The Fantasy Points staff is covering every major skill player transaction from the 2023 off-season in our 2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker articles. We broke down all the important free agency signings and trades from a fantasy perspective in articles sorted by position. The articles are ordered by players changing teams ("New Homes") and by players sticking with their 2022 teams ("Staying Put"). The players are also ordered by their potential fantasy impact for the 2023 season in each section. Be sure to also check out Graham Barfield’s “Fantasy Fallout” pieces on the biggest transactions of the off-season.
We’ll also be constantly updating our Best Ball rankings if you’re looking to get an early start to draft season with our friends over at Underdog Fantasy (Promo code: FANTASYPTS). New signups to Underdog get both a deposit match of up to $100 and a Fantasy Points Standard subscription for just $5.
NOTE: Players are loosely ranked based on talent, age, plus previous and expected future fantasy relevance.
Miles Sanders (Car, 26) — Sanders and the Panthers reached terms on a four-year, $25 million deal with $13 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: Sanders edged out David Montgomery for the best free agent contract, and he reunited with his old Eagles RB coach Duce Staley in Carolina. Sanders went from tallying no rushing touchdowns in 2021 — and just nine in his first three seasons — to scoring 11 rushing touchdowns in his breakout 2022 campaign. He also eclipsed 1000+ rushing yards and 200+ carries for the first time with Philadelphia’s offense exploding after missing nine combined games for various injuries in 2020-21. Sanders posted 259/1269/11 rushing (4.9 YPC, 47.6% carry share) and 20/78/0 receiving (3.9 YPR) on 26 targets (5.7% share) to finish as the RB22 with 12.9 FPG. He played on 57% of the snaps and ran 269 routes (15.8 per game) in 17 contests. Sanders finished with the third-most runs of 10+ yards with 39 and the third-most carries for first downs with 69. He ranked among the top runners across the board behind Philadelphia’s dominant offensive line, and his regression in the passing game over the last four years didn't end up costing him in free agency. His receptions (50>28>26>20) and receiving yards (509>197>158>78) have fallen for four straight seasons, and his pass protection issues made him a liability in long-distance situations.
Sanders’ contract is an indication that the Panthers will at least give him a chance to earn some passing-game work with just Chuba Hubbard currently behind him on the depth chart. Frank Reich has previously leaned heavily into his lead runners during his four-plus seasons in Indianapolis. Jonathan Taylor averaged 17.6 carries per game in 2020-21, and Marlon Mack averaged 17.0 carries per game before him in 2018-19. The Colts finished fifth in carries (29.4) and run rate (47.4%) in 2021, 10th in carries (28.8) and ninth in run rate (44.1%) in 2020, and fourth in carries (29.4) and fifth in run rate (46.4) in 2019. Sanders’ offensive environment is going to take a significant step back from Philadelphia’s third-ranked offense in 2022, but the Panthers still have an ascending offensive line, which will be led by 2022 No. 6 overall pick Ikem Ekwonu in the future. Sanders’ current ADP (92, RB28) should significantly rise to the third/fourth round range in the coming weeks.
Fantasy Points Data: Sanders led the NFL in yards before contact per attempt at 2.35 among RBs with 200+ carries…52.1% of his rushing yards came after contact in 2022, which was the lowest rate in that same sample…His 0.4 yards per route run was the lowest among RBs with 100+ routes.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more about Sanders signing with the Panthers.
Fantasy Points: The Lions moved on from Jamaal Williams with a younger, more versatile version of the 2022 NFL rushing touchdown leader by luring Montgomery away from the division-rival Bears. Montgomery has established himself as a reliable three-down back with no glaring weaknesses but no elite traits outside of his contact balance. He’s developed into a trusted pass protector and receiver with 34+ catches and 300+ receiving yards in three straight seasons. Monty owns a career average of just 3.9 YPC with only 21 career rushes of 15+ yards on 927 career totes (.2%), and he lost significant ground to Khalil Herbert as a runner. Montgomery posted 201/801/5 rushing (4.0 YPC, 38.2% carry share) and 34/316/1 receiving (9.3 YPR) on 40 targets (12% share) to finish as the RB29 with 11.2 FPG. He played on 65% of the snaps and ran 270 routes (16.9 per game) in 16 contests, missing a game for an ankle issue. Montgomery missed five games for injuries over the last two seasons, but he quickly bounced back from what appeared to be serious injuries to his knee and ankle.
Montgomery will play behind the best offensive line he’s ever had in his career in a top-five offense from 2022. He figures to slot into the role occupied by Williams last season, who ran extremely hot as Detroit’s early-down and goal-line back to score 17 touchdowns to finish as the RB 19 with 13.4 FPG. Monty won’t have the same level of touchdown luck this season, but he can offset a loss in touchdowns by improving Williams’ minuscule 12/73 receiving line. Monty’s signing is yet another indictment of Swift’s diminishing role in Detroit’s offense since the start of 2022. He’ll slot in as the team’s primary passing back once again, and he’ll need a major rebound season to be a part of the Lions’ plans in 2024 and beyond. Montgomery’s ADP (119, RB36) will significantly rise while Swift’s ADP (53, RB15) is set to plunge. Both backs should be considered upside, low-end RB2s in Detroit’s potentially elite offense, with Montgomery being the bigger priority with his more robust role.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more about Montgomery signing with the Lions.
Fantasy Points Data: Montgomery led the league in missed tackles forced per attempt at .31 among 42 RBs with at least 100 carries…In that same sample of RBs, he finished with the worst explosive play rate at 1.5%. His teammate Khalil Herbert had double the rate at 3.1% and ranked in the top 15…Only 13.4% of Monty’s carries went for less than one yard, which was sixth best among those backs
Rashaad Penny (Phi, 27) — Penny and the Eagles came to terms on a one-year deal.
Fantasy Points: The Eagles moved on from Miles Sanders by signing an even more explosive runner in Penny. Of course, Penny’s career has been defined as one of untapped potential after yet another injury derailed his 2022 campaign. He fractured his fibula five games into last season, which means he’s appeared in just 42 career games out of a possible 82 (51.2%). Penny built some major momentum late in 2021, leading the NFL in rushing over the season's final five games with 92/671/6 rushing, which included four different performances with 130+ rushing yards. He also played well to start 2022, posting 57/346/2 rushing (6.1 YPC, 66.3% carry share) and 4/16 receiving (4.0 YPR) on five targets (3.4% share) to average 10.4 FPG. He played on 57% of the snaps and ran 73 routes (14.6 per game) in five contests. Penny ripped off 10 carries of 10+ yards and six carries of 15+ yards on just 57 attempts last season.
Few players possess Penny’s upside as a pure runner, which makes him a dangerous threat playing next to Jalen Hurts behind one of the league’s best O-lines. Penny doesn’t bring anything to the table as a receiver, which means he should step right into Sanders’ early-down role with Kenneth Gainwell working in passing situations. The Eagles re-signed Boston Scott to serve as the team’s third back in their rotation, who will also serve as insurance for Penny. Penny theoretically has more upside than Scott, who finished with 259/1269/11 rushing for 12.9 FPG (RB22) in 2022. He also has a lot more injury risk than Sanders, which will make him a high-risk, high-reward pick with his ADP (180, RB54) set to skyrocket into the middle rounds.
Fantasy Points Data: Penny ranked second in explosive run rate at 10.5% in 2022 among RBs with 50+ carries…He led the NFL in yards after contact per carry with 4.37 among RBs with 50+ carries…He owned the lowest target per route run rate at 7.9% among RBs that ran 50+ routes.
Check out Graham Barfield’s Fantasy Fallout piece for more about Penny signing with the Eagles.
Jamaal Williams (NO, 28) — Williams landed a three-year, $12 million contract from the Saints with $8 million guaranteed.
Fantasy Points: The Lions opted for a younger, more versatile version of Williams in David Montgomery, but the happy-go-lucky Williams landed on his feet with the Saints. He opened last season as the star of HBO’s Hard Knocks and ended it as the NFL’s rushing touchdown king. He finished with a league-best 17 rushing TDs (+10000 odds) after seemingly finishing off every opportunity at the goal line. He paced the league with 14 scores and 28 attempts from the inside of the five-yard line. Overall, Williams posted 262/1066/17 rushing (4.1 YPC, 54.9% carry share) and 12/73/0 receiving (6.1 YPR) on 16 targets (2.9% share) to finish as the RB19 with 13.4 FPG. He played on 40% of the snaps and ran 119 routes (7.0 per game) in 17 contests. Williams has seen his carries (107<119<153<262) and rushing yards (460<505<601<1066) climb in each of the last four seasons dating back to his Green Bay days.
Williams previously posted 25+ receptions in each of his first five seasons but the Lions split their backfield into distinct roles with Williams working as the primary runner and D’Andre Swift as the primary receiver. He’ll slot into a similar role next to one of the league’s other top receiving backs Alvin Kamara. A washed-up Mark Ingram averaged 8.7 touches per game next to Kamara in the first seven games last season before injuries slowed him down even more. OC Pete Carmichael will give Williams even more opportunities, and he could even slide into bell-cow duties if Kamara misses time for a suspension for his battery case for a February 2022 incident. Kamara has averaged just 3.9 YPC combined in his first two seasons with 195+ carries in 2021-22, and this move signifies they’d like to scale his rushing workload way back. Williams is going to face steep touchdown regression after scoring a combined 13 rushing TDs in his first five seasons, but he has some upside at his ADP (110, RB35) because of the possibility that Kamara misses significant time for a suspension.
Fantasy Points Data: Williams finished with the third-worst missed tackle per attempt rate at .12 among RBs with 150+ carries…He finished with the fourth-lowest explosive run rate at 2.7% in that same sample of RBs.
Fantasy Points: The Broncos locked up Perine to be their backup plan behind Javonte Williams, who could miss time at the beginning of next season. Perine is hardly a special player, but in the David Montgomery mold, he’s an all-around back with no glaring weaknesses and no elite traits. HC Zac Taylor turned his backfield into a committee with Joe Mixon and Perine in the final two months of last season — Perine actually saw more snaps in the postseason than his longtime Bengals and Oklahoma teammate. Perine posted 95/394/2 rushing (4.1 YPC, 23.8% carry share) and 38/287/4 receiving (7.6 YPR) on 51 targets (8.6% share) to finish as the RB41 with 8.9 FPG. He played on 41% of the snaps and ran 239 routes (14.9 per game) in 16 contests.
Perine actually ranked as the RB2 behind only Josh Jacobs in Weeks 11-13 with Mixon mostly out of the lineup, averaging 23.7 FPG and turning in 82+ scrimmage yards and 19+ FP in each game. Javonte is coming off a devastating knee in early October last season that featured ACL and LCL tears, and he’s a candidate to miss time early in the 2023 season. Perine has the potential to be an early-season bell-cow option while Williams recovers, and he’ll remain in the mix while they ramp him up to full speed. Perine is one of the best handcuff options heading into the summer and his ADP (173, RB52) will rise by several rounds after his signing.
Fantasy Points Data: Perine’s 2.79 yards after contact per attempt was better than teammate Joe Mixon's 2.61…His 1.1% explosive play rate ranked dead last among 55 backs with at least 75 carries.
Damien Harris (Buf, 26) — Harris and the Bills agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
Fantasy Points: The Bills sniped Harris from the division-rival Patriots, and they’re hoping he can fill the big-back role that Zack Moss struggled in before Buffalo traded him last season. The Patriots signaled Harris’ time with the franchise was coming to a conclusion in 2022 when they drafted Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris on Day 3 last spring. After a quiet rookie campaign, Damien earned more opportunities in 2020-21 and finished with the second-most rushing TDs (15) in 2021, but thigh and hamstring injuries cost him six games last season. Harris posted 106/462/3 rushing (4.4 YPC, 37.5% carry share) and 17/97/0 receiving (5.7 YPR) on 23 targets (7.1% share) to average 7.0 FPG. He played on 35% of the snaps and ran 96 routes (8.7 per game) in 11 contests. Harris averaged an excellent 4.7 YPC in 2020-22 but was never asked to do much as a receiver. Bill Belichick turned to Rhamondre Stevenson, Brandon Bolden, and James White as New England’s primary receiving backs during Harris’ time. Harris has just 40 career receptions on 256 career routes, but he’s averaged a solid 1.10 yards per route run on his limited opportunities.
He’s compiled just 926 carries over eight seasons between the Patriots and Crimson Tide, which means he should have plenty of tread left on the tires. Harris has a chance to immediately grab Buffalo’s early-down runner role or at least share it with James Cook, who will handle most passing situations with Nyheim Hines mixing in as a receiver. Harris figures to garner most short-yardage/goal-line situations, which won’t be as valuable in Buffalo as it was in New England with Josh Allen stealing carries in the red zone. He scored just two rushing TDs on 137 carries playing next to Cam Newton in 2020. Harris has a great chance to lead this backfield in carries and goal-line opportunities, and the Bills at least have a great chance to finish as a top-five scoring offense for a fourth straight year. His receiving limitations will make him a touchdown-or-bust weekly fantasy option, but his ADP (162, RB48) should still rise by a couple of rounds.
Fantasy Points Data: Only 14.2% of Harris’ carries went for less than one yard, which was the 10th-best among backs with at least 100 carries…61.6% of his scrimmage yards came after contact, which ranks 19th among backs with at least 100 touches.
Fantasy Points: The Bears brought in Foreman to replace some of the rushing production left behind by David Montgomery, who bolted for the division-rival Lions. The Panthers tore down the Matt Rhule era after a 1-4 start last season, and they traded the face of the franchise, Christian McCaffrey, less than two weeks after firing Rhule. The move opened up a huge opportunity for Foreman to own the backfield as a runner, who continued to improve the farther he gets away from the Achilles injury he suffered during his rookie season in 2017. He posted 203/914/5 rushing (4.5 YPC, 42.6% carry share) and 5/26/0 receiving (5.2 YPR) on nine targets (2.3% share) to average 7.7 FPG. He played on 35% of the snaps and ran 112 routes (6.6 per game) in 17 contests. Foreman averaged 17.4/79.7 rushing per game and 11.6 FPG (RB29) from Week 7 on after the CMC trade. He figures to split early-down responsibilities with Khalil Herbert this season with Foreman owning the edge in short-yardage situations and Herbert playing in passing situations. The Bears figure to have one of the league’s best rushing attacks, which makes Foreman appealing (155, RB45) at his current ADP. Just keep in mind that he’ll be extremely touchdown dependent since he doesn’t add much as a receiver, and his scoring opportunities could be volatile with Fields stealing red-zone carries after notching eight rushing TDs last season.
Devin Singletary (Hou, 25) — Singletary and the Bills agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million contract.
Fantasy Points: The Bills tried to find Singletary’s replacement twice in the last three drafts, spending Day 2 picks on James Cook (2022) and Zack Moss (2020). Singletary refused to give up his spot at the top of the depth chart with four straight seasons with 151+ carries and 29+ receptions to open his career. In 2022, he posted 177/819/5 rushing (4.6 YPC, 41.2% carry share) and 38/280/1 receiving (7.4 YPR) on 52 targets (11.6% share) to finish as the RB28 with 11.3 FPG. He played on 65% of the snaps and ran 373 routes (23.3 per game) in 16 contests. Singletary posted 20+ carries of 10+ yards gained in each of his four seasons on his way to averaging a healthy 4.7 YPC. He totaled just 16 rushing TDs in Buffalo’s potent offensive attack and averaged only .72 yards per route run, and he was no doubt hurt in both areas by Josh Allen’s scrambling ability. Singletary will go from one of the league’s best offenses to one of the worst, and he projects to move from a starter’s role to second fiddle behind breakout rookie Dameon Pierce — he figures to spell Pierce in early-down situations. The big question is whether Singletary will be able to grab the passing-down role after Pierce saw his role slowly expand in those situations before his season-ending ankle injury — Mike Boone could also be in the mix. Singletary is hardly a natural receiver despite his smaller stature (5’7”, 203 pounds), but he’s also been hurt in that department playing with Allen the last four years. Singletary doesn’t have a path to fantasy standalone value heading into training camp and is merely a handcuff option at his ADP (168, RB49).
Fantasy Points Data: His 7.3% explosive run rate ranked sixth-best among backs with at least 100 carries… Singletary dropped five passes and owned a 71.7% catch rate on 53 targets, which was the fourth-worst among backs with at least 50 targets.
Others Changing Teams
James Robinson (NE, 25) — Robinson and the Patriots agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $8 million in incentives. The undrafted free agent out of Illinois State had an impressive start to his career, totaling 404/1837/15 rushing and 80/566/3 receiving in his first 27 games in 2020-21 before a devastating Achilles injury sidetracked his career. He managed 110/425/3 rushing and 11/51/2 receiving in 11 games between the Jags and Jets, but he looked like a shell of the player he was before his injury. He was a healthy scratch at the end of last season even with Breece Hall out for the year. The Patriots are taking a small gamble that he can return to his previous form with another year removed from his injury. Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong will push J-Rob for snaps and Rhamondre Stevenson gets a small upgrade with the Patriots unlikely to bring in legit competition now.
Ronald Jones (Dal, 26) — Jones and the Cowboys agreed to terms on a one-year contract. He managed just 8/47 scrimmage in five games as a regular gameday inactive for the Chiefs last season before he saw some run in the season finale with 10/45/1 rushing. RoJo previously had a pair of 1000-yard scrimmage seasons in 2019-20 for the Buccaneers, but he’s struggled to find consistent playing time since then. He’s the #3 RB behind Tony Pollard and Malik Davis for right now but the Cowboys could add another back through free agency or the draft.
Chase Edmonds (TB, 27) — The Bucs signed Edmonds to a one-year, $1.1 million contract, which comes a year after the Dolphins handed him $6.1 million guaranteed. He’ll be competing to be Rachaad White’s backup with the Buccaneers expected to release Leonard Fournette. Edmonds averaged an ugly 3.6 YPC on 68 carries between Miami and Denver after averaging 4.9 YPC on 273 carries in Arizona in 2019-21. It will be wheels up for White if Edmonds remains the top option behind him by the time training camp rolls around.
D’Ernest Johnson (Jax, 27) — Johnson and the Jaguars agreed to terms on a one-year deal. There was some thought that Johnson or Kareem Hunt could be traded before last season, which would’ve elevated Johnson into more playing time. A move never materialized and Johnson earned just seven touches on 35 offensive snaps in his fourth season after posting 100/534/3 rushing (5.3 YPC) and 19/137 receiving in 2021. Johnson will battle JaMycal Hasty for Jacksonville’s backup role, and he could get the first crack at early-down runner opportunities if Etienne misses time.
Mike Boone (Hou, 28) — The Texans and Boone agreed to terms on a deal. He finished with 33/198 scrimmage with an ankle injury limiting him to just nine games with two different IR stints. He’s the third option in this backfield after the Texans signed Devin Singletary to be Dameon Pierce’s backup later in free agency.
Travis Homer (Chi, 25) — Homer and the Bears reached terms on a two-year deal worth up to $4.5 million in incentives (per Adam Schefter). He’ll compete for snaps in passing situations after serving in that role at times in Seattle but his biggest contributions will come on special teams as he’s played more special team snaps (721) than offensive snaps (568) in his first four seasons.
Saquon Barkley (NYG, 26) — The Giants placed the franchise tag on Barkley at a cap hit of $10.1 million. The two sides have until mid-July to work on a long-term contract.
Fantasy Points: Barkley picked a perfect time to have his first healthy campaign since breaking into the league after missing 21 games for knee and ankle injuries in 2019-21. With healthy legs once again, Saquon’s explosiveness returned to his rookie season levels when he racked up 2000+ scrimmage yards and 15 TDs in 2018. He finished with the sixth-most runs of 10+ yards with 32 and ranked behind only Nick Chubb with 21 runs of 15+ yards. His resurgence played a large role in New York clinching their first playoff berth and winning record since 2016 — he accounted for 30.6% of New York’s yards in his 16 games. Barkley posted 295/1312/10 rushing (4.4 YPC, 59.4% carry share) and 57/338/0 receiving (5.9 YPR) on 76 targets (17.8% share) to finish as the RB5 with 17.8 FPG. He played on 80% of the snaps and ran 379 routes (23.7 per game) in 16 contests, skipping a meaningless season finale. Saquon is a rare running back who’s the face of a franchise, and his situation is even more fascinating since Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen seem less inclined to break the bank for a running back. Daniel Jones was also a free agent to complicate matters. The Giants did what they needed to do to keep their top two offensive players in the fold, tagging Barkley and inking Jones to a four-year deal. Barkley is locked into one of the few true bell-cow roles after leading the position in snaps (856) even while sitting out a game. His ADP (15, RB5) is more in line with where it should be compared to the start of the off-season the last three years, and I’d expect him to rise into the first round just like he did in 2021-22.
Fantasy Points Data: Barkley forced .20 missed tackles per attempt, which ranked 16th among RBs with at least 100 carries.
Fantasy Points: The Raiders are kicking themselves for not picking up Jacobs’ fifth-year option last season, but he stunned Las Vegas and the fantasy world with by far the best season of his career despite his career-worst sixth-round ADP. He paced the NFL with 1653 rushing yards (+4000 odds) despite the Raiders adding a number of RBs last off-season and Josh McDaniels’ history of using committee backfields. Jacobs posted 340/1653/12 rushing (4.9 YPC, 79.6% carry share) and 53/400/0 receiving (7.5 YPR) on 64 targets (11.8% share) to finish as the RB3 with 19.4 FPG. He played on 75% of the snaps and ran 341 routes (20.1 per game) in 17 contests. Jacobs and Davante Adams combined for a ridiculous 59.5% of Las Vegas’ scrimmage yards and 65% of their offensive TDs. Jacobs became just the 10th player to reach 300+ scrimmage yards with his performance against the Seahawks in late November. His physical downhill style powered him to a league-high 90 forced missed tackles as a runner and the second-most 10+ yards with 41, behind only Nick Chubb. He also had 94 carries that resulted in first downs, which was 21 more than the next closest player Christian McCaffrey. Jacobs owns 40 career rushing TDs in his first four seasons, and he’s topped 50+ receptions and 348+ receiving yards in each of the last two years. Jacobs’ ADP (29, RB10) has significantly risen off his RB3 performance last year and for good reason since he’s set up for a huge role once again.
Fantasy Points: The Cowboys finally gave Pollard more opportunities in his fourth season, and he didn’t disappoint with his first 1000-yard rushing campaign. He became the face of the backfield over Ezekiel Elliott, but he entered the off-season on a sour note after fracturing his left fibula in the Divisional Round. He’s expected to be ready for training camp after having surgery in late January. Pollard posted 193/1007/9 rushing (5.2 YPC, 38.8% carry share) and 39/371/3 receiving (9.5 YPR) on 55 targets (11.2% share) to finish as the RB9 with 15.5 FPG. He played on 53% of the snaps and ran 245 routes (15.3 per game) in 16 contests, resting late in the season for a thigh injury. His combination of speed and balance powered him to the fifth-most runs of 10+ yards with 35. He also had the third-most yards after contact per attempt at 3.76 yards, which actually hurt his career average of 3.80 yards. Pollard was a true dual threat out of the backfield, averaging a career-high 9.5 YPR, which boosted his career yards per route run to a healthy 1.45 yards. The one small red flag on Pollard’s resume is his lack of work in short-yardage situations to this point in his career with Zeke handling the vast majority of those opportunities. Pollard could finally get his chance in those packages if Zeke refuses to take a significant pay cut and the Cowboys release him. Pollard already owns a top-12 finish with Zeke in the mix, and he’ll see his ADP (38, RB13) rise in the coming weeks if Zeke is removed from Dallas’ backfield.
Fantasy Points: Mattison has proven he has the talent to lead an NFL backfield, but he’s been stuck behind Dalvin Cook, which has massively limited his opportunities since the Vikings drafted him in the third round in 2019. He’s coming off a career-low 89 touches in his fourth season with Cook playing in every game for the first time in his six-year career. Mattison posted 74/283/5 rushing (3.8 YPC, 18.8% carry share) and 15/91/1 receiving (6.1 YPR) on 18 targets (2.9% share) to average 5.2 FPG. He played on 25% of the snaps and ran 158 routes (9.3 per game) in 17 contests. Mattison still managed to rip off nine runs of 10+ yards, which means 12.1% of his carries went for double-digit yards. He previously excelled in his limited opportunities without Cook in the lineup in 2020-21. Mattison averaged 19.5/79.5 rushing per game with three rushing TDs and 3.8/36.0 receiving per game with two receiving TDs in his six career contests as a bell-cow back. Mattison interestingly chose to stick with the Vikings, which could be an indication Minnesota will move Cook before next season or that HC Kevin O’Connell plans to turn this into more of a split backfield between his top two backs. Mattison has earned the status of a top handcuff over the last three years, but it appears his role will be more than that in 2023 after racking up just 474 touches in his first four seasons. It’s hard to call Mattison a value at his current ADP (145, RB44), but he’s a player I’m willing to bet on based on his guaranteed money and Minnesota’s willingness to shop Cook.
Fantasy Points: Mostert has an ugly injury history with 33 missed games in 2018-21, but he’s coming off a healthy 2022 campaign in his first season away from the 49ers since his rookie campaign in 2015. He still possessed his electric straight-line speed — he won Big Ten sprint championships at Purdue — even at 30 years old and with multiple leg injuries and surgeries. Big free-agent acquisition Chase Edmonds flopped and was eventually traded away, which helped Mostert to finish with career-highs in carries (181), rushing yards (891), receptions (31), and receiving yards (202). Overall, he posted 181/891/3 rushing (4.9 YPC, 50.7% carry share) and 31/202/2 receiving (6.5 YPR) on 42 targets (8.5% share) to finish as the RB31 with 10.6 FPG. He played on 65% of the snaps and ran 294 routes (18.4 per game) in 16 contests, missing a game for a thumb injury. Mostert averaged the seventh-most yards after contact per attempt (3.52) in his first season with 200+ touches and 1000+ scrimmage yards. The Dolphins retained Jeff Wilson and they could add another back through the draft with Mostert receiving just $2.2 million guaranteed. He demonstrated he can be a fantasy difference-maker if he’s elevated into a featured role, but he can’t be trusted to stay healthy for long, even coming off a healthy 2022 campaign. Mostert still offers upside at his current ADP (170, RB50) with his explosiveness still intact entering his ninth season.
Fantasy Points: Wilson can contribute in every phase and is capable of stepping into a starter’s role when called upon, which makes him a pretty valuable depth piece. He originally did it for Kyle Shanahan when Elijah Mitchell went down early in 2022 before becoming expendable after the 49ers acquired Christian McCaffrey. San Francisco reunited him with his former coach Mike McDaniel, who swapped Wilson into the lineup for Chase Edmonds to play next to a rejuvenated Raheem Mostert. Overall, Wilson posted 176/860/5 rushing (4.9 YPC) and 22/185/1 receiving (8.4 YPR) on 37 targets (8.2% share) to finish as the RB33 with 10.0 FPG. He played on 53% of the snaps with a 44.6% carry share with the Dolphins, and he ran 253 routes overall (15.8 per game) in 16 contests, missing a game for a hip injury. Wilson has carved out a career as a reliable all-around backup and the Shanahan coaching tree is fond of him. He’s set to split the backfield work with Mostert once again, but the Dolphins could easily add another back potentially through the draft. Wilson is the steadier piece in this backfield and is fine at his ADP (195, RB60), but Mostert offers more upside even at a more expensive price (170, RB50).
Others Staying Put
Boston Scott (Phi, 28) — Scott and the Eagles came to terms on a one-year, $2 million contract. He finished with 54/217/3 rushing on a 17% snap share in 15 games as Philly’s #3 RB last season. Scott will occupy that same role this season, but he could be called upon more in 2023 with the oft-injured Rashaad Penny stepping into the lead runner spot.
Matt Breida (NYG, 28) — Breida and the Giants agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $2.3 million in incentives (per Jordan Schultz). He finished with 74/338/1 scrimmage on a 23% snap share as Saquon Barkley’s top backup in 2022. The Giants are candidates to draft a running back in the middle rounds with Barkley currently on the franchise tag and with Breida more of a third option in most backfields.
Justice Hill (Bal, 25) — Hill and the Ravens reached terms on a two-year, $4.5 million contract with another $500K available in incentives. He’s coming off career-highs in snap share (27%) and rushing yards (262) with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards battling through knee injuries. He’ll once again be a depth option and special teams player in his fifth season.
Trayveon Williams (Cin, 25) — Williams and the Bengals agreed to terms on a deal after accumulating 53 touches on just 138 offensive snaps in his first four seasons. The Bengals’ backfield is in major flux with Samaje Perine leaving for Denver and Joe Mixon’s future up in the air, but Williams is still a long shot to be fantasy relevant after making no impact on his rookie contract.
Ty Johnson (NYJ, 25) — Johnson and the Jets agreed to terms on a one-year contract. He saw his snaps (409 to 173) and touches (95 to 42) fall from 2021 to 2022, and he’ll enter training camp as a depth piece Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Zonovan Knight. Johnson could see an uptick in snaps early in the season if Hall is still recovering from his ACL surgery in September.
Ameer Abdullah (LV, 29) — Abdullah will return to Las Vegas on a one-year deal after posting 25/211/1 receiving on a 16% snap share in his first season under Josh McDaniels.
Salvon Ahmed (Mia, 24) — The Dolphins re-signed Ahmed to a one-year contract. His snap share has dipped in each of his first three seasons (51%>21%>5%) and he played more special teams (38) than offensive snaps (35) in 2022.
Myles Gaskin (Mia, 26) — The Dolphins re-signed Gaskin to a one-year contract after logging 39 snaps and 14 touches in the four games he dressed in last season.