2020 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields

by Dylan Clemons
2020 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields

Welcome back fantasy nerds, this is the Fantasy Six Pack 2020 Fantasy Football Committee backfields article. We will go over a few teams who are using a running back by committee approach. What constitutes a committee backfield is when two or more running backs are splitting the backfield workload.

There aren’t many other things more frustrating in fantasy football than a team with a running back by committee (RBBC). We’ve seen many talented running backs be wasted in committee backfields when it comes to fantasy purposes.

We have all seen recently that many coaches have been trying to move towards more of committee backfield to try and prolong their players' careers. So now it is even more important to know which running back to pick out of these committees. Now let's get into our 2020 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields.

2020 Fantasy Football Committee Backfields

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Los Angeles Rams

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  • Cam Akers
  • Darrell Henderson
  • Malcolm Brown

Rams are in an awfully different place than when they were in the Super Bowl in 2018. That year, their offense was built around Todd Gurley as their workhorse. In 2019, they cut Gurley’s workload by 30 rushes and 30 targets, showing that they started moving towards a committee last year. Gurley moved on to Atlanta this offseason.

Let's start with Cam Akers since he is the highest-ranked running back out of the three in our Fantasy Six Pack rankings. He is currently RB28 in our rankings.

The Rams using a second-round pick on Akers shows me that he is going to be the number one guy in this committee. He should receive the early-down work and also, as the bigger back, the goal-line work as well. I’m expecting Akers to see 12-15 touches a game, and finish as RB3/Flex play.

The Rams used a 3rd round pick in 2019 on Darrell Henderson. Unfortunately, Henderson could only get on the field 14% of the plays last season and only received 39 carries. When the Rams drafted Akers in the second round this year, that shows me they know what they have in Henderson and he will be the lesser part of the timeshare. I see Henderson getting maybe 6-8 touches per game, which could be enough to put a cap on Akers ceiling this season.

In my opinion, Malcolm Brown is only viable in fantasy if something were to happen to Henderson or Akers. He is nothing more than a handcuff to those guys, so don’t waste your time drafting him.

Detroit Lions

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  • Kerryon Johnson
  • D’Andre Swift

Kerryon Johnson was given every opportunity to be the guy in the last two seasons in Detroit. Unfortunately, both seasons were cut short due to injuries. This season he is trying to come back from a torn meniscus, but with the Lions using the 34th pick on D’Andre Swift, that pretty much says they know Johnson isn’t the guy.

He’s ranked as RB35 in our Fantasy Six Pack Rankings, and I expect Johnson to get about 8-10 touches a game. He’s nothing more than a bye-week fill in.

The Lions hope they have their future star running back in D’Andre Swift. He is more talented than Johnson, so I expect him to eventually take over the lead role in this committee. Unfortunately, it is hard to be able to tell when that will be.

I believe it will be a 50/50 split between the backs for most of the season. Swift is ranked 27th in our Fantasy Six Pack rankings, which is borderline RB2. Since I believe that is his ceiling, it is a risky pick.

Miami Dolphins

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  • Jordan Howard
  • Matt Breida

Jordan Howard should have a guaranteed workload this season as the early-down back and get a lot of the red zone work. But he is a liability out of the backfield as a pass-catcher and is working behind the worst line he’s had throughout his career, so that limits his fantasy production.

He is currently ranked as the RB34 in our Fantasy Six Pack Rankings. I consider Howard no more than a low-ceiling touchdown-dependent RB3 or flex option.

Matt Breida comes over from the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, where he has battled injuries throughout his career. He is much more talented than Howard, but he’s not someone who can handle an enormous workload.

Breida is currently ranked as the RB41 in our Fantasy Six Pack rankings. I can see him getting 10-12 touches a game, and making the most out of this touches with his explosive speed. Pending the matchup, Breida is a high-ceiling flex option, who can bust a big play at any moment. The Dolphins have some “thunder and lighting” in their backfield this season.

Chicago Bears

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  • David Montgomery
  • Tarik Cohen

David Montgomery is trying to bounce back after a rough rookie season. He got 242 carries, but only rushed for 889 yards and at times looked downright bad. He did have a lot of problems around him though that I feel caused him to struggle.

The Bears' offensive line was atrocious last season. They ranked 25th according to PFF’s 2019 rankings. They have shuffled their offensive line around this offseason in hopes to fix the issue.

Matt Nagy is on the hot seat coming into this season. In my opinion, if he wants to keep his job, he will need to rely heavily on the running game, and the Bears' tremendous defense. That’s their best chance to win games.

Montgomery is one of the best values in drafts in my opinion. He’s a running back who I can see getting 275 carries, and he is going as the 25th running back in our Rankings. I believe his ceiling is high-end RB2, and his floor is a Flex play. I’m getting as many Montgomery shares as possible.

Tarik Cohen finished as RB11 in PPR scoring in 2018 according to Fantasy Pros. Then just like the whole Bears offense did last season, he regressed and had a terribly inefficient season. He caught 79 of his 104 targets for only 456 yards. He also wasn’t able to generate any explosive plays like he was able to do in 2018.

I expect Cohen to be able to bust a few big plays this season. He will be heavily involved in the passing game once again and have somewhat of a bounce-back season. I have him as RB3/Flex play this season.

 Denver Broncos

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  • Melvin Gordon
  • Phillip Lindsay

Melvin Gordon signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Broncos this offseason. This is after he held out last season until finally playing in Week 5.

You could tell that he missed camp because when he came back he struggled. It also didn’t put help that the Chargers offensive line was bad. They ranked a brutal 29th in PFF’s 2019 rankings.

I like Gordon’s chance of a bounce-back season. Philip Lindsay has been able to run wild behind this offensive line for the past two years, so I’m excited to see what a running back as talented as Gordon will do.

Gordon ranks as RB18 in our Fantasy Six Pack rankings. That is a good value for a guy who can be a low-end RB1. He has done it before while being in a committee in Los Angeles before.

Nobody was affected more by Gordon’s arrival than Phillip Lindsay. Lindsay had been a very solid fantasy running back the last two seasons while finishing as RB13 and RB19 in fantasy.

The addition of Gordon will hurt Lindsay’s production. I expect Lindsay to be nothing more than just the change of pace back to Gordon, and a high-end hand-cuff.

I expect him to see about 8-10 touches a game which may be just enough to limit Gordon’s performance. Lindsay is ranked RB37 in our Fantasy Six Pack rankings.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice, including all 32 Fantasy Football Team Previews to get you prepared for the 2020 season

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