Fantasy Football: Pre-NFL Draft Running Back Depth Chart
Now that the dust has settled in free agency, we have a better idea of how NFL teams’ running back depth charts look heading into the NFL draft, which is scheduled to begin on April 26. Some teams decided to spend money in free agency in order to acquire their new starting running back, while other teams chose to pass on free agents and will add to their backfield through the draft. A summary of the winners and losers of free agency podcast can be found in my recent article here.
The Ballers also recently discussed their early RB rankings on the pod. These ranks and running back depth charts are sure to change after the incoming rookies have a landing spot. What a team decides to do in the draft will tell us a lot about how they value their current starting running back.
What I’ve decided to do is summarize each team’s current running back depth chart as it stands today. These are sure to change, and I will put together an updated depth chart and article once the draft is complete. The three colors used are explained below.
A team listed in green is a team that I believe will be an excellent landing spot for a rookie. If drafted to this team, he could immediately become the team’s starter.
On the other hand, a team listed in red is a team that already has their starting running back on their roster. In most cases, these teams have a stud workhorse back, such as a David Johnson, Todd Gurley, or Ezekiel Elliott. If a rookie lands on this team, he will have a very slim chance to get touches his rookie season barring injury.
A team in yellow is a team that’s somewhere in the middle. They have a guy in-house who is a capable running back, but if they draft a rookie, he could become the starter or at least work his way into a timeshare as the season progresses. For fantasy purposes, guys like Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice, and Nick Chubb could become immediate starters for your fantasy lineup if they land on a team in green. My top landing spots for rookies include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, and the Oakland Raiders.