The Candidates to Be the Overall RB1 in 2022


Rostering the highest-scoring player at a position feels a lot like having a superpower in fantasy leagues. You just know that player is going to deliver for your fantasy squad every week.

We’ve taken a look at the top candidates to be overall fantasy QB1 in 2022. Now it’s time to review which RBs have the best chance to finish at the top.


Keep in mind these are not fantasy RB rankings, but a tiered list of players most likely to finish as the overall fantasy RB1 in 2022. 

Tier 1 overall fantasy RB1 candidates

If McCaffrey stays healthy, he’s the overall fantasy RB1, and it’s probably not very close. Since Week 8 of 2018, when McCaffery has played at last 30 snaps in a game, he has finished as a top-three RB in any given week 60% of the time. 

Taylor, last year’s fantasy RB1, is just such a workhorse in the red zone that he will be a threat to finish atop the heap again in 2022. His 30 goal-line carries were 12 more than any other player in the league. And he was a home-run hitter with the league’s most explosive runs and second-highest explosive run rate.

Tier 2 overall fantasy RB1 candidates

Ekeler is nearly as good as CMC on a per-touch basis, he just doesn’t see as much volume. He finished as the No. 2 overall RB last year — within 1.5 PPG of Taylor.

Henry was last year’s fantasy RB1 on a per-game basis, but he played only eight games. Still, he scored 24.2 PPG — 1.5 more than Taylor — and went over 30 fantasy points in three of those eight games. A compounding career workload is really the only concern here, but Henry is clearly a threat to reclaim the crown.

Tier 3 overall fantasy RB1 candidates

Cook had a down year in 2021, but the dual-threat RB was still top-10 in PPG and went over 20 points in five of 12 games and has finished as a fantasy RB1 in 56% of his games over the last three seasons. 

Seeing Williams’ name so high might surprise you, but it shouldn’t. Go to the 12:20 mark of the FTN Data Case episode 2 to hear more about Williams’ tantalizing upside this year. He played only one game without Melvin Gordon in 2020, but he scored 30 fantasy points in that game. He’s a dual-threat and the Broncos just added Russell Wilson at QB, which increases TD potential in the offense, too.

Harris and Kamara both find themselves in Tier 3 thanks to their receiving ability. But both figure to be handicapped by QB play in 2022. Harris had 381 total touches last year with 10 TDs and nearly 1,700 total yards. Those are huge numbers. A boost in TDs could see him threaten for the top spot. The only question is: Will Mitchell Trubisky be enough at QB to lead to more scoring chances in Pittsburgh?


Tier 4 overall fantasy RB1 candidates

Mixon and Fournette are two players that extremely similar in my view. They are both the featured backs on elite offenses. Spike weeks will be huge. They will also both catch plenty of passes (Fournette actually led all RBs in receptions before getting hurt last year).

But they also will both lose a lot of TDs because their QBs are great. Tom Brady and Joe Burrow could both easily throw for 35-plus TDs in 2022. These offenses also feature Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and maybe Rob Gronkowski. There’s a lot of mouths to feed, which just makes it harder for these two players to climb to the tippy top of the RB mountain. Not impossible, but harder.

Conner was a top-five fantasy RB last year when given full reign in Arizona. He’s a dark-horse candidate to leap to the top. The biggest hurdle will be sustaining his extremely high TD rate.

Tier 5 overall fantasy RB1 candidates

Chubb is not expected to catch enough passes to really threaten for the RB1 position. But with Baker Mayfield gone, who knows. He also still has Kareem Hunt to split with. Similarly, Swift still has Jamaal Williams to split with.

Barkley gets tossed at the end of the list simply because he’s a supreme athlete that has dealt with injuries in recent years. If he’s fully healthy, we know what he’s capable of. 

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