TIER 2: BACKS WHO COMMAND TARGETS REGARDLESS OF QB TENDENCIES
|Team (Expected Starting QB)||QB’s RB Target Frequency (2022)||Expected 2023 Pass-catching back (2022 TGT RATE)|
|New York Jets (Aaron Rodgers)||19.9%||Breece Hall (28.8%)|
|New York Jets (Daniel Jones)||19.5%||Saquon Barkley (21.5%)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Baker Mayfield)||19.1%||Rachaad White (20.6%)|
|Detroit Lions (Jared Goff)||18.1%||Jahmyr Gibbs (24.0%*)|
|New Orleans Saints (Derek Carr)||17.7%||Alvin Kamara (24.7%)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers (Kenny Pickett)||17.2%||Najee Harris (16.4%)|
*= 2022 college numbers used
Breece Hall emerged as one of the most explosive playmakers at the running back position last season before tearing his ACL, and while his status for the start of 2023 is still up in the air, optimism suggests he could be ready for Week 1. Whether that is true or not, once he is back in the lineup and fully healthy, he should still garner enough targets out of the backfield to be a top-tier fantasy option, even with his offense expected to look very different with a new quarterback and offensive coordinator taking over.
Saquon Barkley had a resurgent year in 2022, regaining his workhorse form and finishing as the RB5 overall. Nothing has drastically changed for the Giants’ offense heading into 2023, which is great news for Barkley’s expectations and why his consensus ranking is consistently within the first round.
Rachaad White sees the most drastic shift in this grouping from last season to this season, with a quarterback change and a new offensive coordinator coming in, but he also doesn’t have nearly the level of competition for touches as he did in 2022. With Leonard Fournette’s release, White moves into the top position for carries while also boasting a strong receiving profile that should allow him to potentially dominate touches if he can maintain a gap between himself, Chase Edmonds and the rest of the Bucs’ backfield. Should Baker Mayfield win the starting job, it’s important to note that across two teams as a starter in 2022, he finished above average in targeting running backs out of the backfield, which should still bode well for White’s PPR potential.
Jahmyr Gibbs should take over the bulk of receiving duties in Detroit after being the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft and with D’Andre Swift off to Philadelphia. His receiving profile coming out of Alabama was among the best in this year’s class. Gibbs’s 24.0% target rate comes from his 2022 season at Alabama, an elite rate that will allow him to take over that same role in the Lions’ offense as a rookie. If Gibbs is able to lead the Detroit backs in carries as well, he should have one of the more ideal weekly fantasy floors for running backs in 2023.