The Fantasy Footballers Top-10 RB Rankings for 2022
Welcome to the RB rankings! On Tuesday’s show Andy, Mike, and Jason tackled RB 1 – 10. If you want to dive deeper into the rankings, head over to the website and check out the UDK+ for the player profiles, consistency charts, and the draft analyzer.
1. Jonathan Taylor, IND
Andy 2 | Jason 1 | Mike 1
ADP: 1.01/ RB1
No surprise here; JT is at the top of the board. Andy is the only one with JT not at number one, admitting that it might be the wrong choice. Taylor is a safer bet than CMC, if just because of his age, and he has bulked up like the Hulk this off-season. He was dominant in 2021 with eleven RB1 performances in a row, and he was only one of five RBs in NFL history to go for 1800 yards and 18 TDs. Jason mentions he does have a QB upgrade with Matt Ryan, so there could possibly be some TD regression. But do not overthink it.
2. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
Andy 1 | Jason 2 | Mike 2
It has been a bumpy road for CMC due to injury the last two years, but stories out of camp seem positive – when he plays, he is an elite RB. In the ten total games he played in the last two years, he has seven top-five finishes, which is as many as Dalvin Cook in that time span. The man is game script proof, and it just comes down to whether you have the courage to hit the draft button.
3. Austin Ekeler, LAC
Andy 3 | Jason 4 | Mike 3
Last season we wondered if Ekeler would get enough red zone opportunities to make him valuable, and spoiler alert, he did. The big question is can he handle the full workload this season, and will he even get it? He is a pass-catching RB – which we know is so valuable – on a high-powered offense, but he should have some TD regression. The Chargers drafted Isaiah Spiller to spell Ekeler potentially, but he should still finish 2022 as Awesome Excellent.
4. Derrick Henry, TEN
Andy 5 | Jason 3 | Mike 5
Even without playing for half the season due to injury, Henry was still a top-12 RB points-wise until Week 16 last season, but he is another RB that is scary to draft in 2022. Concerns include his age and his Jones fracture injury, even though he returned from it in the playoffs last year. The fracture will now be fully healed, but even Yeti’s start to break down with this much level of work. Henry might be used more in the passing game with AJ Brown departed, but the Titans also have a 1st place schedule this year, which will be much more challenging than last year. Good luck making the decision.
5. Dalvin Cook, MIN
Andy 7 | Jason 5 | Mike 4
Despite playing only 13 games, he had the 5th most carries and the 2nd most 15+ yard runs, but Dalvin Cook left a sour taste in his owner’s mouths with a subpar last couple of weeks. The thing with Cook is he will miss a game or two, so you must have a plan B if you draft him, which might be drafting Alexander Mattison with the last pick of your draft. Jason believes in the Minnesota offense this season and believes that Cook is poised for more TDs this year after only making it in the end zone six times last year. New Head Coach Kevin O’Connell also brings an up-tempo style to the Vikings, potentially leading to more TD opportunities for Cook.
6. Alvin Kamara, NO
Andy 6 | Jason 9 | Mike 6
Kamara finished as RB8 last year, but is he still super? He averaged the most touches of his career in 2021 but was the least efficient with those touches. He will never be the same without Drew Brees, but it will be intriguing to see how he functions in an offense led by Jameis Winston. More pass catchers have been added to New Orleans, so there is a question about whether Kamara’s pass-catching prowess will still be strong. TDs will be essential to Kamara’s success. Finally, his suspension is looming, but it does not look to be happening this year. Stay informed on that.
7. Joe Mixon, CIN
Andy 4 | Jason 7 | Mike 12
Polarizing Joe Mixon is next. He was RB3 in 2021 and had the 3rd most RB carries, the 5th most red zone touches, and the 4th most TDs. Mixon is the guy in Cincinnati, but even with improvements, the offensive line still needs work to protect him and allow him to succeed. Jason is concerned that he is not a game script proof back, as we all remember seeing Samajae Perine in the Super Bowl when they were resting Mixon. The Bengals strength of schedule has changed drastically from last year – they go from the 3rd easiest to the 7th hardest.
8. Najee Harris, PIT
Andy 12 | Jason 6 | Mike 9
Harris finished as RB4 last season with a monster workload. With a new, slightly more competent QB in Mitchell Trubisky, the volume may decrease slightly, but still, expect Harris to be the workhorse. The Steelers offense will look different this year; therefore, Jason expects his targets to go down. Volume was the name of the game in 2021 as Najee was one of only 11 RBs in NFL history with over 300 carries and over 90 targets in a season, so that will be hard to duplicate. He did have a low yards per carry, so it was volume that made him so valuable. A sturdy man, he missed zero games last season and is fairly game script proof.
9. James Conner, AZ
Andy 11 | Jason 12 | Mike 7
Andy is starting to question James Connor and his ability to repeat what he did last year. The Cardinals seem to trust Eno Benjamin as a runner more now, and Connor’s inefficient rushing may come back to haunt him this year. To protect Connor’s health, expect other RBs to spell him, but it is hard to forget the 18 total TDs he had in 2021 and the 2nd most goal line carries in the NFL. Mike reminds us that Connor made his hay with pass catching, and the Cardinals are missing Hopkins for six games, so targets will be vacated. He is a high-risk player, but double-digit TDs are still a strong possibility. It will be tough to repeat the league-leading 15 red zone TDs he had last season – over the last decade, 43 different RBs had double-digit red zone rushing TDs, but only five of them repeated that the following year.
10. Aaron Jones, GB
Andy 10 | Jason 11 | Mike 10
Aaron Jones is going as a great value in drafts at current – the Packers need pass-catchers, and Jones is good at that. He is an efficient runner, he has been the 6th in yards per touch over the last three years, and in 2021, he had the 6th most RB receptions and the 9th most red zone touches. He will undoubtedly lose some touches to AJ Dillon, but do not let that dissuade you from drafting Jones, especially at his current value.