The primary week of coaching camp is usually about letting gamers get their ft again beneath them after an extended offseason. Most groups solely put pads on and began hitting inside the previous few days, and there is not an excessive amount of you possibly can be taught from skilled soccer gamers enjoying two-hand-touch that’s going to translate to Sundays.
Nonetheless, I assumed right this moment could be an excellent time, in the course of our RB preview week, to replace you on the place each crew’s backfield stands. I have been scouring each beat author’s Twitter timeline and newsfeed for every part you should find out about the place issues stand heading into the primary preseason game of the season. Yep, soccer is in your tv — or laptop or pill, that is 2022 in any case — display screen at 8 p.m. ET, because the Jaguars and Raiders kick off within the Corridor of Fame sport on NBC. Or, extra precisely, the Jaguars and Raiders backups kick off tonight, as a result of we should not count on to see the names of too many individuals we all know on the market this week.
However we might be taught one thing tonight. I, for one, am excited to see rookie Zamir White play for the Raiders, as a result of he is considered one of my favourite late-round sleepers, so hopefully he is on the market. In going over every crew’s RB depth chart and hierarchy in right this moment’s publication, White is among the non-starters I determine as doubtlessly shifting shortly up Fantasy draft boards with an excellent preseason and camp, so I would like to see him get off to an excellent begin tonight.
In tomorrow’s publication, I will undergo how every of the highest 12 working backs in ADP might bust, check out my favourite ADP values and who I am fading on the place, and I will reply a few of your working again questions – ship them my manner at Chris.Towers@ViacomCBS.com with the topic line “#AskFFT” to be included. And you may wish to be sure to take a look at Jamey Eisenberg’s latest Busts column to see who he’s avoiding.
However for now, here is the newest you should find out about each backfield within the league.
Breaking down each RB depth chart
The Cardinals seemingly wish to have a number of backs concerned, however it’s not clear whether or not that’ll be Benjamin or Williams. Conner has handled a whole lot of accidents through the years, but when he can tackle an even bigger position within the passing sport than he had for a lot of final season, he has top-five potential on this offense. I lean Williams because the backup to have at this level, although it is not clear from camp reviews but if one has the lead over the opposite.
- No. 1: Cordarrelle Patterson (presumably)
- Backups: Damien Williams, Tyler Allgeier, Caleb Huntley, Qadree Ollison
Patterson is the do-it-all man who will break up out huge, although the Falcons have made it clear they wish to watch out together with his utilization after he light down the stretch. Williams received the primary crack with the primary crew, however with Williams out Wednesday, Huntley and Ollison received some further reps with the primary time. Allgeier is getting his reps too, so it does not sound like there is a ton of readability right here. Fantasy analysts are betting on Allgeier, the rookie, however I’ve received my eye on Huntley as a deep sleeper.
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- No. 1: J.K. Dobbins (PUP checklist)
- Backups: Gus Edwards (PUP), Mike Davis, Tyler Badie, Justice Hill
Dobbins is aiming to be prepared for Week 1, however he figures to be labored in considerably slower than he in any other case could be if not for the harm. With Edwards extra unsure for the beginning of the common season, that leaves open the likelihood that Davis might be Fantasy related early on – at this level, I am assuming he’ll get the primary crack at it, although the teaching workers hasn’t actually tipped its arms simply but. In line with the Ravens official website, expect the preseason games to be the real test.
The shock right here is that Moss seems like he might matter more than we expected. He was inactive at instances towards the tip of final season, so his position will seemingly come down as to if Buffalo opts to maintain three true working backs energetic on sport day. However this might be extra of a multitude than we anticipated – and given Buffalo’s observe document as one of the worst offenses for running backs in Fantasy, any break up figures to render whoever the lead again is as a fringe Fantasy choice.
All three backs determine to be energetic on sport days, although coach Matt Rhule did point out that Hubbard’s position might tilt more to the special teams side of things, not less than so long as McCaffrey is wholesome. It might be a type of conditions the place Foreman is the backup when McCaffrey is wholesome whereas he and Hubbard break up work if something occurs to McCaffrey. I do not assume both of the backups has a lot enchantment in drafts.
It seems like Ebner and Evans are competing for the third-string position, with Herbert locked in because the backup. Primarily based on how he seemed final season – 197 yards in two video games as a starter – Herbert has actual RB2 enchantment if something occurs to Montgomery, however he does not have a lot worth when Montgomery is wholesome.
Perine and Evans are competing to be the backup to Mixon, and that position has some standalone worth, although not sufficient to matter for Fantasy if Mixon is wholesome. Perine is in the lead right now, as coach Zac Taylor acknowledged not too long ago, however the battle is not over by any means.
We all know how this works: Chubb is a dynamite rusher and Hunt is among the greatest complementary backs within the league. So long as each are wholesome, they take simply sufficient from each other to restrict Chubb to extra of an RB2 position, whereas Hunt is a flex. However he stays one of many highest-upside backups within the league. What we’ll want to observe greater than something is the NFL‘s just-announced enchantment of Deshaun Watson‘s six-game suspension. The league was pushing for a season-long suspension, and that might nonetheless be in play. This offense is a lot less interesting with Jacoby Brissett because the QB.
Regardless of the protestations of Fantasy gamers all over the place, the Cowboys stay dedicated to Elliott. In reality, proprietor Jerry Jones not too long ago mentioned he nonetheless needs Elliott to be the “focus” of the offense, although he added there’s “room for Pollard whereas Zeke is in there.” So, it sounds prefer it’ll be lots like final season. For what it is value, Elliott was in all probability higher than you bear in mind earlier than his early-season harm – he averaged 101.4 yards per sport with six touchdowns within the first 5 video games.
Lions coach Dan Campbell is acknowledging that the team has to be careful in managing Swift’s workload after he has struggled with accidents in his first two seasons. He has Austin Ekeler/Alvin Kamara-esque upside as a pass-catcher and might be a high 5 Fantasy RB, however count on WIlliams to get 8-12 carries most weeks, much like final season.
That is going to be a break up backfield simply because it was final season, although with the absence of Davante Adams, extra could also be requested of each within the passing sport. Aaron Rodgers praised Dillon’s growth in the passing game since the team acquired him, however Jones nonetheless figures to be the first pass-catcher out of the backfield. For his half, CBS Sports activities’ Chris Trapasso not too long ago wrote about why he thinks this is the year Dillon takes over as the team’s primary back.
- No. 1: Unclear – Marlon Mack, Rex Burkhead and Dameon Pierce competing for the position
- Backups: See above.
At this level, it seems like an open competitors with Mack and Pierce getting many of the buzz. Whether or not that finally ends up being true when the video games matter is a unique query, however Pierce is the man most Fantasy gamers are gravitating in the direction of. The issue is, this figures to be a nasty offense and neither Pierce nor Mack profiles as a giant pass-catcher, so there’s in all probability simply low-end RB2 upside for whoever wins. It isn’t an thrilling battle proper now.
The Colts have spent all offseason speaking about discovering methods to get Hines extra concerned after he took a step again final season, however we all know this offense runs by Taylor. We may even see extra two-RB units, however Hines nonetheless profiles as only a low-end PPR starter even in a best-case situation.
- No. 1: James Robinson/Travis Etienne
- Backups: Ryquell Armstead, Conner Snoop
Principally each report about Etienne out of camp has been constructive, and he very a lot appears like he might be the crew’s greatest playmaker. Nevertheless, that does not essentially imply he’ll dominate carries – Robinson is wholesome coming off his ruptured Achilles and appears like he’ll be able to play in Week 1. In fact, as Cam Akers confirmed final season, there is a large distinction between “able to play” and “able to make an impression” with this harm, so Robinson stays firmly outdoors of the highest 100 in ADP. I like drafting him there.
Pacheco has surprisingly seen some work with the first-team offense, and his pace (4.37 40-yard sprint) might make him one other weapon on this offense. The query is whether or not he’ll be capable of carve out a pass-catching position, or if he is competing extra for early-down work. If it is the latter, it is more durable to get enthusiastic about him.
Williams is among the extra controversial backs in Fantasy this yr. He is a gifted participant with a knack for breaking tackles, however he spent most of his rookie season in a irritating timeshare, and Gordon is again. Williams is the lead again on this offense, however he is persevering with to separate work with Gordon within the first-team offense, so should you thought Williams was going to render Gordon irrelevant, that was by no means going to be the case. Williams is a threat at his early-second spherical ADP, however the upside — particularly within the occasion of an harm to the 29-year-old Gordon — stays appreciable.
White missed the primary week of camp with an harm, which is at all times a nasty signal for a rookie. Nonetheless, the Raiders turned down Jacobs’ fifth-year choice, so there isn’t any long-term dedication with both of the highest two backs on the depth chart right here. If White impresses in camp, there’s an out of doors shot he has an actual position come Week 1.
The competitors behind Ekeler stays huge open, and that is doubtlessly a really precious position, each as Ekeler’s complement and potential harm substitute. I am pulling for Spiller to win the job, however at this level it seems like he is working more with the second and third teams. He has an opportunity to vary that as camp goes on, and I am prepared to take an opportunity on him within the ninth-round vary. .
Akers did not look nice in his return from a ruptured Achilles final season, and I stay skeptical that he’ll hit the upside some envision. Nevertheless, if he is wholesome and efficient, he is prone to dominate touches on this offense, and that counts for lots. Control Williams, who suffered a damaged foot however might be again earlier than the tip of coaching camp. Darrell Henderson is ok, however his incapability to remain wholesome has seemingly soured the teaching workers on him, so Williams might work his manner into the next-man-up position.
The Dolphins have been practically unimaginable to get a learn on in camp over the previous two seasons – there simply does not ever appear to be a lot to go off from reporters on their hierarchy, which was how we went from an anticipated competitors between Matt Breida and Malcolm Brown in 2020 to Gaskin dominating snaps in Week 1. At this level, issues look actually huge open, although Edmonds and Mostert have had some absences from camp in current days, which might give Michel a chance. He is a darkish horse to be a viable starter in what we count on to be an efficient dashing sport within the mould of San Francisco’s.
You understand how it really works right here. When Cook dinner is wholesome, he dominates. When Cook dinner is not wholesome — one thing that occurs greater than you want out of your first-round choose, despite the fact that he is principally managed to keep away from prolonged absences since his torn ACL – Mattison is a top-five again.
The Patriots are enjoying issues so near the vest that they’ve refused to call an offensive coordinator this season, so do not count on them to simply come out and inform us if Stevenson has usurped Harris. Nevertheless, he is probably the most high-upside again on the roster, able to offering an identical bruising dashing fashion to Harris whereas additionally seemingly having extra belief as a pass-catcher. Do not ignore Montgomery, nonetheless – he appears to have a leg up on the pass-catching position that has sometimes been White’s when wholesome. White had 13 targets within the first two video games final season, so Montgomery might have some enchantment for zero-RB builds early on.
A possible suspension continues to hold over Kamara’s head, given the felony battery cost he’s going through. Nevertheless, he had his preliminary listening to postponed to late September, and it more and more appears like that state of affairs will not be resolved within the authorized system till after the season. That seemingly means the NFL will not come down with a punishment till subsequent season, if in any respect.
Barkley has had a lot of positive things to say about Brian Daboll’s offense, which figures to be extra inventive in how they get him the ball. Barkley continues to be seeking to recapture his rookie season glory days, however I believe you possibly can not less than assume that, if wholesome, he will not be ceding touches and snaps like he was final season. Breida and Brightwell seemingly solely matter if one thing occurs to Barkley – and bear in mind, his ankle harm final season got here from stepping on someone’s foot.
Corridor has been lining up all over the formation in camp so far, and the expectation stays that he’ll begin. Nevertheless, the expectation additionally stays that the Jets will make the most of a number of backs. Corridor has the potential to be a distinction maker, however this offense must be lots higher than it was final season for him to be an enormous Fantasy contributor. That upside is value chasing, although I am a bit decrease than the consensus on Corridor at this level.
The Eagles are rotating backs in camp more than last year, per Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com, with one current stretch exhibiting Sanders getting 10 reps with the primary crew whereas Boston Scott received 5; Sanders additionally received 9 reps with the second crew. Gainwell appears to be working extra with the second crew, however he stays the again to focus on right here, for my part; we all know Scott is extra of a change-of-pace again, however Gainwell might be the No. 1 man if one thing occurs with Sanders, who’s coming into the ultimate yr of his rookie contract.
There was some speak this offseason about limiting Harris’ workload, however I will imagine that once I see it. And I have not seen a lot purpose to assume Harris is admittedly going to separate work within the backfield – one thing that actually hasn’t occurred throughout the Mike Tomlin period in Pittsburgh. Snell remains the backup, however he is given little purpose in his profession to assume there’s a lot purpose to be enthusiastic about that.
Mitchell is coming off offseason surgical procedure on his knee and struggled to remain wholesome as a rookie, however all indications are he stays the first again for the 49ers. That being mentioned, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan did not less than trace at some frustration with Mitchell’s bother staying wholesome, saying, “however we want Elijah to get again into working towards and being according to that as a result of what he did his first yr was nice, however should you miss that a lot, it is simply not constructed to final.” This is one other quote that caught my eye, although: “”When you did not know any higher. You’ll assume that Trey Sermon and Jordan Mason had been one of the best working backs on the crew.” Sermon fell into Shanahan’s doghouse final camp, however it seems like issues have gone a lot better this time round, and he is an intriguing late-round goal for Fantasy coming into Yr 2.
Penny enters camp as the presumed starter after Chris Carson‘s retirement, however Walker looms as a gifted younger runner able to step in if Penny falters. Accidents have been the first factor holding Penny again all through his profession, and that is at all times a priority right here. As is the standard (or lack thereof) of the offense. Penny has by no means been a lot of a pass-catcher both, so there is not enormous upside right here until he is constantly breaking off lengthy runs like he did late final season when he averaged 134.2 yards within the last 5 video games.
The Buccaneers like White sufficient that they invested a third-round choose in him, and lots of seen the Arizona State again as one of the best pass-catcher on the place popping out of faculty. Nevertheless, coach Todd Bowles nonetheless talks about Fournette like a three-down back, so we should always count on him to stay that. White may add a extra explosive component to the passing sport, however Fournette’s potential to play all three downs may be very precious to this offense. And people considerations about Fournette being chubby throughout minicamp look utterly previously now. He is a stable RB1.
Perhaps we can’t see Henry within the preseason to maintain him recent, however Henry goes to dominate touches for the Titans when wholesome. That final qualifier needed to be added for the primary time after he suffered a damaged foot and missed the second half of the season, and it makes the large 28-year-old a threat given his bodily fashion and workload historical past. Hilliard seemed first rate in an even bigger position with Henry out final season, however the Titans leaned on D’onta Foreman extra closely, and Haskins might match that mould extra naturally if one thing had been to occur to Henry once more.
Robinson, the crew’s third-round choose, has earned loads of reward in camp, to the purpose the place some Fantasy analysts are beginning to get antsy about what it’d imply for Gibson’s worth. These considerations are truthful, although it isn’t clear if Robinson is definitely a menace to Gibson’s first-team position but. One other mouth to feed in an offense that already closely options McKissic because the pass-catching complement is a priority, however Gibson nonetheless has room to take a step ahead as an all-around participant, so I am not writing him off simply but. Given how a lot hype there was round him this time final yr, I like the thought of shopping for low on what’s now a fifth-round ADP.