Last week I released my 36 Most Consistent WRs article and today we are talking about the 24 Most Consistent Fantasy Running Backs of 2022. I am going to give the running backs more games missed leeway than other positions. Since running backs tend to miss more games, we will adjust the threshold for games played from 9 or more to 7 or more, unlike the case for wide receivers.
Without giving away all the secret sauce, I will tell you that the main factor is a week-by-week score based on finishes as a RB1 or RB2. This will be a series that also includes quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends, with each position’s scoring slightly different based on the differences in scoring for each position.
Most Consistent Fantasy Running Backs of 2022
24. Najee Harris – Pittsburgh Steelers
Score = 41.18 w/ 17 Games Played
While Najee Harris hasn’t been the most efficient running back early in his career, 2022 seemed to be extra tough for him. Entering the season, there were rumors of a Lisfranc injury and it seemed to slow him down, despite playing all 17 games.
His carries went from 307 in 2021 to 272 in 2022. His targets dropped from 94 to 53 and that led to only 41 receptions compared to 74 in his rookie campaign. In terms of fantasy scoring, he would live in the 10-14 point range, only scoring 15+ on three occasions.
23. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears (Now with the Detroit Lions)
Score = 41.67 w/ 16 Games Played
We started to see David Montgomery lose favor in Chicago last year. With Justin Fields’ emergence as a rusher and Khalil Herbert’s excellent efficiency, Montgomery saw his lowest rushing total (801 yards) and the fewest receptions (34) he had had since his rookie season.
This led to only one 100-yard game in 2022 and four instances of a RB1 performance. Unfortunately, half his games were finishes of RB3 or worse. He has since moved up to Detroit where he will battle with rookie Jahmyr Gibbs for backfield work.
T21. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles (Now with the Carolina Panthers)
Score = 43.14 w/ 17 Games Played
It is unique looking at Miles Sanders 2022 and his career as a whole. While his efficiency in regards to yards per attempt was the lowest over the past three years and the second lowest of his career, that average was 4.9 per attempt. He has always been efficient.
But in 2022 he also handled the rock more and went over 180 rushing attempts for the first time of his career, and ended on 259.
It was an uneven season where he would finish with only four weeks as an RB1, three of which were really high-end finishes, as a top-three running back. Now he moves to Carolina where I not only see him getting over 200 attempts again but where I think he may be able to reach 50 receptions and 500 receiving yards for the first time since his rookie season.
T21. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Score = 43.14 w/ 17 Games Played
The end-of-season stats were typical finals for Dalvin Cook. The odd part was that it was how he got there. The weeks were wildly inconsistent, but the second half was especially bad. Over the final 8 weeks, Cook would only finish as an RB2 or better twice.
Let’s hope 2023 features the first half Dalvin who had 3 RB1, 4 RB2, and only 2 RB3 or worse finishes.
20. Kenneth Walker – Seattle Seahawks
Score = 46.67 w/ 15 Games Played
Kenneth Walker would have a solid rookie season, going for over 1,000 rush yards and adding 27 receptions for another 165 in just 15 games. He would miss week 1 and then not get more than 8 rushing attempts until Week 6, when he first saw 20+ attempts and his first top-12 finish.
That would start a streak of RB5, RB2, RB21, RB2, RB26, and RB7 finishes before closing the year out with just one more top-12 finish in week 17. The Seahawks added Zach Charbonnet as the 3rd running back taken in the 2023 NFL draft, so Walker will undoubtedly have more competition for touches this season.
T18. Jamaal Williams – Detroit Lions (Now with the New Orleans Saints)
Score = 47.06 w/ 17 Games Played
Touchdowns were the main reason that Jamaal Williams would find himself as a top 15 running back in 2022. Williams would finish with 17 of them to lead the league in rushing touchdowns and would finish with the second-most total TDs amongst all running backs.
There was a four-game stretch from weeks 13-16 where Williams was almost non-existent. In those games, he would finish with 9.5, 3.7, 3.3, and 3.4 PPR points. That stretch featured three of his eight RB3 or worse finishes. Now we will see how he fits into a New Orleans backfield that also features Alvin Kamara (suspension… maybe?) and newly drafted, and one of my favorite rookies, Kendre Miller.
T18. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers
Score = 47.06 w/ 17 Games Played
2022 seemed like a down year for Aaron Jones, but the truth is, he was still really efficient, still went over 200 rushing attempts and 1,100 rushing yards. he would also see the most amount of receptions he had seen in his career.
The issue was with touchdowns. He would only have two rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns. This would be his first finish below ten total touchdowns since 2019 when he had nine total TDs.
I think that changes in 2023 as Jordan Love takes over at QB. Green Bay will likely rely on Jones and A.J. Dillon more and I expect Jones to have another successful fantasy campaign.
17. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
Score = 48.89 w/ 15 Games Played
2022 was just Alvin Kamara doing more Alvin Kamara things and being one of the most consistent fantasy running backs in the league. He would finish just one yard short of his 2021 total and the third most of his career, with 897 yards in 15 games. The issue with Kamara wasn’t anything other than the New Orleans team not being able to find the end zone. It’s the same issue they have had since Drew Brees and Sean Payton departed the Saints.
He would end up with two each, rushing and receiving, which is a far cry from his 2020 total of 16 rushing touchdowns and 5 receiving touchdowns. Will we see him suspended in 2023 at all? Will he lose a ton of touches to the duo of Jamaal Williams and Kendre Miller?
There are a ton of questions with AK41 heading into 2023.
16. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions (Now with the Philadelphia Eagles)
Score = 50.00 w/ 14 Games Played
The writing was on the wall for D’Andre Swift after the Detroit Lions signed David Montgomery in free agency and then used the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to select Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama.
There just wasn’t any room left in Detroit for the once-heralded prospect. Listen, I never thought Swift was going to be a three-down back in the NFL. At least not consistently season to season, but he has been pretty efficient. The issue is that he has missed three or four games in each of his three seasons and his best season saw him rush for only 617 yards.
His fantasy performance has mainly come through the air, where he caught 48 passes last season, 62 in 2021, and 46 in 2020. That is scary as he now moves to Philadelphia where the rushing should be efficient, but he is now in a backfield that is full of options in the passing game. Swift just may be a sell with the Eagles hype surrounding him.
15. Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys (Currently a Free Agent)
Score = 51.11 w/ 15 Games Played
When you are looking for the definition of consistency, Ezekiel Elliott has been the RB version in his career. He consistently gains positive yards with one of the lowest negative play percentages over the last handful of years. He has been one of the most consistent fantasy running backs in football over his career, but we are now hitting the twilight years.
As a runner, his most successful season was his first, back in 2016, when he rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has not matted the attempts (322) or those two statistics since.
2022 was the worst though. For the first time in his career, he rushed for under 900 yards, at 876. His YPC dropped below 4.0 for the first time, at 3.8. The saving grace for him last year was the 12 rushing touchdowns. Even his receptions, 17, were lower than the 26 he had in only 10 games in 2017.
All that said, he was consistently around the 15-point range last season, especially from weeks 6-16. The problem was that he never once scored more than 18.5 points. He remains a free agent right now, and I am sure he will sign and have a role, but we are probably close to the end of our ride on the Elliott fantasy train.
14. Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
Score = 51.52 w/ 11 Games Played
Last season was an odd season for one of, if not the most talented, running backs in the league. Jonathan Taylor was coming off of a season in 2021 where he rushed for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns. He would add another 40 receptions and 360 yards through the air, with two touchdowns, bringing his total to 20.
2022 wouldn’t work out as well. First, he would miss six games due to injury, but the production was inconsistent. In weeks 3 & 4, he would have 41 rushing attempts and only 113 yards. He would squeak one of those weeks into a top-24 finish, but the results were still subpar to his standards.
He would remain below his standards until week 10 when he was the #1 RB with 24.3 points. He follows that up with finishes of 13th, 12th, and 19th, before only receiving one reception for 13 yards in week 15. He wouldn’t log any stats the rest of the way.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Stat providers list him as playing 12 games, but he logged no stats in week 18 vs. the Texans, so I just left it out of this report.
13. Dameon Pierce – Houston Texans
Score = 53.85 w/ 13 Games Played
When you can pick up a rookie running back on waivers and then get nine top-24 finishes out of him, that is what we all search for every season. In 2022, Dameon Pierce of the Houston Texans was that diamond in the rough. In only 13 games, he would have 939 rushing yards and 30 receptions.
Despite only having 5 total touchdowns, he would turn that production into three RB1 weeks and six RB2 weeks, which was over double the amount of times he didn’t crack the top 24.
Crazy enough, he is set up to improve upon that in year two. He SHOULD be more efficient and have more touchdown upside in an offense led by CJ Stroud and an improved defense that should get the ball back to the offense quicker. This could potentially be one of the most consistent fantasy running backs over the next two or three seasons.
12. Leonard Fournette – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Currently a Free Agent)
Score = 54.17 w/ 16 Games Played
Listen, Leonard Fournette gets a lot of hate, but I don’t think it is all warranted. Not many players can take such a drastic efficiency hit running but remain just as valuable in fantasy, but that is what he did in 2022.
His efficiency dropped from 4.5 YPC in 2021 to 3.5 in 2022. Despite more rushing attempts, he only ran for 668 yards compared to the 812 the year prior. He also lost five rushing touchdowns and four when adding in receiving touchdowns. But, he would catch 73 compared to 69 and have 523 yards compared to 454 in 2021.
This led to less than a 20pt difference in PPR leagues from 2021 to 2022 despite the rushing being abysmal. Insulated weapons are nice to have in fantasy. The problem is that Tom Brady is gone, Lenny is a free agent, and who knows if anybody else will use him in the same way as the TOMpa Bay Bucs.
11. Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
Score = 54.17 w/ 16 Games Played
This guy has been absolutely efficient in his career averaging 5.1 yards per carry over his first 510 rushing attempts. He has seen a gradual increase in usage over those four seasons, peaking in 2022 with 193 attempts. I would like to see him blow by his high of 39 receptions, which he has accomplished each of the past two seasons. This would help him remain one of the most consistent fantasy running backs, but I am not sure it will happen.
In 2022, he did not have very many dud games, with only five games under 10pts. He had five games over 20. If you want to get picky, he had six over 19.8. Those are weeks that put your fantasy team in a position to win, especially the two that went for 33.7 or more.
Now that Zeke may be out, Tony Pollard has a chance to become a top-five RB if it all falls in place for him.
10. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
Score = 57.78 w/ 15 Games Played
I have always believed that Joe Mixon was one of the top 5 or so running backs in the league from a talent standpoint. The usage hasn’t always been what we’d hope for and the Bengals offensive line has been atrocious for the majority of his career.
That being said, he has always been a startable asset in fantasy football. Out of 15 games in 2022, he would finish as an RB1 in over a third of them with six. Four more would come in as RB2 games giving him 10/15 games as a top-24 option.
He would also give us the top-scoring performance of 2022 when he rushed for 153 yards, 4 touchdowns, 5 receptions for 58 yards and another touchdown, accumulating 55.1 points in week 9.
9. James Conner – Arizona Cardinals
Score = 58.97 w/ 13 Games Played
While he won’t fill up the stat sheet with gaudy numbers, he hasn’t even rushed for 1,000 yards in any season, James Conner has provided fantasy value when active. The problem is that in his six-year career, he has only played in 15 games one single time. Every other season is 14 or less.
Where Conner has excelled, is scoring touchdowns and catching 40ish passes per season. He won’t get you the 100-yard bonus very often, but he routinely catches between 3-6 passes in a game. he did that in 10 of 13 games in 2022 to be exact.
Like Elliott and Fournette before, Conner is likely about to leave the fantasy football world. But for now, we know what we can expect and he is someone I have no problem targeting on contending rosters.
8. Rhamondre Stevenson – New England Patriots
Score = 60.78 w/ 17 Games Played
If you watched any of our content heading into 2022, I was the conductor of the Rhamondre Stevenson hype train even though the RotoHeat Patriot Fan Bryce Frazier hated the take. His 2021 numbers, even in limited time, just screamed that he was the far superior player to Damien Harris. He proved it. I looked good. Bryce sucks. We all win.
Seriously though, Rhamondre was a beast in 2022 as one of the most consistent fantasy running backs in the league. He eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards on just 210 rushing attempts and he caught 69, yes 69 passes. That is not something we see often from New England running backs. They are normally just rushers (Blount, Harris, etc.) or just pass catchers like James White. It is rare to see a dual threat in their offense.
That usage would lead to seven weeks as an RB1, five as an RB2, and only five outside the top 24.
I am already predicting 2023 will be better. Hey Bryce, I want that rookie ticket redemption back.
7. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns
Score = 62.75 w/ 17 Games Played
I don’t think I really need to get into Nick Chubb all that much. He is good. The decline may come soon, but until we see it, chug along Nick, chug along.
6. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders
Score = 64.71 w/ 17 Games Played
Now, most of the running backs up this high, are guys we expected to be. That is not the case with Josh Jacobs. If you thought we were going to see this type of season, I really hope you put the house on him leading the league in rushing.
Truth is, the Raiders have been unstable. Jacobs usage at times was unstable. There were rumors that the Raiders could move on from Jacobs last offseason. Nothing pointed to the success he would have and it was big.
Over half of his games were RB1 efforts. 12/17 were top 24.
That being said, I would’ve immediately traded him after the season (if I didn’t at the deadline), I don’t see this being replicated.
5. Breece Hall – New York Jets
Score = 66.67 w/ 7 Games Played
As I start writing the Breece Hall portion of this article, I realize he falls right on seven games and I will undoubtedly get accused of adjusting for him. It just isn’t the case, but it is fun to look at.
In his first seven games as a professional, only ONE, yes ONE, fell out of the top 24 at the position. Four of those games would be RB2 weeks and two would be RB1 games, but the fun is just around the corner.
No more Zach Wilson-led offenses. No more Joe Flacco. No more Mike White. Aaron Rodgers and his band moved to New York and there is almost assuredly going to be WAY more touchdown upside and quality dump-offs for Hall.
He may be #1 on this list next year and I expect him to be one of the most consistent fantasy running backs of the next three years.
4. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
Score = 68.75 w/ 16 Games Played
Listen, as long as Saquon is healthy, he will contend for the best running back in football. It was so fun to watch him get back to his usual self in 2022. He would finish with 13/16 weeks inside the top 24 with seven RB1 finishes.
3. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans
Score = 68.76 w/ 16 Games Played
I have given up on my yearly “Sell Derrick Henry” rants. At this point, I just think he is going to be a much larger, more powerful, Frank Gore. And he is on 0 of my 8 dynasty teams.
Congrats Rick, you played yo’self.
2. Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers
Score = 80.39 w/ 17 Games Played
Look at the chart. 15 weeks as a top 24 running back and 11 of those were top 12 weeks for Austin Ekeler.
The big question comes now as he requests to be traded and we don’t know how much more of this heavy workload his body can handle. I love watching him play and I think 2023 will be a great season, but I am not sure how long I can hold on to Ekeler as a top five RB in terms of value.
1. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers & San Francisco 49ers
Score = 82.34 w/ 17 Games Played
If CMC is healthy, put him in your lineup. There is nothing else to say about Christian McCaffrey. Nothing has stopped him in his career BUT injuries and he has been one of the most consistent fantasy running backs of the past decade.
Bonus: Point Cluster Finishes for All Running Backs
Thank you for checking out my 24 Most Consistent Fantasy Running Backs of 2022 article.
I am really interested to know what you think of the model and if you have any ideas on how to improve it, I would love to hear. You can connect with me on Twitter, in our Dynasty Fantasy Football Group on Facebook, or on our Discord Server. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel as well!