2022 Fantasy Football RB Projections: Weighing Possible Suspensions For Deshaun Watson And Alvin Kamara

In the latest version of my 2022 running back predictions, Breece Hall is the only rookie running back projected to be a fantasy starter for the entire season. But don’t take that to mean he’s the only defender I think will eventually be worth starting with. Kenneth Walker, Dameon Pierce, James Cook, Tyler Allgeier and Rachaad White are all in the top 48 in the predictions below. None of them have Hall’s floor or top spot this year (or in the future), but they could all earn starting roles towards the end of the season.

Two defenders currently ranking above Hall are Alvin Kamara and Nick Chubb. But both Kamara and Chubb’s predictions are tentative due to potential suspensions that may or may not affect their value.

Forecasts for 2022: QB | RB | WR | TE | dynasty central

For Kamara, that uncertainty dates back to Pro Bowl weekend when he was arrested over an altercation in Las Vegas the night before the game. At the start of the offseason, I weighed that as if a four-to-six game suspension was the most likely. But the closer we get to the start of the season without any resolution, the less sure I am about it. Kamara’s next court date isn’t until August 1st.

Right now, I’m projecting Kamara as playing 17 games, making him one of the top 5 running backs in full PPR. You shouldn’t blindly stray from predictions and I’ll let him place closer to 12 than 5 because of suspension risk next time I update my rankings. If Kamara were suspended for six games he would be closer to 18 than 12 in my ranking.

Chubb’s insecurity has to do with his new quarterback, Deshaun Watson. The league is reportedly meeting with Watson, and some are speculating a suspension, or at least a decision on a suspension, could be on the horizon. As with Kamara, we really have no idea.

I’m projecting Chubb and the Browns like Watson playing 17 games. If Watson is suspended, it will be difficult. I’d expect the offense to get worse and get fewer touchdowns (especially if Baker Mayfield is traded), but I’d also predict they’d go back to their run-heavy approach, which means more volume for Chubb. A six-game ban for Watson would probably put Chub in my top 12 based on volume, but he’s unlikely to make the top 10 in full PPR. In non-PPR, Chubb could be nearing the top 5.

One final note: I base my rankings on these projections sooner rather than later. Once you’re past the top 30 or so, it’s more important to think about the upside potential than what a running back is projected for. So guys like Tony Pollard, Alexander Mattison and the rookies will rank higher than they think.

Here are my updated running back predictions for 2022:

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