Best Fantasy Running Backs and Our Favorite Upside Picks for 2024

While Christian McCaffrey remains the RB1 heading into the 2024 fantasy season, Jaylen Warren, Blake Corum, and Keaton Mitchell are a few upside picks to consider.
Best Fantasy RBs McCaffrey Robinson Gibbs
McCaffrey is a mainstay at #1 but it's the upside of Robinson and Gibbs that has us excited for 2024.

Once the king of the fantasty roster, the rise of running back by committee and transition to pass-first offenses has resulted in the RB position taking a backseat to WR. However, position scarcity makes top-end RBs like Christian McCaffrey, and high-upside value picks like Kyren Williams in 2023, the most valuable fantasy assets on the board.

In this article, we will take a look at our top 10 fantasy running backs as well as a handfull of high-upside picks available later in drafts.

1. Christian McCaffrey (SF)

An obvious choice for our top spot, Christian McCaffrey has the talent, situation, ceiling, and trust factor in order to carry this label. Although a dialed back 2024 workload is something Kyle Shanahan has discussed, the 24.5 PPG scorer in PPR leagues is still a dominant force as both a runner and receiver over his first two campaigns in San Francisco.

2. Bijan Robinson (ATL)

After CMC, the field is very owner-oriented and my taste buds might be different than yours. However, Bijan Robinson is easily my RB2 this season. After scoring 14.5 PPG in his rookie year, the 2nd-year workhorse will eclipse the 1,000 yard mark and 70-catch mark with Cousins at Quarterback.

His 8 total TDs should jump up x2 while this Atlanta offense has to be more potent under new leadership and Kirk. Consistency lacked for Robinson last year and especially in best ball formats, 2024 should be a different campaign.

3. Jahmyr Gibbs (DET)

The top rookie RB last season steps into 2024 with a limitless ceiling. Gibbs scored 16.1 PPG last season as the Detroit offense literally ran over every NFC defense. Although missing 2 games, JG totaled over 1.2k yards and 11 total TDs on less than 200 rush attempts.

Even Dan Campbell could agree that Gibbs needs to be more involved in schemes as he arguably is the most talented running back in our league. Jahmyr’s ceiling is the RB1 while the floor looks to be the RB10 area.

4. Breece Hall (NYJ)

While CMC, Robinson, and Gibbs are my top 3 to start the season, the RB4 is where I’ve struggled to keep the same name and face. Breece Hall’s injury concerns dropped him a spot for me, but the prototype running back is coming off an RB2 season where he caught 76 passes for nearly 600 yards - without Aaron Rodgers.

With Rodgers, the offense should open up, leaving Hall to have some massive games through the air and on the ground. A big play machine, Breece finished his last three games of the season with 150+ yards in each of them.

5. Derrick Henry (BAL)

Lamar Jackson x Derrick Henry as a run duo? Sign me up. For the first time in his career, Henry will have a speedster running beside him, taking the pressure off beating two or more tackles before he even gets back to the LOS.

Expected to maintain a big workload in Baltimore, Henry’s typical 1,500 yard double-digit TD season is expected, especially with Baltimore’s deep backfield and playbook.

6. Jonathan Taylor (IND)

Another QB/RB rushing duo, JT was a top fantasy scorer when healthy last season at 15.6 PPG. After an RB6/RB1 performance to start his career, he finished as the RB33 two seasons in a row to disappointed owners.

This year, Taylor should bounce back as health finally returns and the Indy offense finally looks multidimensional. Look for plenty of checkdown opportunities for the top Colts RB. 

7. Travis Etienne Jr (JAX)

One of the most consistent halfbacks in the league, Etienne comes into another season with limited competition at his side in Jacksonville. Travis had a career year in 2023, scoring 16.6 PPG with an RB3 finish. Rushing for just over 1k yards, don’t look at his YPC - less than 4 YPC is a cause for concern and behind a susceptible Jags o-line, Etienne will have to have another big receiving season should he stay in the top 10.

8. Rachaad White (TB)

Tampa Bay RB Rachaad White is ranked outside the top 10 of nearly every fantasy website. As a 15.8 PPG scorer last season and an iron man (played every game of his career), White continues to have minimal competition in one of the best spots to play running back for fantasy - Tampa Bay. Mayfield will check down plenty to White, who has some of the best hands at the position. 

9. Alvin Kamara (NO)

Another PPR magician, AK averaged the 3rd most PPG at the position in 2023 although missing four total games. Kamara struggled to break off big plays on the ground, but continued as a receiving threat for Carr and the Saints, hauling in 75 catches (5.7 per game).

10. Josh Jacobs (GB)

Sometimes a new scenery is just what you need. For Josh Jacobs, Green Bay should be a breath of fresh air for a player that has continued to lose on the Raiders. Green Bay shouldn’t overwork him and utilize him in red zone situations unlike the Raiders philosophy. Aaron Jones’ 200+ touches are up for grabs and Jacobs will dominate in this zone scheme with the volume.

Best Upside Picks Ranked Outside the Top 10

Best ball fantasy football is all about targeting upside late in the draft. Here are the four running backs we think are most likely to outperfrorm their current ADP.

15. De’Von Achane (MIA)

Achane was a best ball wonder in 2023, scoring a 51 point game early in the season against Denver. The rookie ranks 15th on our list as injuries and limited volume will always be a concern in Miami.

The positives? Achane should get more receiving opportunities in his 2nd season while continuing to maintain an unbelievable YPC average (7.7 in ‘23). The trio of Achane, Mostert, and Jaylen Wright is going to give AFC East defenses headaches.

24. Jaylen Warren (PIT)

The future of the Steelers offense are in the hands of Fields, Warren, and Pickens. After two seasons of backing up Najee Harris while averaging nearly 5 yards per touch, this feels like a Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler situation where the time is slowly ticking away until Jaylen takes the RB1 role in Pittsburgh.

Finishing as the RB47/RB22 since joining the league, Warren is bound to score more than his career high of 4 TDs this coming season while continuing to provide a receiving threat for Wilson or Fields.

31. Blake Corum (LAR)

Convinced Sean McVay is going to move to a near committee format, we have pushed Kyren Williams out of our top 10 rankings and catapulted rookie Blake Corum nearly into the top 30. Corum is our top ranked running back just a tick in front of Trey Benson of the Cardinals simply due to volume.

The Rams backups had 155 carries over the course of the season. If 75% goes to Corum, that means at least 130 total touches are coming his way which makes for an RB40-45 finish. With our projection that Williams will take just 75% of the running back touches during the regular season, add another 65 touches to Corum’s plate to a total of 195 touches.

At just under 200 touches, you are in the 2023 Jonathan Taylor, Zach Moss, Rhamondre Stevenson range of the RB30-35.

40. Keaton Mitchell (BAL)

Simply put, Derrick Henry can’t play more than 60% of snaps most games, so insert the RB2 - Keaton Mitchell to apply some pressure to defenses. Mitchell is coming back from a torn ACL last season but is a name to keep your eye on.

He averaged over 8 yards per carry on 47 attempts last season while averaging 10 fantasy points in 8 total games. Should he stay healthy for more than half the season, Mitchell is a best ball darling with late-draft value.

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