The 2022 fantasy football season is upon us. The regular season kicks off on Thursday, September 8 as the Buffalo Bills take on the Los Angeles Rams. The 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone and we know where the rookie running backs will be spending their first season in the NFL. Some ended up with really advantageous landing spots while others may have had their season end before it began.
Top 10 fantasy football rookie running backs
*ADP is for half-PPR scoring formats
1. Breece Hall, New York Jets RB18
Hall was one of the more prolific running backs we have seen in college in recent history. The dude scored 50 rushing touchdowns in three seasons. He fell right into the Jets’ lap in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft even though they still have Michael Carter on the roster. Hall has the highest expectations of any rookie running back because he is healthy and projected as the lead back from the start of the season.
2. Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks, RB37
Walker was drafted in the second round out of Michigan State. He had a prolific collegiate career and was drafted in the second round to a crowded Seahawks backfield. Chris Carson retired due to injury which moved Walker to the backup. Rashaad Penny is still slated as the starter and Walker is nursing a hernia-like injury, but should factor into the run game early in the year.
3. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans RB38
Pierce is one of my favorite running backs this year. Even though he is a rookie he landed in a great situation where he should see a bulk of the carries. He saw a huge rise in his ADP in the preseason as Royce Freeman and Marlon Mack were both cut. While still further down in overall ADP, he will continue to rise ahead of the season and has a good chance to be productive even with the Texans.
4. James Cook, Buffalo Bills, RB39
Cook is coming off a national title win at Georgia and hopes to bring his winning ways to Buffalo. The Bills running back room hasn’t been able to find a consistent producer. Devin Singletary still looks to be the starter, but Cook should at least have the opportunity to get imn the game and perform. If he can win the favor of quarterback Josh Allen, Cook could be the starter by the end of the season.
5. Isaiah Spiller, Los Angeles Chargers, RB45
Spiller was a standout runner at Texas A&M, but fell to the fourth round in the draft. He was picked up by the Chargers to possibly fill the former Melvin Gordon, large body role in the run game. Unfortunately, the preseason report was that he didn’t acclimate well to the NFL game and the team then signed free agent Sony Michel after he was cut by the Miami Dolphins.
6. Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders, RB46
Robinson was a standout in the preseason. He was playing so well that Antonio Gibson was being tried out on kick returns. Not to say that Gibson wouldn’t have been involved in the run game, but the former Bama back Robinson was really impressing. He suffered unfortunate injuries in a shooting incident in the final week of the preseason and will likely be sidelined to start the beginning of the season. When he does get back to the field though, tons of upside.
7. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, RB48
White joins the high octane offense of the Bucs. Hr was drafted out of Arizona State in the third round. He looked like he could have the running back room to himself for a split second, but then starter Leonard Fournette returned to the team. Ronald Jones is gone though so the backup position is likely his. He doesn’t start with much appeal, but if anything were to happen to Fournette he has an easy path to relevancy.
8. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs, RB50
You have to scroll way down the draft recap screen to find Pacheco. He was taken with the 30th pick in the final round out of Rutgers. Even despite this low draft slot, he was really impressive in camp. He likely unseated Ronald Jones from his backup role and could even challenge Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the starting job ig CEH struggles early. Pacheco has lower expectations and is a rookie so if he experiences some bumps in the road it wouldn’t be as detrimental to him as it would CEH.
9. Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons, RB54
BYU running back Allgeier flew under the radar a lot in college, but put together quite the career for the Cougars. He was selected in the fifth round by the Falcons who haven’t been able to find a consistent answer at running back since Devonta Freeman left the team. Allgeier will technically be behind Cordarrelle Patterson and Damien Williams to start the year, but that isn’t a bad spot to be in. Patterson was used in a variety of ways last year and Williams is an inconsistent veteran. If Patterson is out wide in certain looks, Allgeier could see playing time this year.
10. Zamir White, Las Vegas Raiders, RB62
White was teammates with Cook at Georgia and ended his collegiate career with a national championship. He was drafted to the Raiders and presumed to be the third string running back. Josh Jacobs is still unquestionably the starter, but Kenyan Drake was cut as rosters were trimmed down. This elevated White to the backup position and gives him interesting flex appeal for the season.