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2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs

CBSsports.com

In the next installment of Fantasy Football Rankings for 2020, we dive into the running back rankings. Does anyone have the chance to unseat Christian McCaffery as RB1? Which rookie running back will have the biggest impact in year one? Who is this years sleeper pick? Who is the best late round Value picks? Who is my must have Running back for 2020?

A few tips in drafting Running Backs

  • Always handcuff your top running back picks, for example if you draft Ezekiel Elliott you want to grab Tony Pollard in the later rounds in case of injury, suspension etc.
  • Know the scoring system. Most leagues are points per reception either .5 or 1 PPR so   backs with receiving prowess will be better in such leagues.

RANKINGS

  1. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers 
  2.  Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys
  3.  Saqoun Barkley – New York Giants
  4.  Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers 
  5.  Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
  6.  Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
  7.  Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns
  8.  Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings 
  9.  Derrick Henry – Tennesse Titans
  10.  Miles Sanders – Phildelphia Eagles
  11.  Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals 
  12.  Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders
  13.  Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers
  14.  Le’Veon Bell – New York Jets
  15. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars
  16.  Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills 
  17.  Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos
  18.  Clyde Edwards – Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs
  19.  Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers
  20.  Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons 
  21.  Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks
  22.  Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens
  23.  Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts 
  24.  Sony Michel – New England Patriots
  25.  Ronald Jones II – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  26. Matt Breida – Miami Dolphins
  27.  D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions 
  28.  Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns 
  29.  James White – New England Patriots
  30.  Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams 
  31.  James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers
  32.  Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  33.  David Montgomery – Chicago Bears 
  34.  Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts 
  35.  David Johnson – Houston Texans
  36.  Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions
  37.  Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos
  38.  Damien Williams – Kansas City Chiefs 
  39.  Derrius Guice – Washington Redskins
  40.  Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears 
  41.  JK Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens
  42.  Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills 
  43.  Antonio Gibson – Washington Redskins 
  44.  Duke Johnson – Houston Texans 
  45.  Darrel Henderson – Los Angeles Rams
  46.  Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles
  47.  Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers 
  48.  Joshua Kelly – Los Angeles Chargers
  49.  Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys 
  50.  Anthony McFarland JR – Pittsburgh Steelers 
  51.  Darrynton Evans – Tennessee Titans 
  52.  Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings
  53.  Jordan Howard – Miami Dolphins 
  54.  Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers 
  55.  Ryquell Armstead – Jacksonville Jaguars 
  56.  Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts
  57.  Ito Smith – Atlanta Falcons
  58.  Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks
  59.  La’Mical Perine – New York Jets 
  60.  Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals 
  61.  Lynn Bowden JR – Las Vegas Raiders
  62.  Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals 
  63.  Dare Ogunbowale – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
  64.  Eno Benjamin – Arizona Cardinals 
  65.  Chris Thompson – Jacksonville Jaguars
  66.  Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers
  67.  Reggie Bonnafon – Carolina Panthers 
  68.  Rex Burkhead – New England Patriots 
  69.  Damien Harris – New England Patriots 
  70.  AJ Dillon – Green Bay Packers
  71.  Jalen Richard – Las Vegas Raiders 
  72.  Jaylen Samuels – Pittsburgh Steelers 
  73.  Dion Lewis – New York Giants 
  74.  Bryce Love – Washington Redskins 
  75.  Malcolm Brown – Los Angeles Rams 
  76.  Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens 
  77.  Benny Snell JR – Pittsburgh Steelers 
  78.  Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins 
  79.  Patrick Laird – Miami Dolphins 
  80.  Devonta Freeman – Free Agent

TOP 10 STUDS

6.  Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals ADP ( #13 ) 

The happiest person on draft night besides all the people in the Bengals front office was Joe Mixon. Cincinnati drafting Joe Burrow is going to make Mixon’s job a lot easier he won’t be facing 8 people in the box anymore. Mixon was effective last year even facing stacked boxes , carrying the ball 278 times for 1,137 yards and 5 touchdowns. Mixon added 35 receptions for 287 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Cincinnati gets their first round pick from the 2019 class OT Jonah Williams back from injury he missed the entire 2019 season recovering from surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder, that should help shore up the offensive line to make running room for Mixon. Cincinnati has quality Wide Receiver  group with AJ Green , Tyler Boyd , Auden Tate , John Ross and Clemson rookie Wide Receiver Tee Higgins, all that talent on the outside should open things up for Mixon. Look for Mixon to add to his numbers last season especially in the touchdown department.

7. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns ADP ( #15 )

Cleveland obviously had a disappointing season in 2019 under first year head coach Freddie Kitchens. Cleveland has since moved on from Kitchens and has brought in former Minnesota offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. It didn’t matter who was calling the plays for the Browns, Nick Chubb still put up big time fantasy numbers.  Chubb carried the rock 298 times for 1,494 yards and 8 touchdowns, also pulling in 49 receptions for 287 receiving yards.  Chubb would be higher on my list if it wasn’t for Kareem Hunt, he averaged 14.9 points per game after coming back from suspension. Cleveland drafted Alabama OT Jedrick Wills with their first round selection hoping to bolster the offensive line. Chubb will be a top back in the Browns new and improved offense and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is going to make him a top 10 back in the 2020 season.

IMPACT ROOKIES

18. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs ADP ( # 64 ) LSU

There wasn’t a better fit in the entire rookie draft than the Chiefs drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the #32 pick in the first round. Teaming up with Patrick Mahomes may lead to CEH becoming Brian Westbrook 2.0 in Andy Reid’s scheme. CEH is a true three-down back with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and make people miss in space as he showed last season for the National Champion LSU Tigers. Damien Williams was great during the playoffs last season, but this is Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s backfield and he has RB1 upside in PPR league.

23. Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts ADP ( #76 ) WISCONSIN

Jonathan Taylor enters the league going to a great spot with the Indianapolis Colts with one of the best offensive lines anchored by all pro Quenton Nelson. Taylor has to share backfield duty with Marlon Mack that shouldn’t stop Taylor from getting close to the 250 carry mark.  Taylor offers more in the receiving game than Mack does, with new Quarterback Phillip Rivers expect some check downs coming his way. Taylor’s burst and speed behind the Indy offensive line is something fantasy owners should take advantage of especially in Dynasty leagues.

27. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions ADP ( #95 ) GEORGIA 

Many draft experts had Swift as the top running back in the 2020 draft. Detroit took Swift with the 35th overall pick pairing him with Kerryon Johnson. Johnson has dealt with injuries the last two season and Swift should be given every opportunity to grab the lead spot in the backfield.  Swift has the upside in the receiving department accumulating 73 receptions during his time at Georgia. Swift is the better running back of the two with more juice and explosiveness which the Lions have been missing, look for him to take over the starting spot early in the year.

30. Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams ADP ( #103 ) FLORIDA STATE 

Letting go of Todd Gurley left the Rams without a lead back going into the 2020 season.  They addressed that with the selection of Cam Akers out of Florida State at #52 overall.  Akers might have the most clear path to a starting position early on in his professional career. Current running backs on Rams roster are as followed

  •  Darrell Henderson (39 career carries)
  •  Malcolm Brown (197 career carries)
  •  John Kelly (30 career carries)

As you can see not much experience in the backfield at this point for the Rams. Akers should start out as the lead candidate for the third down role in Sean McKay’s offense. Akers power and ability to one cut and get downhill should give him the upside to be the lead back in Los Angeles.

SLEEPER PICK

24. Sony Michel – New England Patriots ADP ( #88 )

I know the Patriots running back position is such a headache to project in fantasy football year in and year out. Michel finished as RB28 last season and disappointed fantasy owners.  The Patriots offensive line was hampered by injuries’ last season Left Tackle Isiah Wynn missed 8 games with turf toe and Center David Andrews missed the entire season with blood clots leaving the Patriots run game in disarray. Wynn and Andrews both return this year and with pro bowl guards Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason the Patriots run game should back to its 2018 form. Look for Michel to get the bulk of that action and out perform his draft slot

LATE ROUND VALUE 

43. Antonio Gibson – Washington Redskins ADP ( #211 ) 

The Redskins backfield is something of a mess the only mainstay is 35 year old Adrian Peterson. Derrius Guice has dealt with his fair share of injuries, same with second year back Bryce Love. Gibson is a very talented back, while at Memphis he put up 1,203 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns on just 77 touches (44 Receptions and 33 rushing attempts).  Gibson’s versatility should give him a chance to make a impact as a rookie for new head coach Ron Rivera. 

MUST HAVE

10. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles ADP ( #25 )

Since becoming head coach of the Eagles Doug Pederson has always loved to use a time share in the backfield to spell guys and keep fresh legs. That isn’t the case this season. The lead back in Philly is Miles Sanders and he is ready to take the next step to the RB1 tier.  Jordan Howard has moved onto Miami, Darren Sproles has retired leaving only receiving back Boston Scott behind Sanders. Sharing the workload in 2019 Sanders finished the season with 1,327 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns good enough for RB15. Sanders has the benefit running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Sanders will be on many championship winning teams come season end bet on it.

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