Sky’s Running Back Rankings

This is my second round of running back rankings, but I’ll be updating these throughout the off-season. Bookmark this page to keep tabs on my rankings. These rankings are for RB only and based on PPR settings. Some players are not yet included in my Top 24 who will most likely land there due to their uncertainty of free agency, player options, returning from injury, etc. Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, J.K. Dobbins and Nick Chubb are among those. 

Which RBs am I too high on? Comment below, and we’ll discuss in the chat.

Remember to check in with the @RazzballNFL team of writers as we host our Tuesday evening show, where we hit on all things off-season fantasy football.  Join Bobby LaMarco @BobbyLaMarco, Matt Stiles @stiles08, The Lineup Builder @Derek_Favret, and me, Sky Guasco @SkyGuasco at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST for the show as we answer all your questions thus keeping you engaged for the 2024 season while looking back at what coulda, shoulda, woulda been in 2023. Come for the analysis, and stay for the laughs!

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Top 5 Risers Due To Coaching Changes

  • Player: Brian Robinson
  • Team: Washington Commanders
  • My Ranking: RB25 (ECR RB30)

The Commanders made serious waves in coaching changes this off-season. In just a couple of weeks, they hired a new VP/GM, HC (Dan Quinn), OC (Kliff Kingsbury and RB Coach Anthony Lynn, who was with Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers and Austin Eleker with the Chargers before that from 2017-2020. CMC and Ekeler have been perennial Top 3 RBs drafted and, when healthy, produce as such. Brian Robinson may not have the pass-catching chops as those two, but the dude’s a stud running the ball. Let’s remember, he was shot in the leg twice before his rookie season, stalling his development two years ago. Last season, he actually outpaced Antonio Gibson in all categories and earned five Top 15 PPR finishes during the season, scoring nine touchdowns to Gibson’s three. Y’all know I love my Alabama running backs (save for Josh Jacobs). The only reason B-Rob isn’t inside my Top 24 yet is because I need to see what WAS does at QB in the draft. I suspect he’ll be an RB2 for me by draft season.

  • Player: Najee Harris / Jaylen Warren
  • Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
  • My Ranking: RB19 (ECR RB27) / RB23 (ECR RB29)

Say what you want about Arthur Smith – new OC for the Steelers; the dude caters to running backs. Believe it or not, Bijan Robinson had a fine rookie season – just not to the expectations we put on him. Coupling that with Tyler Allgeier’s output, the Falcons were 4th in rush attempts per game with 31 and 8th in the NFL in rushing yards per game with 127. They were also 4th in rushing play % meaning 48% of their plays were a run. The Ravens led the NFL at 50%. The Falcons o-line was elite last season ranking 4th according to Player Profiler. Still, Robinson and Allgeier weren’t very efficient. Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris were a force to end the season behind the 20th ranked o-line. Now, with a run-centric game planner in OC Smith, another year for this young o-line to gel and Warren to continue to be one of the most efficient backs in the NFL, Harris and this offense should be in better positions to score, and we know they’ll be Top 5 in opportunities. Of all running backs with less than 180 carries, Warren had the second-highest yards per attempt (5.3) behind only De’Von Achane (7.8, LOL). Like Brian Robinson above, I want to wait on how the Steelers handle the QB position before committing to my ranks of Warren and Harris, but I’d imagine they’ll both be inside my Top 24 and possibly Top 20 come summer.

  • Player: (insert Eagles running back)
  • Team: Philadelphia Eagles
  • My Ranking: RB? (ECR RB?)

This is the first of two “cop-outs,” but I stand by it. I know it’s lame to leave analysis vague, but right now (7+ months before fantasy draft season), I think it’s okay. D’Andre Swift, Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny are all Free Agents. If anyone, I see them keeping Scott, who is a veteran of the club, and only $1M. Penny might be toast already due to injuries, while a Seahawk and Swift could be moving to his third team in just four seasons. I mentioned this during our recent episode discussing Saquon Barkley, but I could see him landing with the Eagles. I know Giants fans hate that, but Saquon will be expensive and wants to join a contender. With the Eagles potentially losing Swift, Scott and Penny, they’ll open up close to the $10M expected for Barkley. It’s wheels up if it’s Saquon in this offense, but let’s say it’s not. It’s either Swift returning or someone like Tony Pollard or even Zack Moss. I still love that RB with new OC Kellen Moore, who had the Chargers cookin’ last year in the first month of the season before Mike Williams was lost for the year. Justin Herbert got hurt, and Ekeler wasn’t the same after a Week 2 high-ankle sprain. Before then, Moore had the Cowboys as a Top 3 offense for three seasons. Regardless of who the Eagles RB is, I want shares. Player and ranking TBD.

  • Player: (insert Chargers running back)
  • Team: Los Angeles Chargers
  • My Ranking: RB? (ECR RB?)

Here’s my other “cop-out”. I know new (old) HC Jim Harbaugh has expressed his love for Ekeler recently, but I’ve been a football fan for too long to know that doesn’t mean anything. Kyle Shanahan just told Anthony Lynn he was coming back in 2024. Then, he fired him the next day. That said, I think Ekeler leaves the Chargers. I predicted he would go to the Titans to replace Derrick Henry. I could also see him land with the Texans or Giants. Either way that means somebody else is the dawg in LAC. I like D’Andre Swift in that spot, who is four years younger than Ekeler and possesses similar attributes. Whomever it is, they’ll be running… a lot. Not only does Harbaugh like to run, but his new (old) OC Greg Roman has had his previous offenses in the Top 3 for rush attempts per game and bottom 5 for pass attempts per game during his time with the 49ers and Ravens (under Harbaugh(s)). This is also TBD based on how the RB position shakes out, but I can’t imagine a scenario where the Chargers RB isn’t inside my Top 15 to start 2024. 

  • Player: Jerome Ford (if not Nick Chubb)
  • Team: Cleveland Browns
  • My Ranking: RB27 (ECR RB37)

I can’t express enough how much I’m rooting for Nick Chubb to return to his dominant self, but I’m worried he won’t. He tore everything he could in his knee in a gruesome early season injury on national television. After that, Jerome Ford filled in admirably, and somehow, Joe Flacco dusted off the deep ball and guided the Browns to the playoffs. Since then, CLE has hired Ken Dorsey as their new OC. Dorsey had the BUF ranked 2nd on yards and points as their OC in 2022. Josh Allen helps, but still. As a rookie, James Cook didn’t do much in the first half of the season, but he was RB16 in PPR Week 13-16 once he got more work in 2022. Last season, Cook was RB12 in PPR, and if not for four fumbles, he could have been much higher. After Chubb was lost for the year, Ford went off as the RB5 in Weeks 2 and 3. After CLE’s bye in Week 5, he was RB13 from Week 6-17, just 10 total PPR points behind Cook. If Chubb is healthy, it’s his backfield. Regardless, I want the Browns RB and handcuff. Deshaun Watson was rough for fantasy but won games. If he’s healthy, he’ll start too. HC Kevin Stefanski should be relying on the run early and often as he generally does. Dorsey could add some flare and more passing game work for the Browns’ RBs. 

Download Table as CSV
Note: Filters and sorting in the table below apply to the output

# Name Team
Christian McCaffrey SF
Bijan Robinson ATL
Breece Hall NYJ
Saquon Barkley PHI
Jahmyr Gibbs DET
Jonathan Taylor IND
Kyren Williams LAR
Alvin Kamara NO
Derrick Henry BAL
De’Von Achane MIA
Josh Jacobs GB
Travis Etienne Jr. JAC
Aaron Jones MIN
Rachaad White TB
Isiah Pacheco KC
James Cook BUF
Kenneth Walker III SEA
Joe Mixon HOU
David Montgomery DET
Zamir White LV
Rhamondre Stevenson NE
James Conner ARI
D’Andre Swift CHI
Austin Ekeler WAS
Jaylen Warren PIT
Tyjae Spears TEN
Javonte Williams DEN
Gus Edwards LAC
Zack Moss CIN
Brian Robinson WAS
Najee Harris PIT
Raheem Mostert MIA
Devin Singletary NYG
Tony Pollard TEN
Khalil Herbert CHI
Jerome Ford CLE

For more from Sky and his Razzball content, find him on Twitter @skyguasco.