The Bengals had an above-average run defense last year, but Chubb is nearly matchup-proof. In his first meeting with Cincinnati last season, Chubb trampled the Bengals to the tune of 23-101-2 on the ground. He wasn't as effective in the Week 14 rematch, finishing with 14-34-0 on the ground, his second-lowest rushing output on the year. But of course you're throwing Chubb into your lineup this week and feeling darned good about it.
25 weeks ago
Bijan Robinson Note
Bijan Robinson photo 4. Bijan Robinson ATL (vs . CAR)
Finally, the debut that so many of us have been waiting for. It will be fun to see what the best RB prospect to enter the league since Saquon Barkley can do in a run-heavy offense, operating behind one of the NFL's better run-blocking offensive lines. It's possible Falcons head coach Arthur Smith uses Bijan and Tyler Allgeier in something close to a 50/50 split in Week 1, eventually shifting more of the workload toward Bijan. But it's also possible that Bijan handles a big load right away. He's a multitalented back with run-catch versatility, so it's possible we'll see Bijan used as a weapon in the passing game. Bijan will face a middling Carolina run defense. But matchup be damned - you didn't spend an early-round draft pick on Bijan just to leave him on your bench. Let's ride!
25 weeks ago
Tony Pollard Note
Tony Pollard photo 5. Tony Pollard DAL (at NYG)
Saquon Barkley Note
Saquon Barkley photo 6. Saquon Barkley NYG (vs . DAL)
Derrick Henry Note
Derrick Henry photo 7. Derrick Henry TEN (at NO)
The king of rushing volume, Henry has led the NFL in carries in three of the last four seasons and has averaged 22.7 rushing attempts per game since 2019. He even caught a career-high 33 passes last season after never getting to 20 receptions in any of his six previous seasons. Henry has finished top five in fantasy points per game in each of the last five seasons. At age 29 and with plenty of mileage on the odometer, Henry might not have a lot of good years left. But now is not the time to fade him. Start Henry with confidence this week against a New Orleans run defense that ranked 20th in DVOA last year.
25 weeks ago
Josh Jacobs Note
Josh Jacobs photo 8. Josh Jacobs LV (at DEN)
Until we see another Raiders running back eat into Josh Jacobs's workload, he needs to be treated like a full-blown bell cow. That was the case last season when he led the NFL in touches. That's concerning for his long-term availability, but he should be a locked-and-loaded fantasy RB1 for Week 1. In two games versus Denver last year, Jacobs averaged nearly 25 fantasy points per game. Start him.
25 weeks ago
Joe Mixon Note
Joe Mixon photo 9. Joe Mixon CIN (at CLE)
This game sets up extremely well for Mixon. Bengals QB Joe Burrow is coming back from a calf injury, so you have to figure that the Bengals will make an earnest effort to run the ball to keep the Cleveland pass rush honest. The Bengals will also be facing a Browns defense that was much better against the pass than it was against the run last season. Cleveland's defense ranked 12th in DVOA against the pass, 26th against the run. The Browns gave up 1,994 rushing yards to opposing RBs last season, the fifth-highest total in the league. They allowed 17 TD runs to RBs, third-most in the league. Mixon had a disappointing 8-27-0 rushing performance when the Browns blew out the Bengals on Halloween night last year, 32-13, although Mixon did have seven catches for 32 yards in that game. In a Week 14 rematch, Mixon had 14-96-0 and 2-10-0 receiving as the Bengals cruised to a 23-10 win. Expect Mixon to get a more substantial carry total against Cleveland this time around. For fantasy purposes, view him as a midrange to low-end RB1.
25 weeks ago
Travis Etienne Jr. Note
Travis Etienne Jr. photo 10. Travis Etienne Jr. JAC (at IND)
For a guy coming off a debut NFL season in which he ran for 1,125 yards, Etienne seems to be causing a lot of anxiety for his investors. As good as Etienne was last season, the Jaguars still spent a third-round draft pick on Tank Bigsby, who played well in the preseason. It's possible that Bigsby could steal some goal-line work from Etienne, and the Jaguars have already shown an inclination to use JaMycal Hasty on some obvious passing downs. Etienne will no doubt get his fair share of touches, but we want him to get plenty of high-value touches - i.e., goal-line carries and receptions. You're confidently starting Etienne against a Colts defense that gave up the ninth-most fantasy points to RBs a year ago, but you're crossing your fingers that Etienne's usage justifies the early draft pick you spent on him.
25 weeks ago
Aaron Jones Note
Aaron Jones photo 11. Aaron Jones GB (at CHI)
Jones has been seldom used with the first-team offense during the preseason, twice just playing one snap before being taken out of the game entirely. His fantasy value will remain through his uber-efficient rushing effectiveness and his proficiency as one of the league's best RB pass-catchers. He ripped through the Bears defense early last season with 132 yards on 15 carries. Jones followed up with a strong receiving game, catching five targets for 24 yards in the second matchup. With A.J. Dillon taking over red zone duties, Jones settles in the mid-range RB2 territory in a plus-matchup.
25 weeks ago
Rhamondre Stevenson Note
Rhamondre Stevenson photo 12. Rhamondre Stevenson NE (vs . PHI)
Jahmyr Gibbs Note
Jahmyr Gibbs photo 13. Jahmyr Gibbs DET (at KC)
Gibbs takes over the "D'Andre Swift role" in the offense. In this role, Swift ranked sixth in target share and 19th in route participation among running backs last season. This occurred while also mentioning that Swift bounced between the injury report and the Detroit dog house last season. Gibbs could surpass both numbers in his rookie season while also seeing some work on early downs. He's an explosive receiver, ranking in the top ten yards per route run and receiving grade in each of his final three collegiate seasons (minimum 20 targets). Kansas City was putrid against receiving backs last season, allowed the most receptions to the position, the fourth-most receiving yards, and the seventh-most receiving touchdowns (tied). Gibbs is a strong RB2 this week with RB1 upside (especially in PPR formats).
25 weeks ago
J.K. Dobbins Note
J.K. Dobbins photo 14. J.K. Dobbins BAL (vs . HOU)
Must-start in Week 1. Dobbins has been kept in bubble wrap for the entire preseason, with the expectations set that he will assume RB1 duties in the Baltimore backfield. The Texans run defense has been a bottom-5 unit over the past three seasons, so Dobbins should be set for a very productive day rushing. The Texans tried to plug up their interior with the additions of Sheldon Rankins and Hassan Ridgeway this offseason, but it remains to be seen if new head coach Demeco Ryans can turn this unit into the stingy 49ers run defense of the south with overall inferior personnel.
25 weeks ago
Kenneth Walker III Note
Kenneth Walker III photo 15. Kenneth Walker III SEA (vs . LAR)
Kenneth Walker III stood as the RB8 from Weeks 6-17 after Rashaad Penny was placed on IR with a season-ending injury in 2022. 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. He 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 as the Seattle workhorse. 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 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. 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. And to add literal insult to injury, Walker popped up this offseason with a groin injury, forcing him to miss time in training camp and during the preseason contests. However, he is healthy entering Week 1 and should be started in all formats as a fantasy RB2 with upside for more until we learn more about a workload split between Walker/Charbonnet. The last time he faced the Rams (Week 18 of last season), Walker rushed for 114 yards on a whopping 29 carries. The Rams also lost linebacker Bobby Wagner (who is back on the Seahawks) who finished as PFF's highest-graded run defender among linebackers in 2022.
25 weeks ago
Alexander Mattison Note
Alexander Mattison photo 16. Alexander Mattison FA (BYE)
After spending the first four years of his NFL career backing up Dalvin Cook, Mattison has inherited a starting role. In six previous career starts, Mattison averaged 79.5 rushing yards and 36.0 receiving yards, topped the 100-yard rushing mark twice, and scored five touchdowns. Mattison is a jack-of-all-trades type who isn't considered particularly gifted in any area but does everything well enough. The Buccaneers aren't an easy matchup, but nor are they a prohibitive matchup. Roll with Mattison as a midrange RB2.
25 weeks ago
Cam Akers Note
Cam Akers photo 17. Cam Akers MIN (vs . TB)
I would expect to see more of what we saw of Cam Akers during the latter part of the 2022 Rams' season, when he operated as a full-blown bell cow over the final six weeks of the season leading the NFL in rushing yards (85 yards per game). The matchup versus a questionable Seahawks' run defense - albeit one that should be improved after offseason moves - is one we saw Akers take advantage of last season. He averaged 82 rushing yards, 21 touches and 16.4 points per game in two matchups versus the Seahawks in 2022. And it was the first Seattle game that Akers got back into the good graces of Sean McVay, out-touching Kyren Williams 18 to 3. I'd easily expect double-digit carries for Akers and some solid rushing production with volume on his side. But a ceiling game might not be in the cards if Akers fails to find the end zone or loses work in the receiving game to Williams, who the team has rested as a "starter" along with Akers during the preseason. Akers is a backend RB2, but profiles more as a floor than ceiling play in Week 1. Likely wouldn't FLEX him if I wanted more upside.
25 weeks ago
Miles Sanders Note
Miles Sanders photo 18. Miles Sanders CAR (at ATL)
Sanders missed time in training camp with a groin injury and didn't play in the preseason, but he returned to practice two weeks ago and is expected to be fine for Week 1. It's hard to tell whether we'll see bell-cow usage with Sanders this season. If we do, it might not come so soon after a soft-tissue injury. But this is nonetheless a pretty decent spot for Sanders. The Falcons gave up the eighth-most rushing yards to RBs last season and ranked 27th in DVOA vs. the run. Panthers head coach Frank Reich probably doesn't want his offense to be extremely pass-heavy in rookie QB Bryce Young's first regular-season game, so we can expect an earnest effort to maintain offensive balance. Sanders is best viewed as a midrange RB2 this week.
25 weeks ago
Najee Harris Note
Najee Harris photo 19. Najee Harris PIT (vs . SF)
There's been speculation that the Steelers will give more work to Jaylen Warren this week, although Najee probably isn't in any danger of falling into a 50/50 timeshare. The bigger problem for Najee's investors this week is a bad matchup with the 49ers. San Francisco allowed the fewest fantasy points and rushing yards to RBs last season. Running backs scored only seven touchdowns against the 49ers in 2022. You're probably starting Najee this week, but the outlook isn't as bright as it would be in a better matchup. He's a midrange to low-end RB2 this week.
25 weeks ago
Rachaad White Note
Rachaad White photo 20. Rachaad White TB (at MIN)
After sharing a backfield with Leonard Fournette as a rookie, White appears to be Tampa's lead RB entering his second season. Not that we should expect Derrick Henry-type usage for White, but his investors should be encouraged that the Buccaneers have thus far elected not to sign a free-agent RB such as Kareem Hunt or ... well, Fournette. White figures to get at least 12-15 touches against the Vikings this week, and White's pass-catching skill could be put to good use against a Minnesota defense that gave up the ninth-most receiving yards to RBs in 2022. Regard White as a midrange RB2 this week.
25 weeks ago
David Montgomery Note
David Montgomery photo 21. David Montgomery DET (at KC)
Montgomery takes over Detroit's early down hammer role this season for Jamaal Williams. Montgomery was an elite tackle-breaker last season, but sadly, it didn't do him much good. He was first in missed tackles forced per attempt but also finished with the lowest explosive run rate in the NFL (per Fantasy Points Data). Montgomery is a spinning top as he never goes down, but sadly, he never advances far upfield. Montgomery will have weeks where he finishes with RB1/2 stat lines, but this probably isn't one of them. It helps his cause that Chris Jones is likely out, and Carlos Dunlap is gone, though. Each player ranked inside the top 70 highest-graded run defenders in the NFL (among 264 qualifying players), with Jones finishing seventh and Dunlap coming in at 67th. Williams was utilized on gap runs with 57.3% of his carries last season. If Montgomery receives similar usage, he'll have uphill sledding. Last season, the Chiefs allowed the 12th-lowest yards after contact overall, the 12th-lowest success rate on gap runs, and the sixth-fewest rushing touchdowns. Montgomery is a volume-driven low-end RB2/high-end RB3.
25 weeks ago
James Conner Note
James Conner photo 22. James Conner ARI (at WAS)
Volume. Volume. Volume. That's the thesis on drafting James Conner, and starting him every single week, regardless of matchup. Because the matchup versus the Commanders' fierce defensive line is horrible. But as we have seen time and time again, volume is king in fantasy football. And I fully expect a Week 1 Conner - by far at the healthiest he will ever be during the season - to be the engine of this unaspiring Arizona offensive attack. Keep in mind that Conner was a BEAST last year even without Kyler Murray. Conner averaged 21 points per game in six games played without Murray last season. RB2. Lock.
25 weeks ago
Dameon Pierce Note
Dameon Pierce photo 23. Dameon Pierce HOU (at BAL)
All the reasons to be sour on Stroud also apply to the Texans starting RB. Except the matchup might be even worse for Pierce because the Ravens' strengths are certainly in their front seven led by linebacker Roquan Smith. From Week 9 onward (after the Ravens acquired linebacker Roquan Smith), the Ravens were 3rd overall in defensive DVOA (9th in pass, 2nd in run) in 2022. This defense has injuries in their secondary, so that's the only way I can envision the Texans moving the ball successfully, especially with Baltimore offering a lackluster pass rush. I warned the masses about drafting Pierce too aggressively in redraft formats for this exact matchup, and I feel strongly that his value is going to dip dramatically after he inevitably busts in Week 1. Pierce needs to ride the pine in Week 1 as a 10-point road dogs.
25 weeks ago
Raheem Mostert Note
Raheem Mostert photo 24. Raheem Mostert MIA (at LAC)
The planets are aligning for Raheem Mostert in Week 1. Jeff Wilson Jr. was placed on IR and rookie De'Von Achane is returning from a shoulder injury. Mostert is hardly a player that fantasy gamers should be relying on for the long-term given his horrible injury track record and 31-year old age, but for Week 1 he looks like the clear-cut No. 1 rusher in the Miami backfield. And the matchup is divine versus the Los Angeles Chargers defense that does not stop the run. They have ranked inside the bottom-six in rushing yards per game allowed since Brandon Staley took over as the head coach in 2021. Consider Mostert, a low-end RB2 player for Week 1. If you can't start him this week with confidence, you'll likely never start him at any point during the season. Mike McDaniel has been vocal about running the ball more consistently, and Mostert has been his GUY through different rosters and coaching staffs. In Mostert we trust...for Week 1 that is. Have faith in the ex-49ers running back even if the Dolphins should fall behind against a high-powered Chargers offense. Mostert finished the 2022 season 15th in route participation among RBs averaging just under 3 targets per game.
25 weeks ago
Jamaal Williams Note
Jamaal Williams photo 25. Jamaal Williams NO (vs . TEN)
Alvin Kamara is serving a three-game suspension. Rookie Kendre Miller is dealing with a hamstring and might not be available for the Saints' opener. Williams could conceivably get 20-plus carries this week. The problem is that he'll be up against a rugged Titans run defense that held opposing RBs to 62.8 rushing yards a game and 3.4 yards per carry last season. Volume generally outweighs matchup in start/sit decisions, so regard Williams as a low-end RB2 this week and lean toward using him this week.
25 weeks ago
Isiah Pacheco Note
Isiah Pacheco photo 26. Isiah Pacheco KC (vs . DET)
Pacheco will reprise his role as the team's early down grinder this year. He was efficient as a rusher, ranking 18th in explosive run rate and 14th in yards after contact per attempt (minimum 100 rushes per Fantasy Points Data). Last season, he only saw a 2.3% target share and a 14.8% route per dropback rate. If you're plugging him into your lineup this season, it likely should be when he has an easy matchup on the ground. Luckily for Pacheco, Christmas came early, as the Lions couldn't stop anyone on the ground last season. Detroit gave up the third-most rushing touchdowns, allowed the seventh-most missed tackles, and surrendered the fifth-highest yards before contact per attempt. Last season, 65.9% of Pacheco's runs were on zone concept plays, as he was fourth-best in zone run success rate with the tenth-highest yards per carry on zone runs. Detroit allowed the sixth-highest success rate on zone runs. Pacheco is a low-end RB2/strong flex play.
25 weeks ago
Brian Robinson Jr. Note
Brian Robinson Jr. photo 27. Brian Robinson Jr. WAS (vs . ARI)
I haven't been high on Brian Robinson during the fantasy football draft process, with his profile as an early-down grinder on a team that will likely be trailing in contests. But Week 1's matchup versus the bottom-dwelling Cardinals is the exact matchup where Robinson can thrive for the Commanders run game. They are favorites at home, so I expect Robinson to see a healthy amount of rushing volume even while splitting snaps with Antonio Gibson. From Week 6 onward last season, 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 pumped 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). Start him versus the Cardinals in one of the few plus-matchups he will get all season.
25 weeks ago
James Cook Note
James Cook photo 28. James Cook BUF (at NYJ)
In a game rich with interesting storylines, one of them is the RB duel between the Cook brothers, Dalvin and James. A committee back last year, James Cook seems to have ascended to a leading role, at least based on preseason usage and reports from Bills beat writers. New Bills RBs Damien Harris and Latavius Murray will get some early-down work and could poach goal-line carries since they're heavier and more rugged than Cook. Still, a meatier role for Cook is reason for his stakeholders to celebrate. It's nice to have the No. 1 back in one of the league's better offenses. This week, however, it's best to regard Cook as a high-end RB3 in a difficult matchup against the Jets.
25 weeks ago
Khalil Herbert Note
Khalil Herbert photo 29. Khalil Herbert CHI (vs . GB)
The Packers were atrocious against the run last season, finishing 31st in DVOA. And I am not entirely convinced they have totally revamped the unit into a stone wall that the Bears cannot overcome. In Chicago's last four matchups versus current GB defensive coordinator, Joe Barry, the Bears have averaged 153 rushing yards per game. Herbert started one of those games back as a rookie in 2021, when he rushed for 97 yards on 19 carries. As the clear-cut RB1 in the offense on early downs based on preseason usage, Herbert can easily flirt with mid-range RB2 numbers, given his projected workload of at least 13 touches. Herbert has played eight games over the last 2 seasons when he has seen 13-plus touches. The Bears RB1 has averaged 15.1 fantasy points per game (half-PPR) in those contests. Fantasy RB1 numbers.
25 weeks ago
Javonte Williams Note
Javonte Williams photo 30. Javonte Williams DEN (vs . LV)
Javonte Williams has made a miraculous return from his multi-knee ligament tear from the 2022 season. His speedy recovery allowed him to play in the preseason, with favorable usage as both a rusher and receiver. On the first drive, he had 3 targets and one carry over the 1st four plays. Then Perine entered the game. Over the first 23 plays, it was a 50/50 split essentially with Williams (56%, 8 RB opportunities) and Perine (47%, 3 RB opportunities). Perine played more receiving downs...but Williams was still peppered with targets like last year's pre-injury. However, I would hardly say that Juggernaut Javonte is 100% back to fantasy stardom with him still splitting work with Perine and potentially undrafted free agent, Jaleel McLaughlin. The Raiders' run defense is no world-beater - 24th in PFF's defensive line rankings - so I understand the appeal of starting Williams, but he's probably more of a floor play than ceiling option with it being his first real game back from the injury. A 20-touch guaranteed workload is likely too aggressive to project.
25 weeks ago
Dalvin Cook Note
Dalvin Cook photo 31. Dalvin Cook BAL (vs . HOU)
Breece Hall Note
Breece Hall photo 32. Breece Hall NYJ (vs . BUF)
D'Andre Swift Note
D'Andre Swift photo 33. D'Andre Swift PHI (at NE)
Antonio Gibson Note
Antonio Gibson photo 34. Antonio Gibson WAS (vs . ARI)
As the Commanders' No. 1 pass-catching back, AG has more appeal in PPR formats. But in a contest that projects for Washington to be playing with a lead, this isn't the spot to thrust him into your starting lineups. It's a Brian Robinson week, not a Gibson week.
25 weeks ago
Samaje Perine Note
Samaje Perine photo 35. Samaje Perine DEN (vs . LV)
Perine was viewed during draft season as a stopgap for fantasy teams that went with a zero-RB approach. But a crazy return by Williams has forced Perine back into the RB3 ranks with only a receiving role seemingly in his possession outside the occasionally early down rush attempt. I'd keep him on the bench, with his stand-alone role likely not enough to warrant FLEX/RB3 consideration.
25 weeks ago
AJ Dillon Note
AJ Dillon photo 36. AJ Dillon GB (at CHI)
Dillon ran wild versus the Bears defense the last time he faced them, going for 93 yards and 1 TD on 18 carries. A heavy dosage of Dillon seems to be the Packers' fancy because earlier in the season he saw the exact same workload of 18 carries (albeit for 61 yards). The 2022 game logs suggest we should expect a healthy dosage of Dillon versus a beatable Bears defensive line, as the Packers offense looks for balance in the post-Aaron Rodgers era. If you are in a pinch at RB2 or FLEX, Dillon is a sneaky start I like a lot for Week 1. His projected workload and red-zone usage in the second half of last season present fantasy managers several different paths to early-season fantasy production.
25 weeks ago
Jerick McKinnon Note
Jerick McKinnon photo 37. Jerick McKinnon KC (vs . DET)
McKinnon ran hot to close the year in 2022. If you've drafted him, it's for his PPR appeal, but sadly, this isn't a week to consider him in your flex. McKinnon had an 11.7% target share last season while leading the Kansas City backfield with a 43.1% route per dropback rate. He was 15th in yards per route run with a 23% target per route run rate. Detroit shut down backs in the passing game last season, allowing the second-fewest receptions and the lowest receiving yards to the position. They were also 17th in yards per reception while surrendering zero receiving touchdowns. McKinnon is a desperation flex play in PPR formats.
25 weeks ago
Zach Charbonnet Note
Zach Charbonnet photo 38. Zach Charbonnet SEA (vs . LAR)
Charbonnet posted the 5th-highest PFF receiving grade and tied for first in receptions per game (3.7) among his 2023 running back 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. He caught all four of his targets for 21 yards during the preseason. That's concerning for those hoping Walker was stepping into a legitimate three-down role this season, which was very appealing about his fantasy profile last year. I'd expect Charbonnet to get some solid run at points versus the Rams, but not to the extent that he should be started in most formats. We still don't know if he owns the receiving role with DeeJay Dallas seeing reps as the receiving back in the preseason. And it remains to be seen who Seattle will give the ball to when they enter the goal line. Keep the second rounder on your bench for Week 1, but don't be shocked to see him rise in the Week 2 rankings if he sees favorable usage.
25 weeks ago
Deon Jackson Note
Deon Jackson photo 39. Deon Jackson NYG (vs . DAL)
With Jonathan Taylor on the PUP list and Zack Moss out for Week 1, Jackson has a decent chance to see double-digit touches in Week 1. In two NFL seasons, Jackson has just 81-267-2 rushing and 30-209-1 receiving. The Duke product never had a 1,000-yard rushing season in college, so there's probably not star potential here. But RB value is often more about opportunity than talent, and Jackson has a good chance to see 12-15 touches in Week 1. Consider Jackson a midrange RB4 with upside.
25 weeks ago
Tyler Allgeier Note
Tyler Allgeier photo 40. Tyler Allgeier ATL (vs . CAR)
As run-heavy as the Falcons can be under head coach Arthur Smith, it's possible that Allgeier could have standalone value even with rookie Bijan Robinson taking over as Atlanta's lead back. Allgeier, a surprise 1,000-yard rusher last season as a rookie, could get 10-15 carries against the Panthers if the game script cooperates. But he could also yield to Bijan and get 4-6 carries. He's off the radar for fantasy this week in all but the largest of leagues.
25 weeks ago
Jaylen Warren Note
Jaylen Warren photo 41. Jaylen Warren PIT (vs . SF)
Although he was far more efficient than Najee Harris last season in terms of yards per carry and yards per target, to conclude that Warren is the better back would be submitting to the fallacy of small sample sizes. Warren is talented, but it would be a leap of faith to conclude that he's better than Najee. Still, Warren may have earned himself a bigger role this season. That role won't be big enough to justify starting Warren this week against a lights-out 49ers run defense, but Warren is a player to watch closely early in the season.
25 weeks ago
Kenneth Gainwell Note
Kenneth Gainwell photo 42. Kenneth Gainwell PHI (at NE)
See: D'Andre Swift. This backfield is going to be frustrating all season if everyone stays healthy. The Eagles love Gainwell, but they also know what he is: solid and reliable if not spectacular. He hits the holes that are there and is reliable as a pass catcher, but he isn't necessarily explosive. He's valuable, and he started to take snaps and touches away from Miles Sanders late last season, but he doesn't scream "RB1." He's going to have a role in this offense, but he doesn't offer the weekly ceiling that fantasy managers want or need.
25 weeks ago
Damien Harris Note
Damien Harris photo 43. Damien Harris BUF (at NYJ)
The ex-Patriot will get touches, but he might not be fantasy-relevant if the Bills are committed to using James Cook as their lead back. Harris had 15 touchdown runs in 2021, but even if he ends up as Buffalo's designated goal-line back, it's hard to imagine Harris scoring double-digit touchdowns when Bills QB Josh Allen is so fond of calling his own number when the Bills are close to the end zone. Fade Harris until we see how his role evolves.
25 weeks ago
Elijah Mitchell Note
Elijah Mitchell photo 44. Elijah Mitchell SF (at PIT)
Will Mitchell have stand-alone fantasy value with Christian McCaffrey around? We don't have a lot of information to go on, since injuries limited Mitchell to five games last season. McCaffrey was around for four of those games, and Mitchell averaged 9.8 carries, 59.5 rushing yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game after CMC's arrival. Mitchell doesn't catch many passes, and McCaffrey's presence puts a lid on Mitchell's rushing volume. Mitchell might be flex-worthy in deep leagues once byes and injuries start to hit fantasy managers hard. But for now, keep Mitchell on your bench.
25 weeks ago
Ezekiel Elliott Note
Ezekiel Elliott photo 45. Ezekiel Elliott NE (vs . PHI)
Tank Bigsby Note
Tank Bigsby photo 46. Tank Bigsby JAC (at IND)
As noted above, Bigsby enjoyed a strong preseason, rushing 28 times for 159 yards. The 6-0, 213-pound Bigsby could earn goal-line touches and change-of-pace carries, but until we know more about his role, it's probably best to leave him out of lineups.
25 weeks ago
Devin Singletary Note
Devin Singletary photo 47. Devin Singletary HOU (at BAL)
Gus Edwards Note
Gus Edwards photo 48. Gus Edwards BAL (vs . HOU)
Chuba Hubbard Note
Chuba Hubbard photo 49. Chuba Hubbard CAR (at ATL)
It's possible Hubbard gets a significant number of snaps this week if the Panthers decide to keep Miles Sanders' role limited following his return from a groin injury. It's also possible Hubbard will have some standalone value if this is more of a split backfield than most fantasy managers are suspecting. But for Week 1, Hubbard is little more than a contrarian play for DFS tournaments.
25 weeks ago
Evan Hull Note
Evan Hull photo 50. Evan Hull IND (vs . JAC)
The rookie from Northwestern was a prolific pass catcher in college. However, mobile quarterbacks tend not to check down to their running backs as often as pocket passers, and Colts QB Anthony Richardson is extremely mobile. But Hull is a capable runner, too, and if Colts head coach elects to be run-heavy to make life easier for Richardson - as Steichen did two years ago when he was the Eagles' offensive coordinator in Jalen Hurts' first year as a starter - Hull could get a significant number of early-season carries in what figures to be an RB-by-committee. Still, it's probably best to keep Hull on your bench this week.
25 weeks ago
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Note
Clyde Edwards-Helaire photo 51. Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC (vs . DET)
Tyjae Spears Note
Tyjae Spears photo 52. Tyjae Spears TEN (at NO)
The rookie from Tulane probably won't have any standalone value as long as Derrick Henry is healthy, but Spears is one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy, and he might get some change-of-pace usage. If Spears isn't rostered in your league, be prepared to pounce should anything happen to King Henry.
25 weeks ago
Roschon Johnson Note
Roschon Johnson photo 53. Roschon Johnson CHI (vs . GB)
Don't get cute looking to start Roschon Johnson in Week 1. It seems like he has earned a role on the starting offense in third/receiving downs, but that role may not offer enough for fantasy football purposes. Keep in mind, Fields is a running quarterback, and he is less likely to check the ball down to his RB. Only the Eagles threw fewer passes to RBs last season than the Bears. Leave RJ on the bench and keep tabs on how his role grows as the season progresses.
25 weeks ago
D'Onta Foreman Note
D'Onta Foreman photo 54. D'Onta Foreman CHI (vs . GB)
Kyren Williams Note
Kyren Williams photo 55. Kyren Williams LAR (at SEA)
Seattle's defense has traditionally been leaky toward defending RBs in the passing game. Last year, they were a bottom-10 unit defending RBs in terms of receptions, targets and receiving yards. If Kyren Williams truly owns the "receiving back role" that has been suggested throughout the offseason, it's entirely possible he racks up several receptions should the Rams fall behind. Makes him an interesting flier in deep PPR formats, but I'd rather see it first before thrusting him into a lineup based on a projected role and game script - both of which are no guarantees. Williams also lacks the requisite athleticism to create chunk plays on his own, so his fantasy value will be solely dependent on the amount of receiving volume he sees. Worth stashing if you have an extra bench spot.
25 weeks ago
Joshua Kelley Note
Joshua Kelley photo 56. Joshua Kelley LAC (vs . MIA)
It's possible we see more of a 1-2 split with Kellen Moore inserted as the new offensive play caller, but I wouldn't bet a Week 1 Flex spot on it. Keep Kelley stashed as a high-end handcuff in case Ekeler suffers an injury. The former UCLA product has been a great fit in Moore's downhill running scheme and did enough during the preseason to get the initial No.2 nod over second-year RB Isaiah Spiller.
25 weeks ago
Jerome Ford Note
Jerome Ford photo 57. Jerome Ford CLE (vs . CIN)
Ty Chandler Note
Ty Chandler photo 58. Ty Chandler MIN (vs . TB)
The fleet-footed Chandler appears to have earned the Vikings' No. 2 RB job. He didn't have an illustrious college career, but Chandler did run for more than 1,000 yards as a fifth-year senior at North Carolina. Speed is Chandler's calling card, as he clocked a 4.38 at the NFL Scouting Combine. We'll need a prove-it game before regarding Chandler as fantasy viable, but at least he's positioned to give us one.
25 weeks ago
Sean Tucker Note
Sean Tucker photo 59. Sean Tucker TB (at MIN)
It's too early to consider using Tucker, an undrafted free agent from Syracuse. But Tucker has apparently won the No. 2 RB job behind starter Rachaad White, and it will be interesting to see how the Buccaneers use the rookie. Tucker almost certainly would have been drafted if not for a heart condition that was detected during a predraft workout. But the condition is said to be manageable, and Tucker has a chance to establish himself as a useful fantasy asset.
25 weeks ago
Zamir White Note
Zamir White photo 60. Zamir White LV (at DEN)
Deuce Vaughn Note
Deuce Vaughn photo 61. Deuce Vaughn DAL (at NYG)
Michael Carter Note
Michael Carter photo 62. Michael Carter ARI (at WAS)
Chase Edmonds Note
Chase Edmonds photo 63. Chase Edmonds TB (at MIN)
Salvon Ahmed Note
Salvon Ahmed photo 64. Salvon Ahmed MIA (at LAC)
Latavius Murray Note
Latavius Murray photo 65. Latavius Murray BUF (at NYJ)
Chris Evans Note
Chris Evans photo 66. Chris Evans CIN (at CLE)
Keaontay Ingram Note
Keaontay Ingram photo 67. Keaontay Ingram KC (vs . DET)
Matt Breida Note
Matt Breida photo 68. Matt Breida NYG (vs . DAL)
Breida is a handcuff to Barkley and nothing more. And he may not even be a valuable handcuff because in the event of an injury to Barkley, he'll likely split time with (and possibly even take a back seat to) rookie Eric Gray.
25 weeks ago
Rico Dowdle Note
Rico Dowdle photo 69. Rico Dowdle DAL (at NYG)
Pierre Strong Jr. Note
Pierre Strong Jr. photo 70. Pierre Strong Jr. CLE (vs . CIN)
Justice Hill Note
Justice Hill photo 71. Justice Hill BAL (vs . HOU)
Boston Scott Note
Boston Scott photo 72. Boston Scott PHI (at NE)
Isaiah Spiller Note
Isaiah Spiller photo 73. Isaiah Spiller LAC (vs . MIA)
Trayveon Williams Note
Trayveon Williams photo 74. Trayveon Williams CIN (at CLE)
DeeJay Dallas Note
DeeJay Dallas photo 75. DeeJay Dallas SEA (vs . LAR)
Jaleel McLaughlin Note
Jaleel McLaughlin photo 76. Jaleel McLaughlin DEN (vs . LV)
Jordan Mason Note
Jordan Mason photo 77. Jordan Mason SF (at PIT)
Raheem Blackshear Note
Raheem Blackshear photo 78. Raheem Blackshear CAR (at ATL)
Chris Rodriguez Jr. Note
Chris Rodriguez Jr. photo 79. Chris Rodriguez Jr. WAS (vs . ARI)
D'Ernest Johnson Note
D'Ernest Johnson photo 80. D'Ernest Johnson JAC (at IND)
Ameer Abdullah Note
Ameer Abdullah photo 81. Ameer Abdullah LV (at DEN)
Eric Gray Note
Eric Gray photo 82. Eric Gray NYG (vs . DAL)
Kyle Juszczyk Note
Kyle Juszczyk photo 83. Kyle Juszczyk SF (at PIT)
Malik Davis Note
Malik Davis photo 84. Malik Davis DAL (at NYG)
Myles Gaskin Note
Myles Gaskin photo 85. Myles Gaskin MIN (vs . TB)
Zonovan Knight Note
Zonovan Knight photo 86. Zonovan Knight DET (at KC)
DeWayne McBride Note
DeWayne McBride photo 87. DeWayne McBride MIN (vs . TB)
Ty Montgomery II Note
Ty Montgomery II photo 88. Ty Montgomery II FA (BYE)
Alec Ingold Note
Alec Ingold photo 89. Alec Ingold MIA (at LAC)
Chris Brooks Note
Chris Brooks photo 90. Chris Brooks MIA (at LAC)
C.J. Ham Note
C.J. Ham photo 91. C.J. Ham MIN (vs . TB)
Tony Jones Jr. Note
Tony Jones Jr. photo 92. Tony Jones Jr. ARI (at WAS)
Brandon Bolden Note
Brandon Bolden photo 93. Brandon Bolden LV (at DEN)
Mike Boone Note
Mike Boone photo 94. Mike Boone CAR (at ATL)
James Robinson Note
James Robinson photo 95. James Robinson NO (vs . TEN)
Ronnie Rivers Note
Ronnie Rivers photo 96. Ronnie Rivers LAR (at SEA)
Adam Prentice Note
Adam Prentice photo 97. Adam Prentice NO (vs . TEN)
Reggie Gilliam Note
Reggie Gilliam photo 98. Reggie Gilliam BUF (at NYJ)
Emari Demercado Note
Emari Demercado photo 99. Emari Demercado ARI (at WAS)
Julius Chestnut Note
Julius Chestnut photo 100. Julius Chestnut TEN (at NO)
Jake Funk Note
Jake Funk photo 101. Jake Funk DET (at KC)
Travis Homer Note
Travis Homer photo 102. Travis Homer CHI (vs . GB)
Patrick Ricard Note
Patrick Ricard photo 103. Patrick Ricard BAL (vs . HOU)
Elijah Dotson Note
Elijah Dotson photo 104. Elijah Dotson LAC (vs . MIA)
Craig Reynolds Note
Craig Reynolds photo 105. Craig Reynolds DET (at KC)
Leonard Fournette Note
Leonard Fournette photo 106. Leonard Fournette FA (BYE)
Keith Smith Note
Keith Smith photo 107. Keith Smith ATL (vs . CAR)
Jakob Johnson Note
Jakob Johnson photo 108. Jakob Johnson LV (at DEN)
Michael Burton Note
Michael Burton photo 109. Michael Burton DEN (vs . LV)
Gary Brightwell Note
Gary Brightwell photo 110. Gary Brightwell NYG (vs . DAL)
Anthony McFarland Jr. Note
Anthony McFarland Jr. photo 111. Anthony McFarland Jr. FA (BYE)
Godwin Igwebuike Note
Godwin Igwebuike photo 112. Godwin Igwebuike PIT (vs . SF)
Kareem Hunt Note
Kareem Hunt photo 113. Kareem Hunt CLE (vs . CIN)
Melvin Gordon III Note
Melvin Gordon III photo 114. Melvin Gordon III FA (BYE)
Khari Blasingame Note
Khari Blasingame photo 115. Khari Blasingame CHI (vs . GB)
Corey Clement Note
Corey Clement photo 116. Corey Clement FA (BYE)
Patrick Taylor Jr. Note
Patrick Taylor Jr. photo 117. Patrick Taylor Jr. GB (at CHI)
Royce Freeman Note
Royce Freeman photo 118. Royce Freeman LAR (at SEA)
Kenyan Drake Note
Kenyan Drake photo 119. Kenyan Drake FA (BYE)
Hunter Luepke Note
Hunter Luepke photo 120. Hunter Luepke DAL (at NYG)
Dontrell Hilliard Note
Dontrell Hilliard photo 121. Dontrell Hilliard FA (BYE)
Darrell Henderson Jr. Note
Darrell Henderson Jr. photo 122. Darrell Henderson Jr. FA (BYE)
Demetric Felton Jr. Note
Demetric Felton Jr. photo 123. Demetric Felton Jr. CIN (at CLE)
Darrel Williams Note
Darrel Williams photo 124. Darrel Williams FA (BYE)
J.D. McKissic Note
J.D. McKissic photo 125. J.D. McKissic FA (BYE)
Nick Bawden Note
Nick Bawden photo 126. Nick Bawden NYJ (vs . BUF)
Derek Watt Note
Derek Watt photo 127. Derek Watt FA (BYE)
Deneric Prince Note
Deneric Prince photo 128. Deneric Prince KC (vs . DET)
Adrian Peterson Note
Adrian Peterson photo 129. Adrian Peterson FA (BYE)
Taiwan Jones Note
Taiwan Jones photo 130. Taiwan Jones FA (BYE)
Kevin Harris Note
Kevin Harris photo 131. Kevin Harris NE (vs . PHI)
Kirk Merritt Note
Kirk Merritt photo 132. Kirk Merritt FA (BYE)
Zander Horvath Note
Zander Horvath photo 133. Zander Horvath FA (BYE)
Jason Huntley Note
Jason Huntley photo 134. Jason Huntley FA (BYE)
Trey Sermon Note
Trey Sermon photo 135. Trey Sermon IND (vs . JAC)
Spencer Brown Note
Spencer Brown photo 136. Spencer Brown CAR (at ATL)
Darrynton Evans Note
Darrynton Evans photo 137. Darrynton Evans BUF (at NYJ)
Mark Ingram II Note
Mark Ingram II photo 138. Mark Ingram II FA (BYE)
Rex Burkhead Note
Rex Burkhead photo 139. Rex Burkhead FA (BYE)
Ty Johnson Note
Ty Johnson photo 140. Ty Johnson BUF (at NYJ)
Snoop Conner Note
Snoop Conner photo 141. Snoop Conner DAL (at NYG)
Derrick Gore Note
Derrick Gore photo 142. Derrick Gore WAS (vs . ARI)
Dwayne Washington Note
Dwayne Washington photo 143. Dwayne Washington DEN (vs . LV)
La'Mical Perine Note
La'Mical Perine photo 144. La'Mical Perine KC (vs . DET)
Hassan Hall Note
Hassan Hall photo 145. Hassan Hall KC (vs . DET)
Tyler Badie Note
Tyler Badie photo 146. Tyler Badie DEN (vs . LV)
Jashaun Corbin Note
Jashaun Corbin photo 147. Jashaun Corbin NYG (vs . DAL)
Robert Burns Note
Robert Burns photo 148. Robert Burns ATL (vs . CAR)
Greg Bell Note
Greg Bell photo 149. Greg Bell FA (BYE)
Xazavian Valladay Note
Xazavian Valladay photo 150. Xazavian Valladay NYJ (vs . BUF)
Sincere McCormick Note
Sincere McCormick photo 151. Sincere McCormick LV (at DEN)
Qadree Ollison Note
Qadree Ollison photo 152. Qadree Ollison FA (BYE)
Owen Wright Note
Owen Wright photo 153. Owen Wright BAL (vs . HOU)
Patrick Laird Note
Patrick Laird photo 154. Patrick Laird TB (at MIN)