The next time I update these Dynasty rankings, players will be in pads at training camp. Well, they'll be at camp at least; there's not very long at all that they'll actually be in pads. The point is, values are going to start swinging, rightly or wrongly, based on beat writer reports, coach speak, and depth charts.
I can hardly wait.
Before we get to training camp and the preseason, I thought it might be helpful to highlight five running backs you can buy now whose value could spike with a good camp. What makes it even better is that I am higher than consensus on all these backs, so you should be able to buy for less than what my rankings would suggest, and then see their value rise from there.
Let's get it.
My Rank: RB17
Mixon's value took a big hit this offseason because the Bengals talked as if his future on the team was uncertain and because of a couple of off-field issues. There's still a chance one of those concerns actually gets in Mixon's way, but a month before training camp he looks to be the team's feature back, possibly with less competition for touches than last year. Mixon is about eight months younger than Nick Chubb and they've essentially been the same guy on a per-game basis the past three years. If Mixon is the Week 1 starter, he should be ahead of Chubb in Dynasty rankings.
My Rank: RB33
Mixon's former teammate landed in Denver and could see his value skyrocket in camp if Javonte Williams isn't ready for Week 1. My assumption is that Williams will be a part-time player at best for most of the year and Perine will be a high-end flex or low-end No. 2 running back. At the cost of RB50, you aren't even risking that much if I'm wrong. Perine produced 330 total yards and four touchdowns in the three games he played at least half of the snaps last year. I expect he hits that mark more than three times in 2023.
My Rank: RB35
Like Perine, Abanikanda is behind a lead back coming off a torn ACL. Breece Hall's injury was not as severe, so we expect the recovery to go better, but until he's 100% I am going to proceed with caution. I expect Nathaniel Hackett's backfield in New York to be a two-headed one even when Hall is fully healthy, and I expect Abanikanda to beat out Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight for the RB2 job. Unlike Perine, Abanikanda could be much more than a one-year option as a flex. He has the potential to be a team's RB1 if he gets the opportunity.
My Rank: RB37
Everything we're hearing out of Washington suggests Gibson is getting a second shot with Eric Bienemy in town after falling out of favor in 2022. J.D. McKissic is gone, which should open up the pass-catching role for Gibson, and Bienemy's offense figures to rely heavily on the screen pass. If we get a few quotes talking Gibson up early in camp, he's going to creep back into the top 30 Dynasty backs before the season even starts. He has a shot to crack the top 25 with a good first month.
My Rank: RB66
I have probably been too slow to raise Jerome Ford, but all indications are that he will enter the season behind only Nick Chubb. While we wouldn't expect Chubb to cede as much work to Ford as he did to Kareem Hunt, I would expect the Browns will try to keep Chubb healthy early in the year. He'll turn 28 in December and is rapidly approaching the age when running backs drop off. Once Ford is fully established as RB2, I would expect a small bump, with a huge leap possible should Chubb miss time.
Here are my updated Dynasty running back rankings: