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Fantasy Football 2022: Why pass-game targets are so important for RBs, and who you should target in drafts

SportsLine's Jacob Gibbs breaks down the evolving role of running backs to give you an edge in your Fantasy leagues.
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The NFL continues to evolve into a more pass-heavy league, and a direct result of that evolution is the way in which Fantasy points are accrued at the RB position. The number of backs who pile up 300-plus rushing attempts has steadily dropped over the years, while the number of backs demanding high target totals seems to continually rise.

SportsLine's Fantasy expert Jacob Gibbs says the data he's collected indicates that as a result of the changing landscape of the Fantasy RB position, a running back needs a realistic path to 80-plus targets to bring RB1 upside. Even in a season where everything went right for him, Derrick Henry's limited passing game involvement kept him from finishing any higher than RB3 in Fantasy in 2020. In 2021, Joe Mixon rushed for more yards than Najee Harris and scored six more touchdowns, yet Harris finished with more PPR points. Everything aligned for monster production on the ground for Mixon in 2021, yet his 48 targets limited his Fantasy upside and held him outside of the top three at his position.

In addition to these anecdotal cases from recent seasons, Gibbs also found compelling data that indicates that running backs who hit a certain target threshold are near guarantees to finish as top-12 Fantasy options at the position. He presented 12 different backs who have a range of outcomes that gives them a reasonable chance of hitting those thresholds and detailed what set of circumstances are most likely to result in a top range of outcomes result in 2022.

What key info do you need to know to select the right RBs to win your Fantasy league? ... Join SportsLine right now to see Jacob Gibbs' running back target analysis, plus get the entire 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Bible, all from one of the nation's most-accurate rankers!

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Jacob GibbsDFS Guru

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