It might be pre-draft and free agency right now, but it can still be fun to look at the best players that have the potential to win leagues in fantasy football this season. This week, we begin with running backs. These are players that are likely to be unrated, whether slightly or largely in their average draft position by August.
4. Jahmyr Gibbs
Everyone uses Alvin Kamara as a perfect player comparison to Jahmyr Gibbs, and it’s true. He’s small but shifty and can be relied on for all three downs. He can easily find open space with solid vision and in a good situation, he can be one of the best backs in the league. He’ll boost the efficiency of any offense with his elusiveness and explosiveness in all aspects of the field.
He’ll most likely get drafted to primarily play the third down role, but he will work his way up quickly and be their main guy in the backfield, getting 60% or more snaps. It might be a few weeks before he explodes, but he’s a guy that has the talent to win out any competition.
3. Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor’s 2022-2023 campaign was a situation where everything that could go wrong went wrong. First, he was playing with a quarterback that couldn’t move the ball, and he was much less efficient. On top of that, he suffered from so many injuries throughout the season and his touchdowns plummeted from 20 to four this past year.
I plan on putting this all in the past entering this season. The Indianapolis Colts will be looking for a new quarterback to carry the offense. They can’t leave Taylor with no offensive efficiency in the passing game. No matter what, their offense cannot look worse. Don’t let one down year ruin your outlook on an elite player. I wasn’t as high on Taylor last season as others were, but the past is in the past, and you have to isolate each year to assess his value. Taylor will see a huge jump in touchdowns, and he should return back to his normal form. Injuries are always a question, but Taylor should be a fantastic option at his ADP.
2. Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson is a generational player, and he is going to prove to be that in year one. He’s the second running back on this list for a reason. This guy has player comps with Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, or pretty much any superstar three-down running backs.
The talent level that Robinson brings makes him fit, no matter what situation he’s in. He has the capability of turning offenses around and leading an offense to more efficiency. With how good he already is, Robinson is looking to be even better and stronger. He’s been working out hard in preparation for the combine and other events leading up to the draft. He is going to be a league winner on whichever team drafts him, and if I learned anything in my years of playing fantasy football, it is to trust the talent. Even if he ends up in a bad situation, it just means a lowered ADP. I expect a Saquon-like rookie season, so wherever his ADP ends up, he’ll remain a league winner.
Breece Hall is going to be the league winner that few expect. The question is, what are the hesitations to why people are down on him going into this season. The first is his ACL injury, but I don’t see this being a problem for him. Usually, I’m the first person to be hesitant of a running back coming off an ACL injury. However, Hall is ahead of schedule in his healing and looks to be ready for camp.
#Jets rookie RB Breece Hall says he’s ahead of rehab schedule in his return from a torn ACL. Expects to be ready for camp. pic.twitter.com/qw0fS8gtrj
— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) January 9, 2023
The other question is in terms of his situation. The New York Jets quarterback situation is very questionable leading up to the offseason. Zach Wilson is likely out as the starter, so now it moves to whether the Jets look in the draft or look to free agents. Either way, the Jets will end up in a much better situation by Week One than they had last season. Pairing that with the fantastic workload that Hall will have means that there is so much value with the running back. In October, he was killing it, consistently putting up numbers in the passing game as well as the run game. He averaged over 20 touches a game, but where he lacked was in finding the end zone. With improved efficiency on offense with a better quarterback, they’ll be able to move the chains and get Hall in the red zone and work towards finding the end zone. The fact of the matter is, Hall is an amazingly talented player, and he’s going to be a steal with people being down on him currently.