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In the realm of fantasy football, perhaps no position gets more hyped than that of running back. Every year, drafters scour the Internet for information on sleepers, study the trends from last year, listen to podcasts about training camp stars, and watch preseason games to glimpse undiscovered talents. The reason for such attention is clear — running backs win fantasy football leagues. You can see updated running back fantasy stats on lineups.com throughout the season.
RB Fantasy Stats 2019
|Player||Tier||FPTS 2018||RTG||TM||GP||ATT||RU YDS||YDS/ATT||ATT/G||100+ YDS||RU TD||FUM||REC||TGTS/G||REC YDS||TD||SNPS/G||Draftkings FPTS/G||FanDuel FPTS/G||Yahoo FPTS/G|
|RaRashaad Pennyshaad Penny||6||61.4||75||SEA||14||85||419||4.9||6.1||1||2||0||9||0.9||75||0||11.857142857143||5.65||5.07||5.07|
Players to Target
In just 12 games last season, Marlon Mack proved to be one of the most exciting young running backs in the NFL, gaining 1011 total yards and scoring 10 touchdowns. That pace, over a full 16 game season, comes out to 1348 yards and 13 scores. His explosiveness was on full display in 2018, as he had four games with over 100 yards rushing, including three games over 125 yards. This season, with Luck another year removed from injury, with even more growth from Quenton Nelson and the offensive line, and with the addition of Devin Funchess, the Colts offense should be even more explosive than last year when the unit posted the fifth most points in the league. The only potential downside to Mack as a lead fantasy back is the presence of Nyheim Hines, who, in just one season, has proven himself to be a valuable pass catcher. In PPR leagues, Hines poses more of an issue, but even in standard leagues, he could become a nuisance for Mack owners. Even still, Mack stands as a Tier Three running back with legitimate Tier Two potential.
Another running back to target in drafts this year is Damien Williams of the Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid’s system has always been kind to running backs, and last year, Williams was no exception. After 11 games playing second fiddle to Kareem Hunt, a video surfaced of Hunt assaulting a woman, and he was subsequently released. In his stead, Williams took on the lead back role. In his three games as the starter, Williams accumulated 322 total yards and four touchdowns. Williams is especially well-served as a pass catcher and has been throughout his career, but, in the playoffs, he proved his worth as a traditional runner as well. In the Divisional Round, Williams ran all over the Colts to the tune of 129 yards and a score. If he can carry over that downhill running to the regular season, he could be as much of a godsend to fantasy owners in standard leagues as he was last year to those in PPR formats. I’m probably higher on Williams than most — ranking him in Tier Three — but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him produce among the better RB2s in fantasy.
Players to Avoid
Lamar Miller has always been a bit of an enigma for fantasy owners. Some games, he receives 20+ carries and rewards owners with over 100 yards rushing. However, just as often, he lays a dud, generating less than 50 yards on the ground six different times. This year, with D’Onta Foreman finally healthy, it might be best to avoid Miller all together. The oft injured back showed signs of fatigue as the season ended, missing a couple games with injury and totaling just 97 rushing yards in his final three contests. That lack of production carried over into the playoffs as well, as he ran for just 18 yards in a first-round loss to the Colts. Staving off fatigue, injuries, inconsistencies, and Foreman is a lot to ask of the veteran back. I wouldn’t count on it.
LeSean McCoy is coming off the worst season of his career. His 514 rushing yards were the fewest he’s ever had in his 10-year career, his 238 receiving yards were his second fewest, and his three touchdowns were a new career low. Simply put, McCoy looked over the hill last season, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the Bills, who brought in both T.J. Yeldon and Frank Gore to shoulder the running responsibility. With his bell cow role presumably gone, McCoy will not be given a second chance to make amends to those who drafted him early last year. Hopefully drafters don’t select him early based on name alone, because the “Shady” appears to be gone. It’s just “LeSean” now.
Players to Monitor
Prior to the 2018 season, fantasy owners had high hopes for Jerick McKinnon. The change-of-pace back from Minnesota had signed a sizeable contract with San Francisco to take on the lead back role for the 49ers. Unfortunately, a preseason injury stripped McKinnon of that chance. In his stead, Matt Breida asserted himself as a promising young runner, accumulating 1075 total yards in just 14 games. However, down the stretch, Breida always seem to be battling some sort of injury, garnering the “Questionable” designation on more than one occasion. Perhaps that’s what encouraged the 49ers to sign Tevin Coleman this offseason. In Atlanta, Coleman earned the reputation as one of the league’s best pass catching running backs, and last year was the most productive of his career.
This year, McKinnon and Breida should both be healthy. That alone would have been an interesting training camp battle. Throwing Coleman into the mix makes it perhaps the league’s best positional rivalry. Determining which of these three players will grab the starting spot is nearly impossible, but, if a committee develops, the situation might only get more perilous for fantasy owners.
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