Fantasy Football: Undervalued, sleeper RBs to target in drafts in 2023

James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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With NFL organized team activities (OTAs) currently underway and mandatory minicamp only a couple of weeks away, excitement for the 2023 season is rapidly growing. All 32 teams have been posting pictures and videos on social media for fans to see and scout. With daily content from OTAs, it’s easy to get caught up in player hype from teammates, coaches, journalists, analysts, etc. It’s especially easy to get caught up in player hype if you play fantasy football and are looking for undervalued and sleeper RBs.

Fantasy football drafts will be taking place all summer long. While it may feel early for redraft or best ball drafts, it’s never too early to start researching players, average draft positions, strategies, etc. I’m here to get the ball rolling, starting with running backs. These undervalued running backs are being drafted at their floor in fantasy football drafts while they have a higher ceiling. Meanwhile, these sleeper running backs are being drafted at the end of drafts, or going undrafted, when they’re more than worthy of a roster spot. These players, their current PPR positional rank, and their current PPR average draft position will be provided below.

Undervalued, sleeper running backs for fantasy football in 2023

Fantasy Football
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 29: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals carries the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Undervalued RBs

1. Joe Mixon, Bengals

Positional rank: RB19

Average draft position: 46

Disclaimer: Joe Mixon was recharged with misdemeanor aggravated menacing. He pleaded not guilty in April. He has not been cut and is not facing league suspension at this time.

Joe Mixon was a sneaky winner of free agency and the NFL Draft. While there are still some notable free agents like Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, and Leonard Fournette available, it seems unlikely that any of them will sign with the Bengals. Mixon has controversy swirling around him due to his facing legal trouble this offseason, and still, no additional running back was signed. The Bengals did draft former Illinois running back Chase Brown in the 5th round, but the day 3 draft capital is no indication he will supersede Mixon on the depth chart this season.

Joe Mixon is arguably on the best offense of any running back on this list. The Bengals were top-10 in total yards and offensive points per game in 2022. The Bengals are trotting out the same playmakers in 2023 with an improved offensive line. As the featured back, Mixon finished as RB10 in PPR formats in 2022. His target and touchdown volume helped him average 16 points per game. All signs point to Mixon finishing top-10 or top-15 for what will be the 5th time in his 7th season. He is great value at RB19 and the end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th round.