Pre-Draft Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs 1.0

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Tiers

Tiers (Tiers correlate to all positions rather than each individual position)

Super Elite

Elite

Stud

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Dynasty Stash

Not worth rostering in any format

RB Rankings (standard)

  1. Saquon Barkley NYG (Tier One: Super Elite)
  2. Christian McCaffrey CAR (Tier One: Super Elite)
  3. Ezekiel Elliott DAL (Tier One: Super Elite)
  4. Todd Gurley LAR (Tier One: Super Elite)
  5. Melvin Gordon LAC (Tier One: Super Elite)
  6. Alvin Kamara NO (Tier One: Super Elite)
  7. Joe Mixon CIN (Tier Two: Elite)
  8. James Conner PIT (Tier Two: Elite)
  9. Le’veon Bell NYJ (Tier Two: Elite)
  10. David Johnson ARI (Tier Two: Elite)
  11. Philip Lindsey DEN (Tier Two: Elite)
  12. Leonard Fournette JAX (Tier Two: Elite)
  13. Kerryon Johnson DET (Tier Two: Elite)
  14. Aaron Jones GB (Tier Two: Elite)
  15. Nick Chubb CLE (Tier Two: Elite)
  16. Dalvin Cook MIN(Tier Two: Elite)
  17. Devonta Freeman ATL (Tier Two: Elite)
  18. Sony Michel NE (Tier Two: Elite)
  19. Marlon Mack IND (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  20. Mark Ingram BAL(Tier Three: Stud Value)
  21. James White NE (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  22. Kenyan Drake MIA (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  23. Damien Williams KC (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  24. Lamar Miller HOU (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  25. Jerick McKinnon SF (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  26. Chris Carson SEA (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  27. Tarik Cohen CHI (Tier Three: Stud Value)
  28. Derrick Henry TEN (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  29. Derrius Guice WAS (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  30. Jordan Howard PHI (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  31. Lesean McCoy BUF (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  32. Latavius Murray NO (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  33. Matt Breida SF (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  34. Dion Lewis TEN (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  35. Austin Ekeler LAC (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  36. Peyton Barber TB (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  37. Isaiah Crowell OAK (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  38. Royce Freeman DEN (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  39. Tevin Coleman SF (Tier Five: Average Value)
  40. Ito Smith ATL (Tier Five: Average Value)
  41. Josh Adams PHI (Tier Five: Average Value)
  42. Kareem Hunt CLE (Tier Five: Average Value)
  43. Jalen Richard OAK (Tier Five: Average Value)
  44. Carlos Hyde KC (Tier Five: Average Value)
  45. Frank Gore BUF (Tier Five: Average Value)
  46. Adrian Peterson WAS (Tier Five: Average Value)
  47. Duke Johnson Jr CLE (Tier Five: Average Value)
  48. Mike Davis CHI (Tier Five: Average Value)
  49. Gio Bernard CIN (Tier Five: Average Value)
  50. Nyheim Hines IND (Tier Five: Average Value)
  51. Rashaad Penny SEA (Tier Five: Average Value)
  52. Gus Edwards BAL (Tier Five: Average Value)
  53. Kalen Ballage MIA (Tier Five: Average Value)
  54. Chris Thompson WAS (Tier Five: Average Value)
  55. C.J Anderson DET (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  56. Ronald Jones TB (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  57. Corey Clement PHI (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  58. Jamaal Williams GB (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  59. D’onta Foreman HOU (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  60. Malcolm Brown LAR (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  61. Bilal Powell NYJ (Tier Six:  Below Average Value)
  62. Rex Burkhead NE (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  63. Wendell Smallwood PHI (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  64. Elijah Mcguire NYJ (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  65. Jaylen Samuels PIT (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  66. Alfred Blue JAX (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  67. Devontae Booker DEN (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  68. Doug Martin OAK (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  69. Zach Zenner DET (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  70. Rod Smith DAL (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  71. Chase Edmonds ARI (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  72. Theo Riddick DET (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  73. Kenneth Dixon BAL (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  74. Jordan Wilkins IND (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  75. John Kelly LAR (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  76. Corey Grant JAX (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  77. Justin Jackson LAC (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  78. Dwayne Washington NO (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  79. Darrel Williams KC (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  80. Dwayne Washington NO (Tier Seven : Dynasty Stash)
  81. Ameer Abdullah MIN (Tier Eight: Not Rosterable)
  82. Raheem Mostert SF (Tier Eight: Not Rosterable)
  83. C.J Prosise SEA (Tier Eight: Not Rosterable)
  84. Benny Cunningham CHI (Tier Eight: Not Rosterable)
  85. Boston Scott PHI (Tier Eight: Not Rosterable)
  86. Wayne Gallman NYG (Tier Eight: Not Rosterable)
  87. Mike Boone MIN (Tier Eight: Not Rosterable)

Tier One Analysis

These six backs are guys who will absolutely be the best player on your team. If you are lucky enough to grab one of them (or two somehow) then you will have a chance to win your league so long as they don’t suffer any serious injuries. Each of these six have the chance to finish the 2019 season as not just the best at their position, but the best overall fantasy player (in terms of total points).

Tier Two Analysis

The guys in this range will be your low-end RB1/high-end RB2. Landing a later draft pick could mean that you end up with a couple guys from this group, a plan that would provide more security than relying on just one player from Tier One. These players fall just short of Tier One due to uncertainties about their respective situations. You have your guys who could fall into some form of committee (Michel, Lindsey, Kerryon, Chubb, Jones), those with injury/game flow concerns (Fournette, Freeman, Conner, Cook, D. Johnson, Mixon), and lastly those who may be rusty due to inactivity last season (Bell).

Tier Three Analysis

The guys in this tier fall into a rather unique category. They all have the talent and opportunity to enter Tier Two as they are RB2s with a fringe chance to be RB1’s if everything goes perfectly for them. Some suffer from uncertainty regarding a potential committee (Drake, McKinnon, Carson, White, Ingram), others are due to be the unquestioned lead back for their teams, yet their situations remain uncertain to us (Mack, Ingram, Miller), and the rest simply appear to be too small to handle a “bellcow” workload (Cohen, Williams, White (again)).

Tier Four Analysis

These are the backs that could be the biggest boom or bust candidates for your roster. You’ve got guys like Henry and Guice who have a lot of upside yet face uncertain fantasy situations due to the presence of other talented backs and a lack of proficient receiving ability. You’ve got your uninspiring lead backs (Crowell, Barber, McCoy) who could be valuable commodities due to volume alone. Lastly, you have the third down backs who could be solid flex plays if you’re ever in a pinch (Ekeler, Lewis, Breida) and their counterparts, the power-back who could usurp some red zone carries and get you some cheap points off of touchdowns (Murray, Freeman, Henry (again)). As for Howard, he has performed at a high level in the past, but the Eagles tendency to roll with committees could hold him back in fantasy, especially if Jay Ajayi returns.

Tier Five Analysis

The guys in this category could be good as one of your bench RBS, and with an injury or two to a higher ranking player on the depth chart they could ascend to RB2 status. Some notable names from this tier include Kareem Hunt (suspended for 8 games), Tevin Coleman (cursed by the 49ers ridiculous depth at the position), and Duke Johnson (could be a decent flex option until Hunt returns, unless he is traded).

Tier Six Analysis

These are the guys who probably won’t be on your roster until some injuries occur. They could wind up being valuable handcuffs at some point.

Tier Seven Analysis

These are guys who might be decent stashes for your dynasty team, but don’t touch them in standard roster leagues.

Tier Eight Analysis

Not worth your time..

RB Rankings (ppr)

  1. Christian McCaffrey CAR (Tier One: Super Elite)
  2. Saquon Barkley NYG (Tier One: Super Elite)
  3. Todd Gurley LAR (Tier One: Super Elite)
  4. Ezekiel Elliott DAL (Tier One: Super Elite)
  5. Alvin Kamara NO (Tier One: Super Elite)
  6. Melvin Gordon LAC (Tier One: Super Elite)
  7. Le’veon Bell NYJ (Tier Two: Elite)
  8. David Johnson ARI (Tier Two: Elite)
  9. Joe Mixon CIN (Tier Two: Elite)
  10. James Conner PIT (Tier Two: Elite)
  11. Philip Lindsey DEN (Tier Two: Elite)
  12. Kerryon Johnson DET (Tier Two: Elite)
  13. Leonard Fournette JAX (Tier Two: Elite)
  14. Aaron Jones GB (Tier Two: Elite)
  15. James White NE (Tier Two: Elite)
  16. Damien Williams KC (Tier Two: Elite)
  17. Devonta Freeman ATL (Tier Two: Elite)
  18. Dalvin Cook MIN (Tier Three: Stud)
  19. Nick Chubb CLE (Tier Three: Stud)
  20. Marlon Mack IND (Tier Three: Stud)
  21. Sony Michel NE (Tier Three: Stud)
  22. Tarik Cohen CHI (Tier Three: Stud)
  23. Jerick McKinnon SF (Tier Three: Stud)
  24. Mark Ingram BAL (Tier Three: Stud)
  25. Lesean McCoy BUF (Tier Three: Stud)
  26. Derrius Guice WAS (Tier Three: Stud)
  27. Chris Carson SEA (Tier Three: Stud)
  28. Dion Lewis TEN (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  29. Matt Breida SF (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  30. Austin Ekeler LAC (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  31. Derrick Henry TEN (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  32. Jalen Richard OAK (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  33. Jordan Howard PHI Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  34. Duke Johnson Jr CLE (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  35. Peyton Barber TB (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  36. Latavius Murray NO (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  37. Carlos Hyde KC (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  38. Royce Freeman DEN (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  39. Ito Smith ATL (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  40. Tevin Coleman SF (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  41. Isaiah Crowell OAK (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  42. Josh Adams PHI (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  43. Adrian Peterson WAS (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  44. Gio Bernard CIN (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  45. Kareem Hunt CLE (Tier Four: Above Average Value)
  46. Chris Thompson WAS (Tier Five: Average Value)
  47. Frank Gore BUF (Tier Five: Average Value)
  48. Nyheim Hines IND (Tier Five: Average Value)
  49. Mike Davis CHI (Tier Five Average Value)
  50. Rashaad Penny SEA (Tier Five: Average Value)
  51. Theo Riddick DET (Tier Five: Average Value)
  52. Corey Clement PHI (Tier Five: Average Value)
  53. Kalen Ballage MIA (Tier Five: Average Value)
  54. Rex Burkhead NE (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  55. C.J Anderson DET (Tier Six: Below Average Value
  56. Gus Edwards BAL (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  57. Devontae Booker DEN (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  58. Jaylen Samuels PIT (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  59. Alfred Blue JAX (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  60. Bilal Powell NYJ (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  61. Wendell Smallwood PHI (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  62. Corey Grant JAX (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  63. D’onta Foreman HOU (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  64. Doug Martin OAK (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  65. Ronald Jones TB (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  66. Malcolm Brown LAR (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  67. Jamaal Williams GB (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  68. Elijah Mcguire NYJ (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  69. Wayne Gallman NYJ (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  70. Zach Zenner DET (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  71. Rod Smith DAL (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  72. Chase Edmonds ARI (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  73. Kenneth Dixon BAL (Tier Six: Below Average Value)
  74. Justin Jackson LAC (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  75. John Kelly LAR (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  76. C.J Prosise SEA (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  77. Raheem Mostert SF (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  78. Jordan Wilkins IND (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  79. Darrel Williams KC (Tier Seven: Dynasty Stash)
  80. Benny Cunningham CHI (Tier Eight: Not Worth Rostering)
  81. Mike Boone MIN (Tier Eight: Not Worth Rostering)
  82. Boston Scott PHI (Tier Eight: Not Worth Rostering)

Tier One Analysis

The same six names from before, these guys catch enough passes to still be considered Super-Elite value players in either format. McCaffrey gets the top spot here due to his high volume of receptions. Other than that, everything remains the same from the standard format list. Elliott, Gordon, Gurley, Barkley, and Kamara should continue to see a heavy workload and use their dynamic skill sets to consistently break off big time runs, catching a decent amount of passes out of the backfield along the way.

Tier Two Analysis

The only differences between this group and the Elite tier of rbs in standard formats is the addition of White and Williams, who will both catch a huge amount of passes and likely command a decent percentages of touches on the offense in general. White, in particular has a chance to really shine in PPR format leagues with the lack of pass catchers on New England’s roster at the moment. Bell, David Johnson, Mixon, and Conner all stand the chance of rising into the Super Elite tier for PPR formats depending on how hard they are leaned on in the passing game.

Tier Three Analysis

These guys all should catch a decent amount of passes and/or make up for it with a heavy workload of strictly rushing attempts. Michel and Chubb fall from Tier Two due to the presence of dynamic pass catching backs (James White, Duke Johnson, Kareem Hunt, Rex Burkhead if you’re into that) on their rosters. From this group, look for Cohen, Mack, and Cook as the best candidates to outperform their original spots.

Tier Four Analysis

A lot of potential in this group, as everyone in here has RB2 upside but falls just short of tier three for respective reasons likely covered in our analysis of standard format backs. Outside of Kareem Hunt (who’s situation is rather unprecedented) this tier consists of primarily third down/passing down backs and touchdown dependent power rushers. These types of players will be in your lineup as flex plays and desperation RB2s on weeks where your team is decimated by bye weeks and/or injuries.

Tier Five Analysis

This is a group that is masked with uncertainty as it relates to potential touches, but they each possess upside for one reason or another. Ballage, Hines, and Penny are all blocked by young starters on their rosters, but have the potential to be pretty good if given the opportunity.

Tier Six Analysis

Desperation roster depth if you’re low on running backs for whatever reason. Some names could rise from this group to fantasy prominence, but that is unlikely to say the least.

Tier Seven Analysis

These guys might be worth a spot on your dynasty team. Jackson and Kelly in particular have shown a good deal of upside when given the opportunity.

Tier Eight Analysis

Don’t touch these guys.

Names to Watch

Marshawn Lynch

Josh Jacobs

Benny Snell

David Montgomery

Damian Harris

Darrell Henderson

T.J Yeldon

Buck Allen

Legarrette Blount

Jay Ajayi

Alfred Morris

Jeremy Hill

Alex Collins

Devin Singletary

Justice Hill

Elijah Holyfield

Mike Weber

Miles Sanders

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