Early Runningback Rankings - CMC

2020 Season Josh’s Early Fantasy Rankings RB Edition

As the title suggests this is my early fantasy rankings for the 2020 season. These could change when we get nearer the season due to injuries etc. Up first I will be doing Running Backs. The rankings are based on half point PPR leagues. let’s take a look;

1. C.McCaffrey

Well no surprises here. CMC had a stellar 2019 campaign. Finishing with the most fantasy football points from a non QB. CMC finished with 413 points. The highest total for any non QB in 15 years. What makes CMC so unique is the amount he is targeted out of the back field. He finished 8th overall in targets. So not only is he a top Running Back, he’s also a heavily targeted Receiver too. And in half point PPR leagues this is the type of player you need. In any league format expect to see CMC top of everyone’s rankings.

2. S.Barkley

A generational talent. Barkley didn’t hit his true heights last season. A lot of people will say he had a poor fantasy year. He also missed three games due to an ankle injury. But yet he finished as the RB10! Barkley, like CMC, has excellent receiving skills. What let him down last year was TD’s. He only scored a total of 8 TD’s, compared to his 15 total TD’s in 2018. Expect Barkley to find the end zone more in 2020. He will be back in the mix fighting for the number 1 fantasy football player next season.

3. E.Elliott

Zeke finished as the RB4 last year by one point. A can do it all Back. Zeke leads the offence in Dallas with no real competition at his position. He had the second most amount of rushes last season. I can’t see these numbers dropping. Dallas now have the best Wide Receiver trio in the NFL. This is great news for Zeke. More concentration on the Receivers, means less stacked boxes for Zeke. With the amount of touches he gets, plus behind a great offensive line. Zeke’s in for another great 2020 fantasy year.

4. A.Kamara

It’s a flip of a coin here between Kamara and Cook. But I’ve gone with Kamara because of the targets he gets. Kamara averages 100+ targets a season, and in half PPR that’s exactly what you want from your Running Back. 50+ points before you add on the rush attempts and any TD’s, yes please! The only reason he’s not higher is his rush attempts. Averaging 161 attempts per year and with L.Murray lurking I can’t see them jumping up anytime soon. With that being said, Kamara will still be a high end RB1 every week. With the potential to break into the top three.

5. D.Cook

To finish off the top 5 its Cook. Cook finished as the RB5 last season whilst missing two games. A lot of this was how much they ran the ball. The Vikings ran the ball 5th most in the NFL in 2019. They also ran the ball 2nd most in the red zone last year. Which resulted in Cook finishing 4th overall in rushing TD’s. With the Vikings not making a move in free agency or drafting a Running Back they seem happy with what they have. So expect Cook to get over 300 touches in 2020 like 2019. Cook has the potential and the touches to push for the number one spot.

6. D.Henry

Now for someone who doesn’t have many receptions, Henry finished as the RB3 in 2019. He had the most amount of rush attempts, the most rushing yards and joint 1st with 16 rushing TD’s. Now although there could be a little regression there. I fully expect him to have between 250-300 rush attempts in 2020. As running the ball has been in the Titans DNA for the past five years. On average 47% of their plays have been runs. They ran the ball 50% of the time last season, 3rd in the NFL. With Tennessee only selecting a Running Back in the third round of the 2020 draft. A player very similar to the departing D.Lewis. it’s clear Henry will be given the large majority of the rush attempts again.

7. J.Mixon

Mixon is an exceptional Running Back. It was just a shame he was on the Bengals roster last season. With that being said he finished as the RB13. Yes 13! That is phenomenal. Playing for the worst NFL team and losing out to a tier one finish by 0.1 points. With Cincinnati not adding another Back to the mix, the job is Mixon’s for another year. Now with the Bengals going into the 2020 season with their new franchise QB, with a slick Wide Receiver core. Expect Mixon to put up better numbers than last season. He is sure to outscore the 5 rushing TD’s from last season.

8. N.Chubb

Chubb’s second season in the NFL was very impressive. He finished as the RB7. With 2490 yards in 2 seasons, Chubb piles up the yardage on the ground. Also add 8 TD’s in both seasons in his time in the NFL. Chubb has become a reliable fantasy Running Back. He would be in my top 5 if K.Hunt wasn’t part of the backfield. Playing alongside arguably the best offensive players in a one team. Chubb should put up impressive numbers again in 2020.

9. T.Gurley

This one is a little out there, but hear me out. Gurley has been the number one fantasy Running Back two years in a row in 2017 and 2018. In 2019 he finished RB14. He had 1064 scrimmage yards last season, his worst in an NFL season. Moving on from L.A and going back to his roots is what I can see happening. Being on a prove it 1-year deal will see the fire come back in his belly. Plus being the only good Running Back in a good team helps out a lot. I expect Gurley will be the Falcons three down back. In a team that puts up a lot of points, Gurley should see the yards and TD’s he’s used too.

10. K.Drake

Drake has not lived up to his true potential. Being in a mediocre Dolphins team hasn’t helped either. Having played only half a season in Arizona, Drake managed an impressive 643 yards on only 123 attempts. He also scored 8 TD’s too. If he played a full season for the Cardinals, and doubling his numbers, he would be a high end RB1 last season. Although I do believe his TD’s will regress he should be a top ten Running Back come the end of the season.

11. J.Jacobs

Jacobs finished the RB18 in 2019, playing only 13 games. Jacobs rushed for 1150 yards and 7 TD’s. His rushing stats are not the problem, it’s the receiving side that is. He only had 27 targets last season. Some of you might be thinking ‘well why is he your RB11 then’. And that’s because the Raiders GM Mike Mayock said ‘he expects Jacobs to be more involved in the passing game’. If this does happen, this could push Jacobs to be a proper three-down-back.

12. C.Edwards-Helaire

The only Rookie to make it in my top 12. Edwards-Helaire lands in one of the best possible landing spots. The Kansas City Chiefs. Playing alongside three field stretchers, Edwards-Helaire should have plenty of space to do his thing. With an ageing D.Williams, come the start of the season, Edwards-Helaire should be given the bell cow role. The Chiefs GM saying he’s their ‘franchise Running Back’ I expect big things in a legit free scoring offense.

Thanks for reading fellow Rush Nationers. Do you agree with my rankings? Is there any names in there that you haven’t got in your top 12? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook. Watch this space for my next Early Fantasy Rankings.

Josh P – @5yardrush

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