Berry: Stevenson, Etienne are top-10 fantasy RBs

Matthew Berry dives into his 2023 fantasy running back rankings with Connor Rogers and Jay Croucher, highlighting where Rhamondre Stevenson, Travis Etienne, Tony Pollard and many more sit.

Video Transcript

CONNOR ROGERS: Let's take a look at the running back rankings. And we had an earlier conversation, Berry, how you said I might be too low on Bijan Robinson. He's sitting there at number five, only behind Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley, and Jonathan Taylor. Very familiar names in the first round of fantasy, especially in redraft leagues.

Scroll to continue with content

MATTHEW BERRY: Right. And honestly, there is a scenario where he goes number two after McCaffrey among running backs, right? We'll see what happens with Ekeler's situation. If he's not back with the Chargers-- and that's a situation that still hasn't sort of been resolved. So I could see a scenario where if he's not with the Chargers, you move him off.

Taylor, if you don't get great reports or-- if I'm in a draft, and someone takes Bijan Robinson as the number two running back, I'm not looking at them weird going, what are you doing? That's certainly in the scenario--

CONNOR ROGERS: I would do it, personally.



CONNOR ROGERS: I would do it, personally.

JAY CROUCHER: I think I would too.

CONNOR ROGERS: Yeah, I have a little note at the end of today's show of why when we talk schedules, so I'll save it. But yes, I would take Bijan Robinson number two overall.

MATTHEW BERRY: Like I said, I think I might be too low on him for sure. I could see a scenario where he jumps over Taylor and Saquon as well. So we'll see. And by the way, Ekeler, if Ekeler moves on.

CONNOR ROGERS: Jay, what--


CONNOR ROGERS: Jay, what do you think of those rankings? Is there a guy on the outside of the top five that you could see having a top-five finish?


JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, Tony Pollard is the really interesting one to me, particularly if there's no Ezekiel Elliott and he doesn't kind of resurface, which I think fantasy managers hope that he resurfaces somewhere else so he doesn't stop Tony Pollard. But Pollard had a stretch I want to say from week 8 to 16, that type of range, where he was just about the best running back around.

I mean, just whenever he gets usage, he just produces like an absolute monster. He's another guy who's 60 to 1 for Offensive Player of the Year. He could absolutely win that award. So he's the interesting one to me.

I think Josh Jacobs as well. He's just a difficult guy to project. I mean, he was the best pure runner running back in the league last year, won the rushing title. It's just the weirdness of the contract situation, and that team just doesn't seem to be trending in the right direction. But he's still an absolute base when he's out there.

MATTHEW BERRY: No question about it. But 393 total touches last year, and so you're almost near that magic 400 number. And we have seen, traditionally, some drop-off when players get that kind of usage. Now he's incredibly tough. He's still very, very young. But that's something that-- one of the reasons why I have him at six. And I think there's an argument you could have him even higher.


And coming in at number 10, how about Rhamondre Stevenson? Again, no Damien Harris there. It's really going to be the Rhamondre show for the Patriots. One of the things that's exciting for me is that this is a guy that had a 17% target share last year, which is third highest among running backs.

You don't really think of Rhamondre Stevenson when you think about the McCaffreys, the Ekelers, the true pass-catching running backs, but he was right there in terms of target share. From weeks 3 through 13, there was a 10-game stretch there where he was the third-best running back in fantasy, averaging over 18 points per game. Again, no Damien Harris. There's no one on the Patriots roster that you think--

CONNOR ROGERS: That's the key.

MATTHEW BERRY: --that's who takes up some of the slack for him. Last year, it was with Damien Harris.


JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, and there's also no concern like with, say, Dallas. Maybe they just throw the ball a lot more. Because they've got a good offensive line and Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks. The Patriots aren't going to have Mac Jones throwing the ball 45 times.


JAY CROUCHER: They want to run.

MATTHEW BERRY: They do. And I think they'll have a more cohesive offensive unit under Bill O'Brien than they have, than they did last year, which was kind of a mess. So you think about Bill O'Brien, and you think about some of the years he had in Houston. Think about Arian Foster. And so, yeah, I think Rhamondre is a top-10 player this year.