While a desire to build dynasty teams with flexibility and longevity in mind should be at the forefront of any prospective league champion’s strategy on draft day – there comes a time to live in the present. Doing so, in dynasty leagues, with the intention of competing for a title this year often comes down to having a strong, reliable, and somewhat deep bevy of running backs to choose from on game day. These dynasty RB rankings reflect the combination of talent, scheme, usage types, and relative stability of backs and how they should be perceived from a dynasty perspective.
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League Winners (1-4)
The four running backs in this tier are arguably the most valuable pieces of fantasy rosters in 2019. Saquon and Elliott are assured unparalleled volume while CMC and Kamara effectively serve as their team’s number one targets on top of their roles on the ground. If risk exists for any of these four guys with the capability to anchor a title-winning team, it lies with Ezekiel Elliott and his holdout (https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/ezekiel-elliott-holdout-how-we-got-here-what-the-future-holds-and-what-it-means-for-cowboys-fantasy-gambling/). Monitor that situation, but from a dynasty perspective, all of these guys look to be good bets to be solid contributors 2-3 years from 2019. Kamara, Zeke, and Elliott also find themselves behind some of the best offensive lines in football – a factor that influences rushing success even more so than the talent of the RB himself.
Just behind the elite of the elite at the running back position, you’ll find the extremely talented group that populates this tier. Guys like Le’Veon Bell, James Conner, and David Johnson look to be in line for massive volume. Nick Chubb and Dalvin Cook figure to be on good offenses where stacking the box isn’t an option. Though Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon specifically are surrounded by question marks, their past production proves that they belong in this group. Whether on the ground or through the air, everyone in this group is poised to contribute in a big way for the foreseeable future. The only thing separating this tier from the top one are the question marks that surround some of the RBs in this section.
Uncertainty In Spades (14-23)
Whether its Leonard Fournette’s injury woes that give you pause, Aaron Jones’ usage, Josh Jacobs’ offense, or Damien Williams’ job security – each and every one of the RBs in this group have significant concerns heading into this season and beyond. The potential is there – Fournette owns one of the most voluminous roles in football when healthy and Derrick Henry could lead the league in rushing. But coupled with a general lack of stability at the RB position year to year and the fears mentioned above, dynasty GMs should treat all members of this tier as RB2s and nothing more. A team build that has a GM rostering two of these players can get by with strength at the other positions however.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda’s (24-36)
The potential for many of the guys listed in this tier is evident and if breaks swing in their directions then this list updated in 2020 will look wholly different. That said, there are significant challenges for many of these players when it comes to commanding consistent volume. Guice is competing with two other capable RBs in his backfield. Kareem Hunt is stuck behind Nick Chubb. Rashaad Penny doesn’t seem poised to unseat Chris Carson, and Mark Ingram may be a one year rental in Baltimore. Expecting any of these guys to be long term RB2s with no plan B in place is a fools errand and can cost good teams championships. That said, these are perfect zero RB targets later in drafts for more WR heavy squads.
Dumpster Divers (37-65)
The players in this tier are of the “break glass” variety. While significant contributions shouldn’t be expected, that is not to say that this group is devoid of all value. Still, as it currently stands none of these players should be counted on as anything other than bye week fill ins for competing teams and, if young enough, should find themselves on TAXI squads. New blood is needed if these players make up the majority of your RB room.
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2019 Dynasty RB Rankings
|39||Ronald Jones II||TB||7|
|59||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT||7|
Etan Mozia has been involved with sports as a whole for over two decades and has written about athletics in some capacity since 2005. Focused primarily on the NFL and EPL, Etan has seen his work featured on sites like FantasyPros, Advanced Sports Logic, and FFD260 among others. Currently, his work is housed on FantraxHQ and FantasyPros. An avid lover of dynasty leagues specifically, you can also listen to him on his podcast, The Dynasty Diagnostic (@DynoDiagnostic), as he breaks down rosters and provides pertinent and practical advice for dynasty squads looking to give their team an edge. Follow him on twitter @EtanMozia.
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