Fantasy football has returned as the NFL gears up to kickoff the regular season on Thursday, September 8. As you dust off your drafting skills, you may want some tips and tricks in drafting for standard leagues. Standard drafts tend to favor running backs early, so here are some notes regarding approaching running backs in standard drafts for fantasy football leagues in 2022.
Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Najee Harris, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon should all go in the first round of 12-team standard leagues. They all see a heavy workload in their respective offenses and should be big performers this season. Mixon is especially intriguing this year, given the advancements that the offensive line experienced this offseason.
Another riser for running backs is Dameon Pierce. The rookie entered a crowded running back room in the preseason but showed flashes and impressed coaches. Veteran Marlon Mack was cut and added to the practice squad, giving Pierce one less person to compete with. The other incumbent running back is Royce Freeman, who hasn't ever been able to take over a backfield to its point in his career, leaving Pierce the starter. Another riser is Indianapolis Colts backup Nyheim Hines who should see work even when Taylor is healthy.
Kenyan Drake and Sony Michel are both fallers as they were cut on Tuesday. Drake has since linked up with the Baltimore Ravens but is back to being a backup. Michel was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers after being cut by the Miami Dolphins. He joins rookie Isaiah Spiller who notably struggled in the preseason getting ready for NFL game action.