Fantasy Football 2019 Running Back Tier Rankings
This group is full of reliable backups and potential handcuffs for the stars.
We saw what C.J. Anderson did in Todd Gurley’s absence. Henderson could do the same if Gurley were to miss any time this season. Until then, he’s only a speculative add as a handcuff. Don’t forget the Rams have Malcolm Brown on the roster as well.
Guice is dealing with a hamstring injury and missing valuable time in training camp. I mentioned the list of running backs already on the Redskins roster. Guice would be ranked higher if he was playing. Until we see him in game action, he’s a tough draft pick.
Ekeler is the likely starter should Melvin Gordon’s holdout continue into the regular season. He rushed for 554 yards and three touchdowns on 106 carries while catching 39 passes for 404 yards and another three scores.
Ekeler’s value depends on Gordon’s status for Week 1. He’s either a bye-week fill in or a top-25 running back in PPR leagues. The Chargers also have Justin Jackson on the roster to take some carries.
Howard was all but forced out of Chicago and was traded to a crowded Philadelphia backfield. They have Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, rookie Miles Sanders and veteran Darren Sproles.
Adams was the only back to eclipse 100 carries last season. LeGarrette Blount was the only running back to have over 80 attempts in 2017. Things do not look good for Howard to be the lead back in Philly.
Freeman was getting all the hype last season until Phillip Lindsay had 178 yards on 29 carries in his first two games and eventually took over the starting job. Lindsay is also a better pass catcher. This season, though, he’s recovering from right wrist surgery but should be ready for Week 1.
I can see both Freeman and Lindsay being on the field at the same time as they won’t let Joe Flacco throw it 40 times a game. Freeman is a low-end RB2.
In his three seasons with Penn State, he recorded 1,649 yards and 12 touchdowns on 276 carries. He wasn’t much of a pass catcher, so he’ll be on the sidelines during most of the Eagles passing downs. With the crowd of running backs on the team, he won’t need to be on the field.
Sanders will not be the exception to the Doug Peterson rule. He’s good pick in keeper and dynasty leagues but the muddled backfield makes him almost undraftable in re-draft leagues.
Penny did not have the rookie season many expected. He had just 85 carries for 419 yards and two touchdowns. With Chris Carson listed ahead of him on the depth chart, he will likely have an average sophomore season. The Seahawks are a run-first team so we could see both running backs on the field at the same time. But, only one can carry the ball at a time.
Cohen was an effective fantasy asset in PPR leagues. He had 99 carries for 444 yards and three touchdowns with an additional 71 receptions for 725 yards and five touchdowns. This season, the Bears brought in Mike Davis and drafted David Montgomery, which could limit Cohen’s touches.
Davis can run and catch well with 4.6 yards per attempt and 6.3 yards per reception last season. The Bears have some question marks in the passing game so Mitch Trubisky could be relying on Cohen in the passing game, giving him a boost in value.
Murray may be the most valuable backup in fantasy football. We saw the Saints use two running backs effectively. While him and Alvin Kamara won’t have the same split as Kamara and Mark Ingram, he will still be a high-end RB3. Kamara can both catch and run, so he’s a better RB1 for the Saints than Ingram was. Murray’s value will rely on his scoring opportunities.