NFL Preseason Fantasy Running Back Rankings

NFL Preseason Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Kevin Agee, Dynasty Deputies Senior Writer

 

NFL RUNNING BACK RANKINGS – PRESEASON – 2023

 

  1. Nick Chubb

 

It’s hard not to like this guy. His production improved last season once Watson was under center, and we can expect Watson to be there all season in 2023. He’s only running behind one of the best offensive lines in football, which only helps his case. We wouldn’t mind seeing him as a more prolific pass catcher out of the backfield, which could happen with Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson out of the picture, but either way, the consistency, and the production make him a safe pick at a volatile position.

 

  1. Austin Ekeler

 

Ekeler isn’t the most prestigious runner, but more than makes up for it with his pass catching ability. He also has a nose for the end zone with a combined thirty-eight touchdowns running and receiving over the past two seasons. If those Charger wideouts have more difficulty staying on the field this season, we should continue to see receptions nearing the century mark. If they are healthy, we may see those receptions down a tick, but finding the end zone should still be a big part of his game.

 

  1. Derrick Henry

 

This guy just keeps going. Even with an offensive line that didn’t perform well last season, Henry still managed to be elite. He’s a workhorse who doesn’t rely on those around him to be just that, and that’s difficult to find. If Henry’s body can continue to take the pounding week in and week out, we should see similar production across the board.

 

  1. Josh Jacobs

 

Jacobs led the NFL in touches last season, and that’s not always a good thing. The wear and tear can make it tough the following season, but let’s hope that’s not the case for Jacobs. He was a big part of the Raider offense, and with Jimmy G, along with his injury history, taking snaps, the Raider offense should lean heavily on Jacobs again this season. If he can manage the workload, we expect similar results to his 2022 campaign.

 

  1. Bijan Robinson

 

It’s not easy putting rookies this high on the board, but Bijan is different. We’re talking about an elite talent that showcased all of the necessary skills to be a force in the NFL while he was at Texas. The Falcon offensive line should help open up holes for Robinson as he navigates his way through his first NFL season. Youthful legs, speed, and pass catching ability make him a player with a very high ceiling for 2023.

 

  1. Christian McCaffery

 

There may not be a more talented back in the NFL than McCaffery. Elite runner and elite pass catching ability. So what’s the problem? Health. He just hasn’t been able to stay on the field as often as we’d like. And you know what they say…the best ability is availability. Perhaps San Francisco can keep him fresh by throwing more bodies to ease the workload. That may be the best thing for McCaffery at this point. Because even with less touches, he’s so good that he will make the most of them.

 

  1. Jonathan Taylor

 

Taylor didn’t have the 2022 campaign that he or anyone else wanted or expected. He was out for the season after Week 11, and even in the weeks he played, he wasn’t the same back he had been. That being said, we certainly expect him to be better this season. The talent is undeniable. The Colts can open up lanes for Taylor, and he can exploit them. We don’t know yet if Anthony Richardson or Gardner Minshew will operate under center to start the season, but a reliable passing attack should take the pressure off of Taylor, and make defenses honest. Regardless of the hand he is dealt, he most certainly will be relied upon to carry a heavy load.

 

  1. Tony Pollard

 

I’ve always been a fan of Pollard, and the explosiveness he brings to the running back position. He’s been in a timeshare, but that may change this season, and may allow Pollard to get additional touches he’s missed on in the past. But will the offseason surgery affect him coming into the season? I don’t think so. The question I’m asking is whether he can handle a much larger workload, and perhaps would be more effective and efficient with a similar amount of touches he’s received in the past. Either way, I do think Pollard is very good, and deserving of a high selection.

 

  1. Saquon Barkley

 

The talent is undeniable. Barkley showed up what we all have been waiting for after being drafted second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Injuries have been a nuisance for him early in his career, but when healthy, the sky’s the limit. There is cause for concern at the moment as Barkely may be holding out for a new contract, which could overlap with training camp. But assuming he’s ready to go before the preseason, he’s worth a spot on your fantasy team.

 

  1. Breece Hall

 

Hall is a bit tricky. He’s coming off an ACL tear, and may not be a full go for training camp. However, if you can weather the storm early in the season, the returns later on may be worth it. He’s an excellent back that checks all of the boxes, and has the ability to provide elite production. Although ACL injuries are much quicker recoveries than what they used to be, it’s still a situation worth monitoring moving forward.

 

  1. Travis Etienne Jr.
  2. Aaron Jones
  3. Najee Harris
  4. Rhamondre Stevenson
  5. Joe Mixon
  6. Kenneth Walker III
  7. J.K. Dobbins
  8. Miles Sanders
  9. Cam Akers
  10. Jahmyr Gibbs  

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