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Chad Parsons on May 14: Taylor still has untapped receiving upside and Matt Ryan's addition is poised to increase the efficiency of the offense to move the chains, sustain drives, and provide Taylor with red zone opportunities. While not on Christian McCaffrey's level to lap the position in fantasy scoring, Taylor is in the next tier of running backs.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Jonathan Taylor was as good as advertised last season, and could easily finish as the No. 1 fantasy back in 2021. There's not much he cannot do, and as long as Carson Wentz isn't a disaster, Taylor will be one of the most reliable, valuable running backs in the league.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Injuries have marred McCaffrey for two seasons, but his per-game dominance when healthy is still a fantasy trump card. A player is injury prone until they are not. If McCaffrey is healthy, he has starting-two-players-in-your-lineup upside.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Christian McCaffrey missed much of last year, but he was the same uber workhorse under Joe Brady's watch as he was with the prior coaching staff. You have to try hard to make a case for another RB as the top pick.
Chad Parsons on May 14: The Chargers added Isaiah Spiller in the NFL Draft, but that is more of a statement about the rest of the Chargers running backs than discounting Austin Ekeler's upside. There are easy decisions in fantasy football and targeting the starting running back with big receiving upside for the Chargers offense is one of the easy buttons.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Ekeler's value is heavily tied to maintaining a role as the Chargers de facto slot receiver. With a new coaching staff and offensive system, that's less guaranteed than the industry believes.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Harris is one of the few foundation back profiles and the Steelers offense cannot be much worse through the air than the 2021 version with an eyeing-retirement Ben Roethlisberger. Harris' floor is within the top-15 of the position with top-five a strong possibility.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Some believe the Steelers now have one of the worst offensive lines in football -- a stunning reversal after decades of excellence. If that view is right, Harris is overdrafted regardless of his workload. I'm less convinced the Steelers line will struggle, and therefore am happy to draft Harris as a high-upside RB2.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Tennessee did not aggressively address the position in the NFL Draft and A.J. Brown is gone in a draft day trade. The Titans offense will run through Henry again in 2022. The biggest question is when the wheels like fall off of the power back at his escalating age and workload.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Derrick Henry is a throwback to an era where running backs were the centerpiece of NFL offenses. Even without a prodigious role as receiver, Henry is a top-5 back in any league format thanks to his monstrous carry volume and propensity for the end zone.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Joe Mixon enjoys a depth chart without a strong RB2 presence and leading a high-powered Bengals offense. Mixon hit a career-high in fantasy production in 2021, fueled by 16 total touchdowns. Still, the lone missing piece from an elite finish is improving on his 42 receptions from a year ago.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Everyone is treating Joe Mixon like he's an unstoppable offensive juggernaut, despite being an absolute zero last year. Why are we to assume Mixon will be a No. 1 fantasy back if we're also assuming the offense will be pass-happy enough to support three fantasy-relevant wide receivers? The Bengals aren't going to have a top-5 offense, something's not adding up.
Chad Parsons on May 14: One of the few elite two-way running backs in the NFL, tied to a quality quarterback and two wide receivers to boot. Cook is one of the easy Round 1 picks for 2022
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Fading Cook because of his injury history has been a painful decision, so it's time to embrace his combination of elite talent and workhorse role this year.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Few running backs project as double-digit touchdown and 50 or more reception upside while on a strong offense. Leonard Fournette checks each of those boxes with top-five overall upside at the position.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Leonard Fournette looked better than Ronald Jones last year and the Buccaneers re-signed him, but the tables turned this preseason. The drum beats for Jones and free-agent acquisition Giovani Bernard were much louder.
Chad Parsons on May 14: The biggest pause with Swift is if he will be used like a feature back or a complimentary one. If optimized like an Alvin Kamara or Christian McCaffrey type in the passing game, then 150 rushes are enough to get him into the strong RB1 conversation.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Opinions are divided on Swift's ascendance, understandably. He has the talent to dominate as an every-down workhorse, but the Lions are undergoing another major overhaul and new OC Anthony Lynn seems committed to a true committee approach, splitting touches between Swift and Jamaal Williams.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Kamara has an off-the-field cloud of legal issues over him, but those project as more 2023 reasons for concern than 2022. Kamara leads a Saints backfield who led the NFL in designed run plays per game last season and did not notably add to the depth chart. Mark Ingram is a solid backup but will not siphon notable work from Kamara, one of the elite receivers at the position in the NFL. Kamara's 67 targets over 13 games in 2021 marked a notable downturn without Drew Brees under center.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Jameis Winston's ascendance to QB1 removes the risk of Kamara regressing. He's a lock for 80+ receptions and also a good bet for double-digit touchdowns. A surefire Top 5 pick in any format.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Jones found himself in a firm committee with rising AJ Dillon in 2021. Jones relied more on the receiving game to be a vibrant fantasy option with 52-391-6 through the air. The six touchdowns mark a regression-worthy scoring rate as an area to monitor for 2022. The good news is if Dillon misses time, Jones projects as an elite RB1 play.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Rodgers' decision to stay in Green Bay combined with Jones' massive new contract in the offseason cements the versatile, every-down back as an RB1 in all scoring formats.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Deshaun Watson is poised to aid the entire Browns offense, including the already-efficient Nick Chubb on the ground. Kareem Hunt is a thorn in the passing game upside for Chubb, but with a strong depth chart, it would not be a surprise to see Hunt moved before the season. Chubb is outside the top-10 due to his lack of receiving alone, needing a Derrick Henry-like rushing stat line to break into the top-half of RB1 territory.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: It boggles the mind fantasizing what Chubb might do in an offense without Kareem Hunt. Hunt's value as a receiver and goal-line back put a ceiling on Chubb's worth, but even with that restriction, he's an easy pick as a top-10 fantasy asset given his vision, power, and rushing workload.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Conner pushed aside Chase Edmonds as 2021 progressed and the Arizona backfield has question marks at RB2+ with Eno Benjamin and Keaontay Ingram as the current residents. Conner is a sneaky bet to crash the elite tier of the position for a non-elite cost.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Conner is a hard nut to crack. He was a No. 1 fantasy back for a time in Pittsburgh but definitely did less in the role than Le'Veon Bell did. And as the Steelers offensive line fell from the elite ranks, so did Conner's value. What does Kliff Kingsbury have planned for him in Arizona?
Chad Parsons on May 14: Barkley is one of the highest variance plays at the position for 2022. Barkley has elite RB1 upside but has not shown it (or health) in recent seasons. A healthy Barkley is a lock top-12 producer considering his big-play ability and receiving game floor.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Barkley didn't just tear his ACL, he injured the surrounding ligaments, too. While his recovery is on track, there's still the risk he's never the same player. Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett also limit the Giants' offensive upside. Barkley makes sense on paper as a first-round pick, but fading him may not be the worst decision.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Elliott is the starting back, unquestioningly so despite Tony Pollard being a quality secondary option, on one of the strong NFL offenses. That alone is reason for optimism and upside with a vice grip on goal line opportunities and his long-standing profile of quality production.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Elliott is no longer vying for the 1st overall pick, but he's not too far behind. Add up his bout of Covid-19, Dak Prescott's injury, and a decimated offensive line and you can excuse a slightly disappointing 2020 season. Most of those headwinds will be tailwinds in 2021. Elliott's days of first-round value are far from over.
Chad Parsons on May 14: With Melvin Gordon back in Denver, Williams is set to simmer for his strong predictable upside outside of a Gordon injury. Williams might be the 1A as opposed to a full split or 1B role a year ago in the tandem. Williams is a higher RB1 any week Gordon is out.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Williams is a powerhouse back with three-down potential, but he'll share touches with Melvin Gordon to start the season.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Gibson's two deficiencies have been fumbling and durability. Washington added Day 2 Brian Robinson in the draft, who had zero career fumbles at Alabama and is a power runner. Gibson was already squeezed by J.D. McKissic on the receiving end and now Robinson adds a layer of downside for goal line and early-down work.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: My skepticism of Gibson last year was totally misguided. Although he only touched the ball 79 times in his final college season, Washington's coaches made good on their promise to give him a featured role. He's still learning how to be a running back, which is a scary thought given his fantasy performance a season ago.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Hall was the first running back off the board in the NFL Draft as expected. The Jets offer a tempered outlook for Hall initially with Michael Carter a nice RB2 and offensive upside questions with Zach Wilson posting a poor first season. Hall is more of an RB2/3 projection than RB1 in his first season.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Plenty among the fantasy community will wring their hands with the Raiders not picking up Jacobs' fifth-year option for 2023 and drafting Zamir White. However, White was a Day 3 selection and the franchise tag is marginally more than the fifth-year option for Jacobs next offseason, plus provides the Raiders flexibility. Jacobs will lead a Raiders offense now boosted by Davante Adams. Jacobs is one of the back in the NFL with 10+ touchdowns and 50+ receptions within his sights.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Jon Gruden has done it again. He took a young, every-down runner and overworked him to the point of declining value. Jacobs should be in the middle of 5-6 seasons of top-10 productivity, but instead, he's breaking down and the Raiders brought in Kenyan Drake to challenge for the role.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Montgomery is one of the underrated three-down running backs for 2022. The key question is if Justin Fields will supply enough in the passing game to maintain a lighter box for Montgomery. Khalil Herbert is a solid RB2 but no threat to Montgomery's workload even after a promising rookie season.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: David Montgomery is the most undervalued player at the position. He's being drafted as though his poor start last year will be his baseline. Yet, he was the second-best runner in the NFL after his one-game inactive, behind only Derrick Henry. Montgomery has top-5 upside (he was RB4 last year) and a floor roughly equivalent to his current ADP.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Akers was a feel-good story to even play in 2021 after a summer Achilles injury. Akers did not look good, however, and Darrell Henderson is another quality option on the depth chart. The Rams have not thrown to running backs enough to see two-way production of note. At least Akers has double-digit touchdown upside in a best case.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Akers' Achilles tear ends his season before it begins, and throws the Rams backfield into tumult.
Chad Parsons on May 14: The health and recovery status of J.K. Dobbins and/or Gus Edwards is in the crosshairs with Baltimore's signing of Mike Davis this offseason. Dobbins is a strong talent, but Baltimore already had tempered receiving upside for the backfield and now Dobbins might be a slow start to the season or in a committee.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: J.K. Dobbins is done for the year, unfortunately.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Etienne is coming off an injury before his 2021 rookie season even got started, but so is James Robinson. Etienne has Round 1 pedigree and the Urban Meyer stink is gone from the hoping-to-rebound Jaguars. Etienne has the profile of a breakout candidate especially if James Robinson has a diminished role or is slow on his recovery.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Etienne was going to be the centerpiece of Urban Meyer's offense, but a Lisfranc injury ends his rookie season before it begins.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Mitchell's knee surgery in the offseason plus the drafting of another Day 2 running back in Tyrion Davis-Price makes one of the most fantasy frustrating running back depth charts in the running again for 2022. Mitchell is the penciled-in starter for Week 1, but that pencil is light with the eraser handy.
Chad Parsons on May 14: At worst, Dillon is a flex play with RB1 upside on a weekly basis. Any game Aaron Jones misses Dillon vaults to a must-start.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Dillon no longer has Jamaal Williams keeping him off the field, but he still has Aaron Jones -- who was re-signed for massive money in the offseason. Dillon is one of many clear No. 2s with little value while the starter is healthy, but starting value if an injury opens the door.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Atlanta added Damien Williams and Tyler Allgeier to the running back depth chart this offseason but subtracted Mike Davis. Patterson is their most dynamic running back option and plays all over the offense, scoring multiple ways.
Chad Parsons on May 14: The Patriots are back to playing the hits with their running back collecting. Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris were both notable Day 3 selections with their quality profiles, added to Rhamondre Stevenson, James White, and Damien Harris. It is tough to trust the most expensive Patriots running back and that is Damien Harris for 2022.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Sony Michel's departure confirmed what we already knew, Damien Harris is the Patriots best tailback and should have a high-volume role most weeks.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Sanders has yet to see a foundation back workload through three seasons and his receiving work saw a pronounced cut in 2021 with the addition of Kenny Gainwell to the depth chart. Sanders is the starter on paper, but one of the lower upside NFL starting options.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Sanders came into the preseason with question marks given the roster turnover, new coaches, and a 2020 season with too many fumbles and bobbled passes. But a strong summer combined with the coach's endorsement put Sanders back into the RB2 tier with upside.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Pollard is in the small subset of must-start running backs if the starter is out. Ezekiel Elliott has provided zero such games for Pollard to-date despite playing dinged up on numerous occasions. Pollard has flex appeal at times even with a healthy Elliott.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Tony Pollard is a different player than Ezekiel Elliott, and won't see the field much if things go according to plan. But Elliott looked human last year and if he breaks down further, Pollard can be fantasy relevant, particularly in PPR formats.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Edwards-Helaire had troubling separating from Darrel Williams for feature back usage at times last season. Williams is gone, but Ronald Jones a notable signing and Isaih Pacecho on offers strong athleticism from Day 3 in this year's draft. Edwards-Helaire is one of the shakier starters in the NFL outside of a strong opening stretch of the season.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Edwards-Helaire was the post child for hype last preseason. Fantasy analysts fell all over themselves to one-up each other and push the rookie into the first round. We should have known better. He's a talented young player, but can the fourth or fifth-best cog in an offense justify this ADP?
Chad Parsons on May 14: Walker secured No.41 overall pedigree out of the draft and a Seattle depth chart ripe with uncertainty. Chris Carson has a murky outlook with his neck and Rashaad Penny has sparsely strung together a healthy stretch in his NFL career. Walker's range of outcomes ventures from strong injury-away option to clear-cut starter with a lack of health around him.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Hunt is a running back to watch with no guaranteed money and a quality depth chart (D'Ernest Johnson, Jerome Ford) behind him. Hunt's elite upside if Nick Chubb misses time is in some doubt with Johnson's strong showing as a spot starter last year. Hunt being moved by Week 1 would not be a surprise.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Kareem Hunt is the best of both worlds. If Nick Chubb stays healthy, Hunt is a top-20 fantasy back in all formats and justifies his ADP. If Chubb gets hurt, Hunt is an every-week Top 10 player.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Singletary is coming off his best NFL season and more touchdowns (8) than his previous two seasons combined (5). Singletary projects as the lead back for Buffalo to start the season, but taking James Cook in Round 2 is an ominous sign for any job security of strong touches for Singletary.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Singletary is clearly a complementary player, but the Bills offense is potent enough for that to mean fantasy relevance at least a handful of times per season.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Edmonds was in line for the 1A role in Miami until Sony Michel was added to the depth chart, now one of the more ambiguous pecking orders in the NFL with Edmonds, Michel, and Raheem Mostert populating the three top spots.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Just because the Cardinals let Kenyan Drake go, doesn't mean Chase Edmonds will be a fantasy star. The James Conner signing is being downplayed. I think the baseline expectation should be a true running back committee, in which case you're better off drafting the player who goes a few rounds later.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Gordon returning to Denver limits his weekly appeal beyond a flex play but also puts him in play for strong upside any week Javonte Williams is out.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: A lot of people wondered if Melvin Gordon's days in Denver were numbered, but he passed all the tests, got a $2 million roster bonus in the summer, and enters the season as the 1a to Javonte Williams 1b.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Penny showed his elite upside with (finally) a healthy stretch to close the 2021 fantasy season, carrying teams to titles. Penny's return to Seattle is clouded by the drafting of Kenneth Walker and the possibility of Chris Carson returning from a career-threatening neck injury. The perfect storm for Penny is an impact player, but he has sparsely been healthy for long in the NFL as a high-variance play.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Penny has never lived up to his 1st round pedigree, and the Seahawks didn't pick up his fifth-year option.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Cook secured Round 2 pedigree, but a murky depth chart in Buffalo with Devin Singletary coming off his best season to-date and Round 3 Zack Moss also still looming. Cook is a better bet later in the season rather than early.
Chad Parsons on May 15: In a best case, Jones challenges Clyde Edwards-Helaire and eventually wins the lead role in Kansas City. Neither has shown particular acumen in pass protection with Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady in recent seasons, hence seeing Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams dominate in those situations.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: The Ronald Jones hype has never matched the on-field results, and last year we saw the Buccaneers turn to plenty of alternatives in free agency and the draft. But he quietly had a solid summer and the coaches raved about him. Maybe this is finally the year he lives up to the hype.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Carter pulled a Tre Mason as the Jets drafted Breece Hall as the RB1 off the board. Carter also saw Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson play a decent amount last year amidst Carter's moments of prominence. Carter ultimately projects as an injury-away option in 2022 with Breece Hall being the starter in short order, even if Carter sees the most touches in Week 1.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Carter is immensely talented, but is he big enough and durable enough to handle a feature role? The Jets are starting over so we have very little to go on in terms of roles and scheme. If talent is the predominant factor in fantasy success, Carter should thrive. He's significantly more athletic and explosive than his teammates. But if he can't learn to pass block, it's all for naught.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Stevenson showed well as a 2021 rookie, but the Patriots splashed the depth chart with Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris, both notable profiles now with Day 3 pedigree. Stevenson's clarity as an injury-away option to Damien Harris is no longer there.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: The star of the Pats preseason showed enough for the Patriots to comfortably trade Sony Michel away. Whether Stevenson sees regular snaps is a question, but his path to relevance is clearer.
Chad Parsons on May 14: Mattison has been one of the most clarified and highest upside injury-away running backs in the NFL since his drafting in 2019. That continues in 2022 behind Dalvin Cook. Any game Cook misses, Mattison is an auto-start player.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Dalvin Cook has an injury history that should make anyone worried, and that means Mattison needs to be on rosters in every league. If the door opens, Mattison can be a high-volume back in an era where 15+ carry games are hard to find.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Hines is the J.D. McKissic of the Colts depth chart - a PPR hindrance to others on the depth chart more than a standalone fantasy starter.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Hines is good for a few huge receiving games each year, which makes him an awesome best ball option late in drafts. But in redraft leagues you're never going to feel confident in his workload.
Chad Parsons on May 15: The Rams has an upside-capping lack of usage for running backs in the passing game, but Henderson is a sneaky bet considering Cam Akers did not look good with his early return from an Achilles injury last summer. Henderson has limited competition from lower on the depth chart and Akers is a massive question mark entering 2022 health-wise.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Henderson's fantasy fortunes remain volatile. From perceived backup to lead back after Cam Akers injury, he now looks like part of a committee following the Sony Michel trade. Henderson is the slightly more enticing half of a 1-2 punch.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Jacksonville, like Baltimore, has health as the major watch list item for the respective backfields. Robinson and Travis Etienne are both returning from season-ending injury. If both are healthy, expect Robinson to lose out to the Round 1 pedigree of Etienne. Robinson has top-12 upside on a likely-better-than-2021 Jacksonville offense if Etienne is still on the mend.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: James Robinson was at risk of being cast aside in favor of Travis Etienne, despite Robinson's heroics in 2020. But Etienne's injury reshapes the Jaguars outlook and presumably vaults Robinson back into must-start fantasy territory.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Spiller slipped to Day 3 of the draft but landed behind Austin Ekeler with an open opportunity to win the RB2 job to start his rookie season. Spiller has quality injury-away upside if he wins the role.
Chad Parsons on May 15: McKissic shifted from Buffalo back to Washington in free agency. McKissic is more of a PPR thorn in the side of Antonio Gibson (and Brian Robinson) than a standalone strong PPR play. McKissic's role largely stays the same whether Gibson is healthy or Robinson is the early-down option.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: McKissic was essentially Washington's slot receiver last year, and his fantasy value is tied entirely into his receiving role. With a new, more aggressive, quarterback, and a bolstered receiving corps, it's possible McKissic returns to irrelevance.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Mostert was a non-factor in 2021 after a Week 1 injury and is on the wrong side of the age curve. The good news is an unsettled Miami depth chart gives Mostert a puncher's chance at clarified starts in 2022.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Mostert isn't the sexy pick in San Francisco -- that honor belongs to Trey Sermon. But he does stand a good chance of leading the team in total yards and touchdowns.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Williams is one of the underrated primary backup running backs, capable of carrying the load if needed. Williams is unstartable as long as D'Andre Swift is healthy.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Anthony Lynn has repeatedly referred to Williams as an "A-Back" who can do it all and play three downs. He's also called Swift a "B-back" better used in specific situations. If Lynn means what he says, Williams is grossly undervalued, and Swift is overrated.
Chad Parsons on May 15: White secured Day 2 pedigree and has a Matt Forte-light profile as a prospect. Ke'Shawn Vaughn has shown little through two seasons and the RB2 job in Tampa Bay is wide open behind Leonard Fournette. The trust of Tom Brady with pass protection assignments will be key for White and Vaughn.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Gainwell is more of a thorn in the PPR side of Miles Sanders (and Boston Scott) than a standalone fantasy viable running back.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Pierce slipped to Day 3 in the draft and Houston has Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead as sturdy veterans on the depth chart. Pierce was a relative non-producer in college and assuming he will outright win the starting job is a stretch.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Edwards' healthy is the primary watchword heading into the season. J.K. Dobbins is also working back from a season-ending injury. Edwards, if the healthier option, could be the Week 1 starter. On the downside, Edwards could be slower back to health than Dobbins to siphon any clarified opportunity. Plus, Baltimore has eluded to concerns with Mike Davis signed.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Edwards is in line for a career-best workload with J.K. Dobbins getting hurt, but the Ravens aren't going to make him a bellcow, and his lack of receiving role puts a ceiling on him even if he's a 1,000-yard, 8+ TD rusher.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Herbert projects as a David Montgomery injury-away option in Chicago. Darrynton Evans is a wildcard addition to the depth chart but has struggled to stay healthy and Tennessee swiftly moved on from the former Round 3 pick.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Drake lost clarity as an injury-away back in 2021 when Peyton Barber had moments of clarity. The Raiders added Zamir White to the depth chart, further clouding Drake's chances for streaming starts in 2022.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: The Raiders signing Drake was a surprise and it removes two potential No. 1 fantasy running backs from the board as Drake and Josh Jacobs commoditize each other. What's not yet clear is how Coach Gruden and his staff envision mixing and matching the two talented players. Drake could be an every-week starter if Jacobs gets hurt, and the same would be said for Jacobs if Drake hits the injury report.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Algeier has starter potential for the Falcons with Mike Davis gone, Cordarrelle Patterson rumored to have more of a wide receiver role this season, and Damien Williams on the wrong side of the age curve. The perfect storm of Allgeier being this year's Elijah Mitchell as an early-season starter from Day 3 exists even if requiring a leap of faith.
Chad Parsons on May 15: White is returning from injury and the Patriots splashed the depth chart with multiple Day 3 running backs with quality profiles (Pierre Strong, Kevin Harris). The five-back depth chart could have a tough cut by Week 1.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Father Time is going to render James White irrelevant very soon, but as long as he's on the Patriots roster, he has the potential for a few massive games. The trick is figuring out which games matter, and that's going to be next to impossible.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Robinson enters a Washington depth chart where Antonio Gibson has struggled to stay healthy and avoid fumbles. Robinson had zero fumbles in college and has a lead-back profile. J.D. McKissic hurts the PPR upside of either, but Robinson is, at worst, an injury-away option.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Burkhead showed well late in 2021 but has typically had the underrated backup role more than starter or true injury-away status in his career. Marlon Mack and Dameon Pierce added to the depth cloud Burkhead's status, at least to start the season.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Michel joins a Miami depth where any of Michel, Chase Edmonds, or Raheem Mostert could be the Week 1 starter or start multiple games this season.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Michel was having the best and healthiest camp of his career, so of course Belichick trades him to the RB-needy Rams. Michel should get a chance at a significant workload in LA, but won't unseat Darrell Henderson atop the committee if both are healthy.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Foreman joins the Carolina depth chart where Chuba Hubbard had and largely lost the injury-away role in 2021. Foreman showed well in Tennessee and projects as the leading rusher if Christian McCaffrey were to miss time.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Ingram is still in the catbird seat as an injury-away back to Alvin Kamara. Ingram is largely being overlooked within the backup running back landscape.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Once viewed as the odd man out, Ingram was listed as a co-starter on the team's first depth chart. He's set to be part of a three-person backfield, leaving them all irrelevant in standard-sized leagues.
Chad Parsons on May 15: While many are anointing Dameon Pierce as the earmarked starter in Houston, it is Mack with the best production profile, and it is not particularly close, on the depth chart. Mack is still a bit of a wildcard health-wise after his Achilles injury but is the probability bet over Rex Burkhead and a Day 3 Pierce, especially for the cost.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Mike Davis' release aids Williams' chances to be the RB2, or even the starter if Cordarrelle Patterson transitions back to wide receiver, for the Falcons.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Tarik Cohen remains an injury lost cause, while sets Williams up as the No. 2 behind David Montgomery. If Montgomery gets hurt, Williams could have value as an RB2 or flex.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Carson has one of the highest range of outcomes of NFL backs. Carson may not play again with his neck injury and recovery process. Also in play is Carson being Seattle's starter if healthy as Rashaad Penny has rarely been healthy in his career and Kenneth Walker is an incoming rookie with pass protection work to do.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Seattle re-signing Carson was a bit of a surprise, but it cements his fantasy value for 2020, at least. Even if OC Waldron finally "lets Russ cook", there will always be plenty of carries for Carson under Pete Carroll's watch.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Perine has avoided additional competition for the RB2 role in Cincinnati this offseason. Chris Evans could steal receiving work if Joe Mixon is out and Perine projects as a lower upside fantasy streamer.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Scott has limited upside with Kenneth Gainwell a receiving-centric option also behind Miles Sanders in Philadelphia.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Benjamin did not separate himself as the clear RB3 last season in Arizona and the only competition for the injury-away role behind James Conner is Day 3 rookie Keaontay Ingram.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Hubbard was the clear RB2 early in Christian McCaffrey's extended absence last season. However, Ameer Abdullah siphoned plenty of touches and eroded Hubbard's viability. This offseason D'Onta Foreman has been added to cloud Hubbard yet again.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: The rookie started camp on a good note and finished even stronger, securing the coveted spot as Christian McCaffrey's No. 2.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Vaughn has the upside to be the RB2 in Tampa Bay, but Rachaad White's drafting throws a wrench into those plans. Vaughn has shown little through two seasons and remains a project as to his fantasy upside.
Chad Parsons on May 15: The 49ers splashed the depth chart again in 2022 with a Day 2 draft pick on Tyrion Davis-Price. Sermon was a Day 2 selection as well in 2021, but landed in the doghouse early and often as Elijah Mitchell surged to the starting role. Investing the backfield requires a risk-taking attitude and, ideally, seeking the cheaper options.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Sermon's ranking belies his potential value. Among this tier, Sermon has by far the highest upside.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Haskins has an opportunity to win the RB2 job in Tennessee as a Day 3 rookie.
Chad Parsons on May 15: White will be in competition with Kenyan Drake for the primary backup role behind Josh Jacobs in Las Vegas. Health is a major question mark with White after multiple significant knee injuries in college.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Hilliard is the veteran of note behind Derrick Henry. Holding off rookie Hassan Haskins will be key to being an injury away from a prominent role.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Wilson is the lost name in the 49ers backfield where Elijah Mitchell is returning from knee surgery, Trey Sermon was in the doghouse last year, and Tyrion Davis-Price is an incoming rookie. Wilson is worth a dart throw who has shown well in the past.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Breida is one of the underrated injury-away situations post-NFL Draft. Breida lacks ideal size but is the leader in the clubhouse behind Saquon Barkley.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Ingram has prototypical size, good enough athleticism, and a quality receiving profile. Securing Day 3 pedigree, Ingram will compete with Eno Benjamin for the RB2 role in Arizona.
Chad Parsons on May 15: The former Dolphins starter has been buried in an avalanche of additions by Miami in Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, and Raheem Mostert. Gaskin is now yet another Day 3 running back searching for a clarified opportunity.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: The Dolphins played games with the Dolphins depth chart all summer, portraying Gaskin as the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 at different times. That doesn't bode well for those hoping he would be an every-down contributor.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Bernard was the only offensive acquisition to an already stacked Buccaneers squad, and he worked his way into the third-down receiving role with a strong summer.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Moss and Devin Singletary look like an ideal Thunder and Lightning combination, but in today's NFL, defensive coordinators are too smart to fall prey to personnel groupings that are one-dimensional. Moss needs to evolve as a receiver or he'll be pigeon-holed into a two-day power runner who only has value in certain game scripts.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Williams is still looking for work, but showed well in Kansas City and was the preferred option over Clyde Edwards-Helaire at times. Monitor Williams to crash a depth chart by Week 1.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Clyde Edwards-Helaire has much to prove and Williams is the next man up in the NFL's best offense.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Davis left an RB2 (or better) role in Atlanta as a surprise post-NFL Draft release to find the Baltimore depth chart dealing with returns from injury with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Davis' addition points to some level of concern for Dobbins and/or Edwards. There's a non-zero chance Davis is the Week 1 starter for Baltimore.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Was there a more surprising move in the offseason than the Falcons signing Mike Davis as their new starter? Most assumed Davis' signing was the first of a two or three-step plan to build an impressive committee. But free agency and the draft came and went, leaving Davis as the only viable Week 1 starter.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Johnson showed well in 2021 with spot duty as the Browns starter. This year is more ambiguous with Kareem Hunt still on the roster (for now) and Jerome Ford a notable Day 3 draft addition.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Williams started the NFL Draft process with some discussion of being a Day 2 prospect. Ultimately Williams slipped to mid-Day 3 and landed on a blocked Rams depth chart. Williams will compete with previous Day 3 selection Jake Funk for the RB3 role.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Tevin Coleman is a physical specimen but he's never been durable. But he's familiar with Mike LaFleur's offense and enters the season atop the depth chart.
Chad Parsons on May 17: Signing with the Colts in mid-May, Lindsay offers a veteran presence for carries instead of the rookie competition for carries behind Jonathan Taylor outside of change-of-pace Nyheim Hines.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Lindsay's on-field performance in Denver warranted more than an unceremonious departure, but he landed in arguably the least attractive spot possible. He's going to share the ball with Mark Ingram and David Johnson, leaving all three as fantasy afterthoughts.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Tarik Cohen's snaps and touches have steadily declined each year; he was playing a marginal role before getting hurt last year. Matt Nagy doesn't seem to like Cohen much, and with David Montgomery's breakout performance in 2020, there's little reason to draft Cohen outside of extremely deep leagues.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Midway through the preseason, Johnson sat atop the Jets initial depth chart, but his value probably peaked that week as Tevin Coleman enters the season as the No. 1 and rookie Michael Carter is the long-term starter.
Chad Parsons on May 15: Boone was in line to be the RB2 in Denver, but Melvin Gordon's return pushes Boone back to needing multiple injuries for a prominent role.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Carlos Hyde was going to see regular season snaps behind Travis Etienne and James Robinson, albeit sparingly. Etienne's injury now casts Hyde as a potential 1B to Robinson's 1A in what probably becomes a run-heavy game plan.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Latavius Murray was released days before the season, leaving Jones as the apparently No. 2 barring a veteran signing.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Murray was a top-10 fantasy back in Alvin Kamara's stead in recent seasons, but ultimately his age and price tag led to his release just days before the season.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: We're all projecting Myles Gaskin as an every-down starter, but it's based on a small sample size. If Gaskin can't stay healthy, Ahmed and Malcolm Brown will be part of a committee, but neither offers much redraft allure.
Chad Parsons on May 17: Phillip Lindsay signing with the Colts hurts Jackson's chances for the RB3 role, or the most carries if Jonathan Taylor misses time, at the outset of 2022.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Hill tore his Achilles a week before the season, rendering his spot as the No. 3 tailback null and void.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Ogunbowale landed on the 53-man roster.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: The Sony Michel trade relegates Jones back to the No. 3 role he had prior to Cam Akers' injury.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Johnson was a beaten man late in the preseason after being relegated to No. 3 duties behind Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill are both out for the season, leaving Williams as the No. 2 on a run-heavy offense. But an early September signing -- Le'Veon Bell -- might end Williams' breakout potential before it begins.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: The Ravens signed Bell days before the season and placed him on the practice squad; but clearly that's just a formality until he's familiar with the playbook. He has a shot at being the Ravens 1b to Gus Edwards 1a.
Jason Wood on Feb 2: Malcolm Brown doesn't light up a box score, but his maturity, attention to detail, and blocking prowess make him a coach's favorite. Brown will have a large enough role to frustrate Myles Gaskin's supporters.