Early 2024 Dynasty Rookie RB Rankings: Jonathon Brooks, Bucky Irving Headline a Polarizing Fantasy Football Class

Will Braelon Allen crack the top 5? Where do Jonathan Brooks and Trey Benson fall?

While the 2024 dynasty rookie WR class is as elite as it gets, the dynasty rookie RB class has left much to be desired.

With TreVeyon Henderson and Donovan Edwards returning to school, the list of high-end fantasy prospects is limited.

This class has no Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs fantasy cornerstone running backs. However, the class is not devoid of talent, with numerous high-upside backs just an opportunity away from producing.

After reading our 2024 Dynasty Rookie RB and WR rankings, hit up our Early 2024 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft, Way Too Early 2025 Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft, and our 2024 Dynasty Trade Chart for more 2024 dynasty content. Plus, our 2024 Dynasty Rookie Rankings and SuperFlex Big Board is now live.

2024 DYNASTY ROOKIE RB RANKINGS

TIER 1

1. JONATHON BROOKS, TEXAS

After living in the shadow of Robinson and Roschon Johnson at Texas, Jonathon Brooks finally got his moment in the sun.

Shining bright across 11 games as a junior, Brooks totaled 1,135 yards on only 187 attempts (6.1 YPC) and 10 TDs. He also displayed natural pass-catching chops with a large catch radius, catching 25 passes for 286 yards.

Brooks’ breakout season ended with an unfortunate ACL tear, which might hinder his early acclimation to the NFL game.

Regardless, Brooks consistently showcased good vision and impressive contact balance. He runs lightly on his feet and showcases natural start-stop ability, allowing him to evade defenders and create extra yardage.

ACL injury aside, Brooks has shown a lack of impressive top-end speed, lacking the Gibbs, Travis Etienne home-run ability. Breakaway touchdown opportunities might be limited.

Still, he’s a powerful, elusive runner with soft hands and impressive after-contact ability. His skill set makes him an attractive option for zone and gap running schemes and should not fall beyond a day-two NFL Draft selection.

A likely slow start due to injury isn’t enough to deter me from having a Longhorn at the top of the class in back-to-back seasons.

Player comparisons: Javonte Williams, Dalvin Cook

2. TREY BENSON, FLORIDA STATE

Dalvin Cook, Cam Akers. Florida State has churned out some talented running backs since the heralded 2017 class.

Standing at 6’1″ and weighing 223 lbs, Benson is a polarizing prospect. Throw in the fact that he is projected to run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash and eyebrows rise.

Let’s take a look at some of his career numbers:

316 carries for 1,918 yards and 24 rushing touchowns. Between his physical running style, long speed, and ability to force missed tackles (44 in 2023), Benson has the tools to be the next great NFL running back.

Benson tore his ACL in his first season (with Oregon) and saw little action the following year before transferring to Florida State.

After splitting carries, Benson solidified his status as the lead back in 2023. Benson’s vision and patience with letting his running lanes develop make him a dangerous zone-scheme running back.

His combination of speed, elusiveness, and underrated hands at his size makes him a possible steal in the third round.

Player comparison: Brian Robinson, Roschon Johnson

Tier 2

3. BUCKY IRVING, OREGON

Bucky Irving is the running back I am most interested in this draft season.

The former Ducks running back offers so much more than his wise love of all things ducks. But what exactly makes Irving the most compelling prospect in the class? Pull up a chair, grab a refreshing beverage, and follow me on a brief but baffling journey.

Pass-catching chops

During the 2023 season, I laid out the value behind opportunity vs. touches for running backs. Without breaking down the math, a general target to an RB is worth 2.85x more fantasy points (1.380) vs. a regular handoff (.485).

In 2023, Irving led all college football running backs in receptions (56). Irving caught 95 passes across his three-year college career. It’s fair to say Irving is the best pass-catcher in the class.

At 5’10” and 195 lbs., Irving is a little skinny for most RBs. Still, the league has changed, and workhorse running backs aren’t the only way to squeeze fantasy juice out of the position. Explosive playmaking and efficiency are the new king. Heavy volume is just icing on the cake.

Once he became a featured piece of the Oregon attack, Irving produced 2,950 YFS and 21 total TDs. He frequently displayed an uncanny ability to change direction with crisp cutting and alluring stop-and-go acceleration.

In fact, since 2022, Irving has forced a missed tackle on 17.2% of his rushes, which ranked ahead of:

  • Bijan Robinson
  • Jahmyr Gibbs
  • Trey Benson

Irving is the most elusive back in the class, and his 1.0+ Y/RR average as a receiver makes him my favorite running back prospect. Combine testing and NFL draft landing spot could drastically boost Irving’s ranking.

Player comparison: Matt Forte, Danny Woodhead

Tier 3

4. BLAKE CORUM, MICHIGAN

Perhaps the most polarizing player in the draft, Blake Corum, will be a topic of much debate this offseason.

Breaking out in 2022 after a strong 2021 season, Corum racked up 1,461 yards on 248 attempts (5.9 YPC) and scored 18 rushing touchdowns. His season ended early after he tore his meniscus in his left knee.

He was vital to Michigan’s run to the national championship run, amassing 1,028 yards and 24 touchdowns.

At 5’8″ and around 210 lbs, Corum is a little undersized for the position. Still, some of his traits jump off the page, earning him a high early ranking.

Corum has lightning-quick feet that allow him to explode through creases in the line. What makes him truly dangerous with a crease is his top-flight lateral agility. With a projected sub-4.4 40, he’s a threat to make a house call every time he touches the ball.

Corum also possesses soft, natural pass-catching hands. Even though he didn’t catch many passes in his final two years in college (28 total), a strong sophomore season as a receiver helped Corum catch a total of 57 passes at Michigan.

In other words, Corum is a dream fit for a zone-running scheme.

Player comparison: Kenneth Walker, Austin Ekeler

5. RAY DAVIS, KENTUCKY

I’ll give you a moment to clean up after your obvious spit-take.

Yes, Braelon Allen is not in my top 5. Not yet. Red flags have me favoring the much more nimble and versatile Ray Davis.

Davis, standing 5’8″ and weighing around 220 lbs., is an enticing prospect. Kentucky’s offense tended to sputter and stutter but was also one of the most explosive in the country, and Davis was the primary catalyst.

While he won’t blow you away with game-breaking speed, his projected 4.5 40-yard dash is still plenty quick to gash opposing defenses should he find a crease.

Davis thrives with his deceptively powerful running style, excelling at breaking tackles and feasting after contact. A good route runner with reliable hands, Davis is more than just a crafty, powerful runner. His acceleration at all three levels and nose for the end zone makes him a threat at all levels of the field.

He frequently displays good vision and patience, letting his blocking create holes to run through. With strong contact balance brought on by his low center of gravity and quick lateral agility, Davis fits any blocking scheme.

Player comparisons: Ray Rice, Devin Singletary

RUNNING BACKS 6-10

6. Braelon Allen, Wisconsin

7. Audric Estime, Notre Dame

8. MarShawn Lloyd, USC

9. Dillon Johnson, Washington

10. Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss.

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Related Posts