The NFL regular season kicks off Thursday, September 9th, when the Dallas Cowboys head down to Tampa Bay, Florida to take on the old guy who has won more Super Bowls than any one person should be allowed to win. I mean really, can we put a cap on the number?! That game is 24 days from the time this is published, which means it is time to get your fantasy football research in gear!
2021 PPR Fantasy Football rankings: Running backs
Today we’ll be looking at standard league running backs. That means non-PPR, but “standard” might be PPR in your neck of the woods. So I’ll just say non-PPR to make it clear. That pretty much means Derrick Henry, as he gets the biggest bump in non-PPR due to the bulk of his fantasy points coming from rushing yards and touchdowns while the majority of backs get bumps in fantasy points from receptions.
Of course, with most of the top backs getting plenty of work on the ground and through the air, they still do well in yardage and touchdowns, keeping them as strong plays in both standard and PPR. The difference comes from a back who is used mostly as a receiver and doesn’t get into the end zone that much. They often become useless in most non-PPR leagues.
I still have Christian McCaffrey as my No. 1 back in non-PPR because even if a catch doesn’t get him any points, it gets him in space and makes him more versatile. And with his usage and lack of strong backups, it’s hard not to like him over Henry.
In the end it comes down to workload. For the most part, the touchdown vulture backs aren’t that prevalent and they are hard to predict. Sometimes we’ll find a backfield that truly delineates the work enough that you can feel strongly about a player being a much better non-PPR back than PPR. Someone like Gus Edwards in Baltimore comes to mind or Damien Harris in New England. But don’t get too wrapped up in the differences. You want players who have a path to usage first and foremost.
Running back rankings (non-PPR) for 2021 fantasy football leagues
|28||Melvin Gordon III||DEN|
|34||Ronald Jones II||TB|
|59||Tony Jones Jr.||NO|
|60||Mark Ingram II||HOU|
|63||Anthony McFarland Jr.||PIT|
|77||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT|
|88||Jeff Wilson Jr.||SF|
|95||Stevie Scott III||DEN|