The 2022 fantasy football draft season is almost here, and I, for one, cannot wait to see the twists and turns of my fantasy drafts. Each league is so unique, but that is what makes fantasy football so enjoyable, is it not? From work leagues, to friend leagues, to family leagues, the impact fantasy football has had in our lives as fans cannot be copied by any other fantasy sport.
It is about that time of the year where fantasy managers begin looking at expert rankings, strategies, and formulas, all in the hope of developing the perfect plan to dominate their fantasy leagues. Perhaps you fit that description as well. Are you trying to determine which players you should draft and which ones you should avoid? Are you an early drafter looking for some last-minute advice? Are you looking for advice on late-round sleepers? If you said yes to any of the aforementioned questions, you have come to the right place!
Over the next couple weeks, we will be ranking the top players at each of the four primary fantasy positions: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end. These standard (non-PPR) rankings will also include detailed breakdowns for all Steelers players who are considered draftable in standard 10 or 12-team leagues. Today, we will be looking at the position most heavily sought after in the early portion of drafts: running back.
If you have any thoughts on these rankings, be sure to comment down below.
Let’s dive in!
Fantasy Running Back Rankings
4. Najee Harris | Pittsburgh Steelers
Both Najee Harris and Mike Tomlin have stated that the plan is to decrease the amount of snaps Harris is on the field. While this puts a slight damper on his fantasy outlook, fantasy owners must remember his lack of efficiency in 2022. Combine a less-used Najee Harris with an offensive line that added Mason Cole and James Daniels to the mix, and all of a sudden, Najee’s lack of efficiency is hardly a concern.
The Steelers do not have much in the way of proven threats behind Najee at running back, although Anthony McFarland, Jr. could emerge as that guy if he can finally stay healthy for a full season. Benny Snell is Benny Snell, and he should be thankful just to secure a roster spot. Undrafted rookie Mateo Durant could give Snell and McFarland a healthy battle in training camp, but his impact will be irrelevant to Harris regardless.
Determining how involved Najee will be in the passing game is the other concern fantasy owners must weigh on the balance. In 2021, Harris recorded 74 receptions on 94 targets for 467 yards and 3 touchdowns, but that was coming from a Ben Roethlisberger who kept almost everything underneath. Fortunately, Mitch Trubisky has shown love to running backs in the receiving game before. In 2018, Bears running backs were targeted 117 times, and in 2019, that number increased to 139. In those two seasons combined, Trubisky started 29 of 32 possible games, proving those numbers to be an accurate representation of his affection for throwing to the running back. This is only a good thing for the Steelers’ lead back.
Najee Harris should be a top-ten pick in all formats, and he should be considered one of the safest options across the board.
5. Dalvin Cook | Minnesota Vikings
6. Nick Chubb | Cleveland Browns
7. Christian McCaffrey | Carolina Panthers
8. Austin Ekeler | Los Angeles Chargers
9. Saquon Barkley | New York Giants
10. Aaron Jones | Green Bay Packers
11. David Montgomery | Chicago Bears
12. Cam Akers | Los Angeles Rams
13. Javonte Williams | Denver Broncos
14. D’Andre Swift | Detroit Lions
15. J.K. Dobbins | Baltimore Ravens
16. Ezekiel Elliott | Dallas Cowboys
17. Leonard Fournette | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Alvin Kamara | New Orleans Saints
19. Antonio Gibson | Washington Commanders
20. Elijah Mitchell | San Francisco 49ers
21. James Conner | Arizona Cardinals
22. Josh Jacobs | Las Vegas Raiders
23. Breece Hall | New York Jets
24. Tony Pollard | Dallas Cowboys
25. Chase Edmonds | Miami Dolphins
What do you think of these rankings? Do you think Najee Harris deserves to be a top-five fantasy running back? What is the highest you would draft him? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts on this and all things Pittsburgh Steelers!