With the 2023 NFL Draft quickly approaching, it is time to start taking into consideration the fantasy impacts these top players can have. That impact will largely depend on where they get drafted, and Marissa Myers and Elie Gaffen provide the top team for that fantasy impact to be maximized for the top running back prospects.
Bijan Robinson- Philadelphia Eagles
Imagine a team that is coming off a Super Bowl loss, adding a generational specimen in their backfield. The versatility this offense can have with the threat of the talent of Jalen Hurts on the ground while also airing it out to DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, and Dallas Goedert with Bijan Robinson’s ability on the ground as well as in pass protection. This is a match made in heaven. Robinson can open up the field on and off the ball for the Eagles, so their offense will run smoother than it already is. Don’t get me wrong, Miles Sanders is a solid running back. But when you don’t have much to upgrade and are sitting in the first round of the NFL Draft, this could end up as a match made in heaven for fantasy owners.
Jahmyr Gibbs- Chicago Bears
With David Montgomery currently a free agent, the Bears have their top running back spot open. After their trade with the Carolina Panthers, acquiring wide receiver D.J. Moore, they no longer have a pressing need at wide receiver. This would allow them to spend resources in the second round to get their future running back, and Gibbs would be great. He would bring versatility due to his rushing ability that led to him having 926 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground last season. His impact goes further as with his crisp route running he had 444 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver over 44 receptions. Pairing him with the dual-threat quarterback in Justin Fields would be great for his fantasy value.
Tyjae Spears- Carolina Panthers
After trading Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers now have an open spot for the top running back on the team. Tyjae Spears would be able to fill that void and his fantasy value as the top running back would be perfect. Spears was the Tulane offense in 2022, he had 1,586 yards on the ground, accumulated 1,052 after contact, and 19 touchdowns. Then even his receiving ability has upside as he hauled in 22 receptions for 251 yards and two touchdowns. His route running is smooth, and as he continues to improve, his fantasy value will be there.
Kendre Miller- Miami Dolphins
There is currently only one running back on the active roster and that is Salvon Ahmed, otherwise Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Myles Gaskin are free agents. The Dolphins need to add to their running back room, and Kendre Miller would be the perfect back to do so, while also having his fantasy value increase. With his high-end athleticism, he accelerates upfield quickly and has the long speed as well to generate long plays. He had a breakout year in 2022, having his first season with over 200 attempts in which he rushed for 1,399 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a receiver, he has been limited to only 37 targets over three seasons that went for 229 yards and a touchdown, but the possibility is there for the role to potentially increase. Overall, on this Dolphins offense, Miller would be able to see plenty of snaps as a rookie and provide late fantasy value.
Zach Charbonnet- Los Angeles Rams
Zach Charbonnet might not have to go far to give himself the highest value in fantasy football that he could possibly be. He’s an underrated three-down back that has the burst to make up for his lack in athleticism. From UCLA to the Los Angeles Rams, he could end up having a really good career there. Cam Akers is the only guy left in the Rams backfield, and there is a possibility he is on his way out. Even with Akers as the starter, Charbonnet can do some damage and eat into his workload. This could be a scenario where Akers gets cut or traded midseason, leaving Charbonnet to own the backfield and skyrocket his fantasy value.
Tank Bigsby- New Orleans Saints
Tank Bigsby is an underrated and tough runner that the New Orleans Saints can really benefit from. With Alvin Kamara’s availability up in the air next season with the trial over the summer, the Saints could end up taking a day three risk on Bigsby. Even with Kamara playing, the Saints, as well as Kamara, can work well with more of a committee approach with Bigsby handling the bulk of the carries at some point during the season. There is a lot of value in being Derek Carr’s “Josh Jacobs” and Bigsby can thrive in that role and have solid fantasy value in year one, even splitting the backfield.