The NFL Draft is now over, so now fans can look ahead to their fantasy football drafts. The following rankings will help fantasy football players have a good idea of who to target in their draft and when they should target them. These rankings are best used for standard scoring leagues and will be updated sporadically before the season starts. Here are the 2019 fantasy football running back rankings.
Running Back Rankings: 1-10
1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Barkley had a fantastic start to his NFL career and finished second behind Todd Gurley in fantasy points in standard scoring leagues. Without Odell Beckham on the roster, defenses will stack the box against Barkley. Fortunately, Barkley has an offensive line that should be better than last season and he is also a threat in the passing game.
2. Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys will want to run the ball a lot again next season, especially if Travis Frederick comes back healthy at center. Elliot will get a lot of carries and after finishing last season as the fifth best running back, could move up the list.
3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Last season, McCaffrey had a breakout year and scored the third most points at the running back position. He can run between the tackles and be a threat in the passing game, which makes him valuable. If Cam Newton is healthy to keep defenses off balance, McCaffrey should have another big year.
4. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
With Mark Ingram not in town anymore, Kamara should see even more carries. Latavius Murray will spell him, but Kamara is the go-to-guy in the backfield. He finished with the fourth most points at the position last season and should project to be a top-five fantasy running back again this season.
5. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
Conner played in 13 games last season and finished as the seventh best fantasy running back. It wasn’t a bad season for someone who was supposed to be backing up Le’Veon Bell. With a good offensive line in front of him and a quarterback who can keep defenses on their toes, Conner should be a solid RB1 this season.
6. Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets
Even though he is one of the most talented running backs in the league, Bell will need to knock off the rust from last season. He will also be playing for an offense that struggled last season and for a coach who reportedly doesn’t want him. His talent gives him top-10 value for running backs, but the offense could hold him back.
7. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Gurley is a high-risk, high-reward selection in fantasy football this season. He was the top fantasy football running back last season, but injured his knee, which now may have arthritis. This could severely limit him, but if he is able to play and is near 100 percent, expect him to have another great season.
8. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson is very talented and finished last year as the 10th best running back, despite not having a good offense. The offense still may not be great, which could limit Johnson. Because he can catch out of the backfield and was top-10 last season, he should be top-10 again this season.
9. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
The leading rusher in the AFC last season was Joe Mixon. That was with a below-average offensive line, but the Bengals have addressed that in the first round of the last two NFL Drafts. In Zac Taylor’s new offense, Mixon could be the beneficiary of a better offensive output.
10. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Mike Zimmer has made it abundantly clear that he wants to run the football more. With that, Cook should be getting the ball a lot more in 2019. He played in 11 games and finished 31st for running backs last season. With the emphasis on running the ball, Cook should move up those rankings a lot if he can stay healthy.
Running Back Rankings: 11-20
11. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Freeman was banged up last season, but if healthy he can be a quality fantasy running back this season. Tevin Coleman is now playing for the 49ers, so he’ll likely only have to share carries with Ito Smith. With the offense being good, he should have plenty of opportunities for points.
12. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
For the 2018-2019 season, Henry split carries with Dion Lewis and still finished 13th among running backs. This was fueled by a late-season push, but the Titans should be able to replicate some of that success this season. With a good offensive line and an offense that needs to run the ball well to move the ball, Henry should have a good season.
13. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville knows it needs to keep the ball on the ground to be successful. With that, Fournette needs to stay healthy. He finished 37th last season, while only playing in eight games. There is some risk with the pick with Fournette’s injury history, but when he’s healthy he’s a quality fantasy running back.
14. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Chubb finished last season at number 15 and is now the lead running back. A lot of his fantasy value will be wrapped up in how much Kareem Hunt is able to see the field for the Browns. Hunt is suspended for eight games, but after those eight could cut into Chubb’s productivity.
15. Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are going to run the ball a lot with Ingram and Lamar Jackson. Defenses will stack the box, but he should still be very productive. He scored the 28th most points last season, while splitting carries and being suspended for four games. Neither of those things should be an issue for Ingram this season.
16. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
In 12 games played, Jones was able to rank as the 23rd running back last season. Jones is a good running back, but doesn’t always get the type of work that can make him reliable. If Aaron Rodgers and the offense use him, he’ll pick up a lot of points, but there could also be some shuffling in the Packer backfield like previous years.
17. Sony Michel, New England Patriots
As a rookie last year, Michel was the 25th best running back. His role should expand this season, especially if he can play a full 16 game schedule. There is still risk in selecting a running back who plays for the Patriots, as he’ll be fighting for carries with James White, Rex Burkhead and new rookie Damien Harris.
18. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
Lindsay came out of nowhere last season, but finished with the 12th most fantasy points for running backs. He will still be a threat this season, but it is hard to ask for that type of production again on an offense that isn’t projected to move the ball well.
19. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders
Oakland used a first-round pick on Jacobs, which likely means he will get a lot of work. In interviews, he has said that he’s been lining up all over the field. Expect him to get a lot of work on the ground and through the air this season.
20. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions
For years the Lions were looking for a reliable running back and finally found Kerryon Johnson. He ranked 33rd for running backs, despite only playing in 10 games last season. The offense may not be as high-powered as previous years, but Johnson will get a lot of work.
Running Back Rankings 21-30
21. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks led the NFL in rushing and Carson led the Seahawks. They will try to run the ball a lot again, but they will also likely want to get second-year man Rashaad Penny more involved this year. Carson should still be productive, but not as much as last year.
22. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
Although he only played in 12 games last season, Gordon finished sixth among running backs. The offense should still be well balanced with Philip Rivers under center. Gordon should move into the top five this season if he can stay healthy. With Gordon currently holding out, it is best to wait until at least the fifth or sixth round to select him.
23. Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
For the Chiefs, Williams will likely be the lead back this season without Kareem Hunt. He will, however, have Carlos Hyde in the backfield as well, as they will likely both get carries.
24. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts offense came to life last season with Andrew Luck back. Mack only played in 12 games and still scored the 19th most points for running backs. Indianapolis will still give the ball to Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines, but Mack will be the lead back.
25. Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
The Bears featured Cohen more often last season and he finished ranked 17th among running backs. Jordan Howard is now with the Eagles, so Cohen will be the lead back without question. Mike Davis and David Montgomery will get carries too, but it is Cohen’s show this season.
26. Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins
Drake ranked 21st last season and now won’t have Frank Gore competing for carries. He provides versatility as he will pick up yards on the ground and through the air.
27. Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins
Washington had to sign Adrian Peterson after Guice tore his ACL last season. Even though he hasn’t played a regular-season game yet, Guice was one of the best running backs in the 2018 NFL Draft class, so he should be expected to produce.
28. Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles made a trade to acquire Howard to try to inject some life into their running game. They were not great at running the football, despite having a good offensive line. Howard should do solidly, but the running game likely won’t get too much better for Philly.
29. Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bruce Arians was hired as head coach for the Bucs this offseason and some of his first comments were about how impressed he was with the running backs on the roster. Barber was the lead back last season and likely will be again this season, but Ronald Jones will get some carries. If Arians can get the offense moving, Barber should benefit from it big time.
30. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
It’s looking more and more like Montgomery and Tarik Cohen will split carries. Montgomery will get goal-line carries and should be able to be to rank in the top 30 for fantasy running backs.