Top Dynasty RBs to Target in 2024 Startups

by Seth Diewold · Dynasty Leagues
Top Dynasty RBs

PlayerProfiler is home to award winning dynasty rankings and tools. Our Dynasty Deluxe package includes complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. Below, Seth Diewold identifies six RBs to target in Dynasty startup drafts. 

D’Andre Swift

I have to admit I’ve wavered on D’Andre Swift in the past. But to be honest, we have enough data now that this should be a no-brainer selection in both redraft and Dynasty. First of all, Swift is a pass-catching running back that has finished lower than RB15 in fantasy points per game just one time (last season with the Eagles). In 2023, Swift saw a career low in receptions (39) and targets (49). In fact, Swift ranked No. 22 amongst running backs in targets last season. Before 2023, Swift’s lowest finish in targets in a single season was No. 13 (57) – his rookie season, and he missed three games that season.

Now, Swift is playing for the Chicago Bears after he signed a three-year, $24-million contract with $15.3 million guaranteed. Swift figures to be heavily involved in a Bears offense that looks to shape their offense around the pass. The pass catching group is D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, Cole Kmet, Rome Odunze, surrounding No. 1 draft pick Caleb Williams. Last season, the Bears averaged 30.2 pass attempts per game (No. 28). It would be hard to imagine a world where the Bears rank near the bottom of the league in pass attempts per game yet again in 2024. There should be plenty of targets in the offense for Swift to be a very productive player for fantasy football in 2024.

KTC Value

Swift is currently ranked as the RB17 and the No. 97 player overall in Keep Trade Cut’s Dynasty Superflex Rankings. In terms of rookie picks, that would be equal to a 2024 early second round pick. In terms of players, Trey Benson and Joe Mixon are RB16 and RB18 respectively in Keep Trade Cut’s rankings. Mixon is two years older than Swift and in a similar situation. Trey Benson is a rookie and technically still the backup to James Conner. Drafting Swift gives Dynasty Gamers win-now and win-later flexibility in an ascending Chicago offense.    

Rachaad White

I’m honestly not sure why Dynasty Gamers are so skeptical when it comes to Rachaad White. Let’s put White’s 2023 season in perspective for a moment. He finished as the RB4 overall and the RB10 in fantasy points per game. And while his True Yards Per Carry (3.5) mark ranks him at the RB57 amongst running backs, White makes up for it by being efficient as a pass catcher. He ranks No. 13 in Yards Per Route Run, No. 5 in Yards Per Reception, and No. 6 in Evaded Tackles amongst running backs.

White is the New Age running back that the guys in your league haven’t adjusted to yet. Pass-catching running backs are not only what we want in fantasy football, but as the league becomes more and more a passing league, players like White will become, for lack of a better phrase, the “new normal.” 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also gave White one of the bigger ringing endorsements in the NFL Draft and free agency. The only running back of note the Buccaneers added was Bucky Irving on Day 3 (Round 4). The team spent a Round 3 pick on White, as well, and his talent profile is far superior to the aforementioned Irving. Additionally, the Buccaneers spent their first round selection on center Graham Barton. This should help out the Bucs offense as a whole – both the running game and the passing game. Dave Canales is now the head coach in Carolina, and the Buccaneers have relatively the same offensive personnel. They figure to use White in a very similar way in the coming season.

KTC Value

The general public is fading White. Currently, he is ranked as the RB14 and the No. 80 player overall in Keep Trade Cut’s rankings. He’s also the same age as D’Andre Swift, with more NFL tread on the tires. This gives Dynasty Gamers win-now and win-later flexibility. According to KTC, Deebo Samuel is ranked just ahead of White. If a Dynasty Gamer is in need of a solid RB for a playoff run, that is a deal to make every single day of the week. 

J.K. Dobbins

Okay, I get it. Dobbins is a player that has torn two ACL’s and will be coming off of an Achilles tear. I’ll admit the prospects of him coming off that injury and producing at a high level are not great, but if there were any situation where he might succeed, it would be this one. Dobbins was in Baltimore with new Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, and the Chargers clearly feel there is still some juice left in the tank. Currently, Gus Edwards and Kimani Vidal (drafted in Round 6 – pick No. 181 overall) are the two backs Dobbins will be competing with in the Chargers backfield. An argument can be made that if Dobbins is healthy – and that is a big if –  he is the most talented of that group.

According to Dobbins himself, he is 100-percent. According to an article written by Bleacher Report’s Zach Bachar on April 29th, 2024, Dobbins talked about his recovery: “I’m 100-percent now…It was like a walk in the park, it was like a sprained ankle. It was very easy, because I had a knee (injury) – the knee was pretty hard. The Achilles was, I would say, easy, just because that’s my mentality. It was pretty easy to me. That’s my mentality.”

As of right now, Dobbins is ranked outside the top-200 in Keep Trade Cut’s Superflex Dynasty Rankings. At that price, the fade has gone too far. There is a world where Dobbins leads the Chargers backfield in total touches. He may not have the upside he once had, but we don’t need him to have that kind of upside at that price. It’s also possible to roster multiple Chargers running backs, which I would advise doing. 

Antonio Gibson

Death, taxes, and me spouting pro-Antonio Gibson rhetoric. There is value in players that other Dynasty Gamers are sick of, or have been burned by in the past. Gibson is one of those players. I will count myself amongst those that have been burned, but I have mostly held on because I believe in the talent profile. Now, the situation for Gibson might match up with the opportunity that is in front of him with a newly revamped Patriots offense. 

The Patriots depth chart at running back figures to feature Rhamondre Stevenson with Antonio Gibson and Kevin Harris as the RB2 and RB3, respectively. However, there is a real chance Gibson wins the job outright. There are a few reasons for this. The first reason is the talent profile. Both Stevenson and Gibson are similar in size, with Stevenson standing at 5-11, 231-pounds, and Gibson measuring at 6-0, 228-pounds. The big difference is Gibson has a 4.39 40-yard dash on his resume while Stevenson ran a 4.69. 

Advanced Metrics

Gibson is also more explosive as a playmaker. The Patriots figure to be in a lot of negative game script situations where there will likely be a lot of checkdowns to the running back. In 2023, Gibson ranked No. 2 in Yards Created Per Touch and No. 16 in targets amongst running, backs, despite playing on just 44.8-percent of snaps. In comparison, Stevenson ranked No. 38 amongst running backs in Yards Created Per Touch. He was also No. 21 amongst running backs in targets, despite playing on 63.2-percent of snaps (No. 11 amongst running backs).

Currently, Stevenson is ranked as the RB27, No. 127 player overall in KTC’s Dynasty Superflex Rankings. Gibson is ranked as the RB57, No. 218 overall. Give me the player that is cheaper and also has the most upside in this New England offense.  

Evan Hull

Evan Hull was a player to stash in Dynasty a year ago, and now he looks to be locked into a key role in the Colts backfield, with Jonathan Taylor leading the way. I understand this probably isn’t a sexy option, but this is absolutely the kind of late round pick in a Dynasty startup that can pay some real dividends down the road, maybe even in 2024. Hull is a former fifth round pick by the Colts in 2023 who only played in one game due to a torn meniscus. Hull suffered the injury very early in the season (Week 1). Therefore, he should be fully healthy for the start of the NFL season.

It’s also telling that the Colts decided against adding running backs to the room to compete with Hull. Currently, Tyler Goodson and Trey Sermon project to be competing with Hull for touches at the RB2 spot. While this could be a rotation, Hull has the requisite skill set to thrive in this offense as the RB2. Hull is big enough at 5-10, 209-pounds, fast enough with 4.47 speed, and showed that he had the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield in college.

In his final season at Northwestern, Hull caught 55 passes for 546 yards, averaging almost 10 yards per reception (9.9). Hull is currently ranked as the RB71 on Keep Trade Cut, and the No. 272 player overall in their rankings. That’s outrageous. There might even be a chance he is on the waiver wire of some Dynasty leagues. If he is, go grab him right now. 

Tyjae Spears

The Tennessee Titans said goodbye to long-time running back Derrick Henry this offseason and said hello to Tony Pollard, by way of free agency. Pollard signed a three year, $21.75 million contract this offseason with $10.49 million guaranteed, according to Sportac. The problem for Pollard is going to be the fact that Tyjae Spears proved he was the more efficient and effective player for the Tennessee Titans last season. In fact, he thrived as a backup behind a far superior running back in Henry. 

Last season, Spears ranked No. 9 in targets amongst running backs, despite playing on just 52.9-percent of snaps. Spears also ranked highly in a number of other metrics, including Yards Created Per Touch (No. 5 amongst running backs), Yards Per Route Run (No. 11), Breakaway Run Rate (No. 5), and Juke Rate (No. 4). By comparison, Pollard ranked No. 11 amongst running backs in targets despite playing in a full-time role. Pollard ranked No. 7 amongst running backs in Snap Share at 70.9-percent. Pollard was also less efficient as a running back last season. In 2023, Pollard ranked No. 37 in Yards Created per Touch, No. 34 in Yards per Route Run, No. 25 in Breakaway Run Rate, and No. 38 in Juke Rate amongst running backs.

KTC Value

Currently, Pollard is ranked as the RB30 and the No. 130 overall player in Keep Trade Cut’s Dynasty Superflex Rankings. Spears is ranked as the RB24 and the No. 117 overall player in KTC’s Rankings. However, Spears should be ranked higher, as he proved to be far more efficient last year. It is my suspicion these two rankings will slowly drift further apart this offseason. The truth is Spears is the younger player with far more upside than Pollard, and he absolutely should be ranked ahead of Pollard in Dynasty by more than 13 spots.

See Seth’s players to buy in dynasty here: Kyler Murray & Other Players to Buy in Dynasty Post-NFL Draft