Much of the risks in this year’s fantasy football running back class is workload related. Aside from the covid19 impact. Many of these backs just need opportunity. Thirty One through Forty Six is stocked with better than average NFL running backs. Numerous flex options with RB2 upside and even a few potential league winners. Numerous teams have multiple backs in a position for success, within the context of the specific offensive scheme. Season long full PPR fantasy football leagues are stocked with running back flex options. 2020 may be the year of the back!
21. Chris Carson (Seahawks) – Unfortunately this bruising RB1 sustained injuries in 2019. If not for the injuries, he is a fringe top 10 running back. I’m jumping off the Chris Carson wagon early. Carlos Hyde in town, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer and Rashad Penny at some point. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Seahawks bring in another back or one rises through the system during the season. The risk of injury, lack of receiving and Seahawk’s next man up roster design leads me to fading Carson before round 5. Carlos Hyde will see the workload to start the season and Carson could be a solid RB1 for the remainder of the season. A season of 10-12 games for Carson could still produce a top 24 fantasy season amongst running backs.
22. Raheem Mostert (49ers) – There is no denying Mostert’s stats in 2019 when given the opportunity. If the 49ers give him a contract this preseason then his high ADP will be justified. I don’t see Mostert putting together a full season of RB1 workload. Tevin Coleman and company will be in constant motion with this offense. Don’t believe the HYPE on Mostert! Rather respect what we saw with, understand he was on fire, small sample size over journeyman career and draft him if he falls in drafts. The niners are a good team in a position to make another run, they run the ball which makes Mostert a quagmire at the end of the day for myself at his current ADP.
23. Devin Singletary (Buffalo) – A promising finish in his rookie campaign, the lead back in 2020 and on a team that could potentially win 12+ games. All the arrows point to success in Buffalo and the offense is breaking out in 2020. With multiple offensive weapons and a win 1st mentality in place. Fantasy owners should expect productive games from numerous Bills weekly. Since Buffalo will spread the ball and game plan per matchup. Singletary will be volatile but a solid running back option after round 5.
24. Le’Veon Bell (Jets) – The workhorse back who doesn’t produce with his opportunities is back for another year in Adam Gase fantasy hell. Being an avid believer in touches, targets and opportunities. Bell appears to be a steal in drafts. Yet being under Adam Gase’s watch, I’m not the least bit excited about drafting Bell in round 4 or 5. Its more of a I have to take him since I value the above so much. Best Ball is one thing. However in leagues where I can coach each week, I’m hesitant in round 5. Maybe Bell has the chemistry with his running style in year two with his offensive line? Maybe he overcomes Adam Gase?
25. J.K. Dobbins (Ravens) – The Ravens offense will deliver enough opportunity for both Ingram and Dobbins to be fantasy relevant in 2020. Expecting the Ravens to be ahead in more games than not. Dobbins should eat in the third and fourth quarters. The Ravens offense is one to its self and in its prime. I do not see negative regression because of this. Lamar Jackson should be better in year three. 2019 was his first full season. This guy is only gonna get better with experience. That will benefit any teammate who gets targets/touches and Dobbins will be a big part of this pie.
26. Cam Akers (Rams) – Talent and in a good situation to step into fantasy production has Cam Akers as a flex option at worst. Cam could be the lead back, Darrell Henderson the pass option and Malcolm Brown the goal line back. The NFL draft capital spent on Akers speaks volumes. Sooner than later Akers will be the lead back in LA.
27. Mark Ingram (Ravens) – This wily veteran will see load management which further limits his ceiling. Steady flex option Mark Ingram will be efficient with his touches and deliver on an inconsistent weekly basis. Ingram has lost a step and I expect Dobbins to eventually be the lead back in touches per week.. J.K. Dobbins offers the upside as the Ravens may lean on him the second half of the season. Ask yourself this. If the Ravens decide to feed a running back 20 carries due to the gamescript of any one game, who would it be? Makes sense to use Dobbins when its not a game with playoff implications, Dobbins will get work in this offense.
28. Melvin Gordon (Broncos) – Gordon doesn’t excite me in Denver nor does he scare me. He may deliver a solid season at year’s end. Flex option with upside. Might put up 1,000 yard season involved in a roster that looks exciting on paper. Run first to protect young quarterback anyone?
29. Ronald Jones II (Buccaneers) – RoJo is in a position where a breakout is possible. He put together solid game logs in 2019 and is the starter as of now. Jones is a good player to target at his current ADP.
30. Damien Williams (Chiefs) – This guy is annoying in drafts. He blows up, wins leagues as a late season waiver claim, Shady, then Darwin Thompson hysteria in 2019 and injury concerns. Now Chiefs draft Helaire and Williams is back as the “he would be good as a starter.” At least thats what I thought when I watched him im Miami. Damien is good and a primetime player. He proved that in the real life playoffs. He also proved that he is not a season long workhorse. The Chiefs are smart and now how two candidates for Fantasy production per week. It’ll be up to fantasy friends to coach weekly as both Chiefs backs will not be the model of consistency.
31. James White (Patriots) – Cam Newton is great for White’s fantasy outlook. I think because we know what Cam is as a player, his strengths and weaknesses. White will receive dump offs and could potentially lead the team in receptions. So we have upside with White and I wouldn’t be surprised if he moved up boards. I am going to target White in drafts now. Temper the exposure though due to Burkehead, Harris, Bolden and Sony being in play for opportunity in New England.
32. D’Andre Swift (Lions) – Matthew Stafford is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the history of the game. Stafford is a poor man’s Dan Marino. He adds fantasy value to the skill position players on the Lions. My concern is Kerryon Johnson because of what my eyes have seen with him. He is a baller and will return in 2020. Swift is also a baller and can do it all. Fading Kerryon because of the injury and my expectations of him returning to full football health by 2021. The Lions spent draft capital on Swift and have to use him immediately because of his talent. It is also smart to use load management with Kerryon and let him have the option of easing back into the gameplan. The Lions offense is sneaky good while Swift has league winner upside. Matt Patricia is on the hot seat!
33. Kareem Hunt (Browns) – Productive when on the field. Kareem Hunt is a 3 down back who only needs opportunity. Solid flex option that will require weekly coaching based on matchups and expected opportunity.
34. Zack Moss (Bills) – This rookie is walking into 150+ touches and potentially goal line duties. The Bills drafted him as a piece to winning the Super Bowl. When a team is in this position it lets the fantasy owners know why they drafted a player. No questions surrounding Moss replacing Frank Gore. I fully expect Moss to due more with those opportunities. Analogy: The Bengals drafted Joe Burrow as the clear cut starting quarterback. The Bills drafted Moss because they wanted a back who will compliment Singletary’s skillset and gets 10-15 per game. They also needed a back who can carry the load for a stretch if an injury occurs.
35. Jordan Howard (Dolphins) – Howard is a good running back and has proved reliable for teams. I like his opportunity and the Dolphins spent on offensive lineman. Howard isn’t exciting in my lineups and I want to feel good when I look at my starting 2 running backs. Not fading Howard but not drafting him currently.
36. Tevin Coleman (49ers) – My ranking for Mostert is in part because I expect Coleman to be the hot hand certain weeks. Flex option, requires weekly coaching and may produce a stretch that rewards drafting him. Both Coleman and Mostert are on a team that increases their chances of having huge games.
37. Tarik Cohen (Bears) – In three NFL seasons has not missed a game. Career high 79 receptions in 2019, 71 in 2018 and 53 receptions his rookie year. Cohen is good for 67 receptions and 4 touchdowns if you take the lowest average of his first 3 seasons. Just another day and another dollar in year 4 for Tarik Cohen.
38. Marlon Mack (Colts) – At the end of the 2020 NFL season the top rushing teams will be the Ravens, Colts, 49ers, Bills, Raiders, Giants, Patriots, Browns and Seahawks? Marlon Mack could be one of the leading rushers in the league until Taylor overtakes the starting spot. Just a year ago Marlon Mack was going as high as round 2 in drafts. Mack is a no brainer on a run first team. Solid back to plug into starting lineups to begin the season. Buying into the Colts this year and think their running back room is the position to target. A good run game and short pass game will benefit Rivers.
39. Sony Michel (Patriots) – If Josh McDaniels uses Cam in the RPO then I like Michel in 2020. Injury concerns and unknowns with the Patriots have me without shares of Sony yet. However my drafts have been pre Cam. I am now okay with Sony as my RB4 as that defender must respect Cam’s ability to run the ball. RB 2 upside and a risky flex option currently.
40. Darrell Henderson (Rams) – Maybe its the fact that I invested a good amount in Henderson in 2019 that has me stuck on him? Maybe its how I think he hit the outside run similar to Gurley and house it? Surgery and a bum rookie year is not a good start. RB 5 or a stash. Drafting him depends on your team and the board in comparison to your needs.
May the Fantasy Force Be With You.
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