Ranking the Top 25 Fantasy Running Backs
Let’s take a look at the Top 25 Running Backs in fantasy football for the 2020-21 season. I’ll use ADP (Average Draft Position) for a full PPR league to make this list.
25: Kareem Hunt
Kareem’s ADP currently has him being taken later in the 5th round/early 6th. If you end up taking Nick Chubb, Hunt is a must grab. He could also bolster your lineup if you go WR early instead of RB. Hunt only played in 8 games last season on a bad Browns team and from the time he entered the lineup he was the 26th best RB in fantasy. He should be able to duplicate that and more in a full season.
24: Antonio Gibson
Gibson is a sneaky addition to this list. Coming in as a rookie, initially he seemed to be falling into obscurity in a crowded backfield in Washington. With the shocking departures of Chris Thompson, Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice, Antonio finds himself shot up to the front of the line. He could be really good in PPR leagues as the workhorse/pass-catching back for Washington. His ADP is round 7.
23: Melvin Gordon
After attempting and failing to hold out on the Chargers last year, Melvin finds himself in Denver creating a two headed monster alongside running mate Phillip Lindsey. Gordon is capable of dominating as a lead back, especially in PPR formats, but having to share carries with Phillip Lindsey really dampens his 2020 fantasy outlook. His ADP sits at the latter half of round 4, which is still too high for my liking. I’d wait for round 5.
22: Mark Ingram II
Last season, Mark Ingram finished as the 11th best RB in Fantasy PPR leagues. So, why have him so low this year? When you take into account that Mark only handled 51% of the RB touches in the Ravens offense last year, with the addition of talented rookie JK Dobbins this year, it can only mean he is about to regress. It doesn’t help that Lamar vultures his own rushing touchdowns from the RB’s. His ADP has him going in round 5, which seems right.
21: Raheem Mostert
Mostert would be higher on this list if we were just focusing on standard scoring. Last year he ended the season in the top 20 in standard fantasy and 26th in PPR, even with Matt Breida taking carries away from him. San Francisco is lethal when it comes to the ground game and now Breida is gone, leaving Mostert to be the lead guy. His only downside will come in the passing game where Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman are sure to steal those opportunities. Raheem’s ADP sits at pick 10 in round 6.
20: Jonathan Taylor
The Colts rookie is a prime breakout candidate. Beat writers have had nothing but good things to say about him, adding that he could be a key contributor in the passing game. Even with Marlon Mack there, Taylor is poised to get 250 touches behind a stellar offensive line. His ADP has him being taken in round 5. He’s a steal if you can get him there.
19: David Johnson
David Johnson is far from his dominant rookie year in the league, but a change of scenery may help. If his injuries are truly behind him we could be looking at a breakout year. Last season the RB’s in Houston saw 397 touches, even with Deandre Hopkins there. Now with Hopkins gone Houston needs to fill that void and it’s clear O’Brien thinks Johnson has what it takes. His ADP sits at round 4 and he’s projected to be one of the top 20 RB’s this year.
18: Le’Veon Bell
Let’s make something very clear, I hate Adam Gase, but Le’Veon’s value is too good not to take him this year. He’s currently been falling into the latter half of the 4th round, which provides great value for a guy who will see around 215 touches this year.
17: Todd Gurley
Atlanta seems to be the perfect fit for the 26 year old RB Todd Gurley. Dan Quinn has been quoted on multiple occasions marvelling at Gurley’s speed. It’s clear he’ll be the lead back in Atlanta and looking at anywhere from 190-210 touches. His ADP hovers around pick 2 in the 4th round.
16: Nick Chubb
Nick Chubb could be way higher on this list, but it’s difficult to tell how this Browns offense will function with him and Hunt. We could be looking at a 50/50 share of the carries this season with how talented both backs are. Also, the recent concussion suffered in practice is a bit concerning. The ADP for Chubb sits at the end of round 2.
15: James Conner
James Conner missed 6 games last season due to injury. In the 10 games he played, Conner was effective, scoring 7 TDs and racking up 715 yards. All the reports coming out of camp seem to lead to 100% health and a big season coming. His ADP is early in round 4.
14: Chris Carson
For the past two years Chris Carson has been one of the more consistent RB’s in Fantasy Football. He has eclipsed 1,000 yards in 2018 and 2019 despite missing at least one game in both season. He should continue to be the workhorse in a very good offense. Chris Carson’s ADP is sitting around pick 3 of round 4, which is an absolute steal.
13: Kenyan Drake
Last season Drake found himself in a trade that sent him to Arizona. A backup in Miami, with a fresh start he didn’t disappoint. He probably helped a few people win their league off of a waiver wire pick up last year. He seems to fit nicely into Kingsbury’s scheme and should continue to improve alongside Kyler Murray. His ADP is at pick 5 of round 2.
12: Aaron Jones
If this was just a list centered around Standard leagues, Aaron Jones would be higher. Last season he accounted for an astounding 19 TD’s. However, a lot of his damage came when Devante Adams was sidelined with injury. Regardless he is a sure fire RB1 and available in the 2nd round this year. Great value for a lead back.
11: Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders could end up being one of the better picks in a PPR league. The Eagles are spread thin at receiver due to injuries and Sanders is an excellent pass catching back. Last season he had 50 receptions and wasn’t the outright lead back. This season he is so the sky’s the limits. Sander’s ADP sits at the beginning of the 2nd round.
10: Josh Jacobs
One of the more electrifying rookies last year. Jacobs has a pretty good stranglehold on the starting job in Las Vegas and has stated he wants to be added into the passing game more. If this happens he could eclipse 1,500 yards all-purpose. His ADP sits at pick 10 in round 2. By all means, fire away.
9: Austin Ekeler
Ekeler is a PPR dreamboat. Last season he tallied 92 receptions for 993 yards from the RB position. That’s better than a lot of receivers. The Chargers will without a doubt continue to feed Austin. He could be the lone bright spot on a bad team. His ADP sits at the beginning of the 2nd round.
8: Joe Mixon
The Bengals were awful last year. Even so, Mixon found a way to ball out. He rushed for 1,100 yards on 278 touches and ended with 35 receptions. He’s the guy in Cincinnati and should help ease rookie QB Joe Burrow’s nerves. His ADP sits at pick 3 in round 2.
7: Derrick Henry
The first of the elite backs in the NFL. In standard league rankings he’d check in higher, but we have to keep PPR in mind here. Henry was an absolute monster last season, rushing for 1,500 yards with 18 TDs. It’s hard to duplicate that, but he’ll certainly get the touches to try. Henry’s ADP has him going late first round in PPR leagues.
6: Clyde-Edwards Helaire
It’s tough to put a rookie above Henry, but Clyde happens to be the workhorse back in one of the best offenses in the league. The pass catching advantage goes to CEH as well. With Mahomes tossing the ball, CEH could be looking at around 50 receptions and 200 touches altogether. His ADP sits at the end of round 1.
5: Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook barely needs explanation at this point. Last season he had 250 touches for 1,100 yards and 51 receptions for 519 receiving yards. He also scored 13 TD’s. Don’t overthink things, just draft him. His ADP is middle 1st round.
4: Alvin Kamara
An absolute monster in PPR leagues. Kamara had a whopping 81 receptions last season for 533 yards and 6 TD’s. He’ll look to go for 80 again to go alongside his 180 carries. The Saints offense funnels through this man and Michael Thomas. His ADP is pick 4 round 1.
3: Ezekial Elliot
Elliot is actually a sneaky dominant play in PPR leagues. Last season he rushed for 1,300 yards and added 54 receptions with 420 receiving yards. Even with a crowded receiving core, Zeke eats. He and Dak have great chemistry and will continue to build on that in 2020. His ADP sits at pick 3 round 1.
2: Saquon Barkley
Even though Saquon missed 3 games last season, he still rushed for 1,000 yards and caught 53 of his 71 targets. He’s the guy for the Giants offense and that won’t change in 2020. If he can stay healthy he can easily repeat his 2018 success where he saw 121 targets. His ADP is at pick 2.
1: Christian McCaffrey
CMC was the best overall RB last season in fantasy. He rushed for 1,300 yards and caught a whopping 116 of his 142 targets for another 1,000 yards. He also had 19 TD’s. The first overall pick this year is easy. Just don’t overthink it. McCaffrey should pick up right where he left off.
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