Fantasy Football: TDN's RB Rankings

Photo: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Some quick background on how these rankings were determined. I put about 40 hours worth of research into these rankings. I started by coming up with my own custom stat projections for the season. That process began by taking projections from seven different outlets and weighing each one based on past accuracy. That gave me one set of projections as a baseline to work with. From there I adjusted the order based on upside, injury risk, situation, and any other relevant factors. Finally, I placed each RB into one of nine tiers.

All of my rankings reflect the order in which I would take players if my draft was today in a standard 12-team half-point PPR league. The rankings would not significantly change in full-point PPR formats.

Please note that the tiers are only meant to be a helpful guide. Do not fall into the trap of undervaluing the top player in a tier and overvaluing the bottom player. Players near the top of tiers are better than those at the bottom.

These rankings will be updated weekly throughout the offseason so be sure to check back in with The Draft Network often to gain an edge on your leaguemates.

If you have any specific questions or want to know more about what I think of certain players, hit me up on Twitter (@JaimeEisner) or Instagram (@JEisnerFFB). I’d be happy to chat with you!

You can find rankings from Paige Dimakos and Jake Arians below Jaime Eisner's rankings.

Click here for specific positional rankings: QB | WR | TE | K | DST | Top 200


***Jaime Eisner's Rankings -- Updated August 20***


TIER 1


1. Saquon Barkley 

2. Alvin Kamara 

3. Christian McCaffrey 

-- No changes here. Things have only gotten murkier outside of this triumvirate.


TIER 2


4. Todd Gurley

5. Dalvin Cook 

6. James Conner 

7. Joe Mixon

8. Nick Chubb 

9. David Johnson 📉

10. Leonard Fournette

11. Le'Veon Bell 📉

12. Ezekiel Elliott

-- Huge shake-up here in the rest of the RB1 tier. I've heard serious concern from multiple people in the know about how Johnson is performing right now, both in practice and on the field. He's falling down my rankings as a result. He won't fall to RB9 in drafts, so I'm basically advocating to let someone else draft him. I've somehow come full circle on Gurley. He's now in strong consideration for a Top 4 pick. Even if his workload is limited to 70% of what it has been over the last two seasons, he'll still be an RB1. He may sit out more snaps, but they won't be high leverage ones. Draft with confidence in the middle of Round 1. Here's a very interesting stat to ponder on Bell.


TIER 3


13. Devonta Freeman  

14. Damien Williams

15. Aaron Jones

16. Chris Carson 📈

17. Marlon Mack

18. James White

19. Phillip Lindsay

20. Melvin Gordon 📉

-- Fournette moved up a tier, otherwise no other additions or subtractions. All the news out of Seattle is super complimentary of Carson, who should receive the lion's share of the carries for the Seahawks. Draft him with confidence as a solid RB2 with RB1 upside if he catches more passes. Andrew Luck's injury shouldn't affect Mack too much. He'll make up for more boxes being stacked against him with more volume should Luck miss time. Gordon barely stays inside the Top 20 with no real positive signs of his holdout ending anytime soon.


TIER 4


21. Josh Jacobs

22. Kerryon Johnson

23. Derrick Henry 

24. Sony Michel 

25. Mark Ingram

26. Austin Ekeler 

-- Small changes: Michel and Ingram swap spots and Ekeler joins this tier with Gordon's holdout continuing. Make sure you have an RB2 by this point.


TIER 5


27. Lamar Miller 

28. Latavius Murray 

29. Kalen Ballage 📈

30. Tarik Cohen

31. David Montgomery 

32. Ronald Jones II

33. Justin Jackson 📈

34. Dion Lewis

-- This tier expanded a bit with the addition of four new players. Ballage flies up into FLEX territory with Kenyan Drake's latest injury. Even though he'll be splitting time when Drake returns, Ballage will have an opportunity to run away with the job early if he's productive. Jackson rises with Gordon holding out -- he's going to get more touches than people think, even with Ekeler in the fold. Lewis also jumps up one spot overall and into this tier. He's a safe and productive option.


TIER 6


35. Tevin Coleman 

36. Darrell Henderson

37. Miles Sanders

38. Rashaad Penny 

39. Royce Freeman  

-- Coleman and the high profile back-ups! This tier has a lot of upside. I expect Coleman to get the most touches in what should be an above average offense in San Francisco. Henderson may be carving out a strong pass-catching role in the Rams backfield. Sanders won't likely be a back-up for long and has fantasy starter upside (limited by Doug Pederson's usage). Penny and Freeman should see expanded roles in their sophomore campaigns and have astronomical upside if the starter in front of them gets hurt.


TIER 7


40. Darrius Guice

41. Nyheim Hines 

42. Justice Hill

43. Tony Pollard 📈

44. Carlos Hyde 📉

45. Matt Breida

46. Peyton Barber

47. Kenyan Drake 📉

48. Mike Davis

49. Adrian Peterson

50. Chris Thompson

51. Jordan Howard

52. C.J. Anderson

53. Chase Edmonds

54. Jamaal Williams

55. Jalen Richard

56. Duke Johnson

-- This tier got a lot larger as the Tier 6 players deserved to be a cut above the rest. Pollard jumps up with Zeke still holding out. Don't reach too much for him, though. I don't think this is a Bell situation and Pollard will have almost no value once Elliott returns. There are some rumblings that Hyde may actually be on the roster bubble. Keep an eye on that. Drake falls because of his injury. Davis and Anderson could be really sneaky last-round picks for you.


TIER 8


57. Damien Harris 📉

58. Jaylen Samuels

59. LeSean McCoy 

60. Ryquell Armstead

61. Malcolm Brown

62. Dontrell Hilliard 📈

63. Devin Singletary

64. Alexander Mattison

65. Ty Montgomery

66. Brian Hill

67. Alfred Morris 📈

68. Ito Smith 📉

69. Kareem Hunt 📉

70. Andre Ellington

71. Giovani Bernard

72. Rex Burkhead

73. Darwin Thompson

74. Benny Snell

75. Darrel Williams 📈

-- I combined Tiers 8 and 9 because everyone is a flier at this point. Harris drops pretty significantly here, but I still like him as a Michel handcuff. It doesn't appear he'll be used to spell Michel too often, at least early on. Hilliard continues to rise. Keep an eye on him early in the season to see if he truly can replicate Duke Johnson's role. Morris cracks the list for the first time, thanks to Zeke. Smith continues to fall. He may be Atlanta's No. 3 back here shortly. Hunt, I'm not drafting. Let someone else waste a roster spot for the majority of the fantasy regular season. With questions about Hyde, Williams cracks the Top 75. He and/or Thompson might have a role in KC's high-powered offense.


***

***Paige Dimakos' Rankings -- Updated August 5***

1. Saquon Barkley 

2. Ezekiel Elliott 

3. Christian McCaffrey 

4. Alvin Kamara

5. David Jonson

6. Le’Veon Bell 

7. James Conner

8. Joe Mixon 

9. Dalvin Cook 

10. Todd Gurley 

11. Melvin Gordon 

12. Nick Chubb 

13. Damien Williams  

14. Marlon Mack 

15. Leonard Fournette 

16. Aaron Jones 

17. Phillip Lindsay 

18. Devonta Freeman 

19. Kerryon Johnson

20. Josh Jacobs

21. James White

22. Derrick Henry 

23. Chris Carson 

24. David Montgomery

25. Sony Michel 

***

***Jake Arians' Rankings -- Updated August 5***

1. Saquon Barkley

2. Ezekiel Elliott

3. Alvin Kamara

4. Christian McCaffrey

5. Dalvin Cook

6. Le'Veon Bell

7. David Johnson

8. Melvin Gordon

9. Todd Gurley

10. Joe Mixon

11. James Conner

12. Nick Chubb

13. Leonard Fournette

14. Josh Jacobs

15. Devonta Freeman

16. Marlon Mack

17. Miles Sanders

18. Damien Williams

19. Phillip Lindsay

20. Kerryon Johnson

21. James White

22. Aaron Jones

23. Royce Freeman

24. Derrick Henry

25. Chris Carson

Written By:

TDN Fantasy

Fantasy Contributors

TDN Fantasy provides the most relevant and useful Fantasy Football analysis and NFL betting advice. Hosts Paige Dimakos, Jake Arians, and Jaime Eisner bring years of experience in the fantasy football, sports gambling, and football analysis industries to their weekly podcasts and rankings for your fantasy team.

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