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Who is the Cardinals starting running back for fantasy football in 2023?

We take a look at the running back situation for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023 as you prepare for fantasy football drafts.

Running back James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 27-13. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals are coming off of a forgettable 4-13 season, and aren’t offering fantasy football managers much ahead of drafts over the next few weeks. James Conner led the team in carries (183), yards (782), and touchdowns (7) last season, and it appears that the Cardinals don’t have to look too far for their starting running back for Week 1. This thin depth chart makes identifying Arizona’s likely RB1 an easier task, and we’re prepared for that to be Conner in the 2023 campaign.

Cardinals starting running back: James Conner

In a daunting 2022 season for Arizona, Conner proved his mettle by shouldering the rushing duties. The sixth-year veteran knows how to find his way to the end zone, and he has proven that he can handle a workhorse role. He totaled five games last season with double-digit touches.

Conner has a clear opportunity to build on last year’s success, and he is poised to see significant targets and goal-line opportunities, which should translate to big fantasy points in any format.

Cardinals’ running back depth chart offers little competition for Conner, which only increases his fantasy appeal. It’s true that Kyler Murray’s injury uncertainty raises concerns about the Arizona offense, as a whole, but Conner has the upside and projected volume to play above his Round 6 ADP.

Who is Conner’s backup on the Cardinals RB depth chart?

With Conner entrenched as the starter, 23-year-old Keaontay Ingram, Corey Clement and Ty’Son Williams are projected to battle for the top backup role. Ingram brings explosiveness, while Clement and Williams are physical downhill runners. We should see a battle in camp for the direct handcuff duties behind Conner. It’s anyone’s role at the moment.