Running Back Tiers, Targets, and Players to Avoid

A look at running back tiers for early drafts with strategy on who to target and avoid.

This year, you will find the list of dependable RB1s shorter than ever and uncertainty underminding our confidence in setting the values of players in many backfields. We can go forward with our best guesses, but as always, being open to new realities no matter what we thought about 2020 fantasy running backs will be as important as ever. Let's survey the landscape.

ELITE RB1

Christian McCaffrey, CAR

Slam Dunk #1: McCaffrey

Strategy: How big is the gap between McCaffrey and the #2 back? Someone asked me whether I would rather have McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara and George Kittle in a redraft trade question and I had to give it a long pause before barely coming down on the side of McCaffrey because the team had Tyler Higbee as a #2 tight end. The point is that the #1 pick is a huge advantage this year and if you can trade up to #1, the answer is probably to do it.

McCaffrey was an unfair advantage at running back last year and losing pass-heavy game scripts plus the offensive coordinator (Joe Brady) who helped make Clyde Edwards-Helaire a sensation at LSU last year should keep him in that rarefied air.

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