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Way Too Early 2024 Fantasy Running Back Rankings – Part 4

2024 Fantasy Football Running Back

The deeper you peer into the running back rankings the more impending free agents and rookies feature. And that’s where the unknown becomes an even bigger consideration. But that’s what makes it fun.

Way Too Early Running Back Rankings – Part 4 

37. Chase Brown

In his rookie season, Brown only averaged 4.5 fantasy points per game. But he averaged 5.8 yards per touch, the Bengals only let him touch the ball 58 times though. Zac Taylor needs to find a way to involve him more than that. It’s pretty unconscionable that someone who averaged 11.14 yards per reception didn’t even play for the Bengals in 5 games last season. 

38. Clyde Edwards-Helaire 

Edwards-Helaire is a free agent in March so where he is paying next season will obviously be important. The 2-time Super Bowl champion might be happy to stay in KC as a backup, but he should consider leaving. CEH hasn’t won 2 rings because he’s been lucky enough to be on the same team as Patrick Mahomes, he was a winner before he arrived in the NFL. He won the CFP Championship in 2019 with LSU too. During his college championship season, he racked up 1,868 yards in 15 games at an average of 6.9 yards per touch!  

He’ll be 25 in April, and he’s only touched the ball 175 times in the last 2 seasons so there’s plenty of tread left on his tires. 

39. Zamir White

He backed up Josh Jacobs so well in 2023 that he’s bound to have a bigger role in the offense in 2024, even if Jacobs is healthy all season. White averaged 4.9 yards per touch but only averaged 4.3 points per game in 2023. His 104 rushing attempts were 25% of the Raiders’ total carries and he only had 20 rushing attempts in the first 13 weeks of the season! 

40. Rico Dowdle 

Dowdle looked like the back who was best suited to the Cowboys offense that Mike McCarthy was calling in 2023. He averaged 4.8 yards per touch compared to Tony Pollard’s 4.3. But he still only touched the ball 106 times, 201 times fewer than Pollard. If the Cowboys decide to share out the carries out more evenly Dowdle could significantly improve on his 5.7 fantasy points per game.  

41. Roschon Johnson 

There’s a logjam of talent in the Bears backfield. And if Caleb Williams arrives in the draft and is allowed to run the ball it’ll be even more congested. But Johnson is probably the most direct back in Chicago. And with D’Onta Foreman hitting free agency he will probably become the second running back in Chicago. He’ll be the thunder to Khalil Herbert’s lightning.  

Johnson averaged 6.8 fantasy points per game in 2023. And that was despite only having 15% of the Bears carries. The Bears’ new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron will want to increase Johnson’s usage. 

42. Bucky Irving

He’s a rookie running back, so he could end up being drafted somewhere terrible. But talent-wise he’s a very exciting prospect. In his last 2 seasons in college, Irving racked up 2,950 yards on a whopping 429 touches of the ball. 

Irving isn’t the human highlight reel Jahmyr Gibbs is, but he could fit into a similar role to the Lions superstar. He shouldn’t have any problem finding the endzone, so wherever he lands he will consistently score fantasy points. 

43. Ty Chandler 

The Vikings running back position was volatile, to say the least (or a disaster to say a bit more). But Johnson emerged as an explosive carrier in Week 10 when he had 15 carries and scored his first touchdown. It took the Vikings until Week 14 to make him the starting back though (told you it was a disaster).  

He scored 101 fantasy points in 2023 at 5.9 points per game. And by the end of the season, he averaged 5 yards per touch. The Vikings just have to use him from the start of the 2024 season. 

44. Ray Davis 

Davis is another rookie back, but he’s 22 lbs. Heavier than Irving. But that’s not his USP, he has an extraordinary vision. He seems to know where defenders are going before the defenders know where they’re going. And he has a step off his left foot that sends potential tacklers in completely the wrong direction. 

In 2023 he scored 14 touchdowns and averaged 5.7 yards per carry! He’s projected to be a 3rd round pick, so it’s unlikely he will end up in a great situation. But wherever he plays he’ll be impressive.  

45. Michael Carter 

If the Vikings running back situation was volatile in 2023 the Jets’ situation was a straight-up dumpster fire. They signed Dalvin Cook for no apparent reason and after that nothing made sense. Breece Hall is a top 3 back in the league, but Carter averages 5 yards per touch throughout his career. Thankfully he managed to extricate himself from the Jets horror show and now he’s in Arizona. 

He’ll obviously be behind James Conner. But with Kyler Murray, Keaontay Ingram, and Emari Demercado the Cardinals are perfectly poised to have the most ridiculous rushing offense in the league. And someone who averages 5 yards per touch is going to be a key piece of that. 

46. Matt Breida 

Breida’s a free agent (so is Saquon, the Giants are in a right old mess) and normally you’d say a 29-year-old running back would be past their best. But Breida’s been a backup for the last 4 seasons, so he’s only averaged 62 touches a season. He hasn’t exactly taken a lot of punishment. But he has averaged 4.5 yards per touch over those seasons. Provided he can get away from the Giants in free agency (or the Giants can build an offensive line) Breida will be a valuable player next season.  

47. Cam Akers 

Akers is a free agent in the offseason and he’s coming back from a ruptured Achilles tendon. So, he may not be fit for the start of the season. But he should feature somewhere during the season, there will always be interest in a Super Bowl-winning running back after all. He only managed to play 6 games for the Vikings last season before his awful injury. But he did catch 91.7% of the passes they threw in his direction. He averaged 8.4 yards per catch throughout his 5-year NFL career. 

48. Emari Demercado 

Another part of Drew Petzing’s mad scientist run attack in the desert. Demercado averaged 5.1 yards per touch in 2023. He only scored 2 touchdowns in 2023, but they came against the Bengals and 49ers defenses! He might not get as many touches as Conners and Carter, but he’ll be a great foil to them. 

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Main Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports


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