This ranking considers running backs that started at least 10 games in 2021 with the exception of Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey who were included due to their prominence on fantasy teams. Fantasy points were derived using 1 point per 10 yards rushed or received, six-point touchdowns rushed and one point receptions.
There’s a lot to like about a rookie on a bad offense that tied for the most consistent fantasy play. Najee Harris rolled back the clock to when workhorse backs ruled and doesn’t seem likely to have the offense around him improve dramatically in 2022.
Notable too was Darrell Henderson as one of the more consistent contributors filling in for Cam Akers who should inherit that workload now that he is healthy again.
D’Andre Swift also managed 54% rate on games with 15+ fantasy points and should be in a position to improve for this season.
On the downside, Saquon Barkley’s mostly injured 2021 season was a fantasy disaster and his second year of disappointment. Chase Edmonds started the season as the No. 1 back in Arizona but only managed 25% of his games as productive and now joins a very crowded backfield in Miami.
The impact of the split backfield in Denver shows up with both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams taking turns with notable fantasy production.
Austin Ekeler stayed healthy last season and ranked highly in any running back metric. Same for Joe Mixon coming off his career-best performance. Derrick Henry missed nine games and yet was still third-best with 25+ fantasy points in four different matchups. Despite the addition of an extra game on the schedule, there were only five backs with more than 1,000 rushing yards and Ezekiel Elliott snuck in with 1,002 yards.