Last year, Curtis Patrick gave you Austin Ekeler long before anyone else had solved the Chargers backfield riddle. Now, he shares his 2020 fantasy running backs who won’t cost you an early pick but could land you a championship.
This isn’t an article that focuses on the no-brainer, high-volume running backs being selected in the first handful of rounds of every fantasy draft. You can’t always control which backs in that group fall to you in a draft. Average draft position is fairly rigid at the top. This is an article where I’ll share my primary mid and late-round targets that you can plan your draft around because you know you can get them by being just a little aggressive.
Most backs in the NFL would easily outperform their ADP if their role simply grew because running back production is all about volume. So let me preface this entire piece by saying this — taking running backs instead of wide receivers as your draft marches on is probably a good idea. It’s a core tenet of the zero-RB mentality that’s been preached here for years. This piece highlights running backs who I think will have larger roles than they did in 2020 (I’ll share why) and would smash the most if vaulted into a 1A or true bell-cow role.
Let’s start with a back who’s already been a league winner once in his career (RB4 as a rookie!) and has a second RB1 season under his belt (finished RB12 in only 11 games in 2018) but is being drafted at RB30 in 2020. He plays for a coach who engineered one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks in 2019 and on a team that just invested heavily in offensive line upgrades. More recently, this player also paced for over 200 PPR if you extrapolate his eight-game 2019 sample over an entire season.