2020 Dynasty Fantasy Football: Free agency shakes up running back tiers and rankings

I don't know that there's a more helpful process on Draft Day than tiering. It's more helpful than ranking in that you don't necessarily have to rank players in a way that artificially puts one above another. It's probably even better than projections, though I'd have a hard time building my tiers without first doing my projections. 

But what's the point? For me, it's to show me what groups of players resemble each other in value so that I can make better choices when choosing between positions and players. But resemble does not mean "are equal to." There are tiers within tiers, especially if you don't want to have 15 tiers at a position. With that in mind, I highlighted a few players in the tiers below that really don't fit in any tier with a short description of how I feel about them in Dynasty below the tiers. 

Also, you'll notice the formatting is different for this round of Dynasty tiers. I thought it might be more helpful to see them all together. Let me know what you think.

Christian McCaffrey: Obviously, McCaffrey belongs in the top tier, but it's easy to argue he should have a tier to himself. He's the most valuable back in football and he's still just 24 years old.

Saquon Barkley: It would look pretty dumb if my first two tiers had one player each, but that's the way the numbers would have me do it. This first full year with Daniel Jones will tell us a lot. If Jones doesn't throw to running backs as often then Barkley is closer to the field than McCaffrey.

Joe Mixon: I presume most people would have Mixon in Tier 2. They'd gladly switch him out with Austin Ekeler. But we still haven't seen big receiving volume for Mixon and we still haven't seen the top-five upside over a full season. This is the final year of his rookie deal, which adds an extra layer of risk for a player who hasn't yet proven he's a difference maker at the position.

Phillip Lindsay: Few players at any position have had a worse offseason than Lindsay. Melvin Gordon squashes Lindsay's value in Denver and it's uncertain whether he's proven enough to earn a starting job on a second contract. Still, he's averaged 4.9 yards per carry across 416 attempts in his first two seasons. It's hard to drop him too far.

Damien Harris: What do you do with a third-round pick who does absolutely nothing as a rookie? I could understand arguing that Harris should be in the tier above with Darwin Thompson and Justice Hill. I might even agree with it if the Patriots didn't currently employ 17 running backs ahead of Harris. He could move up simply by the Patriots acting like they might give him work. 

Mark Ingram: Ingram could legitimately be a top-15 back in any format but he's also on the wrong side of 30, doesn't get a big share of his team's rush attempts, and doesn't have much of a role in the passing game. He's worth a lot to a contender in a non-PPR league and very little to everyone else.

So which players should you build your team around? And which overlooked running back do you need to jump on? Visit SportsLine now to find out which players are the top targets in dynasty leagues, all from an award-winning Fantasy football expert.

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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