It’s NFL Scouting Combine week! In celebration I’ll be wearing the same clothes all week (no pants) while eating only pizza, ice cream and tequila. I’ll also be dropping my top 40 dynasty running backs for 2020 fantasy football which includes this year’s rookie running back class. Of course, these draft prospect running backs are currently unemployed which makes their valuations a bit more challenging and unpredictable. But even without homes it’s fun to think about where to value these youngsters relative to the more experienced backs. All of our fantasy football rankings including positional and overall NFL draft prospect rankings, dynasty rankings and eventually redraft rankings can be found on our 2020 Fantasy Football Rankings page as they’re released. Anyway, here’s my top 20 dynasty running backs for 2020 PPR fantasy football: 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Unless you’ve been living under an Antonio Brown fart for the last month, you’re probably familiar with this whole Coronavirus outbreak. I know what you’re thinking, “Would living under an Antonio Brown fart bubble protect me from this virus?” We’ll have to consult the World Health Organization on that one. But here’s a better question: would you rather be enveloped in Antonio Brown’s ass-gas for the next six months or contract a life-threatening virus? Think on it.

Speaking of viruses, Raheem Mostert was sick during the NFL playoffs a few weeks back. Sick in the good way, like the kids say. I mean like the kids in the 90’s used to say.   

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Welcome to my first attempt at formal rookie rankings for the world to see! I have used a mix of metrics that seem to matter based on my research, mock draft projections and a sprinkling of film analysis (done by people better at it than me) to arrive at this list.  

I explain why I chose the stats I did in the linked article above. While career yards and dominator rating are solidified, we don’t have verified numbers on some metrics.  To rank these RBs pre-combine I had to make some assumptions on the 2 values below. 

Height-adjusted speed score (HaSS)

This is a metric that takes into account height, weight and forty time into a single number that can be compared across players. I landed on 92.6 as a cutoff but think of that as a general threshold. I don’t think 92.5 dooms a player who looks good elsewhere.

While official measurements will be taken at the combine I calculated whether I think each player will make that 92.6 cutoff based on listed ht/wt and a forty time of 4.59. The letter “P” means that player will probably hit the threshold and “M” stands for maybe. Since it is a subjective estimation at this point, I have put an asterisk by that metric.

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Taylor comes into the draft after a college career where he averaged 308 carries and 2,058 yards per season. He’s on the more physical side of running styles and has developed into a more complete back.

  • Power running scheme at Wisconsin with a terrific O line. Taylor utilizes his strong line and is a patient running back. He will wait for his O line rather than simply running head first into battle where the play is designed.
  • Lateral quickness as a whole is average. In short area lateral moves, he showed the ability to maintain, or get back up to speed quickly. However, in larger jump cuts, he slows more than other backs and gives defenders time to catch up.
  • He utilizes a stiff arm with those short area lateral moves to break free or get the defender off balance.
  • While Taylor doesn’t have the acceleration of other backs in this class, his initial burst is strong. It’s something I’d equate to a basketball player with a good first step. 
  • Please, blog, may I have some more?

CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma – 6’2” 191 lbs. – 4/8/99 (20 years old)

If Jeudy is the Toolbox, Lamb is the Natural. He doesn’t have elite top end speed or acceleration. He’s not an OBJ open field threat or a Michael Thomas route runner, but he does all of it well.

  • Lamb is a smooth operator, from the way he glides down field to the way he sets up defenders down field while the ball is in the air. In fact, if Lamb has a carrying trait, it lies in his abilities while the ball is in the air. 
  • Here’s a clear out for Lamb where they isolate him on the corner. The safety is covering the middle and won’t be able to get over to help. Lamb moves the defender up the field, turns and locates the ball, and gives himself the space to make the grab.
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The last year has been a calm, peaceful sojourn for Antonio Brown. In March 2019, Brown was traded from the Steelers to the Raiders in exchange for a 3rd and a 5th round pick. The change of scenery was exactly what the doctor ordered *insert fart joke.* Here’s the timeline of AB’s stress-free last 12 months:

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A few weeks ago, I sat down with the great Peter Howard’s (@pahowdy) college market share database and created a set of filters for college production that had a better hit rate than selecting just 1st round NFL WRs. This time I intend to do the same but with running backs. I have seen a lot of chatter on the Twitter site about characteristics shared by fantasy RB1s. For instance I saw that most of them run under a 4.6 forty. However, looking at just the successful players doesn’t make that a helpful nugget. You see, if ALL NFL RBs mostly run under a 4.6, then the fact that the best ones do still doesn’t help us when selecting from a giant pool of players.

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I live in the Chicago area. Home of the Da Bears, Al Capone and deep dish pizza. When visiting the Windy City, most tourists these days are directed to dine at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria for their deep dish experience. I’d be crazy to publicly bash Lou’s pizza; it’d be like calling Juju Smith-Schuster the #50 overall dynasty player. And that Lou Malanti’s butter crust is delicious, I won’t deny it.

 

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Remember in The Hangover when Alan started out as a one-man wolf pack? Then his sister brought Doug home and his wolf pack grew to two. Later Doug introduced Alan to Phil and Stu. And Alan found himself in a four-man wolf pack; four wolves running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine.

Zach Ertz reminds me of lone-wolf Alan. In 2016 Ertz’s sister—Doug Pederson—brought home Carson Wentz and introduced the young QB to Ertz. And Ertz’s wolf pack grew from one to two. Then along came Dallas Goedert in 2018, and it became a three man wolf pack; three wolves running around Philadelphia together, looking for Cheesesteaks, strippers and cocaine.

But younger wolves in a pack never have quite the same connection as the original wolves. They have to work hard to prove themselves to the pack and gain their trust; even if they’re much more gifted at finding strippers and cocaine than some of the older wolves. And such is the life of Dallas Goedert.   

Please, blog, may I have some more?