It’s Super Bowl week! Let’s take a look at the top 10 running backs in Dynasty fantasy football formats ahead of the 2024 NFL season.
Top 10 Dynasty Running Back Rankings
1. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
Robinson was selected eighth overall by the Falcons in the 2023 NFL Draft and was expected to have a massive immediate impact on the fantasy scene. While his talent was evident, his usage remained frustrating throughout the year as he would often split carries with some of the Falcons’ other backs, although it was clear he was the most talented option.
Despite his frustrating usage, Robinson was still able to produce a solid rookie campaign, carrying the ball 214 times for 976 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught 58 of his 86 targets for 487 yards and another four touchdowns. Robinson remains my top running back in Dynasty formats due to his elite upside as both a rusher and a pass catcher. I would expect the new coaching staff in Atlanta to make Robinson one of the focal points of their offense moving forward. He should be in line for a much better 2024 season.
2. Breece Hall, New York Jets
In his second season, Breece Hall proved why he is considered one of the most talented running backs in the NFL. He carried the ball 223 times, for 994 yards and five touchdowns, while also catching 76 of his 95 targets for an additional four touchdowns. In his first season after his ACL tear, Hall looked just as explosive as he did in his rookie season.
While the Jets’ offensive line struggled last season, Hall was still effective as a runner and a receiver. He was great in the final five weeks of the season, which is hopefully a sneak peek of what is to come next year. If the Jets can improve their offensive line this offseason, expect Hall to have an even better season next year. The return of Aaron Rodgers should also add big touchdown upside that he lacked in 2023.
3. Christian McCaffrey, San Fransisco 49ers
In his first full season with the 49ers, Christian McCaffrey produced a dominant season that saw him carry the ball 272 times for 1,459 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. He was also an elite receiving option, as he caught 67 of 83 targets for 564 yards and an additional seven touchdowns. In total, he produced 2,023 yards and scored 18 touchdowns.
The 49ers’ offense was one of the best in the NFL this past season and will be one of the top units again next season. While there are some durability concerns with McCaffrey, he has been healthy throughout his time in San Fransisco. He will be a top option at the running back position once again next season, almost certainly the first running back selected in all Redraft leagues. The fact that he is ranked this high at 27 years old is a testament to his fantasy dominance.
4. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions
The Lions selecting Jahmyr Gibbs 12th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft was a bit of a surprise, but he produced a strong rookie season despite splitting work with fellow back David Montgomery for most of the season. Gibbs carried the ball 182 times for 945 yards and ten touchdowns while also catching 52 of his 71 targets for 316 yards and another touchdown. While his volume was low compared to some other running backs, he was extremely efficient with his touches, as he averaged 5.2 yards per carry.
Entering the 2024 season, Gibbs should be expected to take on a larger role in the Lions’ offense. He is an elite playmaker with the ball in his hands, and the Lions would be smart to get him involved as much as they can. While David Montgomery will still be there to take some carries away, it would not surprise me to see a 60/40 split in favor of Gibbs next season in Detroit, further raising his ceiling as an elite dual-threat RB.
5. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor only played in 10 games this season, but he remained effective in those games. He carried the ball 169 times for 741 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 19 of his 23 targets for 153 yards and another touchdown. Despite missing time, he was still able to average over four yards per carry and over 70 rushing yards per game. However, Taylor has played in just 21 games over the last two seasons, so durability is beginning to become a concern with him.
As we look ahead to 2024, there is no doubt that Jonathan Taylor is one of the most talented running backs in the NFL. He has been extremely productive when he has been on the field throughout his career. Having just turned 25, JT should still be valued as a top-five option at the position and should produce another strong season next year.
6. De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins
Dolphins rookie De’Von Achane was one of the most impressive rookies of the 2023 season. He carried the ball 103 times for 800 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 27 of his 37 targets for 197 yards and three more scores. He averaged a ridiculous 7.8 yards per carry, as good as it gets. Not only was he effective as a rusher but he was also a strong receiving option, showing his potential as an every-down player in the NFL.
As we enter the offseason, it is difficult to project Achane’s usage for the 2024 season. While Achane was effective, Raheem Mostert is still under contract with the Dolphins, and he was also effective in 2023, rushing for over 1,000 yards and scoring 21 total touchdowns. I would expect the Dolphins to try to get Achane involved more next season, as he brings so much speed to their offense and is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. With a more full workload, the sky is the limit for Achane’s production.
7. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Etienne produced a strong second season in 2023, playing in every game while carrying the ball 267 times for 1,008 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching 58 of 73 targets for 476 yards and another touchdown. He set career highs in carries, rushing touchdowns, targets, and receiving yards last season.
Etienne is clearly the top back in Jacksonville, and that will stay the same in 2024. He should be in line for a similar, if not better, stat line to last season. Just 25 years old, he remains one of the more underrated options in Dynasty formats.
8. Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks
Walker was effective last season, carrying the ball 219 times for 905 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games. He also caught 29 of 37 targets for 259 yards and another touchdown. This was his second straight season producing more than 1,000 total yards.
Ahead of the 2024 NFL season and with a new coaching staff in place, it is safe to assume that Walker will remain a large part of Seattle’s offense. While Zach Charbonnet will continue to steal some touches, Walker should remain the Seahawks’ top option at the position and will produce a strong third season.
9. Kyren Willians, Los Angeles Rams
A 2022 fifth-rounder, Williams missed most of his rookie year due to injury but had a huge sophomore season, carrying the ball 228 times for 1,144 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 32 passes for 206 yards and three additional touchdowns. This was Williams’ first season as the Rams’ lead back, and he took full advantage of his opportunity. He did miss some more time with an injury, but he was an elite option when he was healthy.
Looking ahead to 2024, it is difficult to project what Williams’ stat line will look like as the Rams have used a variety of different backs over the last few seasons. As a fifth-rounder, Williams’ role may not be as secure as those of backs with more pedigree that rank higher on this list. However, since Williams was so good last season, it would be surprising to see him be anything other than the go-to guy once again next season.
10. James Cook, Buffalo Bills
Cook was great in his first season as the Bills’ starter, as he carried the ball 237 times for 1,122 yards and two touchdowns while also catching 44 passes for 445 yards and another four touchdowns. While his lack of rushing touchdowns is worth noting, he was extremely efficient as both a runner and pass catcher. The Bills were able to run the ball effectively with him, and it made their offense much more balanced as a result.
Cook should remain a great option again in 2024. Expect him to produce another strong season of around 1,500 total yards and 10+ total touchdowns. While Josh Allen is going to continue stealing goal-line touchdowns, Cook is an especially great option in PPR formats since he is used heavily as a pass catcher as well.