1. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year sits atop Top 10 Best Running Backs for Fantasy Football 2020. Heading into the 2019 season, Saquon Barkley was one of the most coveted NFL players to draft in fantasy football. Unfortunately, Saquon was unable to live up to my ranking due to a nagging ankle injury that prevented him from playing in three games last season, and clearly limited him in many others. There is a great opportunity for Barkley to rebound in 2020 and excel as the top RB in fantasy football.
2. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey was the NFL’s best fantasy player in PPR leagues after having the second-best fantasy season in NFL history. Throughout the season, McCaffrey accumulated 471.2 fantasy points, 1,387 rushing yards, 1,005 receiving yards, and 19 total touchdowns. He also became the third player in NFL history to record 1,000+ receiving and 1,000+ rushing yards in the same year. As great as Christian McCaffrey is, regression in 2020 is almost certain. After all, he is coming off the second best fantasy season in league history. Despite certain regression, CMC ranks at No. 2 in the Top 10 Best Running Backs for Fantasy Football 2020
3. Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys
There’s only one running back over the last five years who’s finished top-six three times, and that’s Ezekiel Elliott. He had over 300 rushing attempts, and was second in the NFL to Derrick Henry in rushing attempts and yards last season. Zeke posted a double-digit touchdown year, and also had 54 receptions. In 2020, Elliott projects for much of the same. While the offensive line took a hit with Travis Frederick retiring, Zeke is still rushing behind a strong line and in one of the better fantasy offenses there is.
4. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
After starting his career with RB3 and RB4 finishes in 2017 and 2018, Alvin Kamara slid back to a RB9 finish in 2019. He finished last season as QB8 with 297.3 fantasy points in 14 games. In his first two seasons in New Orleans, Kamara averaged 15.5 touchdowns per season, while in 2019 he scored a total of 6. In 2020 we can expect production more like his first two years than his third. After suffering a high-ankle sprain against Jacksonville and battling knee issues throughout the season, Kamara will return to the Saints at full strength. Kamara is a top-four overall pick in fantasy drafts, and lands at 4 in Top 10 Best Running Backs for Fantasy Football 2020.
5. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans
In 2019, Derrick Henry picked up where he finished off at tail end of the 2018 season. Henry finished 2019 as the leagues leading rusher with 1,540 yards, 183 yards more than second place Ezekiel Elliot. In addition to his 1,504 rushing yards, Henry added 206 receiving yards on a career best 18 receptions. He scored a total of 18 times in 2019, third best in the league. His 294.6 PPR fantasy points ranked 5th best.
6. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook has had some injury concerns to start his career, but for the most part he was healthy in 2019. Cook put together a strong season, averaging over 20 PPR points per game on a run heavy Minnesota Vikings offense. Cook had 250 rushing attempts in 14 games, and finished 6th in PPR scoring among running backs with 292.4 PPR points. This was with him missing two games due to injury. As far as rushing yards, he finished with over 1,100 and he had a 4.5 yards per carry. In his career he has shown the ability to produce, even behind a lackluster offensive line. Dalvin Cook comes in at 6 in the Top 10 Best Running Backs for Fantasy Football 2020
7. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon finished 2019 as RB13 with 225.4 PPR points. The Cincinnati Bengals were 26th in total yards (5,269) a season ago, 25th in rushing yards, (1,517) and 30th in total points scored (279). His final stat line was 278 carries for 1,137 yards, 35 catches, 287 yards and 8 total touchdowns. Basically if Joe Mixon didn’t do anything last year, neither did the Bengals. Entering 2020, stacking the box against the Bengals will not be as easy as it was a year ago. He finished 2018 as RB10 in 14 games played. We believe that in 2020, Mixon will be back to his 2018 ways.
8. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders
In his rookie season a year ago, Josh Jacobs finished as the RB21 with 191.6 PPR points in 13 games played. He totaled 1,150 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns on 242 carries and added 22 catches for 166 yards. What we like the most about Jacobs’ 2019 season was his elusiveness with the ball. His elusive rating (103.6) was 2nd among 61 qualified RBs a year ago. In addition, he was second in broken tackles (78), 8th in yards after contact, (3.48) and 3rd in runs 15+ yards (16). As a result we have Josh Jacobs at 8 in the Top 10 Best Running Backs for Fantasy Football 2020.
9. Kenyon Drake – Arizona Cardinals
Kenyon Drake‘s fantasy managers have longed for one thing–consistent workload. In three seasons in Miami, Drake’s usage by two different coaching staffs was frustrating based on the results Drake was putting up with the ball in his hands. In those seasons, Drake averaged 5.6 yards per touch, but he also averaged 7.9 touches a game. In 2017, Drake finished as RB33 on 165 touches, and RB14 in 2018 on 173 touches. Following his trade to Arizona, Drake appeared in 9 games and averaged 101.8 yards and 18.9 touches a game. In those first 6 games, Drake was RB38 (9.2 points/game), and in the 9 games with Arizona he was RB8 (18.7 points/game).
10. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns
Nick Chubb finished his sophomore season as RB8 with 255.2 PPR fantasy points. There is concern in terms of Chubb’s workload with Kareem Hunt sharing the backfield in Cleveland. The concern is valid. In 2019, in Weeks 1-9 (8 games), Chubb totaled 964 total yards and 6 touchdowns on 179 touches, (22.38/game). Through 9 weeks, Chubb was RB6 with 151.4 fantasy points. In Weeks 10-16, Chubb totaled 766 yards and 2 touchdowns on 141 touches, (20.14/game). In those 7 games he was RB14 with 98.6 fantasy points.