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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- Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
- Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
- David Johnson, Houston Texans
- Damien Harris, New England Patriots
- Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
- Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
- La’Mical Perine, New York Jets
- Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills
- Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
- A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers
- Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
- Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens
- James White, New England Patriots
- Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints
- Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
- Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos
- J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team
- Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers
- Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
- Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
- Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
- Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers
- 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.