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Top 2023 NFL Season Fantasy RBs to Draft

By Jeff Stinger

In the realm of fantasy football, the running back position is king. RBs provide the best floor-to-ceiling ratio compared to other skill-position players, and the 2023 NFL season isn’t short of top-flight talent in the RB category. Who are the top names that are most sought after in the first few picks of your league’s highly-anticipated draft day?

Nitrobetting is here to take your bets into the end zone this 2023 NFL season. This time, let’s count down the five best running backs to draft in the first few rounds of the 2023 NFL fantasy football season.

Top 5 Fantasy Football RBs to Draft this 2023 NFL Season

Christian McCaffrey

Thanks to a much-needed change in scenery, Christian McCaffrey finds himself as not just projected to become the best fantasy running back in 2023, but the best fantasy football player of the season, period. The two-time Pro Bowl selection was revitalized after returning to his Cali roots after the 49ers traded for him last season. In turn, CMC rewarded the Niners with his best production since his remarkable 2019 campaign as the key cog to San Francisco’s potent rushing offense. The lucky chap who ends up with the first-overall pick in their re-draft league will likely snag McCaffrey in a snap, as the +1,600 favorite to win the 2023 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award is currently projected to score fantasy-bests of 231.3 fantasy points in standard leagues and 305.5 points in the PPR format.

Austin Ekeler

Another stellar pass-catching back is in contention for the best fantasy RB title, as the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler brings his knack for constantly finding the end zone into the mix. No player in the NFL scored more touchdowns over the last two seasons than the undrafted wonder out of Western Colorado, who has 38 offensive TDs during this span. Ekeler even set a new career-high of 107 receptions last season, making him a unique talent at the position with just as massive of an upside as McCaffrey before him thanks to a strong receiving game.

Jonathan Taylor

After a phenomenal sophomore season in 2021 that saw him become the league’s rushing leader as well as the top-scoring running back, Indy’s franchise player Jonathan Taylor had a pretty huge setback in 2022. The former Wisconsin standout played just 11 games due to an ankle injury and ended up with just 861 rushing yards and four rushing TDs. Taylor was still on pace to have a 1,000-yard rushing campaign and is in line for a bounce-back season with health and a decent Colts offensive line aiding his cause. Granted, Taylor will have more value in standard-scoring leagues, as he’s still limited in the passing game to limit his expectations in PPR leagues.

Bijan Robinson

Every year, it seems like a rookie running back will take the fantasy world by storm and the 2023 season should be no different. It just so happens that the Falcons’ first-round pick, Texas’ Bijan Robinson, is believed to be an instant force in fantasy. The 21-year-old unanimous All-American is currently the +255 odds-on favorite to win the 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award as we speak. Robinson finished his final year with the Longhorns with 1,580 rushing yards and 18 TDs on the ground and will look to make an immediate impact in the fantasy scene like many first-year RBs before him.

Derrick Henry

Last but not least, fantasy managers will have plenty of arguments for and against former Offensive Player of the Year Derrick Henry. Once the consensus top RB in fantasy, the 29-year-old powerhouse is entering his eighth year in the NFL and many speculate that his prime has come and gone already. Then again, King Henry played 16 games in 2022 and racked up over 1,500 rushing yards for the third time in four years. And while the Titans are not in the best shape entering the new season, Henry remains their main weapon who’ll likely carry the team on his back while still putting up relatively gaudy fantasy numbers that we’ve grown accustomed to.

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