2020 PPR Running Back Tiers

Tier 1 (Elite RB1)

  • Christian McCaffrey (CAR) (RB1)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 287 Car. 116 Rec. 2,392 Total yds. 19 Total TD
    • The definition of elite, an all-around PPR stud
    • Don’t overthink it, he should be the top back
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Saquon Barkley (NYG) (RB2)
    • 2019 Stats: 13 GP 217 Car. 52 Rec. 1,441 Total yds. 8 Total TD
    • Barkley is a close 2nd in this tier
    • I believe he gets back to 2018 form, draft with confidence
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Dalvin Cook (MIN) (RB3)
    • 2019 Stats: 14 GP 250 Car. 53 Rec. 1,654 Total yds. 13 Total TD
    • Cook is a lock for 230+ carries, an excellent receiving back and focal point of the offense
    • Dalvin put injury concerns to rest by playing 14 games in 2019
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) (RB4)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 301 Car. 54 Rec. 1,777 Total yds. 14 Total TD
    • Zeke is low risk, when he’s out there he produces
    • You can feel safe leaning on Zeke as RB1, week in and week out
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Alvin Kamara (NO) (RB5)
    • 2019 Stats: 14 GP 171 Car. 81 Rec. 1,330 Total yds. 6 Total TD
    • Kamara has a safe PPR floor (80+ catches in 3 straight seasons)
    • Touchdowns were down in 2019 (6) from 2018 (18), I expect that number to spike back up
    • Risk Level: Low
Alvin Kamara: Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Tier 2 (Solid RB1 w/ Elite Upside)

  • Joe Mixon (CIN) (RB6)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 278 Car. 35 Rec. 1,424 Total yds. 8 Total TD
    • New additions on offense: Joe Burrow, A.J. Green back (strong WR core), new look offense will keep defenses honest giving Mixon room to run
    • Mixon does carry some risk, but volume is king and Mixon has the talent to produce elite numbers given the opportunity
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Nick Chubb (CLE) (RB7)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 298 Car. 35 Rec. 1,494 Total yds. 8 Total TD
    • Chubb doesn’t have the receiving upside of those ranked above him, but this offense will be run heavy with new coaching staff
    • Additions to offensive line (Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills) will go a long way for a runner like Chubb, he will share work with Kareem Hunt but there should be enough work for both
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Derrick Henry (TEN) (RB8)
    • 2019 Stats: 15 GP 303 Car. 18 Rec. 1,540 Total yds. 18 total touchdowns
    • I’ll admit prior to 2019 I would avoid Henry in PPR, but his volume is impossible to deny
    • Can be game script dependent, but I believe the upside of the volume out weighs the risk of potential negative game scripts
    • Risk Level: Medium
Derrick Henry: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Tier 3 (Fringe RB1)

  • Kenyan Drake (ARI) (RB9)
    • 2019 Stats: 14 GP 170 Car. 50 Rec. 1,162 Total yds. 8 Total TD
    • Cardinals paid him like a lead back, so he should initially get the lead back touches
    • Great receiving threat, big play ability, but still unproven in lead role
    • Risk Level: High
  • Miles Sanders (PHI) (RB10)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 179 Car. 50 Rec. 1,327 Total yds. 6 Total TD
    • Sanders showed flashes in second half of 2019, he will start 2020 as the lead back
    • Elite big play ability, 50 receptions as a rookie, expecting touchdowns to spike with workload
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Josh Jacobs (LV) (RB11)
    • 2019 Stats: 13 GP 242 Car. 20 Rec. 1,316 Total yds. 7 Total TD
    • Jacobs workload is consistent, he gets the redzone touches, and he was reliable as a rookie
    • Could lack scoring opportunities in Raider offense and needs to carve out more receiving work, volume provides safe floor
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Aaron Jones (GB) (RB12)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 236 Car. 49 Rec. 1,558 Total yds. 19 Total TD
    • Jones isn’t the most consistent of the RB1, but his numbers speak for themselves
    • He has a low floor and a sky high ceiling, he is part of a high scoring offensive unit, and he is a solid receiving threat
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • James Conner (PIT) (RB13)
    • 2019 Stats: 10 GP 116 Car. 34 Rec. 715 Total yds. 7 Total TD
    • Conner has shown he can be an RB1 (2018), he has maintained a safe receiving floor, and should be a workhorse again in 2020
    • PIT offense should be improved in 2020, they have a top defense, which should translate to positive game scripts
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Chris Carson (SEA) (RB14)
    • 2019 Stats: 15 GP 278 Car. 37 Rec. 1,496 Total yds. 9 Total TD
    • Carson was a workhorse in 2019, Seattle loves to run the ball, I believe addition of Carlos Hyde was more so a replacement for Rashaad Penny
    • Became more of a receiving threat in 2019 (17+ catches from 2018), they run him in the redzone, and I believe in his talent
    • Risk Level: Medium
Chris Carson: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Tier 4 (High End RB2)

  • Austin Ekeler (LAC) (RB15)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 132 Car. 92 Rec. 1,550 Total yds. 11 Total TD
    • Ekeler was electric in 2019 with Rivers, but Taylor/Herbert don’t get me as excited for Ekelers upside
    • His receiving ability gives him a safe floor in most weeks, but lack of scoring opportunities could limit his ceiling
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Leonard Fournette (JAX) (RB16)
    • 2019 Stats: 15 GP 265 Car. 76 Rec. 1,674 Total yds. 3 Total TD
    • In 2019 Fournette proved he can be a viable PPR RB, I don’t expect him to catch 76 balls again but I do expect 45-50 rec.
    • Volume is king and Fournette gets the touches, I view Minshew under center as a positive, touchdowns should go up in 2020
    • Risk Level: High
  • Todd Gurley (ATL) (RB17)
    • 2019 Stats: 15 GP 223 Car. 31 Rec. 1,064 Total yds. 14 Total TD
    • Atlanta typically runs a timeshare at RB, but they haven’t had a talent like Gurley, he’s on a 1 year deal so I think they feed him
    • Strong offense in ATL should provide plenty of redzone opportunity, I’ll take the chance given the potential volume
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Clyde Edwards – Helaire (KC) (RB18)
    • 2019 Stats: (LSU) 15 GP 215 Car. 55 Rec. 1,867 Total yds. 17 Total TD
    • Of course a great fit for CEH in Kansas City, 1st round draft pedigree, Brian Westbrook comparisons from Andy Reid
    • I think he will share backfield with Williams to start, but there should be enough scoring opportunity in KC for both backs
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Jonathan Taylor (IND) (RB19)
    • 2019 Stats: (WIS)14 GP 320 Car. 26 Rec. 2,255 Total yds. 26 Total TD
    • Indy has a great O-line, they look to establish the run, and Rivers should improve this offense in 2020
    • Taylor is in a backfield with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines, but I think Taylor is clearly the most talented and will win the job
    • Risk Level: Low
Jonathan Taylor (Photo: Andy Manis, AP)

Tier 5 (Solid RB2 w/ Upside)

  • Melvin Gordon (DEN) (RB20)
    • 2019 Stats: 12 GP 162 Car. 42 Rec. 908 Total yds. 9 Total TD
    • Gordon was paid like a lead back, so I have to believe he will lead the backfield in touches, although it could be a headache to predict week-to-week
    • We’ve seen Gordon be a solid RB1 and Denver did make improvements on offense, so in this range his upside is worth it
    • Risk Level: Timeshare Headache
  • Le’veon Bell (NYJ) (RB21)
    • 2019 Stats: 15 GP 245 Car. 66 Rec. 1,250 Total yds. 4 Total TD
    • Now for Bell the 66 receptions in 2019 is what kept him fantasy relevant, but the terrible rushing efficiency/touchdown production is scary
    • The addition of Frank Gore is unfortunate but not deadly, you know Bell is a lock for touches but you’ll have to pray for an uptick in efficiency to start him week-to-week on a bad offense
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • David Johnson (HOU) (RB22)
    • 2019 Stats: 13 GP 94 Car. 36 Rec. 715 Total yds. 6 Total TD
    • Houston has invested heavily in Johnson, so you have to believe they will try and maximize on that, we hope so at least
    • I believe he will have an impact in the passing game, giving him value in PPR, but I’ll be honest I don’t feel good about it
    • Risk Level: High
  • Mark Ingram (BAL) (RB23)
    • 2019 Stats: 15 GP 202 Car. 26 Rec. 1,265 Total yds. 15 Total TD
    • 15 TD in 2019 is awesome, but that will be a tough number to replicate considering the addition of Dobbins and the impact Lamar Jackson has in the redzone
    • That being said, this was the #1 rushing attack in the league in 2019 and I believe they will be one of the top in 2020
    • Risk Level: Low
Mark Ingram: (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Tier 6 (Fringe RB2)

  • Devin Singletary (BUF) (RB24)
    • 2019 Stats: 12 GP 151 Car. 29 Rec. 969 Total yds. 4 Total TD
    • Singletary showed flashes in 2019 of how exciting a runner he can be, and should take the next step in 2020
    • Unfortunately for him Buffalo also drafted Zack Moss who should be expected to take some touches, and potentially redzone work
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Kareem Hunt (CLE) (RB25)
    • 2019 Stats: 8 GP 43 Car. 37 Rec. 464 Total yds. 3 Total TD
    • In 2019 Hunt was only eligible for half the season and had to work his way back into the rotation, but he instantly became a viable receiving threat
    • I expect Cleveland to run the ball enough to utilize both Chubb and Hunt, Hunt should get more passing down work to sustain his fantasy relevance
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Cam Akers (LAR) (RB26)
    • 2019 Stats: (FSU) 11 GP 231 Car. 30 Rec. 1,369 Total yds. 18 Total TD
    • I was high on Akers going into the draft and landing with the Rams could make him an enticing option sooner than later
    • Akers is the best back on the roster from day 1, the test will be if the Rams offensive line gives him room to run
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • David Montgomery (CHI) (RB27)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 242 Car. 25 Rec. 1,074 Total yds. 7 Total TD
    • Montgomery got the volume in 2019, and from the Bears offseason it looks like they will continue to give him the rock
    • I’m skeptical in terms of the efficiency of the Bears offense in general heading into 2020, but if Montgomery is getting close to 250+ touches again I’ll take a piece of that
    • Risk Level: Medium-High
  • James White (NE) (RB28)
    • 2019 Stats: 15 GP 67 Car. 72 Rec. 908 Total yds. 6 Total TD
    • It will be tough to project this New England offense heading into 2020 but White seems to have carved out a consistent role no matter what
    • White was Brady’s safety blanket the past few years, and honestly I don’t see that changing for whoever is at the helm in New England, he’s a true specialist
    • Risk Level: Low
James White: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Tier 7 (Week-To-Week RB)

  • Raheem Mostert (SF) (RB29)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 137 Car. 14 Rec. 952 Total yds. 10 Total TD
    • We all know SF will be one of the run heaviest teams in the league, but they also have a few mouths to feed in the backfield
    • Mostert really emerged during the Super Bowl run last year, and I think his he will lead the team in carries and yards while splitting redzone work with Tevin Coleman/Jeff Wilson
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • D’Andre Swift (DET) (RB30)
    • 2019 Stats: (UGA) 14 GP 196 Car. 24 Rec. 1,434 Total yds. 8 Total TD
    • This Lions duo of Swift & Kerryon should be a fun one to watch, but a hard one to predict for fantasy purposes
    • I expect Swift to be involved in the passing game, and be efficient with touches, right now I value him slightly more than Kerryon but I have them back-to-back
    • Risk Level: Medium
  • Kerryon Johnson (DET) (RB31)
    • 2019 Stats: 8 GP 113 Car. 10 Rec. 530 Total yds. 4 Total TD
    • Kerryon has not been able to stay healthy in his first two NFL seasons, but he shows flashes of greatness every time he gets the ball and he was extremely efficient as rookie
    • The addition of Swift should hurt Kerryon’s volume, but with Swift taking some carries it could potentially keep Kerryon on the field through the season
    • Risk Level: Medium-High
  • Jordan Howard (MIA) (RB32)
    • 2019 Stats: 10 GP 119 Car. 10 Rec. 594 Total yds. 7 Total TD
    • Howard is not your ideal PPR-RB because he doesn’t add much value in the passing game, but when he’s on the field he tends to get significant volume as a runner
    • This backfield will be split between Howard and Breida, and if I had to choose I would rather draft and rely on Howard
    • Risk Level: Low
  • J.K Dobbins (BAL) (RB33)
    • 2019 Stats: (OSU) 14 GP 301 Car. 23 Rec. 2,250 Total yds. 23 TD
    • Dobbins landed on the #1 rushing offense from 2019, and he fills a void as a true home run hitter out of the backfeild
    • Baltimore is going to run the ball down defenses throats and Dobbins is a big play waiting to happen, don’t be surprised if he has a second half breakout similar to Miles Sanders (2019)
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Zack Moss (BUF) (RB34)
    • 2019 Stats: (Utah) 13 GP 235 Car. 28 Rec. 1,804 Total yds. 17 Total TD
    • Buffalo should be fairly run heavy and their defense should give them a lot of positive game scripts
    • Moss will split carries with Singletary and I think early on it will be almost 50/50, Singletary will have to produce to hold off Moss who might get redzone work right away
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Ronald Jones II (TB) (RB35)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 172 Car. 31 Rec. 1,033 Total yds. 6 Total TD
    • Of course we all know this Tampa Bay offense will look drastically different in 2020, and I believe the upside for Jones is more redzone opportunity
    • Tampa Bay should be moving ball much more efficiently than 2019 and having longer possessions, I think Jones is being slightly overlooked heading into 2020
    • Risk Level: High
Ronald Jones: Roto Street Journal

Tier 8 ( Wait-N-See RB)

  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB) (RB36)
    • 2019 Stats:(VU) 12 GP 198 Car. 28 Rec. 1,298 Total yds. 10 Total TD
    • Prior to the NFL Draft the expectation was that Tampa would add a pass catching back to compliment Brady’s love for checking down to the RB, late on day 2 they added Vaughn
    • The split between Vaughn and Jones will be difficult to predict that is why he headlines this tier, I believe Jones will begin the season as lead back, but he has proven to be inefficient previously when given that opportunity
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Derrius Guice (WSH) (RB37)
    • 2019 Stats: 5 GP 42 Car. 7 Rec. 324 Total yds. 3 Total TD
    • Yes, this is the first Washington RB on the list… thats how confused I am by this backfield, so many heads to feed
    • Guice has given us flashes of what he can do, he’s a physical, explosive runner, I’d roster him just based on the potential
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Damien Williams (KC) (RB38)
    • 2019 Stats: 11 GP 111 Car. 30 Rec. 711 Total yds. 7 Total TD
    • Williams was the preseason darling prior to the 2019 season, and he was disappointment considering the hype
    • KC drafted Edwards-Helarie in the first round, which doesn’t make it any easier on Williams, I think CEH ultimately gets more touches but Williams gets just enough to stay relevant
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Sony Michel (NE) (RB39)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 247 Car. 12 Rec. 1,006 Total yds. 7 Total TD
    • Sony is coming off back-to-back 900+ rushing seasons, and should get even more carries in the new Brady-less offense
    • If Sony can gain some more work in the passing game, it would drastically elevate his fantasy value, but for now he’s a week-to-week matchup play
    • Risk Level: Low
  • Phillip Lindsay (DEN) (RB40)
    • 2019 Stats: 16 GP 224 Car. 35 Rec. 1,207 Total yds. 7 Total TD
    • Lindsay has hit the 1,000 yard mark in each of his 2 NFL seasons, and has had exactly 35 catches in both as well
    • The addition of Melvin Gordon to an already crowded backfield of Lindsay and Freeman puts a real damper on his 2020 fantasy value, but his past production is tough to ignore
    • Risk Level: Medium
Phillip Lindsay: Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

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