Running Backs

*** Rankings below based on 0.5 PPR leagues

Tier 1

1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
2. Dalvin Cook, MIN
3. Alvin Kamara, NO

Tier 2

4. Derrick Henry, TEN
5. Austin Ekeler, LAC
6. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
7. Saquon Barkley, NYG
8. Jonathan Taylor, IND
9. Aaron Jones, GB

Tier 3

10. Nick Chubb, CLE
11. Antonio Gibson, WAS
12. Joe Mixon, CIN
13. Najee Harris, PIT

Tier 4

14. James Robinson, JAC

15. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC

16. Chris Carson, SEA
17. D'Andre Swift, DET

Tier 5

18. Miles Sanders, PHI
19. Josh Jacobs, LV
20. David Montgomery, CHI

21. Gus Edwards, BAL
22. Mike Davis, ATL
23. Chase Edmonds, ARI
24. Kareem Hunt, CLE

25. Darrell Henderson, LAR

26. Damien Harris, NE

27. Myles Gaskin, MIA

Tier 6

28. Raheem Mostert, SF
29. Javonte Williams, DEN
30. Michael Carter, NYJ
31. Ronald Jones II, TB
32. Zack Moss, BUF

33. Sony Michel, LAR
34. Melvin Gordon III, DEN

Tier 7

35. Trey Sermon, SF

36. AJ Dillon, GB

37. Jamaal Williams, DET

38. Leonard Fournette, TB
39. James Conner, ARI
40. Kenyan Drake, LV

41. Phillip Lindsay, HOU

42. Nyheim Hines, IND

43. Carlos Hyde, JAC
44. Devin Singletary, BUF
45. J.D. McKissic, WAS

46. James White, NE
47. David Johnson, HOU

Tier 8

48. Tony Pollard, DAL
49. Alexander Mattison, MIN
50. Latavius Murray, NO
51. Tevin Coleman, NYJ

52. Marlon Mack, IND
53. Kenneth Gainwell, PHI
54. Giovani Bernard, TB

55. Malcolm Brown, MIA

56. Damien Williams, CHI
57. Salvon Ahmed, MIA
58. Tarik Cohen, CHI

59. Darrel Williams, KC

60. Mark Ingram, HOU


Draft Strategy:

While an elite tight end is the most scarce resource in fantasy football, only 1-3 such players exist (depending upon your definition of elite). This means that the vast majority of teams will have non-elite tight ends as their starter. And as you’ll see in the WR rankings, strong options run deep as you move down the draft board, meaning you’ll likely stumble into a solid WR group even if not trying to do so. This leads us to running backs, where you have only a handful of truly elite options (who will disappear in round 1), followed by a handful of solid RB2 level players, and then lots of potential, question marks and timeshares. As a result, if you don’t pay careful attention to the RB position, you will fall behind your league members. This doesn’t mean that you need to draft a RB at all costs with your first pick, but you need to keep a close eye on the tiers, and make sure that you end up with a solid group of starting RBs, together with some breakout potential on your bench.

Ideally you should aim to roster at least two RBs from within the top 4 tiers, along with a tier 5 backup / flex option, and one or more lottery tickets / breakout candidates among your later picks. I strongly encourage you to run multiple mock drafts to see how your drafts look when you take a RB in round 1, and also what it looks like when you take a WR or Travis Kelce in the first round. You’ll get a feel for when RBs fall off a cliff in drafts, where your roster feels best in terms of its composition, etc. This is an invaluable exercise in prepping for your actual drafts. While I first and foremost suggest that you stay true to your draft boards, I urge you to at least have a plan at RB, as it’s tougher to improve a subpar RB group on your roster than other positions.