Fantasy Football: 2019 Post-NFL Draft RB Depth Chart
Every year after the NFL Draft, running back depth charts are shaken up by incoming rookies. Last weekend, we saw some top tier talent like Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, and David Montgomery land in very favorable situations, likely landing them atop their respective team’s depth chart. For a more detailed analysis on all the winners and losers from the NFL Draft, be sure to check out The Fantasy Footballers podcast. I’ll highlight a few notable changes to the running back depth chart in this article, but for a more detailed view of the depth chart before the NFL Draft, check out that article here.
For more great running back NFL Draft content, check out Ryan Weisse‘s articles highlighting RB landing spots (Part 1 / Part 2).[lptw_table id=”159460″ style=”default”]
Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Miller was on this same list just a year ago after the 2018 NFL Draft. Fantasy football owners seem to want to write Miller off, despite finishing as the RB23 and RB13 over the past two seasons. The Texans only drafted one running back in the 6th round, but Cullen Gillaspia is a fullback, which should only help Miller in the blocking game. In addition, they signed an offensive tackle with their 1st round pick and didn’t sign any backs in free agency. He’ll have to hold off D’Onta Foreman for the starting spot, but Foreman still may not be himself after the torn Achilles from 2017.
Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs drafted Jones last year in the 2nd round to be “the guy,” but let’s just say that didn’t work out so well for them in 2018. Jones played in just eight games, carrying the ball only 23 times for 44 yards (1.9 YPC). He scored 17.2 fantasy points…on the season. Fantasy owners were hoping for a top rookie RB to land in Tampa, but after not drafting a rookie and not bringing in a free agent, Jones has a chance to start over with a new coaching staff in 2019. Expect Jones and Peyton Barber to battle it out for the starting role this offseason.
Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
Entering free agency, the Colts had the most money to spend, but they kept their wallet closed when it came to the running back position. Then, in the draft, the Colts decided to pass on running back with each and every one of their picks. Marlon Mack is officially THE man in Indy, and his fantasy value should skyrocket. Nyheim Hines should steal some passing work and Jordan Wilkins will get sprinkled in, but Mack will be a workhorse for one of the league’s best offenses.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
After trading Jordan Howard to the Eagles before the Draft, the Bears were left with a hole on their depth chart. They filled it with an impressive workhorse back out of Iowa State in David Montgomery. Unlike Howard, Montgomery is a good pass catching back and can do it all, displaying a 3-down skillset. Montgomery should compliment Tarik Cohen nicely in Matt Nagy’s offense and has a real chance to put up RB2 numbers in 2019.
Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders
Jacobs was the only running back drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. He immediately becomes the starter in Oakland for a revamped offense, which finally has some playmakers. Expect Jacobs to be the early-down back right out of the gates, but Jalen Richard is likely to take some pass-catching work away from him. Regardless, Jacobs has high-end RB2 upside in 2019 based on his projected workload alone.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
A 5-star recruit coming out of high school, Miles Sanders was Mr. Football in the state of Pennsylvania. There was one problem…he had to sit behind Saquon Barkley at Penn State. However, Sanders proved his worth last season, rushing for an impressive 1,274 yards and 9 TD in Happy Valley. The Eagles selected Sanders in the 2nd round and will contribute immediately in year one. The Eagles traded a 6th round pick for Jordan Howard earlier this offseason, so it’ll be between these two when it comes to early down work. However, Sanders demonstrates superior pass-catching skills relative to Howard, which should help him find a role as early as Week 1.