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Fantasy Football 2024: Top Running Backs, Risk and Reward Picks

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Running backs can often be the difference makers for fantasy football owners. Although winning with a relatively good receiving core and Quarterback can be easy for the most part, it’s ultimately the running backs who make the biggest difference between winning and losing. This is the part of the roster that’s so important to get to get right. Picking the least productive running back early on will spell doom for any chances of making the postseason.
Here are running backs you should consider taking early and ones you may want to avoid altogether.

The Obvious Top Choices

1. Christian McCaffrey – San Francisco 49ers – He was once the running back you fretted about taking early on. Bad feelings of season-ending injuries would enter your mind and cast doubt. This is no longer the case. McCaffrey was number one in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,459 and fourth in rushing touchdowns with 14. He also recorded 207 yards and one receiving touchdown. He should be number one off the board, ahead of any receiver or quarter. Although some fantasy football owners will tell you to take Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase first, that is simply fool’s gold to start the NFL draft. Starting smart is critical and picking McCaffrey is by far, the best move for the number one overall selection. You can’t go wrong with this pick.
2. Derrick Henry – Baltimore Ravens – Despite being 30 years old, Henry may be in for his best year yet. The Ravens love to run the ball and Henry joins the AFC North, a division that could be the king of the running game. They don’t call “King Henry” without reason. Henry rushed for 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Lamar Jackson will likely see to it that Henry puts up big stats every game to take the pressure off of him.
Don’t Give Up On Me Picks- The Potential Risk and Reward Picks
1. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – After the devastating week two injury against the Steelers via a tackle by Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Chubb looks to get back on track in 2024. After tearing two ligaments in the game, Chubb was out for the season. Although Chubb is normally a lock for over 1,000 rushing yards and 10+ touchdowns, that’s no longer the case. Chubb could fall to round five or later so it’s not necessary to select him right away. It’s not certain if he’ll be available in week one of the season. Even so, Chubb is still possibly a steal of a pick if he returns to the dominant rusher that fans are used to seeing.
2. Josh Jacobs – Green Bay – Jacobs could be an intriguing comeback player of the year candidate with the Packers. After his career-best year in 2022, Jacobs missed several games and only rushed for 805 yards and six touchdowns. That’s not likely to continue. Watch for Jacobs to bounce back in 2024.
Other intriguing running backs to consider – Kyren Williams – Los Angeles Rams, James Cook – Buffalo Bills, DeAndre Swift- Chicago Bears, Najee Harris – Pittsburgh Steelers, Joe Mixon – Houston Texans, Travis Etienne – Jacksonville Jaguars, Tony Pollard – Tennessee Titans, Breece Hall – New York Jets, Rachaad White – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bijan Robinson- Atlanta Falcons, Saquon Barkley – Philadelphia Eagles, Jahmyr Gibbs- Detroit Lions and Isaiah Pacheco – Kansas City Chiefs
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