Running backs.

Despite what this writer may tell you about his personal approach to the position, you need many of them on your team. But selecting a cohort of backs in the early rounds of your fantasy football drafts comes with an opportunity cost. When looking at fantasy football average draft position (ADP) on Fantasy Alarm or within our Fantasy Football Draft Guide, you’ll begin to see the lines of demarcation where running backs start to become the best value on the draft board up until the very end.

Creating a thoughtful and coherent running back group is vital to fantasy football success, no matter what round you decide to select them. Today, we’ll dive into the late-round running backs for fantasy football in 2023 and separate them into archetypes — to help differentiate the TYPES of running backs and how we can specialize our rosters with what we’re looking for.

We’re going to be highlighting EVERY SINGLE RUNNING BACK after the fifth round in this article that you can take with you into your best ball drafts and season-long leagues.


When Running Backs Are the Best Picks in Fantasy Drafts

From around the eighth round to the end of the draft in both redraft and best ball, the best value pick you can make in any draft is at the running back position. With the wide receivers drying up incredibly quickly in the middle rounds, the running back dead zone has turned into the wide receiver dead zone with crystal clear tier breaks.

Where you could conceivably find late-round wide receivers that you could feel at least a bit of confidence in, that draft space is now occupied by middle-to-late-round running backs with attractive draft-day prices and undefined roles in ambiguous backfields, which are fantastic targets in drafts now and deeper into the summer. If we know their roles and could project them for a certain amount of carries, we’d be drafting them a LOT higher, right?

Remember, this mid-to-late round section of fantasy drafts is where we found James Conner, who finished RB5 two seasons ago, last season’s RB18 campaign from Kenneth Walker, as well as Jamaal Williams, Jerick McKinnon, Devin Singletary, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson and Tyler Allgeier, who all finished in the top-30 of running backs.

We’re trying to find these running backs who could return massive value at their current ADP while being price sensitive with their current draft cost. Let’s dive into these running backs.

Late-Round Running Backs in Season-Long and Best Ball

We touched on the running archetypes earlier in our Fantasy Alarm Living Draft Guide with my Zero RB Overview and Draft Strategy, but we’ll go in-depth on them here. The archetypes for these running backs in the later rounds are grouped into the following buckets:

  • Contingent value backs
  • Ambiguous backfield backs
  • Receiving backs
  • Standalone backs

It’s something I like to call the “CARS” system. The more paths these running backs have to what we’re looking for in fantasy, the farther that back can go. It’s an easy acronym to remember the buckets these running backs slot into and explain the specific skill sets these running backs have when crafting a thoughtful running back room for your roster. Let’s explain each archetype:

Contingent Value Backs

Most of the running backs we’ll be listing here have contingent value. You can call them “handcuffs” too, but contingent value fits them better. It means that their value increase is contingent on something happening in the offense to benefit them. Usually, an injury to the player above them puts the contingent back in an excellent spot for sustained fantasy production, but a player’s role change, a coaching change, or other factors could influence a contingent back’s playing time increasing.

Ambiguous Backfield Backs

This tier is pretty self-explanatory, but there are also a lot of factors to dive into regarding this tier. There are many backfields in the NFL that we have no idea how they will shake out from a workload standpoint. Most backfields that don’t feature just one running back typically fall into this bucket if they don’t have a defined role. Because of that lack of a defined role, a back’s average draft position (ADP) is usually depressed.

Receiving Backs

These running backs have either insulated third-down roles in their offenses or are situational pass-catching backs behind others in their offenses. The most productive example has to be James White in 2018 and 2019, where he finished as RB7 and RB18 despite only 161 combined rushing attempts in those seasons. He also had as many receptions as rushing attempts, with 159.

Standalone Value Backs

This tier could be a sub-tier, but it’s certainly worth mentioning here. There aren’t many running backs in this tier that you can feel comfortable plugging into your lineups for redraft and managed leagues where you set your lineups.

Running backs typically enter this tier once they’ve shown that teams can’t take them off the field because of production or skill they’ve shown, high draft capital necessitating their inclusion on the field with carriers and/or targets, or because of target capabilities on third-down or featured pass-catching roles.


The Running Backs and What To Do With Them in 2023

Let’s get to the meat and potatoes: the analysis for each running back, their situation, and how to play them in drafts for 2023:

All ADP provided by Underdog Fantasy as of 8/26/2023

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (RB18)

Archetype: Standalone

We have already profiled Mattison in great detail, but he’s one of the quintessential “RB dead zone” running backs this season. He has volume right now, but it wouldn’t surprise me with his limited athleticism and the fact that he hasn’t seized more of a role in the offense over the past four seasons if one (or both) of Ty Chandler or DeWayne McBride worked their way into the backfield rotation.


Some of the shine from Mattison’s profile as a volume-dependent mid-round running back is already starting to lose its luster. Ty Chandler has looked excellent in training camp and could legitimately take work from Mattison right away.

Mattison does strike me as a similar bet to what Mike Davis was a couple of seasons ago with the Falcons: a player slated for a ton of work despite limited efficiency and a subpar athletic profile. The problem is that a lot of drafters remember the good times with Mattison’s six starts — three against bad Detroit defenses — and not the fact that he couldn’t seize a larger role outside of spot start duty with the Vikings in four seasons.

How to play Mattison in drafts: I would not feel comfortable with him as a late Anchor RB but would prefer to draft him as an RB2/RB3. He’s a volatile asset and gives off 2021 Mike Davis vibes in terms of a back who could lose his role as the season progresses.

Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans (RB19)

Archetype: AmbiguousStandalone

Pierce had the seventh-worst PFF pass-blocking grade (32.3) among running backs with 50 blocking snaps, so the Texans went out and brought in Devin Singletary, who finished in the top ten (73.2). Pass blocking is going to keep a running back on the field and while Pierce is a solid running back, Singletary looks likely to siphon off more carries than Pierce’s fantasy managers would like. Because of that, it’s an ambiguous backfield just because we don’t know exactly how much work he will get, but it’s likely to be worrisome.


If Pierce can play more on third downs, it opens a path to where he should be going into the Kenneth Walker/Aaron Jones tier of running back. I’m good to take stabs on Pierce in the right context, because there are paths to where Houston is surprisingly competitive this season and Pierce would stand to benefit the most from that outside of rookie QB C.J. Stroud.

How to play Pierce in drafts: The “draft like you’re right” fantasy manager will point to the beginning of the season and hope that Pierce can gain some efficiency in an offense that C.J. Stroud now quarterbacks. The pessimistic side looks to Pierce trailing off mid-season and whether he can get 15-18 carries per game with Singletary in tow. Pierce is still an upside RB2 as he's clearly taken over the backfield which expands his top outcome.

J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens (RB20)

Archetype: Standalone


Head Coach John Harbaugh says J.K. Dobbins is 100%. J.K. Dobbins himself said he’s 100%. He's off the PUP and ready to go. In this new Todd Monken offense that prioritizes a spread-out passing game, Dobbins could be one of the chief beneficiaries with wider running lanes and fewer defenders in the box with having to account for more passing. Dobbins has always been incredibly efficient when he’s on the field, so he’s a clear upside play in an offense that could take the “2022 Eagles” leap in 2023.

He’s in a contract year and made some media noise about wanting a new contract during his “holding in” rather than a holdout, but all signs point to Dobbins being available in Week 1 unless we hear otherwise.

How to play Dobbins in drafts: He’s a nice late anchor RB if you bypass wide receivers through several rounds into the fifth round, but likely more of an upside RB2 that has RB1-level spike weeks, depending on how the passing game is operating. You likely cannot depend on much in the passing game, but he should be slightly below average to average in that department. You’re betting on the efficiency (career 5.9 yards per carry) and strength of this offense to buoy him in 2023.

Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers (RB21)

Archetype: Standalone

Miles Sanders feels like one of the truly insulated running backs with a big role on tap for 2023 as he goes from an efficient Eagles offense to one rebuilding in Carolina. Sanders will have to make his case to outperform ADP on pure volume, as touchdown equity will be much harder to come by in 2023.


Sanders is dealing with a groin injury, but returned to practice on Monday (8/21). He should be ready for Week 1 with Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear behind him in the pecking order.

How to play Sanders in drafts: Sanders is a hard player to draft because of the value at wide receiver and tight end in his ADP, but if you need a back that feels the safest in this range with a projected workload, Sanders may just be that guy. If D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard have success running the ball after the team traded Christian McCaffrey last season, why can’t Sanders?

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (RB22)

Archetype: Standalone

Did Cam Akers do enough in the final six weeks of 2022 to be the clear back in the Rams offense? Well, he feels a lot more insulated in his team’s offense with the Rams not really adding to the running back room outside of Zach Evans as a sixth-round pick Akers tore his Achilles tendon in the 2021 preseason and seemed like he was left for dead in the beginning of 2022, but Akers stormed back to average 21.6 fantasy points over the last three weeks of the season.


Akers is one of the best value in fantasy now two seasons removed from an Achilles' injury, which is a big deal to come back from. There aren't many backs to live to tell the tale from that injury as it's cut off many running back careers like Arian Foster, Isaiah Crowell, Marlon Mack, but some have resumed high-level football, including D'Onta Foreman. While there's talk of Kyren Williams taking a receiving role with the Rams, Akers should be a “central figure” of the Rams' offense to quote head coach Sean McVay.

How to play Akers in drafts: If you’re drafting Akers as your team’s RB1 in a receiver-heavy build, I don’t hate it. I’d feel better with Akers as RB2 on fantasy rosters as the upside option.

Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos (RB23)

Archetype: ReceivingStandalone

If Javonte Williams didn’t get hurt early in the season last year, we’d be talking about him in the same vein as Breece Hall, Rhamondre Stevenson, Josh Jacobs and that running back cohort early in the third round. That said, Williams is recovering from a serious knee injury similar to J.K. Dobbins' recovery last season, which complicates things.

We’ve heard rumblings of how Williams is ahead of schedule and that he could be cleared for training camp, but it’s going to take time before Williams is 100%. The hope when drafting a back like Williams is for elite, late-season upside. The team brought in Samaje Perine and Tony Jones as insurance policies, but if Williams is healthy, he’s going to be the 1A. Whether that’s in mid-season or the beginning of 2024 remains to be seen.


Javonte Williams played against the 49ers this preseason and was not limited in training camp. It might be a ramp up to his legit ceiling upside, but Sean Payton has taken the kid gloves off of Williams as he didn't start training camp on the PUP list, hasn't been limited in training camp, and now playing in preseason game less than 10 months from a multi--ligament tear that ended his 2022. He's been steamed up to the fifth round of most fantasy drafts and while Samaje Perine should still have a standalone role, I'm confident in Williams getting baseline production for the first few weeks and the late-season upside coming later.

How to play Williams in drafts: Now that the “secret” is out with Williams playing in preseason games and being essentially unlimited in his practice time, he's being drafted in the fifth round pretty consistently with some reaching up because of the clear and obvious upside he has. Get him as your RB2 but know that there still is some soreness risk with him that we may have to deal with this season.


James Cook, Buffalo Bills (RB24)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousReceivingStandalone

James Cook was used judiciously by the Buffalo Bills last season in tandem with Devin Singletary. Neither really separated themselves from the other in something we like to call “the devil’s backfield”.

We do know a little more now about how Cook will be deployed, as the Bills brought in Damien Harris to work with Cook in this backfield. Harris has never been a receiving threat at all during his time in New England, so Cook looks to be ticketed with that role left behind by Singletary, who is now in Houston.

Would it surprise you if Cook somehow finished second on the Bills in targets after Stefon Diggs? It shouldn’t, but that is in Cook’s range of outcomes.


Offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey has raved about Cook's blocking ability, which is pretty important in the real-life NFL sense but also good in a fantasy sense because that means he doesn't have to come off of the field in third down or two minute offense situations. With Damien Harris a bit banged up by a knee injury, Cook has become the clear winner here on early downs and his ADP has risen up regardless. If you miss out on the RB2 range of drafts, Cook is a big upside option on an offense that will be one of the best and most efficient.

How to play Cook in drafts: In more PPR-focused leagues, I’m drafting Cook a bit higher, but in half-PPR, I’m skewing more towards Harris, who seems to have the better touchdown equity and should lead the team in rushing yards. Cook will be efficient for sure and could surprise on the ground as well. There’s real upside here and at RB30, the price is pretty right.

David Montgomery, Detroit Lions (RB25)

Archetype: Contingent, slightly AmbiguousStandalone

While the Lions did draft Jahmyr Gibbs at 12th overall in the draft, the team did give Montgomery $11 million guaranteed in free agency. If we’re slotting Montgomery for the “Jamaal Williams” role from last season, which netted fantasy managers 262 carries and 17 touchdowns, you’ll have to pay up about four of five rounds from last season’s price for Williams in drafts.

Montgomery will have a role in this offense when healthy, and if the Lions toss up a deep ball and a defender gets called for pass interference in the end zone, it’s Montgomery coming in for the goal-line touch, not Gibbs. I don’t think 262 carries is realistic, but getting around 200 carries with touchdown equity has a ton of value. And if something happens to Gibbs, Montgomery gets into 60%+ of the running back touches in this offense.


Montgomery and Gibbs will be “co-starters” this season in the Lions offense with Monty likely toting the rock in green-zone scenarios with some two-down work. Gibbs is ticketed for more receiver-like routes and gaining high-value touches through schemed looks and receptions. We're down for it on an offense that should improve quite a bit. There's going to be enough touchdown upside to make Montgomery a low-end RB2 each week. Just don't be surprised if Gibbs takes more work from Montgomery as the season progresses, leaving him as a touchdown-dependent running back option. Which is precisely what Jamaal Williams was last season. Just don't count on 17 touchdowns.

How to play Montgomery in drafts: If you’re skewing more receiver-heavy in drafts, Montgomery is a fine pick as an arbitrage “anchor” running back where you’ll get production out of an ascending Lions offense. If you’ve drafted some early running backs, Montgomery makes less sense on your roster.

James Conner, Arizona Cardinals (RB26)

Archetype: ReceivingStandalone

Conner enters his age-28 season and behind him in the running back room is… really nobody in particular. There’s a three-down workload wrapped up with a bow for Conner. There’s just one caveat: it’s for what is likely the worst team in the NFL.

DraftKings has the over/under set at 4.5 wins for the Cardinals this season, but it’s going to come down to if Conner can stay healthy. He’s missed a handful of games in every one of his six seasons as a pro. He’s going to have to be a trusted lean for whoever quarterbacks this team out of Colt McCoy or rookie Clayton Tune.

At RB28, this is a running back profile we’re used to taking a lot earlier, so I’m willing to sprinkle in some Conner shares based on where he lands in drafts.


Not much has changed, as Conner is still the locked-in bellcow for the Cardinals. Just don't be surprised if we see the "Will Smith standing in a room alone" meme for Conner as it's clear with some trades (and possibly more on the way) that the Cardinals are tearing it down for a full rebuild. The Cardinals are going to be down in a LOT of games, but Conner is slated for a ton of touches this season. The risk of whether those touches are going to be fruitful for fantasy on a bad team is baked into his sixth/seventh round ADP.

How to play Conner in drafts: If you want a back that won’t have much competition outside of Keaontay Ingram, Conner is your man. Even on a bad team, the market shares for Conner will be excellent, so fire him up in all formats.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (RB27)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousReceivingStandalone

Kamara’s entire 2023 outlook hinges on the legal system working out its’ process. He has a possible suspension looming, but as of now, nothing has been announced. Kamara is somebody I’m letting other people draft because I don’t want to draft around that particular contingency. Considering he still goes ahead of Jamaal Williams and Kendre Miller in his own backfield, I’d rather pivot to those options rather than a declining Kamara.

When Kamara was used more sparingly in the run game and more in the passing game, he was electric. The last two seasons have seen Kamara used on the ground a lot more, with 240 and 223 carries, respectively, and it seems to have taken a toll on his efficiency. Whether it’s by the state of the offense or Kamara’s skill, it’s anybody’s guess. I’m just not willing to find out at an RB31 price.


Kamara will be suspended for the first three games of the 2023 season by the NFL, so he'll be back in Week 4. Jamaal Williams and Kendre Miller will carry the backfield for those three games, but that suspension was much less than was originally speculated.

How to play Kamara in drafts: I’m letting others draft him and if Kamara falls to an obscene value, I’ll draft him there and only in that scenario. He has some upside but the price is too rich currently.

D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles (RB28)

Archetype: AmbiguousStandalone

Swift feels like one of the biggest fantasy football teases in recent memory. It wasn’t long ago that I ranked Swift as a dynasty top-10 running back, and then, he was traded to the Eagles for a Day 3 pick. With a fresh start, Swift now joins a great situation in Philadelphia where the offense will score a ton of touchdowns, and the Eagles will run the ball a ton. But who will do the running? If Swift is healthy, he seems to be the one getting the first crack. Swift was fourth in fantasy points per touch last season, so his efficiency, plus the offense’s efficiency, is a great match.


The Eagles' backfield news this offseason has been something from Days of Our Lives, we've gotten steam from pretty much everybody involved but the most steam heading in the direction of Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell and Rashaad Penny will be involved but D'Andre Swift should lead the way. It's going to be a week-to-week thing with these three running backs in fantasy, so strap in. At least the prices on all three running backs is pretty reasonable to take measured stabs on, especially Gainwell in the double-digit rounds. With how much Philadelphia likes to run the ball, it's a backfield where you want a piece.

How to play Swift in drafts: Swift is an efficiency play in fantasy football, and if you don’t trust Rashaad Penny to get involved to a degree where he will be a thorn in Swift’s side, you can grab him as a possible anchor. I still can’t quit Swift from a talent perspective, so I’m willing to take a shot on the talent landing with an elite landing spot for running back production.

Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (RB29)

Archetype: ReceivingStandalone

The hope for Rachaad White, when he was drafted in the late rounds last season, was that he’d provide more in the passing game. When Leonard Fournette was bad and/or injured, White took over as the lead back in stretches but never really seized the opportunity. With Fournette gone, White assumes the lead-back role with not much behind him, so he’s going to have to produce.

White has reportedly improved his pass-catching abilities as he looks to be involved more in that capacity. That might not be a bad thing considering the team is going from future Hall of Famer Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield.

White will have to improve his efficiency (3.7 yards per carry) on the ground from his rookie season, but he still finished as a low-end RB3 last season despite some hiccups. I’ll still buy at this price, but the Buccaneers are likely to be a much worse team than in 2022. 


With some reports that Sean Tucker is splitting first-team reps with Rachaad White, it's given a little bit of pause to taking White in drafts. While I'll still draft him, he's not as locked-in as we all thought he would be when the Bucs didn't bring back Leonard Fournette. The Bucs aren't going to be a particularly good team, in 2023 but that said, White dominated the touches in Week 3 of the preseason. He played every snap with the starters and playing into the third quarter where Ke'Shawn Vaughn mixed in.

How to play White in drafts: Tampa Bay had the worst run game in the league by far last season, but the Bucs get their healthy offensive linemen back plus added North Dakota St.’s Cody Mauch in the second round. The run game could be a lot better, and it will need to be if White is going to sniff the mid-RB2 range in 2022. I’m willing to take the shot because if the pass-catching steam comes to fruition, it’s going to mask a lot if the ground game prowess doesn’t come along for the ride.

Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs (RB30)

Archetype: Slightly AmbiguousStandalone 

Usually, we want anyone and everyone associated with the Kansas City Chiefs offense because of the offensive environment, and we know they will score a bunch of touchdowns. That said, there’s a lot of downside with Pacheco, namely, his competition of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon is still hanging around like barnacles on the bottom of a ship. Neither are going away anytime soon; we know Andy Reid will use one or both of them. Kadarius Toney could find his way into the backfield as well.

Pacheco was a compiler last season, with only three games with 15 or more carries and never finishing above RB15 in any week in 2022. His receiving work is non-existent (just 14 targets in 17 games), and even with CEH hurt last season, Pacheco could only muster two games after their Week 8 bye with over 50% of the snaps once he was the “starter”.

On top of that, there’s this report from The Athletic about Pacheco’s injury rehab:


Isiah Pacheco made his preseason debut in Week 3, where he had a carry, ran a route, played two snaps and was done for the night. What it looks like here is that Pacheco is going to be mixed with Jerick McKinnon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the first few weeks of the season until the team feels good about Pacheco's recovery. Pacheco's ADP likely won't change, but the overall sentiment and feeling should, which is great for fantasy managers drafting up until the season's start.

How to play Pacheco in drafts: Pacheco is a guy I’m going to play later if he falls past ADP. Getting access to the Chiefs offense at a value is excellent and there aren’t many players that fall in drafts. The floor, however, is moderately low for Pacheco despite his place at the top of the running back depth chart.

Dalvin Cook, New York Jets (RB31)

Archetype: Contingent, Ambiguous, potentially Standalone

Cook seems like a “persona non grata” pick on fantasy teams, because it’s going to take Cook lowering his asking price rather than a team meeting his demand to get signed in time for even training camp. Sometimes, we need to just listen to the market on a lot of these running backs who are free agents instead of trying to figure out pie-in-the-sky scenarios to assign 200+ carries to Cook. I’m not drafting him unless we get a signing, and even then, he’s going to be part of a committee. And not the good, fantasy-relevant part.


Cook signed with the Jets a couple of weeks ago and with Breece Hall getting work in practice but not in preseason games, it looks like Cook will have an immediate role come Week 1. But so will Hall, as he's on track to start Week 1. Keep in mind that Cook has been declining fast over the past couple of seasons, as he has the third-highest percentage (23.5%) of rushes for zero or negative yardage among backs with at least 100 carries. He's also been pretty bad in NextGenStats' success rate (ROE%), finishing 46th of 57 qualified backs over the last two years with 150+ carries. Cook is also dealing with labrum surgery as well, so he's not even 100%. These are just a few of the reasons why I'm just out on Cook but ready to get burned if he does thrive in New York.

How to play Cook in drafts: I'm typically not, as his ADP has risen since signing with the Jets. There's definitely bottoming out risk here with Cook that I'm just not wanting to take any sort of risk on an older back with a younger, much more explosive and efficient backfield mate next to him getting healthy.

Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (RB32)

Archetype: A bit ContingentAmbiguousStandalone

Herbert looked fantastic at times last year, but it’s easy to when you’re being compared to David Montgomery. He put up 731 yards on just 129 carries (5.7 yards per attempt) as the 12th-best running back in the NFL in EPA (expected points added).

That’s all great, but now we’re playing fantasy football in 2023, and there are two potential hurdles in the Chicago backfield: D’Onta Foreman and rookie Roschon Johnson. Heck, even a fourth in his quarterback, Justin Fields.

It’s going to be a knock-out, drag-out brawl for touches and supremacy between these running backs, but while the efficient Herbert looks to be the leader right now, it wouldn’t surprise me to see these backs cannibalize each other’s workload to make Herbert lose value at an RB40 ADP. It’s the old mantra of “when you have multiple backs to draft in an offense, draft the cheapest one”, so the times where I draft Herbert are fewer and farther between than Foreman or Johnson at cheaper prices.


Herbert played every snap with the starting unit in Week 1 of the preseason and rested in Week 2 before playing on first and second down in Week 3. It's still a three-man backfield with Roschon Johnson playing third-and-long snaps on the Bears' first two drives. Herbert has separated himself from the pack, but it's still significant that Johnson has already carved out a role on third downs, so that is something to watch going forward. Herbert's ADP has climbed a bit because of some of this steam, but I'm more inclined to buy than I was before, even if it carries some risk later on. Johnson is still the guy I'm targeting in drafts though based on his very reasonable price compared to Herbert.

How to play Herbert in drafts: I don’t mind taking a chance on Herbert, but I’d rather let him fall to me rather than reach for him. Herbert paying off his ADP is reliant on him fending off Johnson/Foreman.


Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders (RB33)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousReceivingStandalone

His team has hated him for multiple seasons, but we’re back in. We know Gibson has a receiving role, but he tallied his lowest yards per attempt last season (3.7) on his lowest rushing attempt total. He’s the all-star of “preseason hype” blurbs as he’s always talked up big time by coaches, but it never materializes.

Brian Robinson is kicking around here, and he’s in line for the early-down work in this offense. There’s no J.D. McKissic to siphon off receiving work here in 2023, so it’s all going to Gibson. But Gibson is what he is: a PPR-centric committee back that has RB2 contingent value if Robinson were to miss time. Is that enough to draft him at low-end RB3 prices? 


This is an easy backfield to diagnose, as it's going to be Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson headlining for the Commanders. Both GIbson and Robinson have gotten steam for more pass-catching work to take some pressure off of first-year starter Sam Howell, which bodes well for Robinson's floor. Both are plenty viable backend RB2 plays with Robinson likely handling more two-down work and goal-line carries while Gibson handles the receiving high-value touches. Gibson is NOT a good blocker though, so we could see Robinson much more than we think in two-minute offense snaps. Still, Gibson should be out there too as a designated receiver, which we love in fantasy as he sees himself playing the "J.D. McKissic role", but with some more rushing work added.

How to play Gibson in drafts: In PPR formats, Gibson is a solid draft pick who could provide a nice points floor in his receiving work and some rushing work. 

AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers (RB34)

Archetype: Contingent, a bit Standalone

With Aaron Rodgers gone to the Big Apple, gone are the days of Rodgers checking Matt LaFleur’s play calls at the line and switching them to passes. We’ll finally see LaFleur’s offense run the way he intended, and that could benefit the run game. Jordan Love isn’t throwing the ball 600 times, and with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon in tow, this offense could become more run-focused.

Dillon was a big disappointment last season, and his ADP somehow hasn’t really reflected that, as it’s still in this ambiguous range of committee backs. Will the Packers' offense score as much as they did last season? Will there be touchdown equity to be had with their running back group? If the answer is yes, Dillon should be able to pay off his RB33 ADP. He scored six of his seven 2022 touchdowns from Week 12 onward, so maybe there’s some momentum to be had heading into 2023.


This backfield has been set in stone for a while now: Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon will co-manage this backfield with little involvement from RB3 Patrick Taylor unless injury strikes. 

How to play Dillon in drafts: If you believe in the Packers’ offense with Jordan Love, it’s going to trickle down to the ancillary pieces. Aaron Jones's carries have always been managed as a running back, and Dillon is the obvious beneficiary of that management, so an RB34 ADP does seem fine in all formats to take a stab on somebody with 10+ touchdown upside and massive contingent value should something happen to Jones.

Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders (RB35)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousStandalone

Brian Robinson missed the first four games of 2022 after suffering a gunshot wound to his leg. Once he got involved in the team's offense, he was given a ton of work on the ground. He was a non-factor in the receiving game and only scored two touchdowns, but he averaged 3.9 yards per carry. While that doesn’t sound exciting, I’m willing to give him a pass in his rookie year after being shot.

Robinson is a volume play through and through in 2023, with some touchdown regression to come in his favor. If something does happen to Gibson, it’s possible some receiving work goes to Robinson, but it’s likely another running back will take that role rather than Robinson absorbing a portion of it.


This is an easy backfield to diagnose, as it's going to be Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson headlining for the Commanders. Both GIbson and Robinson have gotten steam for more pass-catching work to take some pressure off of first-year starter Sam Howell, which bodes well for Robinson's floor. Both are plenty viable backend RB2 plays with Robinson likely handling more two-down work and goal-line carries while Gibson handles the receiving high-value touches. Gibson is NOT a good blocker though, so we could see Robinson much more than we think in two-minute offense snaps.

How to play Robinson in drafts: If you’re looking for a number of carries in an offense now headed by new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Robinson is your target. I don’t hate the price considering just a few years ago, this profile of running back went rounds and rounds earlier. I’m willing to draft him as a deep RB2 but realistically, he's an RB3 with some upside.

Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks (RB36)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, possible Receiving, possible Standalone

Pete Carroll popped a bottle of chardonnay or cabernet and drafted Charbonnet in the second round this past NFL Draft. At least, we can only assume.

Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer are gone, so it made sense that Seattle would add another running back, but a second-round back? Charbonnet is the better receiver and no doubt a threat on the ground, so while Kenneth Walker remains the top running back in Seattle, it remains to be seen just how much of a workload Charbonnet can wrestle away. Of course, if something happened to Walker, Charbonnet would immediately rise up close to the RB1 ranks. 

It’s deja vu this season with Walker and Charbonnet, like Penny and Walker's draft prices and situation last season.


Charbonnet seems to have cleared DeeJay Dallas as far as early-down work as he's started the last two preseason games with Kenneth Walker unable to suit up. The thesis is still the same though as I do like Charbonnet to be able to challenge Walker for some receiving work and goal-line work, even though the leader in the clubhouse for Week 1's third-down role is Dallas.

How to play Charbonnet in drafts: He’s the guy you want to draft if you want a piece of the Seattle running game without paying the much-higher price for Walker. There’s no doubt Pete Carroll wants to run the ball, but it’s the workload split that’s in question here. We may have to wait until Week 1 (or beyond) for our answer.

Rashaad Penny, Philadelphia Eagles (RB37)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, possible Standalone

Penny is the play to make if you don’t believe in D’Andre Swift, but he has his own warts. It’s even possible that Penny might not even make the team considering the team only signed him for $1.35 million and $600,000 guaranteed and then made the decision to trade for Swift.

Availability is the best ability, and if Penny wants to stay in the NFL, he’s going to need to learn that. He’s explosive and productive when playing but always seems to land on the sidelines. 

Penny likely won’t be a factor in the receiving game, but in arguably the league’s most efficient offense, it’s hard not to see what Penny can do on the field and put him in Eagles green.


The Eagles' backfield news this offseason has been something from Days of Our Lives, we've gotten steam from pretty much everybody involved but the most steam heading in the direction of Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell and Rashaad Penny will be involved but D'Andre Swift should lead the way. It's going to be a week-to-week thing with these three running backs in fantasy, so strap in. At least the prices on all three running backs is pretty reasonable to take measured stabs on, especially Gainwell in the double-digit rounds. With how much Philadelphia likes to run the ball, it's a backfield where you want a piece.

How to play Penny in drafts: Penny is your arbitrage Swift without the rushing ability and going rounds later. He’s the most realistic option if you’re looking to capture a huge part of the Philadelphia run game. In best ball, he’s a solid pick at ADP, but in seasonal and managed leagues, he’s going to be hard to start unless the roles are clearly defined. Outside of injury to anybody else, that’s unlikely to be the case.


Samaje Perine, Denver Broncos (RB38)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousReceiving, some Standalone

Perine is the main insurance policy if Javonte Williams can’t go or start the season. He can provide fantasy value right away for Denver after a nice season in Cincinnati when he picked up the slack for Joe Mixon during his injury stint. “Picked up the slack” might be underselling it, as Perine averaged almost 24 fantasy points per game in Weeks 11-13 when Mixon was on the shelf.

Perine is the early-season play but depending on how Williams’ recovery goes, he could find himself with the job throughout 2023, and even if Williams does come back, Perine should retain a role in the offense due to his pass-blocking acumen and pass-catching ability. 


Some of the shine is off of Perine from the early offseason as the main thesis for drafting Perine was not knowing when Javonte Williams would be back and available for the Broncos. Not only is Williams available, but he's slated for immediate action in Week 1 after not only avoiding the PUP list, but playing in the preseason. Perine will still have a role, but the role is likely as a third-down back, a spell and receiving work. Not a bad thing at all, but his ADP has trickled down with every good report and step WIlliams has taken.

How to play Perine in drafts: Perine should be a floor play running back for the Broncos and for fantasy. If Williams' knee acts up, which is certainly possible 10 months out from a multi-ligament tear, then Perine has pretty sizable contingent value. Perine showed that last season filling in for Joe Mixon and we could expect three-down production from him if that were to happen.

Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars (RB39)

Archetype: Contingent, possible Standalone

We got a half-season worth of production as the only game in town from Travis Etienne in 2022, but the ADP still reflects that nothing happened in the off-season. While JaMycal Hasty is still hanging around, the Jaguars did draft Tank Bisgby in the third round.

Bigsby was ultra-productive at Auburn and possesses some of the best contingent value in fantasy football. With Etienne not exactly seizing the opportunity handed to him, the Jaguars and Doug Pederson forced the issue to bring actual competition into the room.


Bigsby took 36% of the snaps with the starters and he continues to assert himself on the first two downs. Bigsby received nine snaps on the first two downs compared to Etienne's 13. Etienne did receive both short-yardage touches, but Bigsby did lose a fumble. Still, for Bigsby to play this much with the starters means we should be drafting Bigsby a LOT higher in drafts. I'm prioritizing him a few spots ahead of ADP in the same range as Zach Charbonnet and AJ Dillon. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and it could continue to burn through the season.

How to play Bigsby in drafts: He’s a priority contingent play and has big-time upside should something happen to Etienne. Bigsby could have not only touchdown equity but with quality pass-catching skills, Bigsby could find himself on the field more often than we think with Etienne healthy.

Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers (RB40)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousReceivingStandalone

Warren seems mispriced, and that’s likely only because of Najee Harris and the propensity for people to project 250+ touches for Harris. I just don’t think there’s a scenario where you can keep a back like Warren off the field. As a back that Steelers fans were hoping and praying Benny Snell could be, Warren was efficient with 4.9 yards per carry and provided some solid receiving chops as well. Warren makes the case to be THE highest-upside contingent running back in fantasy football, especially when the Steelers did invest some draft capital into the offensive line.


Warren and Najee Harris are two efficiency ships passing in the night, in favor of Warren. Look, with a first-round running back, you get a couple seasons of rope and benefit of the doubt. If Harris is inefficient yet again with improved offensive line play, then Warren has to be in consideration for taking over the RB1 for the Steelers. Harris' 34% success rate was the third-worst rate in the NFL last season among backs with 200+ rushing attempts. Harris has complied receptions over the last two years, but only managed a .77 yards per route run. To contrast, Warren's 1.24 YPRR easily cleared Harris and he also tied Austin Ekeler for second-best ESPN Analytics' Receiver Rating just under some guy named Christian McCaffrey.

This is likely last call to get Warren at a discount.

How to play Warren in drafts: As a priority contingent play worth taking in the later rounds. The Steelers will likely run a bit more to take the pressure off, but if something happens to Harris or Harris is terribly inefficient for a third-straight season, then Warren could have RB2 upside with possible RB1 spike weeks in fantasy this season. We’re bullish. You should be too.

Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints (RB41)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousStandalone

Is Jamaal Williams going to score 17 touchdowns in 2023? Probably not. If Alvin Kamara is suspended or misses time, Williams’ role seems pretty insulated. Williams is the running back poster boy for touchdown regression but overlooked is the Saints giving roles to older veterans and letting them ride, like Mark Ingram and Latavius Murray.

Williams is a steady option, and while he was straddling the 4.1 yards per carry plateau in 2022, he won’t be adding much receiving value with that. Williams is what Williams is.


Not much has changed here besides Kamara's three-game suspension clearing the way for a backfield of Williams and rookie Kendre Miller. Williams should be good for the “Mark Ingram” role, as a between-the-20's low-value-touch eater with some touchdown equity. Problem is, the Saints use so many players down near the green zone (namely Taysom Hill) that Williams' 17 rushing touchdowns are a pipe dream in New Orleans for 2023. As long as you don't expect lightning to strike twice, Williams should be solid but ultimately, unspectacular.

How to play Williams in drafts: If I need some stability (in having a role through the season) in my running back room, I’m perfectly happy taking Williams, knowing he’s ticketed for 150-200 carries at minimum when healthy. If I have some running backs with higher capital in fantasy drafts, I’m looking to capture more upside, and Williams doesn’t fit that particular bill.

Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs (RB42)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousReceivingStandalone

McKinnon signed back on with the Chiefs in April and was a touchdown and PPR machine for fantasy managers.

From Week 13 onward through the fantasy playoffs, McKinnon was a monster, scoring a touchdown in each game and with three top-seven finished in PPR.

For 2023, you can expect the same role for McKinnon and in an offense that will score a ton, but will the production follow? That said, he’s 31 years old and touchdown regression should normalize. But this IS a high-powered Chiefs offense and any back that can blow up like this in a given week surely should be on rosters.


I'll admit, I'm a bit worried about McKinnon. Yes, he was a league-winning running back when it counted last season, but he tailed off considerably in the real-life NFL Playoffs and is another year older heading into his age-31 season. Speaking of 31, 31% of McKinnon's fantasy scoring came via the touchdown. We could be laughing about this as McKinnon scores a bunch of touchdowns and provides some steady PPR value, but that risk is there and is baked in at RB42.

How to play McKinnon in drafts: He’s a nice floor option that can provide a ceiling if your running back room is shakier than you’d like. He’s not going to provide a ton of rushing upside, but prioritize him in full-PPR formats and take him down a notch or two in half-PPR. If you’re still playing in a standard league that doesn’t factor in receptions, he falls further. 

De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins (RB43)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous

It’s an interesting dichotomy when you have three backfield mates all being drafted within 17 picks of each other, and the rookie “mystery box” is being drafted ahead of both veteran options. But that’s what we have in De’Von Achane.

Achane is a home-run hitter through and through, who carries a ridiculous 4.32 speed and is a great fit for Mike McDaniel’s outside zone scheme. He’s the CLEAR athlete in this offense, but we may have to wait a bit for him to be fully deployed in this offense with Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson still there. That said, the Dolphins went into the third round to go get him, and they’ll look to use him situationally to start.


De'Von Achane left Week 2's preseason game with a mild AC sprain (shoulder) injury and head coach Mike McDaniel labeled him “week-to-week”. Week 1 is certainly in question, but it's your chance to get somebody who is electric with the ball in his hands at the cheapest price. He's STILL going ahead of backfield mates Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, but routinely falls below them on average. I'll usually let him fall below ADP before grabbing him with a bench spot. 

How to play Achane in drafts: He won’t be startable in season-long but is more of a best-ball pick to start. If Achane can find his footing in Miami earlier rather than later, he’s going to fly off the runway to fantasy success. I’m willing to take some stands on talent and speed with Miami’s track record of utilizing those skillsets, and Achane fits the bill.

Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers (RB44)

Archetype: Contingent

Elijah Mitchell was injured in Week 1, and when he came back, he saw an entirely different running back landscape in just two months. Out was Jeff Wilson and in was Christian McCaffrey. But it didn’t matter who else was in the backfield, as he got hurt again three weeks later after returning in Week 11.

Mitchell is the contingent play in San Francisco with a bit of a track record of production, but what good is it if you can’t stay on the field? We have no problem with Mitchell as a player, and we’re unlikely to see McCaffrey get back to the 90%+ workload share that he (and fantasy managers) enjoyed when CMC was in Carolina, but even then, Mitchell needs an injury to see consistent work in this offense. Maybe Jordan Mason pushes Mitchell as well? It’s fluid behind Mitchell, so he’s not the most comfy of clicks in this range.


Mitchell suffered an adductor strain in early-August, causing him to miss time in training camp and preseason games. There was some risk that he would be passed by on the depth chart by one or both of Jordan Mason and Tyrion Davis-Price, but it looks like Mitchell is locked into the RB2 spot for San Francisco when Week 1 arrives. If both Christian McCaffrey and Mitchell are both active, expect Mitchell to get some carries but likely not anything relevant despite McCaffrey's workload sliding into the 65-70% snap range when he came over from Carolina last season. Of course, things could change, but Mitchell is a clear contingent play if an injury hits McCaffrey.

How to play Mitchell in drafts: I’m not going out of my way to draft Mitchell, but I get the value that he has in this productive offense. It’s the consistency that’s maddening, and when he seems to get it going, there’s always something there to stop him.

Damien Harris, Buffalo Bills (RB45)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousStandalone

Damien Harris may not have caught a pass since the Eisenhower administration, but Harris can run the hell out of the ball, and that’s what he’ll be doing in Buffalo. He’s a perfect complement to the smaller James Cook and should get a bunch of gimme touchdowns, even with Josh Allen in tow.

Harris is Josh Allen insurance in a way, as it doesn’t seem likely that the Bills want Allen to be jumping over piles and running along the outside of the formation toward the pylon. Let Harris do that work, and fantasy managers who draft him can celebrate 10+ touchdowns and 700-800 yards in 2023 in an efficient and productive Bills offense.


Damien Harris had been dealing with a knee injury early into training camp and into the preseason, but Harris scored a touchdown with the starters in the final preseason tune-up before Week 1 and should be good to go for Week 1. James Cook will take the 1A share of the carries for the Bills but Harris could see a little bit of receiving work and a green-zone/goal-line role. He was pushed by veteran Latavius Murray throughout training camp, but Harris will have the leg up going forward. That doesn't mean Murray won't see work, but likely nothing to be concerned about from a fantasy perspective. Of course, if Cook is hurt, Harris slides into a very meaningful role in terms of high-value touches with Buffalo.

How to play Harris in drafts: Harris is a safe option for fantasy managers looking to lock in production on an elite team. We know Harris won’t catch many balls out of the backfield, but for what he is, he’s very good at it. It’s a good price for efficient production in a good offense. I’d argue he’s undervalued compared to the market in all fantasy formats.


Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (RB46)

Archetype: Contingent

Allgeier was PFF’s top-graded rookie running back (86.7), but that is a distant memory now that the Falcons drafted Bijan Robinson. Allgeier may get some more run at the beginning of the season as Robinson ingrains himself into the offense, but that work likely dries up if Robinson is who we (and the Falcons) think he will be. The only realistic path for Allgeier to provide fantasy value this season is on a contingent level should something happen to Robinson.


It's pretty cut and dry for Allgeier in 2023: he's going to have a role in the offense, but the breadwinner will be eighth-overall pick Bijan Robinson. That's no slight to Allgeier, as the Falcons should be a top-two offense in terms of how often they run the ball, but it's clearly not going to be like last season unless something happens to Robinson. Allgeier may not even be usable in fantasy with his secondary role to Robinson, but he's a clear contingent play behind him.

How to play Allgeier in drafts: He’s a contingent-value back that’s strictly a bench play. He’s leverage against Bijan Robinson teams in best ball and is likely going to find himself picked up and dropped on waivers in seasonal formats. Allgeier is somebody I’ll draft later than the field, but he still has massive contingent value in an Atlanta running game that will be so run-heavy in 2023.

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins (RB47)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, early-season Standalone

Mostert’s ADP is a bit confusing, considering the Dolphins grabbed a running back in the third round with a similar skillset in De’Von Achane. Mostert should be drafted after Jeff Wilson, but here, it’s a bit harder to draft Mostert than his Miami running back contemporaries. Mostert is 31 years old, but last season, he still averaged almost five yards per carry and caught 31 balls en route to an RB28 season in PPR.

In 2023, it’s a more fluid situation in the running backs room, but if Achane shows out and proves that he can’t be taken off the field, it’s going to come at the expense of Mostert, not Wilson.


The Dolphins' backfield is something we thought would shake out in training camp, but injuries and a rumor about a high-profile running back joining the fray leaves us with more questions than answers. Mostert has been the starting running back with Jeff Wilson out with an injury, but we know both will play and split the workioad when healthy. De'Von Achane has been injured with  a mild AC sprain, so he's been out. They're also rumored to be in the Jonathan Taylor sweepstakes. If Taylor doesn't end up a Dolphin, it's going to be Mostert and Wilson (lean to goal-line work) splitting work with Achane getting schemed touches when he's healthy. That we DO know.

How to play Mostert in drafts: Mostert is a contingent play with early-season standalone value through veteran deference. However, the foundation of his standalone role is on shaky ground and he could find himself with a vastly reduced workload as the season progresses. Still, it’s a fruitful offense, but I’d rather let him fall in drafts to scoop up his services rather than reach or select him at his current ADP in all formats.

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (RB48)

Archetype: A bit Ambiguous

Gainwell is a curious case for pinning down 2023 value as his main contribution was in the playoffs, but as a back lauded for his receiving skills, only one NFL team (the Rams) threw to their backs less than the Eagles did in 2022.

With Miles Sanders gone but D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny coming into the fold, the path to standalone work is spotty at best. Let’s not forget holdover Boston Scott, who still clings to the roster.


What a difference a training camp and preseason make for Gainwell! The Eagles' backfield news this offseason has been something from Days of Our Lives, we've gotten steam from pretty much everybody involved but the most steam heading in the direction of Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell and Rashaad Penny will be involved but Swift should lead the way. It's going to be a week-to-week thing with these three running backs in fantasy, so strap in. At least the prices on all three running backs is pretty reasonable to take measured stabs on, especially Gainwell in the double-digit rounds. With how much Philadelphia likes to run the ball, it's a backfield where you want a piece. Gainwell is the cheapest one and with the most steam, I'm drafting him the most.

How to play Gainwell in drafts: While we do like what Gainwell can do on the field and for fantasy managers, will he even get the chance to do it? There are a lot of hurdles for Gainwell to find value, so while Underdog has him ranked above some better contingent options, I have him ranked quite a bit lower in my rankings. I just don’t see the path to fantasy value this season unless everything breaks right.

Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots (RB49)

Archetype: A bit Ambiguous, Contingent

Elliott thrived on touchdowns last season but put up a putrid 3.7 yards per carry with a reduced receiving role as the season progressed. Elliott had the third-most carries inside the green zone (inside the 10-yard line) last season, and that could be a role teams would look to acquire his services for. His between the 20’s role is likely over for the most part, but he still has some value left to offer NFL teams.

Elliott will get signed, but in fantasy this season, you’re chasing touchdowns or for a team to be so hard up for a running back that they’re willing to eat the inefficiency.


Elliott signed with the Patriots on a one-year deal for up to $6 million two weeks ago. It's a puzzling move and they traded Pierre Strong to the Browns on 8/27, so it's looking like Rhamondre Stevenson is going to handle the bulk of the work with Elliott possibly handling some low-value between-the-20's and goal-line work. 

Let's face facts: Zeke isn't what he used to be; he's cratered in several metrics, including a league-worst mark in ESPN Analytics' Receiver Rating over the last two seasons plus a terrible 35% success rate with only Najee Harris, Michael Carter and Leonard Fournette being worse than Elliott (among backs with 100+ carries) was per attempt last season.

He's going to be near-impossible to start in a managed-league lineup, but if something happens to Stevenson, he's going to get more carries than he should based on name value. And more starts in fantasy hoping he can capture what is left of his fading star.

How to play Elliott in drafts: I’m letting somebody else draft him on name recognition, but the Zeke we knew is likely no longer a thing. Temper expectations, but Elliott could truly be a LeGarrette Blount-lite for the rest of his career.

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears (RB50)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, could work into more Receiving

We know what Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman are, but as the rookie running back who was overshadowed by Bijan Robinson at Texas, Johnson is the “mystery box” option for Chicago. We’d probably be talking about him a lot more if Johnson wasn’t in Robinson’s shadow. Johnson’s pass protection is very good for a back his age and having to compete with non-Bijan Robinson running backs could bode well for him as soon as training camp.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Johnson was the Week 1 starter at running back for the Bears, but the realistic approach would be working Johnson in a committee with Herbert and Foreman. Johnson has the skillset, the ambiguous backfield, and the landing spot with an upgraded offensive line to be a late-season ascending running back who would go rounds higher in 2024 drafts. 


Khalil Herbert has looked excellent and D'Onta Foreman has been working as the RB2, so Roschon Johnson will start the season as the RB3 based on preseason utilization.

This could be a classic case of young running back climbs the depth chart and asserts himself during and late into the season. I don't think Foreman is a roadblock to Johnson, but what we DO know? There's going to be opportunities for all three in his run-heavy offense.

How to play Johnson in drafts: Johnson may be somebody you have to reach for in best ball and in season-long drafts, as with a good training camp report or two, Johnson could easily surpass Herbert’s ADP and gain steam up until the season. I’m grabbing him where I can and if you get him at ADP or at a value, even better.

Jeff Wilson, Miami Dolphins (RB51)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousStandalone

Wilson is one of my favorite running backs to stash on best ball rosters and in seasonal formats too. He’s somebody you can actually get later on in seasonal formats too, as people tend to be a bit hesitant to draft one option in a backfield that features multiple.

Wilson’s ADP took a bit of a hit with the Dalvin Cook to Miami rumors, but if anybody is insulated if the backfield remains with Raheem Mostert, rookie De'Von Achane and Wilson, it’s Wilson. Mostert and Achane's skillsets as home-run hitters in the offense are duplicative, and Wilson provides a meaningful short-yardage “hammer” element. That’s been Wilson’s modus operandi for most of his career, and there’s a reason why head coach Mike McDaniel traded for him mid-season and shipped out Chase Edmonds.


The Dolphins' backfield is something we thought would shake out in training camp, but injuries and a rumor about a high-profile running back joining the fray leaves us with more questions than answers. Mostert has been the starting running back with Jeff Wilson out with an injury, but we know both will play and split the workioad when healthy. De'Von Achane has been injured with  a mild AC sprain, so he's been out. They're also rumored to be in the Jonathan Taylor sweepstakes. If Taylor doesn't end up a Dolphin, it's going to be Mostert and Wilson (lean to goal-line work) splitting work with Achane getting schemed touches when he's healthy. That we DO know.

How to play Wilson in drafts: Wilson is still only 27 years old, and while he might cede some receiving work to both Mostert and Achane, Wilson was paid more guaranteed money by the Dolphins to retain his service than Mostert. He’s a favorite late-round flier of mine that has multiple outs in a productive offense to pay off his RB57 ADP and then some.

Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders (RB52)

Archetype: Contingent


Zamir White's role on the Raiders is pretty clear: if something happens to Josh Jacobs, he's going to be ticketed for most of the touches in the Vegas backfield. Jacobs signed with the Raiders on a one-year deal worth up to $12 million with per-game roster bonuses. White stands above lackluster, role-specific options like Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah, who have had receiving roles in the past and also play special teams. White would be the most equipped to handle a workload should Jacobs miss time.

How to play White in drafts: White is one of the few crystal-clear handcuffs in the late rounds and is likely not seeing any fantasy relevancy besides his contingent value if Jacobs misses time.

Devin Singletary, Houston Texans (RB53)

Archetype: Contingent, slightly some Receiving, dwindling Standalone

Singletary is used to being in a committee, so the move from Buffalo to Houston doesn’t move the needle much, but for the bottom line in terms of the offense, it’s a huge downgrade. Singletary is a much better pass-blocker than Dameon Pierce, and that will get Singletary on the field. Pierce is going to be the primary rusher, but Singletary is probably a better actual NFL running back than a fantasy one at this point.


With Dameon Pierce playing every offensive snap with the first-team offense in the final preseason game, it's hard to get a gauge on the secondary backs like Singletary. It's worth noting that per Adam Levitan, Pierce played every single third down snap the Texans has with the starters versus roughly 25% of the snaps as a rookie. Pierce is clearly getting a healthy bump in his workload at the expense of Singletary and others. Sure, Pierce won't always play 100%, but if the team is prioritizing getting him Pierce out there whenever they can, it bumps down the upside of Singletary — a useful player in his own right.

The huge knock about Pierce had been the pass-blocking, where he was 128th-best according to PFF. Texans running backs coach Danny Barrett has said he's improved that, so if he's truly made strides in that department, he's going to be hard to take off the field.

How to play Singletary in drafts: The floor and the ceiling are very close to each other for Singletary, like the trash compactor in Star Wars. They’re getting closer to each other, but if you need some bankable production, you could do worse. You know he’s going to be and stay involved in the Texans' offense.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (RB54)

Archetype: Contingent, possible Receiving

When Derrick Henry is on the roster, the offense flows through him. While Tennessee has tried to float some smaller backs in and out to spell Henry and provide a different look, like a Dion Lewis and, more recently, Dontrell Hilliard, they have not drafted one with Day 2 draft capital — which they did with Tyjae Spears.

Spears has some concerning medical issues with his knees that affect him more in dynasty formats than in 2023 best ball and seasonal formats, but as a high-upside contingent play should something happen to Henry, you could do much worse. I do worry that if something did happen that the backfield would turn into a committee mess with Hassan Haskins, but Spears would likely get the meat of that workload split.


Spears has made the most of his preseason opportunities and is well above Julius Chestnut for RB2 behind Derrick Henry. The Titans made a concerted effort to get a running back with some pretty good draft capital (Day 2) to work in as a complement to Henry. By the looks of things in the preseason, we might have something here in Spears, who is climbing a little bit in ADP. Spears might have a little bit of receiving upside too considering the lack of depth at wide receiver and tight end as far as pass-catching skill. The price is excellent to find out and you get the contingent value in case something happens to Henry.

How to play Spears in drafts: As a purely contingent back on a team that loves to run the ball. Spears has impressed greatly and with Derrick Henry's contract running out after this season, perhaps they could have a successor? Grab him in the late rounds and stash him.

Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints (RB55)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, some Receiving

Miller is only 20 years old but stands to benefit greatly in a fluid situation with Alvin Kamara’s legal situation stemming from the Pro Bowl two seasons ago.

If Kamara misses a number of games due to suspension or injury, some combination of Miller and Jamaal Williams will do the backfield’s heavy lifting. The Saints selecting a tough, productive runner in Miller was smart by the Saints, as Kamara and Williams won’t be around forever. Miller won’t have the same kind of receiving upside that Kamara has shown during his elite fantasy seasons, but he’s a much tougher inside runner that, in a best-case scenario, could at least see Miller chip in with a few receptions in addition to his running.


Not much has changed here besides Kamara's three-game suspension clearing the way for a backfield of Williams and rookie Kendre Miller. Miller is the upside play here despite being third in the Saints' pecking order at running back. Remember: Alvin Kamara was third in the pecking order in 2017 when he was behind Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. Not at all the same situation, but rookies can force their way onto the field and give coaches no choice but to play them. Miller has been dealing with a sprained knee that knocked him out of the Saints' preseason opener and hasn't played since. He should be good to go for Week 1, but the team did sign former Chief and Cardinal Darrel Williams as insurance should Miller not be ready to go.

How to play Miller in drafts: Miller seems like a natural transition from the declining Kamara and somewhat limited athletic profile in Williams. You’re getting him at an immense value at RB45 in both best ball and seasonal formats as a back that can be a league-winning type later in the season.


D’Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears (RB56)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous

D’Onta Foreman is the Achilles injury success story people point to when trying to see players like Marlon Mack, James Robinson and Cam Akers come back from that type of injury. Despite that debilitating injury, he’s had a very nice career. In Foreman’s current situation as the third Chicago back drafted in the top–55 running backs, he perfectly aligns with the “when you have an ambiguous backfield, take the cheapest option” mantra I like to follow. 

Foreman was a quality fantasy option at times for the Panthers in their post-McCaffrey era and parlayed that into a one-year deal worth $3 million. Foreman was seventh in the NFL in rushing yards after Week 7, but look to the previous sentence: “at times”. His production was sporadic to the point where you didn’t know if you could slot him into your lineups in seasonal formats. He also offers very little in the receiving game, but as a “Montgomery-lite” in Chicago, you could do worse at this ADP. Just know the split between Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson and Foreman could be ugly, with rushing work also being split towards Justin Fields too. 


I'm a little worried about Foreman. Khalil Herbert has looked excellent this preseason and Roschon Johnson will get every opportunity to show what he can do especially later on in the season. It leaves Foreman as the placeholder RB2 of sorts. He's been highly efficient over the last couple of seasons from Tennessee to Carolina. We'll see if Foreman can hold off Johnson.

How to play Foreman in drafts: He’s a solid enough pick in the later rounds, but the upside isn’t the greatest. Still, Foreman has been a productive running back when we haven’t expected him to be, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him surpass Herbert. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see him take a backseat to Fields, Herbert and Johnson. A very wide range of outcomes with Foreman in 2023.

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (RB57)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, dwindling Standalone

Gus Edwards is one of the easier backs to project, but the situation involving J.K. Dobbins could muddy the water a little bit. Dobbins wants a new contract, but he may not get it, and contention between the two sides could spill over into the season.

Enter Edwards, who would rumble and rumble with his career 5.2 yards per carry. He’s not sniffing any receiving work as last season, he averaged .22 targets per game. Yes, you read that correctly. New offensive coordinator Todd Monken looks to open up the passing game this season, but that could benefit the running game and an efficient runner in Edwards should the passing game get going.


Edwards is a hard name to parse. Justice Hill played ahead of Edwards in the first week of preseason, but Edwards rested in Week 2 while Hill started for the Ravens. With Todd Monken now the offensive coordinator and not longtime OC Greg Roman, it could be a better schematic fit with Hill vs. Edwards, so while Edwards seems like the pick to make if we're trying to predict the Ravens' RB2, it's much more ambiguous than we think.

How to play Edwards in drafts: I've gotta say, he's gotten tougher to draft through the preseason. It might be a “wait-and-see until Week 1” backfield. That doesn't help us. I'd say Hill and Edwards are tied as the RB2, but not drafting either until very late in deep, deep drafts.

Deuce Vaughn, Dallas Cowboys (RB58)

Archetype: Contingent


The diminutive Deuce Vaughn has made waves in training camp and in the preseason as the fan-favorite to back up Tony Pollard in Dallas. That said, he's still working behind Rico Dowdle and Malik Davis; the latter being a cut candidate. He's going to push for a regular season role, but is still being drafted as he has the RB2 job locked up. I'm tempering expectations right now but keeping an open mind in some deeper managed leagues. Even then, he's being picked in drafts much higher than I'd prefer to draft him so I'm not getting much of him.

How to play Vaughn in drafts: I'm picking and choosing my spots, but his ADP has risen to the point where I'm not getting him because I'm not comfortable with the RB58 ADP.

Kareem Hunt, Free Agent (RB59)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, Receiving

Kareem Hunt still doesn’t have a team, and he likely doesn’t have a big role anytime soon with whatever team signs him — if they do. Hunt had a career-low 3.8 yards per carry last season and saw a dramatic workload shift in 2022. It’s definitely possible he just isn’t that good anymore, and the NFL market may be telling us that.


Hunt is still unsigned and while he's made visits to teams like the Vikings and Colts, it's a bigger sign than just being unsigned that teams aren't willing to sign him. Unless the asking price from Hunt is too high. I'd hard to draft him in any fantasy league, because what can you reasonably expect right now? A handful of carries behind one or more backs?

How to play Hunt in drafts: We're not missing anything with Hunt. Watch the news cycles to see if Hunt latches on anywhere during the season. He could be a waiver pickup depending on the landing spot.

Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns (RB60)

Archetype: possible ReceivingContingent

When you look at the depth chart for the Browns in 2023, Kareem Hunt is unsigned, D’Ernest Johnson is in Jacksonville, and Ford stands behind Nick Chubb as the clear backup. In drafts, you can definitely take advantage of this as this running game for Cleveland is high-volume (ninth-lowest pass rate in the NFL in 2022). Even if the run rate comes down, the efficiency likely comes up if Deshaun Watson gets back to the on-field Watson we knew from his time with the Texans.


Jerome Ford went down in early-August with a hamstring injury in practice and head coach Kevin Stefanski labeled him “week to week”. The Browns hope he will be back for Week 1 but it's unclear if Ford's injury had anything to do with the team trading for Pierre Strong from the Patriots. Since Ford hasn't played, it's a wait-and-see kind of thing right now with who plays behind Nick Chubb, but odds are Ford still has the grip on RB2 duties for now.

How to play Ford in drafts: Ford is a player that is got some buzz, but has been hurt and not practiced or played in a few weeks.. As a pure contingent play, should Chubb get hurt, Ford could tack on some sneaky receiving work as well left behind by Kareem Hunt to give him a further path to fantasy relevancy. He’s a deeper late-round target in best ball and seasonal formats.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (RB61)

Archetype: ContingentReceivingStandalone

The Carolina Panthers were left for dead when Christian McCaffrey was traded to the 49ers, but D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard picked up the pieces, and the backfield was pretty fantasy relevant at times. Hubbard was pretty efficient (4.9 yards per carry) and provided a receiving element as well through the back half of 2022.


We (I) are big Chuba Hubbard fans around these parts, and as a former track star, he's got some juice. But the best part? He was VERY efficient with it once Christian McCaffrey was traded. That's translated to the preseason in 2023, where he scored a touchdown against the Giants before tweaking his ankle and leaving the game. He was playing well above Raheem Blackshear and with Miles Sanders out for the preseason with a core muscle injury, Hubbard showed he can be that contingent back in the Panthers offense but potentially have some nice standalone value too. Hubbard's 1.55 yards per route run in a small sample size was excellent as well which lends itself to efficiency in a receiving role.

How to play Hubbard in drafts: Hubbard could carve out a receiving role and a bit of a standalone rushing role in tandem with Miles Sanders, but his real value lies in a contingent role should something happen to Sanders. A solid late-round flier in all formats.

Ty Chandler, Minnesota Vikings (RB62)

Archetype: Contingent, a bit Ambiguous

With the release of Dalvin Cook, the Vikings’ backfield opens up to Alexander Mattison as the presumed starter, with a host of others looking to come up for work, including 2022 rookie Ty Chandler, 2023 rookie DeWayne McBride, and special-teamer Kene Nwangwu.

Chandler looks ticketed for the first crack at this role, but it’s still very fluid. McBride was an excellent and productive runner in college but offers little receiving ability, and if it comes down to only keeping three running backs active on game day, the Vikings may opt to healthy scratch McBride as he’s not a special teams player. 

Chandler is explosive in his own right and got the initial endorsement from offensive coordinator Wes Phillips as the player who will “have to be” ready in the wake of Cook’s release.


Ty Chandler has been getting more and more buzz in recent weeks as a guy that could eat into Alexander Mattison's workload. Despite Kene Nwangwu's placement right after Mattison on the depth chart, Chandler has actually played in the preseason and has momentum. Plus there's this. We're in.

How to play Chandler in drafts: He’s purely a dart throw but has a pretty sizable contingent upside in an offense that clearly has to respect the passing game with Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson and first-round pick Jordan Addison.

Deon Jackson, Indianapolis Colts (RB63)

Archetype: Contingent, a bit Ambiguous, ReceivingStandalone

(if Jonathan Taylor is traded)


Jackson showed some actual receiving chops last season with 34 targets in spot duty. Two of those games had him earned 8+ targets, including 10 in Week 6. If Taylor is traded, Jackson may get the nod here over Evan Hull but it's likely a nasty split workload regardless, and then you add in Zack Moss when he comes back from his broken arm? If I was going to pick a horse (no pun intended) in this race, it'd be Jackson for fantasy purposes as he can at least chip in on the ground and tack on some receptions in full-PPR formats.

How to play Jackson in drafts: Purely a RB tack-on at the end of drafts at best right now to try and get the jump on a possible spike in usage should Taylor get traded. He gets the priority too in full-PPR.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (RB64)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous, Receiving

The thought of drafting Edwards-Helaire makes me a bit queasy, but the only reason that he’s on here is because of Isiah Pacheco likely missing the first part of training camp as he recovers from a torn labrum and broken hand. The Chiefs declined their fifth-year option on CEH but the thought is that if McKinnon (31 years old) declines and Pacheco needs some time to get back into on-field activities, that Edwards-Helaire could find his way into touches.

This is my pie-in-the-sky hope, but you won’t have to draft him in seasonal formats and as a last-round pick in CEH if you desire.


Isiah Pacheco is back on the field for Week 3's preseason action, so the torn labrum must be feeling as close to fine as it gets. Pacheco coming back knocks what remaining wind CEH had in his sails. Ignore on draft day except for super deep leagues.

How to play Edwards-Helaire in drafts: CEH should mix into the backfield equation, but he's not a priority to draft in any format. He's likely going to land on waiver wires and he can be a contingent play should something happen to either Pacheco or McKinnon.

Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (RB65)

Archetype: ContingentReceiving

With Tyler Allgeier and newly-minted stud running back Bijan Robinson in tow, Patterson likely shifts to more of a receiving role in this offense. After Drake London and Kyle Pitts, the Falcons could use some playmaking ability in the passing game. Patterson could work out in that role, but he’s 32 and is as equally in danger of being phased out of the offense too. He’ll always have a role on special teams as long as he’s on a roster, but I’d recommend keeping an eye on him.


A little more than a week ago, head coach Arthur Smith said that Cordarrelle Patterson would miss the remainder of the preseason with a soft-tissue injury and would be re-evaluated for Week 1. Smith did not disclose the actual location of that soft-tissue injury, but that's a definite concern for the elder statesman of the Falcons' offense. Patterson, who is in his age-32 season, is likely going undrafted in most leagues and can be checked in on during the beginning of the season if he can come back and find a role in the low-volume passing game, which is where he would have the most impact with Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier entrenched at running back on the depth chart.

How to play Patterson in drafts: You likely won’t have to draft him in seasonal formats, but somebody may as a legacy pick. In best ball, he’s a final-round pick.

Leonard Fournette, Free Agent (RB66)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguousReceivingStandalone

I don’t particularly care for Fournette as a fantasy option, but he does offer receiving ability and is a load to bring down. That will eventually attract a suitor should a back get hurt or a team looks to add a veteran back into their stable.


Not much has changed, as Fournette is still without a team and likely won't be until during the season, where he'll be somebody who headlines a waiver-wire column here on Fantasy Alarm for when he does get signed. Until then? I'm ignoring him. The market is telling us what to think of him.

How to play Fournette in drafts: The role Fournette would get if signed is looking more situational and very much part-time the deeper we get towards and into the season. I'm not drafting him, but I'll consider him on waivers based on the team he signs with and the projected role.

Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals (RB67)

Archetype: possibly Receiving


The slight favorite to be the RB2 behind Joe Mixon thanks to a Trayveon Williams ankle injury, Chris Evans and rookie Chase Brown are battling for that designation. I'm just not sure Evans is even that good to be honest as he ceded everything to Samaje Perine and never resurfaced last season. Evans feels like a placeholder and not somebody to seriously target. Evans definitely gives me "red herring" vibes.

How to play Evans in drafts: I'm typically not, but he's a watch list type of guy in case he can gain a role in Week 1 and hold on for dear life.


Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams (RB68)

Archetype: Contingent, some Receiving


The buzz throughout Rams camp is that Kyren Williams seems ticketed for a bigger impact in the passing game, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. This backfield could be more of a committee than we expect this season, so I'm willing to bump Williams up a little bit to account for that. The Rams need pass-catchers no matter the position so the guy getting buzz for that role is on my radar as somebody that can immediately pay off his ADP. Zach Evans may not even make the roster, which is pretty telling. Williams seems safe.

How to play Williams in drafts: He's a solid late-round pick right now in a pass-catching group that needs bodies. As much as we love Cooper Kupp, the names surrounding Matthew Stafford aren't as compelling. Williams has had a great camp by all accounts and he could bring some of that momentum into the regular season. He's a stash for sure.

Evan Hull, Indianapolis Colts (RB69)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous

(if Jonathan Taylor is traded)


Despite a #nice ranking, Hull's fantasy prospects are dependent on the Jonathan Taylor saga that's playing out in real time. If Taylor is traded before Week 1, Hull and Deon Jackson could split the workload with Hull potentially getting more red and green-zone touches.

How to play Hull in drafts: He's a purely speculative pick in the super-late rounds, but one that could see some carries in the event of a Taylor trade. Keep your eyes peeled on how this Colts' backfield saga unfolds.

Keaontay Ingram, Arizona Cardinals (RB70)

Archetype: Contingent


Ingram seems like the crystal-clear RB2 in what may be the worst offense in the NFL this season. James Conner has missed at least two games in every season he's played in the NFL, so Ingram could find some run here in 2023, but a backup running back on the worst offense in the NFL doesn't scream a lot of high-value touches or touchdown equity. Still, it could be worse.

How to play Ingram in drafts: Only in deep formats am I spending a late-pick on Ingram and even then, I'm just not sure it's worth it. Maybe the Cardinals surprise and Kyler Murray plays more than we anticipate, but that's a thin bet.

Chase Brown, Cincinnati Bengals (RB71)

Archetype: Contingent

Chase Brown was very productive at Illinois and now finds himself in the mix with the Bengals as a rookie who was selected in the fifth round. A lot of the initial contingent value lies with Joe Mixon’s situation if he’s suspended or not. The buzz in early off-season team activities skews towards Trayveon Williams being the main beneficiary if Mixon misses time, but Brown could be a late-season upswing back.


With Williams' ankle injury, Brown has taken the initial backseat to Chris Evans in the RB2 pecking order in Cincinnati. I do like Brown's prospects as the season goes in if there's going to be another back that matters outside of Mixon, but ultimately, Brown is a contingent bench stash in the event that Mixon gets hurt, but it may not be Brown getting the first crack at taking the biggest slice of the workload.

How to play Brown in drafts: Brown's pure 100% hope is that of a contingent role, but he may have to comb through two backs instead of one to see any viable fantasy value. I’m fine not drafting him but keeping tabs on news related to the Bengals' backfield.

Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers (RB72)

Archetype: Contingent


We've been trying to make RB2 a thing with the Chargers for a while now and so have they. From Justin Jackson to Joshua Kelley to Larry Rountree to Isaiah Spiller and now back to Kelley, he should have the RB2 job heading into the season. A lot of that RB2 work ends up being low-value touches since Austin Ekeler racks up the high-value touches (receptions, carries inside the 10). The contingent value seems much higher than it really is, but historically, the backfield splits off between multiple backs in the event Ekeler is hurt.

How to play Kelley in drafts: Kelley is one of the least sexy backup running back picks each year and seems to do enough to be moderately relevant but not productive enough to be viable in fantasy. 2023 continues this trend. He's a deep bench stash that can be churned out for better waiver wire pickups later.

Sean Tucker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (RB73)

Archetype: Contingent, slightly Ambiguous


We might have something here. After going undrafted after news of a heart condition, Tucker was medically cleared and is already splitting first-team reps in practice with Rachaad White. Tucker's place on this team is basically assured but whether Tucker can chip away at some work in this backfield remains to be seen. He seems to have the leg up on Ke'Shawn Vaughn for RB3 duties and is coming for Chase Edmonds, who is the current RB2 on the depth chart, so this fast riser in fantasy drafts may gain enough steam to be a consideration as the last pick in redraft leagues.

How to play Tucker in drafts: He's a perfectly fine last pick in drafts. Rachaad White wasn't very efficient last season, so there's some possible work to be had in this offense for Tucker. I'm game to take a shot or two on him wherever I can get him.

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts (RB74)

Archetype: ContingentAmbiguous


Moss broke his forearm on July 31st and underwent surgery the next day. With the Colts' backfield in flux with the Jonathan Taylor trade winds circling, Evan Hull and Deon Jackson head up the backfield in the interim and if Taylor is traded, Moss could come back in a few weeks and waltz into some carries as he did at the end of last season when Taylor was lost for the last quarter of 2022.

How to play Moss in drafts: Only in deep leagues am I drafting Moss. He's certainly not a priority on draft day, but take a wait and see approach with this backfield because a lot could change in short order.

Latavius Murray, Buffalo Bills (RB75)

Archetype: Contingent, ever so slightly Ambiguous


It's looking like the Bills' backfield duties are going to be split three ways, with Murray getting some run after James Cook and Damien Harris, but certainly not enough to matter in fantasy currently. He's going to be a watch list candidate, as with any injury to either player, Murray could find himself some carries as he always does.

How to play Murray in drafts: I'm drafting him only in the deepest of formats, but keeping an eye on him in case of any injury to Cook or Harris. The Bills offense is one to target because of the high-value touch upside in it.

Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys (RB76)

Archetype: Contingent


Dowdle has been hanging around the Cowboys' roster for the last couple of seasons, but he's hung around and now stands to get the first crack at the RB2 duties behind Tony Pollard. The team notably did not bring back the ghost of Ezekiel Elliott, so it's wide open behind Pollard. Dowdle has pretty good size (5-foot-11, 218 pounds) and could be a menace touchdown vulture if the team doesn't fully trust Pollard with goal-line carries. This is somebody to not draft, but keep tabs on as we get into the season and beyond.

How to play Dowdle in drafts: I'm not drafting him in typical 10-12 team leagues, but he's certainly worth keeping an eye on, as the backfield mix of Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn could prove to be a real thinker if something happens to Pollard.