The resident fantasy football analysts – including Dan Portillo & Trevor Steinbacher of ADP and Tyler Lamb of Gillette Gazette – put together their list of the top 25 fantasy football running backs to target in re-draft leagues. Stay tuned for wide receivers and tight ends in the weeks leading up to the start of the season! Check out our Quarterback rankings here!
The Top Five
1. Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – Bye: Week 14
2. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – Bye: Week 13
3. Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers – Bye: Week 8
4. Najee Harris – Pittsburgh Steelers – Bye: Week 9
5. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – Bye: Week 6
The big surprise here is D’Andre Swift by far. That is not to say he isn’t going to have a great year, but there are not many tagging the Lions RB with top-five value. Taylor, CMC, and Ekeler have serious top five, even top three potential for 2022. Najee Harris will be interesting to watch this season without Big Ben, but he has proven he can handle the workload through the air and on the ground.
6. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – Bye: Week 7
7. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – Bye: Week 14
8. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – Bye: Week 6
9. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – Bye: Week 10
10. Javonte Williams – Denver Broncos – Bye: Week 9
This group of running backs could all end the season as top five backs. All of these guys have minimal backfield competition, score TDs, and are a part of a contending team. Dalvin Cook is going to do his thing in the new Vikings scheme, Aaron Jones became target number one in Green Bay over the offseason, Derrick Henry should see some nice volume again, and Mixon is in one of the most skilled offensive units in the league.
The most interesting RB in this group is Javonte Williams. He is looking like a mid to late second-round pick in most drafts with some serious upside. He split the load with an aging Melvin Gordon and still eclipsed 1,000 total yards. He is going to bring the noise in 2022.
11. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – Bye: Week 14
12. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – Bye: Week 9
13. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants – Bye: Week 9
14. James Conner – Arizona Cardinals – Bye: Week 13
15. Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bye: Week 11
16. Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys – Bye: Week 9
17. Breece Hall – New York Jets – Bye: Week 10
18. Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams – Bye: Week 7
19. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – Bye: Week 14
20. Antonio Gibson – Washington Commanders – Bye: Week 14
This group of running backs are all comfortably in the RB2 range but have a chance to put up RB1 numbers every week they suit up. Breece Hall, the only rookie to make the list, is one to monitor as the situation in the New York Jets backfield is sorted out.
The rest of these RBs all are going in rounds 3-5, depending on the size of the league. The key thing to remember is to not “overpay” for an RB. If you miss out on one of these guys, the group in the next tier will more than suffice.
21. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – Bye: Week 6
22. Elijah Mitchell – San Francisco 49ers – Bye: Week 9
23. Travis Etienne – Jacksonville Jaguars – Bye: Week 11
24. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – Bye: Week 7
25. Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks – Bye: Week 11
This group rounds out the Stadium Rant top 25 and features a ton of guys with some high upside. I would not rely on this group to lead your team as an RB1, but they woudl be solid RB2 or flex options as you st your lineups on Sundays. Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders have the largest respective bodies of work, but Elijah Mitchell has proven his worth, especially this last season.
Etienne has returned from his knee injury that kept him out of his rookie season and the hope is that his familiarity with Trevor Lawrence will provide an immediate spark in the offense. As for Penny, he should see immediate returns with the recent news of Kenneth Walker’s injury. Penny and Etienne, they are still young, but they need to show more this season if they want to remain on the list in 2023.
- AJ Dillon
- JK Dobbins
- Devin Singletary
Ths group of RBs are deserving of being in the top 25, but for various reasons, there is hesitation with placing them there. AJ Dillon happens to be competing with a top ten running back in Aaron Jones. JK Dobbins is overcoming an ACL tear he suffered in 2021, but is expected to be ready week one.
Then there is Devin Singletary who has struggled with inconsistencies in his career. Not all of this is his fault, Josh Allen happens to be one of the most mobile QBs in the league, but he is expected to have a much larger role this season after tearing it up down the stretch last year.
Check out some of Dan’s other Stadium Rant content here. You can follow him on Twitter: @dan_tf40 and check in with his podcast The Fastest 40 on Spotify, Anchor, & Apple Podcasts. Trevor can be found on Twitter: @TrevorS_FF and you can catch him and Dan on Another Damn (Fantasy) Podcast on Spotify & Apple. Follow Tyler on Twitter: @Lamb4752 and find his Gillette Gazette content here!