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RBs to Draft in Fantasy Football If You Go WR Early in 2023

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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 “Roadmap” fantasy football draft strategy article. If you end up going running back heavy in the early rounds, you’ll need to have a plan of attack in place for wide receivers 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 20 running backs to target if you go WR-heavy early in 2023 fantasy football drafts. 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 Fantasy+ 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 10% off on any purchase.

Running Backs to Target If You Go WR Early

D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles

ADP 6.01

Will a change of scenery revive D’Andre Swift’s fantasy outlook? We can’t say for sure, but his explosive skillset in one of the most potent offenses in the league certainly offers loads of fantasy upside. He’ll need to stay healthy, but Swift is very intriguing as a pass catching option out of the backfield.

James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

ADP 6.06

James Conner Arizona Cardinals 2023 Fantasy Football Running Backs if you Go WR Early

Sure, the Cardinals enter the season as one of the league’s worst teams on paper. However, James Conner has a few things working for him. For starters, he proved to be a viable three-down option last season in Arizona. But perhaps more importantly, he has essentially zero competition for touches in the Cardinals’ backfield.

Dalvin Cook, New York Jets

ADP 6.08

He could end up going slightly higher than this following his signing with the Jets, Dalvin but Cook is worth a look in this range. While we still have Breece Hall leading the backfield in touches, we could be looking at a 55-45 touch split with Cook. That sort of distribution would land Cook on the fringe of RB2 territory and make him a decent value in this range.

Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

ADP 7.02

Like James Conner, Rachaad White is on an offense that could struggle, but he has almost no competition for touches. However, unlike Conner, White comes with a much higher weekly ceiling given his explosive playmaking ability.

Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs

ADP 7.03

Isiah Pacheco will almost certainly be relegated to an early down role with Jerick McKinnon all but locked in place as the top pass-catching back. While that does put a cap on his fantasy ceiling, Pacheco offers a healthy floor in one of the league’s best offenses.

 

Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos

ADP 7.05

News that Javonte Williams will play in the second preseason game could turbo charge his ADP, but he screams value if he manages to fall to this range. Yes, the Broncos did bring in Samaje Perine, but Williams figures to be the lead back. As such, he’ll be involved in both phases of the offense, giving him a much higher ceiling than his current ADP indicates.

David Montgomery, Detroit Lions

ADP 7.09

Jamaal Williams had 33 goal-line carries last season and is no longer in Detroit. Between Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, Montgomery is much more likely to assume those vacated carries. That’s not to say Montgomery will equal Williams’ 2022 output, but he certainly could be a high-volume runner at a discounted draft day price.

James Cook, Buffalo Bills

ADP 8.02

AJ Dillon Green Bay Packers 2023 Fantasy Football Running Backs if you Go WR Early

All reports out of Buffalo suggest James Cook is not only leading the Bills’ backfield but could also see a three-down workload. If that is even remotely true, he’s grossly underpriced at his current ADP. This is far from a slam dunk, but he has the potential to pay major dividends as a middle-round pick.

AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers

ADP 8.07

We already know AJ Dillon will be on the wrong side of a 55-45 split with Aaron Jones. However, he’s proven to be a top-30 guy in that timeshare. Better yet, you’re just one Jones injury away from rostering a top-12 fantasy option. That implied value makes Dillon very intriguing in this range.

Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders

ADP 8.10

With new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy coming over from Kansas City, we can expect similar things to what we saw last season from Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon. In Washington, Brian Robinson figures to be Pacheco with Gibson in the McKinnon role. While that’s a very volatile role from week to week, it’s also one that comes with loads of upside.

Additional Late-Round Options

Brian Robinson – ADP 9.03
Jamaal Williams – ADP 9.05
Rashaad Penny – ADP 9.07
Zach Charbonnet – ADP 9.09
Samaje Perine – ADP 9.12
Khalil Herbert – ADP 10.04
De’Von Achane – ADP 10.07
Tank Bigsby – ADP 13.03
Kendre Miller – ADP 14.09
Roschon Johnson – ADP 15.06

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