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Fantasy football rankings 2019: Top 30 running backs in your draft

Fantasy football rankings 2019: Top 30 running backs in your draft

What's the state of the fantasy football running back in 2019?

Consider this: Excluding quarterbacks, the top five overall performers in fantasy last season were all running backs. The next six were all wide receivers.

The point is that running backs remain crucial to fantasy success, but there's a steep drop-off between the elite and the rest of the pack -- and the elite is shrinking.

That makes it imperative to either grab the right RB1 or wait until the later rounds to find a productive RB2 at the right price.

Fortunately, we're here to help. Here are the top 30 running backs we're targeting in standard leagues.

TIER 1

1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Bye Week: 11)
Only Todd Gurley tallied more fantasy points in 2018 than Barkley, who amassed 352 touches as the focal point of the Giants' offense. With Odell Beckham Jr. out of the picture, Barkley again should be New York's workhorse.

2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (Week 9)
Mark Ingram's offseason departure should translate to even more fantasy opportunity for Kamara, who caught exactly 81 passes in each of his first two seasons with the Saints and will remain heavily involved as long as Drew Brees stays healthy.

3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers (Week 7)
McCaffrey officially is in his fantasy prime after playing 91 percent of the Panthers' snaps last season. Expect him to be Carolina's No. 1 option once again, with another 1,000 rushing yards and 100 catches in the cards.

4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (Week 8)
A sign of the times: The once-one-dimensional Elliott caught 57 passes for 567 yards and three touchdowns last season. But the 300-plus carries are Elliott's primary appeal, even if his ongoing holdout is cause for concern.

TIER 2

5. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (Week 12)
Don't sleep on David Johnson, folks. The 27-year-old got somewhat overlooked last season on an awful Cardinals squad, but he should be in peak form under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray.

6. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 7)
Conner is the clear No. 1 back behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Even if Jaylen Samuels takes some of his touches, he's still a safe bet for 10-plus touchdowns as Pittsburgh's goal-line back.

7. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (Week 9)
Mixon rewarded fantasy owners who gambled on him last season by producing the ninth-most fantasy points among all running backs. The Bengals should lean on Mixon heavily, especially if A.J. Green misses significant time.

8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns (Week 7)
The Browns cleared their backfield of Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr. for a reason: They believe in Chubb. With a revamped offense and the promise of a heavy workload, you should, too.

9. Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets (Week 4)
The good news: Bell is fully rested after holding out in 2018. The bad news: he goes from one of the league's top offensive lines to one of its worst. The Jets should use him a ton, but don't expect him to push 2,000 yards from scrimmage.

10. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (Week 9)
Why is the top-scoring running back in fantasy last year ranked ninth on this list? Because knee injuries are not to be trifled with, and the concern over his arthritis is notable if you're considering taking him in the first two rounds.

TIER 3

11. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings (Week 12)

12. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions (Week 5)

13. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers (Week 12)

14. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 10)

15. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (Week 11)

16. Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (Week 12)

TIER 4

17. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (Week 6)

18. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (Week 9)

19. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders (Week 6)

20. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (Week 11)

21. Sony Michel, New England Patriots (Week 10)

22. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks (Week 11)

23. Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens (Week 8)

TIER 5

24. James White, Patriots (Week 10)

25. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos (Week 10)

26. Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers (Week 4)

27. Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins (Week 5)

28. David Montgomery, Bears (Week 6)

29. Tarik Cohen, Bears (Week 6)

30. Ronald Jones, Buccaneers (7)

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Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

Fantasy football Week 16 waiver wire: Breshad Perriman can be a league-winner

It's not about how you start the fantasy football season. It's how you finish.

If you're reading this, chances are your squad is loaded enough to roll through your league's playoffs to the championship round.

But there's always room for improvement, and the Week 16 waiver wire includes a couple players who should be legitimate starters in any fantasy lineup, regardless of depth.

Want to win the whole thing? Start by doing your due diligence on the waiver wire. Here are our top free-agent pickups at each position entering Week 16.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (owned in 25 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We hope you have a better QB1 option than Fitzpatrick if you've reached your league's championship. But if you're in a two-QB league, the ageless, bearded wonder is a fine pickup: He's attempted 37 or more passes in five consecutive games and gets a beatable Cincinnati Bengals defense.

Other quarterbacks to target: Jacoby Brissett (IND), Mitchell Trubisky (CHI), Gardner Minshew (JAX)

RUNNING BACK

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (39 percent owned): It's still unclear if Dalvin Cook will play in Week 16 after suffering a shoulder injury Sunday. If he doesn't, that's a massive opportunity for either Mattison or Mike Boone, who found the end zone twice in Week 15 with Cook and Mattison both sidelined. If Mattison is healthy, he should be your top waiver wire priority against the Green Bay Packers' Swiss cheese run defense.

Other running backs to target: Mike Boone (MIN), Chris Thompson (WAS), Wes Hills (DET)

WIDE RECEIVER

Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 percent owned): This one's a no-brainer. Perriman had produced double-digit fantasy points in two consecutive weeks before going off for three touchdowns last Sunday in Mike Evans' absence. With Chris Godwin also on the shelf, Perriman suddenly is the No. 1 wideout for Jameis Winston and the pass-happy Bucs.

Other wide receivers to target: Anthony Miller (CHI), Chris Conley (JAX), James Washington (PIT)

TIGHT END

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41 percent owned): Perriman isn't the only Bucs pass-catcher who should benefit from Evans and Godwin being out. Howard has at least four catches in three consecutive games, and the Houston Texans have allowed six touchdowns to tight ends over their last seven contests.

Other tight ends to target: Jonnu Smith (TEN), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Denver Broncos (25 percent owned): David Blough's stats through three games as the Detroit Lions' starting quarterback -- five interceptions, one fumble, nine sacks -- are all the evidence you need to pick up the Broncos ahead of this matchup in Denver.

Other defenses to target: Indianapolis (vs. CAR), Atlanta (vs. JAX)

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Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

Fantasy football Week 15 waiver wire: Can A.J. Brown deliver in playoffs?

You didn't come this far just to come this far.

Week 15 of the NFL season means it's the semifinal round of the fantasy football playoffs in most leagues.

If you're reading this, congrats on still being alive. But you're not interested in a runner-up trophy, and we're not interested in providing runner-up advice.

Below are the top players at each position who are widely available on fantasy football waiver wires and are worth adding for Week 15 as you seek fantasy glory.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues): We'll continue to put Tannehill on this list until he's owned in more than half of leagues. The Titans gunslinger was the sixth-best quarterback in fantasy last week and faces a Houston Texans defense that just allowed 309 passing yards and three touchdowns to Drew Lock. He's your guy again this week.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Kyle Allen (CAR)

RUNNING BACK

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins (40 percent owned): News that Derrius Guice has a sprained MCL means Peterson is the clear-cut workhorse on a team that loves to run the ball. The ageless veteran has touchdowns in back-to-back weeks and should see north of 20 touches against the Philadelphia Eagles, making him the safest waiver wire pickup among running backs.

Other running backs to target: DeAndre Washington (OAK), Patrick Laird (MIA), Boston Scott (PHI)

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (27 percent owned): The rookie wide receiver has become Tannehill's go-to deep threat, with 333 receiving yards over his last three games. Brown's low catch total makes him a bit of a boom-or-bust play, but it's the playoffs. Gotta take shots to make shots.

Other wide receivers to target: Zach Pascal (IND), Darius Slayton (NYG), Justin Watson (TB)

TIGHT END

David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (37 percent owned): Njoku caught just one pass for four yards in his first game since Week 2, but has a dream matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that's given up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. He's a high-risk breakout candidate.

Other tight ends to target: Gerald Everett (LAR), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Kansas City Chiefs (32 percent owned): Is the Chiefs defense ... good? Kansas City has held each of its last opponents (including the New England Patriots) to 16 points or fewer. The Denver Broncos are riding high after upsetting the Texans, but we're sensing a turnover-filled letdown game in KC.

Other defenses to target: Oakland (vs. JAX), Seattle (at CAR)

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