September 3 update: As we close in on our drafts, I’m not as confident in “my guys” as I usually am, but I do have them and gave them a little nudge in this update. Here are a few of the running backs I’ve been grabbing in drafts:
Miles Sanders — His ADP has dropped since his hamstring injury, but he should be ready for Week 1 and I love his every-down backability in a strong offense.
Jonathan Taylor — I may take an early hit on this one with Marlon Mack taking away work, but I think Taylor is just too good not to win the bulk of the rushing attempts behind a strong offensive line.
Raheem Mostert — Kyle Shanahan isn’t going to give Mostert 20 carries a game, but he doesn’t need them in this super efficient rushing offense. He’s proven he’s the better back between him and Tevin Coleman and he’s on the best running back rushing team in the league.
Antonio Gibson — His talent should shine on a team devoid of talent outside Terry McLaurin.
Zack Moss — All signs point toward Moss having an early role in Buffalo, including as the goal line back. I like him enough to see him taking over the lead back work on a good rushing team.
August 31st update: Since we last talked, Leonard Fournette has been released, Jalen Reagor will miss a week or two of the regular season and Alvin Kamara is currently a holdout. At this point, Fournette’s release will have the biggest impact on rankings. He was already pretty low, so we aren’t looking at huge movement, but he’s likely to go from 250 or more touches to a possible backup role wherever he lands. Ryquell Armstead gets the biggest bump, as he will get the first shot at lead back work while Devine Ozigbo gets a bump as his likely backup. Chris Thompson gets a bump, but I had already bumped him after good reports. He’s likely going to stick to his receiving role.
Reagor’s injury helps DeSean Jackson, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward to start the season, but if Reagor only misses a couple games, he still can be a useful player. and until we know Kamara is gpoing to miss time, we can’t drop him much.
August 28th update: With just two weeks until the season opener between the Chiefs and Texans, your fantasy football drafts are closing in fast. So far, knocking on wood while crossing my fingers, no prominent running backs have gone down with season-ending injuries in training camp. That will likely change, as it always seems to happen, but we haven’t had to make any drastic changes in the rankings.
There are injuries though and they will impact rankings, especially as we get closer to Week 1. Some of the more prominent players have been David Montgomery, Miles Sanders, Darrell Henderson, and D’Andre Swift. Thankfully, the majority of these injuries shouldn’t linger too far into the season, if at all.
Check out our printable drafting tiers!
The NFL season is fast approaching. With no preseason games and limited media coverage due to Covid-19, it is going to be tougher to evaluate camp battles, but it’s never been that easy either. That makes fantasy football draft preparations a little different than in recent seasons.
Below you will find our overall Standard (non-PPR) fantasy football rankings. Training camp is meaningful and what we learn over the next 20-plus days will help us rank these players more accurately. But, the bulk of evaluation has been done already.
Many default settings on fantasy football platforms are no longer non-PPR, but it is still an often used scoring type. Pass-catching backs take a back seat in non-PPR but it all comes down to yards and touchdowns. That usually means every-down running backs remain the top picks while those that rely on receptions drop somewhat in the rankings. But there are no hard and fast rules, as a purely receiving back can still have value if he is getting those precious yards and touchdowns.
The top three running backs stay the same for me from the PPR rankings, but we get to add Derrick Henry into the mix in non-PPR. I still rather have the more versatile every-down backs, but Henry’s touchdown and yardage upside is right up there with the group.
This tier is short, but with three great backs, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Nick Chubb. Cook and Kamara are closer to Tier 1 than Chubb, as he won’t get many receptions, but non-PPR boosts him into Tier 2.
Tier 3 starts to get a little dicier, but with a ton of upside still for the taking. This tier goes from Josh Jacobs to Austin Ekeler. That leaves Miles Sanders, Joe Mixon, Kenyan Drake, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire in-between. Ekeler and Edwards-Helaire will need to be especially savvy at getting into the end zone, as they will see many touches through the air, but I like their chances.
Running back rankings for half-PPR 2021 fantasy football
|24||Melvin Gordon III||DEN|
|25||Ronald Jones II||TB|
|45||Todd Gurley II||ATL|
|51||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT|
|52||Jeff Wilson Jr.||SF|
|55||Duke Johnson Jr.||HOU|
|70||Mark Ingram II||FA|
|75||Anthony McFarland Jr.||PIT|
|85||Lynn Bowden Jr.||MIA|