It is never too early to look into fantasy football. The NFL’s draft season may be coming to an end, but now is the perfect time to turn our attention to Fantasy Football. The 2019 season is almost underway, so let’s get right into it and take a peek at the Top-6 running backs for the 2019 fantasy season.
1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Saquon Barkley was an absolute monster last year for the Giants, despite being a rookie he accumulated Top-5 stats in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing scores, yards from scrimmage, total touchdowns, and rushing touchdowns. After a whole year of experience, there is little-to-no reason to expect anything but greater things from Barkley this season and beyond.
Also, don’t forget about how terrible the Giants offensive line was in 2018. Football Outsiders ranked the Giants offensive line 29th in adjusted line yards (3.9 yards per carry), but their open field ranking was best in the NFL (5.0 yards per carry)
A team with a low ranking in Adjusted Line Yards, but a high ranking in Open Field Yards is heavily dependent on its running back breaking long runs to make the running game work.Football Outsiders 2018 Offensive Lines
However, they addressed this issue by trading for Pro Football Focus #6 ranked Guard, Kevin Zeitler. With an improved offensive line and more experience, the only thing standing in Barkley’s way from dominating the gridiron once again, is an unexpected injury.
2. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley was amazing to have on your fantasy football team in 2018. His offensive prowess was evident when he finished with more than 1,800 yards of total offense and a jaw-dropping 21 touchdowns. In addition, the Rams offensive line ranked sixth in the entire league, making it even easier for Gurley to embarrasses defenses. Gurley has seemed to add more explosiveness and burst off the edge since last season, and if he can stay healthy, he might be even more of a threat next season.
There is no question with Gurley’s talent on the field. However, that just might be the problem. Recent reports have indicated that Gurley has arthritis in his knee. This could be extremely serious for Gurley, but could also not be a huge deal. Until we are given further information, draft Gurley with caution.
3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey really came on during the second half of last season, averaging 23 fantasy points the over final eight weeks. The Panthers all-purpose back will continue being a weapon running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield. McCaffrey had a solid rookie year in 2017, but CMC truly emerged as a fantasy football superstar this past season. Looking at all the muscle he has added, there is no doubt that McCaffrey will continue his great play next season. If the Panthers continue to utilize him like they have been, expect great things from Mcaffery; 2019 and beyond.
4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
There are many factors that go into how an NFL player performs for fantasy football purposes. Arguably, the two that are the most important are:
Talent level of the player
Usage of the player.
Elliott is crazy talented. He already exceeded 1,400 rushing yards in a season twice in his short 4-year career. It also helps that Cowboys offense revolves around him. Per playerprofiler.com, Elliot leads the league in opportunity share, with an absurd 90.1%. These two things together makes perfect combination for fantasy football success. Also, the Cowboys offensive line ranked 14th last year, a solid ranking considering they did not have Travis Frederick on the field. If Travis Frederick returns this season, Elliot will have even bigger holes to run through. If Elliott is still on the board at 4, it’s a no-brainer selection.
5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Similar to Christian McCaffrey, Kamara is a threat both in the run game and in the pass game. Kamara might have more carries in 2020, as a result of an aging Drew Brees. He is also a touchdown machine, as he posted 18 touchdowns in 2018. With the departure of Mark Ingram, expect Kamara to take on the load of a work-horse back. Kamara is going to get all the opportunity in the world, and he is talented enough to capitalize on it at an elite level.
6. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Obviously, the talent is there with David Johnson. He was terribly misused in the Cardinals mess of an offensive system last season. However, with a new Head Coach in 2019, David Johnson should have his best year since 2016. A year when he tallied more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Kliff Kingsbury is known for his work with quarterbacks, as he should be. However, Kingsbury knows how to develop running backs as well, and with his new ‘air raid’ offense, Johnson will be even more of a threat as a receiver.
Written By: Harrison Jones, @ProNFLDaily1