Fantasy Football Running Back Risers and Fallers (Post NFL Draft)

Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Fantasy Football Running Back Risers and Fallers (Post NFL Draft)

Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Running Back Risers and Fallers (Post NFL Draft)


Steph Chambers/Getty Images

After discussing the rookies to exhaustion the last few weeks, it is finally time we begin looking at the rest of the fantasy football landscape. There were plenty of veterans whose fantasy outlook was affected along with the incoming rookie class. This included major depth chart shake-ups as well, which should make for interesting training camp battles. 

There were some big risers and fallers in my dynasty fantasy football rankings, and we will take a look at some of the biggest value movers down below. I will begin this series by breaking down the running back position, and the most exciting backfield competitions. 


Kenneth Walker – Seattle Seahawks

The obvious loser from the NFL Draft, Kenneth Walker, has a new backfield mate in Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet possesses a strong frame and had a very productive career at UCLA. He excelled in the passing game as well and was selected less than 10 picks from where Walker was just a year ago. I expect Walker to continue to lead this backfield, regardless, it is clear head coach Pete Carroll has a rotation in mind. 

Walker also struggled to stay healthy last year and hasn’t gotten a lot of receiving work thus far in his career. The presence of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba ensures the Seahawks will employ a balanced approach too. This likely leaves Walker as a borderline RB1 in redraft leagues for 2023 and Charbonnet as a flex option.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Outlook: Faller

Rachaad White – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Every fantasy analyst expected Tampa Bay to add to their running back room, and they didn’t invest a single pick in the position. The Buccaneers did add talented UDFA Sean Tucker, but he has some large medical concerns to overcome. Furthermore, White began to take on a much larger workload toward the end of the season and received second round draft capital in 2022. While he wasn’t very efficient in his opportunities, Tampa Bay’s offensive line was a disaster.

White will end up being the clear lead back in what could be an underrated offense in 2022. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are still on the outside, the offensive line should be improved, and Baker Mayfield had his moments last year. The presence of White will also provide a safety blanket for Mayfield too, and 70-plus targets is within his range of outcomes. 

Dynasty Fantasy Football Outlook: Riser


Khalil Herbert – Chicago Bears

Khalil Herbert was set to lead the Chicago backfield after the departure of David Montgomery; however, the Bears selected one of my favorite players in the fourth round of the draft. Before the draft, I expected Roschon Johnson to get day two draft capital. So having him there at pick 115 was a steal for the Bears, and he should immediately be a factor in the rotation. Johnson has a strong frame and is tough to bring down in open space.

Although he played behind Bijan Robinson at Texas, he does all the little things to get on the field early. Although Herbert was very efficient last season, he has only received over 15 touches in seven career games. He also missed four games due to injury last year and failed to regain his early season momentum. As a sixth round pick, he won’t simply be handed the lead job. Johnson and D’Onta Foreman will both push him for opportunities on early downs, likely creating another running back by committee. 

Dynasty Fantasy Football Outlook: Faller


Isiah Pacheco – Kansas City Chiefs

A lot of NFL mock drafts projected the Chiefs to take a running back, which didn’t come to fruition. Kansas City instead brought back passing down back Jerick McKinnon, and chose to retain Clyde Edwards-Helaire. While McKinnon will certainly have a role, it is Isiah Pacheco who will carry the bulk of the rushing work. McKinnon received double-digit rushing opportunities once last season, and Edwards-Helaire lacks NFL speed. 

Enter Pacheco, who finished as a top 24 running back in six of his final eight games. While he lacks vision and elusiveness, there isn’t any doubting his speed and tackle breaking ability. In this high-powered offense, Pacheco will have fantasy relevancy, particularly if he can get more red zone work. His status wasn’t changed by the draft, once again ranking as a low-end RB2 in fantasy football rankings.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Outlook: Riser


David Montgomery – Detroit Lions 

One month ago, David Montgomery was entering a much better situation with the Lion’s offense. Detroit wasn’t showing a lot of faith in their oft-injured, talented back D’Andre Swift, and Montgomery had a real opportunity to take control. The Lions threw positional value to the wind though and selected Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick in the draft. The young back from Alabama is a pass catching back the Lions envision filling the role hole left behind by Swift in the offense. 

On the other hand, Gibbs doesn’t possess the size Swift has and never took on a heavy rushing workload in college either. His receiving expertise is what makes him attractive to fantasy managers; however, he did finally get more opportunities in the run game in the second half of 2022. This ensures Montgomery will still have a large role, but his upside will be capped as Detroit is clearly infatuated with Gibbs. 

Dynasty Fantasy Football Outlook: Faller


For more fantasy football content, check out the links below!

Late-Round Dynasty Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Sleepers

Bijan Robinson Needs to be the First Overall Pick in Fantasy Football

2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Superflex Rookie Rankings (Post NFL Draft)


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