2019 Fantasy Football Running Back Dynasty Rankings: Rookies no match for Saquon Barkley

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Dynasty: RB | WR | QB | TE | Rookies

The smarter NFL teams get about the running back position, the more difficult our job as Fantasy players becomes. More and more it has become about gauging fit, role and situation instead of talent. That's really fine in redraft. In fact, it's probably easier, but it can be maddening when projecting out for multiple years or putting together Dynasty rankings.

The rankings you'll see below are based on PPR leagues, which is going to elevate players like Tarik Cohen, though Cohen's short and long-term value was impacted by the Bears selection of David Montgomery. Yes, we always knew Cohen was going to share the load with someone, but the Bears traded up for Montgomery in a year in which they were already short on picks. In full disclosure, my opinion on this backfield could also be jaded by the fact I had Montgomery as my No. 1 rookie back before the draft. 

While pass catching is important in today's NFL, there's nothing more important than a bell-cow role, which is slowly disappearing. There were only five backs in 2018 that reached 300 touches; Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Todd Gurley and David Johnson. After what we saw from Gurley in the playoffs and the fact that the Rams invested a third-round pick in Darrell Henderson, it's hard to imagine he'll reach that mark again in 2019. 

Of course, there were other backs who were on pace for 300 touches. Melvin Gordon, James Conner, Joe Mixon and Chris Carson all would have reached the mark had they had played 16 games. Nick Chubb was on pace after the Browns traded Carlos Hyde as well. You'll see most of these names at the top of my rankings below, with all of them except for Carson ranked ahead of every rookie.

Rookies

As I said above, Montgomery was my No. 1 back before the draft and that hasn't changed. Well, it's basically a 1A and 1B situation that includes Josh Jacobs. I could understand ranking Jacobs first if you think he's more talented. A lot of people do.  What I don't think you should do is assume Jacobs is a workhorse and Montgomery isn't. Jordan Howard touched the ball 270 times in 2018 and has averaged 17.8 touches per game in two years with Cohen. In the six games before his injury,  Marshawn Lynch was averaging 17.5 touches per game. In the 10 games after Lynch went down, Doug Martin averaged 16.9.

After Jacobs and Montgomery, it gets really easy for me, then really difficult. Miles Sanders landed in Philadelphia with Howard, and should have an excellent opportunity to earn Fantasy relevance in his first season. He's actually faster than Montgomery or Jacobs. He and Darrell Henderson are the only other rookies to crack my top-25 in Dynasty.

That doesn't mean you should ignore the other backs. Devin Singletary could have a fast track to a feature role in Buffalo. Damien Harris and Alexander Mattison were both among my favorite backs coming into the draft. Darwin Thompson landed in Kansas City, which offers a world of upside if he can get on the field.

One name that wasn't drafted, but I think you should pay attention to is Bruce Anderson. He signed after the draft with Tampa Bay after the Bucs shockingly didn't select a running back in the draft. That may mean that Bruce Arians is really enamored with Peyton Barber or Ronald Jones, but Anderson is a big, strong back who is very good in the passing game without a true feature back in front of him. It's a long shot, but it's worth a late pick in your rookie draft. 

Dynasty Ranking

  1. Saquon Barkley, Giants
  2. Alvin Kamara, Saints
  3. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
  4. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
  5. Joe Mixon, Bengals
  6. James Conner, Steelers
  7. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
  8. Nick Chubb, Browns
  9. Dalvin Cook, Vikings
  10. Le'Veon Bell, Jets
  11. Todd Gurley, Rams
  12. David Johnson, Cardinals
  13. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars
  14. Sony Michel, Patriots
  15. Kerryon Johnson, Lions
  16. David Montgomery, Bears
  17. Josh Jacobs, Raiders
  18. Aaron Jones, Packers
  19. Phillip Lindsay, Broncos
  20. Derrius Guice, Washington
  21. Tarik Cohen, Bears
  22. Devonta Freeman, Falcons
  23. Derrick Henry, Titans
  24. Miles Sanders, Eagles
  25. Marlon Mack, Colts
  26. Darrell Henderson, Rams
  27. Kenyan Drake, Dolphins
  28. Tevin Coleman, 49ers
  29. Damien Williams, Chiefs
  30. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks
  31. Chris Carson, Seahawks
  32. Mark Ingram, Ravens
  33. Lamar Miller, Texans
  34. Kareem Hunt, Browns
  35. Ito Smith, Falcons
  36. Royce Freeman, Broncos
  37. Jerick McKinnon, 49ers
  38. Damien Harris, Patriots
  39. Alexander Mattison, Vikings
  40. Devin Singletary, Bills
  41. James White, Patriots
  42. Bruce Anderson, Buccaneers
  43. Austin Ekeler, Chargers
  44. Ronald Jones, Buccaneers
  45. Jordan Howard, Eagles
  46. Peyton Barber, Buccaneers
  47. Latavius Murray, Saints
  48. Nyheim Hines, Colts
  49. Darwin Thompson, Chiefs
  50. Justice Hill, Ravens
  51. Kalen Ballage, Dolphins
  52. D'Onta Foreman, Texans
  53. Benny Snell, Steelers
  54. Kenneth Dixon, Ravens
  55. Duke Johnson, Browns
  56. Jamaal Williams, Packers
  57. Carlos Hyde, Chiefs
  58. Chase Edmunds, Cardinals
  59. Rodney Anderson, Bengals
  60. Bryce Love, Washington
  61. Matt Breida, 49ers
  62. Justin Jackson, Chargers
  63. Jaylen Samuels, Steelers
  64. Jalen Richard, Raiders
  65. Dion Lewis, Titans
  66. Trayveon Williams, Bengals
  67. Mike Davis, Bears
  68. Elijah Holyfield, Panthers
  69. Chris Thompson, Washington
  70. Elijah McGuire, Jets
  71. Corey Clement, Eagles
  72. Dexter Williams, Packers
Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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