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2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 20 Running Backs

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There may be no more important pick in a fantasy football draft than your first running back. A top-tier rusher can be the backbone of your lineup, but the best options thin out quickly.

Who should you target in this year’s draft? Here are the top 20 fantasy running backs heading into the 2020 season.

Preseason rankings: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Defense/Special Teams | Top Rookies | 10 sleepers and breakouts | Tips for a perfect draft | Players to avoid drafting early
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2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL RB RANKINGS: PRESEASON

1. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers (ADP: 1.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 287 attempts, 1,387 yards, 15 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 116 catches, 1,005 yards, 4 TDs
  • 2019 points: 355.2 (1)

The undisputed top player in fantasy, Christian McCaffrey racked up 78 more standard points than any other non-quarterback in the league. That margin widens to 96 points when using PPR. Drafting him No. 1 overall will be the easiest choice you can make in this draft.

2. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants (ADP: 2.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 217 attempts, 1,003 yards, 6 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 52 catches, 438 yards, 2 TDs
  • 2019 points: 192.1 (10)

Saquon Barkley was limited to 13 games last season because of a high ankle sprain, but the Giants running back still averaged over 16 carries per contest while making an impact in the passing game. With Daniel Jones looking to take a step forward in his sophomore seasons, Barkley will be New York’s safety net to help shoulder the offensive load.

3. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans (ADP: 6.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 303 attempts, 1,540 yards, 16 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 18 catches, 206 yards, 2 TDs
  • 2019 points: 276.6 (2)

Nobody garnered more carries out of the backfield in 2019 than Derrick Henry. The Alabama product showed his strong second half of 2018 was no fluke and earned himself a four-year, $50 million extension this offseason as a result. He should be the focal point of the Titans’ offense again in 2020.

4. Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys (ADP: 2.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 301 attempts, 1,357 yards, 12 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 54 catches, 420 yards, 2 TDs
  • 2019 points: 257.7 (4)

Since entering the NFL as a rookie in 2016, Ezekiel Elliott has put together three seasons with at least 300 carries. The rest of the NFL has had only two over that span. Elliott’s high floor makes him a lock for a top-five spot in these rankings and would be a steal for any fantasy owner who seems him slip out of the top five in their respective draft.

 

5. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns (ADP: 10.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 298 attempts, 1,494 yards, 8 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 36 catches, 278 yards, 0 TDs
  • 2019 points: 219.2 (6)

The Browns’ offense was disappointing on many levels in 2019, but Nick Chubb was a bright spot out of the backfield as a second-year rusher. Even though the talented Kareem Hunt is on the roster, Chubb will be the undisputed top running back in Cleveland if he enters the season fully healthy.

6. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings (ADP: 6.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 250 attempts, 1,135 yards, 8 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 53 catches, 519 yards, 2 TDs
  • 2019 points: 239.4 (5)

Though he has yet to play a full season, Dalvin Cook is one of the NFL’s premier running backs when healthy. He ranked sixth in rushing yards per game (81.1) among running backs with at least 14 games played last season. If he’s still on the field by the start of the fantasy playoffs, he will be a difference maker in your matchups.

7. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints (ADP: 5.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 171 attempts, 797 yards, 5 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 81 catches, 533 yards, 1 TD
  • 2019 points: 167.5 (16)

Alvin Kamara might rank higher on a list of running backs organized by talent alone, but the Saints have scaled back his workload since adding Latavius Murray to the backfield in order to keep the 25-year-old healthy. However, Kamara’s touchdown slump that extended for much of last season is unlikely to happen again as he remains the primary option in New Orleans.

8. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders (ADP: 13.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 242 attempts, 1,150 yards, 7 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 20 catches, 166 yards, 1 TD
  • 2019 points: 171.6 (14)

In his rookie season with the Raiders, Josh Jacobs lived up to his first-round selection by proving more than capable of creating space between the tackles. He ranked fifth among running backs in yards after contact, which helps elevate his value despite not contributing much to the passing game.

9. Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers (ADP: 23.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 132 attempts, 557 yards, 3 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 92 catches, 993 yards 8 TDs
  • 2019 points: 217.0 (7)

Whenever Melvin Gordon has been off the field for the Chargers, Austin Ekeler has thrived as the No. 1 running back – particularly as a receiver. Gordon is now in Denver, so Ekeler will have the opportunity to prove he can keep up his success as the top option over the course of a full season.

10. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs (ADP: 16.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: Rookie
  • 2019 receiving stats: Rookie
  • 2019 points: Rookie

Following incumbent running back Damien Williams’ decision to opt out of the 2020 season, the spotlight in Kansas City has shifted to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He’ll be inserted into an offense led by Patrick Mahomes, which should create ample opportunities for the LSU product to show he belongs at the professional level.

11. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 19.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 179 attempts, 818 yards, 3 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 50 catches, 509 yards,
  • 2019 points: 168.7 (15)

12. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 15.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 170 attempts, 817 yards, 8 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 50 catches, 345 yards, 0 TDs
  • 2019 points: 164.2 (18)

13. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 9.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 278 attempts, 1,137 yards, 5 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 35 catches, 287 yards, 3 TDs
  • 2019 points: 190.4 (11)

14. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers (ADP: 11.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 236 attempts, 1,084 yards, 16 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 49 catches, 474 yards, 3 TDs
  • 2019 points: 265.8 (3)

15. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks (ADP: 18.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 278 attempts, 1,230 yards, 7 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 37 catches, 266 yards, 2 TDs
  • 2019 points: 195.6 (9)

16. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: 19.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 116 attempts, 464 yards, 4 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 34 catches, 251 yards, 3 TDs
  • 2019 points: 111.5 (33)

17. Mark Ingram II – Baltimore Ravens (ADP: 22.3)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 202 attempts, 1,018 yards, 10 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 26 catches, 247 yards, 5 TDs
  • 2019 points: 216.5 (8)

18. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 18.0)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 265 attempts, 1,152 yards, 3 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 76 catches, 522 yards, 0 TDs
  • 2019 points: 183.4 (13)

19. Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos (ADP: 21.5)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 162 attempts, 612 yards, 8 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 42 catches, 296 yards, 1 TD
  • 2019 points: 138.8 (25)

20. David Johnson – Houston Texans (ADP: 20.7)

  • 2019 rushing stats: 94 attempts, 345 yards, 2 TDs
  • 2019 receiving stats: 36 catches, 370 yards, 4 TDs
  • 2019 points: 105.5 (37)

All stats via FantasyPros.

Preseason rankings: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Defense/Special Teams | Top Rookies | 10 sleepers and breakouts | Tips for a perfect draft | Players to avoid drafting early