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Rookie running back dynasty rankings for 2020 fantasy football

Who should you take at running back in your dynasty rookie drafts? We breakdown the top options for 2020.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire #22 of the LSU Tigers runs the ball against the Clemson Tigersduring the College Football Playoff National Championship held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

Rookies this season will get a crash course in the NFL with a shortened off season and no preseason games due to Covid-19. Thankfully, this season is full of strong rookie dynasty picks and a slower than normal ramp up to the season won’t be as impactful for their longterm success.

The position to most quickly turn your dynasty team around is likely going to be running back, as the top draftees should quickly see snaps and production in 2020. If this year’s draft hadn’t been so deep at wide receiver, we would have likely been talking more about how deep the running back class was. There wasn’t a Saquon Barkley in the group, but there were a good chunk of backs who are good enough to be a starter in Week 1. We will see some of those guys early on, but others will likely take longer to secure touches.

So far, the only rookie running back to land on the Covid-19 injury list is Buccaneers back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Vaughn will look to unseat Ronald Jones for the starting job, but if he misses much time, he will be way behind the eight-ball. Keep an eye on his progress, as he very much needs to get on the field as soon as possible.

Tier 1

Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor are the two top backs based on draft capital and landing spot. Edwards-Helaire landed on one of, if not, the most potent offenses in the league and as a first-round pick, he is guaranteed a long leash. We saw what Damien Williams did in that offense toward the end of the season and into the playoffs and Edwards-Helaire is better. Plus, with Williams opting out, CEH should be able to secure starter’s touches early on.

Taylor is going to get a good offensive line and offensive mind in Indianapolis to help him transition to the NFL. The Colts used Marlon Mack extensively when healthy last season and Taylor is better across the board and should see more work as a receiver than Mack. His downside is based on who ends up as their next quarterback after Philip Rivers but the good news is that the Colts are already on the lookout for that next guy.

Tier 2

J.K. Dobbins is a player who has the ability to lead the Ravens backfield from day one but will need to wait for Mark Ingram to leave, which is likely to happen next offseason. That will set him up as the lead back in a run happy scheme.

D’Andre Swift should quickly be a PPR asset in Detroit, but will split work with Kerryon Johnson who currently has a leg up on him. Swift isn’t an automatic upgrade over Johnson, so this situation is one that is murkier than others, but there is still upside due to his receiving chops.

Cam Akers will likely share work with Darrell Henderson but could end up taking over the bulk, which is a good place to be in the Rams offense. I would grab him over Swift in standard leagues.

Tier 3

A.J. Dillon and Zack Moss would be higher if they weren’t behind young starters like Aaron Jones and Devin Singletary. The good news is that both are capable of leading if the starter goes down and should be next in line once rookie contracts end for Jones and Singletary.

Dynasty Rookie Running Back Rankings

Rank Player Age Team
Rank Player Age Team
1 Najee Harris 23 PIT
2 Travis Etienne 22 JAC
3 Javonte Williams 21 DEN
4 Trey Sermon 22 SF
5 Michael Carter 22 NYJ
6 Kenneth Gainwell 22 PHI
7 Rhamondre Stevenson 23 NE
8 Kylin Hill 23 GB
9 Chuba Hubbard 22 CAR
10 Jermar Jefferson 21 DET
11 Elijah Mitchell 23 SF
12 Khalil Herbert 23 CHI