We have reached the depths of the tub of ice cream. The “I was just leveling off the top” excuse is no longer legitimate (like it ever was). What remains is merely a mélange of candied toppings and molten cream. Take a deep breath, we are about to finish this off, the work we do may be messy, but it will be rewarding. I present to you, the final 40 Running Backs ranked 81-120.
81. Mark Ingram II | 32 | Saints – The former Heisman Trophy winner is an intelligent player who understands how the running game works. Ingram utilizes keen vision, decisive cuts, and runs with force behind his shoulder pads. The tread on his tires has worn thin and after rushing for less than 600 yards for only the second time in his last eight seasons, it’s fair to wonder how much gas is left in his tank. Mark 2 has one year remaining on his contract, and after a career with over 10,000 total yards and 74 Touchdowns, he is a player to keep on your radar.
82. JaMycal Hasty | 25 | 49ers – Hasty has been tasked with the 3rd down back role in San Francisco and I have my doubts he will get a shot at anything more. The undrafted free agent has been a part-time running back throughout his career. He was unable to get more than 120 carries in a single season during his college days at Baylor. A restricted free agent in 2022, Hasty will likely re-sign with the 49ers. A smaller back, 5’8″ 205-lbs, Hasty will probably be saddled the 3rd down role and nothing more, but hey, he gets on the field much more than many of the players in this range.
83. Salvon Ahmed | 23 | Dolphins – Salvon is a curious case. He might be a sleeper due to disparate 40 yard dash times entering the 2020 draft. Ahmed’s speed was obvious in college playing for the Washington Huskies. Salvon averaged 5.8 yards per touch in 403 plays throughout his college career, that’s a good average over a fairly significant sample size. Then there was his blistering 4.32-second 40-yard dash at the Huskie combine. But when Ahmed ran the 40 in the NFL combine the best time he recorded was a disappointing 4.62. Bargain back specialist Kyle Shanahan took notice and signed Salvon as an undrafted free agent. Ahmed failed to impress San Francisco coaches and after being waived by the Niners, he wound up on the practice squad in Miami. The Former Huskie continues to be an enigma in Miami. After an impressive end to the 2020 season which included a 122 yard game against the Patriots, Ahmed failed to get anything going in 2021 absent in five of the team’s final seven games. When I watch his film I see a very fast player who lacks vision and decisiveness. If I’m willing to bet on anything in Fantasy Football, it’s fast players, and at this price, Ahmed is worth the risk.
84. Joshua Kelley | 24 | Chargers – The 5’11”, 215-lbs 2020 4th round pick from UCLA was expected to take over the backup role from veteran running back Justin Jackson, but couldn’t win the job, and then lost the 3rd string job in 2021 to rookie Larry Rountree III. Kelley’s size, speed (4.49 40-yard dash), and potential (back to back 1,000 yard rushing seasons at UCLA) should be enough for the Chargers to give him another shot at backing up multifaceted superstar Austin Ekeler.
85. James White | 30 | Patriots – The pass-catching extraordinaire is a free agent in 2022. White has reached the age 30 danger zone for running backs, but he was never a workhorse, so there may be more juice left than your average 30 something running back. James missed most of the 2021 season with a hip injury, but if healthy he could be one of the better bargains in 2022.
86. Tevin Coleman | 28 | Jets – This ranking might be a little low for a player with 36 career touchdowns to his name. The fantasy football community is quick to throw out running backs, and when one considers the lack of career longevity amongst the players at the position, it is difficult to blame us. Coleman might not be finished yet, he had a solid 4.2 yards per rush in 2021. Tevin will be a 29-year-old free agent in 2022.
87. Larry Rountree III | 22| Chargers – 6th round selection holds the all-time rushing record (3,720 yards) at Missouri. Larry’s measurables don’t floor you, 5’11” 210-lbs, 4.7 forty-yard dash at his pro day. He’s an energetic downhill runner who produced against stout SEC defenses. I like his teammates Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley more than Rountree in the battle to backup Austin Ekeler.
88. DeeJay Dallas | 23 | Seahawks – Another member in the cadre of running backs in Seattle. Dallas differs from the other backs in that he is under a cap-friendly contract for two more seasons. DeeJay was labeled as an athlete and ranked among the top 300 recruits coming out of high school in 2017. Many scouts thought his best position was at defensive back, but he played running back for the Miami Hurricanes and put up solid numbers when healthy. Injuries continue to be a problem for the athletic back as he missed time in 2021 with a thigh bruise. Dallas has bulked up to nearly 220lbs and kept much of his signature speed. DeeJay is worth a spin in 2022.
89. Matt Brieda | 26 | Bills – Breida teased fantasy football players with his talent and speed in 2018 and 2019 playing for the 49ers and totaling about 1,800 total yards over the two-season span. In 2022 he gave us a preview of what he has left, racking up 125 yards rushing at 4.8 yards per rush. He’ll be a free agent in 2022 and a player I will keep an eye on.
90. Benny Snell Jr. | 23 | Steelers – Benny Snell Jr. is the opposite of the other backup running back in Pittsburgh, Kalen Ballage. Ballage is a large fast man who possesses the size and speed to be a dynamic running workhorse but lacks vision and decisiveness. Snell has vision and decisiveness but lacks speed. Both are stuck behind the sublime Najee Harris, one of the few who has it all.
91. Damien Williams | 29 | Bears – 164 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries in 2021, Williams will probably get a chance to stick around in Chicago for 2022 and compete with Khalil Herbert for the backup role to David Montgomery. I like Herbert much more, but the difference isn’t as vast as I make it seem. Damien averaged 4.1 yards per rush in 2021 to Herbert’s 4.2.
92. Demetric Felton | 23 | Browns – The 6th round selection from the UCLA Bruins played well at times in his rookie season with Browns. At 5’9″ 190-lbs, Felton is a tweener stuck between a slot receiver and running back and that’s how Cleveland used him in 2021. Demetric caught 18 passes for 180 yards and two Touchdowns. He tacked on seven rushes for 24 yards. Nothing spectacular, but enough to keep the promise of potential. Felton can make plays in the open field and the Browns seem to have an idea of how they want to utilize his playmaking ability. He’s a nice target for managers who play in leagues that employ a point-per-reception scoring structure.
93. Darrynton Evans | 23 | Titans – Still waiting on the oft-injured lilliputian runner from Appalachian State. Dontrell Hilliard showed fantasy owners what a pass-catching back can do in Tennesse. It is yet to be seen if Darrynton stays on the field long enough to produce similar numbers.
95. Ty’Son Williams | 25 | Ravens – Williams is a fast runner (4.46 40 yard dash) and at 6 foot tall and 220 lbs, has the physical tools to be a good back in the NFL, but the undrafted free agent wasn’t ready for primetime in 2021. Ty’Son missed some pass protections and botched a few plays, prompting his replacement by a group of veteran free agent running backs. He is a free agent again in 2022 and he is still big and fast.
96. Travis Homer | 23 | Seahawks – Homer has been a solid utility back for the Seahawks since 2019. He has a little bit of speed evidenced by his 4.4 forty-yard dash and they have thrown the ball to him a little (7 catches in 2021).
97. Jake Funk | 24 | Rams – A Mel Kiper draft favorite, Funk has good kick returning abilities and satisfactory straight-line speed. He averaged over 8 yards per rush in college at Maryland. A tough player who bet on himself by leaving school early getting drafted in the 7th round. Jake has 3 years remaining on a team-friendly contract.
98. Jalen Richard | 28 | Raiders – Silly to write this, but even at 98, Richard seems a little high on this list. I believe he deserves a place here because he has won the battle for the 3rd down back role for the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have tried to replace the undrafted free agent for years. First, it was 5th round draft pick DeAndre Washington, second, they signed “muscle hamster” Doug Martin, and third, it was free agent money man Kenyan Drake. This shrimpy (5’8″) back from the bayou continues to beat the competition. The ingredients in the Jambalaya of the Raiders backfield have changed, but Richard is the roux that provides consistency.
99. Jason Huntley | 23 | Eagles – The Eagles like their little running backs. The 5’9″ 190-lbs Huntley spent much of the 2021 season on the practice squad. He’s a former 5th round pick who ran a blazing 4.37 forty-yard dash.
101. Boston Scott | 26 | Eagles – Two-sport star Boston Scott is a gamer, and I mean that literally. Scott is a professional video gamer signed by Dignitas to play Rocket League professionally. When he’s not playing soccer with cars, the diminutive back (5′, 6″ 200lbs) has accrued 1,500 total yards and 14 touchdowns in his NFL career. The former 6th round selection from Louisiana Tech is a restricted free agent in 2022 and will probably return to the city for another season where It’s Always Sunny with the Eagles.
102. Malcolm Brown | 28 | Dolphins – Brown was the #1 running back recruit coming out of high school. That’s right, 5-star, number 1 running back recruit. He held offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Stanford. Injuries have worn Brown down, but he’s a player to watch.
103. Carlos Hyde | 31 | Jaguars – Carlos has been given more opportunities than most running backs, but even motivation from his former college coach Urban Meyer couldn’t transform Hyde into a monster back. Perhaps a swift kick or two may have worked? He hasn’t been terrible. Hyde holds a career of 4.1 yards per rush. He’s totaled over 5,800 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career. The former 2nd round pick is under contract with the Jaguars for 2022 and he will compete with James Robinson and Travis Etienne for carries.
104. Wayne Gallman | 27 | Vikings – The former Clemson Tiger is on his fourth NFL team since being drafted by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Standing 6 foot tall and weighing 215 lbs, Gallman has the size to be an NFL running back, and with a 4.2 career YPC, who knows, he might get another shot.
105. Duke Johnson Jr. | 28 | Dolphins – Started the final four games for Miami and ran with porpoise. PORPOISE, get it because he was a Dolphin, eh, ehh… Johnson finished second on the team in 2021 with 330 rushing yards. Proof that the Dolphins running game was a joke. Duke wasn’t even on the 53-man roster until November, ugh. He will be a free agent in 2022.
107. Jordan Howard | 27 | Eagles – Doesn’t it seem like Howard should be older than 27? Well, he isn’t and he still runs with strength and power. He’ll probably be a free agent flier for a running back needy team in 2022.
108. Dare Ogunbowale | 27 | Jaguars – A smart player who is solid in the passing game, Ogunbowale will enter free agency at age 28. I doubt he returns to Jacksonville with Travis Etienne set to take over the passing downs. Perhaps a new opportunity elsewhere will offer better results for Dare, but the truth is, he hasn’t done much with his opportunities.
109. Godwin Igwebuike | 27 | Lions – Godwin is a difficult dude to get to the ground. The converted safety understands the value of a broken tackle. But, as one would expect, Godwin has a lot to learn about the nuances of playing Running Back. He did not cover the ball with both hands when running through heavy traffic in week 10 during a close game, on a rainy day in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers didn’t make him pay for it. Igwebuike turned two carries into 53 yards rushing and a TD. Other teams will take note of the novice back’s cavalier ball carrying, but the talent is worth the gamble.
110. Brian Hill | 26 | 49ers – A 6’1″ 220-lbs bruiser, Brian Hill is on his fifth NFL team in as many seasons. I liked Hill coming out of the University of Wyoming where he set the school record for rushing yards in a single season 1,860 yards. Hill is a big back, and could be a nice complement to the 49ers’ smaller faster starting running back Elijah Moore, and could possibly get goal-line carries.
111. Alex Collins |27 | Seahawks – To quote one of the best lyricists of our time Conor Oberst from his song Slowly, “Oh potential, well, you’re a loaded line”. Those words ring true for Alex Collins. He stood out amongst his peers as a high school athlete in the state of Florida (not an easy task) participating in football, track, and lacrosse. If you’re a recruitnik like me, you may remember the dramatic scene during signing day when his mother ran off with his signed letter of intent after Alex chose to move away from home and attend school in Arkansas, Mom wanted him to stay close to home and play for the Miami Hurricanes. Razorbacks head coach at the time Bret Bielema sent another LOI the next day; Alex’s father signed the document and Collins was on his way to Fayetteville. He won the 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year award and finished second in all-time rushing yards (3,703) by a Razorback runner. He left school early to enter the NFL draft after his junior season. The dude is 5’10” 215-lbs and ran a 4.5 forty-yard dash. He has all the skills to be a superstar back, but questionable work ethic has left NFL teams wanting. The potential is here, but after five NFL seasons, “There’s nothing yet but a bunch of white, Oh potential, well, you’re a loaded line”.
112. Devine Ozigbo | 25 | Patriots – Ziggy is a big dude measuring in at 6’2″ 225-lbs. He moves well for a hulking man recording a 4.5 forty-yard dash at his pro day. Devine is reliable in the passing game — both protecting and receiving. The former Nebraska Cornhusker won “Lifter of the Year” in his senior season; the only running back to win the prestigious award for the historic blue blood program. Ozigbo is the last player to rush for 1,000 for the Huskers– been a difficult decade in Lincoln. Ziggy bounced from the practice squad to practice squad the past few years spending time with the Jaguars and Saints, but he chose to sign a futures contract with New England over a spot on the 53 man roster with the Jaguars. Don’t count this guy out. He’s a longshot I’d take.
113. Damarea Crockett | 24 | Broncos – 5’11” 225-lbs and ran a 4.50 forty-yard dash at his pro day. That’s a pretty good start. But how does a guy with that combination of size and speed go undrafted and wind up buried on a depth chart? Crockett went to college in Missouri and he was a star right from the start. Damarea set the Tigers freshman record for yards (1,062), rushing TDs (10), and rushing yards in a single game (225), not bad for a freshman in running against SEC defenses. Crockett was suspended for the final game of the season after being arrested for possession of marijuana. Injuries plagued his sophomore and junior seasons, and Crocket left school early to declare for the NFL draft. I would hope some maturity has developed after going undrafted and toughing it out on the practice squad for the Texans and then the Broncos. Even if it hasn’t, weed doesn’t derail NFL careers, and it’s not like he will get cited for holding dank in Denver.
114. Gary Brightwell | 22 | Giants – The Giants grabbed Gary Brightwell with the 196th pick of the 2021 draft. Brightwell is a 5’11” 220-lbs. slasher who reaches his top speed end speed quickly. He does not get cheated on his runs. Accelerates to the line of scrimmage and runs through contact. More of cut guy than a juke guy, but he can make defenders miss in the open field. Gary’s greatest deficiency is his ball security, he fumbled the ball many times in college and wasn’t much better in the preseason. GB now sits at 3rd on the Giants RB depth chart. We all know Barkley’s injury history. Devontae Booker has had an up and down NFL career. Brightwell is a name to remember.
115. Mekhi Sargent | 24 | Jaguars – A monster at perennial JuCo Powerhouse Iowa Western. Sargent committed to Iowa and many in the area predicted he’d pummel Big Ten defenses running behind a pulverizing Hawkeye Offensive line. That didn’t happen. He was replaced by Tyler Goodson, a dynamic back who will be ranked in a post-draft list. Goodson is a homerun threat, and those don’t always appear in the Iowa Backfield. Father/Son Ferentz decided to swing for the fences and start Goodson. Mekhi Sargent is more of a steady doubles hitter, but doubles have value at the back-end of the batting order.
116. Patrick Taylor | 23 | Packers – 23 carries for 89 yards and a score in 2021. Patrick possesses the size and speed of an NFL running back. He stands in at 6’2″ 217-lbs and ran a 4.57 forty-yard dash. Solid career numbers in college at Memphis. He got on the field early splitting carries as a true freshman and was a workhorse during his sophomore and Junior seasons rushing for nearly 2,000 yards over the two years.
117. Qadree Ollison | 25 | Falcons – He was the talk of training camp and it even looked like he might be involved in the offense, but that was before Cordarelle Patterson took over the Atlanta backfield. Qadree is a big back 6’1″ 230-lbs. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was successful with a big running back when he called plays for the Titans and Derrick Henry. The differences are, Qadree Ollison is not Derrick Henry and the Falcon O-line is not the Titans O-line.
118. Peyton Barber | 27 | Raiders – His advanced stats look great: Little time spent behind the line of scrimmage (2.47-second average). 40 yards rushing over the expected outcome. His run efficiency is good at 3.46. His best number is the rushing yards against 8 or more defenders in the box 58.3. That is his job. He runs the ball even when the other team knows he is gonna run the ball. If Peyton is available late in drafts, cordially invite him to your place.
120. Scottie Phillips | 24 | Texans- A training camp stud who had eight touches for a measly 20 yards in week eight. He’s a pork chop back (see: Herbert, Khalil) checking in at 5’8″ 210-lbs. A runner with good balance and solid speed (4.5 forty-yard dash). Scottie is a determined person who battled through JuCo, SEC defenses, going undrafted and earning a roster spot through the practice squad. A determined man is a determined runner. He’s a young RB (24 years old) with an opportunity; need I say more? Phillips remains under contract with the Texans for 2022.