As much as we all realize that running backs past the age of 27 are landmines in Dynasty Fantasy Football, you'll still be hard-pressed to find a set of Dynasty running back rankings that don't have at least a handful of those older guys in their top 25. Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler are the only backs in my top 10 who will be 27 or older at the start of the 2023 season, but there are six more backs in that range from 11 through 25. One of them, Aaron Jones, just took a pay cut to stay with the Packers for another year. He won't be the last this offseason.
Both Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon have had rumors circulating about a possible trade or cut. What seems certain is that neither will play 2023 on their current deal. Cook's current deal calls for a $14 million cap charge in 2023, $8 million of which the team could walk away from if he's cut. Mixon's numbers are about $2 million lower on both counts. If the players refuse to make a deal and get cut things could get really complicated for their value in 2023 and beyond.
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The main reason is because of just how many backs are out there. As I highlighted in my way-too-early projections for the position, three of the top eight running backs in 2022 scoring will be free agents if their team doesn't use a franchise tag on them. There's another handful of top-25 backs who will be free agents. In past years we've seen how this game ends, and it's usually with at least one big name back getting left out completely. That should give Mixon and Cook all the motivation they need to re-do their deals.
If they don't, they may fall even more than they've fallen the past year. Speaking of the past year, I'm now showing three dates in the rankings below. The far-left rankings are from February of 2022, the middle rankings are from last month, and the far right are from this year. Expect a major change in these rankings in the next two months. At the very least, 99% of the backs listed below will move down one spot to make room for Bijan Robinson.
Here are my updated Dynasty running back rankings: