As we are winding our way through the NFL pre-season, everyone only has one thing on their mind– Fantasy Football.
One of the biggest keys to winning your fantasy football leagues every year is to draft stud running backs. They consistently can get a solid workload on a game-to-game basis, helping your team win the week. No matter what round you are in, the best fantasy advice is to look at the board for a good running back that can help you win. Get a leg up on the competition this year with our list of running back studs that you should draft onto your team. Getting more value out of your selection helps teams win and that is what our list is about.
TOP 10 UNDERVALUED FANTASY FOOTBALL RUNNING BACKS
1. The top spot on our list goes the top rookie running back from last year, Alabama‘s Najee Harris. The Pittsburgh Steelers top fantasy option looks to inherit another full season as the 3-down back in the Steel City this year. Along with the tremendous upside he provides with his rushing ability, he also catches passes at an above-average rate, which will push him past other backs in a PPR format. With either Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett throwing him the ball this year he should see plenty of opportunities.
2. The next running back is former Seminole, current Viking, Dalvin Cook who, even coming off a slight injury last year, is looking to regain top spot as a fantasy running back. Like Najee, Dalvin also catches passes at a high rate and in a Minnesota Vikings offense led by Kirk Cousins with two downfield weapons in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen there will be a lot of space to operate in the underneath routes where Dalvin Cook presents a matchup nightmare 1-on-1 with linebackers. He even has more upside as a runner with high-end breakaway speed. However, with lingering injury risk he is only number 2 in our rankings.
3. In our number three spot we have Cleveland Browns running back, former Georgia Bulldog, Nick Chubb, who is looking to have a very increased workload following the suspension of Deshaun Watson. Having Jacoby Brissett is a nice backup, but the Browns will look to lean much heavier on their amazing offensive line with Chubb running the ball. While Chubb is a Top 5 running back, he doesn’t offer Top 5 receiving skills like some other RB1s do and they will look to take Chubb off of the field in those long 3rd down situations.
4. Our 4th RB is Tennessee Titans monster running back Derrick Henry. Henry is easily one of the biggest and fastest players in the entire league- two qualities that keep him at the top of the game in his 7th season. Always a favorite to rush for over 2,000 yards, he surpassed that mark in only 16 games in 2020. The Titans did trade their best receiver, A.J. Brown, to the Philadelphia Eagles, so that will reduce their passing game but will also cause them to lean upon Henry to help carry the load.
5. The 5th spot belongs to Kansas City Chiefs back Clyde Edwards-Helaire who enters the 2022 season with a lot to prove. After sustaining an injury last season, he looks to rebound with a bounce-back season. The LSU Tigers superstar had a great rookie season but did not impress fantasy managers last year. We are looking for Clyde to have a big third season after losing Tyreek Hill from this dynamic offense. There will be plenty of work to go around and that should help Edwards-Helaire get back on track.
6. The number six spot on our list is Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins, who also is looking to have a rebound season in 2022. He injured his knee last pre-season and missed the entire year. This offense is based heavily on the running backs handing the load to open up the rest of the playbook. Dobbins has been a standout since his college days with the Ohio State Buckeyes, running similar read-option concepts where he had a great deal of success. Dobbins looks healthy coming into camp and has massive upside for fantasy managers.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars second-year RB Travis Etienne Jr. is number seven on our list of undervalued running backs. Etienne, like Dobbins before him, missed out on the entire 2021 season. Unlike Dobbins, Etienne doesn’t have the same track record for fantasy managers to rely upon. Even with the unknown, we love where Etienne fits into this Jaguars offense. James Robinson tore his Achilles last December which has opened the door wide for Etienne to get all of the touches until Robinson can get back to 100%. No one knows any timelines on this injury, so until further news arrives, this bodes extremely well for the value of Travis Etienne on fantasy teams. If Etienne handles the workload well, Robinson could be the odd man out.
8. The eighth spot goes to Najee Harris’ older brother, New England Patriots running back Damien Harris. Harris was the 2021 fantasy breakout, scoring 15 touchdowns for the Mac Jones-led Patriots. The Patriots have had a committee approach at the running back position for quite some time and this type of approach usually gives fantasy managers huge headaches. However, Damien Harris looks to have an edge over fellow committee members Rhamondre Stevenson, Ty Montgomery and Pierre Strong Jr. Harris might not get back to 15 touchdowns, but he will be scoring plenty with Bill Belichick consistently trying to pound the ball into the end zone while in the red zone.
9. Super Bowl LVI Champion Cam Akers will be our number nine running back who is undervalued. Akers, in his third year out of FSU, will be the Los Angeles Rams starting running back Week One, even with the injury last season. Darrell Henderson is a solid backup but shouldn’t eat too much into the workload for Akers, who showed that he could be a running back that this high-powered offense can lean on. Akers is the complete package and can be a threat in the pass game as well. He is being drafted in fantasy leagues far too low and could help win some leagues this season.
10. Our final spot belongs to Georgia Bulldogs National Champion, Buffalo Bills rookie James Cook. Cook, who is Dalvin’s younger brother, is finding himself in a very favorable situation, similar to his sibling. Devin Singletary may be the starting running back for the Bills, but James Cook looks to be the favored third down back for Josh Allen to check down to, getting the easy first downs after Allen’s playmaking ability creates additional time in the pocket. James Cook is getting drafted fairly low in most drafts this year and can provide Top 20 running back value in PPR formats.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of Undervalued Fantasy Running Backs for the 2022-2023 season. Stay tuned next week for our next installment of The Fantasy Football Draft Diaries – brought to you by SportsCollectibles.com! Start every morning with a healthy dose of SportsCollectibles.com! But seriously, find all of your fantasy faves autographed jerseys, autographed helmets, autographed footballs and more when you SHOP NOW. Save an EXTRA 10%* on your order with today’s exclusive blog discount code RBFFBLOG22. Plus, Free US Shipping on all orders over $100.* Start your collection or add to it today!
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