Ranking the top 5 PPR running backs

Christian McCaffrey

 Christian McCaffrey is a no brainer at No.1. C-MAC was the lead MVP candidate through half the season before his team fell apart and lost eight straight games.

McCaffrey continued to shine through the whole season by finishing the season as the third player in NFL history with 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving.

He’s the first and maybe the last runningback in this century to accomplish that feat. The other two players were:

  • Marshall Faulk (1999)
  • Roger Craig (1985)

It’s unlikely that he will have 403 touches as he did in 2019 (326 touches in 2018). He can still be more efficient in different ways.

His starting QB in 2019, Kyle Allen, had a lousy 62% for completion percentage. Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater posted a 67.9%, so he could get more well-thrown passes his way.

Alvin Kamara

Kamara had a down year for his usual self in 2020 with a career low in yard per touch (5.3) and total touchdowns (6).

It was recently reported that he suffered a torn MCL during the Week 6 matchup against Jacksonville. That’s very impressive given that he finished the year with 1,330 scrimmage yards and 81 receptions.

  • Alvin Kamara has only missed three games in his three years in the league.

I understand that Saquon Barkley has untapped potential and comes in at No.2 on many people’s charts, but Barkley only averaged 5.4 scrimmage yards per touch in 2019. Kamara averaged 5.3 scrimmage yards per touch in 2019, playing on “one leg” as he called the feeling.

On top of Kamara’s ability, I feel way better about a healthy Kamara in Sean Payton’s offense with Drew Brees distributing it under center for 16 games next year than Saquon Barkley in Jason Garret’s attack behind the 20th ranked O-line by Pro Football Focus. 

Saquon Barkley 

Barkley might have more athletic ability than every running back in the league, but he plays on a team that has nine wins in the past two years.

His team won’t stop him from putting up elite fantasy points, but it does hinder him from being the top RB choice.

Saquon Barkley ran a 4.4 40 at the combine, which was the second-fastest time ever by a RB weighing 230+.

Barkley had 2028 total yards in 2018, then 1,441 total yards in 2019. Even though he missed three games in 2019, his offensive line is still patchwork, and it took an even bigger blow after their pro bowl LT Nate Solder opted out due to COVID.

Barkley could flirt with 1,500 + yards if he plays 16 games next year because he’s a freak player on a team that doesn’t have other potent weapons.

This is a player who’s recognized as a workhorse RB, but he has recorded 91 receptions in a year like 2018. That may be a familiar scene because they will have a second-year quarterback with Daniel Jones, and their best WR is a 32-year-old Golden Tate.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook does it all for the Vikings offense. He gets the bulk of the carries, and he’s a phenomenal goal line RB.

Cook is a sure-fire top 5 RB in PPR. Cook carried the rock with a purpose last year as he had 13 rushing touchdowns, 1,100+ rushing yards, and 53 receptions, which is a steady number for a work horseback like himself.

This team traded their No.1 WR Stefon Diggs, so they could lean on their running game more in 2020 and try to control the clock against their elite competition in Aaron Rodgers twice.

He averaged 4.5 YPC in 2019 and 4.6 YPC in 2018, so he’s one of the more explosive running backs with the ball and he had 9.8 yards per catch to prove to be excellent in space.

Ezekiel Elliot

The RB for the No.1 offense in 2019, climbs in at No.5. for me and makes his appearance at 3-5 on most lists.

I have to say that he’s a pillar of consistency with 5,405 rushing yards in four seasons, but I wouldn’t say I like his upside as much as the four RBs ahead of him.

Zeke had his worst rushing yards per game in 2019, with 84.8 rushing yards per game. I’m also not sure if he’s going to get 300+ carries for the 4th time in 5 years, with the team drafting WR Ceedee Lamb in the first round to compliment pro-bowl WR Amari Cooper. Zeke still has an excellent O-Line to run behind with Zack Martin at G and Tyron Smith at LT.

Zeke may not get 300+ carries in 2020, but will most likely get over 300 touches and get his load of goal-line carries for the second year in a row. 

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