Fantasy Running Backs Rankings 2020 Half PPR
Below are my 2020 fantasy running back rankings for half PPR leagues. I took a lot of time in making this list. I analyzed literally everything there is to analyze. This research was done by looking at hundreds of online articles about offensive coordinators plans for there offenses. Soon I will also be posting all of the offensive breakdowns for every NFL team. This is the best fantasy football and football research on the world wide web. I take a lot of pride in my work. I hope you enjoy.
1. RB: Alvin Kamara (360 points)
Final projections are 190 carries for 950 rushing yards and 120 catches for 950 yards receiving and 18 total touchdowns.
I keep going back and forth on whether or not Kamara or McCaffrey is my #1 back. I know Latavius Murray will take a lot of carries from Kamara and potentially goal line touches too but Kamara is special.
He only started 9 games last year and still had 81 receptions. He ironically also had 81 receptions in his 1st 2 seasons. Go figure, right? Kamara is the 2nd best receiving option for Drew Brees. Brees’s arm strength looked considerably weaker last season. Kamara should easily have over 100 receptions this year.
I don’t think he will reach a 1,000 yards rushing or else he would probably make the 1,000 yard rushing and receiving club. I think Kamara easily gets to 12 touchdowns this year too. The biggest motivation in taking Kamara is that he is playing in his contract year. Money is usually these players biggest motivation.
I expect Kamara to cash in on his pay day in 2020. If he falls to you at the 5th pick then count your blessings.
2. RB: Christian McCaffrey (350 points)
Final projections will be around 260 carries for 1,250 yards and 100 catches for 850 yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns.
Let’s not waste too much time looking into McCaffrey. He has a really good run blocking offensive line and the offensive coordinator Joe Brady wants to throw quick passes and screens.
This means McCaffrey will still be getting a lot of receptions. Another top 3 fantasy year for McCaffrey is destined. He is probably the safest pick in fantasy.
3. RB: Saquon Barkley (300 points)
Final projections are 240 carries for 1,100 and 90 catches for 750 yards and 12 total touchdowns.
I only have Barkley as my 6th to 8th best fantasy running back in 2020. I don’t understand why you would want to pick him as your 1st or 2nd overall pick with so much uncertainty surrounding this Giants offense. The O-line will start 2 rookie tackles and also have a below average center. The 2 guards are actually pretty good. The rookie tackles have promise but those are still a lot of question marks and risks to take in drafting Saquon.
I still like for this O-line to play somewhat good football by the middle of the season. I don’t think it will hurt Saquons prodcution too much. In 2019 Saquon had a pretty good season but if you take out his big game against the Redskins, he didn’t have that great of a year.
There is too much uncertainty for me to take him as my 1st running back in 2020. I am staying away from Saquon this year just because I think there are safer picks. However, My final projections are still favorable because of the usage he will get in Jason Garret’s offense and I think he gets a lot of receptions too.
If he were to fall to me around the 6th pick I think I would take him but that is highly unlikely because he will go in the first 3 picks.
4. RB: Dalvin Cook (295 points)
Final projections are 260 carries for 1,200 yards rushing and 60 catches for 550 yards receiving and 15 total touchdowns.
This is the money guy. Except he hasn’t gotten a pay raise and the contract offer the Vikings just gave him, insulted Cook. Apparently Cook is even willing to take less than Derrick Henry’s 4 year $50 million dollar deal. I think that is a very reasonable deal for the Vikings. Hopefully the Vikings and Cook work things out because they are going to need him.
Back up running back Alexander Mattison is really good and will automatically become a potential RB1 if Cook actually sits out this season. I don’t think Cook sits out but its all a mystery at this point. On the other hand, Cook is a very, very special player. He is the perfect running back for Gary Kubiak’s offense.
Kubiak has coached Terrell Davis, Arian Foster, Clinton Portis and many other good running backs that had 1,000 rushing yards in a season. He also did this with Dalvin Cook last season. Cook carried the ball 250 times last season but missed 2 games. Staying healthy has been a problem for Cook.
He has missed a lot of games his 1st two seasons with the Vikings and then 2 games last season. This is probably why the Vikings don’t feel comfortable giving him more money. With all of this said. If Cook plan’s on playing this season, he automatically becomes a top 5 RB.
Cook has the same offensive line as he did last season. The offensive line isn’t anything special but they still helped him rush for 4.5 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns. Even if the Vikings give up more points on defense, he should be used in the passing game. He had 53 receptions last season. That was good for about 3 per game and he averaged 9 yards per reception.
The biggest concern in drafting Cook is if he can stay healthy the entire season. To me, it’s a risk worth taking. I also usually draft 4 running backs within my first 5 picks to make sure that I have a great healthy running back during the BYE weeks and if somebody like Cook was to get injured. I highly suggest this strategy.
Or you can draft Mattison in the 7th or 8th round to protect yourself. I don’t love that strategy because it’s a waste of a draft pick on a bench guy in the 7th or 8th round of a fantasy draft. That is one of my biggest tips when it comes to drafting. Don’t draft waiver wire players.
Draft Cook early and then take 3 other backs right after him in the next 3 rounds. You will thank me later.
5. RB: Ezekiel Elliot (290 points)
projections: 255 rushing attempts, 1,208 yards rushing, 62 receptions for 480 yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns.
Yes Kellen Moore will be the play caller in 2020 but don’t hesitate for a second if you think that Mike McCarthy will not be rolling out his scheme in 2020. McCarthy has said that he will keep all of the terminology the same but Moore has said that this year’s offense will be a collaboration of both his and McCarthy’s scheme.
The Cowboys were also way too predictable last season on first down and when QB Dak Prescott was under center. During those scenarios they would run Elliot a huge majority of the time. McCarthy however, rarely ran the ball on first down in Green Bay and loves passing on obvious run downs.
Since 2001, McCarthy has never been inside of the top 10 in rushing attempts. His offenses have only finished in the top 10 in rushing yards twice since 2000. So what does this mean for Elliot. Well, I think this honestly means that a decline in rushing attempts and yards for Elliot is inevitable even though Kellen Moore will be calling the plays. I don’t think his rushing attempts drop below a crazy number because McCarthy has never had a running back as good as Elliot and Moore does enjoy pounding the rock with Elliot.
The Cowboys offensive line is also still really good so that shouldn’t be a problem either. I still firmly believe that Elliot will finish the season as a top 10 rusher and will do this with fewer carries. I am excited about McCarthy’s west coast offense and how Elliot should get more receptions from Prescott.
Lastly, I do think that Pollard gets more touches in 2020 to keep Elliot fresh in the 4th quarter and in great health for the long season. With all of that being said, here are my projections: 255 rushing attempts, 1,208 yards rushing, 62 receptions for 480 yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns. This will be good for around 290 fantasy points in half PPR leagues. These numbers should safely put him as a top 5 fantasy running back in 2020.
6. RB: David Johnson (280 points)
Final projections are 240 carries for 1,150 and 50 catches for 550 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns.
I am really high on David Johnson. I think the offensive line is just fine if Carlos Hyde was able to rush for 1,000 yards last season. The offensive line had 2 rookies, Max Scharping and Tytus Howard, on the starting O-line last year and both did well and are hungry to make the 2nd year jump. Tunsil is a great Left Tackle and just signed a huge deal.
The concern for run blocking would be 5th year man Center Nick Martin. The Right Guard is Zach Fulton and he has mixed reviews. But overall I like this O-line to improve slightly in 2020. And that is all David Johnson will need in order to have a really good season.
Head Coach Bill O’Brien said that David Johnson is a 3 down back and will use him as a slot receiver at times too. And Johnson better be if you are willing to trade Deandre Hopkins for him and pay him 11 million dollars this season. The only concern for Johnson is his health. And it’s a big concern. He missed all of 2017 with a wrist injury and in 2019 was hampered by a hamstring and back problem.
If Johnson can stay healthy then I really think he has a huge year. Johnson is the 2nd best player on the Texans offense behind Deshaun Watson. He will be the Texans bell cow in 2020, let’s just hope he can make it to your fantasy Superbowl in week 16. If you are on the fence on Johnson then go to his Instagram and you will see what kind of mission he is on this season. Final projections are 240 carries for 1,150 and 50 catches for 550 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns. This will be good for around 280 points in half PPR leagues.
7. RB: Derrick Henry (265 points)
Final projections are 280 carries for 1,400 yards rushing and 20 catches for 200 yards receiving and 17 total touchdowns.
The Titans drafted a running back in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL draft but that shouldn’t slow big Derrick Henry down. That draft pick is more likely to be a pass catching 3rd down back.
Henry has pretty much the same offensive line, the same coordinator and the same QB in 2020 as he had in 2019. The Titans love their offense being called the exotic smash mouth football scheme. They will be running Derrick Henry until the cows come home. Bank on it. Henry, if healthy, will be a top 5 fantasy running back in 2020. His health is a concern though.
He is 27 years old and is projected to have 300 carries. He missed the fantasy championship in week 16 of last year and this is definitely something to consider when drafting Henry. However, if I was sitting at the 5th pick or even the 3rd pick in my fantasy league then I would be drafting Derrick Henry. Final projections are 280 carries for 1,400 yards rushing and 20 catches for 200 yards receiving and 17 total touchdowns. This will go for around 265 points.
8. RB: Kenyan Drake (260 points)
My projections are 215 carries for 5.0 yards per carry for 1,075 rushing yards, 60 catches for 475 yards receiving and 13 total touchdowns.
So the most concerning thing about Drake is the offensive line. The offensive line isn’t terrible but it isn’t consistently good in run blocking. The big upside is that if this offensive line blocks really well then Drake has a chance to break it for a big one. Drake has had 50 yard touchdowns in each of his 4 seasons in the NFL.
His homerun ability is what makes him a sexy draft pick. He had 123 carries in 8 games last season with the Cardinals and I would double those numbers for 2020. I think Drake gets to around 215 carries in 2020. Drake also has pretty good hands and he caught 28 passes in 8 games with the Cardinals.
I think he definitely has a chance to get to 60 catches in 2020. He could get to 70 but I don’t think so. Kingsbury is kind of like Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan and that he has a script and player usage for each game that he likes to follow. If Chase Edmonds is healthy for most of this season then Edmonds will be used quite a bit too. They also drafted a running back in the 7th round and he has lots of potential too. I don’t think this is anything to concern you about Drake’s 2020 performance.
Drake is one of the most confident NFL players out of every position combined. He believes in his ability and it shows. My projections are 215 carries for 5.0 yards per carry for 1,075 rushing yards, 60 catches for 475 yards receiving and 13 total touchdowns. This will be good enough for around 260 points in half PPR leagues. I like Drake to flirt with being a top 5 running back in 2020. I think worst case he finishes as 10th best running back. He is currently being drafted around the early 3rd round or late 2nd round. I think that would be an absolute steal of a pick.
9. RB: Miles Sanders (250 points)
Final projections are 220 carries for 1,000 yards rushing and 60 catches for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns.
This running back has got a lot of people wondering what he will do in 2020. You are reading the right post. I will make this crystal clear for everybody. Let’s start with the new offensive line. In short, this will be a very good run blocking offensive line. It could struggle at left tackle in pass protection and the Eagles don’t have a lot of depth either.
Something to get excited about is that the Eagles also didn’t pick up any running backs in free agency or in the draft. This is a clear sign that they really liked what they saw from Sanders after Jordan Howard got hurt last season. Sanders only started 11 games and finished as the 15th fantasy running back in half PPR leagues.
All of this is signaling for a top 12 fantasy finish at running back in 2020. If he stays healthy and starts all 16 games then he will be in line for a minimum of 210 carries and 60 receptions. If he is able to get to 10 touchdowns then you will hit fantasy gold with Sanders.
Worst case is he gets 8 touchdowns. His worst case projections will have him around 210 fantasy points in half PPR leagues. He is young, talented and will get the lion’s share of touches among all the other Eagles back in 2020. If he is available to draft in the 2nd round then pounce on him and don’t think twice. Final projections are 220 carries for 1,000 yards rushing and 60 catches for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns. This is good for around 250 points.
10. RB: Todd Gurley (240 points)
I feel strongly that Gurley has over 1,100 yards rushing, 40 catches for 300 yards receiving and 14 total touchdowns.
Hop on the Todd Gurley revenge tour. Todd Gurley had 60 less touches in 2019 then he did in 2018. He still finished as the 14th best fantasy RB in half PPR leagues. I know he only had 3.8 yards per carry but the Rams back ups Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson only had 3.7 & 3.8 yards per carry with the Rams. The Rams offense was a mess last year and Gurley still was able to score 14 touchdowns.
I think the 14th best fantasy RB in 2020 is Gurley’s floor. Gurley says he feels great and has no knee pain. However, every player is going to tell the media and coaches that they feel great. It will be another thing to actually see him make it to week 16 for your fantasy championship game.
The OC, Dirk Koetter has said that the days of handing it off 30 times a game is over. So this is a clear indication that Gurley will probably never get more than 20 rushes a game. Gurley should however have around 3 to 4 receptions a game. So let’s just say he has around 20 touches a game at worst.
I predict that Gurley is rejuvenated mentally leaving a bad Ram’s situation and returning to the state in which he played college ball at, UGA. I feel strongly that Gurley has over 1,100 yards rushing, 40 catches for 300 yards receiving and 14 total touchdowns. This will easily put Gurley as a top 10 fantasy running back in 2020.
11. RB: Joe Mixon (230 points)
I like Mixon to finish with 240 carries for 1,150 yards, 45 catches for 350 yards and 9 total touchdowns.
The thing I want to see from Zac Taylor is involving Mixon more in the passing game. Mixon only had 35 catches last season. The good thing about Taylor is that he broke away from his favorite run scheme halfway through last season. The new scheme allowed for Mixon to have better rushing games.
This bodes really well for Mixon because the same offensive line is back except for left tackle Jonah Williams who didn’t play last season due to injury. The nice thing about Mixon is that nobody is threatening to take carries away from him. The other nice thing about Mixon is that he has a lot of pride and confidence. He has really high standards for himself.
This bodes especially well for fantasy owners who want Mixon because he is going into his contract season. Now the Bengals also have a legitimate QB too in Joe Burrow. This should keep the defenses more honest. AJ Green is back too so this should create less attention on Mixon and create lighter boxes to run against. This will also keep the defense from teeing off on the O-line the entire game too.
Last season Mixon finished 13th in fantasy points for running backs in half PPR leagues. There is no way that he doesn’t do better in 2020 with improvements to this offense at WR in Green, LT in Williams and QB in Burrow. I like Mixon to finish with 240 carries for 1,150 yards, 45 catches for 350 yards and 9 total touchdowns.
These are very realistic projections and this would be good for around 230 fantasy points in half PPR formats. That will make Mixon around the 10th best fantasy running back. That is a solid selection. The only thing about Mixon is that he has a brutal fantasy playoff stretch against good defenses. I would probably look to draft somebody else unless you are in a trade happy fantasy league.
12. RB: Nick Chubb (225 points)
My final projections are 1250 yards rushing, 30 catches for 200 yards and 12 total touchdowns.
I really like Chubb and this new offensive line. Chubb already had close to 1,500 yards rushing last season on 240 carries. I think he has close to 260 carries this season for around 1,200 yards rushing and 12 total touchdowns in this new offense under Kevin Stefanski. Stefanski came over from Minnesota and we all know what type of season Dalvin Cook had last year. He should also get around 35 catches for another 250 yards.
The only concern is what will be Kareem Hunt’s workload. The Browns placed a 2nd round tender on Hunt this off season and whenever a team does that to a player that means they are very high on them.
Overall, I think it matters a little bit. However, Chubb has shown he is a much better runner compared to Hunt by comparing Hunt’s limited workload last season to Chubb’s full season. Hunt will be used in the passing game more than Chubb but I still like Chubb to get around 220 fantasy points in 2020. My final projections are 1250 yards rushing, 30 catches for 200 yards and 12 total touchdowns. If he is available to you in the early 2nd round then I would definitely draft him.
13. RB: Aaron Jones (220 points)
My final projections are 180 carries for 850 yards rushing and 55 catches for 450 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns.
I was all in on Aaron Jones until I realized that the Packers drafted the hammer that is AJ Dillon. Dillon was the Packers 2nd round draft pick in 2020 and he is a big boy at almost 250 pounds. College scouts say that Dillon played a little fullback in college so maybe LaFleur is targeting Dillon to play a little half back like Kyle Juszczyk does for the 49ers.
I have no idea what to think about Dillon. He was a very good runner at Boston College so this has to mean that Dillon should dip into Jones’s carries in 2020. The other back up is Jamaal Williams and he had a very good 2019 season. Williams is also a really good pass catching running back and he averaged 4.3 yards a carry in 2019. Jamaal had 107 carries and just about 40 receptions in 2019. Aaron Jones had 236 carries and just about 50 receptions.
Now add in Dillon and you would definitely think that Jones will probably only get around 200 carries at the most in 2020. However, the potentially exciting thing is to see how Jones is used in the passing game. Jones dropped a couple of wide open passes last year and his hands aren’t the best but maybe the Packers play him in the slot more often like they did when Davante Adams was hurt last season.
Jones lined up 80 more times in the slot in 2019 compared to 2018. The most telling thing to look at when considering to draft Aaron Jones is what head coach Matt LaFleur said this offseason. LaFleur said in March 2020 that he felt the Packers needed another running back. Then in April during the draft they used a 2nd round pick on a RB AJ Dillon. LaFleur has always said that he wants a running back by committee system.
The only upside for Jones in my eyes is that he is used in the passing game more in 2020. I think Jones ceiling would be around 70 catches. Maybe potentially 80 but that would be pushing it given that Jones isn’t a natural route runner or pass catcher. Jones showed he was a really good goal line runner so I don’t think Dillon necessarily trumps Jones on the goal line.
I think it will be more of a situation of who ever started that drive will finish it at the goal line. With all of this said, and I know it’s a lot, Jones should be considered a RB2 in 2020. If you think Jones will be a top 10 running back then you are basically banking on him in the passing game.
It could happen but I don’t love it to happen. My final projections are 180 carries for 850 yards rushing and 55 catches for 450 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns. This would be good for around 220 points. There are safer picks at running back around where Jones is being drafted. I wouldn’t risk taking Jones this year.
14. RB: Melvin Gordon (220 points)
I think he will get 1,000 yards rushing, 10 total touchdowns and 45 catches for 400 yards.
I really like Gordon this year. The offensive line is really good at run blocking in the interior and the tackles are pretty good too. I know they lost Juwan James but he wasn’t playing that well anyways. I don’t anticipate his holdout causing huge problems for Gordon’s stats.
Pat Shurmer always commits to running the ball so Gordon will definitely get his carries. I don’t anticipate Philip Lindsay eating into his carries too much either. Lindsay will be a flash guy here or there but this is Gordon’s backfield as shown by the 2 year $16 million dollar deal. Paying a RB $8 million dollars per year is code for, you really like them and will use them a lot.
Shurmer also isn’t afraid to use running backs in the passing game either. The other thing to like about Gordon is that the Broncos have a really good defense. This means that they probably won’t abandon the run game a lot in 2020.
Overall, Gordon is being mock drafted late in the 3rd round. This would be a steal to get him around the tail end of the 3rd round. I think he will get 1,000 yards rushing, 10 total touchdowns and 45 catches for 400 yards. These are super realistic numbers for Gordon this season. That would come out to be around 220 fantasy points in half ppr league formats. That is easily top 10 fantasy running back numbers. Draft Gordon and be thrilled about it.
15. RB: D’Andre Swift (220 points)
Final projections are 230 carries for 1,100 yards rushing and 30 catches for 225 yards receiving and 12 total touchdowns.
I am totally drinking the Kool Aid on D’Andre Swift. Back in Swift’s 1st year in Georgia, he had the highest yards per carry on the team. The 2 other Georgia running backs were Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. If that is any indication of what Swift will be in the NFL then I will be drafting Swift in all of my fantasy leagues in 2020.
Swift can also catch the ball fairly well. He is a true 3 down back. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell loves to run the ball. He led the league in rushing as Seattle’s OC with Marshawn Lynch and also in Minnesota with Adrian Peterson. Swift is just as talented a running back as the previous running backs mentioned.
Now it’s time for Swift to show what he is worth. This new offensive line in 2020 is very favorable for Swift. They added 2 Guards in the draft in the 3rd and 4th round and they have nasty attitudes according to the scouts and from the OC Bevell. The 2 rookies like to run block and they want defensive lineman to know about it.
The right tackle they signed this offseason from Philadelphia really likes to run block as well. The Lions ran the ball 407 times last season. I think Swift easily gets 50% of the total carries and becomes a Lions running back that has a 1,000 yard rushing season. I think he also adds 10 touchdowns.
Swift is my fantasy sleeper to make it into the top 12 running backs in 2020. He is currently being drafted around the 6th round in fantasy mock drafts. I’m not waiting until the 6th round to take Swift. This guy has too much potential to pass up as my backup running back or flex player. Final projections are 230 carries for 1,100 yards rushing and 30 catches for 225 yards receiving and 12 total touchdowns. This will be good for around 220 points.
16. RB: Raheem Mostert (215 points)
Final Projections 1,000 rushing yards, 35 recptions for 300 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns
The 49ers just signed Mostert to a 3 year deal worth around $9 million. It’s not a ton of money but it is more money then the other back up running backs are making. This means that they will definitely use him as the feature back. Tevin Coleman was injured a lot last season but even when he was healthy and played, he didn’t look as good as Mostert.
Jerrick MicKinnon was supposed to be the feature back in 2018 and signed a 4 year $30 million dollar deal. However, the 49ers have restructured his contract to be only a shade under $1 million dollars in 2020. So the writing is on the wall, Mostert is the lead back.
However, Shanahan will definitely still rotate all 3 of the backs a lot. The 49ers ran the ball around 430 times on designed runs with the running back in 2019. Mostert and Coleman had exactly 137 carries each and Breida had 123. The rest were with full backs and random players that Shanahan’s creative mind wanted to run the ball with.
So what does this all mean in terms of Mostert’s production in 2020. I think it means very good things. Mostert will get the bulk of the carries. Shanahan is a very smart guy and he knows neither Coleman nor McKinnon are as good a runner as Mostert. I think worst case scenario, Mostert will get 12 carries a game and 2 receptions a game.
He had a ridiculous 5.6 yards per carry last season. Even if he only gets 5.0 to 5.2 then he will get to 1,000 yards rushing on around 12 carries a game. Couple that with around 300 yards receiving and around 12 total touchdowns and you have yourself a top 15 fantasy running back.
That is around 215 points and that should be his floor! Mostert is being drafted around the 5th round and he is a must draft at that draft position. I would even take him 4th round just to make sure you get him. The value for him is too great to pass up.
17. RB: James Conner (215 points)
My final projections are 200 carries for 900 rushing yards and 45 catches for 350 yards receiving and 12 total touchdowns.
General Manager Kevin Colbert said that he has a lot of faith in Conner returning to his form from 2018. Head coach Mike Tomlin has said similar things and says that they are going to give Conner a chance to prove this. Colbert and Tomlin usually don’t BS when it comes to these kinds of things.
Conner is also going into his contract year. He has played his college ball at the University of Pittsburgh, battled and beat cancer in this city and is now playing for his child hood team in the Steelers. Conner has said he couldn’t envision playing in another city. The Steelers are going to give Conner every chance to prove he is the guy this season.
I think Conner capitalizes on this opportunity and he is a very passionate guy too. If QB Big Ben stays healthy this season then I see no reason why Conner doesn’t have a great season. The offensive line is going to be solid and shouldn’t affect Conner’s production.
The only thing that could potentially hurt Conner is the Steelers’ 5th round draft pick, Anthony McFarland Jr out of the University of Maryland. McFarlands highlight tape from college is scary good. If McFarland breaks a couple long touchdowns early in the season then you could see Conner’s usage drop quite a bit.
The other concerning factor is that Conner has never started more then 12 games in a season due to injuries. This has been the case for the past 3 seasons. His style of play is physical and he just gets beaten up. I think the Steelers try and preserve him this season by limiting his usage. He will still be effective but I don’t expect a monster stat season from Conner.
My final projections are 200 carries for 900 rushing yards and 45 catches for 350 yards receiving and 12 total touchdowns. Good for around 215 points.
18. RB: Leonard Fournette (215 points)
235 carries for 1000 yards rushing, 55 catches for 450 yards receiving and probably around 8 to 10 total touchdowns.
Jay Gruden’s best year as an offensive coordinator or head coach for total team rushing yards was in 2018 when the Redskins finished 17th in the NFL. But wait, it gets worse. Gruden’s offenses have been in the top half of the league in rushing attempts many years. So this means that his offenses are just not efficient at all when running the football.
So it isn’t like Gruden abandons the run and just goes pass crazy. He just never runs the ball efficiently. He has had 2 running backs eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a season with Alfred Morris and Cedric Benson. But both Morris and Benson didn’t make it past 1,100 yards. They both didn’t have double digit touchdown performances those years either.
Now Fournette is a better talent then Morris and Benson and is also in his contract year so his motivation will be there. His O-line is all back this year but they struggled to perform well and consistently last year. The Jags coaches are hoping this O-line group’s continuity this year as well as having the same offensive line coach, will produce a better outcome.
Last point to touch on is that Gruden does like throwing to the running backs but always used a specialized 3rd down running back. Chris Thompson is on the roster but is 30 years old and has had some injuries. Fournette should play a lot of 3rd down but expect Thompson and Ryquell Armstead to touch the field on 3rd down too.
With all of this said. I think that Fournette produces his typical numbers of 235 carries for 1000 yards rushing, 55 catches for 450 yards receiving and probably around 8 to 10 total touchdowns. This should be good for around 215 fantasy points. Fournette is definitely fantasy worthy but should not be drafted in the 2nd round. If he is available in the 3rd round I would definitely compare him to other available RB’s and consider drafting him with your 3rd pick.
19. RB: Josh Jacobs (215 points)
Final projections are 1,200 yards rushing and 20 catches 160 yards receiving and 12 total touchdowns.
He is currently being drafted 9th overall in most mock drafts. Jacobs has some crazy stats that say he is one of the hardest running backs to tackle in the NFL. He is very talented and if healthy will have a lot of rushing yards. He has a really good O-line and blocking tight ends and will have a great shot at putting up some big numbers.
However, given his average draft position of 9th overall, I think that would be way too high in drafting him. Jacobs only had 20 catches last season in 13 games. That is not worth drafting in the top 10 for me. Even if he has 1,300 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns, other backs will make up those points in the receiving game. And 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns is really close to his 2020 ceiling.
I mean he could bust out a 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns type of season but that is probably not going to happen. He has the potential but I’m not willing to take that risk with my top 10 pick. There are better options out there inside the top 10 then to have a predominately run happy running back.
The Raiders also drafted Lynn Bowden Jr. who is a jack of all trades and will surely become some type of 3rd down back for this team in 2020. Final projections are 1,200 yards rushing and 20 catches 160 yards receiving and 12 total touchdowns. This will be good for around 215 points.
20. RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (200 points)
I think that he will get around 160 carries for around 700 yards, 70 receptions for 600 yards and 8 total touchdowns.
Ok. Damien Williams has opted out of the 2020 season. This makes CEH very tempting. I think it is a clear decision to take him in the late 3rd round if he is available. If he climbs in to the 2nd round of mock drafts then I think you need to really think about is he worth it.
I guarantee the Chiefs do not want CEH touching the ball 20 times a game this season. I think they view him as more of a 10 to 15 touches per game type of running back. He might get around closer to 15 touches now that Williams is out but Reid will get good production out of the back ups or they will trade for another running back to have a more complete backfield before the trade deadline.
I would be very happy with him being my 3rd running back option but to rely on him as my 2nd running back would be potentially risky. I think that he will get around 160 carries for around 700 yards, 70 receptions for 600 yards and 8 total touchdowns. That will be good for 210 points.
However, these are closer to his best case scenario stats. I think this is totally attainable but its still not a sure lock. That is why I say wait until the 3rd round to take CEH. There are better and more consistent RB’s in the 2nd round of this 2020 draft.
21. RB: David Montgomery (180 points)
Final projections are 230 carries for 950 yards rushing and 30 catches for 200 yards receiving and 10 total touchdowns.
I had no idea that David Montgomery had 240 carries last season. This is pretty hard to believe since the Bears didn’t run the ball a lot early in the season. I’m pretty sure the Bears didn’t lose last season when Montgomery ran the ball 16 times in a game. I want to put faith in the Bears new run philosophy by hiring an offensive line coach, Juan Castillo, that has coached Nagy’s run scheme in the past under Andy Reid.
Also the Bears feel like they have tight ends that can line up and run block better this season. They also shifted players around on the offensive line back to the positions they played in 2018 when they ran the ball better.
All of this sounds good in theory but its just too much risk for me to take on when it comes to David Montgomery. He is super risky pick this season but he could end up being a top 15 fantasy running back if all of the things I mention pan out.
I just can’t risk it. There are better options there at running back that have higher floors and still good fantasy ceilings. Draft at your own risk with Montgomery. Final projections are 230 carries for 950 yards rushing and 30 catches for 200 yards receiving and 10 total touchdowns. These are his best case scenario projections and would get him around 190 points. I will say it is a touch under this for more around 180 points.
22. RB: Le’Veon Bell (180 points)
I will say 800 yards rushing and 60 catches for 400 yards and 8 total touchdowns.
You would think the Michigan State buddies, Adam Gase and Bell, would have gotten along from day 1. Well, it didn’t help that Gase said publicly that Bell’s contract was way over priced before Bell even stepped on the field for Gase. A rocky and bad 2019 makes for an interesting year 2 for Gase and Bell.
The O-line didn’t get a ton better this off season. They did draft Mekhi Becton in the 1st round but he is still a project. He didn’t look like he had the best body control in college so he isn’t a lock to be a good NFL tackle. The rest of the O-line truly isn’t very good except at center and maybe 1 guard position.
So the only success Bell could have will be with based off of what Sam Darnold can do. I don’t like this situation one bit. I think Bell averages less than 4 yards a carry again in 2020 and doesn’t get many touchdowns either. I will say 800 yards rushing and 60 catches for 400 yards and 8 total touchdowns.
But those numbers are looking more like his best case scenario stats. That would be good for around 195 points in Half PPR leagues but I’m thinking he gets more close to the 180 fantasy points he got last season. This is way too risky for my fantasy team. Bad coach, bad O-line, potentially bad QB. There isn’t a good reason to draft Bell. Better to just stay away.
23. RB: Tarik Cohen (170 points)
I think he will finish with 900 total yards and 7 touchdowns with 70 receptions.
Tarik Cohen enters into his contract year. He admits that he didn’t take care of his body the best last year and he says he took this off season more serious. I think Cohen returns more to his 2018 form. I don’t think his numbers will be as good as 2018 but I still think that Cohen will be a lot better then he was in 2019.
He has spoken on getting in better shape and also being motivated by his contract being up after the season. The head coach, Nagy, has a better scheme and personnel to fit this run scheme in 2020. I think this all bodes well for Cohen. I think he will finish with 900 total yards and 7 touchdowns with 70 receptions.
This should be good for around 170 fantasy points in half ppr leagues. If this is the case then he will be around a top 24 fantasy back. He is currently being drafted around the 10th round in mock drafts. I think Cohen would be a really good pick at that spot. The other running backs around pick 124 do not have as much potential and fantasy floor as Cohen. I wouldn’t mind Cohen being my 4th fantasy back and play him in my flex when I think he has good matchups. I say draft Cohen in the 10th round if you still need a flex RB.
24. RB: Austin Ekeler (170 points)
Final projections are 100 carries for 430 yards and 65 catches for 600 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns.
The Chargers will eventually move away from Ekeler this season. Also he doesn’t have Philip Rivers anymore to dump the ball to him. There are way better options at running back around the time Ekeler’s average draft position is.
Don’t draft him unless somehow he falls all the way to the 8th round, which will never happen lol. Final projections are 100 carries for 430 yards and 65 catches for 600 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. Good for around 170 points.
25. RB: Mark Ingram (165 points)
720 yards rushing 10 total touchdowns and maybe throw in 25 catches for 175 yards
With the Ravens drafting JK Dobbins in the 2nd round and Ingram not being used in the passing game in offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s run heavy offense, I think this is the year to finally say goodbye to Ingram on your fantasy team. The Ravens ran the ball 596 times in 2019. That led the NFL.
However, in the past, Roman has been in the top 5 in rushing attempts but his attempts are usually around 500, not 600. I think Roman tries to incorporate more passes into this offense with quick screens and deep balls for Lamar this season.
Roman and head coach John Harbaugh are really smart people and they realize that they will need Lamar to be able to throw the ball against good teams in order to win. They will probably groom Lamar this year in doing so.
This means a return to around 500 rushing attempts as a team. Between Lamar, Gus Edwards, JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram, I think Ingram only gets 150 rushing attempts. I still think Ingram has around 4.8 yards per carry so this would give him around 720 yards rushing.
He should get close to 10 total touchdowns and maybe throw in 25 catches for 175 yards too. This would give him around 165 points in half PPR leagues. That would only be good enough to be around the 22nd best running back. Ingram is being drafted at around the 45 pick in mock drafts and that would be a terrible pick to make. There is very little upside to Ingram. Just stay away from him in 2020.
26. RB: Jonathan Taylor (160 points)
My final projections will be 150 carries for 740 rushing yards and 25 catches for 175 yards and around 8 to 10 touchdowns.
Jonathan Taylor was drafted by the Colts with their first pick in the 2020 draft. Taylor shined at Wisconsin the past 2 seasons. He rushed for 2,000 yards in back to back seasons and had a 6.5 yards per carry. He looked incredible. He fumbled the ball quite a bit but other then that there isn’t much to worry about his game.
He also proved to catch the ball more with 26 receptions in his senior year. He is definitely going to get half of the carries in Indianoplis this year. You don’t draft a guy this high to have him not get half or most of the rushing attempts this season. He is also a bigger back then the other running back Marlon Mack and could get a lot of the goal line carries too. He is also a better pass catcher then Mack.
The only thing that scares me is that with an equal timeshare between him and Mack, you are really rolling the dice every week you play Taylor. If Taylor gets around 10 to 15 touches a week for around 5 yards then that is only around 65 yards a game. You are basically praying for a touchdown at that point to make him of any value. Or you are really banking on that Taylor is going to get the Lion’s share of rushing attempts midway through the season.
This could all happen but there is definitely some risk there. One of my longtime sayings is that you don’t want to draft waiver wire players. Meaning that, halfway through the season you could become frustrated with Taylor being in a timeshare with Mack and wind up dropping him off of your team onto the waiver wire.
You can roll the dice if you want with Taylor eventually getting more rushing attempts then Mack but I am going to draft better RB’s earlier in the draft so I don’t have to worry about drafting players like Taylor in the 5th or 4th round. My final projections will be 150 carries for 740 rushing yards and 25 catches for 175 yards and around 8 to 10 touchdowns. So around 160 fantasy points.
27. RB: Ronald Jones (160 points)
800 rushing yards, 25 catches for 200 receving yards and 8 total touchdowns
So the Bucs drafted Keshawn Vaughn out of Vanderbilt in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft. Bruce Arians said that Jones is not a 3 down back and that his pass catching ability is only good enough for screens and check downs. Arians also said that they wanted to have a better pass catching running back. That makes us wonder why they drafted Vaughn in the 3rd round if they like Jones so much. I say this because Vaughn is no better of a pass catcher than Jones.
This makes me believe that Vaughn will have a serious chance to split the running back carries with Jones. My gut tells me that Jones will get 60% of the carries but if Vaughn outplays Jones then this Ronald Jones fantasy situation could get ugly. Also, now add to the mix that the Buccaneers just added LeSean McCoy.
I think Jones only gets around 12 carries a game now and has significantly less catches. Jones averaged 4.2 yards per carry last season and I think the O-line is better this season. If Jones gets 12 carries a game at 4.2 yards per carry then he will get 800 yards rushing. Add in the Tom Brady affect and Jones could get 8 rushing touchdowns.
Say he gets 20 receptions for 200 yards and 1 receiving touchdown on top of his rushing stats. This would be Jones’ most probable best case scenario. This would get him around 160 fantasy points which is usually a top 20 finish.
I think Jones is definitely worth consideration in round 5 or 6. I want to love Jones but with the draft pick of Vaughn in the 3rd round and also adding LeSean McCoy and a pass catching back in round 7, makes me very uncertain of Jones’ usage in 2020. Maybe training camp will tell us something different. Stay Tuned.
28. RB: Devin Singletary (160 points)
I will say 850 rushing yards and 30 catches for 200 yards and 7 total touchdowns.
Brain Daboll loves to run the ball. He also loves to have 2 running backs split the workload. This will definitely happen with the Bills 3rd round draft pick, RB Zack Moss. However, Daboll always ranks in the top 6 in rushing attempts in a season. Singletary will get around 170 rushes in 2020.
Singeltary averaged around 5.1 yards per carry too. However, Singletary is 5’7” and was not used on the goal line hardly at all last season. It was Frank Gore and Josh Allen in the redzone. Zack Moss figures to be the new Frank Gore in the redzone this season.
The only upside to Singletary is that in a Covid-19 offseason, he will have a huge advantage over Moss and definitely get a lot of touches in the early weeks of the season. Also, Moss didn’t catch the ball a ton in college. So Singletary figures to be a better 3rd down option then Moss.
With all things considered, you have to do your fantasy running back homework before drafting Singletary. He is not somebody I love but given the point in a draft and what other running backs are available, then Singletary might be your best selection. I will say 850 rushing yards and 30 catches for 200 yards and 7 total touchdowns. This will be good for around 163 points.
29. RB: Adrian Peterson (145 points)
200 carries for 830 yards rushing and 20 receptions for 175 yards receiving and 7 total touchdowns.
It’s really hard to tell what will be Peterson’s numbers with Bryce Love, Peyton Barber and JD McKissic in the backfield. I think he gets close to 200 carries for 830 yards rushing and 20 receptions for 175 yards receiving and 7 total touchdowns. Those are his best case scenario stats. I think it will probably be a touch under those numbers actually. That will be good for around 145 points. Best to not draft Peterson in 2020.
30. RB: JK Dobbins (130 points)
He has the same forecast as Mark Ingram. He isn’t worth having on your fantasy team at all. It is an extremely crowded backfield.