August 6, 2023, 11:47 am
The Running Back position is in a peculiar spot in the NFL as we head into the 2023 season. Some asked for a raise, one’s publicly demanded a trade, while other quality ball-carriers are still without a franchise to call home with only a month left to the start of the season. Let’s take a look at some of the backs with questionable futures and how possible outcomes will have an impact on fantasy football.
Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts
The Jonathan Taylor trade request certainly came at a great time, as the NFL was devoid of any major drama beyond the general RB contract tug-of-war. Taylor is in the last year of his rookie deal and is likely using the trade demand to pressure the team into locking him up with a large-scale contract extension. While it’s interesting to wonder where Taylor could get traded, I think that the odds are Taylor will be the Colts’ starting running back at the start of the season.
I also think the Colts are among the best possible teams for Taylor and his potential fantasy production, however, there are some interesting potential suitors that could make for great landing spots if he does not remain with Indy. Of the teams that have some sense of a logical reason and ability to trade for Taylor, I’m extremely intrigued by two potential landing spots.
The first is the Chicago Bears, because the addition of a truly elite, workhorse back could instantly catapult the Bears to a top-five offense. According to Spotrac, the Bears are projected to have the most cap space in the NFL after they cut their roster down to 51 players, and could give Taylor the elite-level extension he’s looking for. Taylor joining the Bears would put him on a much-improved offense, but could result in some lost volume with Justin Fields at QB. Splitting the difference of those, I think Taylor would still be in the RB6-8 range.
Another team that would be awesome to see trade for Taylor is the Miami Dolphins. If they lose out on the Dalvin Cook sweepstakes, the Dolphins could pivot to make a trade that would put this offense’s ceiling through the roof. The Dolphins have made several blockbuster trades over the last year or so, and making another move for Taylor seems well in the realm of possibilities. I think Taylor would be a lot more efficient in Miami, and while there are other serviceable backs in Miami, there is a clear talent gap, so Taylor should maintain the lion’s share of the workload. If he were to go to Miami, I’d consider bumping Taylor as high as the RB5 spot.
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