The running back position is arguably the most important in fantasy football which makes prognosticating who is gonna live up to the hype, disappoint, or surprise one of, if not the most important aspect of fantasy football preparations.
Yes, we’re only in March and the NFL Draft hasn’t even occurred yet, but it is never too early for ranks nor picking dudes that fit the previously mentioned potential outcomes.
|1||Christian McCaffery||Christian McCaffery|
|2||Ezekiel Elliott||Alvin Kamara|
|3||Saquon Barkley||Ezekiel Elliott|
|4||Dalvin Cook||Saquon Barkley|
|5||Nick Chubb||Dalvin Cook|
|6||Alvin Kamara||Aaron Jones|
|7||Joe Mixon||Leonard Fournette|
|8||Aaron Jones||Joe Mixon|
|9||Josh Jacobs||Nick Chubb|
|10||Derrick Henry||Josh Jacobs|
|11||Leonard Fournette||Miles Sanders|
|12||Miles Sanders||Devin Singletary|
I’ve pinpointed the most difficult to rank, who can crack the RB1 conversation, and who is a darkhorse to finish as a top 3 option. These are the running backs who have peaked my interest in this extremely early part of 2020.
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Most difficult to rank: Nick Chubb (Browns)
He was a preseason favorite last year to breakout and literally carry fantasy teams to glory. He didn’t disappoint while amassing nearly 1500 rushing yards while adding 8 touchdowns and finishing in the top 10 at RB. As awesome as those stats were, the presence of Kareem Hunt over the last 8 games was worrisome.
Chubb maintained the lead dog role but ceded some carries and became a complete afterthought through the air with only 17 targets to 44 for Hunt over the last 8 games.
Will new Head Coach continue to utilize this running back split, or will Chubb regain an every down role? The potential outcomes for him are massive with finishes in the top 3 and outside RB1 being real possibilities.
*For more Running Back talk check out the Top 12 Running Back episode Angle of Pursuit
Crack Top 12: Le’Veon Bell (Jets)
His first season in Gang Green didn’t exactly go as planned for the do everything Bell. He produced career lows (while playing 12 or more games) in every statistic in 2019 but the future is still bright. The offensive line along with a limited passing game with the multiple game absence of Sam Darnold were major problems for Bell and the Jets as they ranked dead last in yards before contact, as well as 2nd worst in fast (less than 2.5 sec) pressure on the QB.
Upgrading the O-line and solidifying the receiver position will be the goal for New York this off-season which should help Bell improve on his down year. Although he’ll almost certainly improve over last season, the poor blocking, uncertainty in the passing game, and questions about if they can upgrade those areas were just too much to place Bell in the top 12.
Darkhorse: Josh Jacobs (Raiders)
Every year for “Zero RB” truthers, or the patient drafters, finding value is essential. In honor of his new home, there is no player that offers a larger jackpot & as much value then Josh Jacobs.
It was immediately apparent in week 1 that Jacobs would fulfill the traditional bell-cow roll for Jon Gruden when he received 23 carries and found pay-dirt twice. While playing only 13 games with and because of a pretty substantial shoulder injury, he ran for 1150 yards and 7 touchdowns. Projected over a full 16 game season Jacobs would have approached 300 carries (Only Zeke and Henry reached that many), 1400+ yards, and almost double digit tds.
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His passing game work can only increase sans the injury and if the Raiders can improve their receiving corps, look for more open lanes minus stacked boxes.
Let’s also not forget that the Raiders are rumored to be looking at improving the QB position which would only help JJ. Jacobs is my favorite running back to exceed expectations and potentially crack top 3.
Let us know on Twitter who should be in our Top 12 and who should not?