The running back position in professional football has been undervalued for a number of years, as early first-round picks such as Saquon Barkley have become more of a rarity.
Teams used to build their offenses around running backs such as Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, Eric Dickerson and others. But now the pass-happy NFL often looks at running backs more as change-of-pace options than a threat.
But some running backs still offer value. At IllinoisBet.com we came up with a list of 10 running backs offering the most production for their salaries – and perhaps good value on prop wagers for Illinois betting apps customers.
For this study, IllinoisBet used ProFootballReference.com to find the cap hit and all-purpose yards of every NFL running back during 2022-23 NFL regular season. After calculating dollars per all-purpose yard for each player, we determined the 10 most value-driven RBs from this season. Salary and yards were included for all teams that each running back played for during last season.
Most Undervalued NFL RBs of 2022-23 Season
Where Bears Running Back Ranks
At No. 6 is Kahlil Herbert of the Bears. Chicago had the league’s worst record at 3-14 in 2022 and this is reflected in the team’s preseason odds. The Bears Super Bowl Chances at BetMGM sportsbook are +5000 bring home the Lombardi.
But Herbert was one player providing value for the Bears in their poor season. With a cap hit of $754,894 for the season, Herbert ran 129 times for 731 yards (4 TDs, 0 fumbles) and caught nine passes for 57 yards despite missing four games with a hip injury.
The second-year rusher out of Virginia Tech had his career best game on Sept. 25, 2022, when he ran for 157 yards and two scores in a 23-20 home win against the Houston Texans. That was his second career 100-yard rushing game.
Herbert was a sixth-round pick of the Bears in 2021. For the 2023 season he has a cap hit of $972,677, according to Spotrac.com. And now that David Montgomery (second on the Bears in rushing in 2022 behind quarterback Justin Fields) has joined the Lions, Herbert might be a strong value again not only for the Bears but for Illinois sports betting backers in 2023.
Who Else Provides RB Value in NFL?
Topping the chart is Rhamondre Stevenson of the New England Patriots. His cap hit is a touch more than $1 million, but he ran for 1,040 yards on the ground and caught 69 passes for 421 more yards in 2022. He scored 5 TDs on the ground and one in the air. Stevenson ran for 172 yards in a loss in Las Vegas and 161 yards in a home win against Detroit. He was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2021.
In second position according to ProFootballReference is Isiah Pacheco of the Chiefs, with a cap hit of almost $725K. Amid all of Kansas City’s offensive talent, Pacheco ran for 830 yards and added 130 more on receptions during the regular season – and he barely played in six of the team’s last eight games. He scored 5 touchdowns. His top performance was 107 yards on the ground in a road win against the Los Angeles Chargers. He was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2022.
In third place is Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys. With a cap hit of $1.132 million, Pollard is the priciest back in our top 10, but also one of the most productive: He ran for 1,007 yards and caught 39 passes for 371 more yards in 2022. He scored 12 TDs, nine on the ground. Pollard ran for over 100 yards in a loss at Green Bay, a win at Chicago and a win at New York. He was a fourth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2019.
Of the six other runners on the chart, Dameon Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, Brian Robinson Jr., and Zonovan Knight were all 2022 draftees. Latavius Murray was a sixth-round pick way back in 2013. Jaylen Warren was undrafted.
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