[brid autoplay= “true” video= “1385528” player= “10951” title=” 2023 Fantasy Football Rookies” duration= “173” description= “0:24 Jahmyr Gibbs 1:05 Kendre Miller 1:54 Jaxon Smith-Njigba “uploaddate= “2023-08-19” thumbnailurl= “https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/snapshot/1385528_th_64e0200ad8139_1692409866.jpg” image= “https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/snapshot/1385528_sd_64e0200ad8139_1692409866.jpg” contenturl= “https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/sd/1385528.mp4” width= “480” height= “270”]

As we draw closer to the kickoff of the 2023 football season, we need to start aligning our tiers/rankings to ensure we gather as much value as possible and do not waste any roster space on names that will not bring a solid return.

Now is the time to determine which running backs are fades 20 days from the start of the season. Some of these names you probably have on your Best Ball rosters already, which means you are stuck with them. Fear not, since you undoubtedly have more drafts in the near future. Let’s use what we know regarding camp battles and injuries and move some players down our board or fade altogether.

Consider this article a BOGO, as I will provide the fades and RBs to consider instead later in the draft. Spoiler Alert: Zero RB will be discussed below.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Razzball Fantasy YouTube Channel! You can also find our content on Instagram, TikTok and Razzball.com!

Next to each name is the current average draft position (ADP) as of August 13, 2023, which you can find here: Consensus 2023 Fantasy Football ADP (Razzball.com).

Jonathan Taylor (20)

Josh Jacobs (24)

Breece Hall (32)

Javonte Williams (73)

Kenneth Gainwell (164)

The top two names on this list are both stud RBs. Do not mistake this article as a knock on their om-filed abilities. Right now, for both Taylor and Jacobs, this is all about money. They know it. Team front offices know it. We know it. I do not take anything away from either of these men wanting to get paid or traded, as it appears to be the latest out of Team Taylor. 

What can we say about Jonathan Taylor? He was a glaring disappointment in an abysmal Colts 2022 season capped off by allowing the Vikings to overcome what looked like a 125-point deficit to break the hearts of Indy nation. Matt Ryan was bad. The offensive line was bad. Taylor had some foot issues and was not good. He was not the Taylor we expected when we drafted him in Round 1 last season. He was a classic Round 1 RB bust that ruined a lot of fantasy seasons. Last week Taylor demanded a trade. This week he came back to camp. Fantasy owners cheered in the streets. Late this week, Taylor left camp for ‘personal reasons’ and has yet to be seen back with the team. Folks, stay away from Taylor. This feels like an Antonio Brown situation where the diva takes over, and the player cannot keep up. I can see Taylor getting traded or cut a few times before disappearing into the background of a very promising NFL (and fantasy) career. Keep an eye on Evan Hull if Taylor continues to ghost.

Josh Jacobs led the league in rushing in a year he was rumored to be released. Boy, did he show the front office his worth! Or did he? Why the Raiders hesitating to give the guy a payday is beyond me. He was in a prove-it year, and he certainly did just that…he proved it. Right now, I am fading Jacobs based on the uncertainty of him starting the season in the Las Vegas backfield. With that, my gut says something gets done in the next week, and Jacobs reports and starts the season as the Raiders RB1. If you do not see a contract worked out by the end of next week, I recommend moving Zamir White (173) up your board.

With the Dalvin Cook signing and the potential lingering effect of a significant leg injury, I am staying away from Breece Hall. I am fading the Jets RBBC situation. When drafting RBs, I want alpha dogs or surefire splits, and I am not confident either of these backs gets enough carries for me to buy high. When you factor in Michael Carter, this backfield gets even more crowded and muddier hence me staying away. Suppose you need more; factor in the Bills, Patriots, and Dolphins defenses six times. All of that to say, I am not paying for Hall in Round 3. Nope, not gonna do it. No chance with names like Najee Harris, Dameon Pierce, Rhamondre Stevenson, Aaron Jones, James Conner, and Joe Mixon probably still on the board. If I must roster one of these backs, and you now understand I prefer not to do so, I will take Cook at his current ADP of 79 before reaching for Hall at 32.

When considering skill position players, I prefer to avoid those coming off significant injuries. The injury to Javonte Williams in 2022 concerns me, and I would much rather select a WR at the beginning of Round 7 than use Williams as a Zero RB target. If I am into the Zero RB process, give me all of Samaje Perine 35 picks later. You read that right. Perine, one of the most attractive Zero RB names, in my opinion, can be drafted a full three rounds after Williams. Factor in Perine’s scoring with and without Joe Mixon in the lineup, and your draft capital is better spent on a WR (McLaurin, Diontae, M. Williams, C. Watson, M. Evans, Pickens, London, Godwin, etc.) available in Round 6-7 than it is on taking a chance that Javonte can come back fully healthy and own the Denver backfield reps.

Social media went a little berserk last night after the Eagles/Browns game. In fact, it went a little sideways when RB retread/afterthought Trey Sermon scored an impressive distance TD. The Eagles backfield is not an RBBC as much as it appears to be an RB-RB-RB-RBBC before Sermon is even factored in. Some of us at Razzball quietly pushed Kenneth Gainwell up our draft boards. Last night proved the uncertain nature of touches for Philly RBs.      That means I need to push Kenny G. back down my board. The Eagles have four legitimate, viable RB options in Swift, Penny, Gainwell, and Boston Scott. Throw Sermon into the mix, and you have a mess. I still find D’Andre Swift to be the group’s best player, and his ADP (75) places him in early Round 7. I am happy with Swift as another Zero RB in that round. With an ADP of 164 (middle of Round 13), Gainwell is still a good option as late-round FLEX. My advice is do not get caught up with the talk of raising him up your ranks just yet. 

Who are your fades at RB, and who are you drafting in their place?

Follow me @stiles08 on Twitter/X and send questions and comments at the bottom of this article. Make sure you jump around the Razzball site for all your fantasy football needs.