LOGIN

Last week I analyzed the landing spots for quarterbacks Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis, amongst others, but this week I’ll be switching gears to the running back position. Obviously, two names stand tall above the rest at RB, but there are plenty of other interesting young talents to take a look at as well this week. Let’s take the handoff, burst through the hole and sprint right into this piece. 

Bijan Robinson, Landing Spot: Atlanta Falcons 

Obviously, the cheese stands alone when it comes to Bijan Robinson, arguably the best prospect at the running back position in the history of the game. Bijan is a two-way terror, the type of electric back who can destroy opposing defenses as both a pure rusher and pass catcher out of the backfield. 

In Atlanta, it’s sort of a double-edged sword for fantasy: The good news is that head coach Arthur Smith employs a run-heavy offensive attack; the bad news is that we don’t want Bijan to get overworked the way Breece Hall was pre-injury last season with the Jets (the best RB of his class). 

Ultimately, Bijan’s all-encompassing upside is something we simply can’t pass up from a fantasy perspective. In my Expert rankings on FantasyPros, I currently have Bijan as the No. 4 redraft PPR running back, behind only Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey and Josh Jacobs. Obviously, you could easily argue that Jacobs’ 2022 campaign was a little too strong, making even more of a case for Bijan at the No. 3 spot at his position. 

In dynasty, Bijan is being treated as the 1.01 overall by basically everyone in the industry. At just 21 years young, with every possible talent in the book, Bijan projects as a true fantasy monster for years to come. 

Jahmyr Gibbs, Landing Spot: Detroit Lions 

At first, this looked like a nightmare: Gibbs being drafted at No. 12 overall onto a team that just signed David Montgomery and drafted the talented D’Andre Swift not too long ago. But Swift was quickly and logically traded to the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles, leaving everyone with the oh, this is starting to make more sense now reaction. 

Ultimately, Gibbs’ relative dominance on the stat sheet will depend on Montgomery’s presence and performance. At his best, Monty looks like an overpowering wrecking ball of a back; at his worst, he looks like a stuck-in-mud plodder who doesn’t even belong in the NFL. Which version of Monty will the Detroit Lions get? 

All aspects considered, you don’t take a running back at No. 12 overall in today’s NFL unless you are head-over-heels about the kid. I currently have Gibbs as the No. 20 RB in redraft, with the reasonable potential to be ranked ahead of Isiah Pacheco and JK Dobbins as well. Gibbs is another bouncy, two-way back who can give defensive coordinators nightmares. He’s obviously gonna be worth a major shot in both redraft and dynasty. 

Zach Charbonnet, Landing Spot: Seattle Seahawks 

Now this one – in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft – was a bit of a head-scratcher to me. The Seahawks already have Kenneth Walker III, a 22-year-old beast who is already one of the best at his position. It’s clear that their skillsets are different – Walker is a downhill, physical rusher while Charbonnet excels in a pass-catching role – but I just felt it was too early for Seattle to go running back again this year. 

Fantasy-wise, obviously, the most value we can anticipate from Charbonnet will be in dynasty, full-point PPR. I think he’ll be both overrated and over-drafted in redraft leagues as the third running back selected in his particular draft class. 

Kendre Miller, Landing Spot: New Orleans Saints

Quite clearly, Kendre’s value will ultimately be determined by the resolution of the Alvin Kamara saga: Indicted on two criminal charges after an alleged 2022 incident in Las Vegas, will Kamara face serious action from the NFL? What about an in-house suspension from the New Orleans Saints’ organization? 

I’m not sure of anything just yet, but Miller would be rather interesting with Derek Carr, Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, Rashid Shaheed, Juwan Johnson and Taysom Hill around him. It wouldn’t be a high-pressure situation for a rookie with so many talented and hungry players around him. Right now, I think Miller gives us more WOW potential than Charbonnet does, despite being drafted 19 spots after him. 

Tyjae Spears, Landing Spot: Tennessee Titans 

There’s been a lot of speculation about a potential Derrick Henry trade this NFL offseason, and of course, that would mean fantasy gold for young Tyjae Spears. 

A sneakily electric young back, Spears is definitely worth a serious look in dynasty formats. Kamara and Henry are part of the ‘old guard’ of their position, which means the door to opportunity could always swing open for young studs like Kendre Miller and Tyjae Spears. 

Because Kenneth Walker is just 22 years old and already a stud, I like the landing spots for Miller and Spears better than Charbonnet’s. I have no qualms with you taking a late flier on Spears in redraft, as well. 

I’ll see ya right back here next week for the rookie receivers! 

John Frascella is a published sports author who has been covering the NFL for 19 years. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things NFL, NBA and MLB throughout the year.