The running back position has seemingly been devalued in the NFL over the last five years. This does not hold true for fantasy football. The top running backs are cornerstones in any scoring format. There is a new wave of running backs that have ascended to elite status. While some old names hold on to their places amongst the best father time has done his work and many greats have begun to tumble down the ranks. Let’s dive into the 2022 Dynasty Running Back Rankings.
Tier 1 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
Taylor has quickly established himself as a dominant force out of the backfield. The volume of touches is incredible and Taylor makes the most of them.
Tier 2 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Javonte Williams – Denver Broncos
With the departure of Gordon and the addition of Wilson, Williams is set to explode in 2022. He will be a bell cow back and in a high-powered offense.
Najee Harris – Pittsburgh Steelers
Harris received an insane 381 touches as a rookie. I expect that volume to decline some but he should be more efficient in 2022. Big numbers are incoming.
Tier 3 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers
Ekeler didn’t just shrug off the receiving back label in 2021 he body slammed it. With over 200 carries he became a complete back. Expect Ekeler to improve on a fantastic 2021.
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
Despite two injury plagued seasons McCaffrey is still an elite talent. If healthy, he is the best player on the field in any game he plays.
D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions
Swift has only managed to be healthy for 13 games each season in his career. When healthy, he occupies the same role as Alvin Kamara does for the Saints. Swift is a top five back if he can play a full season.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Cook will miss a few games each year but is an elite option when on the field. He is a lock for 275+ touches each year.
Tier 4 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon shined in a revitalized Bengal’s offense in 2021. With the improvements to the offensive line he could be in for an even bigger year in 2022.
Antonio Gibson – Washington Commanders
Gibson is starting to see the volume of touches and specifically receptions needed to be an elite back. If the trend continues, expect Gibson to outperform his ADP.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
The uncertainty that surrounds Kamala’s season is concerning. A possible suspension looms as well as a new head coach. Still Kamara is an amazing talent and incredibly consistent when he plays.
Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns
The Brown’s added a ton of talent in the offseason. Whether this will bolster Chubb or detract from him remains to be seen.
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
Barkley is elite when healthy. The elephant in the room is that he has failed to do so in the last two years. 2022 will be a make or break season for his career.
David Montgomery – Chicago Bears
Montgomery has become a bell cow back over the last two years. His work in the receiving game has cemented his position as a focal point of the offense. With Fields still learning Montgomery should continue receiving a heavy workload but there is the threat of some production, especially goal line carries, being taken by Fields.
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans
Henry is still a punishing back who wears defenses out. He is also still a back that doesn’t see much work as a receiver. After suffering the first major injury of his career there are questions on how he will perform, especially because he injured his foot and plays a punishing style of football as a big back.
Tier 5 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Michael Carter – New York Jets
Carter returns as the top running back on a greatly improved Jets team. Every game Carter touched the ball 13 times or more he posted double digit fantasy points. Expect his workload to increase and his performance to rise with it.
Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams
Akers’ return and subsequent usage in the playoffs was encouraging. With the talent surrounding him Akers won’t be the focus of the offense. There is some concern with how crowded the running back room will be and Akers poor yards per carry average after returning.
JK Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens
Dobbins appears on track to return from a torn ACL in 2021 to start the season in 2022. Gus Edwards is projecting to do the same. With Edwards still in place, the Ravens courting other running backs this off season, and Lamar Jackson a running threat, Dobbins will never get the touches in Baltimore to be truly elite.
James Conner – Arizona Cardinals
Conner was a big surprise to many in 2021, but there was reason to believe he would do well. With the Cardinals propensity to avoid having Murray take carries inside the five yard line Conner visited the end zone often. While touchdown regression is expected the departure of Edmonds is huge. With Conner’s increased usage in the passing game in the second half of the 2021 season James could be in for another good year.
Tier 6 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders
Elijah Mitchell – San Francisco 49ers
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys
Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers
Travis Etienne – Jacksonville Jaguars
Tier 7 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs
Chase Edmonds – Miami Dolphins
Damian Harris – New England Patriots
Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Tier 8 – 2022 Running Back Rankings
Rashard Penny – Seattle Seahawks
AJ Dillon – Green Bay Packers
Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles
Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns
Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
Rhamondre Stevenson – New England Patriots
Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens
Ronald Jones – Kansas City Chiefs
The 2022 Dynasty Running Back Rankings have seen young running backs rise to the pinnacle of the position. Top backs of the last few years have seen injuries derail their careers and diminish their standing. Will these older backs be able to once again regain form? Will this year’s incoming running backs usurp the top spots? As the position evolves, team’s value of the position shifts, and the game continues to change the fantasy landscape will change with it.
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A fantasy football degenerate with an extreme love for the game. The only position Sam has ever played in any form of competitive football is armchair quarterback.
An affinity for football and watching games together was a part of growing up for him and his three brothers. 30 plus years as a Vikings fan has made him a glutton for punishment and a believer that he can do something his hometown team can’t, put together a championship roster.
Now 22 years into his fantasy football general manager career he is here to offer insight, advice, and the same hope for championships that he desperately clutches to for his Purple People Eaters.