Despite the fact that passing has taken center stage in the NFL in recent years, running back remains the most valuable position in fantasy leagues. There is still a significant gap between running backs (RBs) and players at other positions (Positional Drop-Off), and getting the right RBs in your draft can make or break your championship hopes. Here are the 2022 fantasy RB rankings that will help you decide who to draft and who to stash for potential upside.
In the top five picks of the draft, any runner will do; last year’s Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry’s 2020 production will put them in the conversation for greatest individual rushing campaigns of all time. What you do in the final minutes of the first round, as well as the rounds two through seven, is crucial to your season’s outcome. Success in fantasy sports leagues can be achieved by selecting players from the middle tiers who end up making significant contributions and by getting early-round value with late-round selections.
PPR RANKINGS FOR 2022: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Defensive Ends, Kickers, the Top 200, and the Superflex
Take into account the RB’s touches and opportunities, offensive line strength, injury history, passing-game role, and more when drafting in standard or PPR formats. Receiving from the running back position is valuable even in standard scoring leagues.
INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS FOR 2022: QBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers | Top 200 | Superflex
In typical leagues, players like Austin Ekeler and Najee Harris might be considered “less valuable.” Non-PPR rankings for 2021 had them in second and fourth place, respectively. Even though Ekeler and Harris’ total point totals were 70 points lower in standard leagues than in PPR leagues, they still racked up a respectable 66 and 47 points, respectively, thanks to their receiving yardage. Compared to opponents who focus solely on rushing yardage and touchdowns, that’s a huge advantage, and specifics like catch rate (74.5 percent for Ekeler, 78.7 percent for Harris) and targets (94 for each) will give you an even bigger one.
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | RANKINGS, TIES, & DRAFT STRATEGY FOR 2022
Whether you plan to draft two running backs in the first two rounds, two in the first three rounds, or three in total by round five, you’ll want to be well stocked in the rushing department. Finding a quarterback, wide receiver, or tight end late in a draft or on the waiver wire is much simpler than trying to find a running back or replacing an injured or ineffective one during the season.
Auction Values (2022): Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Defensive Backs, Kickers, and Overall
Positionally, the 2017 backfield that went seventeenth to thirty-second overall (Chris Carson to Ronald Jones) ranked fifth-to-last overall (51.6). Without even counting the flex value of picks made in the fourth and fifth rounds, that’s a huge loss. In standard leagues, you can’t afford to put off building your roster until you have a deeper pool of running backs.
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | 1 per team in 2022 FANTASY SLEEPERS
There are a few high-risk, high-reward backs among the first-tier studs we’ve already covered this year. Knowing how to avoid the boom-or-bust prospects and estimate the likelihood of long-term injury is crucial to having a successful draft.
RELIABILITY STANDARDS FOR 2022: Playing positions: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end
Dalvin Cook is, pound-for-pound, the best running back who isn’t named Henry or Taylor, but he can never seem to stay healthy. He has never played more than 14 games in a season, despite his 4.7 career yards per carry average, 78.8 percent career catch rate, and 30 total touchdowns scored in 2019 and 2020. Nick Chubb just had his second straight season with more than 5.5 yards per carry, but he is likely to lose his new quarterback, Deshaun Watson, to suspension. Former No. 1 overall pick Christian McCaffrey has been sidelined by injuries for the better part of three years and has played in only 10 games over the past two seasons. In addition to losing his longtime offensive-minded coach, Alvin Kamara could be suspended for an off-field incident, Antonio Gibson could repeat his disappointing performance from a year ago, and Ezekiel Elliott could be done for the year. What about Saquon Barkley? To what shall we devote our first steps?
We then skip the uncertain waters, where the big catch could be hiding, and head straight into the territory of breakout and sleeper players. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the potential of young running backs like Javonte Williams, D’Andre Swift, Cam Akers, JK Dobbins, and Elijah Mitchell, while we have some reservations about the prospects of seasoned workhorses like James Conner and Aaron Jones. Many others, such as Travis Etienne Jr., Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Josh Jacobs, will be banking on a healthy season and some assistance from their offensive lines.
Snake drafts | Auctions | Dynasty | Best ball | IDP leagues | 2022 Fantasy Draft Strategy
And don’t forget the rookies, who are always a crowd pleaser. It’s a given that many rookies, such as Breece Hall, James Cook, Kenneth Walker III, Dameon Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, and others, will start the season for your fantasy team.
There will be a lot of movement in the rankings below as we approach Week 1. It’s likely that there will be a number of personnel changes early in the season due to things like injuries, how players fare in preseason games, and even unexpected trades and releases. Remember to return often to read our latest player analysis and updates. See here for a comprehensive breakdown of the game’s most valuable RBs.
RIDE TO VICTORY IN YOUR 2022 FANTASY DRAFT: The Ultimate Resource Guide
Here are the 2022 season’s best running backs and sleepers for your fantasy league.
Rankings are determined using conventional (non-PPR) scoring methods.
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