Following up Thursday’s Top 10 RB show, on Friday, The Fantasy Footballers gave us the rest of their top 20 RBs. While the football community debates the importance of running backs to an NFL franchise, there is no doubt of their importance to your fantasy team. This is a consensus of Andy, Jason, and Mike’s personal rankings but you can see their individual rankings on the website too. If you are looking to build your draft strategy around the RB position, we have you covered!
11. Nick Chubb – CLE
After a breakout rookie season, in which he essentially forced the trade of Carlos Hyde, Chubb comes into 2019 very hot. He was already a great commodity due to his rushing volume and TD upside in, what should be, one of the league’s best offenses. Then, the Browns trade away his primary competition for passing down work, Duke Johnson, to the Houston Texans. Chubb will have to deal with the return of Kareem Hunt in Week 10, but for at least eight weeks, he is going to be a bell-cow back.
Earlier this summer, I detailed why owners should be targeting Chubb in their fantasy drafts.
12. Joe Mixon – CIN
The fantasy problems with Joe Mixon have very little to do with Joe Mixon. The Bengals offense is looking like it may be very limited. Their offensive line is sketchy, they will be without A.J. Green for at least a few weeks, and they are implementing a whole offense. With a new coaching staff could come more opportunity for Giovanni Bernard as well. Mixon is in a very worrisome situation, even as one of the most well-rounded backs in the league. If the Bengals are better than expected, Mixon could pay dividends. The Ballers’ currently feel better having Mixon as their RB2, though that means you have to go RB-RB to start your draft.
13. Kerryon Johnson – DET
KERRYON MY WAYWARD SON! Don’t you cry no more Kerryon truthers, 2019 is shaping up to be quite a year. He has the right offensive coordinator and the opportunity to be a solid fantasy RB1. With the release of Theo Riddick, Johnson’s draft stock is flying high on the back of a bald eagle. If you need further convincing on the merits of adding Kerryon Johnson to your team, just listen to the “My Guys” episode and Jason Moore will win you over.
14. Devonta Freeman – ATL
Freeman hurt a lot of fantasy owners last season. But all signs point to a very large workload in 2019. He has proven his ability to be an RB1 in the past but injuries have slowed him recently. If he can stay healthy this season, he has less competition for carries than he has had in recent years and could be a true 3-down RB. This Falcons offense is shaping up to be very good, and that gives Freeman an edge over some other fringe RBs.
15. Josh Jacobs – OAK
Jacobs is an enticing prospect for fantasy owners as a possible RB2. We’ve never seen a full workload from him during his college years but there is a lot of opportunity for his rookie season. There are still a lot of questions about the Raiders offense in general but the hope is that Jacobs is a star. In the last 7 years, 11 RBs have been drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL draft. Of those 11, 7 have gone on to finish their rookie season as a top 10 fantasy back.
Back in April, around the NFL draft, Kyle Yates gave us a full fantasy profile for Jacobs.
16. Aaron Jones – GB
Jones begins the run of RBs that represent huge question marks for drafters. In 2018, Jones showed his potential in spurts but did not see the field enough to quiet his doubters. A new coaching staff brings in the hope that the Packers stop using Jamaal Williams to compliment Jones, and just start giving him all of the touches. He begins training camp with a hamstring issue, which tends linger, so injury risk is a concern. When he is on the field, he is one of the most efficient backs in the league. Aaron Jones has top-5 potential, he just needs health and opportunity. The question is “Will he have either?”
17. Leonard Fournette – JAX
Leonard Fournette had a disastrous 2018. When he is on the field, while not exactly efficient, he commands massive volume. Unfortunately, injuries and off-field issues have kept him off the field far more than you would like out of your fantasy RBs. Since 2017, Fournette has the third most carries per game in the entire NFL and that kind of volume gives him RB1 potential…but with PLENTY of risks. His recent history has driven his draft price down a bit and he is currently healthy so, like a lot of these RBs, there is hope!
Check out my examination of what went wrong for Fournette in 2018.
18. Melvin Gordon – LAC
This is the definition of risk mitigation. There is little question that Gordon is one of the best fantasy RBs in the league but the nightmare of Le’Veon Bell lingers. The second you see the news that Gordon has signed a new deal, he becomes a top-5 RB and a 1st round pick. Right now, we know nothing and the situation does not look promising. In only 12 games last year, Gordon the overall RB7, so we know what he can do, but will he actually do it?
Note: The guys ended the show talking about other guys, so instead you get a couple of free previews of the Ultimate Draft Kit!
19. Marlon Mack – IND
From the UDK “Starting RBs for high powered offenses and great offensive lines are a hot commodity. That’s what Marlon Mack was last year but there were some whispers from the bushes that the Colts wanted to upgrade at the position. They didn’t. When Mack returned from injury last season he averaged 17/80/1 per game. Unfortunately, the team uses Nyheim Hines as the primary pass-catching RB, keeping Mack on the outside of the elite category, but Mack can easily be a double-digit TD producer this year.”
20. Derrick Henry – TEN
From the UDK “Henry’s career is literally the ‘welp’ emoji. There’s a vicious cycle of getting hyped for him followed by getting burned by him. The Titans FINALLY committed to feeding the beast at the end of the season and Henry came through averaging almost 150 rushing yards a game for the final 25% of the season. Will the team move forward with this ride-or-die philosophy with Henry? He just might win your league by himself if they do, but will they?”