Backfield Breakdown: 2022 Running Back Recap and Early 2023 Fantasy Rankings

Backfield Breakdown: 2022 Running Back Recap and Early 2023 Fantasy Rankings

This article is part of our Backfield Breakdown series.

If you're looking for the usual game-by-game stats and notes that usually come with Backfield Breakdown, we're trying something new for Week 18 and have those in a different article published Monday (Box Score Breakdown) that also shows advanced stats and usage rates for WRs and TEs in addition to RBs.

This article will focus on the 2022 season as a whole rather than Week 18 specifically, and with a different format than we normally use in the regular season. It's intended to be a useful reference throughout the offseason for anyone who needs to look up stats or reference free agents, injury rehabees, top performers from 2022... basically anything related to NFL running backs. Let's start with a bit of fun, though, handing out 2022 awards.

At the end, you'll find my estimated RB fantasy rankings for 2023, which will be updated intermittently throughout the offseason. For all the same stuff at other positions (2022 advanced stats, 2023 ranks, free agents, etc.) be sure to check out my end-of-year 'Target Breakdown' articles for Wide Receivers and Tight Ends, respectively:

Target Breakdown: 2022 Tight End Recap and 2023 Early Fantasy Rankings

Target Breakdown: 2022 Wide Receiver Recap and 2023 Early Fantasy Rankings

2022 RB Awards

Real-Life MVP: Christian McCaffrey 

Fantasy MVP: Austin Ekeler

Best Runner: Nick Chubb

Best Receiver: Christian McCaffrey

Best Rookie: Kenneth Walker / Dameon Pierce

Best ADP Return: Josh Jacobs

Mid-Round Magic: Kenneth Walker

Late-Round Hero: Jerick McKinnon

Comeback Player: Saquon Barkley

Most Improved: Josh Jacobs

Brightest Future: Breece Hall 


Least Valuable Player: Melvin Gordon

Biggest Fantasy Bust: Jonathan Taylor

Biggest Fantasy Bust (non-injury): Najee Harris

Biggest Real-Life Bust: Alvin Kamara


Offseason Injury Rehab

Javonte Williams (ACL tear - Oct. 2)

Rashaad Penny (broken fibula / ankle injury - Oct. 9)

Breece Hall (ACL tear - Oct. 23)

Dameon Pierce (high-ankle sprain - Dec. 11)

Jonathan Taylor (ankle - Dec. 17 - possible offseason surgery) 

Antonio Gibson (foot/knee - last played Dec. 24, had foot surgery Jan. 5)

Tony Pollard (fibula/ankle - suffered Jan. 22)



  • Williams' ACL tear also come with an LCL tear and damage to his posterior lateral corner, per SI's Luke Patterson. It isn't clear exactly when he had surgery, but it seems to have been at some point in October, i.e., within a few weeks of suffering the injury
  • Hall's ACL tear was accompanied by only minor meniscus damage, so far as we know. He had surgery in mid-November, about 3-4 weeks after his injury.
  • Penny said in early December that he might return for the playoffs if Seattle qualified. I haven't heard anything about that for a month, however, and it always seemed like a long shot given that his broken fibula was accompanied by a high-ankle sprain and reportedly came with a four-month rehab/recovery timeline. Reports suggest the ankle damage wasn't too bad, which means Penny should be healthy by the time he's eligible for unrestricted free agency in March.
  • Taylor struggled with ankle injuries all season and revealed Jan. 9 that he might get offseason surgery. He'll likely decide by the end of January, and should be healthy for training camp either way... but it's still worth monitoring carefully given his importance.
  • Gibson played through a foot injury from Week 10 on, then was shut down for the final two games after spraining his knee Week 16. He had foot surgery Jan. 5. This recent injury is to Gibson's left foot, whereas his turf toe in 2020 and toe sprain in 2021 were on the right foot.


2022 Stat Leaderboards

We're mostly looking at volume and usage stats here, breaking it down by rushing and receiving. If you want to see stuff like broken tackles, yards after contact and other performance metrics, check out RotoWire's Advanced Stats Pages. We also have Red Zone stats if that's what you're looking for.

Note: Minimums for inclusion on these leaderboards are 170 snaps or 50 touches, though we've also included a few noteworthy players that didn't quite reach those numbers.


 TeamGSnapsSn %Carr.Carr ShRu. Yd.YPCYPGTDFumF Lost
1Christian McCaffreyCAR627585.1%8568.5%3934.665.5200
2Saquon BarkleyNYG1682180.2%29559.1%13124.4821010
3Josh JacobsLV1778374.7%34079.4%16534.997.21231
4Dalvin CookMIN1781272.4%26465.3%11734.469844
5James ConnerARI1363571.3%18354.6%7824.360.2731
6Jonathan TaylorIND1150369.9%19263.8%8614.578.3433
7Alvin KamaraNO1562169.6%22353.3%897459.8244
8Christian McCaffreySF1146567.3%15947.3%7464.767.8610
9Derrick HenryTEN1661966.8%34975.4%15384.496.11363
10Rhamondre StevensonNE1766466.0%21049.4%1040561.2541
11Devin SingletaryBUF1667965.4%17740.7%8194.651.2533
12Najee HarrisPIT1772465.3%27254.4%10383.861.1732
13Joe MixonCIN1460165.3%21061.8%8143.958.1700
14David MontgomeryCHI1660064.3%20138.2%801450.1522
15Dameon PierceHOU1348663.8%22074.3%9394.372.2442
16Austin EkelerLAC1771061.5%20450.5%9154.553.81353
17Leonard FournetteTB1565359.8%18951.6%6683.544.5300
18Travis EtienneJAX1763759.4%22049.1%11255.166.2553
19Kenneth WalkerSEA1555058.5%22858.2%10504.670900
20Aaron JonesGB1760557.7%21346.7%11215.365.9253
21Rashaad PennySEA515957.6%5751.8%3466.169.2210
22Miles SandersPHI1764457.1%25947.6%12694.974.61122
23Nick ChubbCLE1763256.4%30256.8%1525589.71211
24Raheem MostertMIA1652856.4%18149.7%8914.955.7311
25Ezekiel ElliottDAL1553454.5%23149.0%8763.858.41200
26Javonte WilliamsDEN413353.9%4745.2%2044.351011
27Darrell HendersonLAR932453.5%7034.0%283431.4300
28Jeff WilsonMIA824753.2%8445.2%3924.749310
29Latavius MurrayDEN1240252.9%16051.3%7034.458.6510
30Tony PollardDAL1654352.1%19338.7%10075.262.9900
31Jeff WilsonSF824951.9%9243.4%4685.158.5222
32Tyler AllgeierATL1648151.2%21040.3%10354.964.7300
33Breece HallNYJ722149.1%8045.5%4635.866.1411
34AJ DillonGB1751348.9%18640.8%7704.145.3710
35Michael CarterNYJ1648048.6%11430.7%4023.525.1321
36Cam AkersLAR1541847.6%18852.1%7864.252.4722
37Antonio GibsonWAS1546846.4%14951.4%5463.736.4310
38Cordarrelle PattersonATL1336246.3%14431.8%6954.853.5811
39Jerick McKinnonKC1649745.5%72 291418.2111
40James RobinsonJAX720345.4%8142.6%3404.248.6310
41Kenyan DrakeBAL1234645.1%10928.9%4824.440.2410
42Eno BenjaminARI929643.1%7029.9%2994.333.2200
43Brian RobinsonWAS1233742.7%20532.4%7973.966.4220
44J.K. DobbinsBAL819642.2%9237.9%5205.765200
45Zonovan KnightNYJ719142.1%8554.1%3003.542.9120
46Melvin GordonDEN1027041.9%9034.1%3183.531.8252
47Kareem HuntCLE1746341.3%12323.1%4683.827.5310
48D'Andre SwiftDET1437341.3%9924.6%5425.538.7510
49Jamaal WilliamsDET1744741.1%26254.6%10664.162.71732
50Samaje PerineCIN1642039.9%9523.6%3944.124.6200
51J.D. McKissicWAS721139.7%2210.5%954.313.6000
52Rachaad WhiteTB1745339.1%12933.4%4813.728.3133
53Khalil HerbertCHI1329138.1%12929.8%7315.756.2400
54Damien HarrisNE1123235.4%10637.2%4624.442300
55D'Onta ForemanCAR1633734.6%20342.0%9144.557.1510
56Zack MossIND817033.5%7633.3%3654.845.6100
57Clyde Edwards-HelaireKC1021232.2%7129.6%3024.330.2300
58Chase EdmondsDEN510432.1%2619.5%1254.825000
59Jaylen WarrenPIT1533031.7%7716.3%3794.925.3110
60Isiah PachecoKC1734431.5%17041.6%8304.948.8542
61Mark IngramNO919631.0%6220.7%2333.825.9122
62Chuba HubbardCAR1226330.8%9523.3%4664.938.8210
63Joshua KelleyLAC1226029.0%6920.8%2874.223.9200
64Dontrell HilliardTEN1019328.1%226.2%1456.614.5000
65Gus EdwardsBAL915827.6%8729.1%433548.1311
66Kenneth GainwellPHI1531027.5%5311.5%2404.516400
67Justice HillBAL1525427.2%4910.3%2625.317.5021
68Rex BurkheadHOU724826.0%266.9%803.111.4000
69Alexander MattisonMIN1728125.1%7418.3%2833.816.6500
70Elijah MitchellSF58024.8%4526.2%2796.255.8200
71James CookBUF1525724.7%8921.5%5075.733.8211
72Kyren WilliamsLAR813823.8%3513.1%139417.4000
73Deon JacksonIND1124223.2%6821.2%2363.521.5111
74Matt BreidaNYG1624922.9%5410.0%2204.113.8100
75DeeJay DallasSEA1018820.3%358.8%1865.318.6010
76JaMycal HastyJAX1721620.2%4610.3%1944.211.4200
77Justin JacksonDET1217617.3%428.4%170414.2100
78Caleb HuntleyATL1211817.1%7618.5%3664.830.5110
79Hassan HaskinsTEN1514816.9%255.5%933.76.2000
80Malik DavisDAL6779.4%388.1%1614.226.8100
81Jordan MasonSF10808.2%4313.3%258625.8100



 TeamSnapsSn %TgtTgt Sh.RECRec YdRec TDYAC AvgRoutesTPRRYPRR
1Christian McCaffreyCAR27585.1%4324.7332771915228.3%1.82
2Saquon BarkleyNYG82180.2%7616.9573380832823.2%1.03
3Josh JacobsLV78374.7%6411.6534000732020.0%1.25
4Dalvin CookMIN81272.4%569.3392952935415.8%0.83
5James ConnerARI63571.3%5811.6463001824823.4%1.21
6Jonathan TaylorIND50369.9%4010.8281430719620.4%0.73
7Alvin KamaraNO62169.6%7718.3574902825929.7%1.89
8Christian McCaffreySF46567.3%6519.9524644818934.4%2.46
9Derrick HenryTEN61966.8%41113339801216325.2%2.44
10Rhamondre StevensonNE66466.0%8917.2694211831528.3%1.34
11Devin SingletaryBUF67965.4%529.5382801738413.5%0.73
12Najee HarrisPIT72465.3%5310.6412293525121.1%0.91
13Joe MixonCIN60165.3%7514.3604412827727.1%1.59
14David MontgomeryCHI60064.3%4014.4343161921918.3%1.44
15Dameon PierceHOU48663.8%3910.6301651715325.5%1.08
16Austin EkelerLAC71061.5%12718.51077225835136.2%2.06
17Leonard FournetteTB65359.8%8312.1735233835323.5%1.48
18Travis EtienneJAX63759.4%459.13531601026317.1%1.2
19Kenneth WalkerSEA55058.5%358271650820916.7%0.79
20Aaron JonesGB60557.7%7213.6593955830123.9%1.31
21Rashaad PennySEA15957.6%55.141607647.8%0.25
22Miles SandersPHI64457.1%266.220780519813.1%0.39
23Nick ChubbCLE63256.4%377.32723911023215.9%1.03
24Raheem MostertMIA52856.4%428.6312022626615.8%0.76
25Ezekiel ElliottDAL53454.5%235.917920515015.3%0.61
26Javonte WilliamsDEN13353.9%2217.31676076732.8%1.13
27Darrell HendersonLAR32453.5%227.8171020614415.3%0.71
28Jeff WilsonMIA24753.2%2410.812941712219.7%0.77
29Latavius MurrayDEN40252.9%349.4261240715821.5%0.78
30Tony PollardDAL54352.1%5511.3393713922025.0%1.69
31Jeff WilsonSF24951.9%135.910910710013.0%0.91
32Tyler AllgeierATL48151.2%178.11613911110516.2%1.32
33Breece HallNYJ22149.1%3114.5192181910429.8%2.1
34AJ DillonGB51348.9%439.2282060720021.5%1.03
35Michael CarterNYJ48048.6%5410.1412880726620.3%1.08
36Cam AkersLAR41847.6%185.5131170118820.5%1.33
37Antonio GibsonWAS46846.4%5812.2463532721327.2%1.66
38Cordarrelle PattersonATL36246.3%3111.4211220615619.9%0.78
39Jerick McKinnonKC49745.5%7111.55651291030223.5%1.7
40James RobinsonJAX20345.4%115.1946167115.5%0.65
41Kenyan DrakeBAL34645.1%268.317891812520.8%0.71
42Eno BenjaminARI29643.1%339.52418401017518.9%1.05
43Brian RobinsonWAS33742.7%125.8960184228.6%1.43
44J.K. DobbinsBAL19642.2%88.2742153821.1%1.11
45Zonovan KnightNYJ19142.1%146.9131000103737.8%2.7
46Melvin GordonDEN27041.9%3210.7252230914422.2%1.55
47Kareem HuntCLE46341.3%448.7352101722619.5%0.93
48D'Andre SwiftDET37341.3%7015.1483893921832.1%1.78
49Jamaal WilliamsDET44741.1%165.11273067521.3%0.97
50Royce FreemanHOU10140.1%86633073324.2%1
51Samaje PerineCIN42039.9%518.6382874921024.3%1.37
52J.D. McKissicWAS21139.7%4014271730615525.8%1.12
53Rachaad WhiteTB45339.1%589.2502902620927.8%1.39
54Khalil HerbertCHI29138.1%128.7957195621.4%1.02
55Chase EdmondsMIA17535.9%176.81096179817.3%0.98
56Damien HarrisNE23235.4%237.81797058826.1%1.1
57D'Onta ForemanCAR33734.6%95.8526066713.4%0.39
58Zack MossIND17033.5%55.3412042917.2%0.41
59Clyde Edwards-HelaireKC21232.2%237.317151398527.1%1.78
60Chase EdmondsDEN10432.1%76.5661095014.0%1.22
61Jaylen WarrenPIT33031.7%336.7282140814622.6%1.47
62Isiah PachecoKC34431.5%144.8131300128117.3%1.6
63Mark IngramNO19631.0%186.71668056527.7%1.05
64Chuba HubbardCAR26330.8%1711141710117123.9%2.41
65Nyheim HinesIND13930.2%2811.2251880610426.9%1.81
66Joshua KelleyLAC26029.0%255.3141010710723.4%0.94
67Dontrell HilliardTEN19328.1%269.9211774711023.6%1.61
68Gus EdwardsBAL15827.6%24.400001216.7%0
69Kenneth GainwellPHI31027.5%297.4231690713621.3%1.24
70Justice HillBAL25427.2%126.31258074725.5%1.23
71Travis HomerSEA15926.6%188.616157188022.5%1.96
72Rex BurkheadHOU24826.0%5110.5372041618028.3%1.13
73Alexander MattisonMIN28125.1%184.815911910617.0%0.86
74Elijah MitchellSF8024.8%46.237061428.6%0.5
75James CookBUF25724.7%328.2211801711428.1%1.58
76Kyren WilliamsLAR13823.8%126.9976096219.4%1.23
77Deon JacksonIND24223.2%3412.1302091811828.8%1.77
78Matt BreidaNYG24922.9%256.9201180511322.1%1.04
79Mike BooneDEN12021.1%156.8996094831.3%2
80DeeJay DallasSEA18820.3%196.917126088123.5%1.56
81JaMycal HastyJAX21620.2%268.1201261710026.0%1.26
82Craig ReynoldsDET10618.6%10591160124721.3%2.47
83Sony MichelLAC12218.1%135.1953063043.3%1.77
84Justin JacksonDET17617.3%195.612101198023.8%1.26
85Caleb HuntleyATL11817.1%24.823042100.0%1.5
86Hassan HaskinsTEN14816.9%127.21157066618.2%0.86
87Dare OgunbowaleHOU17116.9%267.920104076838.2%1.53
88Boston ScottPHI16516.8%63.9515043417.6%0.44
89Ameer AbdullahLV16816.0%327.5252111811727.4%1.8
90Ty JohnsonNYJ16415.3%248.51288066735.8%1.31
91Jonathan WilliamsWAS9611.0%1012.7740054820.8%0.83
92Malik DavisDAL779.4%77.26630122528.0%2.52


2023 Free Agents & Possible Cap Casualties

Scheduled Free Agents

Josh Jacobs (tag candidate)

Saquon Barkley (tag candidate)

Tony Pollard 

Miles Sanders

David Montgomery

Devin Singletary

Damien Harris

Jamaal Williams

Kareem Hunt & D'Ernest Johnson

Jeff Wilson & Raheem Mostert

Alexander Mattison

Samaje Perine

Rashaad Penny

D'Onta Foreman


Potential Cap Casualties

Cordarrelle Patterson (up to $4.25 million of cap savings for 2023)

Aaron Jones (up to $16 million - if traded/released by March 17)

Ezekiel Elliott (up to $10.9 million)

Joe Mixon (up to $10.1 million)

Chase Edmonds (up to $6 million)

Nyheim Hines (up to $4.8 million)

Leonard Fournette (up to $5 million)

J.D. McKissic (up to $2.5 million)

Gus Edwards (up to $4.4 million)

Less Likely to be Cut, But Not Impossible

Dalvin Cook (up to $11 million)

Alvin Kamara (up to $10 million)


 2023 Predictions & Top-50 Rankings (PPR)

2023 Fantasy MVP: Christian McCaffrey

2023 Real-Life MVP: Nick Chubb

2023 Best Rookie: Bijan Robinson, duh


  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Austin Ekeler
  3. Jonathan Taylor
  4. Saquon Barkley
  5. Derrick Henry
  6. Bijan Robinson (R)
  7. Josh Jacobs
  8. Nick Chubb
  9. Travis Etienne
  10. Kenneth Walker
  11. Dalvin Cook
  12. D'Andre Swift 
  13. Rhamondre Stevenson 
  14. Alvin Kamara
  15. Dameon Pierce  
  16. J.K. Dobbins
  17. Breece Hall
  18. Aaron Jones 
  19. Najee Harris
  20. AJ Dillon
  21. Tyler Allgeier 
  22. Javonte Williams
  23. Miles Sanders
  24. Cam Akers
  25. Tony Pollard
  26. Khalil Herbert
  27. James Conner
  28. James Cook 
  29. Brian Robinson
  30. Ezekiel Elliott
  31. Antonio Gibson
  32. Rachaad White 
  33. Joe Mixon
  34. David Montgomery
  35. Isiah Pacheco
  36. Jahmyr Gibbs (R) 
  37. Devin Singletary
  38. Jamaal Williams
  39. Kareem Hunt 
  40. Tank Bigsby (R) 
  41. Zach Charbonnet (R)
  42. Raheem Mostert
  43. Rashaad Penny
  44. Alexander Mattison
  45. Damien Harris 
  46. Michael Carter
  47. Elijah Mitchell 
  48. Leonard Fournette
  49. Jaylen Warren
  50. D'Onta Foreman


RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NFL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NFL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
NFL Free Agency: Devil in the Details
NFL Free Agency: Devil in the Details
Payne's Perspective: RBs to Target this Season
Payne's Perspective: RBs to Target this Season
Payne's Perspective: QB Targets for 2023
Payne's Perspective: QB Targets for 2023
Best Ball Journal: Underdog Big Board Portfolio
Best Ball Journal: Underdog Big Board Portfolio
ADP Analysis: NFC South Players to Watch in 2023
ADP Analysis: NFC South Players to Watch in 2023
Best Ball Journal: Post-FA Underdog Value Report
Best Ball Journal: Post-FA Underdog Value Report