2020 Fantasy Football: Running Back Battles To Monitor
Workload is always the biggest concern when you draft a running back in fantasy. Well, that’s what we’re hear to talk about. There are a lot of RBBC. The 2020 Fantasy Football is not different. Let’s take a look at the running back battles to monitor and how you should interpret each situation. We will dive into every team. Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of how each backfield figures to operate for the 2020 fantasy football year.
Arizona Cardinals – Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmunds, Eno Benjamin
Kenyan Drake is the man in this backfield. He was a man on fire last year. There’s a reason why he got that transition tag. He will be the man back again. Chase Edmunds was good enough to be the main backup. Eno Benjamin should be considered depth.
Atlanta Falcons – Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, Brian Hill, Quadree Ollison
No competition. Gurley will be the lead back.
Baltimore Ravens – Mark Ingram, JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill
Mark Ingram will clearly be the lead back. Baltimore still led the NFL in rush percentage at 54 percent. JK Dobbins will get his touches.
Buffalo Bills – Devin Singletary vs Zack Moss
This is a RBBC written all over it. Devin Singletary had a really good year but it’s clear the Bills don’t want him to be a bell cow. Last year Frank Gore got carries. Now Zack Moss comes in as a highish draft pick.
Moss is a punishing runner who should carve out a clear role in this ground attack. He could be a goal line vulture too. Moss is a rookie so we don’t yet know how the carries will be split. What we do know is Singletary owners have to be nervous.
Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffrey
Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Mixon, Gio Bernard
This one is pretty clear too. Joe Mixon is the guy. Gio Bernard is the change of pace guy who can make things happen in the passing game. Not much of a mystery here.
Chicago Bears – David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen
David Montgomery is the primary running back. Tarik Cohen is the change of pace who also plays some wide receiver. We got this one too.
Cleveland Browns – Nick Chubb vs Kareem Hunt
I think this is a legit battle. Are we forgetting how talented Kareem Hunt was for the Chiefs? Don’t get me wrong, I love Nick Chubb and he’s the lead dog. However, there is no denying Hunt drains the ceiling of Chubb.
For starters, Hunt is the primary receiver out of the backfield. Hunt also only got 43 carries in 2019. I think that number is going up since he will be there for a full season. The last 5 weeks of the season, Chubb never got more than 17 carries in a game.
The good news is Kevin Stefanski is going to run the ball more. What we don’t know is how Hunt eats at Chubb’s production. It could end up being significant.
Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott
Denver Broncos – Phillip Lindsay vs Melvin Gordon vs Royce Freeman
Oh, boy did things get interesting. My guess is that Melvin Gordon is going to be the lead back. If they were 100 percent satisfied, they wouldn’t have signed Gordon. Denver signed Gordon for $8 million per year. He’s going to get the first crack at things.
Here is the interesting part. What happens if Royce Freeman becomes a touchdown stealer? The winner of this battle has value. I still think it could be Phillip Lindsay. This might be the hardest backfield to project in the league. Might be better off staying away.
Detroit Lions – D’Andre Swift vs Kerryon Johnson
I already wrote a lengthy piece on how D’Andre Swift factors in here. What I will say is this is rough no matter what. It’s hard to trust anybody on the Lions period.
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Jones vs Jamaal Williams vs AJ Dillon
I love Aaron Jones but it just feels like the Packers never fully commit for whatever reason. Jamaal Williams still got a bunch of touches last year. Now the Packers draft AJ Dillon in the second round.
I don’t think we can just ignore Dillon here. The former BC product is a big back with agility. They took him in the second round for a reason. I think Matt LeFleur could be trying to replicate a Shanahan backfield. Make that of it what you will.
Houston Texans – David Johnson vs Duke Johnson
I would have put David Johnson by himself but I really think he’s totally washed. Houston is going to ride with him as the lead dog. Regardless, I think Duke Johnson carves out a bigger role than expected. He will be a factor in the pass game.
Indianapolis Colts – Jonathan Taylor vs Marlon Mack
We don’t have a track record for how this backfield will operate. I could be wrong here but I honestly think it is going to be a 50-50 split. The Colts like Marlon Mack. This idea that the Colts are just going to give Jonathan Taylor the bulk of the work is just wrong. This is going to be a real RBBC.
Kansas City Chiefs – Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Damien Williams
Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be the guy. You don’t take a running back in the first round for that not to be the case. Damien Williams will probably be a pain in the ass for CEH. However, I think there’s a big gap here. Especially in the passing game. CEH is going to get so many looks in the passing game I don’t think fantasy owners will even be bothered by Williams.
Las Vegas Raiders – Josh Jacobs
Josh Jacobs is the main guy. There’s really no competition either outside of some gadget plays for Lynn Bowden.
Los Angeles Chargers – Austin Ekeler vs Justin Jackson vs Joshua Kelly
There is no doubt that Austin Ekeler is the man. I do think Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelly will have a say here. Ekeler isn’t a big body back or not a high caliber draft pick coming out. Jackson and Kelly both have similar skillsets. Is that by design?
Los Angeles Rams – Cam Akers vs Darrell Henderson vs Malcolm Brown
There seems to be a lot of smoke with the Rams plans here. I think this one is actually easy to figure out. Cam Akers is the new Todd Gurley for them. Akers is special and will be able to fill the lead role right away.
Sean McVay already talked about how he wants to use Darrell Henderson. The former Memphis back wasn’t great as a rookie but in an ideal world, they want him to be Alvin Kamara. Change of pace and eat up some receiving roles. Akers is going to be THAT DUDE.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette
It’s make or break time for Leonard Fournette. Regardless, this is Fournette’s job and his job only.
Miami Dolphins – Jordan Howard vs Matt Breida
The Dolphins didn’t draft a running back. This is the group. Not the best backfield but this is what you’re getting. Having said that, the opportunity is there for either to actually have a big impact.
Minnesota Vikings – Dalvin Cook
Keep it moving.
New England Patriots – Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damian Harris, Brandon Bolden
I’m so done with Bill Belichick. Good luck.
New Orleans Saints – Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray
Alvin Kamara is the lead dog. Just keep in mind, Latavius Murray has value. Murray still rushed for 637 yards and 5 touchdowns last year.
New York Giants – Saquon Barkley
You get it.
New York Jets – Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore, Lamical Perine
The Jets aren’t good enough to have a lot of leads. Le’Veon Bell is totally worthless. Frank Gore and Lamical Perine only make a mess of the situation.
Philadelphia Eagles – Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield, Michael Warren
Miles Sanders has the job but I find the back up job fascinating. There is still a sizeable role up for grabs. I’m not sure Boston Scott fills it by himself. That Jordan Howard spot is still available. Elijah Holyfield or Michael Warren could snatch it. The winner becomes interesting.
Pittsburgh Steelers – James Conner vs Jaylen Samuels vs Benny Snell vs Anthony McFarland
Good luck. James Conner is the lead back but coming off a down year in the final year of his contract.
Jaylen Samuel is more of a an H-Back that can play running back and do it pretty well.
Benny Snell has some promise but lacks speed and didn’t have a great rookie year.
Anthony McFarland comes over as a change of pace back from Maryland.
This one hasn’t worked itself out yet.
San Francisco 49ers – Raheem Mostert vs Tevin Coleman vs Jerick McKinnon
Raheem Mostert was so good down the stretch last year that he has to be the favorite to start. Tevin Coleman will get more than his share of carries. Jerick McKinnon takes the Matt Breida role if he can actually stay on the field. Regardless, the Shanahan committee stays alive and well.
Seattle Seahawks – Chris Carson vs DeeJay Dallas vs Travis Homer vs Rashaad Penny
Rashaad Penny is basically a ghost at this point. Travis Homer is what he is. I think the real battle here is Chris Carson and DeeJay Dallas. Can Dallas be what Penny never was and steal a significant amount of carries from Carson to make him sweat? I think he’s got a shot.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ronald Jones vs Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Talk about an opportunity Ke’Shawn Vaughn walks into. Can he beat out Ronald Jones to do it? We don’t really know what we’re getting with Vaughn yet. The job could be his or it could be a total time share.
Tennessee Titans – Derrick Henry
No need to worry here. The offense goes through King Henry.
Washington Redskins – Adrian Peterson vs Derrius Guice vs Bryce Love vs Peyton Barber vs Antonio Gibson