This article is about a 12-minute read.
Today's topic is simple:
If you could know the outcome of any single NFL backfield in 2020, which would you select?
Why would this backfield be the most beneficial?
My pick is the New England Patriots.
Obviously, we'd know what to expect from their stable of backs, each of whom have questions this season:
- Does James White continue to be a startable fantasy back in PPR leagues?
- Can Sony Michel be the primary rusher?
- Does Damien Harris get significant action this season?
- Do we get anything out of Rex Burkhead?
This backfield could produce multiple starting running backs in almost any scoring system. Or they could all be duds.
And knowing the entire outcome of the 2020 backfield will tell us which running back to start each week. Being able to predict how Bill Belichick will use his running back each week would be priceless information.
New England is a good one, Clayton, because there are several options and question marks heading into the season. The one I'd like to know is Baltimore.
The Ravens running backs alone rushed for 1,951 yards last year - 3rd most in the NFL. Excluding Lamar Jackson, that squad performed well, led mostly by Mark Ingram II who totaled 1,018 yards himself, followed by Gus Edwards' 711 yards and Justice Hill's 225 yards.
How will 2020 unfold?
Mark Ingram II is still the incumbent top back. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill also remain in place, but here comes rookie J.K. Dobbins, a second-round pick with high longterm expectations. That's a pretty formidable rushing output without including Lamar Jackson!
It feels confident to suggest that Baltimore will be among the top rushing teams in the league this year, but who will be the fantasy back to own? How soon will Dobbins make a big enough impact to become a fantasy threat or even better, a consistent threat?
Is a running back trade a possibility?
Baltimore loves to strengthen their team by trading away players in an area of strength. We saw that this year with tight end Hayden Hurst and to a lesser extent defensive end Chris Wormley. Could they trade Gus Edwards or Justice Hill for a future pick or player in an area of need? That's possible, but perhaps the COVID backdrop might decrease the chances? There is a lot of positivity with the Ravens this year, but several questions surrounding which players will be the ones who execute the best and the most.
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