Fantasy Football: Can Bell and Gurley be RB1’s this year?

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 27: Running back Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers runs up field against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Please note that in many draft kits, the term “RB1” is often used interchangeably with “Tier  1”.


1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

  • 2019 rank – No. 1
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 471.2 fantasy points, 29.5 points per game
  • Team also signed –  Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

McCaffrey was my fantasy football MVP last year due to his 2,392 combined yards and 19 touchdowns.  Bridgewater seems like the perfect quarterback for McCaffrey, so I’m expecting big DFS numbers from the Carolina backfield.

2. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

  • 2019 rank – No. 2
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 314.8 points, 19.7 points per game
  • Team also signed –  Kicker Mason Crosby

Green Bay is concentrating on re-signing valuable players they need to protect and make Jones and quarterback Aaron Rodgers as productive as possible offensively.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

  • 2019 rank – No. 3
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 311.7 points, 19.5 points per game
  • Team also signed – Wide receiver Amari Cooper

Elliott was signed to new deal last year.  Cooper signed a new deal during free agency.  Quarterback Dak Prescott  was given the franchise tag by Dallas management.  Now Elliott and the others have to prove that Jimmy Jones invested his money wisely.

4. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

  • 2019 rank – No. 5
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 294.6 points, 19.6 points per game
  • Team also signed – Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

With Tannehill under contract and the Titans proving they belong in the 2019 playoffs, Derrick Henry is due for another solid season at running back.

5. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

  • 2019 rank – No. 4
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 309.0 points, 19.3 points per game
  • Team also signed – Tight end Hunter Henry (franchise tag)

Unless some changes are made, quarterback Tyrod Taylor will be handing the ball to Austin Ekeler this fall.  Former Charger Philip Rivers is the new starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.  Ekeler’s numbers could be down this year if Taylor is not the answer at quarterback,

6. Delvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

  • 2019 rank – No. 6
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 394.6 points, 19.6 points per game
  • Team also signed – Defensive tackle (run stuffer) MIchael Pierce

The Vikings have cap issues.  They are discarding players and only adding players that Minnesota believes will help them make a playoff run in 2020.  Cook is a difference maker.  If you have any doubts, compare the Vikings stats with Cook playing with the ones in which he did not play.

7. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

  • 2019 rank – No. 9
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 248,52 points, 17.8 points per game
  • Team also signed – Quarterback Drew Brees, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders

The Saints’ passing game improved with the re-signing of Brees and the addition of Sanders.  Kamera is also reliable pass receiver coming out of the backfield.  Kamera also should match or exceed 4.66 yards per carry.

8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

  • 2019 rank – No. 8
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 255.2 points, 16.0 points per game
  • Team also signed – Tight end Austin Hooper

Chubb should benefit from the signing of tight end Austin Hooper.  It gives quarterback Baker Mayfield one more target when he is passing the football.  The emergence of Chubb last year laid a foundation for a solid career as a RB1.

9. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

  • 2019 rank – No. 10
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 244.1 points, 18.8 points per game
  • Team also signed – Running back Dion Lewis

The Giants added Dion Lewis to complement Saquon Barkley.  Barkley is a competitor so his expectations are for better results in 2020 than in 2019.

10. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

  • 2019 rank – No. 7
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 259.4 points, 17.3 points per game
  • Team also signed – Tight end Tyler Eifert

Leonard Fournette slides down on this year’s list, because there are concerns about his durability. As he enters his 4th season as a pro, Fournette has played in 36 out of a possible 48 pages.  Last year was his best year as he played in 15 games.  Was 2019 an anomaly? Or is Fournette prepared to play an entire 16-game season for Jacksonville.

11. Mark Ingram II, Baltimore Ravens

  • 2019 rank – No. 11
  • 2019 fantasy statistics – 242.5 points, 16.2 points per game
  • Team also signed – Linebacker Matthew Judon

Satisfied with the players on offense, Baltimore stressed signing defensive player during free agency.  Mark Ingram is a very consistent running back and have a solid year taking handoffs and catching passes from quarterback Lamar Jackson.

12. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

  • 2019 rank – No. 12
  • 2019 fantasy  statistics – 232.6 points, 15.5 points per game
  • Team also signed – Center B.J. Finney

Chris Carson is one of five running backs that rushed for over 1,200 yards last season. (The others are Christian McCaffreyy, Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb.  Seattle needs Carson to match or surpass his 4.4 yards per carry average to take pressure off of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his pass receivers.