Fantasy Football Busts: Running Backs

The NFL has long been a league of change. There are always new players breaking out, Pro Bowlers becoming bench players, and teams going from 11-5 to 5-11 in a 12-month span.

2020 will be no different.

In fantasy football, predicting the players who are going to break out is a key to success. In the same breath, avoiding players who are going to have a “bust” season is essential, especially towards the top of your draft.

Here are three running backs who are destined to be fantasy busts in 2020.

Joe Mixon | Cincinnati Bengals

Mixon is going to be 24 years old when the season starts, but it feels like he’s played in the league for a while. In 2019, he averaged 71 rushing yards per game and finished with five touchdowns.

In a PPR league, Mixon doesn’t add much in the passing game. The Bengals have a terrible offensive line and defense, plus a rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow, so his numbers will decrease in 2020.

As the 10th-highest-ranked running back in ESPN fantasy football, Mixon won’t live up to the expectations. He is a viable FLEX option, but only if he slips in your draft.

Leonard Fournette | Jacksonville Jaguars

It’s no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars were shopping Fournette before the NFL Draft in 2020 because he hasn’t lived up to the hype of being the No. 4 overall pick in 2017.

Last season, Fournette topped 1,100 rushing yards and had 76 receptions, which bodes well in PPR formats. However, the Jaguars are in a rebuild and expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. 

2020 will be a struggle for Fournette because Garner Minshew is likely to return to below-average play and the team will be forced to throw the ball more than usual. Expect Fournette to be a fringe FLEX option and a solid backup running back in fantasy. He is not worth a draft pick in the late second or early third round.

Aaron Jones | Green Bay Packers

2019 was outstanding for Jones, who led the league in rushing touchdowns with 16. That number is expected to decrease in 2020, which will drive his fantasy value down.

Jones will likely be drafted within the first 10 picks in most fantasy football drafts, but he won’t put up RB1 numbers this season. However, he may top 1,000 yards and 50 catches again, which makes him a fringe RB1 and solid RB2. 

Avoid drafting him in the first round if there are better options still on the table.

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