What’s the difference between Jon Gruden in September and an overripe California-grown tomato? The tomato doesn’t have to put up with Mark Davis for the next seven years, who, coincidentally (or not?), also looks like an overripe tomato — except Davis does for all 12 months of the year. For Gruden, it’s just about a two-month sweet spot, and who can blame him for wanting to get his bronze on to complete that irresistible visor look? From the TV, he looks like he’s yap-yap-yapping from the first whistle to the last, the same way Pete Carroll is chomping at the bit from the moment he comes out of the tunnel.

Both Carroll and Gruden have attractive fantasy running backs at their disposal as they prepare week after week in the form of Chris Carson and Josh Jacobs. They also appear to be staring at pretty hefty fines from the league office after looking somewhat lax with their mask usage during gameplay on Sunday and Monday. No matter how you spin it, the NFL was hit with a plethora of unfortunate story lines in Week 2, with stars on both sides of the ball doing down with seemingly every ailment underneath the moon. That makes my job entering Week 3 of the season as difficult as it’s going to get (*knock on wood, although Gruden’s mid-section as of late Monday night would suffice*), so let’s fast-forward through the pleasantries and get to the ever-controversial top 60 ROS running back rankings. First, let’s take a quick trip around the league via some player news and updates.

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As the final night of Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season winds to a close, I find myself updating Razzball’s top 60 running back rankings with some unusual sights dancing in front of my eyes. Stephen Gostkowski has missed three kicks and a field goal, Noah Fant looked like the best player on the field in the first half, Corey Davis is shredding the Broncos defense and my dog is licking his butt in the corner of the room as I scream about all of these things. Also on Monday were some unusual running back performances, highlighted by Saquon Barkley’s six-yard game on the ground and a breakout day for Benny Snell of Pittsburgh. Oddly enough, it looked for a little while like we really might see a 50-50 workload split in Denver before Melvin Gordon took over in the fourth quarter. If you’re already losing your mind over realities such as these, it might be a long 16 weeks to follow for you. On the plus side, we’re here to help you navigate the rest of the way with your running backs, as the weekly top 60 picks back up today with some drastic changes including some movement inside the top 10. First, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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Two days, football fans! Two days! That means the 2020 NFL Season will be upon us in a smaller span of time than your average game of cricket. Quicker than your seven round NFL Draft. And much faster than it takes Kirk Cousins to get rid of the ball on a typical pass play. Just two days and we’ll have NFL football. Two days until you get to turn months of research and late-night draft parties into something that actually matters as all the projection slowly turns into production. Today, we’ll begin with the former as I reveal my top 60 running backs heading into week one of the 2020 season. As a general baseline, I’ll be using half-PPR scoring for these rankings. Moving forward, I will continuously update these 60 backs on a weekly basis to provide an up-to-date snapshot at the top options at the position moving forward. Before we get into the actual rankings, here are some highlights from the opening list.

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For the past two days I’ve been intently glued to some form of screen or another, experiencing an arousal not felt since I spied on Kerryon Johnson in the shower. It’s Scott Fish Bowl draft week! As I sit impatiently wondering what could possibly be causing my league mates to take two hours to make one draft pick during Pandemic 2020, I decided to pass the painful minutes by working thru some more 2020 fantasy football rankings. But first, here’s what I like about me! In round one and two of my SFB draft I landed my #2 and #7 running backs from the top 10 running back rankings—Saquon Barkley and Kenyan Drake.  Then, after snatching up Uncle Julio Jones down by the school yard in round three, I came back with my #11 running back from the top 20 running back rankings—Le’Veon Bell. As you can see, I like my RBs like I like my psychedelic drugs: early and often. But there’s also some fun fliers waiting for us in the later rounds—I gave you my top 40 running backs last week, and there’s plenty of upside even outside of that group. Which leads us to the top 60 running backs for 2020 PPR fantasy football:

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In a perfect world: there would be no need for handcuff and injury reports, starting backs never lose their job, nor get injured. If there ever was a week that emulated this world, we lived it in week 5. Instead of implosions and injuries, week 5 was filled with fantasy explosions. The first couple of weeks have turned into preseason-esque football: poor performances and athletes getting in “game shape” are the new norm to start the NFL season. October is here and the football that was expected has arrived.

The week 5 fantasy gods were kind to us, avoiding any major injuries to starting running backs. Just because there were no injuries or any major handcuff to report on, it does not mean we get to take our foot off the gas. Now is the time for owners to secure their handcuff and prepare for the end of the fantasy season, as owners give up on under performing handcuffs that were over-drafted. Look for players like Rashaad Penny, Ito Smith, Tony Pollard, Malcolm Brown, Alexander Mattison, Latavius Murray, and Jaylen Samuels to be dropped this week. If you own any of their respective starting backs, you want to make sure you secure your insurance policy before it’s too late and before the price increases.

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QB10 in fantasy scoring and QB2 in NFL passing yards through 4 weeks, Matt Ryan visits the Lone Star State in matchup carrying the tied-for-2nd highest point total in week 5. The 13th toughest fantasy defense against quarterbacks, the Houston D/ST unit look a lot tougher on paper than what I believe will be on display this Sunday. Two of Houston’s best defensive outings were against quarterbacks that entered the season as backups on their respective depth chart. Including 6th round rookie QB Gardner Minshew (JAC) in his first NFL start and 2nd year backup Kyle Allen (CAR) getting the 2nd start of his career. In Houston’s two matchups against top 10 NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, the defense surrendered an average of 327.5 passing yards per game, QB12 (Brees) and QB13 (Rivers) fantasy finishes, and 4 total passing touchdowns. After nearly topping 400 yards passing (397) last week, Matt Ryan failed to pass for a TD against TEN. This is a prime bounce back spot for Matt Ryan to find the endzone through the air in a game where ATL are -4.5 underdogs and an implied score that includes 3 TDs for the Falcons. Rudy projects Ryan as the QB8 this weekend. 

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This figured to be a favorable matchup for the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Still, Washington had shown some fight through the first couple games of the season. As fantasy football enthusiasts, we can only hope for offensive production, even if the game on the field is less than ideal. The Bears can end up being playoff contenders in a fierce division, but who had the idea to give Washington a home game on Monday night when we already have to endure Booger McFarlane?

The Bears scored their first touchdown on a pick six. For one night at least, this defense was starting to look like the Bears defense from 2018 that had an insanely favorable turnover ratio. The defense spent the evening, or at least the first half, giving Mitch Trubisky the short fields that he had grown accustomed to last season. So how did the fantasy stats shake out? And were the Redskins able to salvage anything Monday night?

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While it still is early into the 2019 NFL season, we are getting more clarity with which teams are actually good or bad on either side of the ball. With more and more clarity, we can make better and better fantasy decisions with how we should manage or rosters. Who we should start, and who we should sit.

So let’s talk about that very subject.

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So can the Chiefs cut child arm-breaker Tyreek Hill now? The irony of seeing Tyreek in a sling on the sidelines should not have been lost on any of us. Though I’m not as all in on DeMarcus Robinson as I was last week on Marquise Brown and Terry McLaughlin. Kelce is still the #1 receiver in KC, and with Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins also splitting targets I feel like this is a situation where week to week some WR is going to get big numbers, but it’s near impossible to decide who, and that only gets murkier when Tyreek returns (and if you have an impatient Hill owner in your league who needs help now, see if you can pry Hill from them). Feels like the Rams; must be nice for those two teams, must be nice.

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Week 2 is almost in the books with only a Monday Night Football tilt between the Browns and Jets remaining. A couple of star running backs had scares over the weekend, and few week 1 handcuffs produced. Don’t get caught with your pants down and avoid the risk of a league-mate snagging up a starting backup. Let’s jump right in to this week’s handcuff report.

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