Way Too Early 2021 RB Rankings: 26-50

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1-25| 26-50

Well it feels like fantasy championships were just a week ago, but as the old adage goes, “there ain’t no rest for the wicked.” With 2020 and a whole lot of recency bias still ripe on my mind, I aim for these positional rankings to give you a premature preview of 2021, a season hopefully devoid of COVID complications among other things. 

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  1. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
  2. Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  3. Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
  4. David Johnson, Houston Texans
  5. Damien Harris, New England Patriots
  6. Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
  7. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
  8. La’Mical Perine, New York Jets
  9. Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills
  10. Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
  11. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers
  12. Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
  13. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens
  14. James White, New England Patriots
  15. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  16. Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints
  17. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
  18. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
  19. J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team
  20. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers
  21. Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
  22. Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
  23. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
  24. Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers
  25. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

Let’s take a walk down memory lane with Kenyan Drake. In 2019, he had two incredible performances down the stretch with Arizona after lots of lackluster production that buoyed him to an RB1-level ADP in 2020. We saw Kenyan Drake in his true form in 2020, barely eclipsing 1000 yards, rather useless in the passing game, yet somehow finishing as a high end RB2. Chase Edmonds had a chance to take over and fumbled his opportunity, but when the 3rd-down back returns in 2021, it’s going to cap Drake’s upside. Tread lightly. 

Well, the one bright spot in New England’s lineup of skill-less skill position players, Damien Harris demonstrated incredible promise and looked like the candidate to be RB1 on the depth chart going into 2021. We know the Patriots deploy lots of running backs to fulfill certain needs, Harris figures to be the carry leader with limited usage in the passing game. In fact, Harris averaged 5 yards a tote, good for 6th-best in the league. Expect more passing help to open up the run game even more for the former Bama running back. 

There is so much room for improvement in the New York Jets’ franchise. It can’t be Frank Gore leading their backs again, can it??? I imagine NFL super villain Adam Gase to be gone, as well as the beneficiary of his nepotism to be at least relegated to a backup role. In comes La’mical Perine. Look, I don’t like the Jets’ offense as much as the next guy, but it was historically bad this year. Like, if the Jets hadn’t found some gusto in the second half of the season, they would have easily ranked within the 100 worst scoring offenses in terms of points per game. I just have to imagine they can score more than 15 points per game and move the ball better…. Please, for the sake of all of us. 

The most volatile player on this list, A.J. Dillon and the rest of the NFL world has their eyes on Green Bay’s backfield. If Aaron Jones and the Packers part ways, Dillon will be slingshotted up this list, probably into high RB2 land. I think the Titans’ game is eliciting some massive overreactions. They’ve made nearly every running back look like a pro bowler. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve watched Dillon live during his BC days, and he is the real deal, but do not overpay if the situation breaks the right way. 

Chris Cioffi

Chris "Chof" Cioffi is the Chief Editor at FGB. A 7-year fantasy veteran, Chof hails from Northeastern University, got a degree in mathematics, and will talk for hours about how Ronald Jones should have gotten more carries than Peyton Barber if the Buccaneers cared about advanced analytics at all in 2019. Repping all teams New England, he definitely embellishes his accent when talking about tha B’s, tha C’s, tha Pats, or the Sawx. When he’s not writing fantasy blogs, Chof is a southpaw pitcher, Club baseball hall of famer, and still is good for giving up a 400-foot homerun every year to some guy in his men’s league.

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