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Jeff Ratcliffe’s 2022 Zero RB Targets

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There are many paths you can take in a fantasy football draft. I recently broke these down and you can check them out in the fantasy football draft strategy guide. If you end up going wide receiver heavy in the early rounds, you’ll need to have a plan of attack in place for running backs to start targeting in the sixth round and beyond. The good news is that I put together that list based on current ADP data from Sleeper

 

Below you will find 11 running backs to target if you go WR-heavy early in 2022 fantasy football drafts. (I also looked at wide receivers to take if you go RB early.) While I included their current ADP, don’t take that information as a recommendation for where you should draft them. Be sure to use a set of fantasy football tiers, or better yet, my draft personal board in our fantasy football cheat sheets so that you can see their value during your actual drafts. 

Of course, don’t forget that you can check out all of our fantasy football rankings and fantasy football projections. Rankings are included as part of our Platinum Subscription. Along with rankings and projections, you’ll also get access to our Fantasy Football Game Plan Draft Guide and much more. Promo Code “RATPACK” will get you 20% off on any purchase.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

ADP 6.04

Sure, he hasn’t met the lofty expectations many fantasy players had for him when he entered the league as a first-round pick in 2020. But Clyde Edwards-Helaire continues to operate as the Chiefs’ top running back in camp. Even if he isn’t a bell cow, that’s a valuable role in a potent offense.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

ADP 6.10

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Miles_Sanders_-_Icon.jpg" alt="

By most accounts, Miles Sanders is coming off an ugly season where he failed to find the end zone and ranked outside the top-40 scorers at the position. At the same time, he also posted a career best in yards per carry and ripped off nearly twice as many runs of 15-plus yards than he did in the previous season. Perhaps most importantly, he remains the top back in Nick Sirianni’s offense.

Damien Harris, New England Patriots

ADP 7.01

There’s no denying the risk accompanying any New England running back. And that’s been amplified with the buzz surrounding Rhamondre Stevenson in camp. But Damien Harris showed last year that he’s capable of being an early-down workhorse and produced big fantasy numbers in the process, finishing as fantasy’s No. 14 running back.

Ken Walker, Seattle Seahawks

ADP 7.03

Arguably the best early-down back in this year’s draft, Ken Walker will get to play in what has been one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league in recent seasons. Yes, Rashaad Penny is still there, but the Seahawks would not have made this move in Round 2 if they were fully invested in Penny. In the short term, we can expect Walker to split the work with Penny, but it’s only a matter of time before he blows past him on the depth chart. 

 

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

ADP 7.11

A big play waiting to happen, Tony Pollard has shown explosive upside so far in his NFL career. Of course, he’s done so while playing second fiddle to Ezekiel Elliott in the Cowboys backfield. While he’s certainly closed the gap in terms of touch distribution, Elliott is still clearly the lead back. With that said, Pollard is still capable of producing RB2 numbers and is one injury away from having top-10 fantasy value.

Chase Edmonds, Miami Dolphins

ADP 8.11

While there’s isn’t much clarity on how the Dolphins will deploy their running backs this season, Chase Edmonds is the odds-on favorite to be the lead back. With a skillset perfectly suited to Miami’s outside zone offense, Edmonds is an excellent value in this range of drafts.

James Cook, Buffalo Bills

ADP 9.03

At his absolute ceiling, James Cook could be an Alvin Kamara type, but he’s much more likely to serve in a Nyheim Hines-esque role for the Bills with Devin Singletary handling the bulk of the early-down work. While that type of role does put a cap on Cook’s fantasy ceiling, he’s still very appealing. Not only does he come with explosive upside, but he’ll also get to play in an offense led by Josh Allen.

Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

ADP 9.12

<img src="https://d2y4ihze0bzr5g.cloudfront.net/source/2020/Rhamondre_Stevenson.jpg" alt="

As I mentioned above, Rhamondre Stevenson has drawn praise for his play in camp, especially as a pass catcher. If he’s either able to secure that role or possibly to beat out Damien Harris as the early-down back, he’ll provide a major return on investment at where you’re likely to pick him.

Michael Carter, New York Jets

ADP 10.07

While the buzz about Michael Carter being ahead of Breece Hall on the Jets running back depth chart may be a tad overblown, this price is still way too cheap. At the very least, Carter will handle a bulk of the passing-down work for the Jets, and there’s a good shot that he serves in a full-blown timeshare with Hall.

Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans

ADP 11.06

Admittedly, this ADP is not reflective of where Pierce will likely go in your drafts. He’s more likely to be an eighth- or even seventh-round selection. However, he’s very much worth targeting in that range. The rookie blew right past Marlon Mack and has seemingly already secured the starting job for the Texans. While Houston could struggle to move the ball, Pierce’s ability to make things happen with the football in his hands makes him an ideal middle-round target in fantasy football drafts.

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