4 Potential Running Back Busts Based on ADP

Source: USA Today

Four Running Back Busts for 2023

Hey, look!  I’m finally not doing a mock draft article! 

Anyways, this time we will be taking a look at some Running Backs that have some of the bigger potential to bust this 2023 season.  Picking which RB to bust is difficult since we can’t predict things like injuries.

But every year, multiple teams are destroyed by one of their top backs going down, so it definitely is a common occurrence.  So we do have to take injury history into consideration, as well as Running Backs moving teams.

Busting might not necessarily mean they finish far away from their ADP, but it can be enough to make you miss your fantasy playoffs. I took ADPs based on 12-team half-PPR drafts.

You can also find our rankings here.

Let’s dive into the upcoming season's top four Running Back busts.

D’Andre Swift – Philadelphia Eagles

ADP – 6.09, RB29

If you drafted D’Andre Swift high last season, you were left with quite a bitter taste in your mouth.  After a promising rookie season was cut short due to a bad concussion, Swift struggled with injuries that held him out for multiple games.

Even when he returned, the Lions never seemed to use him to the level they used to, which now seems a bit strange since they traded him away this offseason.  Basically it feels like something is going on behind the scenes.

Now he got an ideal location in Philly, but they aren’t much better utilizing their main Running Back, opting for more of a committee approach.  Miles Sanders saw his usage dwindle as Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell got more work.  I believe the same will happen to Swift, but add Rashaad Penny into the mix as well and you get some really murky playing time.

If all four Running Backs make the team, good luck picking the right one week to week.  Swift is going one round before the often-injured Penny, and four rounds earlier than Gainwell.  At that cost, I’d wait for Gainwell.

Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders

ADP – 2.07, RB8

I don’t think anyone projected what Josh Jacobs was going to do last season, and the hype is still around, since he is somehow being drafted in the second round even though he still hasn’t signed a new contract.

As of now, Jacobs remains away from practice.  I usually don’t like including these types of players in bust articles (cause it seems like low-hanging fruit), but it is indeed part of fantasy football.

Will Jacobs sign before the season starts?  Will he be on a new team?  No one really knows, but either way I don’t think Jacobs repeats what he did last year.  First off, he could be getting paid just so he can sit back and relax (see: Zeke).  I’m not saying he purposefully will stop trying, but with the weirdness surrounding Running Backs in the NFL, I wouldn’t be surprised if more of these players start protecting their health over fighting for extra yards.

Second, he most likely played out of his mind for a contract, and will regress back to a normal. 

Keep an eye out on news.  If he signs with the Raiders, my guess is his ADP will climb a bit as people think he will repeat his 2022 season.  I wouldn’t fall for that trap.

Travis Etienne – Jacksonville Jaguars

ADP – 3.04, RB12

I actually was pretty high on Travis Etienne after last season, but now that hype has died down a little. 

Now I do think Etienne will be the leader of this pack, with rookie Tank Bigsby and solid backups JaMycal Hasty and D’Ernest Johnson rounding out the group.

That is a pretty solid group of Running Backs, making Etienne’s usage a bit scary.  Bigsby is 6’0” and 213 lbs, making him a top option for goal line work.  Etienne only scored five touchdowns (all rushing) last season, so this hurts his chances at increasing that stat line.

Add to that the fact that Johnson and Hasty are both capable backs and you have the potential to see much more of a rotation than last year (when they really only had James Robinson).

Etienne struggled at times in 2022, so we will see how he fares this season.  Still, as the RB12, it seems a bit high for me.

Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts

 ADP – 2.09, RB9

It hurts me to watch this drama unfold as a Badger fan, but I’m not sure what is happening between Taylor and the Colts.

Obviously, he wants a contract and money, but the front office seems to be using an “injury” to hold him a bit hostage.  Either way, I don’t think Taylor lives up to RB9 this season. 

He hasn’t really practiced, is coming off an injury-plagued season, and seems done with the Colts all around.  If he does get traded, he may end up in a worse situation or splitting time with another “star” back. 

With so many questions surrounding Taylor and the Colts, I would avoid drafting him unless he slips super far.

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