Before the 2019 NFL season is blown up by the draft and free agency, I’m going to set a baseline for my 2020 fantasy football rankings. This will give us a starting point to assess how this offseason impacts players across the board. There won’t be any shiny new rookies in these rankings until they have homes with offenses and competition.
Here are my pre-draft and -free agency running back half-ppr rankings:
Christian McCaffrey was so far ahead of every other fantasy running back this season that he could lose a big chunk of his fantasy points and still be the No. 1 back. So, even if new head coach Matt Rhule doesn’t use him as much as last season, there’s still a strong chance he ends up the top fantasy back again.
Saquon Barkley had a down season in 2019 due to a rookie quarterback and a high ankle sprain, but he was a beast to end the season. Daniel Jones wasn’t awful last year and had some huge games, so there is upside with him at the helm, while Barkley should be the engine of their offense.
Tier 1 could just be McCarthy, but with his usage somewhat in question, I think it’s safe to lump him, Barkley, Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara into the same top-tier cruise ship.
Last season we saw the Bengals Joe Mixon break out late, as the team finally just let him lead the way, as their quarterbacks weren’t able. This year they should have Joe Burrow, which will help their overall offense, giving Mixon more scoring opportunities.
Austin Ekeler is a great fantasy back, as he’s great in open space and can catch anything thrown his way while also getting enough work on the ground to boost his overall numbers. He out-played Melvin Gordon in a big way last season and Gordon won’t be back with the team. It’s Ekeler’s time to shine.
Running back rankings for half-PPR 2021 fantasy football
|24||Melvin Gordon III||DEN|
|25||Ronald Jones II||TB|
|45||Todd Gurley II||ATL|
|51||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT|
|52||Jeff Wilson Jr.||SF|
|55||Duke Johnson Jr.||HOU|
|70||Mark Ingram II||FA|
|75||Anthony McFarland Jr.||PIT|
|85||Lynn Bowden Jr.||MIA|