The Chef's 2020 Top 24 PPR RBs
Updated: Aug 1, 2020
2020 Redraft Running Back Rankings
By:James Kreiss “@FF_Chef” 7/13/2020
1.Christian McCaffrey- Although there is a new HC in Matt Rhule in town there doesn’t seem to be anyway that I couldn’t have “CMC” The PPR King at anything less than #1. Rhule’s game script when he coached in College was mainly an RPO system with 3,4 and 5 Wrs sets this could take defensive attention away from CMC keeping him as the RB1 candidate in 2020. He continuously showed that he can carry a heavy workload and if you’re drafting from the 1.01 this season in basically any format he is the obvious choice.
2. Saquon Barkley- The #1 RB in PPR in 2018. #10 in 2019 and only played 13 games. Broke 1000yds back to back and has great hands and speed. The Giants bolstered their O-line this year in the 2020 draft with the addition of 2 OT’s picking 1.04 Andrew Thomas (Georgia) and Matt Peart (UConn)Pick 99. Yes Peart is more of a depth chart move but Andrew Thomas from Georgia will be a definite starter. With former HC Jason Garret now in the Offensive Coordinator role he will make Barkley the focal point of this offense as well he should be. Although I rank him #2 here you can definitely make the argument for him to be the #1RB and the #1 overall.
3. Ezekiel Elliot- There will be no holding out this year as Zeke got what he wanted from Jerry Jones last year in a huge Contract extension worth up to $90 Million over 6 years. Needless to say they locked up their #1 Draft pick for the foreseeable future. We saw Zeke start out sluggish last year, being out of sync with the offense and getting vultured by Tony Pollard early in the season. Although I see Zeke being the main guy out of the backfield, if history shows us anything in Mike McCarthy’s offense they will lean more passing options this season in Dallas to move the ball down the field. With all their receiving weapons ala ProBowl Receiver Amari Cooper, up and coming Michael Gallup,and the addition of the prolific CeeDee Lamb there should be room for Zeke to tote the rock without a stacked box. Zeke should still post Top 5 numbers and is a safe bet as the RB3 behind the aforementioned CMC and Barkley.
4. Alvin Kamara- For the first time in his career we saw Kamara fall outside of the top 5 in 2019 only posting 6 total TDs and finishing at #9 in PPR. While those numbers could scare you off from drafting him over the aforementioned players. I believe Kamara is poised for a rise in production after regressing last season. Last year Kamara dealt with injury in weeks 7&8 spraining his ankle and his PCL “Knee Ligament”.
After the bye week he had 8 receptions on 10 tgts mainly due to game script with Brees throwing for over 40 passes.
Kamara was definitely a high volume target in the offense with at least 9 targets in weeks 10-12.
With Latavius Murray getting a little bit older I think Kamara gets more carries this year and a strong floor of 7-9 targets per game. Add in some positive TD regression and it being his contract year I believe Kamara shows out in 2020 and claims the #5 spot if not higher.
5. Joe Mixon- Mixon Finished 2019 as RB#13 for PPR. For the first time in his career Mixon played 16 games. He did regress a bit in production but I believe that had to do more with the O-Line being injured and AJ Green not being able to get on the field. Now in 2020 they have everyone coming back especially their LG Jonah Williams who went down early last year. With Rookie Joe Burrow taking over the helm at QB we will definitely see an uptick in RB production. Do you remember the way Burrow used CEH in LSU??? He will be able to do the same with Mixon this year. Only difference is Mixon has the build to be a 3 down back. Given the boost at other positions and a reinforced O-Line I believe Joe Mixon has the potential to be top 5 this year.
6. Derrick Henry- Henry finished 2019 in a booming fashion rushing for 211 yds and 3 TDs in week 17 securing the Titans a playoff spot which they wound up riding him all the way to the AFC Championship. They gave the starting job to Tannehill and when that happened we saw Henry stay on the field more with a snap% jump up to 75% in some contests. Tennessee did have some O-Line turnover but the scheme is the same. Give Henry the ball and have Play Action executed to perfection by Tannehill. They did add Darrynton Evans in the draft who you could see get some 3rd down work after they let Dion Lewis’s contract expire. But, barring an injury it's Henry’s job. In the good words of the Swami Rumble Young Man Rumble. Usually RB performance like his doesn't repeat but, with Henry’s size and burst ability I don’t see why he can’t be an exception in 2020.
7. Dalvin Cook- While there may be a holdout brewing from the young PPR stud I’m not totally out on Dalvin Cook. This will be the 2nd year in Gary Kubiak’s Run First Offense with an above avg. O-Line. Last year we saw Cook put up very good numbers. On 250 att. he posted 13 TDs in 14 Games and over 1100 yds in that setting. He averaged 9.8yds/Rec logging 53 rec on 63 tgts for 520 yds thru the air. Cook is the total package in any format, the only risks being if he can stay on the field, and how much work Mattison gets in his sophomore campaign. With one of the easiest RB schedules this season Cook is definitely a candidate to finish inside the top 5 of Fantasy Rbs this year. *Note Cook announced via his agent that he wants a contract done before the regular season starts otherwise he will be holding out in 2020. Though this does bring hesitance to drafting him I’m still taking him and grabbing Mattison for the insurance in the middle rounds of drafts.
8. Kenyan Drake- After the trade in 2019 to the Arizona Cardinals Drake seemed reborn.Rushing for 110yds and 1 TD along with 4 rec./52 yds against one of the strongest Defenses in the NFL (49ers). With David Johnson shipped to Houston this off-season and the addition of WR DeAndre Hopkins. Look for the Cardinals to be able to spread the ball around easier. Drake is in one of the pass friendly offenses in the league and should be inside the top 10 in PPR at the end of this season.
9. Miles Sanders- If you think Sanders looked good in 2019 wait until you see him really breakout in 2020. Doug Pederson notoriously runs an RBBC but, at this point 6-8-2020 the Eagles haven’t signed another RB that looks to compete for touches with Sanders. We saw him carry a heavy workload down the stretch and was almost perfect in the receiving column only missing 2 of his targets in weeks 13-16. He should definitely bolster his goal line work now that Howard is out of the picture. I’m grabbing Sanders everywhere I can this year. If he’s still there mid to late 2nd Round he is a definite steal.
10. Nick Chubb- Chubb finished 2019 as the PPR #8 last year. But, it’s not 2019 it’s 2020. Even with New HC Mike Stefanski Run First Offense I see Chubb taking a small step down from last year. Mainly because of what we saw when Kareem Hunt came back after week 10 last year. Chubb’s att’s were lower by an avg 4 per game with Hunt in the offense. And, his receiving targets went from 4-5 per game down to 1-3 per game in the 2nd half of the season. I’m not saying I hate Chubb by any measure. He will still have a very reliable floor and is still likely to finish as a low end RB1. Draft Chubb on the side of caution that he may have a down year.
11. Josh Jacobs- Jacobs had all the hype going into 2019 with everyone hoping he was a true bell-cow back. Unfortunately that didn’t come to fruition last year. He struggled in the passing game mainly because of a lingering shoulder injury. Even with the shoulder injury Jacobs finished with 1,150 rushing yards and 7 Tds. He’s one of the most elusive RBs in the game. My only fear with Jacobs is that the Las Vegas Raiders will find themselves in more shootouts within their own division and the NFC South this season and the fact they extended Jalen Richard who we saw take the bulk of the pass catching work away from Jacobs not to mention the Swiss Army Knife Lynn Bowden Jr. This may be a drastic recipe for capping Jacobs as a true PPR RB1. With all that being said Jacobs is still an Elite level RB that can make guys miss. Don’t hesitate taking him if he’s available in the beginning of Rd 2.
12. Austin Ekeler- We saw a huge jump in Ekeler’s production in 2019. PPR RB#4 Over 1400 ttl yds 11Tds. Mainly due to Melvin Gordon’s holdout Ekeler finally got his shot at being the workhorse.Unfortunately I don’t see history repeating itself for Ekeler in 2020. With a change at QB (Tyrod Taylor/Justin Herbert) ”Rivers was Mr. Dump down to RBs” and the new addition of Joshua Kelley “playing the Gordon role” I see Ekeler’s numbers looking closer to 2018. With him being the primary back he will still get a ton of work but, as Kelley gets accustomed to NFL caliber speed we could see these guys in a timeshare situation. I’m not taking Ekeler any earlier than the late 2nd Early 3rd round in redraft this year. There you will get what you pay for which should be a Mid-High RB2 at season's end.
13. Leonard Fournette - For Rebuild reasons Jacksonville tried many times this off season to trade Fournette. In Fournette’s favor they were unsuccessful in this. This puts Fournette in a great position to succeed in his final year of his Rookie Contract. Although he only had 3 ttl TDs in 2019 Fournette finished as RB7 in PPR format. Rushing for over 1150 yds and adding another 550yds via receptions. Catching the ball wasn’t really ever in his wheelhouse. But, as we saw last year the Jags Defense of old is no longer there. This left Foles/ Minshew ``Now only Minshew” to play more of a Street Ball scenario and word out is that Fournette has been grinding in the offseason training focusing on agility and elusiveness, something the big 6’0” back lacked in seasons prior. The additions of Lavishka Shenault and Chris Thompson could take away some of those receptions that we saw him catch in 2019. But, his size should keep his floor safe at the top of the RB2 conversation.
14. Aaron Jones- Jones finished 2019 as the RB#2 in PPR. Scoring 16TDs on the ground and 3 more through the air. It’s pretty clear that HC Matt Lafleur wants to run the ball. But, how much work will Jones get in 2020? With the addition of AJ Dillon in the draft and Jamaal Williams still there it’s clear that Lafleur wants to limit Jones’ touches; we could see Jones’ numbers much lower than 2019. Not to mention Jones’ compiled a lot of those stats in 5 games last season in particular week 5 against Dallas. He should be a solid RB2 but nothing like we saw in 2019.
15. Todd Gurley- Gurley returns to Atlanta in 2020 after being with the Rams organization since 2015. He lost some tread on tires over the past couple of years mainly due to a knee injury that we saw limit his yardage. That still didn’t stop him from scoring 14 ttl TDs in 2019. He will be the main option in Atlanta where he could stay in the low end RB1/RB2 conversation on a pass first offense behind one of the strongest O-Lines in the NFL. Not to mention the Falcons have the 3rd easiest run Strength of Schedule. With only Ito Smith and Brian Hill behind him if the knee can hold up Gurley could be a sneaky grab at his ADP #60.
16. Lev Bell- Gase made it pretty clear last offseason that Bell wasn’t his guy. That didn’t stop Bell from being a high end RB2 (16th) in PPR format. In 15 games Bell went 245 car./789 yds/3 TDs on the ground and 66/461/1Td receiving. Bell is 28 this year and maybe reaching his age apex but for now he’s still a Bell Cow Back. With adding Gore and Lamichael Perine this offseason it's clear we should keep Bell in the top half of RB2s. I can see him having an uptick in rushing yards this year and maintaining or exceeding his receiving numbers.I’d gladly take Bell at his ( ADP of #35) as a great RB2 for my team.
17. Chris Carson- Carson finished RB #12 in PPR in 2019. Being the main guy in a Run-First Offense will do that for you. However, I don’t see history repeating itself for Carson in 2020.
Seattle Defense showed that they aren’t the Defense they used to be last year giving up over 400yds in 8 games last season. This forced Coach Pete Carroll to go off script and let Russell throw the ball more. Carson has struggled with both Injury (Hip 2019) and fumbles (7 in 2019). With a now crowded backfield with the acquisitions of Carlos Hyde and drafting DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer “Not too mention Penny but he will start on the PUP” I think we saw Carson’s Fantasy Ceiling last year and he is no more than a mid-range RB2. (ADP #36) If you draft him expect some decline from his production.
18. Melvin Gordon- New Number/New Team/ New Year… Gordon held out the first four weeks of last year opening the door for the aforementioned Austin Ekeler. He now starts the second half of his career in Denver taking over the primary ball carrying job from Philip Lindsay. Gordon should do well in this young offense under new OC Pat Shurmur who we saw Barkley in his rookie year take the RB Crown. As for right now Philip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are still on the roster and we will most likely see one of them get traded. My guess is it’s Royce. And, that puts Gordon in a very good spot to handle more third down work due to Lindsay’s poor pass protection. I have no issue taking Gordon at his ADP of #34. He’s still a very viable mid-range RB2 with High RB2 upside.
19. Clyde Edwards Helaire- “CEH” “The Clydesdale” Call him what you will. He will definitely be on my radar this year in Dynasty Rookie Drafts and as a 3rd Round Pick in Seasonal Leagues. He truly is what Andy Reid looks for in an RB. He’s a short elusive guy with great hands.In his Junior year at LSU he was able to have a total of 1,867 all purpose yards. 1400 of those coming on the ground. Yes, LSU was stacked with talent but so is KC. He will definitely see work in his first year at KC how much is tbd with Damien Williams still there. But, the faster the rookie learns the offense the faster Damien Williams will start losing touches.
20. James Conner- Conner rounds out my top 20 backs. Mainly because he is coming back to what the offense was supposed to be last year in Pittsburgh. A healthy Big Ben stretching the field could really help Conner establish better production in the running attack. We obviously know this is Conner’s backfield with Benny Snell,Jaylen Samuels not being able to really contribute when Conner was out last year. The Steelers did add Anthony McFarland out of Maryland with the 124th pick “4th Rd'' of the 2020 draft. McFarland has great speed burst and hands. But will play second fiddle to Conner for as long as Conner can stay healthy. Which brings up really my only fear for Conner. He has missed at least 3 games in every season he has been in the NFL. Including missing 6 in 2019. This could drive Conner’s ADP down currently at #44 overall. I have no issue grabbing him as my RB2 in the late part of the 3rd Round.
21. David Johnson- David Johnson finds himself in a new offense that truly needed a boost at RB. Bill O’Brian may be crazy for getting rid of Hopkins this off season. But, we will see what his master plan is for DJ. After losing his job last year to Drake in Arizona we don’t really know what to expect from him. But, this may be the opportunity to grab him while expectations are low. Carlos Hyde got 255 touches last year if DJ gets that kind of work he can easily exceed his expectations and with the receiving element could be that late 3rd round RB2 that has a higher ceiling than some think.
22. Devin Singletary- After a slow start in 2019 Singletary took over midseason in Buffalo. Racking up over 700 yds on the ground and almost 200 yds via receiving. But, with the addition of Zack Moss replacing Frank Gore I think Singletary’s ceiling is capped. He will have similar production in 2020 but, with one of the hardest Schedules for RBs I’m fading Singletary as a viable RB2 and moving him in that borderline RB/Flex replacement roll as more of a matchup play week to week.
23. David Montgomery- If there is a RB that has the potential to outperform his ADP this year it’s Montgomery. He’s currently going at (ADP#54). He’s the only RB in the Bears Offense that’s capable of 15+ carries per game. And, I think if Foles wins the job “which I believe he does” he will open up the offense enough to give Montgomery the opportunity to succeed this year with a very good Running strength of schedule.
24. Mark Ingram- Rounding out my top 24 is Mark Ingram. Coming off of an RB#9 season Ingram is still at the top of the Ravens depth chart. I think he will definitely have a bit of regression in touches with the addition of J.K. Dobbins via the draft. But, the Ravens spread the ball around last year as well with Ingram getting over 200 carries. I can see those carries going down to the 150 range. All depends on how fast Dobbins learns the system and whether or not Ingram keeps the Red Zone work. Note if you take Ingram this year you may want to grab Dobbins to pad your investment.