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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Rookie Running Back Rankings – Tier 2

6. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt – Buccaneers (3.12)

5’10” 214lbs, 4.51 40yd

Vaughn is a between the tackles grinder that flashed some hands in his senior season at Vanderbilt, catching 28 catches out of the backfield. He also commanded a 10% target share in his senior season, which is elite. His combine was decent, but he did not flash the explosiveness that I would have liked to see. He ranked in the bottom half in both broad jump and vertical. He clearly belongs in a tier below the top 5. He does enter an excellent situation though, and can oust RJ2. Another consideration is the fact that he will turn 23 prior to the start of the season, which is not ideal for dynasty.

7. AJ Dillon, Boston College – Packers (2.30)

6’0” 247lbs, 4.53 40yd

AJ Dillion is a rare combination of size and athleticism. Guys built like AJ Dillon should not be able to jump that high and run that fast. There is a reason why he put up back-to-back-to-back seasons of over 1000 yards and over 10TDs. The Packers shocked their fans by taking him at the end of the 2nd round. I love the pick, and believe that he can be a 3 down back. He enters a crowded backfield. Keep your eyes posted for a Aaron Jones holdout or trade.

8. Antonio Gibson, Memphis – Washington (3.02)

6’0” 228lbs, 4.39 40yd

Is he a running back? He states that he is a wide receiver, but he played a duel role in college at Memphis. Gibson averaged 11.2 yards per carry on 33 carries in his second season on Memphis, while commanding 56 air targets and a 12.7 percent target share. He is an explosive play-maker that is extremely versatile. Sounds probably like a better real life NFL player than fantasy stud, but the upside is something that cannot be overlooked. The situation presents itself for a role in the passing game over a role in the backfield.

9. Joshua Kelley, UCLA – Chargers (4.06)

5’11” 212lbs, 4.49 40yd

Joshua Kelley has all the makings of a productive 3 down back in the NFL. He has adequate size, he is athletic, he is agile and he was productive at UCLA. Kelley only has 2 years against Division I talent, as he started his collegiate career in junior college. He went over 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns in each season at UCLA. He enters a backfield timeshare with Austin Ekeler, but should be able to oust Jackson. He reminds me of Marlon Mack.

10. Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State – Titans (3.29)

5’10” 203lbs, 4.41 40yd

This guy crushed the combine. He is not very big, but he is an explosive athlete. 4.41 40 yard dash, 37 inch verticle, 125 broad jump, and he put up 20 reps on the bench at 200lbs. The Appalachian State product was also a dynamic kick and punt returner, housing a return for a touchdown in each season. If he can bulk up, I see 3 down back in his potential. He is not just a scat back, think more of a Ray Rice type of athlete. He will contend with Derrick Henry for touches, but is a perfect change of pace back for that offense. Derrick Henry is past the RB age apex, so look for Evans to take command of that backfield in a few years.

11. Anthony McFarland Jr., Maryland – Steelers (4.18)

5’8” 208lbs, 4.44 40yd

I was surprised at how highly McFarland was drafted. He is an excellent compliment to a Steelers backfield that lacked speed. He was impressive at Maryland, after transferring from Junior College. I expect him to carve out a nice role as a satellite back behind James Conner.

12. Zach Moss, Utah – Bills (3.22)

5’9″ 223, 4.65 40yd

Moss was projected as a 2nd round pick in some circles prior to the NFL Combine. The 4.65 40 yard dash is inexcusable. He was a productive participant at Utah, but he did not set the program on fire. His target share was never larger than 10%, and his production in the pass game was sporadic. Even in an ideal situation I do not trust Moss. Ranking Moss low means that I will have zero Zach Moss stock on my taxi squad in 2020. I want no part of the running back sloths of Buffalo.