Welcome to Part Two of a five-part series ranking the best NFL players from a fantasy football point of view. Next, for the running backs.
30. Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins
While Drake isn’t necessarily deserving of being a starter, he is. And in a system that will struggle to pass, he should be worthy of a roster spot.
29. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler is already one of the best backup running backs in the league. The threat of a Melvin Gordon holdout only brings Ekeler’s fantasy value up.
28. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen likes to pass the football or take it himself, but veteran LeSean McCoy is always available in the backfield when Allen is ready to expand the ground game.
27. Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers
The former Falcons backup running back, Tevin Coleman should be able to hold his starting role for the entire year — both in San Francisco and on a two-RB fantasy roster.
26. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Miller has struggled in the past year or two, but Houston’s huge offensive system coupled with Miller’s experience should make him worthy of a draft selection.
25. Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
With Kareem Hunt gone, the backfield belongs to Damien Williams. Kansas City should have the football a lot, which means a lot of chances for Williams.
24. James White, New England Patriots
James White is a PPR favorite. One of the best pass-catching running backs in the league, White is able to find the end zone and haul in fantasy points quite often.
23. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has struggled to find a running back for a while, but it looks like they finally have one with second-year running back, Chris Carson.
22. Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
Tarik Cohen is the best pass-catching running back in the league, and with Jordan Howard out of the picture, Cohen should be on every fantasy players’ wish list.
21. Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens
Perhaps a fresh start will be good for Ingram, who was stuck behind Alvin Kamara in New Orleans before hitting free agency and signing with Baltimore.
20. Sony Michel, New England Patriots
Sony Michel isn’t a top running back, but he’s consistent, and that’s something that all fantasy owners look for. He’s a great RB2 option in your starting lineup.
19. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
Marlon Mack is the clear leader in Indianapolis’s backfield, and he should receive plenty of attention and action in 2019.
18. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
In an offense with lacking a huge playmaker, Aaron Jones is a great option to give the football to out of the backfield. He’ll get a lot of touches in 2019.
17. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions
Kerryon Johnson’s 2018 started off great, but an injury forced him to sit out the second half. He should be back to normal and producing greatly in 2019.
16. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Derrick Henry can and will plow right through any defensive line, and his ability to break tackles should help him find the end zone quite often.
15. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Freeman no longer has Tevin Coleman on his tail to worry about, so if he can stay healthy, he’ll show all the doubters and fantasy owners that he’s worth it.
14. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
The undrafted rookie sensation shocked fans in 2018, and he’s on pace to do so again in an offense that may struggle with Joe Flacco’s questionable passing.
13. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Latavius Murray is gone and Dalvin Cook must be salivating at the opportunity to prove himself again and bounce back after injury-plagued seasons.
12. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
With Kareem Hunt suspended for eight games, all signs point to Chubb holding the starting role for the entire season. Chubb is a borderline RB1.
11. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
Various reports claim Fournette will be receiving passes a lot more this season, so of course that only helps his fantasy value as he’s poised for a big 2019.
10. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
If there’s a guy who needs to bounce back, it’s David Johnson. The Cardinals running back has struggled between injury and lack of skill for a couple years now but he’s due for a big season.
9. Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets
Bell, too, needs to prove himself after a one-year hiatus from the NFL. Holding out was a terrible idea, but he should be able to make fantasy owners happy in 2019.
8. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
While Cincinnati’s offensive line is poor, Mixon is a proven back with little to no competition in the backfield. Plus, when Andy Dalton can’t complete a pass, he’ll turn to handing off the football.
7. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
Conner proved in 2018 that the Steelers didn’t need Le’Veon Bell, and he’ll do so again in 2019. Last season was not beginner’s luck for James Conner.
6. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
Assuming Gordon doesn’t hold out, he should be able to continue his impressive and jaw-dropping performances that make fantasy owners salivate.
5. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Gurley is a bit banged up and there is uncertainty regarding his status. But he’s still a really great running back, so his value keeps him inside the top five.
4. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey is an amazing running back in both the ground game and the passing game. The young running back may be Carolina’s best receiver. He’s poised for a huge year.
3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
With Mark Ingram heading to Baltimore, the backfield is wide open for Kamara. He would be ranked higher, but Drew Brees and Sean Payton like to spread out the football to everyone, so Kamara won’t be nonstop busy.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Assuming Elliott doesn’t hold out, he will produce a massive season — further helping his case in extension talks. He’s a huge piece of the Dallas offense.
1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
2018’s Pepsi Rookie of the Year is back, and while he plays for a poor team, he is their lone bright spot, leaving him with plenty of action in 2019.