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Fantasy Football Keepers, Sleepers And Trade Targets: Running Backs

David Montgomery - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

As we are already peering ahead to next season, this fantasy football feature takes a look at the top positional players to hold onto in your keeper and dynasty leagues, while also recommending some trade targets in those types of formats. I also include tips from 2023 yearly league perspectives where applicable.

Yes, it is very early in the 2023 fantasy football offseason, but dedicated fantasy players are always staying busy with player plans for the next season. This is especially true in dynasty formats such as the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC), where you may have a dynasty team or can purchase an existing team and rework or rebuild it as a fun challenge.

In the keepers section, I highlight guys you may want to hold onto in keeper and dynasty leagues, as they could be headed for breakout campaigns in 2023, and can also exceed ADP expectations in yearly leagues. Sleepers are potential players to bust out in all formats, and trade targets are good dynasty types to acquire. Free agency and player movement considerations are heavily taken into account where applicable.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!



Tyler Allgeier: The rookie played very well down the stretch in 2022, as he averaged 17 PPR points in the last four games of the season. Allgeier emerged as a determined runner who was willing to battle for tough yardage. The Falcons have not featured a dependable lead RB since the prime days of Devonta Freeman, but the search may be over.

In keeper leagues, I would consider Allgeier as a third player to hold onto, and I want to get him as a true breakout RB2 in seasonal formats next season. If you have Allgeier as a RB3 in dynasty leagues, he will prove to be a nice luxury option.

J.K. Dobbins: By the late portion of the 2022 season, Dobbins was regaining much of his better form. He had two 100-yard rushing games in December and averaged 7.6 yards per carry for the month. Dobbins rushed for 93 yards on 17 carries in the regular season finale and 4.8 yards per carry in the first round of the playoffs. With a full offseason to recover in a more normal routine, Dobbins could have his best season yet in 2023, as a key part of an offense with or without Lamar Jackson.

James Cook: Devin Singletary is a free agent and we may see Cook move into a larger role in his second NFL season. While the Bills might bring in a physical complementary runner to Cook, he should be ready to become a more integral part of the Buffalo offense in 2023. He ideally fits the Buffalo offense as a quality pass-catcher and dual threat.

Cook might be headed for a very productive second pro campaign as the clear main RB for the Bills. Many Bills fans want them to add a bigger-name RB, but Buffalo could find their desired upgrade simply by utilizing Cook more next season.

Cam Akers: Obviously, durability has been a significant issue, but we saw Akers finish the season strong, with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games and a three-TD outing. That was the version of Akers we expected and always wanted to see. Because of his injury history in the pros so far, you likely won’t get a proper return in many dynasty trade offers for Akers. Instead, hold onto him and take the gamble that he can finally become a key part of a healthier Rams offense in 2023.



D’Ernest Johnson: He will be free from a crowded situation with no chance for upward mobility, and Johnson should at least get a chance to fight for quality playing time with a new team. In 2021, Johnson rushed for 245 yards in two starts and he rushed for 123 yards in the season finale. He rushed for TDs in two of those three games. Johnson will be 27 years old in February, but he only has 141 carries in four pro seasons and he is ready for his time in a possible spotlight elsewhere.

Zamir White: If Josh Jacobs does not return to Las Vegas, White, who was drafted by the Raiders’ current regime, may get a chance to play a larger role in 2023. He might have to compete with another notable RB for carries if Jacobs leaves, but White is a physical runner with good speed. In an expanded role next season, White can be a potential upside performer.

Damien Harris: It does indeed seem like Rhamondre Stevenson is now the main man in New England and Harris could be better off competing for a larger role with another team. If this free agent does sign elsewhere with a chance to be a lead runner or the potential No. 1 option in a timeshare situation, Harris might re-emerge as a quality fantasy option.

Kenneth Gainwell: He has performed very well in the last two postseason games, and the Eagles may decide that they don’t need to pay Miles Sanders, who may get a lucrative deal elsewhere. Gainwell might be featured more often next season. He will turn 24 in March and Gainwell has shown signs during this year’s playoffs that he could be the lead RB in a timeshare or committee, raising his fantasy appeal to at least flex territory. Behind the Philadelphia offensive line, Gainwell can succeed with more consistent work.


Trade Targets

Jonathan Taylor: The appeal is down as Taylor is coming off ankle surgery and the Indianapolis offense is heading into a bleak offseason where it needs another QB change and an infusion of playmakers around Taylor. The Colts also dealt with significant offensive line issues in 2022.

This is a very good time to try and buy low on Taylor in a dynasty format or an FFPC league, as the 2023 outlook is cloudy, but could improve over time. Trade for Taylor in a dynasty league with an eye on the longer term, possibly later in 2023 and for 2024, when he will be a free agent.

David Montgomery: He is a free agent and his fantasy stock may rise with another team. The Bears can afford to let Montgomery go and elevate Khalil Herbert to a starting role. I have always admired how hard Montgomery runs and he is versatile, too. He could be a larger fantasy contributor in a better offense.

The Bears do have the most available cap space, though and the trading lure of the top pick in the NFL Draft. If they significantly improve the offense, Montgomery might also see his outlook potentially improve in a new-look Chicago offense.

Alexander Mattison: The longtime Minnesota backup is about to possibly get the opportunity to be a more heavily featured runner with another team. Mattison may not come dirt cheap in dynasty trade talks, but the price will certainly be lower before he actually lands with another team. If you sell the current fantasy player who rosters Mattison on an angle that he might stay in Minnesota and Dalvin Cook stayed healthy last year, the asking price might stay low enough.

Jamaal Williams: After coming off a career season, Williams is a free agent, yet he has made it known publicly he wants to stay in Detroit. If he does, many fantasy players will think he cannot come close to last year’s production, especially the 17 rushing TDs.

D’Andre Swift is already an annual injury concern and it makes sense for the Lions to stick with Williams, who can produce when sharing playing time or step forward when Swift is out. Williams may not register as many TDs in 2023, yet he can still be a good flex option and occasional starter again next season.

Scott Engel's fantasy and betting analysis is also featured at The Game Day.

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