With the NFL Draft still a few weeks away, we take a look at the fantasy football rooking running back rankings heading into the event.
The NFL Draft season is upon us. It is time to prepare for a new rookie class to enter the league. For fantasy football managers of all formats, a priority should be placed on the running back. Whether they are an immediate starter, or an injury-away backup, first-year running backs have an early path to production. Here are rookie running back rankings before the 2022 NFL Draft.
Below you will find the top 25 running backs, according to my rankings. You will also find the four main components of criteria I look at. The is a film score based on collegiate games. You can check out my previous article on the subject to understand my full film-watching evaluation process.
Also in this top 25 table, there are a few running back metrics that I utilize. For most, there is the Relative Athletic Score, basically a compilation of workout numbers into one statistic in order to compare players as athletes. Furthermore, there are a couple of college production markers that I consider important. Most catches in a single-season, and career average scrimmage yards per season. I want to know which backs are capable of producing both for the rushing attack and in the passing game
Top 25 Fantasy Football Rookie Running Backs
|Player||Rank||Film Score||RAS||Catches||Yards / Season|
Even though he did not finish as my RB 1 in the film score, I was still impressed watching Breece Hall run. I did have him at RB 3 based just on the tape, so I certainly wasn’t fading him. His burst and quick movement in short areas was most evidently his strongest trait. However, even I was astounded by how well his workout metrics were. With an RAS score of 9.96, Hall is arguably the best athlete at the RB position in this class.
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His college production is also quite impressive. Hall produced an average of over 1,500 scrimmage yards per season over three years. That is almost 400 scrimmage yards per season more than the next best RB in the class. With all of those factors, Hall is the pre-draft RB 1 for me.
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I consider this RB class to be a top-tier going three deep. While Hall is at the top of the ranks, I gave Kenneth Walker the best film score. The two traits that really stood out were the ability to lower his pad level and his contact balance. So though Walker may not have the full multi-season production profile as some other rookie running backs, I still have him at RB 2 pre-draft.
Arguably my most difficult decision was between RB 2 and RB 3. Ultimately, I went Walker ahead of Rachaad White and prioritized my film score. This is in spite of White’s impressive RAS mark of 9.87, second only to Hall in the RB class. In fact, White also had a better production profile, but I was less impressed by his running tape. I still had him at RB 8 in film score, but there was enough of a difference for me to keep Walker ahead.
Who are the top five fantasy football running backs among the 2022 #NFLDraft class? @SenraSays of @FPC_FantasyPod gives his rankings here. Check it out! #FPC #NFL #NFLTwitter #FantasyFootball pic.twitter.com/UwxJ3wFLDP
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There is one more sharp tier break in the RB ranks. I believe that after RB 5, there is a bit of a drop-off. But just before that tier break, I have Keaontay Ingram and Zamir White at RB 4 and RB 5 respectively. Now each has one aspect of their profile that could drop them in the rankings. Ingram also received a RAS of 8.63. While that is still a great grade, the other running backs in my top are all above 9.00.
As for White, the only drawback in his profile is the fact that he has never produced double-digit receptions during a single season in college. My fear with White is that he could be stuck as an early-down only RB, and with fantasy football, his upside would be capped without getting the passing-down work. However, based on my film scores, both Ingram and White were inside the top 5. So even with all of the other metrics, they remain as top-five running backs before the NFL Draft.
Thank you for reading Rookie RB Rankings 2022 Pre-NFL Draft. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL Draft content available on Full Press Coverage.
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