It’s officially the best time of the year, as NFL Best Ball is back on DraftKings.
This format gives players a chance to draft a fantasy football team for a season-long competition that requires no active in-season management, but still provides a full season of drama and competition.
You can find all the details, scoring and rules for the format in this overview post along with links to the rest of our season preview content.
Below I have ranked my second set of running backs for the 2023 DraftKings NFL Best Ball season.
Check back throughout draft season for more content to help get you ready for all your Best Ball contests.
|Brian Robinson Jr.
21. Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers gave Sanders a pretty nice contract for a running back, inking the former Nittany Lion to a four-year $25 million deal to be their new lead back. Carolina will look a whole lot different in 2023 after bringing in Frank Reich to be its new head coach, and selecting quarterback Bryce Young No. 1 overall in the draft.
Frank Reich loves to run the ball, and it’s clear the Panthers brought in Sanders to make things easy on Young in his rookie year. Despite ceding work to Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott and of course Jalen Hurts in 2022, Sanders still posted an 1,269-yard, 11-touchdown season.
Asking him to repeat that type of year for a team with a much worse offensive line and rookie quarterback is of course not fair, but we do not need him to at this RB21 ranking. What we do know is that Sanders is going to get the ball quite a bit, as his only competition for touches is the unimpressive Chuba Hubbard and 24-year old UDFA Raheem Blackshear.
It’s not easy to find unquestioned lead backs in the middle of the fifth round, so I will have a good amount of Sanders at cost in 2023.
23. Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams
Akers came alive down the stretch last season, posting three consecutive 100+ yard games over the final three weeks to put a stranglehold on the Rams RB1 job heading into 2023. He tore his Achilles in training camp prior to the 2021 season, but came back faster than anyone expected and looked pretty impressive in the process.
A torn Achilles is normally a death sentence for a running back, but Akers at least for one year, bucked that trend, finishing 2022 with 766 yards and seven touchdowns. The Rams have showed faith in him by letting Darrell Henderson walk and only bringing in sixth round rookie Zach Evans. Outside of Evans, Akers has former fifth round rookie Kyren Williams and UDFA Ronnie Rivers — both of whom showed zero last season — as competition.
With both Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp set to return, Akers’ outlook is pretty strong and looks like a solid value in the sixth round of drafts.
29. Raachad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette’s tenure with the Bucs has come to an end, and the only thing Tampa did to replace him was to bring in scat back Chase Edmonds. Edmonds was so bad last season that Miami traded him to Denver at the trade deadline. Denver then didn’t bother to re-sign Edmonds despite losing their star running back Javonte Williams to a torn ACL, instead opting for Samaje Perine.
White was a check down specialist last year for Tom Brady, and should provide the same type of security for Bucs new quarterback Baker Mayfield in 2023. White also did not start receiving significant playing time until November last year, but then really started producing, as he caught 30 passes across his final seven games.
Barring Tampa bringing in some other running back prior to training camp, White should play quite a bit this season, and those receptions will again pile up. This RB29 ranking could honestly be conservative, as I am pretty bullish on White in 2023.
32. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Kamara was one of the more difficult running backs to rank, as we simply don’t know how many games he’s going to play in 2023. He’s facing a suspension from the NFL after an incident outside a Las Vegas nightclub in 2022. In addition to the pending suspension, he’s turning 28 in July and will be facing significantly improved competition for touches in the Saints’ backfield.
The team brought on veteran Jamaal Williams from the Lions on a three-year deal worth $12 million, before also drafting TCU running back Kendre Miller in the third round of this year’s draft. The problem is, Kamara’s skill set is tailor made for DraftKings scoring, considering that virtually all of his production is derived from the passing game. He caught 57 passes last year with Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston at quarterback, and now gets a massive upgrade with the Saints bringing in Derek Carr to be their new signal caller.
If Kamara plays 10+ games in 2023, this RB32 ranking is probably a bit low, so once we get a definitive answer from the league on the pending suspension we can then act accordingly.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Lan1228) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.