The Running Back position is possibly the most important position to fill for fantasy football. Considering there is a limited number of teams, and only so many RBs that actually put up decent stats, makes the RB pool much smaller than any other position in football (except for maybe the TE position). Having multiple reliable RBs on your roster goes a long way, and will make you a tough matchup against your opponents each and every week. There’s only a handful of elite fantasy RBs, making tier 2 players a slight drop off in comparison to tier 1. After the first two rounds of your fantasy draft, it’s likely the RB pool is spread thin, making RB one of toughest positions to draft.
However, I’ve created my list of top 10 RBs for fantasy football this year, and if you have any of them on your team, you should be feeling pretty good about yourself at the start of the 2020 season. Just like the last article, this list will be based on PPR scoring. Also, a great source to conduct some of your own research is Fantasy Data. They lay out player’s stats for their entire career along with their fantasy points and value. I recommend using a site like this to find the most consistent players available in your draft. With that said, here are my top 10 fantasy RBs for the new year.
Top 10 RBs
1. Christian McCaffrey
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see McCaffrey as the top option. In 2019, CMC put up over 1300 yards on the ground, and backed it up with just over 1000 yards receiving. He totaled 19 touchdowns for the Panthers, which led to him averaging 22.2 fantasy points a game. Just looking at his stats, CMC proved to be an elite RB1 as well as a solid flex option WR3. McCaffrey has the the chance to play even better this coming year, as he’s easily the best player on this Panthers offense. Nobody is going to take carries away from him, and outside of DJ Moore and Robby Anderson, Christian McCaffrey is possibly the 3rd best receiving option for that offense. Carolina is going to rely on their superstar Running Back all year long, which means McCaffrey is going to be pumping out fantasy points like a machine.
2. Saquon Barkley
The guy is a FREAK athlete and is one of those rare Running Backs that can do it all. He’s fast, he’s quick, he’ll run through defenders, and he’s pretty good in the pass game too. You could say Barkely had a down year after missing out on 3 games due to an injury, but he still finished as the 10th best RB in fantasy football. I like Barkley’s chances to bounce back into elite status, as the Giants actually have a decent looking offensive line, and QB Daniel Jones showed promise. Either way, New York is going to rely on their young RB throughout the year, and likely make him the focal point of their offense. If this kid stays healthy, Barkley has the potential to finish the year as the top RB in the league.
3. Ezekiel Elliott
The truth of the matter is, Zeke has been consistent his entire career, and considering he’ll only be 25 at the start of the season, there’s a real chance this guy continues playing at a high level for the next four years. For whatever reason, people seem to be sleeping on him after getting paid a huge contract, believing he’s going to slow down. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case at all. The Cowboys have one of the best O-lines in the league, along with an insane WR group that forces opposing defenses to play in coverage. As long as those two things stay intact, Zeke is going to be a great Back for a long time. Just based on his numbers last year, right after getting PAID, Zeke put up over 1300 yards rushing along with 12 touchdowns. He also averaged 16.1 fantasy points per week, which made him the 3rd best fantasy RB in the league. Technically, that was a down year for this guy, and I’m expecting him to at least match those numbers again this year.
4. Dalvin Cook
I know, Cook is in a holdout right now, and there’s a risk in him missing games due to that fact. However, once he’s on the field, he’s a dominant force that keeps opposing defenses awake at night. He’s another elite RB that doesn’t really have anyone else on the roster threatening to take many carries away from him. So having Cook means you would have a RB that’s going to average 20+ carries week in and week out. In 2019, Cook rushed for over 1100 yards, and paired that up with 13 TDs. He averaged 17.1 points per game, making him one of the best fantasy RBs last season. The Vikings offense starts with Dalvin Cook, and when he’s on the field, he’s a must start for your fantasy team. If not, at least you’ll have an extremely valuable trading piece from the get go.
5. Alvin Kamara
Kamara didn’t play to his full potential last year after playing in 14 games, and only listed as the starter in 9 of them. His rushing stats weren’t very impressive, as he ran for less than 800 yards, and only had 6 total TDs on the year. The bright side though, is that Alvin Kamara averaged 4.7 yards per carry, and proved once again he’s a legit threat in the passing game. New Orleans looks to have one of the most lethal offenses next year, and Kamara is going to play a huge factor in that. With Kamra being fully healthy, he should be able to get back to his normal ways, and put up some great numbers for your fantasy squad. Due to his lack of numbers last year, there’s a chance Kamara falls to you in the middle or back end of the first round of your draft. He could be a huge steal for your team
6. Derrick Henry
For whatever reason, there seems to be a lot of doubt around King Henry repeating his performance from a season ago. It’s understandable, considering he’s 26 years old, inching closer and closer to the age where Running Backs tend to decline. Henry’s been in the league for 4 years, but people are forgetting that El Tractorcito rode the bench his first 2 years in the league. In fact, 2019 was his first year actually playing as the starting RB for the Titans, meaning Henry has plenty of gas left in the tank. The Titans locked up their superstar RB for the next 4 years which should make him a reliable fantasy option for at least the next 2. In 2019, Derrick Henry led the NFL in yards with over 1500, scored a total of 18 touchdowns and averaged 18.4 fantasy points a week on top of that. Even if Derrick Henry repeats those numbers, or has a slight regression (which I don’t think he will), he’s still likely to finish the year as one of the best RBs in the NFL. He seems to be dropping to mid-late round 1, and sometimes early round 2, which means you could be drafting an elite RB outside of the top 5 picks.
7. Aaron Jones
The Packers starting RB is another one of those guys that’s a threat in the run game, and through the air, and it makes him a great dual threat RB for your fantasy squad. Green Bay finally allowed Jones to play at his full potential, and even though they selected a Running Back in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft, Jones is likely still the guy for this team next year. Due to the fact the Packers front office didn’t acquire any new WRs for Aaron Rodgers, means there’s reason to believe we’ll be seeing Aaron Jones having another great year. He rushed for over 1000 yards and backed that up with 19 total touchdowns for the Green and Yellow. I think he puts up similar numbers, which means he should be averaging around 16-17 fantasy points a week.
8. Austin Ekeler
Ekeler was one of those pleasant surprises last year, after becoming the RB1 for the Chargers once Melvin Gordon decided to sit out. Austin’s Ekeler’s fantasy value dropped after Gordon’s return, but now, Ekeler is the Chargers RB1 for the 2020 season. This guy is arguably the best pass catching RB in the NFL, which is how he earned most of his fantasy points. Last year, he put up just under 1000 receiving yards and 8 TDs through the air. Match that up with his 557 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs, Ekeler proved to be a rather reliable fantasy option during the first half of the year. LA has a lot of weapons on the offense, and he’s going to be a huge check down option for the Chargers QB, whether it’s Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert. The nice thing about Ekeler, is that he’s dropping into the 2nd round in most mock drafts. You could get lucky and end up with two top 10 RBs on your fantasy squad.
9. Joe Mixon
For whatever reason, the Bengals still love having Giovanni Bernard in the backfield, but even though Bernard takes some reps away from their starter, Joe Mixon is still talented enough to be a reliable Running Back for your squad. I actually think 2020 could be Mixon’s best year of his career, but in order to do that, he’s going to need to score more TDs. Last season, Mixon rushed for over 1100 yards, and scored a total of 8 TDs. If Mixon can find his way into the end zone more often, he suddenly becomes one of the better fantasy RBs in the league. Considering all eyes will be on rookie QB Joe Burrow and the passing game, I’m expecting to see Joe Mixon sneak his way into the top 10 conversations of fantasy Running Backs.
10. Josh Jacobs
I damn near had to flip a coin for this one, but, at the end of the day, Jacobs has a better chance at finishing as a top 10 RB than Nick Chubb. The reason? The Browns don’t only have Nick Chubb, but they also have Kareem Hunt in the backfield. In the final 5 weeks of 2019, Chubb had 18 carries or less to finish the year. Hunt took some reps away, as he’s a much more reliable target in the passing game. Hunt is also talented enough to where he can be a solid RB for the Browns too. So considering Chubb is going to be competing with Kareem Hunt for reps, that means Josh Jacobs has a legitimate chance to break into the top 10 conversation. During his rookie season, he played in 13 games, rushing for over 1100 yards, and scoring 7 touchdowns. On top of that, he averaged 13.2 fantasy points a week, which made him nice RB2 for fantasy owners. Jacobs is the clear-cut RB1 for the Raiders, and John Gruden thinks VERY highly of the young RB. Josh Jacobs is set up to have an improved Sophomore season, with the potential to be an elite RB1 by 2021. He’s also dropping into the 2nd round of fantasy drafts, which means you could end up with more than one top 10 RB on your team.