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Building for the Future: The Top 5 Rookie Running Backs to Watch in Dynasty Leagues

Mike Valverde

April 13, 2023

Here is a look at the top five running backs for fantasy purposes. This writing is formatted for Super flex and dynasty purposes. The running backs are much more profound than last season, and all five on this list have a chance to start for their future teams. A lot will depend on the landing spot of the individual player.

Bijan Robinson- Texas

Bijan Robinson attended Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona. Robinson rushed for a school record of 7,036 yards and 114 touchdowns. Robinson was given a 5-star recruit and was heavily recruited. Robinson offers A nice blend of size, speed, and power. He is relentless and will bash defenders and shred tackles to make short gains into long ones. However, Robinson's speed isn't elite. He won't run away from DBs and is indecisive and hesitant at the line of scrimmage. Robinson will play with a high pad level at times. But Robinson has good contact balance and moves to avoid being contacted by defenders. According to PFF, his career 39% forced missed tackle rate is also tied with Javonte Williams for the best since they began charting college football in 2014. Robinson demonstrates good receiving skills.  

Jahmyr Gibbs- Alabama

Jahmyr Gibbs attended Dalton High School in Dalton, Georgia. Gibbs was a multi-sport athlete (basketball and football) and was given a 4-star as a recruit. Also, He has deceptive power, elite lower body strength, and contact balance. He has been clocked at 22.3 MPH and could have the best skill set of any RB in this class. Gibbs' size isn't ideal for the position, and he struggles in pass protection because of it. However, Gibbs is young (22 years old) and is a great pass catcher who can run various routes. According to PFF, his 92.6 career receiving grade leads all running backs, and he leads all running backs over the last three seasons with 25 receptions. Gibbs can fit in any scheme, but best for the inside zone. He should be the second running back taken in fantasy drafts.  

Zach Charbonnet- UCLA

Zach Charbonnet attended Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California, and has a 4-star ranking. Charbonnet is one of the better all-around backs in the class. According to PFF, his 145 rushing first downs/touchdowns led all Power Five players. As indicated by PFF and his 122 forced missed tackles, he is elusive and tied for third in that group. Charbonnet is a powerful runner with a good size, speed, and strength combination. Unfortunately, he lacks creativity in the open field and drops easy passes. Also, Charbonnet doesn't fluidly change gears. However, Charbonnet will keep his legs churning on contact and will rarely go down after first contact. He is a strong inside runner who quickly presses the line of scrimmage with North-South running capabilities. 

Kendre Miller- TCU

Kendre Miller attended Mount Enterprise High School in Mount Enterprise and is a 3-star prospect. Miller blends good athleticism with a good feel for space. According to PFF, he finished sixth in the Power Five with 816 yards after contact and forced a missed tackle on 70 of those attempts, which ranked seventh in the Power Five. He has the size, speed, and burst to be a bell cow. Despite his size, Miller is not a power back. Miller is impatient waiting for his blocks and will get upright and not run behind his pads. His speed isn't in the home run range. However, Miller always falls forward for a positive gain and runs hard with mental toughness. His vision is top-notch.  

Devon Achane- Texas A&M

Devon Achane attended Thurgood Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas. He was a multi-sport athlete (football and track) and is a 4-star athlete. Achane has explosive speed as he ran a 10.02 100-meter dash. He has burst in and out of cuts and has lateral elusiveness making him spectacular in tight spaces. He was 35th on Bruce Feldman's Freak List. Unfortunately, Achane's size is problematic, and he may never see a high workload in the NFL. He won't ground out tough yards and is a liability as a blocker in the passing game. However, Achane cuts on a dime and has a quick-twitch explosion. He is a strong competitor who can keep his speed as he makes his cuts. Even with his speed, according to PFF, he forced a miss tackle rate of 29% of his career attempts, tied for fifth among Power Five backs since 2020.  Looking at these rankings from a tiered perspective, Robinson is in Tier 1, Gibbs is in Tier 2, and Charbonnet and Miller are in Tier 3. Achane is by himself in tier 4.


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