Part two of the top-10 NFL skill positions is focused on running backs after releasing the top-10 wide receivers in the league. These lists are subjective. I take the past production of players into account, as well as the players age, wear and tear, and what their usage looks to be in 2022. There are players like Derrick Henry who had an unbelievable 2020, but due to injury couldn’t replicate those numbers in 2021. That shouldn’t be held against Henry when looking at the top 10 running backs in the NFL.
Of the “skill positions” on the offensive side of the ball, running back seems to be the most volatile. The wall that running backs specifically hit is as real as the device you’re reading this one. Guys like Le’Veon Bell is out of the league in 2022, just 3 seasons after signing a 4-year/$52 million contract with the Jets. And there are plenty of other examples of running backs falling off a metaphorical cliff.
Each of the last 9 top performing running backs (in fantasy) fit within a very specific framework. They were 25 years-old or younger, drafted in the top-12 ADP, and haven’t been back-to-back since 2007. Taking those data points, there are only 4 players to fit within that criteria. Najee Harris, DeAndre Swift, Saquon Barkley, and Jevonte Williams. Fantasy output is not the be-all end-all when ranking the “best” running backs in the league. But, it is a pretty good indicator of what players are poised for big seasons. Or potentially big seasons. Three of the four names are on the list of top 10 running backs in the NFL.