If there are two things Dynasty managers love, they are youth and upside. And the 2020 rookie running back class brought both. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jonathan Taylor, D'Andre Swift, Cam Akers and J.K. Dobbins will all be 21 years old when the 2020 NFL season starts and they can all make an argument that they have long-term top-12 upside at the position. But to be fair, we've written plenty about them. If you're like me, you've got the guys they're replacing on more than a couple of Dynasty rosters and now you're trying to figure out what to do with them.
Kerryon Johnson (31) and Darrell Henderson (33) are both still just 23 years old and I expect both to get a fair fight in camp against Swift and Akers. They fell to Tier 6, just outside of my top 30 running backs, but I wouldn't be particularly surprised if either was better than their rookie counterpart in 2020. Johnson in particular has shown flashes of brilliance in his NFL career — he just hasn't been able to stay healthy. These are backs I'd be trying to acquire for cheap because their perceived value has taken a big hit.
Marlon Mack and Damien Williams are a tier lower and kind of in no man's land. They're both going to be free agents after 2020, but this year they're competing for two of the best jobs a running back could have. The Chiefs have already said they expect Williams to start Week 1 and it's not that hard to imagine how he's a top-24 back this year even with Edwards-Helaire on the roster. Mack is not as talented as Taylor, but Taylor is a rookie and did have a fumbling problem in college. There's still double-digit touchdown upside for Mack if he holds on to the red zone work, and Mack is still just 24 so it isn't hard to imagine him landing a starting job in free agency next year.
Mark Ingram was already on the wrong side of 30, so I'm not sure how much this changes anything for him. He still has top-20 upside in 2020 and almost no value to a rebuilding roster. There's a bigger risk that Dobbins just takes the job from him — Dobbins is much more talented than Gus Edwards and Justice Hill — but if Ingram stays healthy I'd expect a similar workload to 2019. He fell one tier to Tier 7, but I wouldn't mind starting him for one more year.
One more combo that is in a slightly different situation is Ronald Jones and Ke'Shawn Vaughn in Tampa Bay. These guys both have upside and flaws in their game. They're also both 23. In fact, Jones is slightly younger. They get a tier of their own because if either could win a three-down job they'd have top-15 upside with Tom Brady at quarterback, but also I could see either being outside of my top 50 backs as soon as late 2020. Their camp battle will be one of the most interesting to watch, but like in Kansas City we should expect Jones to start Week 1.
Finally, I'm not as concerned about Aaron Jones as everyone else seems to be with the arrival of AJ Dillon. The Packers gave more than 160 touches to secondary backs in 2019, so there's plenty of room for Jones and Dillon to co-exist in 2020.
Here are my post-draft Dynasty tiers for running backs:
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