Way Too Early 2019 Running Back Rankings

by Bobby Shepherd
2019 Running Back Rankings

In football, including fantasy football, the work is never done.

Now that the Super Bowl has come and gone it's time to start looking forward to 2019.

So for all of you dynasty players and fantasy addicts out there we've got you covered with your WAY too early rankings.

Way Too Early 2019 Running Back Rankings

Tier 1

Rank PlayerTeam
1Saquon BarkelyNew York Giants
2Todd GurleyLos Angeles Rams
3Christian McCafferyCarolina Panthers
4Ezekiel ElliotDallas Cowboys

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

It would be hard to think of a scenario where Todd Gurley isn't the first player off of the board in every draft. But until we hear a good reason why CJ Anderson led the team in carries in the Super Bowl I'm still a bit hesitant.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

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Meanwhile, Barkley has proven that his volume and talent can overcome any terrible offense. With even mild improvement in the overall passing game, Barkley could easily be the best RB this year.

Tier 2

5Alvin KamaraNew Orleans Saints
6Melvin GordonLos Angeles Chargers
7James ConnerPittsburgh Steelers
8David JohnsonArizona Cardinals
9Joe MixonCincinnati Bengals
10Nick ChubbCleveland Browns
11Damien WilliamsKansas City Chiefs

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans

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Kamara is going to be very heavily impacted by Ingram's contract. Without Ingram Kamara could be the leagues highest scorer. With Ingram Kamara could be outside the top 10. So I'm leaving him where he is at for now but his position likely will change.

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

As for Nick Chubb, I know the Kareem Hunt signing was bad for him. But until the suspension has been handed down, I'm leaving Chubb where he is for now. He'll have a great amount of volume until Hunt returns.

Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

Williams is just outside my top 10 this year. There isn't a clear picture of what the backfield will look like when everyone is healthy, and I'm not trying to ignore guaranteed volume this early in the draft.

Tier 3

12Aaron JonesGreen Bay Packers
13Leonard FournetteJacksonville Jaguars
14Dalvin CookMinnesota Vikings
15 Le'Veon BellFA
16Marlon MackIndianapolis Colts
17Phillip LindsayDenver Broncos
18 Devonta FreemanAtlanta Falcons
19Sony MichelNew England Patriots
20Tarik CohenChicago Bears
21Chris CarsonSeattle Seahawks

As a rule of thumb for this group of running backs, any of them can vastly outperform their rank. But everybody on this list has injury concerns that force us to lower our expectations year after year.

Le'Veon Bell, Free Agent

As for Bell, it's hard to assign value to him without actually playing for a team yet. I'm anticipating the obvious slow start but he's Le'Veon Bell, he likely won't be bad.

Sony Michel, New England Patriots

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Michel's situation is interesting because while he could be in for massive volume one week in an efficient offense. They could just as easily roll out Rex Burkhead and only put up 10 points. Balancing risk and upside I put him right in the middle of the pack.

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

Unfortunately for Chris Carson, he's one of three running backs on his team that are fighting for touches. His overall ability and the Seahawks run heavy offense, however, mean he's a very solid high floor choice most weeks.

Tier 4

RankPlayer Team
22Kerryon JohnsonDetroit Lions
23Lamar MillerHouston Texans
24Kenyan DrakeMiami Dolphins
25Derrius GuiceWashington Redskins
26Kareem HuntCleveland Browns
27Derrick HenryTennessee Titans
28 Gus EdwardsBaltimore Ravens
29 Jerick McKinnonSan Francisco 49ers
30Jay AjayiPhiladelphia Eagles

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns

I'm going to start by saying Kareem Hunt is this low on my list because there are still a lot of questions surrounding his status on the team. He is guaranteed a suspension that will last anywhere from 2-6 games. Or as we have seen before, Roger Goodell could just pick a number out of a hat and suspend him that long (i.e. Zeke).

The overall theme for RBs when you get this far down the list is inconsistency. These are the guys who will have six points a week with a handful of games with 20 points sprinkled randomly throughout the season.

Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins

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Kenyan Drake is the guy in this tier I really want to own. His talent may finally be utilized properly now that Adam Gase is gone and I for one am excited. But Kallen Ballage also flashed brilliance so only time will tell what the backfield looks like.

Other Notes

It's also worth mentioning that Gus Edwards, Jerrick McKinnon, and Jay Ajayi all have a chance of not being the top performers in their backfield. All three are teams are likely to use committee backfields so it's important to keep an eye on this going forward.

Tier 5

31Mark IngramFA
32LeSean McCoyBuffalo Bills
33Elijah McGuireNew York Jets
34James WhiteNew England Patriots
35Matt BreidaSan Francisco 49ers
36 Jordan HowardChicago Bears
37 Peyton BarberTampa Bay Buccaneers
38Doug MartinOakland Raiders
39Tevin ColemanAtlanta Falcons

James White, New England Patriots

This is the tail end of startable RBs. With the exception of James White, everyone here has major questions that need to be answered before they become a safe draft pick.

That being said, don't believe the hype for James White either. He might move up or down depending on the Patriot's offseason moves, but Belichick can't be predicted. Don't get burned picking James White as an RB2.

Mark Ingram, Free Agent

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As soon as Ingram's contract has been signed, we'll see what his potential will be. While he's very important to the Saints as a whole, I don't expect him to really blow us all away this year if he stays.

Elijah McGuire, New York Jets

The guy in this tier I want to own is McGuire. He ran very well against the Texans late in the season and has a clear path to the most touches. But if the Jets decide to pay for Bell, he might end up getting no opportunity at all.

Check back on Fantasy Six Pack for more offseason Fantasy Football coverage.

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1 comment

Monday, February 25, 2019 – Fantasy Football Links | FantasyRundown.com February 25, 2019 - 2:58 pm

[…] Fantasy Football Rankings: FantasySixPack.net takes an early look at the top 40 running backs for 2019 […]


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