NFL

Fantasy football 2019: Top running back handcuffs for all 32 teams

Fantasy football 2019: Top running back handcuffs for all 32 teams

In fantasy football, players are often so focused on combing through rankings to find sleepers and busts or trying to stockpile as much top talent as possible that they forget something: something that is a very important part of football.

Injuries.

While nobody ever roots for an injury, the fact of the matter is that they do occur. And at no position is there a higher rate of turnover than the running back position. Every year, a big-name player deals with a nagging injury or suffers a major one. And in recent years, we've even seen some top guys (we're looking at you, Le'Veon Bell) hold out for extended periods of time. That could happen again this year with Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon, and it brings up an important subject that often gets ignored in the fantasy realm: handcuffs.

Having running back handcuff, or at least knowing who the top options are, is extremely important. Because when a top-talent or starter at running back goes down, NFL teams often have a next man up philosophy at the position and just make their backup the workhorse. But still, it's important to know just who those backups are going to be.

You don't necessarily have to handcuff your starting running backs. If there are players available in your draft that have more potential than handcuffs, certainly pick them up. But if nothing on the board looks enticing, grabbing a handcuff can be a sound strategy. Because in fantasy football, running backs can go from zero to hero very quickly.

Luckily, we're here to help you out in the running back department and keep you posted on all the top handcuffs to know about. Here's a look at the top handcuff (or in some cases, handcuffs) for all of the projected starters during the 2019 fantasy football season.

Team Starter Handcuff(s)
Arizona Cardinals David Johnson Chase Edmonds
Atlanta Falcons Devonta Freeman Ito Smith
Baltimore Ravens Mark Ingram Justice Hill/Gus Edwards
Buffalo Bills Devin Singletary Frank Gore
Carolina Panthers Christian McCaffrey Cameron Artis-Payne
Chicago Bears David Montgomery Mike Davis/Tarik Cohen
Cincinnati Bengals Joe Mixon Giovani Bernard
Cleveland Browns Nick Chubb Kareem Hunt*
Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott Tony Pollard/Alfred Morris
Denver Broncos Phillip Lindsay Royce Freeman
Detroit Lions Kerryon Johnson C.J. Anderson
Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones Jamaal Williams
Houston Texans Duke Johnson Carlos Hyde
Indianapolis Colts Marlon Mack Nyheim Hines/Jordan Wilkins
Jacksonville Jaguars Leonard Fournette Alfred Blue
Kansas City Chiefs Damien Williams LeSean McCoy/Darwin Thompson
Los Angeles Chargers Melvin Gordon Austin Ekeler/Justin Jackson
Los Angeles Rams Todd Gurley Malcolm Brown/Darrell Henderson
Miami Dolphins Kenyan Drake Kalen Ballage
Minnesota Vikings Dalvin Cook Alexander Mattison
New England Patriots Sony Michel Damien Harris/James White
New Orleans Saints Alvin Kamara Latavius Murray
New York Giants Saquon Barkley Wayne Gallman Jr.
New York Jets Le'Veon Bell Bilal Powell
Oakland Raiders Josh Jacobs Jalen Richard
Philadelphia Eagles Jordan Howard Miles Sanders
Pittsburgh Steelers James Conner Jaylen Samuels/Bennie Snell Jr.
San Francisco 49ers Tevin Coleman Matt Breida
Seattle Seahawks Chris Carson Rashaad Penny
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ronald Jones Peyton Barber/Dare Ogunbowale
Tennessee Titans Derrick Henry Dion Lewis
Washington Redskins Derrius Guice Adrian Peterson/Chris Thompson

*Hunt is suspended for the first 8 games of the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

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Fantasy football 2020: Full 12-team mock draft with Rotoworld experts

Fantasy football 2020: Full 12-team mock draft with Rotoworld experts

Our timing was impeccable.

NBC Sports Boston's top fantasy "experts" recently joined forces with our friends at Rotoworld for a 12-team fantasy football mock draft. As fate would have it, we held the draft right before Cam Newton reportedly signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots.

So, that's why you won't see one of our Boston homers draft Newton way too early. And in reality, Newton-to-New England doesn't upset the fantasy landscape too much: He's still a QB2 in our quarterback rankings, while his wide receiver weapons get a slight boost but still are outside our top 25.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Long story short: We're standing by our mock draft. Here's the format we used: Snake draft, standard scoring (half-point PPR) and a standard roster (one QB, two RBs, two WRs, one TE, one FLEX, one K, one DEF, six bench spots).

Below are the full draft results, with analysis following each round.

DRAFT ORDER

1. Christopher Crawford, Rotoworld
2. Patrick Daughtery, Rotoworld
3. Justin Leger, NBC Sports Boston
4. Darren Hartwell, NBC Sports Boston
5. Davis Mattek, SportsGrid
6. Dave Green, NBC Sports Boston
7. Ryan Provencher, NBC Sports Boston
8. Michael Gallagher, Rotoworld
9. Nick Goss, NBC Sports Boston
10. John Daigle, Rotoworld
11. Hayden Winks, Rotoworld
12. Peter Madden, NBC Sports Boston

ROUND 1

1. Christopher: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
2. Patrick: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
3. Justin: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
4. Darren: Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
5. Davis: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
6. Dave: Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
7. Ryan: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
8. Michael: Davante Adams, WR, Packers
9. Nick: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
10. John: Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
11. Hayden: Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
12. Peter: Aaron Jones, RB, Packers

Anaylsis: It's the year of the running back, folks. Myself and Michael were the only two drafters who didn't go RB in Round 1. Sanders at No. 11 overall was an eye-opener, but the young Eagles running back has a ton of upside with Jordan Howard out of the picture.

ROUND 2

13. Peter: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
14. Hayden: Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
15. John: Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals
16. Nick: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
17. Michael: George Kittle, TE, 49ers
18. Ryan: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
19. Dave: Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
20. Davis: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
21. Darren: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
22. Justin: Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
23. Patrick: Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions
24. Christopher: Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

Analysis: If you want an elite tight end, you'll need to spend elite draft capital. Kelce and Kittle both went off the board within the first 20 picks, and that will likely be the case in your draft, as well.

ROUND 3

25. Christopher: Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
26. Patrick: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
27. Justin: Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
28. Darren: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns
29. Davis: DJ Moore, WR, Panthers
30. Dave: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
31. Ryan: Melvin Gordon III, RB, Broncos
32. Michael: Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks
33. Nick: Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
34. John: Todd Gurley II, RB, Falcons
35. Hayden: Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
36. Peter: Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams

Analysis: Jackson and Mahomes are to QBs as Kelce and Kittle are to tight ends. The NFL's last two MVPs should pay huge dividends as Tier 1 quarterbacks, but neither are falling past the third round.

ROUND 4

37. Peter: Mark Ingram II, RB, Ravens
38. Hayden: Robert Woods, WR, Rams
39. John: Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys
40. Nick: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
41. Michael: James Conner, RB, Steelers
42. Ryan: A.J. Brown, WR, Titans
43. Dave: Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
44. Davis: Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens
45. Darren: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
46. Justin: Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
47. Patrick: David Johnson, RB, Texans
48. Christopher: Devin Singletary, RB, Bills

Analysis: I may have reached for Taylor at No. 45, as the Colts rookie will split carries with Marlon Mack. There's a steep drop-off at RB after Ingram and Conner, though, as Fournette, Johnson and Singletary all have injury concerns.

ROUND 5

49. Christopher: Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
50. Patrick: David Montgomery, RB, Bears
51. Justin: DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
52. Darren: Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
53. Davis: Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
54. Dave: Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
55. Ryan: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Jets
56. Michael: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
57. Nick: DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
58. John: DJ Chark, WR, Jaguars
59. Hayden: Cam Akers, RB, Rams
60. Peter: D'Andre Swift, RB, Lions

Analysis: Hayden and Peter hopped on the rookie running back bandwagon by taking Akers and Swift, respectively. That's four rookie RBs off the board in the first five rounds. Rookie rushers have had tremendous success in recent years (see: Elliott, Ezekiel and Barkley, Saquon), so this trend isn't surprising.

ROUND 6

61. Peter: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
62. Hayden: Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
63. John: Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington
64. Nick: Derrius Guice, RB, Washington
65. Michael: Matt Breida, RB, Dolphins
66. Ryan: DeShaun Watson, QB, Texans
67. Dave: Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
68. Davis: Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
69. Darren: Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys
70. Justin: Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
71. Patrick: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
72. Christopher: Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals

Analysis: Prescott at No. 68 is a nice get for Davis: The Cowboys star is the No. 3 QB ahead of Wilson on many draft boards (sorry, Peter) and has an average draft position in the 50s. Either way, Wilson and Prescott should be the next two QBs taken after Jackson and Mahomes.

ROUND 7

73. Christopher: Sony Michel, RB, Patriots
74. Patrick: Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens
75. Justin: Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers
76. Darren: Josh Allen, QB, Bills
77. Davis: Will Fuller V, WR, Texans
78. Dave: Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns
79. Ryan: Jared Cook, TE, Saints
80. Michael: Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB, Buccaneers
81. Nick: Austin Hooper, TE, Browns
82. John: Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings
83. Hayden: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens
84. Peter: A.J. Green, WR, Bengals

Our takeaway: For those keeping track, we're up to six rookie running backs with Vaughn and Dobbins going in Round 7. Dobbins will lose carries to Ingram but is a solid get for Hayden at No. 83 considering how much Baltimore relies on the running game.

ROUND 8

85. Peter: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Buccaneers
86. Hayden: Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Lions
87. John: Evan Engram, TE, Giants
88. Nick: Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
89. Michael: Darius Slayton, WR, Giants
90. Ryan: Jordan Howard, RB, Dolphins
91. Dave: Ronald Jones II, RB, Buccaneers
92. Davis: Damien Williams, RB, Chiefs
93. Darren: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions
94. Justin: James White, RB, Patriots
95. Patrick: Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans
96. Christopher: Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

Analysis: Peter clearly didn't refer to our tight end rankings before making Gronkowski the ninth TE selected. If Gronk and Tom Brady recapture their pre-2018 magic, I owe Peter an apology, but in my humble opinion, this is too soon to take a 31-year-old tight end who hasn't played in a year and a half.

ROUND 9

97. Christopher: John Brown, WR, Bills
98. Patrick: Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams
99. Justin: Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals
100. Darren: Marlon Mack, RB, Colts
101. Davis: Anthony Miller, WR, Bears
102. Dave: Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
103. Ryan: Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
104. Michael: Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers
105. Nick: Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos
106. John: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
107. Hayden: Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
108. Peter: 49ers D/ST

Analysis: In a reversal of real life, Brady follows in Gronkowski's footsteps one round later. A QB like Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford probably would have been a safer bet, but this is NBC Sports Boston, after all. Brady wasn't making it past Round 9 or 10.

ROUND 10

109. Peter: Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears
110. Hayden: Hayden Hurst, TE, Falcons
111. John: Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
112. Nick: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Saints
113. Michael: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos
114. Ryan: Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans
115. Dave: Jalen Reagor, WR, Eagles
116. Davis: Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
117. Darren: Mike Williams, WR, Chargers
118. Justin: Latavius Murray, RB, Saints
119. Patrick: Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins
120. Christopher: Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Rams

Analysis: If you're looking for a mid-tier tight end, now is the time to strike. Hurst, Smith and Gesicki all are low-end TE1s with decent upside. I'm preferable to Gesicki, who could thrive with Tua Tagovailoa if the rookie QB takes over in Miami.

ROUND 11

121. Christopher: Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
122. Patrick: Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets
123. Justin: Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers
124. Darren: Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
125. Davis: Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals
126. Dave: Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
127. Ryan: Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions
128. Michael: Preston Williams, WR, Dolphins
129. Nick: Noah Fant, TE, Broncos
130. John: Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
131. Hayden: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Raiders
132. Peter: Drew Brews, QB, Saints

Analysis: Peter redeems himself here by snagging Brees at No. 132 overall. Recent comments notwithstanding, the Saints QB is a top-10 talent and a steal at the end of Round 11.

ROUND 12

133. Peter: Devonta Freeman, RB, FA
134. Hayden: Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs
135. John: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
136. Nick: Duke Johnson, RB, Texans
137. Michael: Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns
138. Ryan: Steelers D/ST
139. Dave: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
140. Davis: N'Keal Harry, WR, Patriots
141. Darren: Robby Anderson, WR, Panthers
142. Justin: Golden Tate, WR, Giants
143. Patrick: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
144. Christopher: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions

Analysis: Bring on the defense/special teams units! Ryan broke the ice by making Pittsburgh the first D/ST off the board, which in Round 12 is hardly a reach. There's also a lesson here about QB depth: Mayfield and Roethlisberger both have top-10 QB upside yet were still around in the 130s and 140s.

ROUND 13

145. Christopher: Zack Moss, RB, Bills
146. Patrick: Justin Jackson, RB, Chargers
147. Justin: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans
148. Darren: Boston Scott, RB, Eagles
149. Davis: Harrison Butker, K, Chiefs
150. Dave: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders
151. Ryan: Justin Tucker, K, Ravens
152. Michael: Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington
153. Nick: Ravens D/ST
154. John: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
155. Hayden: Greg Zuerlein, K, Cowboys
156. Peter: DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles

Analysis: Once the defense dam breaks, the kicker flood usually starts one round later. This draft was no exception, with Davis "kicking" things off by nabbing Butker at No. 149.

ROUND 14

157. Peter: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Colts
158. Hayden: Bills D/ST
159. John: Colts D/ST
160. Nick: Wil Lutz, K, Saints
161. Michael: Patriots D/ST
162. Ryan: Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers
163. Dave: Saints D/ST
164. Davis: Cowboys D/ST
165. Darren: Rams D/ST
166. Justin: Bears D/ST
167. Patrick: Chiefs D/ST
168. Christopher: Matt Prater, K, Lions

Analysis: Having already taken care of his defense and kicker, Ryan used the last round to nab a potential sleeper in Samuel. If you go this route, you'll generally have the pick of the skill position litter while the rest of the league fills out their rosters.

ROUND 15

169. Christopher: Buccaneers D/ST
170. Patrick: Zane Gonzalez, K, Cardinals
171. Justin: Robbie Gould, K, 49ers
172. Darren: Michael Badgley, K, Chargers
173. Davis: Kenny Stills, WR, Texans
174. Dave: Matt Gay, K, Buccaneers
175. Ryan: Jack Doyle, TE, Colts
176. Michael: Younghoe Koo, K, Falcons
177. Nick: Brian Lewerke, QB, Patriots
178. John: Ka'imi Fairbairn, K, Texans
179. Hayden: Breshad Perriman, WR, Jets
180. Peter: Mason Crosby, K, Packers

Analysis: It wouldn't be a fantasy draft without a pick from left field, and Nick went into the parking lot to find Lewerke, who clearly will beat out Newton, Stidham, Hoyer and J'Mar Smith for New England's starting QB job.

Fantasy football rankings 2020: Top 25 running backs in your draft

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USA TODAY Sports/NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Fantasy football rankings 2020: Top 25 running backs in your draft

No position is more important in fantasy football than running back.

One of the worst spots to be in during the middle of the season is not having enough quality running backs to play each week. Finding starting running backs on the waiver wire can be really tough. A good way to prevent this situation from happening is nailing your draft, and that includes being smart about which running backs you target.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

It's not a bad idea to take multiple running backs with your first couple draft picks. Plenty of excellent wide receivers and quarterbacks can be had in the middle to late rounds, but the same isn't often true about running backs. 

With that said, let's take a look at our ranking of the top 25 running backs for the 2020 fantasy football season.

UPDATE (June 30): These rankings have been updated to reflect Cam Newton reportedly signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots.

Tier 1

1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers (Bye Week: 13)

The Panthers committed to McCaffrey with a huge contract extension in March, and fantasy owners should show him that same faith. McCaffrey is dependable in terms of durability (never missed a game in his 3-year career), and he's coming off an incredible 2019 season during which he tallied 2,402 total yards and 19 total touchdowns. We can't expect him to post those same stats in 2020, but anything close would be phenomenal.

2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Bye Week: 11)

Barkley missed three games in 2019 but still managed to tally 1,400-plus total yards and eight total touchdowns. He's healthy again entering 2020, and with Daniel Jones establishing himself as a quality starting QB, the Giants offense could be sneaky good in 2020. Barkley is the engine that drives this offense, and he's going to get between 20-25 touches every game. 

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Bye Week: 10)

With back-to-back seasons of 300-plus carries and 50-plus receptions, Elliott is a safe pick in any fantasy league's scoring format. Elliott is a near-lock for 1,500-plus total yards and double-digit touchdowns. The Cowboys offense could be among the most explosive in the league next season, and Elliott is the player who should benefit the most. 

4. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week: 6)

Kamara wasn't as productive in 2019 as fantasy owners would've liked, but he still posted 4.7 yards per carry and caught 81 passes. He also missed two games due to injury. Kamara remains one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league and an important part of a high-scoring Saints offense led by elite quarterback Drew Brees. Expect his total touchdown number to climb back up to double digits in 2020, especially if New Orleans keeps consistently feeding him the ball in the red zone.

5. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (Bye Week: 7)

Henry led the league in rushing yards (1,540) and tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns (16) last season. He also carried the ball a career-high 303 times, which was 88 more than his previous high for a single season. It'll be interesting to see how he handles another season with a massive workload, but the Titans roster is still constructed as a run-first team. Henry will be the focal point of the offense and continue to receive loads of red-zone looks.

6. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (Bye Week: 7)

Cook finally played close to a full season and showed how effective he can be in both the passing and rushing attacks for the Vikings. He also was pretty consistent with rushing touchdowns in 11 of his 14 games played in 2019. A 16-game season from Cook could result in nearly 2,000 total yards and 10-plus touchdowns.

7. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (Bye Week: 9)

Chubb was one of the few players on the Browns offense who met or exceeded expectations in 2019. He enjoyed a breakout season with a career-high 1,494 rushing yards (5.0 per carry) and eight touchdowns. He's also improved as a pass-catcher, and it wouldn't be surprising if he tallied 50-plus receptions in 2020.

Tier 2

8. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (Bye Week: 5)

Jones had a breakout 2019 campaign with his first 1,000-yard season as a rusher, in addition to tying for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns. Jones also emerged as a quality pass-catcher for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with a career-high 49 receptions. Will Jones approach the 20-touchdown mark again in 2020? He might not, but he's still among the safest running backs for fantasy owners to target in their drafts.

9. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye Week: 9)

Mixon's 2019 season was one told in two halves. He was a much better player over the final eight games, during which he averaged 102 rushing yards per contest. All five of his rushing touchdowns came in the second half of the year, too. Mixon should be able to carry that success into 2020, especially after the Bengals upgraded at quarterback by selecting Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick.

10. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders (Bye Week: 6)

Jacobs had a fantastic rookie year with 1,150 yards (4.8 per carry) and seven touchdows on the ground in 13 games for the Raiders, and we should expect his workload to be even higher in 2020. One area where Jacobs could set career highs next season is catching passes. He didn't get enough looks in the passing game as a rookie, evidenced by his 20 receptions on 27 targets. Jacobs has the ability to be a quality pass-catching running back, and the Raiders coaching staff would be wise to involve him in more of those plays.

11. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye Week: 10)

Ekeler took advantage of Melvin Gordon's holdout and enjoyed a breakout 2019 season. He was especially productive as a receiver, tallying 92 receptions for 993 yards and eight touchdowns. Ekeler is a great player to draft in all PPR leagues. Without a reliable starting quarterback, expect the Chargers to again lean heavily on Ekeler.

Tier 3

12. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week: 9)

Sanders is another 2019 rookie who should see an increased workload in his second season. He totaled 1,327 yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage last year, and he'll again be the focal point in the Eagles offense. Philly doesn't have great depth at running back (Jordan Howard left in free agency), so we should expect Sanders to receive the bulk of the carries everywhere on the field and be used on all three downs.

13. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (Bye Week: 6)

Carson's injury history is a bit of a concern, but when healthy, he's a reliable fantasy running back. He's posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with 16 touchdowns over that span, and he also set career highs with 37 receptions and 47 targets in the passing game last year. Let's not forget that only two teams ran the ball more than Seattle in 2019, so Carson will get his opportunities.

14. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos (Bye Week: 8)

Gordon is getting a fresh start with the Broncos, and his arrival in Denver is among the reasons why expectations are high for the team's offense entering 2020. The 27-year-old veteran scores touchdowns consistenetly -- nine rushing TDs per season over the last four years. He's also a quality receiver with 40-plus receptions in each of the last four seasons. Second-year quarterback Drew Lock shows a lot of promise, but he only has five games of starter experience. Gordon is the best player in this Broncos offense, and his workload should be substantial.

15. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals (Bye Week: 8)

The hype surrounding the Cardinals offense is huge right now, and with good reason. The Cardinals acquired an elite wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans via trade in March. Hopkins' arrival gives star quarterback and 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray another quality wideout to target, in addition to the always reliable veteran Larry Fitzgerald. Drake also is an important part of the Arizona offense. He proved to be a great fit for the Cardinals after they acquired him from the Dolphins in a midseason trade last year. Drake ran for 643 yards (5.2 yards per carry) with eight touchdowns, while posting 28 receptions for 171 receiving yards in eight games for Arizona. His usage should be high in 2020, and he's a good bet to tally 100-plus total yards per game.

16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye Week: 10)

The LSU star was the last pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and he's a perfect fit in the Chiefs offense. He could be especially useful as a pass-catcher for elite quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Edwards-Helaire tallied 55 receptions for the Tigers last season, in addition to 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. Edwards-Helaire will split carries with starter Damien Williams, but he should still get enough touches to be a productive fantasy running back in what's expected to be a top-three scoring offense in KC.

17. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye Week: 7)

Trade rumors involving Fournette surfaced this offseason, but he's still in Jacksonville and remains a safe fantasy running back. Fournette tallied his second 1,000-yard rushing season in 2019. He also tallied 76 receptions (shattering his previous career high of 36), giving fantasy owners in PPR leagues a massive boost. His touchdown total -- three rushing, zero receiving -- was a concern in 2019, but there's little doubt Fournette will get plenty of chances in 2020. He's by far the best player (and the only good player, honestly) in the Jaguars offense.

Tier 4

18. Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets (Bye Week: 11)

Bell's numbers in his first season with the Jets were disappointing. He failed to run for 1,000-plus yards and totaled only four touchdowns. It wasn't all his fault, though. The Jets offensive line was bad and quarterback Sam Darnold didn't meet expectations. New York made an effort to upgrade its offensive line in the 2020 draft by selecting highly rated Louisville left tackle Mekhi Becton in the first round. Bell, and the Jets offense as a whole should be a bit better in 2020, but the veteran running back is still too much of a risk to take in the first two rounds of your fantasy draft, unless you play in a full PPR league.

19. Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons (Bye Week: 10)

Gurley's durability is a concern, but to his credit, he's only missed four games over the last three seasons. Despite not being 100 percent healthy at times in 2019, he still tallied 1,059 total yards and 14 total touchdowns (12 rushing, two receiving). Gurley signed with the Falcons in free agency, where he joins an offense that has a prolific passing attack, which should make things a little easier for the 25-year-old running back. Teams would be foolish to load the box to stop Gurley and let Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan target wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley with ease. With little competition in the Atlanta backfield, the only worry about Gurley getting enough touches to be fantasy relevant is whether he can stay healthy for a full season.

20. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye Week: 8)

Knee and shoulder injuries forced Conner to miss six games last season, which significantly hurt his fantasy value. If healthy, Conner can still be an RB2 in most fantasy leagues. Conner is a threat to make plays in both the rushing and passing attacks, and with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back healthy (he missed most of 2019), Pittsburgh's offense as a whole should be much improved in 2020.

21. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (Bye Week: 11)

Singletary enjoyed a very good rookie season with 775 rushing yards (5.1 per carry) and two touchdowns, as well as 29 receptions for 194 yards and two more scores. The touchdown totals were low, but with veteran Frank Gore leaving Buffalo in free agency, Singletary should receive most of the carries in the Bills backfield next season. He's likely to eclipse 200 carries and 40 receptions.

22. Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers (Bye Week: 11)

Mostert played well in the 2019 regular season before breaking out in the postseason with 336 yards and five rushing touchdowns over three games. His workload should increase even more in 2020 after averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Mostert also benefits from a very good 49ers offensive line (including the recent acquisiton of star left tackle Trent Williams) and one of the best blocking tight ends in George Kittle.

23. David Johnson, Houston Texans (Bye Week: 8)

Johnson has yet to recapture the elite form he displayed in 2016, and injuries have played a huge part in that decline in production. That said, Johnson is still a quality starting running back and remains a good pass-catcher out of the backfield. He'll be a reliable target for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

24. James White, New England Patriots (Bye Week: 6)

White is among the premier pass-catching running backs in the league and a must-own in any PPR format. He tallied 72 receptions for 645 yards and five touchdowns out of the backfield in 2019, and those numbers could go higher in 2020 considering new quarterback Cam Newton relied heavily on McCaffrey in Carolina. White isn't likely to make much of an impact running the football, although the Patriots aren't afraid to give him carries at the goal line.

25. D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (Bye Week: 5)

Swift was a high 2020 second-round pick and likely will make a strong impact for the Lions as a rookie. He probably will be splitting carries with Kerryon Johnson in the Detroit backfield, so Swift most likely will be a flex option for fantasy owners to start the season. He's a great guy to draft in dynasty leagues, and even if Johnson is healthy the whole season, you can bet the Lions will find ways to get Swift involved in the offense.