Ranking the Top 10 Backup Fantasy Running Backs
A former 1000+ yard rusher with the Houston Texans last season, Hyde is now backing up Chris Carson in Seattle for the 2020 season. The journeyman running back has proved time and time again that he is a steady force and replacement when called upon. The Seattle Seahawks going back to the Marshawn Lynch era have prided themselves on establishing the run. With concerns surrounding Chris Carson’s fumbles over the years, do not be surprised if Hyde gets plenty of action in the Seahawks backfield and will be a formidable backup in fantasy.
9. Leonard Fournette
A former first-round draft pick in Jacksonville, Fournette has found a new home in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady and company. Throughout his years in Jacksonville, Fournette proved to be a viable option when healthy. As he heads to Tampa, Fournette will be splitting carries with incumbent starter Ronald Jones which is why I have Fournette higher on this list. Besides, the Bruce Arians’ style of offense has been known for airing the ball out rather than dominating you on the ground. However, it’s almost impossible to keep this man sidelined. I expect him to share the workload with the Buccaneers moving forward.
8. Justin Jackson
I love the value in Chargers running back Justin Jackson. With Austin Ekler plagued with injuries all season long, there is a good chance that Jackson slides into the leading role in Los Angeles. With rookie quarterback Justin Herbert still trying to find his footing in the league, don’t be surprised if Anthony Lynn and the Chargers rely heavily on Jackson to take some pressure off of the passing. Look for Jackson to get a bundle of carries in the second half of the season.
7. Duke Johnson
The Houston Texans running back slides into the seventh spot on my list. Johnson is one of the most consistent runners when he’s on the field. Why I like Johnson so much is because he has great pass-catching ability out of the backfield which adds tremendous value in terms of fantasy points. Also, David Johnson is known to miss games so don’t be surprised if Duke takes some of the load off the former Arizona Cardinal star.
6. JK Dobbins
The dynamic rookie out of Ohio State will be part of Baltimore’s 1-2 punch, with veteran running back Mark Ingram sharing reps alongside. Dobbins showed us in college that he was a physical runner that had a knack for finding the endzone. His style of running will be vital for the Ravens near the goal line, which means I wouldn’t be surprised if he scored a bunch of touchdowns in his rookie season. Nonetheless, Baltimore’s offensive success starts and ends with their running attack, which is one of the best in all of football. I expect Dobbins to get a ton of carries in his rookie campaign.
5. Latavius Murray
Coming in at number five, Latavius Murray would be a starter on numerous teams in the NFL, but he just happens to be sharing the backfield with one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league in Alvin Kamara. Murray’s downhill running style compliments the razzle-dazzle of Kamara, which means they utilize Murray a lot in the run game. The reason why he is not higher on my list is because of the usage of Taysom Hill by the goal line, which takes away touchdown opportunities from Murray. If it were not for that, Murray would be at the top of my rankings.
4. Benny Snell Jr.
This might be a surprise pick at number four, but Pittsburg is in desperate need of a healthy running back. Over the past few seasons, James Conner has been the go-to guy for the Steelers, however, he has been unable to prove to fantasy owners he can play a full 16-game slate. This is where Snell’s upside comes in. He’s a great backup because he will be filling in for Conner as the starter in Pittsburg numerous times throughout the season.
3. Mike Davis
With Christain McCaffrey missing time thus far in the 2020 season, Mike Davis is a premiere backup to have in any fantasy league. Cut by the Seahawks and Bears over the past two years, Davis is on a mission in Carolina and has served to be a nice asset to keep the ship afloat. His running style is very similar to that of former Panther Jonathan Stewart, and will certainly be the number one option for Carolina in the Red Zone due to his stocky frame and his ability to break tackles.
The biggest trade of the season so far was when the New York Jets sent running back Le’veon Bell to the Kansas City Chiefs. Bell will be sharing carries with rookie starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but Andy Ried will get Bell the ball often and is a great back to plug into your fantasy lineup when needed off of the bench. Bell still has some years left in the tank and I expect a change of scenery in Kansas City to revitalize his career after a disappointing tenure in New York.
1. Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt takes the number one spot on my list due to the fact that he was a star in this league until off the field issues derailed his career momentarily. The Browns picked up Hunt in the off-season to complement second-year starter, Nick Chubb, in the Cleveland backfield. The Browns offense focuses on the run game, and with this two-headed monster, Cleveland has emerged into one of the best rushing offenses in all of football. I expect Hunt to take some of the workload off of Chubb’s shoulders this season. I expect Hunt to be the top fantasy backup running back this year.