The 2022-23 NFL season is about to begin which means that fantasy football is back! Usually in the first week of the season fantasy football players tend to play the players they originally drafted to be their starters. However, since every week is important it would be irresponsible to start a player with a rough matchup over a player with a more favorable one because he was drafted to be a starter. Here are the fantasy football week 1 running back rankings.
*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to reserve/COVID-19 list*
(Check out the section below for details on players already rumored to possibly miss this week and how their replacement options rank for the week)
Must Start- a player who is in your lineup regardless of the matchup or most circumstances. They Will likely finish near the top of the league in points that week and in most weeks.
Starting RB1- a player who makes fantasy owners comfortable starting week after week. Regardless of the matchup, this player has a high floor.
High-End RB2- a player who may isn’t likely to carry a lineup that week, but has the ability to have a breakout game and is teetering between RB1 and RB2 category.
Starting RB2- a player who should be started in most lineups and should reach their point projection. This player is started is because of their consistency and moderately high floor
Low RB2- a player who may not be a lock to start for a team every week, but will start more times than not. Their production may not be pretty or win a person their lineup but the production is consistent enough to make a fantasy owner comfortable starting them.
Flex- a player who could float around the territory of being benched, but is started due to the potential to play better than their point projection. However, this player has the potential to flop and causes a fantasy team to lose if he has a bad game.
Deep League Flex- a player who is more of a Hail Mary throw at the position. There are enough reasons to leave this player on the bench, but their upside makes them an attractive option. Desperate times may call for a player like this to be inserted into starting lineups.
Leave on the Bench- a player who should be avoided in all lineups that week. Many times this player could even be left on waivers.
|Must Start||Jonathan Taylor||vs Houston Texans||RB1|
|Must Start||Austin Ekeler||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB2|
|Must Start||Christian McCaffrey||vs Cleveland Browns||RB3|
|Must Start||Derrick Henry||vs New York Giants||RB4|
|Starting RB1||Alvin Kamara||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Dalvin Cook||vs Green Bay Packers||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Najee Harris||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB7|
|Starting RB1||Leonard Fournette||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB8|
|Starting RB1||Joe Mixon||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB9|
|High-End RB2||D’Andre Swift||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB10|
|High-End RB2||Aaron Jones||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB11|
|High-End RB2||James Conner||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Javonte Williams||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB13|
|Starting RB2||Nick Chubb||vs Carolina Panthers||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Saquon Barkley||vs Tennessee Titans||RB15|
|Starting RB2||David Montgomery||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB16|
|Low RB2||J.K. Dobbins*||vs New York Jets||RB17|
|Low RB2||Cam Akers||vs Buffalo Bills||RB18|
|Low RB2||Elijah Mitchell*||vs Chicago Bears||RB19|
|Low RB2||Travis Etienne Jr.||vs Washington Commanders||RB20|
|Low RB2||Josh Jacobs||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB21|
|Flex||Antonio Gibson||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB22|
|Flex||Ezekiel Elliott||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB23|
|Flex||Miles Sanders*||vs Detriot Lions||RB24|
|Flex||Breece Hall||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB25|
|Flex||Dameon Pierce||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB26|
|Flex||Rashaad Penny||vs Denver Broncos||RB27|
|Deep League Flex||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB28|
|Deep League Flex||Chase Edmonds||vs New England Patriots||RB29|
|Deep League Flex||Kareem Hunt||vs Carolina Panthers||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Damien Harris||vs Miami Dolphins||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||Cordarrelle Patterson||vs New Orleans Saints||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||A.J. Dillon||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Rhamondre Stevenson||vs Miami Dolphins||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Melvin Gordon||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||Devin Singletary||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||James Robinson||vs Washington Commanders||RB37|
|Leave on the Bench||Tony Pollard||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB38|
|Leave on the Bench||James Cook||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB39|
|Leave on the Bench||Jamaal Williams||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB40|
|Leave on the Bench||J.D. McKissic||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB41|
|Leave on the Bench||Kenneth Walker III*||vs Denver Broncos||RB42|
|Leave on the Bench||Michael Carter||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Kenneth Gainwell||vs Detroit Lions||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Raheem Mostert||vs New England Patriots||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||Nyheim Hines||vs Houston Texans||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Khalil Herbert||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||Tyler Allgeier||vs New Orleans Saints||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||Isiah Pacheco||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Rex Burkhead||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Mark Ingram||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Darrell Henderson Jr.||vs Buffalo Bills||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Rachaad White||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Sony Michel||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Alexander Mattison||vs Green Bay Packers||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Mike Davis||vs New York Jets||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Isaiah Spiller||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Zamir White||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Jerrick McKinnon||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||Darrel Williams||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Jeff Wilson Jr.||vs Chicago Bears||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||Dontrell Hilliard||vs New York Giants||RB62|
|Leave on the Bench||D’Onta Foreman||vs Cleveland Browns||RB63|
|Leave on the Bench||Boston Scott||vs Detroit Lions||RB64|
|Leave on the Bench||Eno Benjamin||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB65|
|Leave on the Bench||Samaje Perine||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB66|
|Leave on the Bench||Matt Breida||vs Tennessee Titans||RB67|
|Leave on the Bench||Chuba Hubbard||vs Cleveland Browns||RB68|
|Leave on the Bench||Tyrion Davis-Price||vs Chicago Bears||RB69|
|Leave on the Bench||Ty Montgomery*||vs Miami Dolphins||RB70|
|Leave on the Bench||D’Ernest Johnson||vs Carolina Panthers||RB71|
|Leave on the Bench||Ronald Jones||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB72|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB17 J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
J.K. Dobbins is still recovering from his ACL tear from last season. There is still some uncertainty about if he will be available in Week 1 against the New York Jets. If Dobbins misses this game then Mike Davis and Kenyan Drake should carry the Ravens backfield. Davis moves up to RB20 between Travis Etienne Jr. and Josh Jacobs. Drake would move up to RB39 between James Cook and Jamaal Williams.
RB19 Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Mitchell was held out of the preseason because of a hamstring issue. He is expected to be available for Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. However, the 49ers haven’t confirmed Mitchell’s status for their season opener. If Mitchell was to miss this age then Jeff Wilson Jr. would move up to RB21 between Josh Jacobs and Antonio Gibson. Tyrion Davis-Price would bump up to RB48 between Khalil Herbert and Tyler Allgeier.
RB24 Miles Sanders, Philadephia Eagles
Miles Sanders didn’t practice for more than two weeks due to a hamstring issue. Sanders returned to practice recently and is expected to play in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions. If he was to miss this week the Eagles backfield would be split between Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott. Gainwell would move up to RB27 between Rashaad Penny and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Scott would become the RB38 between James Robinson and Tony Pollard.
RB42 Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III suffered a sports hernia earlier in the preseason. At this point the Seahawks are unsure if Walker will be active for Seattle’s Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos. If Walker was to miss this week’s game then Rashaad Penny would shoot up to RB20 between Elijah Mitchell and Travis Etienne Jr. Seattle’s change of pace back would likely be Travis Homer or DeeJay Dallas.
RB70 Ty Montgomery, New England Patriots
Patriots running back Ty Montgomery suffered an ankle injury during the last game of the preseason. He is expected to take on the role previously held by James White before his retirement. If Montgomery isn’t active for this week’s game against the Miami Dolphins then Pierre Strong Jr. will serve as New England’s third active running back.