A Few to Fade: Three Running Backs to Fade in Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Running Back Fades

Each year, heading into draft season, we start to settle upon players we love and players we hate, relative to ADP. This article will dive into the latter portion, my fantasy football fades. We never like to see players perform poorly, but we also need to identify players that look to be in disadvantageous situations. Here are three fantasy football running back fades for 2022.

READ MORE: Quarterback Targets Running Back Targets Wide Receiver Targets Tight End TargetsQuarterback Fades

Fantasy Football Running Back Fades for 2022

Before we get into these fantasy football fades, I want to preface this by saying that all of these are relative to ADP. Of course, if any of them slip a few rounds, I’ll take a chance on them but that rarely happens. These are all based on Fantasypros PPR ADP data as of this writing.

1. Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders

Antonio Gibson has been a fairly productive running back to this point in his career. He finished as RB16 and RB17 in fantasy points per game the last two seasons, averaging just over 14 points per game both years. Gibson has caught nearly 40 passes per season and scored double-digit touchdowns both years as well. This is in spite of only seeing about half the snaps in that same span. In the games in which he’s seen a bigger snap and touch share, he’s produced even better.

In the second half of last year, he posted at least 18.5 fantasy points in five of eight games. Almost all of these games coincided with season-highs in snap shares and targets. Early in the offseason, it seemed like he was well on his way to becoming a workhorse and fantasy darling heading into 2022. That all came to a screeching halt when the Washington Commanders made it a priority to bring back J.D. McKissic and draft Brian Robinson.

Gibson’s ADP has been plummeting over the past month or two. Rightfully so considering his current outlook. The drumbeat during training camp has been loud and frequent that all three running backs will have a role. McKissic’s role is pretty set in stone that he will be the primary pass-catching back. Robinson seems to be the guy they want to handle work inside the ten. That leaves Gibson to probably handle 200+ *mostly* empty touches between the twenties. That’s the epitome of a low-upside, “dead zone” running back that we want to avoid.

It will likely take not one, but two injuries for Gibson to become THE guy. Right now he’s the RB20 and 44th overall player off the board. That’s way too early for a guy who may see minimal work in the passing game and inside the ten. There’s no reason he should be going ahead of guys like Breece Hall, Cortland Sutton, or Brandin Cooks. This makes Gibson one of the biggest fantasy football running back fades for 2022.

[pickup_prop id=”27086″]

2. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

Sticking with “dead zone” running backs, Miles Sanders is another explosive running back who has been efficient and has been good when he’s gotten the workload. The problem has been that the Philadelphia Eagles, like the Commanders with Gibson, have seemed extremely hesitant to give him the big workload. Sanders had a very promising rookie year in which he caught 50 passes, had over 1,300 total yards, and six touchdowns on his way to 13.5 fantasy points per game as the RB21.

Since then, though, Sanders has only caught 56 passes total over the past two seasons. That is a huge red flag as they’ve seemed to limit him in favor of guys like Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell. He did take a big step backward last year as he finished as the RB32 with only 9.8 fantasy points per game, but that was mostly due to scoring exactly zero touchdowns on the season.

Heading into 2022, not much has changed in terms of Sanders’ fantasy outlook. Gainwell is still there and will likely steal most of the passing-game work. There have also been rumblings that Gainwell will see plenty of usage inside the 10 as well. Scott is also still around and the Eagles have always been partial to using him more than fantasy managers want them to.

Jalen Hurts is also still the quarterback for the Eagles. Having a running quarterback will help Sanders’ efficiency but it hurts the target and reception totals, especially if splitting those snaps. It will also hurt the yards and touchdowns as well since Hurts will take a bunch of those for himself. This all adds up to Sanders being one of the easiest fantasy football running back fades for 2022. He’s being drafted as the RB28 and the 71st overall player off the board. Pass on Sanders and take players like Rashod Bateman, Elijah Moore, or DeVonta Smith instead.

3. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

Could I interest you in drafting the worst pass-catching running back in the NFL, on a team that barely throws to the running back, with a quarterback who vultures a bunch of goalline touchdowns, who is potentially in a three-back committee? Yeah, I didn’t think so. That’s exactly what you’d be drafting if you were to select Buffalo Bills running back, Devin Singletary.

Singletary entered the league with a pretty poor athletic profile and has been thoroughly mediocre so far for fantasy football. He has finished as RB24, RB39, and RB28 in fantasy points per game the past three seasons. Singletary has, however, had some success when given a big workload. Down the stretch last season, he saw at least 70% of the snaps over the final seven games, including the playoffs. He scored at least 14.9 fantasy points in all seven games during that stretch. Singletary’s worst finish was RB14 in any given week during that same stretch. The problem is that the Bills don’t want him to be a bellcow.

Heading into 2022, the Bills made it a major point of emphasis to bring in a pass-catching specialist. After failed attempts to woo Chase Edmonds and J.D. McKissic, they settled upon drafting James Cook. It’s clear that they don’t want Singletary handling that portion of the work, and who can blame them, look at that chart! It’s very possible that Singletary may be extremely limited in the passing game as well as inside the ten.

Cook may end up with the most targets among the running back group, which might not be much as Josh Allen is the quarterback. Allen will also steal touchdowns rushing himself and there is the possibility that Cook or Zack Moss get some touches in that range as well. Singletary, like Gibson and Sanders, is another running back that could see 200+ “low value” touches. This makes him one of the biggest fantasy football running back fades for 2022. Draft guys like Chase Edmonds, Rashod Bateman, or Trey Lance instead of Singletary.

READ MORE: Quarterback Targets Running Back Targets Wide Receiver Targets Tight End TargetsQuarterback Fades