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Check out NFL Fantasy Football Expert Analyst Lance Goodman and special guests, as they chop it up and break down the 2019 Running Back Rankings.

Lance Goodman

September 2019



RUNNING BACK RANKINGS- updated every 2 weeks

1. Alvin Kamara, NO
2. Christian McCaffery, CAR
3. LeVeon Bell, NYJ
4. Todd Gurley, LAR
5. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL 
6. Melvin Gordon, LAC (NWT)
7. Damien Williams, KC
8. Dalvin Cook, MIN
9. Saquan Barkley, NYG
10. Nick Chubb, CLE
11. Chris Carson, SEA
12. James Conner , PIT
13. Aaron Jones, GB
14. Joe Mixon, CIN (+)
15. Sony Michel, NE
16. DeVonta Freeman, ATL
17. David Johnson, ARI
18. Phillip Lindsay, DEN
19. Derrick Henry, TEN
20. Leonard Fournette, JAC
21. James White, NE
22. Tarik Cohen, CHI
23. Kerryon Johnson, DET
24. Marlon Mack, IND
25.  Mark Ingram, NO
26. Kenyan Drake, MIA
27. Jordan Howard, PHI
28. Peyton Barber, TB
29. Matt Breida, SF
30. Josh Jacobs, OAK
31. Derrius Guice, WAS (+)
32. LeSean McCoy, KC

Week 1 Review

One of the toughest things for offenses to do after barely playing in the Preseason, is run the football effectively, especially against a tough run defense. So when it comes to fantasy football, the Running Backs who have the most value, are those with a good offensive line, a good Quarterback and most importantly, the ability to pick up yards and make plays in the passing game. Let's take a look at what Running Backs excelled or bombed out in Week 1. 


Austin Ekeler tops the list of outstanding performers in Week 1, posting numbers that are very Melvin Gordon-isque'. (Gordon is a Top 10 fantasy Running Back for the Chargers, who is currently holding out for a new contract) Ekeler didn't do a lot in terms of rushing yards without 58 but was able to cash in on 2 rushing Touchdowns. But what put him over the top was his additional 96 receiving yards and TD reception. Next was Christian McCaffrey, who picked up right when he left off last year, churning out 128 rushing yards & 2 TDs on the ground to go along with another 81 receiving yards, to completely validate his ranking as a Top 5 fantasy player this year. C-Mac, now stands for Christian the Machine! Unlike Ekeler and McCaffrey who did damage on the ground and through the air, Marlon Mack punished the Chargers defense running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, racking up174 rushing yards and a TD. A very promising sign for his fantasy owners who were concerned Mack may not reach his ceiling of potential with Quarterback Andrew Luck now retired. Derrick Henry had a nice 84 rushing yards and TD which is a solid outing to begin the season but it was his 75 yard TD reception that shot his numbers through the roof! Dalvin Cook is finally healthy and took full advantage of his featured Back role, slicing through the Falcons defense for 111 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Mark Ingram used a similar formula by gashing the Dolphins run defense for 107 yards and 2 Tugs on a healthy 19 carries. Rookie Josh Jacobs had a strong opening act with 85 of his 117 all-purpose yards coming on the ground. He also chimed in 2 goal line TDs, which makes his situation very promising. We can praise the Lord that David Johnson got off to a strong start after a disappointing 2018. His 137 all-purpose yards and receiving TD, were a welcomed sight to his owners, who are trying to re-establish trust. Malcolm Brown was able to pick up 2 rushing TDs to compliment a solid 53 yards on the ground, while sharing work with Todd Gurley. LeVeon Bell had 92 all-purpose yards to go along with a TD and 2-point conversion. Even though his numbers were on an elite level like we're accustomed to seeing, it's worth noting that this was his first regular season game played in over a year and it was against a really good Bills defense. Chris Carson didn't do a lot in terms of yards with 51 but scored 2 TDs to help get his season off to a good start. To round things out both Saquan Barkley (120 rush yards) and Alvin Kamara (169 all-purpose yards) had strong starts as well. 



I don't know how things can get any worse than DeVonta Freeman only managing to gain 10 total yards. Granted it was on the road against a rejuvenated and prideful Vikings defense but that type of production is inexcusable! Both Sony Michel and Joe Mixon came way short of their mark by finishing the day with less than 20 total yards. Michel was held in check by a pretty tough Steelers run defense and Mixon wasn't doing much before exiting in the third quarter with an ankle injury that likely keeps him out in Week 2. Matt Breida is valuable enough to mention his poor 37 yard day and Aaron Jones (29 yards) couldn't find much daylight against the Bears grimey defense. It was good to see David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen's roles defined early but neither did much to impress in Week 1, with neither gaining more than 50 total yards. A few other situations gained clarity in Week 1. The Eagles are going by committee to begin the season with both Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders involved along with veteran Darren Sproles. Howard and Sanders were the ones being most talked about as difference makers but in Week 1 they combined for less than 90 all-purpose yards compared to 83 by Sproles. The Broncos are also using a committee approach to begin the season with Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman both seeing an equal amount of carries. It's not to the benefit of anyone and will limit both players’ potential until Denver settles on one guy handling the majority of work. Kerryon Johnson, Leonard Fournette and James Conner are all Backs with lofty expectations but have limited PPR value, meaning- if they don't score a touchdown or gain 100+ rushing yards, their days could be average like last week as each finished with less than 7 standard points. 

Week 1 Top Waiver Pickups

Devin Singletary, BUF

Justin Jackson, LAC

Royce Freeman, DEN

Carlos Hyde, HOU

Giovanni Bernard, CIN

Malcolm Brown, LAR

Adrian Peterson, WAS

Chris Thompson, WAS

Ronald Jones Jr., TB

Latavius Murray, NO

2019 Preseason Running Back Rankings

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