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Targets and goal line carries are the lifeblood of quality fantasy production for the running back position. The starting role and receiving a high volume of carries is nice, but not near the end zone makes those touches empty-calorie opportunities. In short, they do not mean much. However, being a starter and high-volume back generally points to receiving more targets and goal-line chances for high fantasy-scoring plays. This weekly feature analyzes all 32 NFL depth charts for underrated and overrated running backs.
- Current RK: Team Ranking in Expected High-Leverage Opportunity PPR Points
- HLO: High-Leverage Opportunity Score Average Per Week
- GL: Rank in Goal-Line Carries (Inside the Five-Yard-Line)
- TGT: Rank in Team Running Back Targets
The No.1 goal line team in HLO continues to surge ahead of the NFL field for the season. Raheem Mostert is a touchdown maven, and they have third-, fourth-, and first-place finishes the past three weeks. Mostert being healthy this year has been one of the biggest boons for fantasy in 2023. With Week 17 still in front of us, there is a window for De'Von Achane or Jeff Wilson to be a league winner.
Chase Brown rising to the clear RB2 role is the notable news item for the Cincinnati backfield, paired with Jake Browning keeping the offense viable in Joe Burrow's absence. The Bengals have been a completely different HLO team, with Browning in for the injured Joe Burrow with weekly finishes of fifth, first, and fifth over the past three weeks. These are three of Cincinnati's best four HLO finishes of the season. Brown is another league-winning candidate in Week 17 if Joe Mixon misses time. Trayveon Williams can be safely dropped in redraft and dynasty formats.
James Conner from Week 15 is a perfect example of starting a workhorse running back profile despite a strong defense against them. Conner benefits from any goal-line opportunities and can collect targets should the game script turn negative. Conner ended up with a big game against the 49ers last week and the No.2 HLO finish of the week, Arizona's best of the season. Arizona was clearly the worst HLO team in the opening three months of the season but, over this final month, is trending to respectable. The RB2 role is a mess, however, and one to avoid with Michael Carter and Emari Demercado in a full split behind Conner.
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