Fantasy Football Rankings 2019: Top 25 Running Backs

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ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 05: Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) breaks free for a long gain during the NFC wildcard playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys on January 5, 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NFL Draft has come and gone. Fantasy football mock drafts are in full swing, with the real deal right around the corner. Fantasy football rankings are running wild.  It’s time to rank some running backs for the 2019 fantasy football season. Note: These rankings refer to standard leagues, non-PPR.

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Fantasy Football Rankings 2019: Running Backs

25. Josh JacobsOakland Raiders

Jacobs is the sole rookie in my top 25. He is thrust into a great situation, with playmakers all over the field in Oakland. With only Doug Martin and Jalen Richard to compete with for snaps, Jacobs should have an impactful rookie season.

24. Mark IngramBaltimore Ravens 

Ingram finds himself in a new situation after spending the first eight seasons of his career in New Orleans. Baltimore may break NFL records for rush attempts in 2019. Ingram may be part of a committee, but he should still find lots of opportunity for success.

23. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions

Johnson enjoyed a solid rookie season before suffering a knee injury in late November and landing on injured reserve. In 10 games he rushed for 641 yards with a rushing average of 5.4. He appears to be a huge part of the Lions’ future plans and should be healthy and primed for a breakout 2019.

22. Kenyan DrakeMiami Dolphins

Drake has flashed talent throughout his first three NFL seasons. He’s averaged 4.7 yards-per-carry in his career, and with Frank Gore now in Buffalo, he should have more touches in 2019.

21. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

Carson enjoyed a huge 2018 season, rushing for almost 1,200 yards in only 14 games. Seattle likes to pound the ball inside, and there is potential for Carson to receive close to 300 carries if healthy.

20. Leonard FournetteJacksonville Jaguars

Fournette drops in the rankings every season. He’s been disappointing in his first two seasons, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry, but the pieces around him have been lackluster at best. Perhaps newly signed quarterback Nick Foles can breathe some life into the third-year back.

19. Phillip LindsayDenver Broncos

Lindsay is fresh off of a monster rookie season which ended early with a wrist injury. He is explosive and underrated in the passing game. However, Royce Freeman should be in line for a bigger role in 2019, which puts a cap on Lindsay’s success. He should approach 200 touches, which is enough for him to make a huge difference.

18. Devonta FreemanAtlanta Falcons

Freeman battled knee and groin injuries in 2018, but he’s a full-go for training camp, per Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn. He is a deadly weapon when healthy, and with Tevin Coleman battling for snaps in San Francisco, he should have plenty of touches in 2019.

17. Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

Williams emerged as a weapon for the Chiefs during the stretch run, after they cut Kareem HuntHe is an excellent pass-catcher and runs with both power and agility. He should be heavily featured in Kansas City’s offense, one of the NFL’s best.

16. Marlon MackIndianapolis Colts

Mack started just 10 games in 2018 and racked up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. He and Andrew Luck have developed solid chemistry, and he could approach 1,500 yards from scrimmage in 2019.

15. Dalvin CookMinnesota Vikings

The question regarding Cook is his health. He’s appeared in only 15 games in his first two seasons but has been a matchup nightmare when healthy. If his health wasn’t as big a concern, he would make a top 10 appearance on this ranking.

14. Sony MichelNew England Patriots

Michel was able to become a Patriots workhorse as a rookie in 2018, something that doesn’t often happen under Bill Belichick. More of the same should follow in 2019, and 300 carries is a realistic bet for the second-year back.

13. Aaron JonesGreen Bay Packers

Mike McCarthy’s aversion to giving Jones snaps was mystifying, to say the least. Jones was electric on the field when given the opportunity, and under new head coach Matt LaFleur, 1,500 yards is a target Jones could easily reach.

12. Derrick HenryTennessee Titans

The Dion Lewis experiment was mostly a failure in Tennessee. Henry exploded in the second half of 2018 and is trending upward constantly. He’s a bell cow back and should be treated as such in fantasy drafts.

11. Nick ChubbCleveland Browns

Chubb had an excellent rookie season in Cleveland, racking up 996 yards with only nine starts. The addition of Kareem Hunt may hamper Chubb’s second half stats slightly, but Chubb is a talented back and should see around 20 carries a game.

10. James ConnerPittsburgh Steelers

Conner scored 13 touchdowns in 13 games in 2018. He has a nose for the end zone and is impossible to bring down with an arm tackle. He should feature as the Steelers’ workhorse again in 2019, and bring similar if not better production to the table.

9. Le’Veon BellNew York Jets

Temper expectations for Bell, who hasn’t seen the field in over a year, but don’t be shocked if he ends up closer to the top 5 by season’s end. He may be the most complete back in football, and without any elite weapons in the passing game, he could see 100 targets on top of his rushing stats.

8. Todd GurleyLos Angeles Rams

Gurley’s ongoing knee struggles are certainly concerning. He hardly touched the ball throughout the Rams’ 2018 playoff run, and it wasn’t scheme related. He looked off, but he’s still perhaps the most explosive back in the NFL. Gurley could end up anywhere from 1-25 when it’s all said and done.

7. David JohnsonArizona Cardinals

Johnson suffered in 2018 from having zero playmakers around him. The Kyler Murray era is beginning in Arizona, and excitement is building. Murray commands a lot of attention as a runner, and Johnson should benefit greatly. He’ll see fewer stacked boxes and a lot of targets in the passing game. 2,000 scrimmage yards isn’t unrealistic.

6. Joe MixonCincinnati Bengals

Mixon has a little Le’Veon Bell in him. He’s a patient, smart runner with incredible route running and pass catching ability. He totaled over 1,400 yards in 14 games last season and will continue to feature as a three-down back in Cincinnati’s offense.

5. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon totaled over 1,300 yards in only 12 games in 2018 to go along with 14 touchdowns. He’s a top option in the passing game for Philip Rivers, and if he’s healthy, he could enjoy a Gurley-esque breakout with close to 20 scores in 2019.

4. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Kamara’s best attribute is his ability to remain balanced through contact. There are still questions about his ability to be a workhorse, but nobody doubts his talent. He scored 18 touchdowns in 2018 and should come close to that total in 2019.

3. Christian McCaffreyCarolina Panthers

If this ranking was PPR-inclusive, McCaffrey would sit atop the list with no competition. As it stands, he is the Panthers’ best runner and receiver. After an offseason of bulking up, 2,000 scrimmage yards is a modest goal for the young back.

2. Ezekiel ElliottDallas Cowboys

Elliott is the NFL’s undisputed best between-the-tackles back. He wears a defense down like no other and is a legitimate threat for 30 carries every game. He also emerged as a receiver in 2018, catching 77 passes to go with over 300 carries. 400 touches is a relatively safe bet for Elliott in 2019 if all goes according to plan.

1. Saquon BarkleyNew York Giants

Barkley is the fastest, most agile back in the league at over 230 pounds. He needs to improve between the tackles, but in space, he’s the best there is. He should graze 2,000 yards and 15 touchdowns for the second straight season in New York and should be the number one pick in all fantasy drafts.

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