Arkansas Athletics

Rookie Running Back Rankings for 2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football

Rocket Sanders has a dope nickname and the game to back it up. Ranking the top incoming rookie running backs for 2023 dynasty fantasy football leagues.

Recently, we took a look at the potential crop of new fantasy football players coming into the league next season, ranking the top incoming rookies for 2023 dynasty. With a few more weeks under our belts, some new names need to be acknowledged.

Five weeks into the NFL season and we are starting to get some better sample sizes for who teams (and players) are in 2022. For dynasty purposes, you may already be looking into 2023 and moving off of aging players before your respective trade deadlines. Sundays may not be that enjoyable for now, but Saturdays, on the other hand, frickin’ rule.

The QB race is getting even hotter than ever and more WRs are bringing their cases forward. However, this year’s group of running backs may be the best we’ve seen in a couple seasons. More teams are starting to run offenses that can maintain work for two running backs, but there are a couple that can be bellcows.

And we need to talk about tight ends, but we’ll start with running backs and get there eventually.

My top-3 rookie dynasty backs remain the same. If you want to read their breakdown, check out my early rankings.

1. Bijan Robinson, Texas
2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
3. Tank Bigsby, Auburn
4. Blake Corum, Michigan

Corum is a fun dual-threat running back who compares favorably to Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones. Both are a little shorter than typical, but what they lack in height, they make up for with speed and a powerful lower body to gain a little more grass.

In the most Al Pacino voice, “We can climb out of hell one inch at a time.” And that’s the mindset Corum takes on the field. According to one report, Corum would wake up around 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. in high school to hit the gym and avoid rush hour. Despite doing his best Mark Wahlberg, he’s not Vince Papale. He’s a gifted athlete who can outrun angles on defenders and has great elusiveness as a twitched up running back.

5. Rocket Sanders, Arkansas

Is Rocket Raheim Sanders on here because he has a dope nickname? That’s at least five percent of it. The other 95% comes from Sanders’ explosive play ability and impressive feet. He stays patient, but doesn’t have wasted movements with choppiness. When it’s time to get on his horse, boy can he gallop. Rocket is first in the SEC in yards from scrimmage with 880 yards, and third in the nation in that respect.

6. Sean Tucker, Syracuse

Tucker isn’t quite having the season he had last year—averaging a full yard less per rushing attempt—and that is in part to having a rushing QB in Garrett Shrader eat up a lot of the rushing volume. However, the Syracuse offensive line doesn’t seem to be opening up the lanes like it did in 2021. In just a few games this season, Tucker is getting hit quite frequently in the backfield and the cutback lanes aren’t available to him as an escape hatch.

Last year’s tape shows an explosive back that can play all three downs at the next level. Tucker has great change-of-direction quickness—once he plants that foot in the ground to turn up field, he accelerates in a way that would make Max Verstappen blush. We’ll hope to see that player yet this season.

Outside of that, Tucker will have to maintain coachability; seeing plenty of opportunity to be coached up in pass protection, and ball security will need to be an emphasis.

7. Zach Evans, Ole Miss

Evans is such an explosive player and fast through the hole, it looks like he’s gliding at times. His 5.7 YPC average for the Ole Miss Rebels is an impressive stat and will be a good change-of-pace player to any backfield.

While the TCU transfer is quick and can beat defenders to the edge, he’ll often rely too much on this speed and not work his way north and south. Both Ole Miss and TCU are and were reluctant to utilize Evans in the passing game, as well, opting for dump offs to the back when the other options just aren’t there. Getting a guy with that speed the ball in open space seems like a good idea to me, but I digress.

Further, Evans might not be the best back on his team? His 79 attempts are dwarfed by freshman RB Quinshon Judkins’ 96. Judkins is also averaging 6.1 YPC. A hip injury is likely related to this difference, but I’m slowly talking myself into dropping Evans from the ranking and waiting for Judkins to declare for 2024.

Others To Keep an Eye On
  • Devon Achane, Texas A&M
  • Zach Charbonnet, UCLA
  • Tavion Thomas, Utah

Support Us

Enjoying the site?
Consider supporting us so we can continue to bring you
top notch fantasy football content.