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Updated PPR running back rankings for 2021 fantasy football leagues

We take you through our PPR running back rankings heading into the 2021 NFL season heading into fantasy football drafts heading into Week 1.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We’re officially just one week out from Week 1 kick off, where we’ll see the Cowboys and Bucs go head-to-head in what’s sure to be an exciting season-opener. With that, your fantasy football drafts are likely in full swing. Let’s take a look at some players worth noting in our PPR tight end rankings as we approach Week 1 of the regular NFL season.

2021 PPR Fantasy Football rankings: Running backs

Though you’re always going to draft with the whole season in mind, here are some running backs who could get off to a hot start in 2021 fantasy football leagues based on their strength of schedule.

James Robinson vs. HOU, DEN, ARI

I hate to point out the favorable strength of schedule in the wake of a season-ending injury to 2021 first-round pick Travis Etienne. However, those with Robinson on their fantasy football team are likely to see Robinson’s upside early on in the season. The Texans allowed a league-high 145.8 rushing yards to opposing RBs in 2020, while the Lions allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns to RBs among NFL teams. Fellow running back Carlos Hyde is still likely to see some touches, but it would be unsurprising for Robinson to see any fewer than 15 touches in any given game as a starter.

Najee Harris vs. BUF, LV, CIN

We’ve only had a small taste of what Najee Harris might bring to fantasy football managers’ lineups, but the hype is real. Per FantasyPros, Harris is currently being drafted, on average, as the RB11. In his first three outings of the regular season, he’ll be facing three teams ranked in the top-12 for fantasy points allowed in the Bills, Raiders and Bengals. Each of these teams should still offer Harris plenty of room to break a couple of big runs. The favorable matchups and safe workload will set Harris managers up for success early in 2021 fantasy football leagues.

Gus Edwards vs. LV, KC, DET

Once again, I hate to point out the schedule here, but if JK Dobbins were healthy and getting the start, it’d be his name here instead. A favorable strength of schedule to start the year will be an asset to the Ravens, as they work through any question marks regarding their depth at running back. The Ravens face the Raiders, Chiefs and Lions in their first three weeks, each ranking in the top-12 for fantasy points allowed to the running back in 2020. The Lions and Chiefs ranked first and second, respectively, in receiving yards allowed to the running back position, so there could be some room for big fantasy production in PPR leagues if Lamar Jackson decides to utilize his RBs in the passing game. Regardless of receiving usage, however, Edwards will have massive touchdown upside as long as Jackson is under center.

Here’s a look at our PPR running back rankings as you draft in your 2021 fantasy football leagues. Keep in mind as you’re drafting that to capitalize on value in this scoring format, it can be helpful to draft running backs who are on teams with a less-than-ideal receiving corps.

PPR Running back rankings for 2021 fantasy football leagues

Rk Name Team
Rk Name Team
1 Christian McCaffrey CAR
2 Dalvin Cook MIN
3 Alvin Kamara NO
4 Derrick Henry TEN
5 Saquon Barkley NYG
6 Aaron Jones GB
7 Ezekiel Elliott DAL
8 Najee Harris PIT
9 Joe Mixon CIN
10 Jonathan Taylor IND
11 Nick Chubb CLE
12 Austin Ekeler LAC
13 Antonio Gibson WAS
14 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC
15 Miles Sanders PHI
16 David Montgomery CHI
17 James Robinson JAC
18 D'Andre Swift DET
19 Chris Carson SEA
20 Josh Jacobs LV
21 Gus Edwards BAL
22 Raheem Mostert SF
23 Damien Harris NE
24 Kareem Hunt CLE
25 Chase Edmonds ARI
26 Mike Davis ATL
27 Myles Gaskin MIA
28 Melvin Gordon III DEN
29 Zack Moss BUF
30 Darrell Henderson LAR
31 Javonte Williams DEN
32 Trey Sermon SF
33 Ronald Jones II TB
34 Leonard Fournette TB
35 James Conner ARI
36 Sony Michel LAR
37 Giovani Bernard TB
38 Devin Singletary BUF
39 Tony Pollard DAL
40 Jamaal Williams DET
41 AJ Dillon GB
42 Darrel Williams KC
43 Kenyan Drake LV
44 Nyheim Hines IND
45 Michael Carter NYJ
46 Malcolm Brown MIA
47 Tevin Coleman NYJ
48 James White NE
49 Ty'Son Williams BAL
50 Rhamondre Stevenson NE
51 Phillip Lindsay HOU
52 J.D. McKissic WAS
53 Rashaad Penny SEA
54 Alexander Mattison MIN
55 Salvon Ahmed MIA
56 Alex Collins SEA
57 Latavius Murray NO
58 Justice Hill BAL
59 Marlon Mack IND
60 Darrynton Evans TEN
61 Ty Johnson NYJ
62 Justin Jackson LAC
63 Tony Jones Jr. NO
64 J.J. Taylor NE
65 Mark Ingram II HOU
66 Carlos Hyde JAC
67 Jerick McKinnon KC
68 Kylin Hill GB
69 Qadree Ollison ATL
70 David Johnson HOU
71 Jaret Patterson WAS
72 DeeJay Dallas SEA
73 Kenneth Gainwell PHI
74 Chuba Hubbard CAR
75 Damien Williams CHI
76 Boston Scott PHI
77 Anthony McFarland Jr. PIT
78 Joshua Kelley LAC
79 Larry Rountree III LAC
80 Elijah Mitchell SF
81 Benny Snell Jr. PIT
82 D'Ernest Johnson CLE
83 Devontae Booker NYG
84 Jake Funk LAR
85 Matt Breida BUF
86 Mike Boone DEN
87 Ke'Shawn Vaughn TB
88 Eno Benjamin ARI
89 Samaje Perine CIN
90 Rex Burkhead HOU
91 Royce Freeman DEN
92 Chris Evans CIN
93 Jordan Wilkins IND
94 Jermar Jefferson DET
95 Jeff Wilson Jr. SF
96 Khalil Herbert CHI
97 Kene Nwangwu MIN
98 Gary Brightwell NYG
99 Tarik Cohen CHI
100 La'Mical Perine NYJ
101 Javian Hawkins TEN
102 JaMycal Hasty SF
103 Kalen Ballage PIT
104 Travis Homer SEA
105 Jalen Richard LV