Fantasy Football 2020: Post NFL Drafty Dynasty Rookie Running Back Rankings

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Rookie Running Back Rankings – Tier 1

1. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – Colts (2.09)

5’10” 226lbs, 4.39 40yd

Taylor is by the best rookie running back prospect. His measurables are on par with guys like Ladanian Tomlinson and Ezekiel Elliott. The speed, the size, the college production; these stats all bode well for a smooth transition to the NFL. He was the 3rd running back off the board at the NFL Draft. He goes to Indy, where he will be running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The only issue is that he may be running behind Marlon Mack as well. It’s only for one year though, as Mack will be an free agent in 2021. The knocks on JT are ball security and how he projects as a pass catcher. Taylor caught 26 passes last year, almost doubling his catches from his prior two seasons. Despite possibly being in a RBBC, Jonathan Taylor is the best talent in this draft and would be my top pick in Dynasty rookie drafts in 2020.

2. Cam Akers, Florida State – Rams (2.20)

5’10” 217lbs, 4.47 40yd

Akers sets up to be a 3 down back in the NFL. He has solid size, speed, and hands. The Florida State product had 30 receptions in his Junior (final) season, while producing 18 total touchdowns behind an inconsistent offensive line. Akers is drafted to play behind another inconsistent line in LA. He might go to the best situation, as he only has Henderson to surpass. I love his potential, and see him as a 3 down back. His comparable players are Ryan Matthews and Marlon Mack.

3. JK Dobbins, Ohio State – Ravens (2.23)

5’10” 209lbs

The COVID-19 pandemic is hurting JK Dobbins stock. The Ohio State product chose not to participate in running drills at the combine nursing an injury. Then his pro day was cancelled due to social distancing. It is difficult to project athletic performance, so I will not attempt to. We do have athletic measurables from High School that present promise, but are purely speculative. I would have preferred him measuring closer to 220lbs, to solidify his 3 down back potential. All these questions led to JK being drafted late second round to a tremendous situation. Yes, he may be behind Marc Ingram for one year, but Ingram is old and a FA in 2021. Expect him to be a big play star next to Lamar.

4. DeAndre Swift, Georgia – Lions (2.03)

5’8” 212lbs, 4.48 40yd

Swift is another very talented Georgia running back that enters the NFL draft fresh. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel hawked a lot of his targets as a Freshman, but Swift was able to put together 2 really solid seasons prior to forgoing his Senior season for the NFL draft. The Georgia product has great hands and plus speed. He is a true 3 down back, but must continue to improve in pass blocking if he wants a 3 down role. A proper comparison to Swift is Miles Sanders or Jamaal Charles with more juice between the tackles. He enters a Detroit backfield that Kerryon Johnson struggled to grasp due to injuries. The Patriots disciple coach also somewhat scares me away.

5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU – Chiefs (1.32)

5’7” 207lbs, 4.60 40yd

Small, slow running backs do not peak my fancy in dynasty. The thing that moved CEH up on draftboards was his college production in his junior year at LSU. I will not take anything away from his junior year, commanding a 10% target share in an offense riddled with talented options. However, I cannot look past the size and speed measurables. He is going to be the next Dion Lewis, not a 3 down running back. He enters an excellent situation, joining Pat Mahomes in the champions backfield. The Top 5 are very closely ranked, but I am not as high on CEH as others in your draft will be.