Week 8 of the NFL season is in the books, and our attention is drawn towards the top-performing rookie players nationwide. The 2023 rookie running back group has showcased impressive stats in the season’s early stages. As we approach Week 9, we have compiled a list of the best rookie rushers for fantasy football in the upcoming slate.
Who Are the Best Rookie RBs for Fantasy This Week?
Our NFL Week 9 dynasty running back rankings are courtesy of the PFN Consensus Fantasy Rankings.
1) Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
While expectations were for Bijan Robinson to be a weekly top-five fantasy back, he’s been anything but that level of producer thus far. Maybe those lofty goals were unrealistic in the first place, as the Atlanta Falcons’ offense simply doesn’t generate enough snaps to produce that type of back. Robinson has been very good, averaging 5.1 yards a carry, but he’s scored only three touchdowns all year.
MORE: Fantasy Football Updated RB Dynasty Rankings Week 9
With zero top-10 finishes since Week 2, Robinson is more of a strong Flex play than a league winner. He’s easily the best rookie back overall, but it’s hard to be happy about spending a high pick on him to this point in the year.
2) Emari Demercado, Arizona Cardinals
The bye week helps Emari Demercado rise to No. 2, but he’s earned the right to be in your lineup as an RB2 or Flex option. He’s finished between RB18 and RB30 in three of the last four weeks. With Kyler Murray potentially back in the lineup in Week 9, Demercado is trending up.
Demercado’s workload continues to trend the right way. Arizona gave him 20 carries last week, and there’s a possibility he will reach 25 total touches if his targets even out. The Cardinals will produce more snaps with Murray back, and Demercado should benefit from a much better quarterback than Joshua Dobbs.
3) Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears
After missing two games with a concussion, Roschon Johnson assumed RB2 duties on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Chargers. That workload wasn’t impressive, earning six carries and four targets. With Khalil Herbert and Justin Fields nearing a return, Johnson’s last chance to shine might be in Week 9.
Facing the powerful New Orleans Saints’ defense won’t make things any easier, though. Johnson is a clear fade this week.
4) Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans
Is it possible that Tyjae Spears is nearing fantasy relevance with just a quarterback change? It might be, as Spears has finished within the top 30 running backs in PPR leagues in three of his last four games. He took a small dip in Week 8 against Atlanta, but maybe that’s more of a function of DeAndre Hopkins going berserk than anything else.
With Derrick Henry staying in town through the trade deadline, Spears appears to be more of a Flex alternate for rosters dealing with bye weeks. But don’t be too afraid of starting him because Spears can maximize his touches with explosive plays.
5) Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks
A couple of big plays helped catapult Zach Charbonnet up the PPR RB standings in Week 8. His 53 rushing yards were a career-high, and he added 11 receiving yards. But he only touched the ball seven times.
If Charbonnet can get the starting job from Kenneth Walker III, he’s in prime position to be a stud in this offense. Seattle doesn’t seem keen to hand him more touches than the four-to-eight range he’s been stuck in, though.
6) Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints
With only four touches last week and 36 total on the season, Kendre Miller is not in a position to succeed in fantasy leagues yet. Unless Alvin Kamara suffers an injury, keep Miller on your waiver watch list or deep on the bench.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.