Last week, Matthew Berry released his early top 10 RB ranks. Before I get into them, I’m not in the business of bashing Berry. I don’t think he’s the worldwide leader (get it?) for fantasy football analysis but he means a lot to the community, no matter who you are. We are many months away from a single snap of pigskin, so I’ll take the rankings with a grain of salt and just as a conversation starter. And a conversation starter it was. David Johnson as a top 10 RB? Is there a new RB named David Johnson that I’m unfamiliar with? Anyone who has David Johnson as a top 10 let alone a top 15 running back in 2020 has a typo on their 2016 tape of him and it was marked 2019 on accident. 

Since a standard league at ESPN is PPR, I’m assuming that this is a PPR list. The rest of his list is pretty standard. He has the regular top 4 of Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliott. The rest of the list rounds out like this: Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler, and of course, David Johnson. I’m not sure about the order that I would have my top 10 going into 2020, except that I will probably have Austin Ekeler over Aaron Jones. But I do know that as of now, Miles Sanders will be a top 10 PPR back for me.

Miles Sanders finished as the PPR RB13 during his rookie season with the Philadelphia Eagles which exceeded his draft day value. Of course, he was helped out with some Jordan Howard injury/inactive luck to the tune of finishing as the PPR RB6 from week 8 forward. Things really clicked for Sanders in the fantasy playoffs. Well, that’s if you set aside the week 14 matchup against the Giants that turned out to be the Boston Scott show when Sanders couldn’t get anything going. But Sanders turned it around in weeks 15 and 16 with clutch fantasy production against the Redskins and the Cowboys. The most encouraging part of those games outside of the 3 combined touchdowns was his production in the passing game. Miles Sanders is a very, very good receiving running back and it helps that he can pick up chunks on hand offs as well. I’m encouraged that he will pick up where he left off towards the tail end of the season.

Yes, the Eagles are probably going to use a running back by committee. Recent ramblings from the coaching staff support this suspicion. It’s a Doug Peterson offense, RBBCs are to be expected at this point. I’m telling you that it probably doesn’t matter that Sanders is in a RBBC situation. Number of touches doesn’t always tell the story about the quality of touches. A lot of the time volume and production go hand and hand, but just like there is every year, there were some outliers in 2019.

Player RB Rank (Touches)

RB Rank (PPR Points)

Aaron Jones #17 #2
Austin Ekeler #43 #4
Mark Ingram #22 #9
Miles Sanders #31 #13
Josh Jacobs #4 #19
Marlon Mack` #9 #22
Joe Mixon #10 #17
David Montgomery #15 #25

RBBCs still have feature backs though. And that undoubtedly will be Miles Sanders. I have a lot of confidence that he can keep a hot hand throughout the season. In fact, it’s probably for the best that Sanders doesn’t handle 80% of the backfield touches for the Eagles in 2020. If you are a believer in drafting volume running backs, I believe that a lot of volume will be there. If you prefer running backs that sing for their supper with big plays, the film is there for Miles Sanders as well. For my next post, I will most likely be writing up the start up dynasty league that I’m participating in over the course of this quarantine. In this start up, I gladly drafted Miles Sanders in the 2nd round regardless of the volume clarity in Philadelphia.