Fantasy Football 2023 Rankings: An early look at the top-12 running backs from the Fantasy Football Today team

The 2022 season is not over but with the NFL playoffs about to start, however we’re already waiting for subsequent yr. We need to be sure to’re greater than prepared for the 2023 Fantasy Football marketing campaign.

With that in thoughts, here is an early look at our prime 12 Fantasy running backs for 2023 in PPR, and it’s extremely a lot topic to alter. We know so much goes to occur between now and the begin of coaching camp — teaching adjustments, free company, the NFL Draft, and many others. — and we’ll regulate our rankings accordingly.

But for now, here is the first look at the prime 12 running backs for 2023 from Adam Aizer, Heath Cummings, Dave Richard, Chris Towers and myself. Start your prep work now — and hopefully win a championship this season.

Adam Aizer

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Austin Ekeler

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. Breece Hall

12. Javonte Williams

Heath Cummings

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Saquon Barkley

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Austin Ekeler

5. Joe Mixon

6. Kenneth Walker III

7. Travis Etienne

8. Josh Jacobs

9. Derrick Henry

10. Breece Hall

11. Nick Chubb

12. Dalvin Cook

Jamie Eisenberg

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Austin Ekeler

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Saquon Barkley

5. Kenneth Walker III

6. Travis Etienne

7. Joe Mixon

8. Josh Jacobs

9. Derrick Henry

10. Breece Hall

11. Tony Pollard

12. Rhamondre Stevenson

Dave Richard

1. Christian McCaffrey

2. Austin Ekeler

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Saquon Barkley

5. Kenneth Walker

6. Derrick Henry

7. Josh Jacobs

8. Najee Harris

9. Breece Hall

10. Joe Mixon

11. Nick Chubb

12. Travis Etienne

Chris Towers

1. Austin Ekeler

2. Christian McCaffrey

3. Jonathan Taylor

4. Saquon Barkley

5. Josh Jacobs

6. Derrick Henry

7. Breece Hall

8. Joe Mixon

9. Nick Chubb

10. Tony Pollard

11. Dalvin Cook

12. Rhamondre Stevenson

Welcome again, Christian McCaffrey. For the previous two seasons, we have been ready to see what McCaffrey might do when wholesome, and he confirmed us in 2022 — with two completely different groups. For the season, McCaffrey averaged 21.1 PPR factors per recreation, which was second behind solely Ekeler (21.9). But McCaffrey was wonderful with the 49ers, which provides us hope for an additional robust marketing campaign in 2023.

He averaged 22.2 PPR factors per recreation in his remaining 10 video games in San Francisco, together with 5 outings with at least 25 PPR factors. He additionally had 50 catches over that span. While he may share touches with Elijah Mitchell subsequent season, McCaffrey ought to get loads of work to justify drafting him as the No. 1 running again in all leagues and the potential No. 1 general choose.

Now, Chris has Ekeler as the No. 1 running again — he is No. 2 for Adam, Dave and me and No. 4 for Heath — and Ekeler ought to as soon as once more be superior. This is now the second yr in a row he is averaged at least 21.5 PPR factors per recreation, and hopefully, that continues in 2023. The solely concern is perhaps his age (28 in May), and a possible decline could possibly be coming. The counter to that’s he wasn’t a featured running again till 2021, so hopefully he does not have a lot put on and tear on his physique.

Taylor is the consensus no. 3 running again for all of us, and hopefully he’ll bounce again in 2023 after a down yr in 2022. The No. 1 running again in 2021 at 21.9 PPR factors per recreation, Taylor battled accidents and a disastrous state of affairs round him this season and averaged simply 13.3 PPR factors per recreation. He’s solely 24, and we count on the Colts to improve at coach, quarterback and offensive line this offseason, which is why we’re all in once more on Taylor.

Barkley is a top-four running again for all of us (he is No. 2 for Heath), and it was nice to see him rebound in 2022 after two down seasons. He averaged 17.8 PPR factors per recreation, which was his greatest season since 2019. Barkley is headed into free company this offseason, so his Fantasy worth might change dramatically if he leaves the Giants. But if he stays, which is right, he’ll be with an awesome coach in Brian Daboll and an offensive line on the rise. He’ll even be simply 26, so one other season of standout manufacturing is properly inside attain.

When we get to No. 5 is when issues begin to change in our rankings. Adam and Heath have Mixon there, me and Dave have Walker and Chris has Jacobs.

Let’s begin with Mixon, who averaged 17.1 PPR factors per recreation for the season however went over 17 PPR factors simply twice, together with a 54-point outing in Week 9. The positives for Mixon are he had profession highs in targets (75), catches (60) and receiving yards (441) in solely 14 video games. But he went from 16 complete touchdowns in 2021 to simply 9 in 2022, and his yards per carry dropped to three.9. I count on Mixon’s touchdowns to rebound in 2023 as a result of he performs in an explosive offense, and if his receiving totals keep on this vary then he is price drafting as the No. 5 running backs.

I’ll take Walker forward of Mixon, and I like what Walker did as a rookie. He solely averaged 13.5 PPR factors per recreation for the season, however in his remaining 11 wholesome video games, he averaged 17.2 PPR factors per recreation. The Seahawks have loads of draft capital to enhance their offensive line, which ought to be a energy in 2023, and Walker will get loads of work below coach Pete Carroll. I’m stunned Chris does not have him in the prime 12.

For Chris, he is going with Jacobs at No. 5, and he simply led the NFL in dashing yards with 1,653. He additionally averaged 19.3 PPR factors per recreation and was distinctive. He’s a free agent this offseason, so we’ll see the place he finally ends up, and his Fantasy outlook might change dramatically with a brand new team. We additionally need to see who finally ends up at quarterback for the Raiders, and there is a lot to watch with Jacobs over the subsequent few months.

Adam, Dave and Chris have Henry at No. 6, and he had one other standout season in 2022 at 19.0 PPR factors per recreation. That’s now 4 seasons in a row at 19.0 PPR factors per recreation or higher, and we’ll see if he can do it once more in 2023. It’s arduous to guess towards Henry, however he is 29 and Father Time is coming. He additionally has a foul offensive line, a questionable quarterback state of affairs and the Titans fired their offensive coordinator in Todd Downing this week. Heath and I are the most involved about Henry, who’s ranked No. 9 for each of us.

I’d desire to gamble on the upside of Etienne over Henry, and Etienne could possibly be a star in 2023 with the Jaguars on the rise. He solely averaged 12.1 PPR factors per recreation, however he had 4 video games with at least 18 PPR factors over his remaining 10 wholesome outings after James Robinson was traded to the Jets. We’ll see what Jacksonville does to complement Etienne subsequent season, however he is ascending on a doubtlessly explosive team, making him somebody to covet in Round 2.

The final consensus running again for all of us is Hall, and I’ll transfer him up if he is prepared for Week 1. He suffered a torn ACL in Week 7, however he was a star earlier than getting harm, averaging 16.4 PPR factors per recreation. That contains scoring 13 PPR factors in the recreation he was injured at Denver when he solely had 4 carries for 72 yards and a landing. I’m hopeful his rehab goes properly and we get optimistic experiences all offseason.

Adam has Swift and Williams ranked in his prime 12, and I hope Williams is prepared for Week 1 coming off a torn ACL in Week 4. Prior to getting harm, he solely had one recreation with greater than 9 PPR factors, however he has loads of potential if he can return to full energy at the begin of the season. And Swift could possibly be a star if the Lions made him their featured running again. He had three video games in 2022 with double digits in carries and scored at least 20 PPR factors in all of them. Jamaal Williams is a free agent this offseason, so perhaps Swift will lastly have a breakout marketing campaign in 2023.

Heath and Chris have Chubb and Cook of their prime 12, and Dave has Chubb at No. 11. Chubb had one other standout season in 2022 at 16.6 PPR factors per recreation, and he may get a lift in worth if Kareem Hunt leaves as a free agent. Chubb is simply exterior the prime 12 for me. I’m extra involved about Cook, who can be 28 and simply had a down season in 2022 at 14.0 PPR factors per recreation. That’s his worst season since 2018, and it is arduous to depend on him rebounding to a a lot greater degree in 2023.

For me and Chris, we each have Pollard and Stevenson in our prime 12. I’ve them ranked that top primarily based on a number of contingencies. With Pollard, who simply averaged a career-high 15.6 PPR factors per recreation, I’m hoping he re-signs with Dallas as a free agent and the Cowboys transfer on from Ezekiel Elliott. If that occurs then Pollard has top-five upside in all leagues. And Stevenson may gain advantage in an enormous means if Damien Harris leaves New England as a free agent. Stevenson had a breakout season in 2022 at 14.7 PPR factors per recreation, and he could possibly be even higher if the Patriots improve their offense this offseason.

The remaining distinction for any of us is Dave with Harris at No. 8. He was a bust for the season, going from 17.7 PPR factors per recreation in 2021 to 13.2, however he closed the yr on a excessive word with 4 outings in a row with at least 14 PPR factors. The largest distinction for Harris from his rookie season was his position in the passing recreation, which cratered, going from 74 catches on 94 targets to 41 catches on 53 targets. I’m unsure his receptions will rebound in 2023, which is why he is exterior the prime 12 for me.

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