2020 Fantasy Football: Finding the Breakouts From Every Running-Back-By-Committee
Targeting specific players from teams who are considered to be employing running back by committee (RBBC) approaches can carry fantasy owners. Normally, fantasy owners do their best to avoid RBBC at all costs due to the uncertainty of which player will emerge and the possibility that each player will cancel out each other's upside/production.
After expected bell-cow running backs like Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Miles Sanders, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, Leonard Fournette, Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Austin Ekeler, James Conner, David Johnson, and Le'Veon Bell come off the board fantasy owners will need to choose correctly to construct a formidable roster. Let's dive into the best situations you should target and which of the players from each respective club deserves your attention.
TOP TEAMS TO TARGET
DENVER BRONCOS: Melvin Gordon & Phillip Lindsay
Fantasy owners can't go wrong here. However, my model leans to Gordon being the back to own in 2020 due to the red zone work. The veteran who has traded his "powder blue" uniform will be the goal-line back on one of the league's young and talented offenses.
The Broncos will now have one of the league's best running back tandems with Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. Gordon, who has scored eight or more rushing touchdowns in four consecutive seasons, will remain a threat for double-digit touchdowns as the featured goal-line back in an up-and-coming offense. The work will be split because Lindsay will be difficult to keep off the field, but Gordon will vulture the touchdowns, and that's where fantasy owners need to target.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor & Nyheim Hines
We have covered this several times here at SI Fantasy, but it needs to be reiterated: Jonathan Taylor is the Colts RB to own in 2020. In three seasons with the Colts, Mack has shown flashes, but he is not a top back in PPR fantasy football leagues with a paltry 31 receptions for 185 yards combined over the past two seasons. Mack has yet to play more than 14 games in a season, and injuries have made the Colts question if he can be their franchise back. Entering a contract year, Mack will have now have plenty of competition to keep him motivated.
With Philip Rivers now under center for the Colts, expect the star rookie from Wisconsin to take over the starting role. Running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, Taylor will put up the best numbers of any rookie back not named Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Ronald Jones, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Dare Ogunbowale, LeSean McCoy
Fantasy owners heard some exciting news last week when Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians proclaimed that Ronald Jones would be the club's featured runner this season. However, is this just coach-speak to try and motivate Jones that it is his job to lose?
The word coming out of Tampa is that Ke'Shawn Vaughn is the best blocking back of the bunch. That could be the biggest "hidden gem" of info as the team needs to make sure the 43-year old Brady is not subject to violent blind-side hits if they hope to keep him healthy for a full season. The team invested high draft capital in Vaughn, and he could pay off huge, for those owners who invest in the rookie who has now seen his ADP plummet over the last week since Arians made headlines.
DETROIT LIONS: D’Andre Swift & Kerryon Johnson
Swift is the target of many high stakes owners in early drafts and rightfully so. The explosive talent showed immense talent playing against elite SEC talent, and his tools should translate well to the next level.
Johnson, the former Auburn standout, has led the Lions in rushing each of the last two seasons while averaging 4.5 yards per carry for his career. However, he has missed 14 games over that span after suffering two knee injuries. Johnson is a sneaky pick, who could be a steal at his current ADP in an offense set to be among the NFC's best. If Swift cannot pick up blocking assignments quickly, Johnson has proven he is an asset when healthy.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Raheem Mostert & Tevin Coleman
Mostert is one of my favorite mid-round targets in drafts this season. Playing on one of the strongest run-heavy teams in the league, Mostert showed his potential when given the bulk of the work last season.
We know that Coleman was a solid back in Atlanta, but after seeing the difference in production and the club's willingness to re-work Mostert's contract, I truly believe the writing is on the wall. Now that we can put to bed any concerns of a holdout, owners should feel comfortable investing in him. Sign me up for as many shares as I can own.
BUFFALO BILLS: Devin Singletary & Zack Moss
After nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his rookie campaign, the sky's the limit for Singletary in 2020. However, there is the concern that quarterback Josh Allen could very well continue to vulture touchdown goal line looks. The sharps in Vegas have already backed the Bills to win the AFC East this season, and if that wager is to pay off, the Bills will need to be a strong running team once again supported by an outstanding defense.
Buffalo invested a third-round pick on Moss, and many around the industry feel the rookie from Utah will push Singletary for lead duties. I am not one of those who subscribe to that theory. If Singletary can improve upon his 29 receptions from last season, he could return solid value at his current ADP.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: Matt Breida & Jordan Howard
Many in the industry believe Jordan Howard will be productive and offer value in 2020. I am clearly not in agreement with that as my model points to Breida being the back to own (especially in PPR formats).
At times, Howard looks like he is running in mud, and where Breida will easily surpass him is receiving yard production. When Breida has been healthy, he has proven he is a highly productive player in the NFL, especially in the passing game. With only a season win total of 6.5 in Vegas, the oddsmakers expect the Dolphins to be behind in many games this season. If that's the case, game flow will dictate that Howard will be the player standing on the sidelines in the second half.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Adrian Peterson, Antonio Gibson, Peyton Barber, J.D. McKissic & Bryce Love
The news of Derrius Guice's release last week, due to off-the-field issues, has left the Washington football club with a real mess in their backfield. Most will presume that veteran Adrian Peterson will now be handed the bulk of the work this season in DC.
However, the player for all fantasy owners to target is rookie Antonio Gibson in the middle rounds of drafts. Word is the rookie from Memphis has the inside track. This offense does not offer a team I will actively be looking to target, but if Gibson is still around in double-digit rounds, he is the back I will consider.
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