The 2023 Season is in the books. While there’s still some playoff football to help us see how players do in the clutch, for dynasty players, it’s a time to sit back, take stock, and see how players fared. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be looking back at the 2023, 2022, and 2021 classes by position. I’ll be evaluating if their stock rose, remained the same, or dropped during the course of the season. Now could be the time to sell high, buy low, or hold on to a winning hand. Today, I’m looking at a strong running back class taken in last year’s draft.

Stock Up: Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions

About: Many were surprised when the Lions took Gibbs at the No. 12 overall pick, but he shined as a rookie for a good Lions’ offense. Despite a decent contribution from David Montgomery as the hammer, Gibbs finished tenth in fantasy points and eighth in points per game for the Lions. He looks like a good, explosive player in a good offense. I like him as a Top 12 option at RB going forward.

Stock Up: De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins

About: Achane had some explosive moments for the Dolphins. Achane missed time, but when he was on the field, he was explosive. He finished as RB5 in points-per-game at 17.3, just behind his teammate Raheem Mostert. Mostert is an older back, which portends a bigger role for Achane moving forward in a high-volume fantasy offense. He’s in the RB2 range for me.

Stock Up: Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans

About: Spears was the second option behind Derrick Henry. But Henry is a free agent and not likely to be back in 2024. That opens up an opportunity for Spears, who showed flashes as a rookie. He ran for 453 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. I don’t feel confident yet, but if I have Spears, I’m holding him and waiting to see if I get a big step up in year two. If you can pick him up cheap, I’d look to snag him, too.

Stock Up: Israel Abanikanda, New York Jets

About: There was a crowd in the Jets’ backfield to begin the 2023 season. But soon enough, Michael Carter—now a Cardinal—and Dalvin Cook—now on the Ravens—left. While Breece Hall is the man for the Jets and a top option in dynasty, Abanikanda worked in a supporting role. He’s more of a depth piece at this point in time, but he could have some deep league flex appeal if the Jets’ offense takes the expected step forward with Aaron Rodgers back.

Stock Up: Chase Brown, Cincinnati Bengals

About: This is another case of a young player with a potential opportunity. Brown wasn’t a huge part of the Bengals’ offense as a rookie, but down the stretch, he showed plenty of pop. Brown ran for 179 yards on 44 carries, catching 14 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown. With Mixon seeming to take a bit of a step back, Brown has the potential to mix in and offer some pop to the Bengals’ backfield. I like him to have deep league flex appeal in 2024, and possibly more if the Bengals move on from Mixon.

Stock Neutral: Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons

About: Robinson was an exceptional prospect who landed in a system where they didn’t maximize that. He finished as RB9 in fantasy, but it could have been bigger. He remains an RB1 in dynasty and with a new coaching staff in place, hopefully we’ll see him take a step forward. If you took him atop rookie drafts in 2023, you’re still glad he’s on the roster.

Stock Neutral: Chris Rodriguez, Washington Commanders

About: Rodriguez is still in the mix for the Commanders. He didn’t make much of a splash as a rookie, but the Commanders are undergoing a major overhaul. That includes getting a new quarterback and new coaches. Among those coaches are Anthony Lynn to help manage the running game. It’s unclear what role Rodriguez will have, but for now, he’s an end-of-bench stash as he was going into 2023.

Stock Neutral: Deuce Vaughn, Dallas Cowboys

About: Vaughn is another player who has some potential but wasn’t a big part of what the Cowboys did on offense in 2024. Tony Pollard is a free agent, so the Cowboys’ backfield is in flux. Vaughn likely won’t have a big role in the offense in 2024, either. He’s a deep league stash at best, as he was in rookie drafts.

Stock Down: Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks

About: Charbonnet was largely taken as the No. 3 option in rookie drafts at running back. He has talent and potential but landed in a tough spot with the Seahawks. He shares the backfield with Ken Walker, who is likely the No. 1 option. He had an OK but unspectacular rookie year. Now, the Seahawks have moved to an Offensive Coordinator who was more pass-heavy with the University of Washington in 2023. It’s an offense that still boasts three good wide receivers, too. All that means Charbonnet’s role is unclear. He has some deep league flex appeal, but that’s a far cry from the hope dynasty players had going into 2023 rookie drafts.

Stock Down: Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints

About: On paper, it seemed like landing in New Orleans was a decent spot for Miller. But he was hardly a factor as a rookie, rushing for just 156 yards on 41 carries. The Saints’ roster still includes Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams, and the offense wasn’t as robust in 2023 as it had been. Could it take a step forward in 2024? It’s possible. But right now, Miller’s role and path to meaningful touches is murky at best. He is a stash for now. If you can scoop him up cheap to hold, I’d consider doing it.

Stock Down: Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars

About: There seemed to be potential for Bigsby in Jacksonville. But his rookie year didn’t yield much fruit or much of a role. While Travis Etienne looks like an RB1, Bigsby saw just 50 carries for 132 yards last season. He doesn’t have a big weekly role for the Jaguars and doesn’t have any weekly starting appeal in fantasy. He could be valuable if Etienne suffers an injury, but outside of that, I don’t see him becoming fantasy-relevant in 2024.

Stock Down: Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears

About: Johnson didn’t have a huge rookie year. He was part of a three-man mix in the Bears’ backfield and saw only 81 carries for 352 yards and two touchdowns. There are plenty of questions about the Bears’ offense moving forward, some of which won’t be settled until we get an answer at the quarterback position. If the Bears hold on to Justin Fields, he’s likely to take some of the rushing opportunities. The Bears will also return Khalil Herbert, who seemed to head the backfield committee. There’s also a possibility the Bears will look to improve the run game in free agency. But, on the positive side, new Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron had a run-heavy offense in Seattle. Johnson isn’t a sure bet for a consistent role, but among the last few players on this list, I like his potential as a stash the best going into 2024.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.

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