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Running Back Rankings: NFL Fantasy Week 1

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

There's no need to make this too difficult: Jonathan Taylor, who finished last season as the No. 1 fantasy RB, starts 2022 in the same spot.

The rankings during the first week of any fantasy football season often look quite similar to the preseason rankings since there are obviously no regular-season games on which to base our analysis. The Week 1 fantasy running back rankings are no different.

So forgive for me defaulting Jonathan Taylor into the No. 1 spot this week. It is hard not to, given that Taylor is coming off an 18-TD, 1,800-yard rushing season. However, some of that is also the Colts' opponent this week, the Houston Texans. The Texans will likely be better than last year's club, but not much better.

The Texans gave up the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs last year. I don't see that changing dramatically this year. But it's also why I have Nyheim Hines ranked about half a dozen spots above the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) this week. But I still don't have Hines in the top 25. More interesting might be the player who I boosted above the ECR far more than any other player, Rashaad Penny.

I have Penny inside the top 20 this week. The Denver defense is tough. However, I expect Penny to earn that ranking just on volume alone. Recall that Penny finished the season strong last year, finishing with three double-digit fantasy scoring outings. That was fueled by his four touchdowns those three weeks, on 7.6 yards per carry.

See below for the rest of my Week 1 RB rankings. 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

NFL Running Back Rankings: Week 1

— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.