With the largest parts of the offseason behind us, we now look at which teams have the most crowded backfields heading into next year for fantasy. The sky appears to be the limit for some while others have created a crowded environment. Here’s five situations to avoid.
Crowded Backfields to Avoid for Fantasy Football 2023
One of the picks that is the most hated amongst those in the fantasy community makes this backfield crowded. Zach Charbonnet has tremendous potential as a pass catcher but his rushing upside will be limited due to Walker. The opposite will also be true for Walker.
An underrated part of this equation is the Geno Smith effect. After paying him as the comeback player of the year season, Seattle doubled down on that. They opted instead of drafting a quarterback to draft a weapon for Smith in the first round. With a three headed monster at wide receiver, look for them to let Smith air it out.
While some feel that Smith played over his head last year it appears the Seahawks don’t. Instead looking to scale back his work load, they continue to fortify Smith with weapons. With only one football to go around look for all players value to suffer in a crowded situation.
Every single running back in this room has great potential, however they will all be cut into each other’s workload. This will all be happening in a time in which the leading rusher most weeks may be their quarterback in Fields.
While Montgomery was considered the lead back in this backfield last year he was last amongst himself, Herbert, and Fields in goal line carries. This trend could likely continue with every single one of these players. Khalil Herbert has flashed great potential when filling in for Montgomery in the past. D’Onta Foreman helped Carolina make a seamless transition from McCaffery last season. Roschon Johnson runs with pure aggression and could very well be the only remaining back on the roster next season.
All these players have great parts of their game, however they all will likely be stuck in a crowded rotation with one another. One could argue that Johnson will gain an edge over the other two but that likely wouldn’t happen until close to the end of the season.
While not as bad as continuing to roster D’Andre Swift, this still is a situation to avoid. Jahmyr Gibbs should have the pass catching role locked down while Montgomery should be the lead rusher. Those who rostered Detroit running backs last year, however, remember the headache from this crowded backfield.
Jamaal Williams frequently cut into Swift’s value last year by snatching goal line carries. Neither are currently on the roster but both Montgomery and Gibbs offer a similar skill set that the previous duo did as well.
The Lions find themselves in an awkward love triangle with their running backs as they paid Montgomery this offseason as well as took Gibbs well before when he should have been drafted. As a result, look for both of their upsides to have a cap on them as neither can truly hit their potential.
Devon Achane is the perfect fit for this team that has slowly turned into an Olympic track team. The problem is the fact that two running backs who have been successful in McDaniel’s system are still rostered.
The scheme that he joins is perhaps the best one for running backs in the NFL, yet it is not extremely appealing for fantasy. The McDaniel’s scheme relies on a fresh rotation of running backs which Achane will give them. While both Mostert and Wilson have experience in this offense, towards the midway mark of the season Achane could begin to break away from them.
His value may lead him to be receiving the lion’s share of the snaps in this backfield. Unfortunately, that’s not anything to write home about. Achane joins a crowded backfield on a team that is looking to utilize their weapons through the air. As the saying goes, three is a crowd.
When Jacksonville traded James Robinson in the prior season, they gave Travis Etienne the keys to this backfield. His chemistry with former first overall pick Trevor Lawrence shined helping to give this team the push, they needed to win the division.
What was a perfect situation now developing a small wrinkle with the addition of Tank Bigsby. Not a projected first round pick, Bigsby may have flown under the radar for many times during draft season. Still, he will prove to be a problem for opposing defenses and for Etienne.
Etienne had a breakout year last season, finishing with over 100 yards from scrimmage in eight games. He validated Jacksonville taking him in the first round but this year his work may be scaled back. Tank Bigsby is a runner with a similar skill set but also demonstrates a willingness to lower his head and make contact. It may not be until midway through the season, but he will emerge as an element of this offense making this crowded backfield one to avoid.