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Tank Bigsby Fantasy Football Profile: 2023 NFL Rookies and Sleepers

Tank Bigsby - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

Former Auburn running back (Cartavious) Tank Bigsby was a four-star prospect (247 Sports) out of the state of Georgia in 2020 and ranked sixth among all running backs entering college football. Needless to say, he carried high expectations with him to Auburn – and for the most part – he delivered.

Bigby's NFL dreams have come true, and he landed in an interesting spot with day-two capital during the 2023 NFL Draft. Rookie running backs are always fascinating to evaluate for fantasy football and they provide an edge for fantasy rosters at cost.

What did Bigsby accomplish during his collegiate career and what is his fantasy football outlook with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie and beyond? Let's dive into his rookie profile!

 

Tank Bigsby NFL Rookie Profile

Team: Jacksonville Jaguars

College: Auburn

Height: 6'0"

Weight 210

Age: 21 (08/30/2001)

Arm Length: 32"

Hand Size: 9 1/2"

2022 NFL Draft: Round 3, Pick: 25

 

Impressive Freshman Efficiency

The moment Bigsby stepped on campus, he earned playing time. After two weeks of just six and eight carries respectively, the (then) true freshman posted a 20-carry, 146 rushing-yard performance (7.3 YPC) against Arkansas – all in his third-ever collegiate game. He built on that performance the next week, rushing 16 times for 111 yards (6.9 YPC) and a touchdown.

Bigsby rushed for over 100 yards for a third straight game against Ole Miss, totaling 129 yards on 24 carries. His best performance would come in the final week of the regular season against Mississippi State, as the 210-pound back rushed 26 times for 192 yards (74 YPC).

He finished his freshman campaign with 834 rushing yards on 138 carries (6.0 YPC) and five rushing touchdowns, adding 11 receptions for 84 yards through the air. Needless to say, he fully announced his presence and foreshadowed things to come over the next couple of seasons.

 

Sophomore Year 1,000 Yard Campaign

Bigsby saw a head coaching change after Auburn let go of Gus Malzahn. Former Boise State coach Brian Harsin took over and the Auburn offense ultimately regressed – along with Bigsby's efficiency.

He still found a way to put up over 1,000 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, but in 10 of his 12 games against Power-Five conference opponents, he averaged fewer than 4.7 yards per carry. Auburn's offense ranked 68th nationally in points per game and total yards of offense per game and ultimately failed to yield light boxes for Bigsby.

Opponent Attempts Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush TDs Rec. Rec. Yds
Akron 13 119 9.2 2 1 19
Alcorn State 11 122 11.1 0 0 0
Penn State 23 102 4.4 2 1 1
Georgia State 18 60 3.3 0 1 5
LSU 9 27 3.0 0 1 6
Georgia 10 28 2.8 1 3 22
Arkansas 18 68 3.8 1 1 10
Ole Miss 23 140 6.1 1 2 10
Texas A&M 15 69 4.6 0 4 16
Miss State 16 41 2.6 2 0 0
South Carolina 22 164 7.5 1 1 24
Alabama 29 63 2.2 0 1 3
Total 207 1,003 4.8 10 16 116

This was a concerning season for his overall NFL profile after a dynamic freshman year, but he still had one more season to show what he can do.

 

Final Collegiate Season

Tank had another huge season-opener in his final season on the plains, rushing 16 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns against Mercer. He then had a solid day with 80 total yards on 17 touches and a touchdown against San Jose State. However, the Auburn offense would turn out to be even worse in 2022 when Power-Five play began. Harsin's offense fell to 87th in points per game and 86th in total yards of offense per game.

Opponent Attempts Rush Yds Rush Avg Rush TDs Rec. Rec. Yds
Mercer 16 147 9.2 2 1 2
San Jose State 13 51 3.9 1 4 29
Penn State 9 39 4.3 0 2 38
Missouri 19 44 2.3 1 2 0
LSU 12 45 3.8 0 4 18
Georgia 10 19 1.9 0 2 10
Ole Miss 20 179 9.0 2 0 0
Arkansas 11 63 5.7 1 6 37
Miss State 13 89 6.8 1 1 9
Texas A&M 23 121 5.3 0 2 20
Western Kentucky 18 110 6.1 2 2 18
Alabama 15 63 4.2 0 4 -1
Total 179 970 5.4 10 30 180

Again, Bigsby found a way to churn out yards and score double-digit touchdowns, but his overall ceiling was limited by the horrid offense. That said, he flashed some receiving skills with a career-high 30 receptions – which could do nothing but benefit his draft stock. He still had a few big games in conference play including averaging at least 5.3 yards per carry against Texas A&M, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State.

Evidently, Bigsby felt he did enough in three seasons to prepare for the NFL, so he declared for the 2023 Draft following the Iron Bowl loss to Alabama.

 

Tank Bigsby Draft Stock Movement

For some reason, Bigsby decided to come to the 2023 NFL Combine and weigh in at 210 pounds, which was lighter than most expected – then declined to run the forty-yard dash. This led to at least a perceived drop in his draft stock. As shown below, he saw a slight dip that lines up with the dates of the 2023 Combine.

Tank-Bigsby-Pre-Draft-Stock

Tank Bigsby Pre-Draft Stock

However, he did run at Auburn's Pro Day and posted a 4.45 time. Had he been slower, he may have seen a massive freefall since he's smaller than NFL teams hoped he'd be. Either way, he saw his stock fall from the end of the 2022 college football season, but it ultimately rebounded some before draft weekend kicked off. In the third round at pick No. 88 overall, he landed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and will join Travis Etienne in the Trevor Lawrence-led offense.

Tank Bigsby Fantasy Football Outlook

While Bigsby certainly could have landed in a better spot for fantasy production as a team's No. 1 running back, he will have value as at least a top handcuff running back in 2023. The Jaguars' offense took a big leap under head coach Doug Pederson in 2022 and is expected to be one of the NFL's best offenses in 2023. Lawrence, Etienne, Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram should be one of the better units of playmakers in the league.

All that said, Bigsby could have real upside if Etienne has to miss any time. He showed he can be a passing game weapon and goal-line rushing threat at Auburn, precisely the two biggest factors for running back fantasy production. Even if Etienne is healthy all season, Bigsby could have some boom weeks suitable for entering best ball lineups. Etienne saw just 43.5% of his team's total carries inside the five-yard line and on those eight attempts, he totaled negative three yards and just three touchdowns. Could Bigsby be the Jaguars' primary goal-line back after Etienne's poor performance in that area? It's in the realm of possibilities.

Stashing quality backup running backs who are on offenses projected to be great is never a bad idea in fantasy football. Bigsby is a solid value in the late-second or early-third round of dynasty rookie drafts and he could well outperform his 2023 Best Ball ADP of around the RB57 spot if things go right. Again, even if he gets a start or two in the absence of Etienne, he'll likely be a must-start option.



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