Christian McCaffrey enters the season as the best fantasy running back in the NFL. Photo//Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports.

We are only three days away from watching Patrick Mahomes lead the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs out of the tunnel to take on the Houston Texans in what will likely kick off one of the craziest NFL seasons in recent memory. With that in mind, the time has come to rank the most important position for fantasy football teams: running backs. 

As depth charts begin to become clearer for the start of the season, here is a breakdown of the top 30 running backs for full PPR fantasy scoring.

PPR Top 30 Running Backs

Tier 1: Locked and Loaded Top 5 Guys

  1. Christian McCaffrey
  2. Ezekiel Elliott
  3. Saquon Barkley
  4. Alvin Kamara

Tier 2: RB1s with High Upside

  1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  2. Dalvin Cook
  3. Josh Jacobs
  4. Miles Sanders

Tier 3: Safe Top 15 Options

  1. Joe Mixon
  2. Nick Chubb
  3. Kenyan Drake
  4. Derrick Henry
  5. Aaron Jones
  6. Austin Ekeler

Tier 4: High Floor RB2s

  1. Le’Veon Bell
  2. Chris Carson
  3. Melvin Gordon
  4. James Conner
  5. Todd Gurley

Tier 5: Fringe RB2s

  1. David Johnson
  2. D’Andre Swift
  3. David Montgomery
  4. Devin Singletary

Tier 6: Solid RB3s

  1. Ronald Jones III
  2. Kareem Hunt
  3. Cam Akers
  4. Raheem Mostert
  5. Jonathan Taylor
  6. Mark Ingram
  7. James White

Player Evaluations

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Here lies one of the most polarizing players in fantasy football for 2020. In terms of his dynasty value, CEH is one of the top options amongst all players. For redraft formats, the road to success contains some risk for the first round rookie. With Damien Williams opting out, the path for CEH is very similar to Kareem Hunt’s when he was a top five back just a few seasons ago. Edwards-Helaire is worth drafting in the mid to late first round based on his extreme upside. He should see plenty of carries and receptions in what could be the top ranked offense in football. 

Season long projection: 250 carries- 1,200 yards- 9 TDs, 60 receptions- 500 yards- 5 TDs

Miles Sanders: Sanders was one of my favorite breakout picks throughout the offseason, but now there is some uncertainty. Sanders had been hyped up by the Eagles coaching staff all offseason as “the guy” before recently going out with a lower body (presumed calf) injury that has him at week-to-week status. With most drafts occurring within the next few weeks, it is likely that players will not have clarity on the injury at time of their draft. If this is the case, Sanders becomes more of a high ceiling RB2 that should be drafted in the late-second round compared to the late-first, which is where he had previously been going. Do not take him off draft boards, but make sure to have a backup plan to replace him early on. 

Season long projection: 230 carries-1,125 yards-6 TDs, 55 receptions-500 yards-3 TDs

Kenyan Drake: Drake exploded in the second half of the 2019 season after being traded to the Arionza Cardinals. He fits the Kliff Kingsbury scheme like a glove and showed that after the midseason trade. Drake is being appropriately drafted in the early to mid second round, which is a decent price for Drake. He is one of the best targets as an RB2 and has plenty of pass catching upside to sneak into the RB1 field. Drake is definitely a guy that should be circled on draft boards. 

Season long projection: 265 carries-1,150 yards-9 TDs, 50 receptions-350 yards-2 TDs

Le’Veon Bell: Bell was an absolute train wreck of a first round pick last year. He consistently gave players low to mid-tier RB2 numbers, but was never close to the RB1 value to match his draft price. Bell remains in the same system as last season, but has dropped into the fourth round of drafts. At that current price tag, Bell has the chance to pay off big time for fantasy players investing in him. Entering this year, he appears as a safe RB1 with the pass catching chops to regain low-end RB1 status, which makes him more than worth a fourth round pick.

Season long projection: 250 carries-900 yards-6 TDs, 65 receptions-475 yards-3 TDs

Favorite Picks:

Clyde Edwards Helaire- Average Draft Position(ADP): Late First Round

Josh Jacobs- ADP: Late First Round/Early Second

Chris Carson- ADP: Third-Fourth Round

Ronald Jones III- ADP: Sixth Round or Later

Least Favorite Picks:

Derrick Henry(PPR only)- ADP: Mid-Late First Round

Todd Gurley- ADP: Third Round

Leonard Fournette- ADP: Third Round

Mark Ingram- ADP: Fifth-Sixth Round