7 Fantasy Football Running Backs Primed to Break Out in 2023
Workhorse running backs are few and far between in today’s NFL, and the obvious ones are pretty easy to peg. Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, and Dameon Pierce were the only running backs in the league to top 75% of their respective teams’ backfield touches in 2022, with Christian McCaffrey (70.7% with the Panthers), Dalvin Cook (67%), Jonathan Taylor (65.8%), and Joe Mixon (65.6%) the only ones in the same ballpark. Those backs essentially comprised the entire “elite usage” tier of running backs who controlled the backfield throughout the season.
What we’re doing here today is looking for candidates who could either come out of nowhere to earn these sorts of usages or give us fantasy production in other, more niche ways, like catching the ball out of the backfield or controlling their team’s goal-line usage. First, we’ll take a look back at some running backs who fit the criteria of breaking out in 2022 before our seven potential breakouts in the middle-to-late rounds for 2023 drafts.
A Look Back at 2022
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