Running Back (RB) Fantasy Football Rankings 2020

There is a handful of elite running backs as we enter the 2020 season. Christian McCaffrey continues to dominate, while we have a growing depth of running backs from recent years. It has been a volatile position over the last few seasons, as we have seen plenty of movement within RB rankings and end of season numbers. Different scoring systems will also create more or less value for specific running backs. While we are not in the bell cow running back days anymore, there are more names starting to get the rock at a steady rate. Follow the Fantasy Football Rankings leading up to your draft and throughout the season.

RB1 1 Christian McCaffrey 1.3 355 275 Carolina Panthers Panthers Carolina Panthers 1 13 $55 1192 9 829 3
RB2 2 Saquon Barkley 2.5 192 247 New York Giants Giants New York Giants 1 11 $45 1217 8 617 3
RB3 4 Alvin Kamara 5 168 244 New Orleans Saints Saints New Orleans Saints 1 6 $55 943 10 733 3
RB4 5 Dalvin Cook 16.4 239 238 Minnesota Vikings Vikings Minnesota Vikings 1 7 $42 1030 9 648 3
RB5 6 Ezekiel Elliott 8.2 258 256 Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Dallas Cowboys 1 10 $46 1256 10 564 2
RB6 12 Austin Ekeler 39.9 217 225 Los Angeles Chargers Chargers Los Angeles Chargers 1 10 $38 877 8 740 2
RB7 14 Derrick Henry 17.5 277 227 Tennessee Titans Titans Tennessee Titans 1 7 $34 1301 12 213 1
RB8 17 Aaron Jones 15.4 266 207 Green Bay Packers Packers Green Bay Packers 1 5 $30 955 10 384 2
RB9 19 Miles Sanders 31.5 169 210 Philadelphia Eagles Eagles Philadelphia Eagles 1 9 $31 1142 8 398 2
RB10 20 Leonard Fournette 13.4 183 183 Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars 1 7 $35 902 5 488 2
RB11 22 Nick Chubb 10.3 219 224 Cleveland Browns Browns Cleveland Browns 1 9 $30 1319 9 302 1
RB12 23 Joe Mixon 12.4 190 203 Cincinnati Bengals Bengals Cincinnati Bengals 1 9 $25 1125 7 359 2
RB13 24 Kenyan Drake 55.1 164 203 Arizona Cardinals Cardinals Arizona Cardinals 1 8 $26 1003 9 401 2
RB14 28 Josh Jacobs 14.4 172 191 Las Vegas Raiders Raiders Las Vegas Raiders 1 6 $23 1098 8 275 1
RB15 33 Todd Gurley 87.1 188 197 Atlanta Falcons Falcons Atlanta Falcons 1 10 $27 898 9 427 2
RB16 43 Melvin Gordon 21.2 139 172 Denver Broncos Broncos Denver Broncos 1 8 $23 698 8 458 2
RB17 46 Clyde Edwards-Helaire 99.2 145 Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs 1 10 $16 655 5 367 2
RB18 50 Mark Ingram 45.2 217 174 Baltimore Ravens Ravens Baltimore Ravens 1 8 $17 901 8 264 2
RB19 51 Le’Veon Bell 33.2 149 171 New York Jets Jets New York Jets 1 11 $27 788 5 503 2
RB20 53 Chris Carson 29.5 196 158 Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seattle Seahawks 1 6 $22 884 6 277 1
RB21 57 David Johnson 69.1 106 160 Houston Texans Texans Houston Texans 1 8 $18 829 7 317 1
RB22 60 James Conner 39.4 112 152 Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers 1 8 $16 844 5 321 1
RB23 63 David Montgomery 48.4 145 160 Chicago Bears Bears Chicago Bears 1 11 $14 874 7 242 1
RB24 81 Devin Singletary 37.9 119 130 Buffalo Bills Bills Buffalo Bills 1 11 $13 678 5 285 1
RB25 83 D'Andre Swift 135.6 142 Detroit Lions Lions Detroit Lions 1 5 $15 688 6 305 2
RB26 84 Raheem Mostert 105.4 151 155 San Francisco 49ers 49ers San Francisco 49ers 1 11 $22 885 6 220 1
RB27 85 Cam Akers 134.5 136 Los Angeles Rams Rams Los Angeles Rams 2 9 $11 855 5 152 1
RB28 86 Jonathan Taylor 117.2 123 Indianapolis Colts Colts Indianapolis Colts 1 7 $13 766 5 161 0
RB29 89 Kareem Hunt 66.6 64 134 Cleveland Browns Browns Cleveland Browns 2 9 $12 484 4 456 2
RB30 90 James White 82.9 128 109 New England Patriots Patriots New England Patriots 2 6 $10 245 3 529 3
RB31 96 Derrius Guice 66.9 50 134 Washington Redskins Redskins Washington Redskins 1 8 $9 633 5 313 1
RB32 98 Ke'Shawn Vaughn 112.3 126 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 13 $5 738 5 221 1
RB33 100 Tarik Cohen 95.2 85 104 Chicago Bears Bears Chicago Bears 2 11 $14 314 2 503 2
RB34 101 Darrell Henderson 101.1 11 114 Los Angeles Rams Rams Los Angeles Rams 1 9 $8 508 3 392 1
RB35 108 Latavius Murray 105.9 123 132 New Orleans Saints Saints New Orleans Saints 2 6 $8 677 5 264 1
RB36 110 Phillip Lindsay 55.2 163 126 Denver Broncos Broncos Denver Broncos 2 8 $5 663 5 230 1
RB37 113 Sony Michel 74.7 141 137 New England Patriots Patriots New England Patriots 1 6 $7 819 6 169 0
RB38 116 Nyheim Hines 149.6 74 103 Indianapolis Colts Colts Indianapolis Colts 2 7 $7 313 3 437 2
RB39 124 Jordan Howard 130.4 101 111 Miami Dolphins Dolphins Miami Dolphins 1 11 $2 664 4 142 1
RB40 129 Tevin Coleman 80.2 114 133 San Francisco 49ers 49ers San Francisco 49ers 2 11 $6 690 6 224 1
RB41 142 Jamaal Williams 108.2 107 104 Green Bay Packers Packers Green Bay Packers 2 5 $3 438 4 304 2
RB42 145 Justin Jackson 155.8 14 114 Los Angeles Chargers Chargers Los Angeles Chargers 2 10 $1 720 4 154 1
RB43 152 Kerryon Johnson 39 75 83 Detroit Lions Lions Detroit Lions 2 5 $2 445 3 162 1
RB44 154 J.K. Dobbins 133.9 93 Baltimore Ravens Ravens Baltimore Ravens 2 8 $1 452 4 195 1
RB45 159 Boston Scott 158.2 73 93 Philadelphia Eagles Eagles Philadelphia Eagles 2 9 $1 484 5 152 0
RB46 163 Duke Johnson 154.6 110 89 Houston Texans Texans Houston Texans 2 8 $2 401 2 301 1
RB47 170 Tony Pollard 127.4 74 94 Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Dallas Cowboys 2 10 $1 519 3 219 1
RB48 175 Jaylen Samuels 154.1 58 76 Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers 2 8 $1 229 1 364 2
RB49 184 Rashaad Penny 101.7 67 95 Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seattle Seahawks 2 6 $1 552 3 159 1
RB50 186 Jalen Richard 0 47 70 Las Vegas Raiders Raiders Las Vegas Raiders 2 6 $1 236 1 331 2

RB Fantasy Rankings - Draft Cheat Sheet

If you are wondering what goes into our running back fantasy rankings, a lot of it has to do with volume. While, of course, we will look at production, volume correlates with fantasy points. It is no surprise to see some of the higher finishing fantasy producers come year-end also have some of the higher touches per game. Dual-purpose backs have had an edge over recent years, especially as PPR leagues have become more popular. But running backs that also have opportunities in the receiving game have higher fantasy production.

Consistently low volume backs are going to have a higher variance in rankings and how they produce. That is because the efficiency matters so much for them, and if it isn’t there, then the fantasy production won’t be either. A running back on 150 touches in two seasons has a wider range of outcomes in comparison to a running back who sees 250 touches in each of the two seasons.

RB Fantasy Draft Strategy

You are going to find a wide variety of strategies as far as drafting running backs go, especially the zero running back strategy which we will get to down below. A fairly universal strategy is to just simply understand your league scoring and see if roster construction is going to change the way you build your team. With most leagues having FLEX spots, this could give you a need to add an extra back or two.

Draft position can dictate how you go about your strategy. Now if you are drafting within the first four-five picks, those elite running backs are going to fall to you. This gives your team a great starting point. You build yourself with a solid base, adding names like Ezekiel Elliott or Saquon Barkley. Even in down years, the floor is still so high. Now if you are picking after the first few picks, things can change because those elite wide receiver names start to rival production of those running backs. This is where it is important to understand your scoring format because a top tier wide receiver might score more than those next few running backs and also have a higher upside.

Drafting towards the end of a snake draft is always a popular place to be, because you get the turn around of still very good running backs and also can grab a top tier wide receiver as well. Splitting the positions is a good way to go, where you balance it out a bit. A RB-RB start at the turn is also a potential way to go, where you solidify the position and then can turn a focus to the rest of your lineup. There is no league winning and league losing strategy when it comes to selecting wide receivers. Generally, you want someone with a chance at RB1 type scoring, and then pass a few rounds to find your RB2. This tends to be the way people go in average home leagues.

Now if you are in a PPR league, this opens the door for more running backs in the player pool. Names like James White and Austin Ekeler have much more fantasy value. Highlighting a few receiving backs is smart to help sure up a potential FLEX spot late, or to simply just add some depth to your fantasy teams. Having some options on the bench and adding handcuffs late is important. If a starting running back goes down, having their backup that will step into 15-20 touches is going to be a big win for your lineups.

Running Back (RB) fantasy football Rankings Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Zero RB Strategy?

Zero RB is a strategy that has become talked about more in the last few years. It is about skipping out on running backs, and drafting wide receivers and tight ends in the first four-five-six rounds. This does give you a contrarian lineup build as you have a chance to have the truly elite set of wide receivers in your first two spots, as well as a top tier tight end. While everyone else is gobbling up running backs, you are taking the best options at other positions.

So what do you do when you need to start drafting running backs? Because this is always an injury-filled position, you are going to be hoping for some chaos at the position throughout the season. There usually is too. When you are ready to draft running backs, you are going to be targeting upside names, and there will be still a few guys to grab that have some decent volume. Look at the ADP of running backs in the fifth and sixth rounds to where you will look as your RB1. Every draft is going to be different, there could be more out there than you expect, but be prepared to start taking some names where you need some help for their production to go up. Find running backs with receiving upside as well.

In the later rounds you will be still looking to draft running backs, and you actually should end up with quite a bit of running backs on your roster. Look for handcuffs, who will step into volume with an injury. Keep an eye on committees and coaches that like to go with the hot hand. We have seen a lot of guys emerge in the second half of the season that started as the second name on the depth chart. The waiver wire will also be an important place to be, as you can reach for those names that emerge throughout the year. It will always be about taking advantage of opportunity and banking on changes and injuries throughout the year.

Who Are The Best Fantasy Running Backs?

Over the past few seasons there has been a consistent few options up top. Christian McCaffrey has certainly set the bar high with a 1,000/1,000 season, posting one of the best fantasy seasons of all-time. Guys with consistent touches and production have generally been the top finishers. Names like Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley have showed that type of consistency, but also have the efficiency to match. Names like Nick Chubb and Derrick Henry are also in the mix as true bell cow backs. Alvin Kamara has not had nearly the same touches as these names, but has been one of the most efficient running backs over the last few years.

Who Is The Number One Fantasy Running Back?

Christian McCaffrey is the best fantasy running back in the game right now, and that has been established after just two years in the league. We can look to his receiving numbers, where he has produced big years, but he has also been very good on the ground. Carolina is also feeding him the rock at a very high rate, which gives him such an edge over other running backs in producing fantasy points. It is hard to see him giving up the thrown over the next few seasons if these touches continue.

Should I Draft A Running Back First In Fantasy Football?

As mentioned above, draft order is going to have some influence on what you can do. If you are within the first few spots, drafting a running back first is an ideal way to go. There are always a few elite names that outrank most of the player pool, therefor I would start that way. Now if you are sitting in the middle of the draft or the back end, you don’t necessarily need to draft a running back first. You can always grab an elite wide receiver, and then go a running back on the turnaround, or go with the zero running back strategy mentioned above.

How Many Running Back Should I Have On My Roster?

League size and roster format will play a part in this, but looking at standard leagues, I would always like to have at least four running backs, and room for more is encouraged as well. Because it can be a volatile position with injuries and committee changes, having options throughout the year is a plus. So I would put the minimum at four, and look to have five or six depending on bench spots to have options or handcuffs that could turn into league winning backs late in the year.

What Should I Look For In Drafting Fantasy Running Backs?

Volume is the biggest thing in early rounds to target. It gives you potential safety because any back who is getting 20+ touches is going to give you a fairly safe floor. They also are less matchup dependent from someone who is getting just ten touches per game. This is where you should turn first, and generally volume is going to correlate with the top backs anyway. There are not a lot of backs getting ten-twelve touches per game going early in drafts.

If you are in PPR leagues, you want backs that play a part in the passing game as well. If they can get you a few catches a game as a floor, then you are looking at a strong back. Later in drafts, you can also find value for backs who produce in the passing game much more than they do on the ground.

There are some other things like strength of schedule and how an offensive line is as well. Some backs won’t rely on this too much, but some can be negatively and positively affected. Teams that are always trailing won’t have a good game script to get the ball to their running backs, but that could work more in advantage to receiving backs too. Offensive schemes is also something to dive into. A run-heavy Minnesota Vikings team will look to hand the ball off more than a pass-happy team.

Efficiency is still something to look at, but this matters even more with names that are not getting as many touches. If a back can rush for five yards per carry on ten touches per game, then he will have more fantasy value, especially if he can add a few catches into the mix.

How Do Different Scoring Formats Effect Running Backs?

Player A’s Scoring

Half-PPR - RB9
Standard - RB13

Player B’s Scoring

PPR - RB23
Half-PPR - RB20
Standard - RB17

With the three most common scoring factors being PPR, Half-PPR, and Standard, they will make a difference in how a player scores come at the end of the year. For example, Player A didn’t have many touchdowns, but a fair amount of receptions and receiving production. As the scoring format changed, they dropped as receptions, and passing game work became less valuable. This can work the other way as well, with a running back not producing as much in the passing game, but is producing more on the ground. Moving up into the top 20 in standard formats was because the scoring was rushing yard and touchdown-dependent.