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Evaluating Jonathan Taylor’s 2023 Fantasy Value

Should you value Taylor as a top-5 fantasy running back?

Personally, I think I’m out. Jonathan Taylor is one of the most talented RBs in the league. But he hasn’t earned targets from statues at the QB position. Even Phillip Rivers, who is a Top-2 QB of all-time in target share to RBS, chose to target Taylor only 2.6 times/game in 2020.

I’m not saying Taylor can’t be that guy who commands targets, because I think he should get them. We just don’t have any evidence of him being that guy in the pros. But what about his overall RB1 finish in 2021? He didn’t need the targets! Well, he needed 1800 yards and 18 TDs to get you 21.9 FPPG.

Some RBS who scored right around or more than 21.9 PPG in the last 3 seasons:

  • Austin Ekeler (2021) - 21.5

  • Christian McCaffrey (2022) - 21.0

  • Austin Ekeler (2022) - 21.9

  • Dalvin Cook (2020) - 24.1

  • Alvin Kamara (2020) - 25.2

  • Derrick Henry (2020) - 20.8

We shouldn’t put JT’s 2021 overall RB1 finish on a pedestal.

And then there’s Anthony Richardson.

Anyone in favor of JT will tell you that Richardson will give JT running lanes he might not have had without him. And I agree, but what happens at the goal line? Richardson is 6’4″ 244 lbs. He’s a goal line QB. Touchdowns will be taken away from JT.

And then you talk about check downs. If Jonathan Taylor wasn’t earning targets from pocket statues, how can we expect him to earn them from a rushing QB likely to tuck and run before he checks it down?

With higher target earners + goal line roles at the position being taken after him, it’s hard to justify the price for JT. Are you paying a first rounder for him this year?


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