From bell cow, workhorse backs to full on backfield committees, running backs have become very valuable in the NFL. Their value in fantasy football is almost the same, maybe even more. While their careers may be shorter compared to other positions, picking the right running back can be a league winner in your dynasty or redraft leagues. Here are our top 10 running backs for the 2022 fantasy season.
#10 Ezekiel Elliott
While Tony Pollard has started get more playing time in the Cowboys backfield, Zeke is still one of the premiere backs in the league. He has managed to maintain a top 10 fantasy RB ranking ever since his rookie season in 2016. Zeke is currently the 32nd player taken in redraft leagues which is RB17 overall. A starting running back on one of the best offenses in the league is being taken towards the end of third rounds in fantasy drafts. Elliott might just be one of the better values at ADP this season.
#9 Saquon Barkley
A running back plagued with injury might be in for a bounce back year. Barkley was hyped up to be one of the top backs in the league for years to come. He has shown glimpses of his greatness but has been able to stay on the field enough due to injury. Now with a complete overhaul in the Giants coaching staff and front office as well as upgrades to the o-line, Saquon might be able to return to relevant fantasy status. Currently taken as RB14 off draft boards, he might be worth a 3rd round pick.
#8 Joe Mixon
If 1200 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns and a Super Bowl run isn’t enough than I don’t know what is. Joe Mixon has definitely solidified himself as a top 10 back in the NFL as well as fantasy football. The Bengals offense overall is one of the best in the league with Joe Burrow under center, Ja’Marr Chase leading the best receiving core in the league, and major upgrades to the offensive line. Joe Mixon will most likely meet his RB7 draft value in 2022.
#7 Derrick Henry
It might be surprise to see Henry so low on this list but it’s for good reason. There is no doubt that Henry is a top 10 back in the NFL. However, being taken at RB4 in fantasy drafts may be too high for the Titans’ top back. Henry has never really been known for his pass catching, which is something that all of running backs are starting to become better at. Henry is also 28 years old, an age area where many successful running backs have been known to fall off in productivity. Players like Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, and LeSean McCoy have all seen a major dip in stats around the 28 year range. The foot injury Henry suffered last season might also affect his play as well. Nevertheless, he will still perform and should be relatively productive in fantasy this season.
#6 Dalvin Cook
Having rushed for over 1100 yards in each of the past three seasons, Dalvin Cook has been able maintain relevant fantasy production an will continue to into the 2022 season. However, if you’re planning on drafting Cook you will more than likely have to draft the Vikings backup running back Alexander Mattison. Cook hasn’t played a full season in the NFL since he was drafted back in 2017. Having both backs in your lineup will secure an RB1 on your team for the 2022 fantasy football season.
#5 Austin Ekeler
RB2 on draft boards might be too high for the Chargers lead back. Ekeler had an amazing season last year rushing for over 900 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He also finished with 70 receptions for over 600 receiving yards and 8 receiving touchdowns. However, Ekeler has been known to not be a three down back. The Chargers are aware of this, having drafted Isaiah Spiller, running back out of Texas A&M. Ekeler will more than likely still have a great fantasy season but RB2 is just too expensive.
#4 Aaron Jones
With the loss of Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, there are a boat load of targets up for grabs in the Green Bay Packers offense. Aaron Jones is first in line to receive a majority of those targets. He has more than earned the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and has proven to be a great pass catcher. The Packers have been using AJ Dillon a lot in the back field so we may seen Jones line up wide or maybe in slot. Jones is in line to be one of the more versatile backs in all of football. All this at RB12 is an absolute steal.
#3 Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara might just be the most talented back in all of football. He has been one of the top targets in this New Orleans Saints offense for a few years now. Now with uncertainty in Michael Thomas’ injury status and and now real competition in the Saints backfield, Kamara could be one of the top players in targets and carries. This is all barring he beats his legal hearing in August. If that ends up being the case, you might be able to get a RB1 candidate at RB8.
#2 Christian McCaffrey
The fantasy football poster boy is no longer being taken has the RB1 in fantasy drafts. McCaffrey is now being draft as the RB3 for this upcoming season. The only thing keeping CMC from being the best player in fantasy is his injuries. If you plan on draft CMC this season, expect to have him miss at least 3-4 games during the season. If the Panthers are able to upgrade their QB in the offseason, we might see an uptick in McCaffrey’s already amazing production.
#1 Jonathon Taylor
Taylor exploded onto the fantasy rankings last season finishing with of 1800 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. Having one of the best o-lines in football and getting an upgrade in QB with Matt Ryan only makes Taylor more valuable. He is currently the top player taken in fantasy drafts and rightfully so. With how successful he has played so far, we expect Taylor to have one of the best running careers in NFL history.
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