2023 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields

by Dylan Clemons
2023 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields

Welcome back fantasy nerds, this is the Fantasy Six Pack 2023 Fantasy Football Committee backfields article. We will review a few of the top teams using a running-back-by-committee approach. What constitutes a committee backfield is when two or more running backs are splitting the backfield workload.

There aren’t many other things more frustrating in fantasy football than a team with a running back by committee (RBBC). We’ve seen many talented running backs be wasted in committee backfields when it comes to fantasy purposes. However, recently with more teams leaning on that approach, we have been able to find fantasy-relevant players in an RBBC.

So now it is even more important to know which running back to pick out of these committees. Now let's get into our 2023 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields.

2023 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields

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Seattle Seahawks

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On draft night when the Seattle Seahawks drafted Zach Charbonnet in the second round, it sent a shockwave through the fantasy football industry. Not because Charbonnet is a bad prospect or anything, but because we saw Kenneth Walker break out in his rookie season.

Walker was one of the most explosive running backs in all of football last season. He finished third in the NFL with 17 breakaway runs and was eighth in the NFL in breakaway run rate as well, Unfortunately, his downside was that he was not very efficient with his touches. He ranked 38th amongst running backs in true yards per carry and 40th in fantasy points per touch according to playerprofiler.com.

Where we expect Zach Charbonnet to eat into Walker's workload is in the passing game, where Walker struggled some. Walker only had 27 receptions last year which was 33rd amongst running backs. We also saw Walker get 52 red zone touches last year which will most likely go down, as Charbonnet is known to be more of a downhill running back which bodes well inside the red zone.

If I had to choose between who I would rather have at ADP, I will take Charbonnet every time later in drafts. Walker is going too high in drafts for me. He will have some solid weeks because he has the opportunity to break a big run, however, I believe he will lack consistency which could kill your lineup as a borderline RB1.

Detroit Lions

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This Detroit Lions backfield in one of the most intriguing backfields in all of the NFL. They drafted Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick, which caused D'Andre Swift to be shipped out of town. They also brought in veteran running back David Montgomery to fill the void that Jamaal Williams left when he went to the New Orleans Saints earlier in the offseason.

Let's start with the rookie, Gibbs is profiled as more of a pass-catching threat than a between-the-tackles type of guy. That bodes well for Gibbs from a fantasy perspective because there is a strong possibility that he could be the number two pass-catcher in the Lions offense behind Amon-Ra St. Brown.

With D.J. Chark departing to Carolina and Jameson Williams being suspended for the first six games he will be a target fiend. I think it is in the realm of possibilities that Gibbs could see over 100+ targets this season which is huge in PPR formats.

As for David Montgomery, he is an extremely boring pick, but we have seen him get it done in the past. Jamaal Williams left behind 18 rushing touchdowns. Now, I know Montgomery won't score 18 touchdowns, but double-digits are definitely possible. Montgomery himself is also not a slouch in the passing game as he caught at least 34 passes in his three seasons.

I have no issue pulling the trigger on either of these backs where they are going, as they complement each other very well.

Philadelphia Eagles

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The Eagles are the best team on this list and have the best offensive line in all of football.  The backfield looks much different than it did last season. They acquired D'Andre Swift from the Lions via a trade, and they brought in often-injured Rashaad Penny from the Seattle Seahawks.

Starting with Swift, he is someone I believe is going entirely too early in drafts. Look, he is a pass-catching running back and he is going to a team that doesn't check the ball down to running backs. According to Lauren Gray of PFF, Jalen Hurts had a 3.4% check-down rate which was the lowest in the NFL.

Swift has had at least seven touchdowns in the first three years of his career but I do not believe that he will be in that role in this offense as Penny is in Philadelphia and we know Boston Scott will vulture a few touchdowns throughout the season as well. The Eagles also have Kenny Gainwell who will likely have a package or two of plays where they want to get the ball in his hands as well.

As for Penny, we know he is an absolute stud when he is on the field, but he has not been able to play more than 10 games in any season. In his last 16 games combined, Penny has averaged over a whopping six yards per carry.

The injury concern is baked into his cost with how late he is going in drafts. That said, I would much rather have Rashaad Penny at his current cost than D'Andre Swift heading into draft season.

Washington Commanders

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This Washington backfield seems to be headed toward a one-two punch between Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr.  With the departure of J.D. Mckissic former wide receiver Antonio Gibson looks to be primed to take the pass-catching duties. Leaving Brian Robinson Jr. to take on the early down workload.

The industry as a whole doesn't really seem to know what to do with these two . Their ADPs are right next to one another. We have been waiting for Gibson to break out but he hasn't really ever gotten the volume of work we need him to produce as a consistent fantasy football option.

Gibson has caught at least 35 balls in the first three seasons of his career, and coming off a career high with 46 last season. With McKissic no longer being there, that frees up 27 more catches. Gibson has a realistic chance to catch 60-70 ball this season, which should lead to a top-24 PPR running back finish.

Robinson looks to be healthy heading into this season, after dealing with the aftermath of getting shot before the beginning of last season. He still came back and played 12 games, and saw 205 carries. There really isn't any number that pops off the sheet with him and his metrics as he ranked outside the top 30 in most categories.

Robinson will likely see more than 200 carries once again this season. However, he gives you nothing in the passing game. That's why if I had to choose which back I want out of this backfield, I would pick Antonio Gibson. I just see more upside with him.

Green Bay Packers

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It has been the Aaron Jones show for the past few seasons, even after they drafted AJ Dillon in the second round. The carries were close last season as Aaron Jones led the backfield with 213 with AJ Dillon right behind him with 186.

While the carries were close, it wasn't close in the passing game, or the efficiency numbers. Aaron Jones averaged 5.3 yards per carry and caught 59 balls on 72 targets and five touchdowns. AJ Dillon averaged just 4.1 and caught 28 balls which isn't something to just scoff at. Dillon just needs to be more efficient to become a reliable fantasy option.

I am a believer in that the Packers will want to lean on the running game to help out Jordan Love. There is room for both of these running backs to work in fantasy football this season, and Aaron Jones is being slept on in my eyes. He is currently going behind guys like Kenneth Walker and Travis Etienne. I would take him over both of those guys in the late third or early 4th round of dafts. He could see the second-most targets on this Packers team.

Chicago Bears

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What do we do with this crowded backfield in Chicago? It looks like the early indicators are that Khalil Herbert will lead this backfield heading into Week 1. The question is if he can hold off D'Onta Foreman and the rookie Roschon Johnson out of Texas.

Herbert has flashed at times during his two-year career. Last season Herbert ranked in the top 10 in true yards per carry, yards per touch, and yards created per touch. Unfortunately, he hasn't shown to be much of a pass-catching option, plus he doesn't pass block very well. He could be headed for more of an early-down grinder type of role.

D'Onta Foreman comes over from the Carolina Panthers, after a very solid season himself. Foreman saw career highs in carries (203), yards (914), and total touchdowns (5). Foreman seems to slide into the change of pace role in this offense and could see only 7-10 touches per game. Outside of an injury to Herbert which doesn't make him very fantasy reliable.

As for the rookie Roschon Johnson, I believe he will work as the third-down back early in the season. He was known in college as a very mature reliable player. He is a very solid pass-catcher out of the backfield and he pass blocks very well. If he can earn the trust of this coaching staff Johnson could see a bigger role in this offense toward the end of the season.

I am a fan of taking a stab at one of these running backs late in your drafts.

Houston Texans

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This Houston Texans backfield is an interesting one to talk about. Dameon Pierce had a great rookie season. He finished the season averaging 12.8 fantasy points per game according to playerprofiler.com which was RB20. What you love to see from Pirece is the fact that he has the ability to make something out of nothing. He had the 11th most evaded tackles with 68 in the NFL along with the 15th most yards created at the position.

The issue is Pierce wasn't a very good pass blocker last season and that is something Devin Singletary excels at. Singletary ranked as the sixth-best pass-blocker amongst all running backs. That pretty much guarantees him the third-down back role in this offense in my opinion.

With a rookie under center in CJ Stroud he and the Texans are going to want someone back there who can protect him. But also become a safety valve for the rookie quarterback. Singletary will have a massive role in this offense which cuts into the ceiling of Dameon Pierce. If I had to choose between Pierce and Singletary at cost, give me Singletary.

Denver Broncos

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This is a committee that I like, but I would love it if I knew if Javonte Williams was going to be healthy heading into the season.  Javonte Williams tore his ACL and LCL in Week 4 last season but let's not forget just how awesome he was.

Williams saw 22 targets through the first three weeks of the season last year before going down with an injury. Plus, in his rookie season, he had the 13th most rushing yards in the NFL splitting work with Melvin Gordon. He also ranked in the top 10 in evaded tackles, juke rate, yards created, and yards created per touch.

When Williams is on the field he has been outstanding. However, this offseason the Broncos brought over veteran running back Samje Perine from the Cincinnati Bengals. Perine has been very solid when he has gotten his opportunity. In games in which he saw 10+ carries, he scored 30.2, 19.3, and 21.5 fantasy points.

We have also seen two running backs work in Sean Payton's offenses in the past with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Take a shot at either of these guys in your drafts, and you will be able to use them as your RB2 and feel pretty comfortable about it.

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts are that workhorses are a few and far between now.  We really need to embrace the running back by committees approach and realize that players can be fantasy relevant even in a committee. There are plenty of late-round options to target that you can use as your RB2 for the fantasy football season. I hope you enjoyed the 2023 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields article and hope you attack a few guys from these backfields in your draft.

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