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Which Veteran RBs Could Be Set To Fall Off a Cliff in 2023?

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Father Time remains undefeated. Every player in the NFL will inevitably decline at some point in his career. Some last longer than others, but all players lose the ability to play professional football eventually. In fantasy football, we need to avoid drafting these players. With so many of the top running backs getting older, the end is near. Here are the running backs at risk of falling off a cliff in 2023.

Which Veteran RBs Could Decline This Season?

There have been many studies done on the age at which NFL players typically decline. It varies based on position. For running backs, an overwhelming majority of RB1 seasons occur between the ages of 22 and 28.

Of course, outliers exist. Not every running back will go full Shaun Alexander the moment he turns 29. I use Alexander as the prime example because, at age 28, he carried the ball 370 times for 1,880 yards and 27 touchdowns. The very next season, he was done. His yards per carry went from 5.1 to 3.6, and he was never fantasy relevant again.

MORE: Top 250 Fantasy Football Rankings 2023

The NFL saw an influx of talent at the RB position from 2015-2017. That’s where the bulk of the elite running backs over the past near-decade came from. It’s now 2023. Those guys are getting older, and within a couple of years, there will be none of them left in terms of fantasy relevance.

To be clear, I’m not saying any of these backs will definitively fall off a cliff this season. This is merely a list of fantasy RBs who could be looking at a precipitous decline in 2023.

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

I’m sure no one is surprised to see Derrick Henry’s name front and center on this list. He is, by far, the oldest running back in the top 24, let alone the top 12.

Henry has been a sure thing ever since establishing himself as an elite rushing force in 2019. Since then, he’s averaged 19.6, 20.8, 24.2, and 18.9 PPR fantasy points per game, respectively.

Henry’s also amassed 1,877 career touches, 1,337 of which have come over the past four seasons, which includes his injury-shortened eight-game 2021. Henry has led the NFL in carries per game for four straight seasons. No player has touched the ball more over that span.

Henry is 29 years old with a massive amount of tread on his tires. We’ve seen a noticeable decline in his efficiency each of the past two seasons. He averaged 4.9, 5.1, and 5.4 ypc in 2018-2020, respectively. In 2021 and 2022, that average was down to 4.3 and 4.4.

MORE: 2023 Dynasty RB Rankings

Henry also stopped breaking tackles as well last season. His evaded tackles per touch rate went from a second-ranked 38.8% in 2021 to a 34th-ranked 23% in 2022. Just 4% of his carries went for 15+ yards. That rate was 5.6% in 2020 and 5% in 2019.

The Titans project to be a bad team this year. They have a subpar quarterback and one of the weakest wide receiving corps in the NFL. I’m not saying it will happen, but don’t be surprised if Henry ends up averaging under 14 ppg this season, marking the beginning of the end for the King.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

For now, Dalvin Cook remains on the Minnesota Vikings. The fact that he may not stay with them is one of the many reasons he’s trending downward for 2023.

Cook is 28 years old. He’s not quite at the age where we expect a decline, but there are certainly warning signs.

Cook has touched the ball 1,503 times in his career. While he finally played a full season last year, it was not exactly pain-free. Cook has dealt with a medley of injuries, specifically to both of his shoulders. Those injuries have an increased likelihood of recurring each time he gets hurt, which only increases more with age.

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Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The injuries clearly took a toll on Cook’s productivity last season. His 4.4 ypc was a career-low, and just 4.5% of his runs went for at least 15 yards. He even saw his passing game role decrease, setting a career-low target share of 8.9%.

Cook’s 14.0 ppg was good for an overall RB14 finish, his lowest of his career (not counting his rookie season that was cut short after four games due to a torn ACL).

We’ve now seen Cook’s efficiency decline for two straight seasons. He’s had a ton of injuries and is getting older. It’s possible he ends up on another team where he doesn’t see the volume he did in Minnesota. All of this is to say Cook carries more risk in 2023 than he has at any point in his career.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara comes with additional risk beyond his play. But even without the looming suspension, I would have no interest in Kamara for the 2023 fantasy football season.

Not only is Kamara getting up there in age (28), but the bigger concern is his decline in efficiency. Efficiency was Kamara’s calling card his entire career. As a rookie, he averaged 6.1 ypc and then was consistently between 4.6 and 5.0 for the next three seasons. In 2021, however, we started to see signs of decline.

MORE: Fantasy Football Sleepers 2023

That’s when his yards per carry dropped to 3.7, and just 2.9% of his runs went for 15+ yards. Kamara’s evaded tackles per touch rate went from second in the league to 41st. By all accounts, Kamara was an awful runner, but he was able to maintain his elite RB1 status on the heels of his receiving.

In 2022, it was more of the same. Kamara averaged 4.0 ypc, with his 15-plus-yard run rate at 2.7%. His evaded tackles per touch rate also fell to 49th. This time, though, Kamara’s fantasy ppg did not survive, plummeting to 14.1, by far, the lowest of his career.

After two straight years of declining play, how likely is it that Kamara suddenly rebounds at age 28? Derek Carr’s addition certainly helps, as the offense should be better. But I just think Kamara is a declining player.

Even when running backs decline as runners, we’ve seen pass-catching backs maintain their receiving ability. This occurred with guys like Matt Forte, David Johnson, and Le’Veon Bell. Kamara’s name certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as those all-time greats.

Kamara will still have fantasy value because of his pass-catching. But if the rushing declines even further, Kamara may struggle even to reach the 14.1 ppg we saw last season, making him a very risky proposition in 2023.



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Taylor Swift Is Shown Chugging a Beer on the Jumbotron at Super Bowl 58

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Global superstar Taylor Swift made it to the big game to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce. In the second quarter, it was evident that she was having a good time at the Super Bowl after taking a 12-hour flight from Tokyo the night prior.

Taylor Swift Seen Chugging Beer at Super Bowl

Swift’s attendance has been highly anticipated, as many fans questioned whether she would be able to make it to the big game since she had been in Japan until Saturday for her Eras Tour.

Sure enough, she made it to the Super Bowl and was seen making a grand entrance alongside Blake Lively and Ice Spice.

Swift made it back to the States with plenty of time to make it to Allegiant Stadium to support Kelce. After a leg of her Eras Tour, where she performed several nights in Japan, the singer appeared to let loose.

In a box full of friends, Swift was shown chugging a beer with Ashley Avignone. She was shown on the jumbotron and slammed her cup down after she finished her beer.

There was a mix of cheers and boos as Swift was shown on the big screen, and a long pass to Mecole Hardman was the only highlight of the first half for Swift and her friends. The 49ers led the Chiefs, 10-0, late in the second quarter.

On social media, Swift garnered plenty of support from NFL fans.

If you’re hating on her you can kick rocks man she’s the best,” one user posted on X

“The one thing I learned this season is that she is actually fun,” another said. 

“Booing Taylor Swift chugging a beer is so soft. She’s just one of us now and I respect it ,” another posted. 

At the time of the beer chugging, Kelce, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, has had one catch for a single yard. It came on the first possession, which ended up being a three-and-out. The Kansas City Chiefs hadn’t done much otherwise.

They did have a deep pass play to Hardman, which put them in the red zone, but Isiah Pacheco fumbled on the very next play — one that Kelce was surprisingly on the sideline for.

Swift and Kelce have garnered much media attention as their romance has taken off throughout this NFL season.

Swift was able to support her boyfriend at many of his games throughout the final stretch of the season, as her Eras Tour was on a break. But starting on Feb. 7, she went back on the road.

MORE: NFL World Reacts to Unbelievable Super Bowl Trick Play

Despite performing in Tokyo the night before the Super Bowl, she was able to make it in time to support her boyfriend due to the time difference and is having a good time doing so.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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.





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What Happened to the 49ers Linebacker?

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The San Francisco 49ers sustained a massive blow during the second quarter of Super Bowl 58, as linebacker Dre Greenlaw left the game on a medical cart.

CBS Sports confirmed that the veteran Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear, ruling him out for the rest of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

What Happened to Dre Greenlaw?

The outside linebacker, who had already been battling past injuries to his hamstrings and calves, left with what appeared to be a leg injury.

And somehow, his left leg looked like it buckled as he tried to trot onto the field with the Niners’ defense.

Greenlaw clutched his left leg in agony before being helped off the field.

CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported that the outside linebacker left with what was ruled as a lower leg injury. He was later determined to sustain an Achilles injury.

Greenlaw was declared out for the rest of the game.

Greenlaw Carted Off in Passenger Seat

Even more noticeable was where Greenlaw sat on the cart.

He ended up leaving not in the back of the medical vehicle but ended up riding shotgun with his leg injury.

One would think that with an injury like an Achilles ailment, medical officials would try to make the player as comfortable as possible before they leave. It wasn’t the case here.

MORE: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart

Regardless, Greenlaw was replaced by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles for the rest of the first half. Greenlaw became the most significant injury of the game.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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.





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NFL World Reacts to Epic Super Bowl Intro From CBS

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Super Bowl 58 is here and it’s going to be exciting. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off in the final game of 2023.

CBS is broadcasting the game and the opening was nothing short of amazing. How is the NFL world reacting to the electric Super Bowl-opening video?

Epic CBS Super Bowl Intro Garners Reaction From NFL World

The video, which spanned four minutes and 19 seconds, featured players from both teams talking about the big game and what it means to them. It also featured their families talking about their journeys to this point.

“Amazing intro! Reminds me of my dad! Bravo on the intro!,” one NFL fan said on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Additionally, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background, giving it a near-movie feel. “This was incredible.,” another person said on X. “And so, the @49ers and @Chiefs face that final curtain,” CBS Sports said.

The 49ers finished the regular season as the top seed in the NFC with a 12-5 record. After their first-round bye, they defeated both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to earn their trip to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. Both of their victories came in comeback fashion, including an NFC Championship-record 17-point comeback.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a more uphill battle. Entering the playoffs as the AFC’s third seed, they finished the regular season with an 11-6 record. In the playoffs, they defeated the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens to punch their ticket.

Super Bowl 58 is a re-match of Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-24. The win was the first in Patrick Mahomes career, as he also won Super Bowl MVP. Four years later, the Chiefs have made three more and won another. For the 49ers, this is their first trip back to the big game since.

The game kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET with the 49ers receiving the opening kick. In addition to being broadcast on CBS, the game is also being streamed on Paramount+.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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.





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