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Top 75 PPR Running Back Rankings for 2020 Fantasy Football

It seems like we’ve been waiting for football for a long time. I promise it’s not too far away! Though it’s a bit early for most drafts, our analysts have been hard at work all offseason. With limited distractions from the mess that is the real world right now, they have had more time to focus than ever before. I think you’ll see that in all of our content here at Fantrax and certainly in the first iteration of our 2020 PPR Running Back Rankings.

Below you’ll find PPR Running Back Rankings from four of our top analysts. They are ranked by the consensus now, but you can also sort by each analyst.

Meet the Rankers

Below are the analysts that will be pouring over our PPR Running Back Rankings for the next few months. We’ve included their initials so that you know who is who in the rankings table and also their Twitter handles so you can give them a follow and let them know what you think of their rankings.

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2020 PPR Running Back Rankings

Cons. RnkPlayerMCMSCYBL
1Christian McCaffrey1111
2Saquon Barkley2222
3Ezekiel Elliott3343
4Alvin Kamara4434
5Joe Mixon11665
6Dalvin Cook57712
6Derrick Henry61456
8Nick Chubb16588
9Aaron Jones71699
9Miles Sanders10101110
11Josh Jacobs891413
12Austin Ekeler9111214
13Kenyan Drake1281611
14Le'Veon Bell1422157
15Leonard Fournette13211021
16Todd Gurley18132015
17Chris Carson17151817
18Melvin Gordon23171316
19James Conner19191718
20David Johnson15202522
21Clyde Edwards-Helaire21181931
22Raheem Mostert20233023
23Devin Singletary24292124
24Kareem Hunt26262225
25David Montgomery28242426
26Jonathan Taylor22122644
27Cam Akers31322919
28D'Andre Swift25363420
29Mark Ingram29312341
30Ronald Jones II33273333
31James White27373728
32Derrius Guice30282848
33Tarik Cohen32413927
34Matt Breida37353635
34Ke'Shawn Vaughn45254132
36Damien Williams34402743
37Tevin Coleman38343836
38J.K. Dobbins39333245
39Jordan Howard41304634
40Sony Michel40424229
41Latavius Murray35534538
42Kerryon Johnson43433551
42Zack Moss51395230
44Marlon Mack44513150
45Alexander Mattison47454342
46Boston Scott42465140
47Phillip Lindsay36524053
48Tony Pollard50444454
49Duke Johnson48565039
50Darrell Henderson49384760
51Nyheim Hines53475649
52Antonio Gibson46495959
53Jamaal Williams55636037
54Chase Edmonds58554970
54Rashaad Penny72654847
56Carlos Hyde64545762
57Justin Jackson54675366
57Damien Harris68485569
59A.J. Dillon62506564
60Adrian Peterson57616461
61Giovani Bernard60577265
62Ryquell Armstead77606167
63Ito Smith52756673
64Darrynton Evans56NR5458
65Jaylen Samuels61766371
66Chris Thompson6559NR56
67Gus Edwards67786772
68Benny Snell Jr.71697174
69Jerick McKinnon6666NR57
70Malcolm Brown696470NR
71Justice Hill747358NR
72Rex Burkhead59NRNR52
73Joshua KelleyNR68NR46
74Jalen Richard63NRNR55
75Lynn Bowden Jr.NR58NR63
76Anthony McFarland767769NR
77Darwin Thompson73NR68NR
78Mike BooneNR74NR68
79Frank Gore70NR73NR
80Bryce Love75NR75NR
81Lamar MillerNRNR7675
82La'Mical PerineNR62NRNR
82Dion LewisNRNR62NR
84Reggie BonnafonNR70NRNR
85Trayveon WilliamsNR71NRNR
86Rodney AndersonNR72NRNR
87Senorise PerryNRNR74NR
88LeSean McCoyNRNR77NR

Breaking Down the Position

Mick Ciallela

Running back is the one position where a fantasy player is a bit hamstrung by his or her draft spot. You can grab a top-five quarterback, wide receiver, or tight end from any draft spot, Hell, you can draft the top quarterback or tight end late in the first round if you wanted to. However, to snag a consensus preseason top-five running back, you would almost certainly have to secure a top-seven first-round pick. If you have a late first-round pick, you have zero chance at drafting Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, or Ezekiel Elliott. In theory, you are already behind the eight-ball at the running back position. The good news is that not all hope is lost. There are still plenty of solid backs out there who can keep you afloat.

Regardless of where I am picking, I want to draft a surplus of running backs. Even if I go Zero-RB, I would still take a bunch of them in the middle rounds. My preference is for well-rounded backs. That is a strategy that is obvious for PPR formats but applies in standard leagues as well. Running backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield are worth their weight in gold. Austin Ekeler finished with the 33rd most rushing yards among running backs in 2019, yet finished seventh in standard scoring. Kareem Hunt finished as a top-19 fantasy back in four of his first five games despite accruing just 153 rushing yards during that span. PPR scoring tilts the playing field even further. Of the 18 running backs who scored at least 200 PPR points last year, 12 caught at least 49 passes. Only 11 surpassed 1,000 rushing yards.

I mentioned above that I look to grab a surplus of running backs. This is where drafting can get tricky. I made the mistake last year of drafting too many handcuffs. I had a team with Darrell Henderson, Justin Jackson, and Darwin Thompson. Those ended up being dead roster spots. Having dead roster spots is unavoidable in fantasy football, but you must know when to hold and when to cut bait. Think of some of the running backs who led teams to fantasy championships in 2019. Players like Raheem Mostert, Boston Scott, DeAndre Washington, and even Mike Boone came from relative obscurity to post big numbers in December. Kenyan Drake and Miles Sanders were top-10 running backs down the stretch after essentially being irrelevant for half a season. If you want to handcuff your primary back, fine. Just do not be afraid to cut bait and hit the waiver wire.

Meng Song

Many industry analysts are touting a draft strategy that focuses on early-round running back selections this year, and for good reason. Outside of the top-10 or so backs with guaranteed heavy workloads, there are a lot of risky backfields for which it’s unclear which players will receive the most snaps and touches.

However, it’s important to remember that if this NFL season goes as planned (*fingers crossed*), a lot of players will likely miss time as a result of testing positive for COVID-19. 2020 may be a good year to avoid handcuffing top running backs, as it’s very possible that players in the same backfield could transmit the virus to each other. Instead, the smarter approach would be to diversify and invest in a variety of backfields to hedge your bets at running back, so to speak.

Corbin Young

A handful of rookie running backs muddied up the running back room for several teams. Exciting rookies like Jonathan Taylor, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Cam Akers, D’Andre Swift, and J.K. Dobbins could all make an impact in fantasy leagues this year. The big questions being when and how much they’ll share with the other running backs on their team.

With so many teams spreading touches between multiple running backs, it’s important to target the players involved in the passing game. It’s rare for running backs who mainly run the ball to finish at the top of the running back rankings. Some sleeper running backs going later that I like are Tarik Cohen, James White, and Boston Scott.

Brent Langlois

Running back seems to be a position that people always go about targeting differently. The good news is, you can miss out on the top 2 running back tiers and still end up with some pretty solid players without selling your dog. This year in particular there are a lot of cheaper rookie running backs that could carve out big roles. Jonathan Taylor (63 ADP) D’Andre Swift (78 ADP) and Cam Akers (90 ADP) may end up being ridiculous steals when all is said and done. All are highly talented and profile as RB’s who are well suited for large workloads. They also have very little standing in the way of them earning large workloads. You could even wait a little longer and land Tampa Bay’s lead back. If you guess right or are lucky enough to grab both, Ronald Jones (95 ADP) or Vaughan (117ADP) could end up being league winners in what should be an elite offense. Additionally, committee backfields in Buffalo, Miami and Kansas City may have cheaper options who could reach RB2 production. The running back position isn’t as deep as QB, but you can load up at wide receiver in the first 3 or 4 rounds and still be very competitive at running back.

More 2020 Fantasy Football Rankings:

PPR: QB | RB | WR | TE |

Standard: QB | RB | WR | TE |

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