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Regular Season, Updated: 9/7/2023

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 Christian McCaffrey, SF (Bye: 9)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 202   DOB: 1996-06-07   Age: 27
College: Stanford   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (8) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020CAR359 225 5 17 149 1 73.4 24.5
2021CAR799 442 1 37 343 1 90.5 12.9
2022SF17244 1,139 8 85 741 5 266.0 15.6
2023 (Projected)SF 246 1,107 7 79 672 5 249.9  

Outlook: A budding superstar through his first three NFL seasons, McCaffrey battled injuries that limited him to just 10 games in 2020 and 2021 combined. His inability to stay healthy led to Carolina flipping the former All Pro for a handful of picks last October. For at least one season, the trade was a slam dunk success for the 49ers as Run CMC's arrival immediately transformed the 49ers offense -- in six games before acquiring McCaffrey, the 49ers averaged 20.3 points per game; in 11 games after, that number jumped to 29.8.

Shanahan also seemed to find the right balance to keep McCaffrey on the field, only exceeding 20 carries in a game once. The monitored workload didn't hamper his statistical output, though, as in 14 games with San Francisco (including the playoffs), the Stanford product averaged 108 total yards per outing and scored 13 touchdowns. He's as talented a back as there is the NFL, and his versatility may be unmatched as well with great hands out of the backfield and the toughness to be effective in goal-to-go situations that belie his size.

There's no doubt McCaffrey belongs in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick alongside the likes of Justin Jefferson, Austin Ekeler, and Jonathan Taylor, but the seventh-year pro didn't have his durability red flags wiped clean by one healthy campaign. Plus, there's this historical nugget: the 49ers have had a different leading rusher in each of Shanahan's six seasons as head coach. Ultimately, McCaffrey is a clear RB1 that carries significant risk.

 Austin Ekeler, LAC (Bye: 5)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 200   DOB: 1995-05-17   Age: 28
College: Western State, Colo.   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020LAC10116 530 1 54 403 2 111.3 11.1
2021LAC16206 911 12 70 647 8 275.8 17.2
2022LAC17204 915 13 107 722 5 271.7 16.0
2023 (Projected)LAC 199 877 10 83 611 4 232.8  

Outlook: Any concerns that Ekeler's breakthrough 2021 performance was a fluke were resoundingly allayed last year when he racked up 1,637 yards and 18 touchdowns while appearing in all 17 games. The Chargers balked at handing the 28-year-old a new contract, which led to a trade request, but ultimately LA tweaked the final year of his deal to bring back their No. 1 back. In a mild surprise, the team made no notable additions at the position, so unless someone takes a major step forward there's little reason to believe we won't see a heavy dose of Ekeler again in 2023.

That "little reason," however, is the hiring of Moore, who oversaw a two-headed backfield in Dallas over the past few seasons and may want to divvy up the touches a bit more. Again, though, it's far from clear that LA has anyone on roster capable of handling a Tony Pollard-sized role. Unless someone emerges during the preseason, operate under the assumption that Ekeler will be the bell cow again this year and value him accordingly. He's an option to be the first back selected, and one could argue he carries fewer question marks than other names in the discussion: McCaffrey and Barkley (durability), Jacobs and Taylor (contract), and Bijan Robinson (inexperience).

 Nick Chubb, CLE (Bye: 5)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 228   DOB: 1995-12-27   Age: 28
College: Georgia   Draft: 2018 Round 2 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020CLE12190 1,067 12 16 150 0 193.7 16.1
2021CLE14228 1,259 8 20 174 1 197.3 14.1
2022CLE17302 1,525 12 27 239 1 254.4 15.0
2023 (Projected)CLE 277 1,385 10 27 211 1 225.6  

Outlook: Since entering the NFL in 2018, Chubb has never finished worse than 15th overall in non-ppr scoring, providing fantasy owners with a rock solid RB1 over the last four years. As a near lock for double digit touchdowns and almost 1500 total yards, Chubb has a chance to be even better in 2023. With Kareem Hunt gone in free agency and only late round picks sharing the running back room, Chubb has a real chance to threaten his career high 329 touches from last season. With Watson more comfortable, the offense should move at a much quicker pace, and red zone scoring should increase after Chubb had the 9th most red zone carries in 2022. Chubb is never going to catch a boat-load of passes, so his PPR value is diminished, but there aren't many backs in the NFL that offer Chubb's weekly consistency, and week-winning upside.

 Derrick Henry, TEN (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 247   DOB: 1994-01-04   Age: 30
College: Alabama   Draft: 2016 Round 2 (14) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020TEN16378 2,027 17 19 114 0 316.1 19.8
2021TEN8219 937 10 18 154 0 169.1 21.1
2022TEN16349 1,538 13 33 398 0 271.6 17.0
2023 (Projected)TEN 292 1,256 10 39 311 1 222.7  

Outlook: When A.J. Brown was traded, the NFL community said the entire Titans offense will rely on Derrick Henry and they struck gold again as Henry ran the ball more times (349) than any other running back in the league. Henry amassed 1,538 yards and 13 touchdowns in 16 games. The power back also got involved in the pass attack by hauling in 33 receptions for 398 yards. Henry recorded the fourth-most fantasy points among running backs with 304.6 overall and 19.0 per game.

The running back position is being devalued by the league right now making true workhorse backs hard to come by. There are only a few elite ones, while the rest are interchangeable. Luckily for the Titans, Henry is one of those elites and is expected to stay in that tier this season.

It's uncertain if 2022's No.3 fantasy RB Josh Jacobs will replicate his anomaly of a season, but No. 1 Austin Ekeler and No. 2 Christian McCaffrey should maintain their status due to their receiving abilities. If head coach Mike Vrabel continues to use Henry in the passing game, the running back is capable of finishing No. 1 in fantasy. His age (29) and perhaps more importantly the workload is starting to become a concern and Henry as piled up three seasons of over 300 carries. Still, the TD upside and projected volume makes him an easy Top 10 running back selection.

 Tony Pollard, DAL (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1997-04-30   Age: 26
College: Memphis   Draft: 2019 Round 4 (26) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020DAL16101 435 4 28 192 1 92.7 5.8
2021DAL15130 719 2 39 337 0 117.6 7.8
2022DAL16193 1,007 9 39 371 3 209.8 13.1
2023 (Projected)DAL 220 1,122 10 46 385 2 222.7  

Outlook: With Ezekiel Elliott now out of the way, fantasy managers are understandably anxious to land new Cowboys starting running back Tony Pollard in drafts. Primarily a backup in 2022, Pollard still managed to finish as an RB1 in fantasy and that was on a fairly limited workload. Pollard was, in fact, one of only two RBs (Leonard Fournette) who finished within the top 20 scorers (standard scoring) at the position and did not reach 200 carries on the season. An expected increased workload both in the running and passing game means that the sky is truly the limit for this highly talented back.

Some experts believed that the Cowboys would end up making a move to acquire another back of note this offseason, but that didn't happen. While they brought in veteran journeyman Ronald Jones and drafted rookie Deuce Vaughn, neither player projects to be a significant hindrance to Pollard's role as the team's feature back. The lack of competition behind Pollard on the depth chart, along with the coaching staff's vocal commitment to running the ball, are just more reasons why Tony Pollard looks primed to finish as a high-end RB1 here in 2023.

If you're looking for skepticism, one thing to keep in mind is that the Cowboys opted not to make Pollard their feature back in the past despite the fact that he was significantly out-producing Elliott on a per-touch basis. Instead, we saw roughly a 50/50 split at best, oftentimes with Elliott seeing the lion's share of the ever-important goal-line touches. If the team was unwilling to make Pollard a 20-touch player when Elliott was clearly struggling, there has to be some concern that they may just not view him as a true workhorse back. Still, given the lack of competition, it's safe to assume that Pollard will see at least some increase to his workload and if he can remain anywhere near as efficient as he has been in years past, there's no reason to think that he won't produce top-12 numbers at RB this season.

 Saquon Barkley, NYG (Bye: 13)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 233   DOB: 1997-02-07   Age: 27
College: Penn State   Draft: 2018 Round 1 (2) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020NYG219 34 0 6 60 0 9.4 4.7
2021NYG13162 593 2 41 263 2 109.6 8.4
2022NYG16295 1,312 10 57 338 0 225.0 14.1
2023 (Projected)NYG 254 1,141 8 52 345 2 208.6  

Outlook: Those who jumped on the "Saquon Barkley is off my draft board because he's always hurt" train prior to the 2022 season were proven wrong as the superstar running back seemed to return to form while also playing in all but one game. Barkley delivered the highest carry total of his career (295), resulting in a career-high in rushing yards (1,312). He also caught 57 passes, which was his highest total since his rookie season when he was playing with Eli Manning.

Barkley was a certified bell cow running back for the Giants in 2022 and there's really no reason to believe that he won't continue to be that this season, especially given that the Giants really did not address their running back room this offseason. Barkley should be in line for another 300-touch season if he can stay healthy, which makes him one of the most valuable players in all of fantasy football.

On the negative side, the Giants' offense was better than it looks on paper, but it's still not a high-end offense, so the chances of him significantly improving on his 10 touchdowns from a season ago are not great. He could get in the end zone a couple more times, but he's almost certainly not going to be a league leader in that department.

Additionally, there has to be some concern that Barkley may have seen near his ceiling in the pass-catching department as well. This isn't a question about Barkley's individual talent as a pass-catcher, but rather the Giants' offense as a whole and quarterback Daniel Jones in particular. We know that mobile quarterbacks tend to target their running backs out of the backfield less often than pocket passers do and Barkley made 57 receptions a season ago in an offense that seriously lacked playmakers at wide receiver and tight end. The team specifically addressed this problem by bringing in multiple pass-catchers, including Darren Waller, and it seems unlikely that they're going to suddenly start scheming more passes to their running back, even if he's among the best receivers at the position.

Nevertheless, Barkley is a very safe option that also carries tremendous name-brand value. Even if he lacks RB1 overall upside at this point, he should still be a lock to finish as a difference-making player at the position, so long as he stays healthy.

 Bijan Robinson, ATL (Bye: 11)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 215   DOB: 2002-01-30   Age: 22
College: Texas   Draft: 2023 Round 1 (8) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2023 (Projected)ATL 245 1,178 8 43 321 2 209.9  

Outlook: Every few years, there's a rookie running back that gets so much hype that he's expected to go in the first round of fantasy drafts. Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are just a few that come to mind during their rookie seasons. Falcons 2022 eighth overall pick Bijan Robinson is the next running back on that list.

Robinson had a stellar collegiate resume. In two years as the Texas Longhorns starting running back, Robinson totaled 453 attempts for 2,707 yards and 29 touchdowns. He was also involved in the air attack, recording 45 receptions, 609 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

His dual-threat abilities combined with the Falcons' lack of a star quarterback makes Robinson the logical focal point of the Falcons offense. However, there are some volume concerns with the rookie, given that Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson have proven to be capable runners in this system. Do you trust Smith to give Bijan a workhorse role in Year 1? His current ADP would suggest that's the case but his ceiling might be more difficult to hit than most fantasy managers would like.

 Josh Jacobs, LV (Bye: 13)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1998-02-11   Age: 26
College: Alabama   Draft: 2019 Round 1 (24) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020LV15273 1,065 12 33 238 0 202.3 13.5
2021LV15217 872 9 54 348 0 176.0 11.7
2022LV17340 1,653 12 53 400 0 277.3 16.3
2023 (Projected)LV 240 1,102 9 44 337 1 203.9  

Outlook: A year ago, the Raiders were so unimpressed by Jacobs that they decided not to pick up his fifth-year option after he managed just 872 yards in 2021. That was a miscalculation. Under new head coach Josh McDaniels, Jacobs became the focal point of Las Vegas' offense, and he responded by setting career highs in carries (340), rushing yards (1,653 -- that led the NFL), and receiving yards (400). He also caught 53 passes and matched a personal best with a dozen touchdowns.

It was a redemptive season for the Alabama product, and not surprisingly the Raiders wound up having to use the franchise tag to keep him off the market. That's made things a bit dicey for 2023, as Jacobs and the team couldn't agree on a long-term deal, and there are rumblings that he could hold out through training camp and possibly into the regular season as well. There's also a possibility that his heavy workload last year, where he logged 393 combined touches, could cause durability problems, which is something we saw last year with Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor.

Assuming he decides to sign his franchise tender and not miss regular season action, Jacobs enters 2023 as a solid RB1. While the issue of last year's heavy usage is real, he's only 25 and has been mostly durable during his four seasons.

 Aaron Jones, GB (Bye: 6)
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 208   DOB: 1994-12-02   Age: 29
College: Texas-El Paso   Draft: 2017 Round 5 (39) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2020GB14201 1,104 9 47 355 2 211.9 15.1
2021GB15171 799 4 52 391 6 179.0 11.9
2022GB17213 1,121 2 59 395 5 193.6 11.4
2023 (Projected)GB 222 1,088 5 52 377 3 194.5  

Outlook: Entering his age 28 season, and his 7th in the NFL, it's probably safe to say Jones is on the other side of his prime. Although he is no longer the dominant league winner he was in 2019 and 2020, he remains one of the most consistent RB1s across multiple formats. Despite the presence of AJ Dillon, Jones piled up 272 touches and seven scores last season. The 1,516 total yards were the 2nd most of his career, and with Love taking over, Jones will likely be tasked to handle an additional load. Jones was able to remain incredibly efficient (5.3 yards-per-carry) despite the 2nd most carries of his career (213). Dillon aside, Jones should continue to be the back to own on this team, and has a chance to be another fantastic value pick that can anchor your backfield if you focus on receivers early in your draft.

 Najee Harris, PIT (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 230   DOB: 1998-03-09   Age: 26
College: Alabama   Draft: 2021 Round 1 (24) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2021PIT17307 1,200 7 74 467 3 226.7 13.3
2022PIT17272 1,034 7 41 229 3 186.3 11.0
2023 (Projected)PIT 270 1,079 7 44 289 2 190.8  

Outlook: After being nearly the entire Steeler offense in 2021, Harris's numbers took a dip last season. Down over 400 total yards and 33 receptions, Harris continued to be a volume driven, low efficiency option. Yes the line was brutal, but Harris has yet to display much burst and wiggle in the NFL. His single carry for 20+ yards was by far the fewest among backs with 200 or more carries and over his first 579 NFL totes, the longest rush he's been able to muster is a measly 37 yards. Because he's fundamentally sound and durable, he'll remain the workhorse for this team, but Pittsburgh has to get more splash plays from this running game if they are going to compete in this loaded division. Don't be shocked to see Jaylen Warren, who ran for 4.9 yards per carry behind that same cruddy o-line, steal some work from Harris. I think we've seen what Harris is over his first two seasons, and it's a borderline RB1/2 in all formats with little room to climb.

 Kenneth Walker, SEA (Bye: 5)
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 211   DOB: 2000-10-20   Age: 23
College: Michigan State   Draft: 2022 Round 2 (9) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2022SEA15228 1,050 9 27 165 0 175.5 11.7
2023 (Projected)SEA 241 1,085 8 29 197 1 182.2  

Outlook: Last season was supposed to be a mix of Rashaad Penny and Walker, but to the surprise of no one, Penny suffered a season-ending injury after carrying the ball just 57 times. That thrust the then-rookie into the primary role, and he was utilized like a true bell cow with his 228 carries dwarfing those of backups DeeJay Dallas (35) and Travis Homer (19). He got dinged up late, missing Week 14, but he logged 78 rushing attempts over the final three games as he showed his toughness.

One area where Walker failed to impress was as a receiver, catching just 27 passes for the year and managing more than 20 receiving yards in a game only twice. Part of it could be pinned on Seattle's confidence in Homer in pass protection, so with the veteran gone it's possible Walker's involvement in that part of the game plan will increase. Then again, the Seahawks invested a second-round pick on Zach Charbonnet, and unless he breaks down like Penny did, he should have a meaningful role.

After posting 1,215 yards and 9 TDs as a rookie, Walker looks poised for more. While Charbonnet gives the Seahawks a more competent backup, the Michigan State product is the lead back, and his usage should go up merely based on being in that spot from Week 1 on. Walker will also benefit from a lot of light boxes as teams try to check Seattle's passing attack. He's a solid RB2.

 Rhamondre Stevenson, NE (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 246   DOB: 1998-02-23   Age: 26
College: Oklahoma   Draft: 2021 Round 4 (15) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2021NE12133 606 5 14 123 0 102.9 8.6
2022NE17210 1,040 5 69 421 1 182.1 10.7
2023 (Projected)NE 197 944 6 55 385 2 180.9  

Outlook: While Damien Harris technically got the ceremonial start in more games, the Patriots seemed to commit to a true workhorse back this past season when they began featuring Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson impressed in his opportunity, generating nearly five yards per carry to go along with 69 receptions, accumulating nearly 1,500 total yards and six total touchdowns along the way.

After letting Harris walk this off-season, there was some concern the team wasn't fully committed to Stevenson when they eventually brought in another veteran, James Robinson. That didn't last long as the former Jaguars standout back was cut early in camp (and has now signed with the Giants). A quick glance at the Patriots depth chart shows very few reasons to be concerned because the team really has not invested much in the position at all. Players like Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong Jr. both were on the roster a season ago and barely saw any playing time. Ty Montgomery was another off-season acquisition and his history as a wide receiver has some people worried about him taking passing game snaps away from Stevenson, but realistically he's been nothing more than a journeyman player throughout his career. He hasn't caught more than 25 passes in a season since 2016 and there's no reason to be worried that he's suddenly going to be featured, at 30 years old, over Stevenson.

The biggest knock on Stevenson is probably that he's in this New England offense that most people expect to be pretty bad. Concerns, of course, are that they will be bad enough that they will not be able to feature the running game as much as they have historically and that could lead to fewer touches for Stevenson. But it would be tough for the offense to be much worse than it was in 2022 when Stevenson was already a borderline RB1 while conceding about a third of the backfield carries to Damien Harris.

Stevenson is a player who fantasy managers should be targeting near the end of the second round or the beginning of the third round. Particularly managers who are wide receiver heavy in Rounds 1 and 2 could really stack their rosters by drafting a reliable mid-to-low-end RB1 like Stevenson.