Note: Bolded statistics mean this player is the league-leader(s) in this category.
Mostert has had a monster start to the 2023 season as Miami’s lead running back. With RB Jeff Wilson Jr. put on injured reserve after the preseason, Mostert quickly assumed the lion’s share of carries as RB1. Despite his status, the Dolphins attempted to replace him throughout the offseason, reportedly showing interest in both RBs Dalvin Cook and Jonathan Taylor. However, the Dolphins ultimately selected a rookie RB in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, De’Von Achane, who is coming off a 50-point PPR game himself. Achane’s presence as a rookie should not hinder him in the Dolphins’ electric offense, and he has solidified himself as a true RB1 in my opinion. Mostert took the spot of my RB1 when I miraculously found him available on waivers to replace the injured Nick Chubb.
2023 Stats: Four games (four starts), 48 rushes, 249 yards, six TDs, 5.2 yards/carry, 13 receptions (15 targets), 115 yards, 8.8 yards/reception, one TD, two fumbles, seven rushing + receiving TDs.
Photo Cred: ESPN
Puka Nacua, the Samoan rookie sensation, has seamlessly stepped into Cooper Kupp’s role. After starting Week 1 of the season on nearly nobody’s roster, Nacua is now owned in 95% of ESPN fantasy leagues. Averaging over 20 points through three games, he has rapidly developed chemistry with Matthew Stafford and has been the go-to target for Stafford this season. It’s expected that Nacua’s volume will decrease when Kupp returns, but he has established himself as a valuable flex option throughout the year. Nacua has been a fantastic draft acquisition for the Los Angeles Rams and an excellent pickup for fantasy managers who secured him off waivers.
2023 Stats: Four games (four starts), 39 receptions (52 targets), 501 yards, 12.8 yards/reception, one TD, two rushes, four yards, 2.0 yards/carry, one fumble recovered.
Photo Cred: Los Angeles Rams
Amidst the controversy surrounding disgruntled star RB Jonathan Taylor, RB Zack Moss has taken the reins in Indianapolis and is making a strong case against paying Taylor. Moss was a late-round selection in my fantasy draft, knowing that Taylor (whom I also drafted) would be sidelined for at least the first four weeks. Most fantasy owners did not consider adding the player who would lead the Colts’ backfield at the start the year. However, everything changed when Moss returned from his own injury in Week 2. Since then, he has rushed for over 200 yards and scored a touchdown in two games, averaging over 20 fantasy points for the Colts. Time will tell if Moss maintains this level of performance, especially considering what may happen with Taylor. Nevertheless, with an 85% fantasy ownership, Moss has been an excellent waiver-wire pickup in many leagues while assuming the role of the Colts’ RB1.
2023 Stats: Three games (three starts), 66 rushes, 280 yards, one TD, 4.2 yards/carry, six receptions (eight targets), 42 yards, 7.0 yards/reception, one TD.
Photo Cred: ESPN
In the NFL and fantasy football, one thing you can never predict is unfortunate injuries. No one foresaw Browns’ star RB Nick Chubb suffering a serious injury in Week 2 of the NFL season. Those who lost Chubb for the season had to act quickly to add his backup, RB Jerome Ford, via waiver wires. Those who managed to acquire him likely got a starting-caliber running back in fantasy for the remainder of the year. Ford had a standout performance with over 20 fantasy points in the game that Chubb left and continued to produce double-digit points in Week 3. He is the classic waiver-wire gem, serving as the primary backup to an injured RB who will receive starting reps for the rest of the year.
2023 Stats: Four games (two starts), 50 rushes, 186 yards, one TD, 3.7 yards/carry, 10 receptions (13 targets), 77 yards, 7.7 yards/reception, two TDs, one fumble.
Photo Cred: Cleveland Browns