2023 Fantasy RB Rankings and Our Top 5 Picks
The running back position has changed a lot, even over the last 10 years. While NFL teams certainly need running backs on their rosters, they seem to devote less and less capital toward them, especially when it comes time for a second contract.
We’re seeing players like Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott get cut from their respective teams, even though they seemingly have plenty left in the tank. Even though teams aren’t necessarily showing them the love that many fans believe they deserve, they are still a vital part of our fantasy rosters.
Today, we’re going to identify our five favorite running backs at their current ADP, which is provided via Underdog’s best ball drafts.
|34||Melvin Gordon III||Broncos||9|
Josh Jacobs- Current ADP 27.9, RB10
There are a few unknowns surrounding Josh Jacobs at the moment. He is slated to suit up for the Las Vegas Raiders under the franchise tag this season, but contract disputes between him and the organization could jeopardize that.
As of this moment, he hasn’t signed the tag, which indicates that he is unhappy with the way things are going. This has caused him to shoot down draft boards, drastically impacting his overall ADP to the 10th running back on the board.
If he’s truly available near the beginning of the third round this season, I’m going to snatch him up in every single league I’m in. He is coming off leading the league in rushing yards and scored 12 rushing touchdowns as well.
While I normally tend to be risk-averse with my first three or four picks, the potential upside that Jacobs presents is simply too good to pass up at this current value.
Aaron Jones- Current ADP 53.8, RB17
My analysis of Aaron Jones is relatively similar to that of Jacobs. He produced well last season, rushing for 1,121 yards and six touchdowns last season, and added 59 receptions for 395 yards and five touchdowns. This was with Aaron Rodgers still on the team.
Now that Jordan Love is the Green Bay Packers quarterback, we’re expecting more rushing work for Jones, along with the potential for more check-down passes as well. While we like Jones’ value here in any format, it’s especially intriguing in full PPR leagues.
Plus, his current ADP finds him behind Jahmyr Gibbs, Joe Mixon, and Kenneth Walker. All three of those players are surrounded by big question marks, but Jones is a known entity. I’ll gladly wait for another round on RB if it means getting Jones in the middle of the fourth round.
Isiah Pacheco- Current ADP 81.9, RB 24
Isiah Pacheco was one of the most surprising players during the 2022 NFL Season. Despite being a seventh-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs, Pacheco proved to be a valuable asset.
His ability to run violently while gaining nearly five yards per carry was noted by many, which is why his ADP is this elevated, to begin with. However, I actually think this is a little low for him.
I’d much rather have Pacheco than D’Andre Swift and Cam Akers, both are going ahead of him at the moment. Being associated with Patrick Mahomes is generally a good thing, and we’re expecting more big things out of Pacheco this season as a result.
James Conner- Current ADP 87.4, RB28
If I am lucky enough to get James Conner at the beginning of the seventh round of drafts, I’ll be one happy camper. Conner has little-to-no competition on the Arizona Cardinals, leaving Conner with the majority of rushing opportunities.
The Cardinals didn’t address this position in the draft, a strong indication that Conner is their guy for at least one more season. Plus, the Cardinals have a lot of holes and question marks up and down their roster.
If Conner is healthy, he’s going to be a workhorse back this season, making his current ADP seem like an absolute steal in drafts.
Javonte Williams- Current ADP 93.9, RB29
Javonte Williams is coming off an ACL tear, which has caused his ADP to fall significantly. He’s certainly a risk to draft this season, there’s no doubt about that. But, at this point in the draft, if I can get a starting running back, I’m more than happy to take on that risk.
While Williams only started in one game during his rookie campaign, he did appear in each of the Denver Broncos’ 17 games. He racked up 903 rushing yards and four touchdowns, adding in 43 receptions for an additional 316 yards and three touchdowns.
Williams provides a similar value to Aaron Jones. If the Broncos struggle at all in the passing game, he could be called upon in the check-down game, and utilized as a power back as well, assuming he’s fully healthy.