The Fantasy Footballers’ RB Rankings Countdown: 20-11
It is August, which means The Fantasy Footballers podcast is five days a week! Today Andy, Mike, and Jason went through the start of their RB rankings, tackling RBs 20-11. Make sure to listen to the podcast, available wherever you like to listen to your podcasts!
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Let’s kick it off!
RB 20 – Alexander Mattison (Vikings)
ADP: 6.02 / RB22
Andy – RB21 / Jason – RB23 / Mike – RB16
The guys start with Mike’s pin-up Alexander Mattison. With Dalvin Cook gone, Mattison should look to capitalize as he has done every time before when he was the primary RB out there. Even with not the best efficiency numbers, you might get a slight discount as he is unproven as a starter. Last year, Dalvin Cook ran the 3rd most routes among RBs, and if a significant share of those head Mattison’s way, fantasy managers will be pleased. Be on the lookout for a good ADP value come draft day with him, and if it is there for you, go ahead and capitalize.
RB 19 – Kenneth Walker III (Seahawks)
ADP: 4.02 / RB15
Andy – RB17 / Jason – RB21 / Mike – RB20
Jason is terrified to draft Walker, with talented Zach Charbonnet now in Seattle, but the man was an excellent RB last year on a talented offense. What could go wrong? The RBs get hurt in Seattle – hence the abundance of them being drafted up there – but Walker could easily finish as the RB5, and we would look silly. The only threat to Walker would be a true 50/50 timeshare between him and Charbonnet, but remember some of his inefficiencies in 2022 – he had 17 carries inside the ten-yard line but only had two rushing TDs to show from it.
RB 18 – Travis Etienne (Jaguars)
ADP: 3.08 / RB13
Andy – RB15 / Jason – RB19 / Mike – RB21
Travis Etienne is a great talent on a team with a lot of weapons that could take a big jump this year. However, he was not great near the goal line last season (14 carries inside the five-yard line and only three rushing TDs), and rookie Tank Bigsby is solid and has a high chance of getting those carries at the goal line. He got a little banged up mid-season, and after Week 12, his YPC went down, and if he doesn’t get those long runs, will he live up to his ADP? The guys view Walker and Etienne very similarly.
RB 17 – James Conner (Cardinals)
ADP: 6:03 / RB23
Andy – RB16 / Jason – RB13 / Mike – RB23
James Conner is the one diamond in the coal mine that is the Arizona Cardinals, and he continues to get it done for fantasy when he is healthy. From Week 9 last season Connor was the RB5, which was most of the time that Kyler was gone, so you can have faith in him to start the season with whichever QB is under center.
RB 16 – Jahmyr Gibbs (Lions) *Rookie
ADP: 3.12 / RB14
Andy – RB18 / Jason – RB14 / Mike – RB17
Andy believes that Gibbs will be part of the Lions’ plan from the word go – he was the 12th pick in the draft this year. Gibbs is an elite pass-catcher with the second most receptions ever for an Alabama RB, and in fantasy football, an RB target is worth 2.5x as much as an RB rush attempt. He does have some backfield competition with David Montgomery in town, but Detroit’s offense was fifth in PPG last season and fourth in total yardage, so there will be plenty of offense to go around.
RB 15 – Breece Hall (Jets)
ADP: 3.02 / RB10
Andy – RB21 / Jason – RB23 / Mike – RB16
There are several variables to keep in mind when considering Breece Hall – the potential for the Jets to add another RB (maybe Dalvin Cook or Zeke) and the overall health of Hall. He had an ACL/meniscus injury and underwent surgery last November, and no one knows what to expect, especially during the first weeks of the season. Not to mention that the Jets have a brutal start to the season, so it will be important to temper your expectations out of the gate. The offense also upgraded with Aaron Rodgers, and they clearly have Super Bowl aspirations.
RB 14 – Aaron Jones (Packers)
ADP: 4.04 / RB16
Andy – RB11 / Jason – RB18 / Mike – RB15
Andy is the highest of the bunch on Aaron Jones, and he reminds us that he might be due for some positive TD regression, and the talent is still there. The fact that the team is led by Jordan Love might mean Jones is slightly less involved in the passing game with fewer overall targets, but it could go the opposite way, with Jones being a new QB’s best friend. If you believe in the Packers, you can believe in Aaron Jones.
RB 13 – Miles Sanders (Panthers)
ADP: 5.03 / RB19
Andy – RB14 / Jason – RB12 / Mike – RB14
Sanders is off to Carolina after four years with the Eagles, and he looks to have the backfield primarily to himself. The team has made it clear that they want Sanders heavily involved in the passing game, but a rookie QB is leading that passing attack. Since 2014, teams that started a rookie QB in Week 1 averaged only 4.5 wins, and when it came to RBs, only Doug Martin finished better than RB24.
RB 12 – Joe Mixon (Bengals)
ADP: 4.06 / RB17
Andy – RB9 / Jason – RB17 / Mike – RB10
Joe Mixon left plenty of meat on the bone in 2022 with 28 carries inside the 10-yard line (second most in the NFL) but only finished with six rushing TDs. Despite missing three games, he had the fifth-most RB receptions and has very little competition in the backfield, with Samaje Perine departing. Joe Mixon is one of Andy’s favorite values in this year’s draft.
RB 11 – Najee Harris
ADP: 3.06 / RB 12
Andy – RB11 / Jason – RB10 / Mike – RB13
An un-sexy pick this season, Najee will get tons of work this year, with just Jaylen Warren in the backfield for competition. He looked excellent after the bye in 2022, delivering RB6 numbers. The Steelers’ offense should also take a significant step forward, helping Najee volume himself to fantasy football value.