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Regular Season, Updated: 7/9/2020

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Legend:   Upside = Upside   Risk = Risk   ADP = Average Draft Position
FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Christian McCaffrey, CAR (Bye: 13)
1
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 202   DOB: 1996-06-07   Age: 24
College: Stanford   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (8) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CAR16117 435 2 80 651 5 150.6 9.4
2018CAR16219 1,098 7 107 867 6 274.5 17.2
2019CAR16287 1,387 15 116 1,005 4 353.2 22.1
2020 (Projected)CAR 242 1,161 10 107 884 4 288.5  

 Saquon Barkley, NYG (Bye: 11)
2
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 233   DOB: 1997-02-07   Age: 23
College: Penn State   Draft: 2018 Round 1 (2) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2018NYG16261 1,307 11 91 721 4 292.8 18.3
2019NYG13217 1,003 6 52 438 2 192.1 14.8
2020 (Projected)NYG 268 1,260 10 64 517 2 249.7  

Outlook: Injuries limited Barkley to just 13 games in 2019, including games in which Barkley played but was not entirely healthy. Despite this fact, the former first-round pick from Penn State posted nearly 1500 total yards and eight total touchdowns. His 14.8 fantasy points per game placed him just outside the top five at the position.

Like Christian McCaffrey, the thing that separates Barkley from other top running backs and the reason why he should be considered a top-3 pick is his volume in the passing game. Barkley was on pace for 90 targets after posting a ridiculous 91 receptions for 721 yards and four touchdowns on 121 targets as a rookie. Owning a back like Barkley is, in essence, like owning two players in one, especially in leagues that provide points per receptions.

According to FootballOutsiders.com, the Giants were plagued by subpar offensive line play, especially in the run-blocking department (ranked 25th out of 32 teams). The front office addressed this issue with the selection of tackle Andrew Thomas in the first round and tackle Matt Peart in the third.

When healthy, Barkley is one of the most physically talented backs in the league and has the ability to provide massive value on the ground and in the passing game. You could make the argument that he could be the No.1 overall player in drafts this summer, especially if Jones and the rest of the offense build on what they did last year.


 Dalvin Cook, MIN (Bye: 7)
3
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1995-08-10   Age: 24
College: Florida State   Draft: 2017 Round 2 (9) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017MIN474 354 2 11 90 0 56.4 14.1
2018MIN11133 615 2 40 305 2 116.0 10.5
2019MIN14250 1,135 13 53 519 0 243.4 17.4
2020 (Projected)MIN 246 1,180 11 63 551 2 251.1  

Outlook: Seeing Cook's breakout 2019 coming was truly one of the easiest fantasy calls in a long time. With the holy fantasy trinity of elite talent, workhorse role, and relative health, Cooks dazzled for much of the season, finishing in the top-10 in every relevant statistical category for running backs. He and Christian McCaffery were the only backs in the NFL to tally 1,100+ yards rushing, 500+ yards receiving and score double digit touchdowns. Incredibly consistent, Cook tallied all of his stats without ever having a 30-point standard league game!

Sure the season ending loss to the 49ers was an unmitigated disaster (26 total yards on 17 touches) and he still has to work with a below average line, but Cook is easily in the top-5 conversation again this year. I can't play what-if games with his contract, so let's assume that works itself out. Kubiak has stated this week that he isn't concerned with any time Cook might miss because he knows the system so well. With the offense breaking in a rookie receiver, there is room for those 303 touches from last season to rise. As one of the very few three-down workhorse backs in the NFL whose talent justifies it, there aren't many fantasy picks better at the position.


 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (Bye: 10)
4
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1995-07-22   Age: 24
College: Ohio State   Draft: 2016 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017DAL10242 983 7 26 269 2 179.2 17.9
2018DAL15304 1,434 6 77 567 3 254.1 16.9
2019DAL16301 1,357 12 54 420 2 261.7 16.4
2020 (Projected)DAL 292 1,316 10 59 446 2 248.2  

Outlook: 2019 was a catch-22 season for Elliott. As expected, he bounced back from a disappointing six rushing touchdown season in 2018 to finish with a more respectable 12 last year, while adding 1357 rushing yards on the ground. Yet he caught 33 fewer passes for 147 fewer receiving yards, despite playing in one extra game. When the final whistle blew on another disappointing year for the Cowboys, Zeke posted 261.7 total fantasy points to finish as a top-5 running back despite averaging the fewest fantasy points of his career.

With the addition of first round pick CeeDee Lamb to an already crowded wide receiving corps, it is difficult to see how Zeke will get back up to his career-high 77 receptions that he posted in 2018.

The lack of passing volume compared to other top running backs like Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley will make it difficult for Elliott to finish the season as the No.1 overall running back. Despite this fact, he is a workhorse back on one of the best offenses in the league, making him worthy of a top-5 pick in drafts this summer.

Fantasy owners should continue to monitor the health of Zeke as we get closer to draft day. Zeke is one of a few Cowboys who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in early June. Zeke was asymptomatic and claims to be fine, but the long-term effects of the virus are not 100% clear.


 Derrick Henry, TEN (Bye: 7)
5
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 247   DOB: 1994-07-17   Age: 25
College: Alabama   Draft: 2016 Round 2 (14) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017TEN16176 744 5 11 136 1 124.0 7.8
2018TEN16215 1,059 12 15 99 0 187.8 11.7
2019TEN15303 1,540 16 18 206 2 282.6 18.8
2020 (Projected)TEN 288 1,440 13 23 195 1 247.5  

Outlook: For some reason it took the Titans coaching staff a few years to figure out how to use Derrick Henry properly. In case you missed it, the proper way to use him is to give him a ton of carries straight into the teeth of the defense, and watch him wear them down.

During his first and second seasons, Henry ran the ball only 110 and 176 times. In Week 13 of the 2018, Henry ran for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 17 carries, and that seemed to snap Vrabel and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith out of it. They stopped giving around half the snaps to Dion Lewis and instead began letting Henry shine, and they have been rewarded.

In 2019 Henry ran the ball over 20 times on seven different occasions, something he had only done three times in his entire career before last season. He had 15 or more carries in every game but one. Henry ran for 5.1 yards per carry, for a remarkable 1540 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also added in 18 receptions and 2 more touchdowns through the air.

Behind an excellent offensive line (ranked 4th per footballoutsiders.com), Henry often built up a head of steam before the line of scrimmage, and it is very difficult to stop a fast 247-pound running back in full gallop. Although he does not get much work in the passing game, the Titans did design a few screens for him to keep the defense guessing, with quite a bit of success. That will never be a prime part of his game, but he should continue adding a bit of value in the passing game.

The bottom line: As long as Henry retains his power and speed and continues to get adequate work, he will produce nicely. He is a worthwhile first-round fantasy choice, even in a time when running backs who are not extremely active in the passing game have been devalued.


 Alvin Kamara, NO (Bye: 6)
6
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1995-07-25   Age: 24
College: Tennessee   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017NO16120 728 8 82 826 5 233.4 14.6
2018NO15194 883 14 81 709 4 267.2 17.8
2019NO14171 797 5 81 533 1 169.0 12.1
2020 (Projected)NO 178 856 8 82 629 3 214.5  

 Aaron Jones, GB (Bye: 5)
7
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 208   DOB: 1994-12-02   Age: 25
College: Texas-El Paso   Draft: 2017 Round 5 (39) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017GB1081 448 4 9 22 0 71.0 7.1
2018GB12133 728 8 26 206 1 147.4 12.3
2019GB16236 1,084 16 49 474 3 269.8 16.9
2020 (Projected)GB 224 1,055 9 54 413 2 212.8  

Outlook: I'm going to bet that Jones won a bunch of fantasy championships last year, as 1,500 total yards, 19 touchdown seasons will have a tendency to do that. Held back by health and opportunity his first two years in the league, Jones exploded last year, becoming the centerpiece of a 13-3 playoff team. His 16 rushing touchdowns doubled 2018's total, and tied Derrick Henry for the NFL lead. His monster Weeks 5, 8, and 10 likely put fantasy owners in the win column, but were balanced out by his mega duds in Weeks 6, 12, and 13.

So while 2019 was a revelation for the former 5th round pick, what does 2020 bring? Oddly, some question marks. Of all the backs who finished in the top-5 in standard scoring last season, his 285 total touches were by far the fewest, which means he was incredibly efficient and touchdown dependent, which are two areas that are exceedingly difficult to duplicate. So if the efficiency numbers are a good bet to regress, that means in order for Jones to repeat his top-3 finish, he's going to need more touches. Well bad news, the Packers used a 2nd round pick on running back AJ Dillion, and while not suited for a three-down role, is sure to eat into the rushing total pie. With last-year's back-up Jamaal Williams still around, Jones's understudies could be looking at nearly 200 carries between them, and with the Pack's improved passing game, I just don't see a way that Jones tops the 236 carries from last season.

So listen, I'm more than happy to have Jones anchor my running backs as an RB1, but a finish in the 8-12 ranking seems much more realistic.


 Joe Mixon, CIN (Bye: 9)
8
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 226   DOB: 1996-07-24   Age: 23
College: Oklahoma   Draft: 2017 Round 2 (16) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CIN14178 626 4 30 287 0 115.3 8.2
2018CIN14237 1,168 8 43 296 1 200.4 14.3
2019CIN16278 1,137 5 35 287 3 190.4 11.9
2020 (Projected)CIN 260 1,146 7 43 315 2 200.1  

 Josh Jacobs, LV (Bye: 6)
9
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1998-02-11   Age: 22
College: Alabama   Draft: 2019 Round 1 (24) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2019LV13242 1,150 7 20 166 0 173.6 13.4
2020 (Projected)LV 266 1,248 8 27 201 1 198.9  

Outlook: One of the league's most elusive backs in his rookie season, Josh Jacobs answered pretty much every question that draft scouts and fantasy owners had about him. Many believed that he lacked the ability to sustain a full workload because he split touches at Alabama, but Jacobs stepped right in to a massive, 242-carry as a rookie in just 13 games. He did miss three games due to a shoulder fracture, but the fact that he only missed three games with that type of injury is a testament to not only his mental fortitude, but his physical toughness to continue to perform at a high level even in the face of a debilitating injury. That should give fantasy owners some real confidence heading into his second season.

The Raiders did get rid of veteran backup DeAndre Washington this offseason but passing game specialist Jalen Richard remains on the roster and they also added the position-fluid weapon Lynn Bowden Jr. It's rarely good for a player when his team invests a top three round pick at a similar position, but Bowden and Richard are both passing game weapons who are not built to take a heavy workload, so Jacobs is firmly in the driver's seat to lead this backfield in touches by a wide margin. In fact, he's a real contender to lead all NFL running backs in carries this season. The selection of Bowden does seem to indicate that the Raiders' coaching staff doesn't view Jacobs as an excellent passing game weapon, however, so that does cap his upside a bit, especially in PPR formats.

Nevertheless, Jacobs is firmly entrenched as the Raiders' top back and he'll be running behind one of the best run blocking units in the league. That gives him a tremendous floor as he'll likely see a 280-plus-carry season if he remains healthy. The Raiders offense should also be more explosive this season given the additions they've made so there's reason to believe that Jacobs has top five fantasy running back upside.


 Leonard Fournette, JAC (Bye: 7)
10
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 240   DOB: 1995-01-18   Age: 25
College: Louisiana State   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017JAC13268 1,040 9 36 302 1 194.2 14.9
2018JAC8133 439 5 22 185 1 98.4 12.3
2019JAC15265 1,152 3 76 522 0 185.4 12.4
2020 (Projected)JAC 259 1,088 7 51 375 2 200.3  

Outlook: Leonard Fournette gets a bad rap. He has been on one of the worst teams in the league since he was drafted 4th overall in 2017, yet he has produced each year. He has never produced at the level expected of a player drafted that highly, but then the team around him has been mostly awful.

His yards-per-carry average was the highest of his career in 2019 at 4.3, and that was behind the 27th-best run-blocking offensive line, per Football Outsiders. He has never been known as a pass-catcher but had 76 receptions last season on 100 targets. He logged nearly 1,700 all-purpose yards, and it seems the only reason folks are down on him (myself included) is that he has not turned his touches into more touchdowns. On 341 touches in 2019 he scored only three times.

However, in 2017 and 2018 he scored 10 and 6 times, respectively. So could it be that he scored so seldomly because his team was so rarely in a position to score? That is certainly part of the story. Still, it is hard to trust a back on such a poor team, with a quarterback who is still hard to have faith in. Therefore, most fantasy players will avoid Fournette until at least the third round, maybe the fourth. But the upside is there. Any player who is likely to touch the ball 300 times, as Fournette is, is a very valuable player to roster.

He is unlikely to receive 100 targets again, especially since new play-caller Jay Gruden brought in Chris Thompson to be his third-down back. But with a better offensive design, it is also likely that defenses will have a harder time shutting down the offense, leading to more effectiveness in moving the ball, and more scoring opportunities. It seems likely that Fournette will be on the move to a new team after this season, which could lead to him being in a much better situation in 2021. In short, Fournette is a nice buy-low candidate this season, particularly in dynasty.


 Todd Gurley, ATL (Bye: 10)
11
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 222   DOB: 1994-08-03   Age: 25
College: Georgia   Draft: 2015 Round 1 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017LAR15279 1,305 13 64 788 6 323.3 21.6
2018LAR14256 1,251 17 59 580 4 309.1 22.1
2019LAR15223 857 12 31 207 2 190.4 12.7
2020 (Projected)ATL 217 953 9 49 356 2 196.9  

 Kenyan Drake, ARI (Bye: 8)
12
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1994-01-26   Age: 26
College: Alabama   Draft: 2016 Round 3 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017MIA14133 644 3 32 239 1 112.3 8.0
2018MIA16120 535 4 53 477 5 155.2 9.7
2019ARI14170 817 8 50 345 0 164.2 11.7
2020 (Projected)ARI 216 1,013 7 55 416 2 196.9