We are finally approaching that exciting time of year that is the NFL Draft season. Rookies can make a massive impact on your team’s roster if you really do you homework, and there is a lot of value to be had drafting rookie running backs in years past. I.E: (Najee Harris, Javonte Williams, etc). Both of these guys could be considered extreme values given their ADP in 2021. This is a briefing on the next wave of guys, and what I think their roles should look like in year one.
Top 5 Fantasy Rookie Running Backs for 2022
Breece Hall (Iowa State)
Breece Hall is my top running back prospect for the upcoming 2022 NFL draft. Most people have him at the top because he dominated at Iowa State. He is arguably the most pure three-down back in this class. He has displayed year after year in college that he has elite balance and ball carrier vision as well. If he ends up in the right landing spot, he has the potential to be a bell-cow that offers appeal in both Standard and PPR leagues. There is arguably only one trait that would keep him off the field, and it’s the fact that he is not the best in terms of pass protection, but he should offer enough as a receiving back to cancel that out.
Best Landing Spots: Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans
Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State):
Walker is a very elusive running back that had a lot of success in terms of missed tackles over his college campaign. He might very well end up being the best pure runner in this class, but the biggest knock on him is that he was virtually a non-factor in the passing game at Michigan State. If his receiving numbers look similar in the NFL, it will surely cap his PPR upside. However, I think that his ability to carry the ball effectively will make him a valuable addition to any backfield. Will he end up being a three-down back? Well, that remains to be seen.
Best Landing Spots: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks
Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M):
The best true power back of this class, Spiller has a lot to offer in the red zone. However, he does not possess the true breakaway speed of some of these other guys, and if he is going to be a productive pro, he is going to require a lot of carries. His receiving attributes are decent, but that is something that could improve over time as he is only 20 years old. I feel as if his only path to major fantasy relevance in 2022 will come if he is getting a big workload, or ends up becoming the goal-line back on a high-powered offense.
Best Landing Spots: Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, Washington Football Team
Kyren Williams (Notre Dame)
Williams may never end up being a three-down RB in the NFL, but what puts him in this top-five conversation is his ability to make an impact in the passing game. This makes him far more valuable in PPR leagues of course, but for now, I am not jumping out of my seat at the thought of drafting Williams. His best bet for production in 2022 will most likely be as a third-down receiving back on a team that likes to utilize running backs in the passing game.
Best Landing Spots: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals
Tyler Allgeier (BYU)
Probably my favorite “dark-horse” running back in this class, Allgeier put up some pretty incredible numbers at BYU. He is one of the few running backs in this class that is solid or above average in almost every area. While he has the tools to become a three-down back, I am not convinced that this will take place in 2022. I think in reality he will be in a backfield committee or the next man up wherever he lands. This makes him a solid handcuff option, but a far better dynasty stash than a redraft asset as of right now.
Best Landing Spots: Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers