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2023 Fantasy Football Rankings: First look at Fantasy Football Today’s top 12 running backs

2023 Fantasy Football Rankings: First look at Fantasy Football Today’s top 12 running backs

The 2022 season isn’t over yet, the NFL playoffs are about to begin, but we’re already looking ahead to next year. We want to make sure you’re more than ready for 2023 Fantasy football company.

With that in mind, here’s an early look at our top 12 Fantasy running backs for 2023 in PPR, and it’s highly subject to change. We know a lot is going to happen between now and the start of training camp — coaching changes, free air, etc. The NFL Draftetc. — and we’ll adjust our rating accordingly.

But for now, here’s a first look at the top 12 running backs for 2023 from Adam Iser, Heath Cummings, Dave Richard, Chris Towers and myself. Start your preparation now – and hopefully win the championship this season.

Adam Iser

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Austin Thank you

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Saquon Barkley

5. Joe Mixon

6. Derrick Henry

7. Travis Etienne

8. Kenneth Walker III

9. Josh Jacobs

10. D’Andre Swift

11. Brice Hall

12. Javonte Williams

Heath Cummings

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Saquon Barkley

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Austin Thank you

5. Joe Mixon

6. Kenneth Walker III

7. Travis Etienne

8. Josh Jacobs

9. Derrick Henry

10. Brice Hall

11. Nick Chubb

12. Dalvin Cook

Jamie Eisenberg

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Austin Thank you

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Saquon Barkley

5. Kenneth Walker III

6. Travis Etienne

7. Joe Mixon

8. Josh Jacobs

9. Derrick Henry

10. Brice Hall

11. Tony Pollard

12. Ramond Stevenson

Dave Richard

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Austin Thank you

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Saquon Barkley

5. Kenneth Walker

6. Derrick Henry

7. Josh Jacobs

8. Naji Harris

9. Brice Hall

10. Joe Mixon

11. Nick Chubb

12. Travis Etienne

Chris Towers

1. Austin Thank you

2. Christian McCaffrey

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Saquon Barkley

5. Josh Jacobs

6. Derrick Henry

7. Brice Hall

8. Joe Mixon

9. Nick Chubb

10. Tony Pollard

11. Dalvin Cook

12. Ramond Stevenson

Welcome, Christian McCaffrey. Over the past two seasons, we’ve been waiting to see what McCaffrey can do when he’s healthy, and he’s shown it to us in 2022 — with two different teams. McCaffrey averaged 21.1 PPR points per game on the season, second only to Ekeler (21.9). But McCaffrey was amazing with 49erswhich gives us hope for another strong campaign in 2023.

He averaged 22.2 PPR points per game in San Francisco’s last 10 games, including five outings of at least 25 PPR points. He also had 50 catches in that span. While he can share touches with Elijah Mitchell McCaffrey should get plenty of work next season to justify being drafted as the No. 1 pick in all leagues and a potential No. 1 overall pick.

Chris now has Ekeler as the No. 1 running back — he’s No. 2 for Adam, Dave and I and No. 4 for Heath — and Ekeler should be terrific again. This is the second year in a row that he has averaged at least 21.5 PPR points per game, and hopefully that will continue in 2023. The only issue could be his age (28 in May) and a potential decline could occur. Countering that, he wasn’t a popular running back until 2021, so hopefully there isn’t a lot of wear and tear on his body.

Taylor is the consensus #3 running back for all of us, and hopefully he’ll bounce back in 2023 after a bad 2022. Taylor, the No. 1 leader in 2021 at 21.9 PPR points per game, has struggled with injuries and a disastrous situation around him this season and averaged just 13.3 PPR points per game. He is only 24 and we are waiting Colts upgrade the coach, quarterback and offensive line this offseason, so we’re all back in Taylor.

Barkley is a top four running back for all of us (he’s No. 2 for the Heat) and it was nice to see him bounce back in 2022 after two down seasons. He averaged 17.8 PPR points per game, his best season since 2019. Barkley hits free agency this offseason, so his Fantasy value could change dramatically if he leaves the team Giants. But if he stays, which is ideal, he’ll be with a great coach in Brian Daball and a surging offensive line. He’ll also only be 26, so another season of outstanding production is just around the corner.

When we get to #5, things start to change in our rankings. Adam and Heath have Mixon, Dave and I have Walker, and Chris has Jacobs.

Let’s start with Mixon, who averaged 17.1 PPR points per game on the season but topped 17 PPR points just twice, including 54 points in Week 9. Mixon’s positives include career highs in targets (75), catches (60) and receiving yards (441) in just 14 games. But he went from 16 total touchdowns in 2021 to just nine in 2022, and his yards per carry dropped to 3.9. I expect Mixon’s touchdowns to rebound in 2023 because he plays in an explosive offense, and if his reception totals stay in that range, then he’s worth drafting as a No. 5 running back.

I’ll take Walker ahead of Mixon, and I like what Walker did as a rookie. He only averaged 13.5 PPR points per game on the season, but in his last 11 healthy games, he averaged 17.2 PPR points per game. The Sea hawks have plenty of draft capital to improve their offensive line, which should be strong in 2023, and Walker will get plenty of work under coach Pete Carroll. I’m surprised Chris doesn’t have it in the top 12.

As for Chris, he goes with Jacobs at #5 and he just came out on top NFL in rushing yards with 1,653. He also averaged 19.3 PPR points per game and was exceptional. He’s a free agent this offseason, so we’ll see where he ends up, and his Fantasy outlook could change dramatically with a new team. We also have to see who will end up at quarterback for Raidersand there will be a lot of monitoring to do with Jacobs over the next few months.

Adam, Dave and Chris have Henry ranked No. 6, and he had another great season in 2022 with 19.0 PPR points per game. That’s four straight seasons of 19.0 PPR points per game or higher, and we’ll see if he can do it again in 2023. It’s hard to bet against Henry, but he’s 29 and his father’s time is drawing near. He also has a poor offensive line, questionable quarterback situation and Titans fired their offensive coordinator in Todd Downing this week. Heath and I are most worried about Henry, who is ranked #9 for both of us.

I’d rather play for Etienne than Henry and Etienne can be a star in 2023 with Jaguars on the rise. He averaged just 12.1 PPR points per game, but he had four games with at least 18 PPR points in his last 10 healthy outings after James Robinson was sold at Jet planes. We’ll see what Jacksonville does to complement Etienne next season, but he’s rising to a potentially explosive team, making him desirable in the 2nd round.

The last consensus returner for all of us is Hall, and I’ll move him up if he’s ready for Week 1. He tore his ACL in Week 7, but was a star before the injury, averaging 16. 4 PPR points per game. That includes scoring 13 PPR points in a game when he was injured in Denver when he had just four carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. I hope his rehab goes well and we get positive reports all offseason.

Adam has Swift and Williams in his top 12, and I hope Williams is ready for Week 1 after tearing his ACL in Week 4. He only had one game with more than nine PPR points before getting hurt, but he has a lot potential if he can return to full strength early in the season. And Swift could be a star if Lviv made him their top running back. In 2022, he had three games with double-digit carries and scored at least 20 PPR points in all of them. Jamal Williams is a free agent this offseason, so perhaps Swift will finally have a breakthrough in 2023.

Heath and Chris have Chubb and Cook in the top 12, while Dave has Chubb at No. 11. Chubb had another great season in 2022 with 16.6 PPR points per game, and could see a boost in value if Kareem Hunt leaves as a free agent. Chubb is not in the top 12 for me. I’m more concerned about Cook, who will be 28 years old and had a poor 2022 season with 14.0 PPR points per game. This is his worst season since 2018, and it’s hard to count on him rebounding to a much higher level in 2023.

Chris Pollard and Stephenson are in the top 12 for me and Chris. I ranked them this high based on a few contingencies. With Pollard fresh off a career-high 15.6 PPR points per game, I hope he re-signs with Dallas as a free agent and Cowboys move away from Ezekiel Elliott. If that happens, Pollard will have the edge in the top five in all leagues. And Stevenson could benefit greatly if he did Damian Harris leaves New England as a free agent. In 2022, Stevenson had a great season with 14.7 PPR points per game and could be even better if Patriots upgrade their offense this offseason.

The last difference for any of us is Dave with Harris at No. 8. He had a flop season, going from 17.7 PPR points per game in 2021 to 13.2, but he ended the year on a high note with four straight outings at least for 14 ppr. Harris’ biggest difference from his rookie season was his role in the passing game, which went from 74 catches on 94 targets to 41 catches on 53 targets. I’m not sure his receptions will pick up in 2023, so he’s out of the top 12 for me.





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