Fantasy football: 5 running back bust candidates for 2022

Fantasy football: 5 running back bust candidates for 2022

Fantasy Football Busts

Fantasy football: 5 running back bust candidates for 2022


A breakout player can give your roster a boost, and sleeper prospects off the waiver wire can save your fantasy football season, but drafting a bust can sink your season before it even begins.

Here’s a look at five bust candidates at running back this year that fantasy managers should consider avoiding at their current average draft positions.

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Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

(Samantha Madar/PackersNews, USA TODAY Network)

Jones is going 22nd overall in fantasy drafts this offseason despite having a near-even split with AJ Dillon in Green Bay last year. The Packers, like most NFL teams, use a backfield rotation and Jones (223) barely out-touched Dillon (221) last season. Granted, Jones was sidelined for two games in 2021, but that’s also part of the problem. Jones played a full 16-game in 2019, but he’s missed at least two games in four of his five years in the NFL. If you’re going RB early, Jones shouldn’t be a top target.

Breece Hall, New York Jets

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Hall is going off the board at 38 overall, which is a bit pricey for a rookie joining a crowded backfield. Hall might end up leading the RB rotation, but the Jets also like Michael Carter, and Tevin Coleman tallied 84 carries last season. Time will tell how New York’s final 53-man roster shakes out, but Ty Johnson and La’Mical Perine are also part of the mix, at least for now. Even if only Carter ends up being Hall’s main competition for touches, the rookie’s ADP is too high for a rotational RB in a bad offense.

Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Mitchell’s ADP (50th overall) would be a steal if he was the workhorse in San Francisco’s RB-friendly offense, but Kyle Shanahan’s backfields are always hard to predict. Mitchell himself surprised last year when he emerged as the team’s primary running back, and any of the team’s RBs could get hot and lead the team in 2022. Jeff Wilson Jr. has shown good flashes when healthy, and San Francisco just used a third-round pick on Tyrion Davis-Price in April. Even if Trey Sermon is on the bubble, the 49ers have plenty of options at RB. Making matters worse for Mitchell is quarterback Trey Lance’s ability to score on the ground. Mitchell could have a fine season, but it’s risky to trust him as one of your top RBs.

Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders

(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Gibson’s stock is falling, but he’s still going 60th overall in drafts this summer. Washington seems to view J.D. McKissic as its top receiving back, and third-round pick Brian Robinson has looked like the team’s starter in preseason. Granted, preseason rotations can be deceiving, but Gibson has also had some injury concerns and fumble problems in the past. Gibson might be losing the trust of the Commanders’ coaching staff, making him a bust candidate and Robinson a sleeper to watch.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

(Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports)

Some fantasy managers are drafting Penny (82nd overall ADP) as a starter this offseason. Following the retirement on Chris Carson, Penny has an opportunity to emerge as the team’s top back in a run-oriented offense, but he’ll have to stay healthy and fend off promising rookie Ken Walker III. Right now, Walker is dealing with a hernia, but the second-round pick has the potential to takeover Seattle’s backfield at some point this season, especially if Penny is ever banged up. History suggests that’s likely to happen as Penny is yet to play a full season in his career.


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