Top RBs Going Into the 2024 NFL Season

The NFL season is on the horizon and these running backs should undoubtedly be added to your shortlist when the drafts come around.

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: May 29, 2024
Top RBs Going Into the 2024 NFL Season

The NFL season is only 3 months away, and we’re already strategizing our drafts and daily fantasy sports lineups. It’s good to have your ducks in a row before the training camps so you know who to have an eye on.

The RB position remains a cornerstone for building a winning team, whether it's for season-long leagues or DFS formats. So, with that, we’re highlighting the top RBs expected to shine this season, discussing their strengths, potential downsides, and suitability for different DFS formats.

Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers

Christian McCaffrey is once again positioned as the top RB for the 2024 season. Following an outstanding 2023 campaign, where he averaged an impressive 24.5 PPR points per game, McCaffrey's all-around game makes him a fantasy football juggernaut. We have no indicators that he’s slowing down and will probably put up some massive FP this season as well.

Why McCaffrey Will Dominate DFS

McCaffrey's versatility is simply unmatched throughout the league. He excels both as a runner and a receiver, making him a dual-threat on the field and making him nearly unstoppable. In Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme, McCaffrey thrives, regularly seeing high usage in both the running and passing game, which means he gets running and receiving FP. This consistent volume ensures a high floor for cash games, while his ability to break off big plays provides the ceiling needed for Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs).

Potential Downsides

Injuries have been a concern for McCaffrey in past seasons. However, his 2023 performance suggests he's back to peak durability and with the offseason he’s most likely to be stronger than before. DFS players should keep an eye on his health status throughout the season, as his workload can sometimes lead to wear and tear. On top of that, being one of the best RBs in the league means he’ll also command a high salary. So, keep that in mind when looking to draft him.

DFS Suitability

McCaffrey is great for both cash games and GPPs. His high floor and ceiling make him a reliable pick for any DFS lineup. He's also a solid pick for prop bets and pick'ems due to his consistent production. In the end, you can’t go wrong with Christian McCaffrey.

Breece Hall, New York Jets

Breece Hall enters the 2024 season with massive momentum. After bouncing back from an ACL tear, Hall posted strong numbers in his sophomore season, earning an 82.4 grade from Pro Football Focus. That’s not bad, considering how bad the injury was.

Could this be Hall’s breakout year? It’s looking like that may be the case.

Why Hall Will Put Up Big Numbers

Hall's explosive running style and ability to make defenders miss set him apart. The Jets' offense has shown improvement, and Hall stands to benefit from an upgraded offensive line and a more cohesive unit overall. His involvement in both the running and passing game adds to his DFS appeal. All eyes will be on Aaron Rodgers as he sets out to make it past 4 snaps this year, so that might give Hall an edge to squeeze in some additional points.

Potential Downsides

While Hall's recovery from injury has been impressive, there's always a risk of re-injury or lingering effects from the previous ACL tear. DFS players should monitor his health and workload, especially early in the season. If he makes it past the rigors of the preseason, which we think he’ll take more snaps than usual because of his recovery, he should be good throughout the regular season.

DFS Suitability

Hall is a great option for GPPs due to his big-play ability. His potential for explosive performances can provide the high scores needed to win large tournaments. He's also a fairly decent cash game option, although slightly riskier than some of the other top-tier RBs. If the DFS platforms see risk in his recovery, you might be able to get Hall at a reasonable salary.

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons

Bijan Robinson is one of the most hyped rookies heading into the 2024 season. After a solid rookie campaign where he rushed for 976 yards with a solid 4.6 yards per attempt, Robinson has shown flashes of his immense potential. Could he be a breakout star like that of McCaffrey? Perhaps. Definitely worth a gamble.

Why Robinson Will Excel

Robinson's combination of size, speed, and agility makes him a nightmare for all types of defenses. The Falcons are expected to rely heavily on Robinson, given their offensive setup. His ability to contribute to the passing game further boosts his fantasy value.

Potential Downsides

As a second-year player, Robinson is still relatively unproven. That can be good and bad. The Falcons' overall offensive efficiency could also impact his production. Additionally, the sophomore slump is a real phenomenon that DFS players should consider. We’ll see what his opening salary ends up being and go from there.

DFS Suitability

Robinson is an exciting pick for GPPs. His potential to break out in any given game makes him a high-ceiling option. On top of that, you’ll easily gain some diversity, as most DFS players won’t put much stock into a sophomore. For cash games, he might be a bit riskier, but his talent makes him worth considering if the team they’re up against has a poor run defense.

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor had a turbulent 2023 season with injuries and off-field issues but still managed to showcase his elite talent when on the field. With 4.4 yards on average every time he ran the ball, he’s obviously someone worth watching.

Why Taylor Will Be a DFS Star

Taylor's powerful running style and ability to find the end zone make him a valuable DFS asset. When healthy, he consistently produces huge plays and can rack up significant yardage and even a few touchdowns. The Colts' offense this year is expected to be more balanced, which should help Taylor find more running lanes.

Potential Downsides

Injuries are the primary concern with Taylor. DFS players need to stay updated on his health status and any off-field issues that could affect his availability. Sure, his contract standoff in 2023 might be a one-off issue, but it’s hard to look past a RB with the history of an ankle injury.

DFS Suitability

Taylor is a strong choice for both GPPs and cash games, provided he is healthy. His ability to score multiple touchdowns in a game makes him worth going after for DFS formats where big points are essential. We don’t see a ton of value in pick’ems, but we’ll see how the 2024 season unfolds.

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb was on track for another stellar season in 2023 before an unfortunate injury cut it short. Assuming he returns to full health, Chubb remains one of the league's top RBs. Every season that he’s healthy, he consistently blows past 1,000 yards and averages over 5 yards per carry. Consistency is key, and Chubb delivers that.

Why Chubb Will Succeed

Chubb's powerful running and vision make him a constant threat to break off long runs. The Browns' offensive line is one of the best in the league, providing Chubb with excellent blocking. That blocking is one of the biggest keys to him finding a lane and breaking out as DFS players watch their points inflate with each play. His consistent performance makes him a reliable DFS option.

Potential Downsides

Health is the primary concern for Chubb. That holds true for most running backs. Returning from a significant injury always carries risks. He might bounce back even stronger or fade off into irrelevance for the rest of his career. In addition to that, the Browns' offensive game plan can sometimes limit his usage in the passing game.

DFS Suitability

Chubb is a reliable pick for cash games due to his consistent performance and high floor. In GPPs, his potential for explosive games makes him a viable option, though his ceiling might be lower than some other RBs due to limited passing game involvement. He’s also highly sought after, so the diversification might be limited when you use him.

These Are the Top 5 Running Backs to Watch in the 2024 NFL Season

As we head into the 2024 NFL season, these RBs stand out as our top picks if you want to crush it on the run game. Christian McCaffrey and Breece Hall offer high ceilings and floors, making them versatile options for both cash games and GPPs. Bijan Robinson and Saquon Barkley bring exciting potential, particularly for GPPs where upside is key. Jonathan Taylor and Nick Chubb, despite injury concerns, remain reliable choices when healthy.

Monitoring the health of these players and their weekly matchups will be crucial for DFS players aiming to maximize their lineups on the ground game.

Regardless of whether you're playing cash games, GPPs, or pick 'em, these RBs are set to deliver strong fantasy performances throughout the season. Don’t be too quick to lock in your lineups just yet, but these powerhouses are a good starting point for when you do.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.