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Running backs to fade in 2022 fantasy football leagues

Fantasy football is back for 2022! We take a look at five running backs who you should fade in your fantasy drafts.

Antonio Gibson #24 of the Washington Commanders interacts with Carson Wentz #11 during the organized team activity at INOVA Sports Performance Center on June 15, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia.
Antonio Gibson of the Washington Commanders interacts with Carson Wentz during the organized team activity at INOVA Sports Performance Center on June 15, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The football season is ready to kick off, meaning fantasy football is back. When going through your fantasy drafts, you want to maximize the value of each selection. You want to take sleepers at the right time and try not to overdraft players that may not have as good of a season. With that in mind, here are our running backs to fade as they will likely not return the value of their average draft position (ADP).

Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders

Gibson has long been disrespected in fantasy football, but I think there is actually some merit to it this year. The Commanders initially saw backup J.D. McKissic leave in free agency on a reported deal with the Buffalo Bills. The deal fell through, and McKissic is back in town for his role as the receiving back. Washington doubled down and drafted Alabama RB Brian Robinson in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. While not super concerning, that is a high enough draft pick that they could see him factor into their offensive gameplan. Gibson should still be a solid fantasy asset, but he is being over-drafted.

Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers

Speaking of convoluted backfields, the 49ers throw their names into the hat. Raheem Mostert is gone to the Miami Dolphins, so that should help clear things up, right? Sort of. Elijah Mitchell seems to be the clear starting back if you believe training camp reports. Also, in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, San Francisco drafted LSU RB Tyrion Davis-Price to re-muddle their backfield. Sermon looked like he was in line for some starts, but with the emergence of Mitchell, it is hard to determine where he figures into this running back corps.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

Penny came into the preseason as the backup but finds himself as the starting running back after former teammate Chris Carson retired due to injuries. So why is he a fade? Another rookie running back is poised to take away snaps from a veteran like Ken Walker III. He was drafted in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Michigan State and is really talented. Penny has a history of injuries, and if Walker can keep a 50-50 split in the backfield, he could find himself returning to being the backup by the midway point of the season.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers

Hubbard was drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft because the wife of head coach Matt Rhule wanted him drafted. He filled in as the backup and eventual starter when Christian McCaffrey missed some time with injury. Hubbard never really impressed, and Carolina brought in D’Onta Foreman in free agency. He backed up Derrick Henry a year ago and looked solid when his number was called. If you are looking for the CMC handcuff for this season, I think it will be Foreman rather than Hubbard.

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Jacobs is coming off a season where he finished as the RB14 in half-point PPR fantasy leagues a year ago. He should go into the season as the Raiders starter, but I don’t think he will have as good of a season this year. The Raiders made arguably the biggest offseason trade as they acquired Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers. This will allow them to be less run-heavy which hurts Jacobs. The presence of Kenyan Drake and 2022 fourth-rounder Zamir White could also eat into Jacobs’ snap count and use inc certain situations. For these reasons, Jacobs is a fade for me for the 2022 fantasy football season.