Fantasy Football: Early look at our top 10 RB rankings for 2020 drafts

Now that the 2019 NFL regular season is over, we can start looking ahead. It's already time to turn the page and start planning for Draft Day in 2020.

We're going to spend the next several months working on plenty of things to preview next season, including rankings, mock drafts, sleepers, breakouts, busts and many other cool features. But for now, here's a preview of the preview.

This is our first run of the top-10 rankings in PPR at running back for me, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings, Ben Gretch and Adam Aizer. These rankings will change hundreds of times between now and August, but our job is to start planning now.

We will likely reveal our full early rankings for 2020 right after Super Bowl LIV in February. But this is a sneak peek at what we think about the running backs now after what just happened in 2019.

Jamey Eisenberg

1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
2. Saquon Barkley, NYG
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
4. Dalvin Cook, MIN
5. Alvin Kamara, NO
6. Nick Chubb, CLE
7. Derrick Henry, TEN
8. Aaron Jones, GB
9. Joe Mixon, CIN
10. Leonard Fournette, JAC

Dave Richard

1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
2. Saquon Barkley, NYG
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
4. Dalvin Cook, MIN 
5. Nick Chubb, CLE
6. Alvin Kamara, NO 
7. Joe Mixon, CIN 
8. Josh Jacobs, OAK 
9. Derrick Henry, TEN 
10. Miles Sanders, PHI

Heath Cummings

1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
2. Saquon Barkley, NYG
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
4. Dalvin Cook, MIN 
5. Nick Chubb, CLE
6. Alvin Kamara, NO 
7. Joe Mixon, CIN 
8. Josh Jacobs, OAK 
9. Derrick Henry, TEN 
10. Miles Sanders, PHI

Ben Gretch

1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
2. Saquon Barkley, NYG
3. Alvin Kamara, NO
4. Dalvin Cook, MIN
5. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
6. Nick Chubb, CLE
7. Miles Sanders, PHI
8. Aaron Jones, GB
9. Derrick Henry, TEN
10. Leonard Fournette, JAC

Adam Aizer

1. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
2. Saquon Barkley, NYG
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
4. Dalvin Cook, MIN
5. Alvin Kamara, NO
6. Nick Chubb, CLE
7. Miles Sanders, PHI
8. Josh Jacobs, OAK
9. Derrick Henry, TEN
10. Aaron Jones, GB

The only thing we all agree on here, which is easy, is that McCaffrey is the No. 1 running back -- and likely No. 1 overall pick in all leagues. He was simply amazing in 2019.

McCaffrey scored 456 PPR points this season, which was No. 2 behind only Lamar Jackson at any position. He became the third player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards, joining Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk, and his 116 receptions were second in the NFL behind only Michael Thomas (149). He also tied Aaron Jones for the most touchdowns among non-quarterbacks with 19.

After McCaffrey, most of us are going with Barkley at No. 2, except for Heath. He likes Cook, who finished second in PPR points per game at 20.0, behind only McCaffrey.

The biggest detractor for Cook is the same one that's plagued him his entire career, which is health. He missed the final two games of the season with a shoulder injury and has yet to play 16 games in any of his three years in the NFL. Still, Cook is clearly a star, and he's a top-four pick for all of us.

Aside from Heath, the rest of us have Barkley as the No. 2 running back. He had a down year in 2019 (17.9 PPR points per game) compared to his rookie campaign in 2018 (24.1 PPR points per game), but we all feel like he's closer to that guy than the one saw this season, which also included three missed games with a high-ankle sprain.

Elliott and Kamara check in as top-six selections for all of us, and both should be awesome again in 2020. Kamara had what could be considered a down season since he averaged just 16.9 PPR points per game, but I'd be shocked if he scored only six touchdowns again as he did in 2019. And Elliott had another standout season at 18.6 PPR points per game.

Chubb is another running back we're high on for 2020, with Dave putting him at No. 5 ahead of Kamara. Chubb finished the season averaging 15.1 PPR points per game, but he was averaging 18.0 PPR points per game in the first eight games of the season before Kareem Hunt completed his suspension. Hunt is a free agent this offseason, and if he leaves as expected, Chubb can be a star.

Heath is the highest on Henry coming into 2020 after the Titans star just led the NFL in rushing at 1,540 yards. He averaged 18.7 PPR points per game, which was No. 4 among running backs, but he only caught 18 passes in 2019.

It's hard to overlook his workload with 303 carries, which led the NFL in only 15 games, and we all value Henry as a top 10 running back for next season. But Dave, Ben and Adam prefer him at No. 9, while I have him currently at No. 7.

Those seven running backs are the only ones we all agree on: McCaffrey, Barkley, Elliott, Cook, Kamara, Chubb and Henry. The final three are mixed for all of us, with some combination of Jones, Mixon, Fournette, Jacobs and Sanders.

For me, I'm going with Jones, Mixon and Fournette over Sanders and Jacobs, who are in my top 12. Jones was the No. 3 running back in PPR points per game at 18.9, and Matt LaFleur did a great job of making Jones the focal point of the offense in 2019, which should continue.

Mixon got off to a slow start in 2019, and he averaged just 13.4 PPR points per game for the season. But if you look at his final eight games of the year, he averaged 17.3 PPR points per game, and I expect the Bengals offense to improve in 2020 with likely Joe Burrow as the quarterback.

Fournette was the No. 9 running back at 16.5 PPR points per game, and he set a new career high with 76 catches. With Doug Marrone back as head coach, and likely John DeFilippo back as offensive coordinator, Fournette should again be heavily involved in the passing game, which helps his outlook.

I can definitely see why Ben and Adam like Sanders at No. 7, especially if he's the featured running back in Philadelphia in 2020. In the six games he played without Jordan Howard (shoulder), he averaged 17.8 PPR points per game, and hopefully that's the upside we get next year.

Jacobs averaged 14.1 PPR points per game for the season, but he started dealing with a shoulder injury in Week 12, which cost him three games to close the year. But if you take the 10 games he played before he got banged up, he averaged 15.7 PPR points per game, and hopefully that's the floor -- with a higher ceiling -- in his sophomore campaign.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

Fantasy Football Today Podcast

Our Latest Stories