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Don't Eat The Cheese

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Don’t Eat The Cheese: 2022 Fantasy Football Running Back Busts

Don't Eat The Cheese
Is Jonathan Taylor the slam dunk first pick in 2022 fantasy leagues? Taylor actually tops the Don’t Eat The Cheese RB list instead! (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Don’t Eat The Cheese: 2022 Fantasy Football Running Back Busts

The longest running article series on the website is back again. After hitting on the quarterbacks, the running backs are up next on the Don’t Eat The Cheese fantasy series. Drafts are won and lost by choosing the correct running back. That’s fantasy football at its core. Selecting the wrong RB can and will cost you a season title.

As the years go on, the NFL is becoming more and more pass happy. Finding a trustworthy running back is becoming impossible in deeper leagues. You can’t get this part wrong or your season is over. Which running backs make the dreaded Don’t Eat The Cheese list?

Hint: the Don’t Eat The Cheese list is LONG this year.

Jonathan Taylor (Colts)

Jonathan Taylor is ranked as the number one player in fantasy across the board regardless of position. I’ll take the under. This idea that Taylor is the slam dunk first pick in fantasy drafts is something.

Don’t get me wrong, guy had a great year. Taylor led the league in yards and touchdowns. I’ll pass. He won’t repeat that. I still don’t believe he’s even the best running back in his own draft class. Just thinking Taylor is a lock to repeat this monster season is a bit foolish, in my opinion.

Is the offensive line really that good? I see no reliable left tackle. The quarterback under center just got worse and less mobile. The quarterback under center isn’t making big throws down the field. Teams have had a whole year to prepare for this rushing attack that has become less predictable.

Will the receiving production continue if the Colts want to attempt to limit his touches? Are we forgetting about the amount of tread that are already on the tires from college?

At the end of the day, this is a stock market play. Is Jonathan Taylor the best running back in football? God, no. Is this the best situation to be from a fantasy perspective? God, no. Why are we taking him first then?

Derrick Henry (Titans)

I just got a bad feeling here. Maybe Henry squeaks out another good season. It’s just a tough ask to assume he will be what he was again. The Titans have lost pieces on the offensive line. Tannehill’s stats tanked with the new offensive coordinator. There is no reliable tight end on the roster. Malik Willis is waiting in the wings to steal rushing touchdowns. AJ Brown got traded.

I’m supposed to just waltz into my draft and take Derrick Henry like it’s a lock to be okay and the Titans will be a one seed again? Feels too easy. Feels like something a dumbass does.

Now, this all depends on your league rules too. For example, my league hands out eight points for a rushing touchdown. Henry feels like a much safer bet in a touchdown premium league. However, if your bar is another 2,000 yard season where he averages over 5 per carry and eats all the touchdowns, you’re probably going to be disappointed. He’s getting older and already has started to now show injury concern.

Joe Mixon (Bengals)

I’ll be the first to admit; I just don’t like Joe Mixon. I hate his face and think he’s wildly overrated for the amount of hype he gets from the rest of the media. Don’t get me wrong, 2021 was a solid year for him. Aarav was right. He was good for fantasy and you could have done way worse than Joe Mixon and his 16 total touchdowns last year.

He’s just not a talented back. It was another pedestrian 4.1 yard per carry season which is his career mark. Everyone thinks Zeke is old and washed up now and even he had a better number than Mixon’s YPC average from a year ago. Mixon’s efficiency numbers will just never stack up. He’s coming off a career high workload number too in a Super Bowl run.

Investing in bad football players isn’t usually a long term strategy that works. Especially a bad football player coming off a good year in an unexpected Super Bowl run season. I’ll pass on joining the Mixon train.

Alvin Kamara (Saints)

Are we sure Alvin Kamara is even going to play this year? Does it even matter if he does? He’s got bad ankles and averaged 3.7 yards per carry last year. You good with four rushing touchdowns in 13 games played? I’m not.

Kamara (if he plays) will do his thing in the passing game. I’m also not sure I want any part of this offense without Sean Payton. It remains to be seen how Kamara will be given his touches. Payton isn’t exactly a boring play caller. Who is to say Kamara will be given those same looks? We also have a pattern of injury history here that screams concern.

James Conner (Cardinals)

I don’t know, man… how do you not get nervous about this one? Last year I wrote about Conner because I had felt like he was a total steal last year. I was on the money. Now we probably have steered too far in the other direction.

Conner is the man now in Arizona and has no real competition on the roster. That is until there is competition. Look, Conner was productive last year in fantasy but we’re still talking about a guy that averaged 3.7 yards per carry. Not great. Conner has been through a lot and he’s gotten more than his fair share of hits.

Will those same rushing touchdowns be there if Kyler Murray is healthy? Will Conner be given 239 touches again? Really tough ask to have him repeat last year which is what he needs to do to offset his draft acquisition cost.

Antonio Gibson (Commanders)

Antonio Gibson went from lightning rod rookie to capable starter. The more we saw Gibson on the field, the less he looked like that guy who could take any given attempt to the house. I think Washington would prefer to have Gibson play that Tony Pollard role instead of being a workhorse tailback.

That’s why Washington drafted Brian Robinson, right? That’s why Jaret Patterson started getting more carries later in the year, right? This is a volume question. Give me the under on the volume stats from Gibson from a year ago. No chance he gets 258 carries again, right?

Saquon Barkley (Giants)

We have been over this. We just have to acknowledge all of you were sold a false bill of good. Barkley just isn’t that good. Never was. Would never be more than a Reggie Bush with better calves. The whole thing is a joke. I’m just glad you understand now.

How much more detail do I even need to go. Even if you like Barkley (which feels hard to do right now) it’s not like you want part of the New York Giants offense. There is nothing to like here and I can’t believe he’s ranked as high as he is by others.

Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys)

Tony Pollard is just better. That wasn’t the case three years ago. It is now. You can only play Zeke over him for so much longer. Pollard is going to see more touches because he has to in order to win. This is a Cowboys team that’s suffered a lot of departures. If you draft Zeke, you know in your head you’re taking the worse player hoping his role is unchanged. I’m not willing to do it.

Travis Etienne (Jaguars)

This is for all the Etienne homies out there. Your boy stinks. He just does. This is a talent thing for me. If you’re looking for Kamara 2.0, good luck with that. Don’t come crying to me when that doesn’t happen.

Miles Sanders (Eagles)

The Eagles just don’t like Miles Sanders. Those are their words, not mine. Sanders had 137 attempts on a 5.5 per carry average last year. They’re never going to give him the ball. It’s just not in the cards.

I want not part of this cheese. I’m going to sit there and watch Boston Scott have three games out of no where that he blows up. Kenneth Gainwell is getting better and fast. Jalen Hurts is going to run enough on his own and steal touchdowns.

If you want to sign up for bad vibes on purpose, you pick Miles Sanders and intentionally drive yourself insane. Some people are into that sort of thing.

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