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Way Too Early 2024 Fantasy Running Back Rankings – Part 1

It's never too early for running backs. Ok then, maybe it is. But a top-class running back can win your redraft fantasy league.

September is but 7 short months away and you know what that means? There are less than 30 weeks to decide who you should draft to beat your work colleagues. Better decide which running back you should draft then. And with one ESPN analyst not expecting any running backs to be drafted in the first 57 picks there won’t be many new names at the top of your big board. PFF hasn’t even got any running backs being selected in the first 2 rounds! (Mock drafts are always pretty nuts though)

Way Too Early 2024 Redraft Fantasy Running Back Rankings – Part 1 

1. Travis Etienne Jr. 

The Jaguars’ offensive line wasn’t great in 2023, if they can do something about that Etienne will be the top back in the league. But with the addition of Tank Bigsby in the 2023 draft it appears the Jaguars might have some worries about his durability. 

2. Christian McCaffrey

He is the 49ers offense. That’s not to say the other running backs aren’t very good, they just don’t get many touches. In the 2023 regular season, he had 339 touches, nobody else had more than 97! CMC had 41% of the touches and his 2,023 yards accounted for 29% of the offense. McCaffrey averaged 24.5 fantasy points per game in 2023, more than any other eligible player. 

3. Breece Hall

He’s such a good running back that he looked good in an offense that really looked lost without Aaron Rodgers at the helm. They might still look lost next season, but at least they’ll have a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. 

4. Jonathan Taylor

The last time the Colts’ running back played a full season Taylor averaged 106.5 rushing yards per game. And he scored 20 touchdowns. If the Colts can manage to keep both Taylor and Anthony Richardson healthy that’s going to be a tough offense to stop. Taylor only played in 10 games in 2023, but he still scored 8 touchdowns and averaged 4.8 yards per touch.  

5. Bijan Robinson

Arthur Smith didn’t work out as a head coach in Atlanta. He seemed to overthink a lot of the offense. Zac Robinson will understand that the easiest way to build an offense is to give the best players the ball, even if that’s exactly what the defense expects. Even in the Falcons’ clunky 2023 offense rookie running back Bijan racked up 1,463 yards from scrimmage and averaged 5.4 yards per touch! He only scored 8 touchdowns though. Expect that to improve under the new coach. Kyren scored 15 touchdowns in a Rams offense that had Zac Robinson as passing coordinator. 

6. Aaron Jones

He was back to his mind-blowing best in the playoffs, there’s no reason to think anything except injury could slow him down in 2024. 

7. Kyren Williams

He scored 15 touchdowns last season remember? And he only started 11 games. Williams averaged 5 yards per run and 6.4 yards per catch. If he plays more games next season he’ll average even more than the 21.3 points per game he managed in 2023. 

8. Isiah Pacheco

Injuries have been the only thing that has slowed Pacheco down so far. He racked up 1,179 yards from scrimmage in the regular season. And he scored 9 touchdowns despite only starting 13 games. If the Chiefs can strengthen their offensive line and add some more reliable receivers Pacheco should have an even more successful season in 2024. 

9. Rhamondre Stevenson 

Alex Van Pelt figures to run the ball even more than Bill O’Brien tried to. And the Patriots need to rebuild their offense with 3 tight ends and 2 offensive tackles set to leave in free agency. And Center David Andrews may retire. But Jared Mayo says he’s willing to spend money in free agency and they are more than $66 million under the salary cap. Expect a new, run-based offense in Foxboro. 

10. De’Von Achane

Yes, the Dolphins’ season ended with a lot of fiery wreckage, but they found an absolute diamond in the 3rd round of the draft. Achane is everything Mike McDaniel wants in a football player. He’s really fast and great in hot weather. So during fantasy season, he’s very productive. He averaged 7.7 yards per touch in his rookie season! And even though he only started 4 games he scored 11 touchdowns! Like the Chiefs, the Dolphins need to add some pieces to the offensive line in the offseason. But McDaniels won’t be changing his game plan any time soon. 

11. Jahmyr Gibbs

The explosive rookie became a more integral part of the Lions’ offense as the season went on. He ended the season with averages of 5.2 yards per rushing attempt and 6.1 yards per reception. With Ben Johnson opting to stay in Detroit it looks like it’ll be more of the same in 2024. 

12. James Cook

Joe Brady’s offense seemed to involve running the ball with Josh Allen and letting Cook have a go when Josh got tired. The Bills receivers might freeze to death in Orchard Park next season, but Cook will have a prominent role. He averaged 5.6 yards per touch in 2023 but he only scored 6 touchdowns. And that’s not great when you’ve fumbled the ball 4 times! He’ll be a valuable fantasy piece purely based on the volume of his usage. He averaged 21 touches per game in the Bills’ last 6 games during the regular season. 

Main Photo: Junfu Han-USA TODAY NETWORK


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