Thoughts on Top 12 RB's from 2021

  1. Jonathon Taylor: Taylor is over-rated, but not bad. He is in a perfect offense for him. That Colts offensive line is awesome.

  2. Austin Ekeler: Say what you will, but Ekeler is the future of the position. Look for guys like him going forward.

  3. Najee Harris: Here already? Whoever got him last year in dynasty got a steal. In redraft, grab him!

  4. Joe Mixon: A product of the system. Good player, but not getting any younger.

  5. James Conner: WHAT?! Ok, total system player. Put him on a bad team and he tanks, Also, watch Kyler Murray. Lose Murray, and Conner doesn’t look so great.

  6. Leonard Fournette: No more Brady, no more Lenny.

  7. Ezekiel Elliott: On his last legs. He won’t finish this high next year.

  8. Alvin Kamara: His legal troubles in Vegas are just one part of a bad equation. Will Jameis return next year? What about the new coaching staff? What about their salary cap issues? New Orleans has tons of issues. All of them affect Kamara.

  9. Cordarelle Patterson: He dropped off towards the end of 2021. But he could still produce in 2022. He’ll have his top 5 weeks. Just don’t overpay for him.

  10. Antonio Gibson: Not sure if he’s top 5 material, but he is good. I’d leave him here until he gives a reason to move him up or down.

  11. Aaron Jones: Watch this one closely. AJ Dillon might be “da man” in Green Bay next year.

  12. Josh Jacobs: Even as a Raider fan, I have to admit that Jacobs is losing a step. This may drop next year.

1 Like
  1. I hardly missed a chance to call JT overrated prior to the 2021 season. I won’t do so any longer.

  2. Ekeler is entering his age 27 season. As an Ekeler owner, I hope that he can play on that level for another year. He didn’t have to shoulder a heavy workload in his early NFL years, plus he’s more WR than RB, so I hope his shelf life will be a little longer than that of an average RB. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chargers drafted a rookie RB in one of the early rounds, which would cap Ekeler’s upside.

  3. Not surprised about Harris. A talented RB in a run-heavy team that deploys him as a bellcow - had the o-line been better, he could have reached JT figures. Also not surprised about his performance as a rookie. Top RBs are usually good right out of the gate, or never. Statistically, the best fantasy season for an RB is his rookie season.

  4. Mixon actually isn’t that old, at least not for a player who’s entering his 6th NFL season. He’ll turn 26 in July, has 3 years left to his contract and plays for a team that’s red hot. As long as he stays healthy, he can easily be a top 5 RB for another 2 years to come.

  5. Conner was a huge surprise in 2021. No way he’ll repeat that in 2022, not even if Kyler stays.

  6. I agree. Fournette is 27 and a UFA. Not the kind of combination you’d want to rely on.

  7. Again, I agree. Zeke looks done.

  8. As does Kamara, for all the reasons you mentioned. I’d drop his dynasty trade value by at least 20 points, if not more. Wouldn’t be surprised if we won’t see him at all in 2022.

  9. Patterson turns 31 in March and is a UFA. $5 say he’ll finish below RB30 in 2022.

  10. Low-end RB1 sounds about right for Gibson.

  11. Aaron Jones has become a risky asset, indeed. We can’t rule out another top 10 season, but neither can we rule out a relegation to flex player status.

  12. I’m not that negative on Jacobs. He still played a pretty solid 2021 season. Problem is, many spent the 1.01 on him in dynasty rookie drafts (I did), and he did not return that value. But if you brush the disappointment aside, he is a rock solid RB2+, who performs very steadily every week. And he’s still just 24 (since yesterday). As long as the Raiders don’t draft some top talent on RB, give me Jacobs any day. He’s usually available for mid or even low RB2 prices, but is actually one of the best in that tier.

As for 2022 names, I would expect to see in the top 12: Saquon Barkley, as he may finally be fully healthy for just 1 more season, which could be a good one for the Giants. CMC, if he manages to stay healthy - he has been injured a lot, but the injuries themselves aren’t super scary. Damien Harris, who actually was the RB12 in my half-PPR league in 2021 already. Javonte Williams, who’s almost guaranteed to be an RB1 in 2022. D’André Swift, if he stays healthy. And as a bold prediction: Michael Carter, though that’s certainly a long shot, as the Jets would have to unleash his full pass catching potential for that to happen.

1 Like

I will take your $5 bet on that one! The only way those two manage to crack the top 12 is if they get their workloads reduced and squeak into it at the end. Barkley and CMC are steps away from the end.

1 Like

Not that bold to me. Carter strikes me as an Ekeler type, but with better moves. If the Jets offense can improve, the sky’s the limit for Carter, whom I actually like better than Javonte Williams, especially in PPR.

1 Like

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade for neither CMC nor Barkley. But the chance is there for both to have one more RB1 year - if they manage to stay healthy.

CMC has been injured a lot, but he never missed a full season. It’s the number of injuries that is a concern, not so much the nature of the injuries.

Saquon is a different story. His injury was super scary, and many (myself included) expected him to be limited throughout the 2021 season. But he has a chance to enter the 2022 season fully healthy, and maybe that will give him 1 more strong season. Or maybe not.

I certainly wouldn’t mind. But Carter has yet to prove that he can perform on Ekeler’s level. Took Ekeler a few years as well, though, so who knows.

But even if Carter takes a major step forward, he’s still playing for the Jets. For the moment, I would rank him in RB2 territory. He needs more than 3.9 targets per game to go any further. Ekeler had 5.9, plus 8 passing TDs to Carter’s zero.

1 Like

Give Carter time. That kid has some talent. Give him an o-line, and he can do some serious damage.

1 Like