As we are rolling along this offseason, we are laying the groundwork for early best ball drafts, new dynasty startups and everything else under the fantasy sun as we gear up for the next NFL season. The league’s landscape is going to shift a lot through free agency and the NFL draft, but we are starting that early outlook at the ground floor with positional ranks.
These will move and be updated throughout the offseason (and I surely will have a lot more to say on players as we move on) so keep tabs on them through the spring as we dig deeper in-depth as rosters change and schedules are released. After taking a look back at how running back scoring is still holding strong despite the rate of league-wide touches for backfields dropping along with a massive decline in receive output, we are taking a look at the running backs.
1. Christian McCaffrey: Only appeared in three games in 2020, but scored 28.4, 24.8, and 37.1 PPR points in those games. He’s still the best dual-usage back for fantasy when on the field.
2. Dalvin Cook: The 26-year-old has yet to play a full season through four years, but has been the RB2 and RB3 in points per game the past two seasons with 1,654 yards and 13 touchdowns and 1,918 yards and 17 scores.
3. Ezekiel Elliott: Elliott averaged a career-low 4.4 yards per touch, but was still a workhorse, averaging 19.7 touches per game. Elliott had six touchdowns and 22.3 PPR points per game in the five games with Dak Prescott active compared to just two touchdowns and 11.2 points per game after Prescott was lost for the season. Not only did Elliott play 11 games without Prescott, but Tyron Smith, La’El Collins, and Zack Martin combined to miss 36 games in 2020. Elliott is one of just three backs (Kamara and Austin Ekeler) with at least 50 receptions the past two seasons.
4. Saquon Barkley: Barkley suffered an ACL injury in Week 2 and missed the remainder of the season. Still only 24-years-old with 2,028- and 1,441-yard finishes on his resume in each of his full two seasons, we still have not seen the apex Barkley is capable of if everything comes together. Early whispers suggest the Giants will ease Barkley’s return, but with only Devontae Booker, Gary Brightwell, and Ryquell Armstead behind Barkley, the cupboard is not exactly stocked to limit Barkley if he is looking good on the opportunities he begins with.
5. Derrick Henry: Henry has racked up 2,213 and 2,192 total yards on 409 and 418 touches the past two seasons of football (including the postseason). Henry has scored 49 touchdowns over his past 45 games played with at least one score in 30 of those games.
6. Alvin Kamara: Kamara roared back in 2020 with 1,688 yards from scrimmage and a league-high 21 touchdowns, giving him four straight seasons as a top-eight scoring back on a per game basis. Trips to the end zone should come down from last season’s peak while Drew Brees’s pending retirement shakes things up. In eight career games without Brees under center, Kamara averaged 5.5 targets and 16.9 PPR points per game (a mark that would have still been good for RB10 in 2020) as opposed to 7.0 targets and 22.4 points per game with Brees at the helm.
7. Aaron Jones: Jones has averaged 5.2, 5.9, 5.5, and 5.9 yards per touch over his first four seasons in the league while he’s still yet to get a workload like some of the previous backs. Jones has been 10th and fifth in yards from scrimmage per game among backs the past two seasons despite being 14th and 12th in touches per game. A return to Green Bay keeps him as the producer he has been on an offense that has been fist and 12th in offensive touchdowns per game the past two seasons.
8. Jonathan Taylor: After a slow start to the season, the rookie back gave us a glimpse of the explosive player he was in college, reeling off six straight RB1 scoring weeks to close the season with 133 touches for 837 yards and eight touchdowns over that span. 36 receptions as a rookie answered any questions in that department, though Nyheim Hines remains in place to cap Taylor’s receiving upside.
9. Nick Chubb: Chubb has averaged 5.4, 5.3, and 5.9 yards per touch over his first three seasons in the league. After returning in Week 10, Chubb was the RB5 in PPR scoring, RB4 in yards from scrimmage (865), and RB3 in touches (146).
10. Cam Akers: Through nine games of his rookie season, Akers had managed just 62 touches for 312 yards and two scores. The Rams then turned the offense over to the rookie as Akers amassed 143 touches for 708 yards and three scores over the final six games of the season.
11. Joe Mixon: Mixon missed the final 10 games of the season with a foot injury, but prior to his injury was the RB11 in points per game (16.6) and 11th in yards from scrimmage per game (94.3) while averaging a career-high 6.8 receiving points per game. The ceiling has been a question for Mixon, turning in eight RB1 scoring weeks in 22 games over the past two seasons with three in the top-six.
12. Austin Ekeler: Expected regression in efficiency and scoring found Ekeler in 2020 while he also missed six games due to a hamstring injury, but when on the field he averaged a career-high 17.0 touches per game for 93.3 yards per game. The only bugaboo for Ekeler joining the top of the dual-usage backs is that he still only had two total carries inside of the 5-yard line, giving away those carries to the likes of Kalen Ballage and Joshua Kelley.
13. Najee Harris: Harris is coming off 1,528- and 1,891-yard seasons at Alabama with 50 total touchdowns the past two seasons. Not just a 230-pound power back, Harris offers legitimate receiving chops for his frame, catching 43 passes (9.9 Y/R) in his final season, a mark bested by only Saquon Barkley and Steven Jackson for backs over 225 pounds in their final college season since 2000. Harris should have the immediate workload he can handle if the Steelers can establish anything on the ground compared to the past two seasons. The Steelers had transitioned to a pass-first team several years ago in Roethlisberger’s late stages of his career, but this running game has completely flatlined the past two seasons as they have finished dead last in expected points added via rushing in each of the 2019 and 2020 seasons. In 2020, just 28.7% of the Pittsburgh rushing attempts went for more than five yards, the lowest rate in the league.
14. Antonio Gibson: After just 33 total carries at Memphis, Gibson handled 170 carries in 14 games for 4.7 yards per carry and 11 rushing touchdowns as a rookie. Only Alvin Kamara (36.2%) scored a higher rate of his team touchdowns than Gibson (32.4%). Gibson was not used as a pass protector or in passing situations (he had 11 third down touches all season), but we know he has a receiving pedigree from college and answered the significant question of being able to be a running back immediately at the NFL level. Seemingly not completely over his turf toe injury from a year ago, Gibson and his health is someone to monitor once training camps get ramped up and that could be used a negative tie breaker among backs surrounding his ADP.
15. Chris Carson: Carson is coming off averaging a career-high 5.4 yards per touch and 3.1 receptions per game. He has scored at least nine touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. Returning to Seattle as the starter, he has been the RB16, RB13, and RB14 in points per game the past three seasons.
16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Being the only first-round running back in 2020 to the best offense in the league paired with a late offseason opt-out from Damien Williams elevated Edwards-Helaire’s expectations and draft capital to being a fantasy league winner. That did not turn out to be the case as he did not live up to those lofty expectations, but Edwards-Helaire’s play was better than remembered. The rookie back tallied 1,100 yards and five touchdowns while forcing 35 missed tackles in the run game, which was third among all rookie backs. The questions surrounding CEH are if he will ever get back to his early-season workload (he averaged 21.3 touches per game through six weeks and then 12.7 afterward) or if he will ever be trusted at the goal line after converting 3-of-9 attempts from inside of the 5-yard line for scores and only getting two such carries after Week 2.
17. D’Andre Swift: Swift only had six games during his rookie year in which he played at least 50% of the snaps, with all coming in Week 8 or later. In those games, however, Swift averaged 15.6 points per game. Swift led all rookie backs in receptions per game (3.53). The concern with Swift is the state of the Lions as a whole capping his upside, but he has dual-usage appeal at a position with limited all-purpose options.
18. J.K. Dobbins: Dobbins showed plenty of electricity with 6.0 yards per carry and 6.1 yards per touch as he turned in 925 yards from scrimmage on just 152 total touches. Dobbins had single-digit touches in each of the team’s opening five games before hitting that mark in 11 of the team’s final 12 games. Despite the spike in opportunity, Dobbins reached 15 touches in just three games all season with three games of more than two receptions. Dobbins has a high ceiling, but still some instability in overall volume related to his peers at the position.
19. Miles Sanders: Sanders has closed his first two seasons as the RB22 (13.7) and RB20 (14.2) in points per game. He improved his points per game despite his receiving points per game falling from 7.4 per game as a rookie down to 3.9 per game in 2020 as he was able to secure just 28-of-52 targets (53.8%). Sanders had some self-induced drops (eight), but also was dead last in catchable target rate (71%) among backs with more than 20 targets. Sanders caught 9-of-13 targets from Jalen Hurts after just 19-of-39 from Carson Wentz.
20. Josh Jacobs: Jacobs has turned in 1,316 and 1,303 yards over his first two NFL seasons with seven and 12 touchdowns. Jacobs improved on his receiving game usage (33-238) but was still largely a one-note producer with 77.2% of his fantasy points stemming solely from rushing. This has given Jacobs a lower floor than some of his company here. In his games with a touchdown, Jacobs averages 23.0 points per game as opposed to 9.9 per game when he fails to reach the end zone. Jacobs shared 9.1 touches per game with other backs last season, so the addition of Kenyan Drake is not a major concern, but Jacobs still has a wide range of weekly variance due to his limitations of involvement in the passing game and needing to reach the end zone weekly to keep him suited as an RB2. Tack on that the Raiders have purged nearly their entire offensive line this offseason, Jacobs is a tough sell as a locked-in RB1 option if the format rewards receiving production.
21. David Montgomery: After 1,074 yards and seven scores as a rookie (4.0 yards per touch), Montgomery produced 1,508 yards and 10 touchdowns (5.0 yards/touch) in 2020. After one RB1 scoring week and two touchdowns through nine games, Montgomery closed the season with six straight RB1 weeks and eight touchdowns with over 100 yards in each of those games. The jump for Montgomery stemmed from a workload spike. He averaged 20.1 touches per game (seventh) and handled a league-high 89.1% of the Chicago backfield touches. Montgomery went from 25 catches as a rookie up to 54 in his second season as Tarik Cohen appeared in just three games. After Cohen was injured, Montgomery went from running a pass route on 37.8% of the team dropbacks up to 69.0%.
22. Mike Davis: Atlanta brought in Davis on a modest two-year deal. With Todd Gurley and Brian Hill unrestricted free agents and Ito Smith and Quadree Ollison not providing much in their NFL samples, Davis is the default RB1 on the Atlanta depth chart as it stands in late March. Davis accrued 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns last season in relief of Christian McCaffrey in 2020. Only three backs caught more passes than the 59 receptions had a year ago. Davis showed he was capable of being a back that can accumulate production if fed touches, but still was not a player that was turning in high efficiency or showed much fantasy merit outside of volume. The 28-year-old back this season managed three straight top-10 scoring weeks over his first three games post-McCaffrey injury on 21, 21, and 25 touches for 91, 111, and 149 total yards, but then Davis quickly faded to a volume-based FLEX play. Over his next nine games with McCaffrey inactive, Davis had five weeks as an RB3 or lower with two RB1 scoring weeks, reaching 80 yards from scrimmage in just one of those games. Despite racking up 224 touches in total, Davis managed just 3.9 yards per carry and just 6.3 yards per reception on those touches.
23. Travis Etienne: Etienne took a small step “back” in production in his senior season, but exits Clemson coming off three-straight 1,500 yards seasons while scoring 13 or more touchdowns all four seasons. Etienne does not have the size of a prototypical NFL feature back that many NFL staffs lean into as workhorses and was kept at 244 touches or fewer in every season, but offers dual-usage ability (102 catches at college) to have RB1 upside. Both Urban Meyer and Darrell Bevell have strong run-first roots and pairing Etienne with James Robinson is a strong signal that is not about to change. Just 32.5% of Robinson’s carries went for five or more yards (36th out of 50 qualifiers) while he averaged 7.0 yards per reception, 31st among all backs that had 20 or more receptions. There has been a solid push from the coaching staff that Etienne could be used like players such as Curtis Samuel or Percy Harvin were in Urban Meyer offenses of the past, but Etienne is a running back first hand compared to those players.
24. Myles Gaskin: Gaskin was a surprise hit for Miami last offseason after they signed Jordan Howard in free agency and then traded for Matt Breida during the NFL Draft. In 10 games played, Gaskin turned 183 touches into 972 yards and five scores. His 18.3 touches per game were ninth at the position while his 97.2 yards per game were 10th. He was fifth at the position with 4.1 receptions per game. Gaskin came out of the draft unscathed by a new addition with draft capital, but as a 200-pound back who converted 3-of-9 carries inside of the 5-yard line, his most fragile role is potentially losing scoring opportunities.
25. Kareem Hunt: Hunt offers FLEX value and handcuff upside still in 2021. He closed last season as the RB10 in overall scoring, but was the RB22 in points per game (13.7). Once Nick Chubb returned in Week 10, Hunt was the RB29 or lower in five of those eight weeks and was out-touched by Chubb 146-103 over that span.
26. Javonte Williams: After 1,391 yards and 11 touchdowns over his first two seasons at North Carolina, Williams exploded for 1,445 yards and 22 scores last year. A tackle-breaking machine in 2020, Pro Football Focus credited Williams with 0.48 broken tackles per attempt, the most by a back since they have been charting. Denver was 25th in the expected points added via rushing in 2020 while they had a 43% success rate on rushing plays, which was tied for the lowest rate in the league. Williams likely finds himself in an early-season timeshare with Melvin Gordon, but with Gordon on the final year of his contract, Williams can make a move over the season to increase his workload and opportunity.
27. Michael Carter: The other part of the UNC rookie backfield tandem, Carter out-gained Javonte Williams in each of the past two seasons. He rushed for 1,000 yards in each of those seasons, while tacking on 20-plus receptions in each of his past three. Checking in at 5’8”, 202 pounds at the Senior Bowl, Carter is undersized for a feature back role, but lands in a favorable situation to get immediate opportunity with Tevin Coleman, La’Mical Perine, and Ty Johnson as the backs he has to compete with for touches.
28. Chase Edmonds: Edmonds enters 2021 in the final year of his rookie contract, but instead of sharing a backfield with a top-prospect, he will share time with James Conner. Edmonds has gotten three opportunities to be a feature back in three seasons, with games of 31, nine, and 28 touches in those games for 150, 13, and 88 yards. But every time the Cardinals have turned to Edmonds as a workhorse have come out of full necessity while he has almost immediately been banged up afterwards. By signing Conner over a high-end rookie, this allows Edmonds to remain in a role he was already effective while also being able to pinch-hit if Conner continues to struggle with staying on the field. Edmonds was seventh among all backs in targets last season (67) and receptions (53), but also has never had double-digit carries in a game outside of necessity under this regime.
29. Melvin Gordon: Gordon turned 247 touches into 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first season with the Broncos, but had a wide range of splits when sharing the backfield or not. In seven games where Phillip Lindsay missed or exited early, Gordon averaged 20.1 touches and 15.2 PPR points per game as opposed to 13.3 touches and 11.5 points per game sharing the backfield. In the games the backfield was intact, Gordon ran a pass route on 47.5% of the team dropbacks compared to 29.3% for Lindsay. On the final year of his contract, Gordon could have a similar split this season as he had with Lindsay with rookie Javonte Williams, but Williams is a bet to gain traction as the season progresses and could even move Gordon into the backseat of the split over the year.
30. James Robinson: In a season where many rookie backs took a slower burn to production, Robinson was a workhorse from day one with the Jaguars. The undrafted back racked up 1,414 yards from scrimmage on 289 touches with 10 touchdowns in 14 games played. Those yards produced (on a 1-15 team) were the third-most in NFL history for an undrafted rookie and the most since 1962. As we have learned recently with Phillip Lindsay and Thomas Rawls is that these situations can be fragile for backs with low leverage in terms of draft capital. Robinson was already going to be hard-pressed to sustain his rate of 84.8% of the Jacksonville backfield carries and 85.8% of their backfield touches next season, but the addition of Travis Etienne injures his volume and pass-catching role significantly.
31. Leonard Fournette: After being released by Jacksonville prior to the season and then finding his way to being a healthy scratch in Week 13, it appeared that Fournette was set to be in ominous territory as a fantasy asset moving forward. Then a late-season Ronald Jones injury reopened the door and Fournette scored seven touchdowns over the final seven games for the Buccaneers, including all four postseason games in which he helped his cause for a new contract somewhere with 448 yards. With that performance, Fournette was brought back to keep this committee in place. Fournette had just two games as an RB2 or better in the 14 games that Jones was active last season, but had an edge as a pass catcher, running a route on 45.3% of the team dropbacks. The addition of Giovani Bernard compromises that role.
32. Damien Harris: After just four touches as a rookie in 2019, Harris accrued 142 touches for 743 yards in his second season. Playing the “Sony Michel” role, Harris had just five receptions among those touches. Harris did not even have a single touch on third down all season. With Cam Newton as the team’s goal-line back, Harris’s role lacked scoring upside as he scored just twice all season, from 22 and nine yards out. A quarterback change can give running backs more opportunities near the goal line, but Harris is unlikely to be a passing asset while Michel himself still remains on the roster.
33. Raheem Mostert: Mostert was in and out of the lineup for most of 2020, missing eight games outright and forced from two others on fewer than 30% of the snaps. Despite that, Mostert was still RB28 in points per game (12.5). Even with the missed time, Mostert had more receptions (16) than he did in 2019 (14), but has had more than two receptions in three games over the past two seasons.
34. Trey Sermon: Sermon was a major recruit out of high school. His best season at Oklahoma was as a sophomore with 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns and then transferred to Ohio State for his final season after just 62 touches in 10 games as a junior. At Ohio State, Sermon was rushed for 68 yards or fewer in each of his first four games, but then turned it on for 112, 331, and 193 yards over his final three full games with four touchdowns. The 49ers traded up to land Sermon, who can dispatch the ancillary San Francisco backups and carve out a role with Raheem Mostert in year one.
35. Ronald Jones: Jones has improved every year in the NFL, increasing his touches, yards per touch, and touchdowns scored from the year prior. Despite hitting 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, the Buccaneers retained Leonard Fournette after his playoff surge while Jones is in his own contract season. Despite the playoff run from Fournette, Jones was the better of the two backs in season on the ground, but Jones offers next to nothing as a receiver, catching two or fewer passes in 10 of his 14 games played in the regular season while running a pass route on just 31.9% of the Tampa dropbacks in his games played. With Fournette returning to go along with the addition of Giovani Bernard, anticipating any receiving role for Jones is a long play.
36. Zack Moss: Moss played 13 games as a rookie, turning 126 touches into 576 yards and five touchdowns. Moss was out-touched by Devin Singletary 142-126 in their games played together, but Moss had more scoring opportunities inside of the 5-yard line (8-3 in those games played) although Josh Allen remained the team leader with nine carries and seven touchdowns in that area of the field.
37. Tony Pollard: Pollard hits his third season still stuck in the shadow of Ezekiel Elliott, but we did see the upside he offers as a premier handcuff back when he was the highest-scoring fantasy back in Week 15 with Elliott sidelined with 18 touches for 132 yards and a pair of scores.
38. A.J. Dillon: Last season’s second-round pick managed just 48 touches as a rookie (and just two receptions), but averaged 5.3 yards per carry on his limited work. With Aaron Jones returning to Green Bay, Dillon remains a handcuff option.
39. David Johnson: After being traded to Houston, Johnson managed 1,005 yards and eight scores on 180 touches in 12 games played. He was the RB16 in points per game (14.9) and averaged a career-high 4.7 yards per carry, but once again saw his receiving volume remain depressed, with just 2.8 receptions per game. Johnson was still effective in the receiving game (9.5 Y/R), but has been saddled in situations that have not used him that capacity the past three seasons. Houston has restructured Johnson’s deal paired with releasing Duke Johnson already this offseason, but have added Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead to the fold to round out an expected committee.
40. Devin Singletary: Singletary has shared work both of his two seasons in the league, seeing 180 and 194 touches for 969 and 956 yards. With six total touchdowns and averaging 2.4 receptions per game in each of those seasons, Singletary is a bit of a purgatory back. He has just two RB1 scoring weeks through two seasons, but has been a top-36 scorer in 20 of 28 career games.
41. Gus Edwards: Edwards is more of a problem for being a thorn in J.K. Dobbins ascending rather than creating his own standalone value, but Edwards has been an effective back that has not given Baltimore any reason not to sprinkle him in. Edwards is one just two backs in league history to average at least 5.0 yards per carry with 100-plus carries in each of their first three seasons in the league to go along with Nick Chubb. Edwards has just 18 career receptions.
42. James Conner: After Conner’s 2018 breakout in which he tallied 1,470 yards and 13 touchdowns, Conner has posted 1,651 yards and 13 touchdowns combined over the past two seasons. After averaging 4.2 receptions per game in 2018, Conner has seen his receptions per game dip to 3.4 and 2.7 per game the past two seasons. Conner has yet to play a full NFL season and should not be expected to carry a backfield, but landing in Arizona is a solid chance for scoring opportinites as an early-down pairing with Chase Edmonds.
43. Nyheim Hines: Hines has increased his yards per touch and yards per reception in each of his three NFL seasons. That receiving role is still his path to fantasy floor output as 69.6% of his career fantasy output has come via receiving work.
44. Tarik Cohen: Cohen was lost for the season in Week 3 a year ago, but through three full seasons when healthy, Cohen’s 2017 and 2019 rate stats look extremely similar sandwiching his breakout in 2018. 2019 saw Cohen catch a career-high 79 passes, but his 5.8 yards per grab and reduction in rushing opportunity and effectiveness have him stuck as a receiving-based floor option.
45. Kenyan Drake: Drake set career-highs a year ago with 955 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, but his 4.1 yards per touch were a career-low while his receiving role evaporated down to 1.7 receptions per game. The 27-year-old back is rumored to be thought of as a “joker” and receiving compliment to Jacobs, but Drake has left a lot of meat on the bone as a receiver over the course of his career. Drake averaged 0.89 yards per route run with Arizona in 2019, which ranked 35th at running back per Pro Football Focus. He then came back last season and dropped down to 0.55 yards per route, which ranked 54th out of 58 backs that qualified and was below that of both Booker and Jalen Richard, as well as Jacobs himself. Drake has a season in 2018 in which he ranked 13th in yards per route run among backs (1.42), but also was 51-of-55 qualifiers in the same area in 2017 (0.91). Drake does cap the overall upside of Jacobs, but is more of a handcuff himself than someone that has standalone value.
46. Tevin Coleman: Joining the Jets this offseason, Coleman’s current competition for touches are La’Mical Perine, Ty Johnson, and Josh Adams. Even for a running back that will be 28-years-old, has been in decline for two seasons running, and has never received 200 or more touches in any of his six NFL seasons, that is not a daunting rogue’s gallery of competition while Coleman has spent his entire career in a system similar to what the Jets are transitioning to under new offensive coordinator Mike LaFluer. Very likely brought in for that reason and a veteran presence, Coleman will share time with Michael Carter.
47. Darrell Henderson: After a nearly invisible rookie season with 43 touches for 184 yards (4.3 yards per touch), Henderson jumped up to 154 touches for 783 yards (5.1 Y/T) in 2020 with six touchdowns. For a period of the season early on, Henderson even took over as the feature back for Los Angeles before conceding ground to Cam Akers and reaching double-digit touches in just two of his final eight games played of the season.
48. J.D. McKissic: McKissic led all running backs in targets (110) and was second in receptions (80) and receiving yardage (589 yards) in 2020. Coming off a career-high 165 touches and 954 yards, McKissic is still under contract in 2021, but we should expect Antonio Gibson’s receiving role to expand in year two while Washington should be a prime target to land another pass catcher this offseason.
49. Jamaal Williams: Through four seasons, Williams has yet to rush for 600 yards in a season or clear 178 touches, but he been a proven back that can play an ancillary role, contribute in the passing game, and handle opportunity when needed in relief should D’Andre Swift miss any time for the Lions. Williams has caught at least 25 passes in every season of his career, and in the four games that Aaron Jones has missed over the past three seasons, Williams has turned that open opportunity into three top-10 scoring fantasy weeks. Williams is still a complimentary piece on a team we are anticipating to not win many games, leaving him as a handcuff with next to no standalone value.
50. Alexander Mattison: Mattison has averaged 4.9 yards and 5.1 yards per touch over his first two NFL seasons, but is stuck as a handcuff only back behind Dalvin Cook. Cook has yet to play a full season. With Mattison drawing two starts last year, he had one dud (11 touches for 30 yards) and one hit (24 touches for 145 yards).
51. James White: Entering the 2021 season at 29-year-old, White is coming off a season with just 84 touches for 496 yards and three touchdowns, his lowest totals for usage in a season since 2015.
52. Latavius Murray: Murray has not hit 1,000 yards in a season since 2016, but if the 31-year-old is still the backup for Alvin Kamara, then he has handcuff appeal. Murray can save the cap-strapped Saints nearly $2.5M if released this offseason but in two games with Kamara sidelined while in New Orleans, Murray had 60 touches for 307 yards and four touchdowns.
53. Chuba Hubbard: The new Christian McCaffrey handcuff has a 2,292 yard, 21 TD on his resume in 2019, but fell off in 2020. Hubbard seen his yards per touch go from 6.6 and 6.5 over his first two seasons down to 4.8 per touch in 2020 while his receiving role dwindled down to next to irrelevant, catching just eight passes for 52 yards after averaging 10.4 and 8.6 yards per grab over his first two seasons. Nine of his 36 touchdowns were from 30 yards or longer.
54. Kenneth Gainwell: Gainwell sat out the 2020 season due to COVID concerns, but the last time we saw him on the field in 2019, he amassed 2,069 yards and 16 touchdowns, rushing for 1,459 yards, and grabbing 51 passes. Recruited as a wide receiver, Gainwell has a true receiving pedigree like a number of Memphis players we have seen enter the league such as Tony Pollard and Antonio Gibson the past two seasons. The difference for Gainwell here is that he is a 201-pound back while Pollard was 210 pounds at the combine and Gibson was 228 pounds. Gainwell is an electric player with multiple avenues to production as a runner and pass catcher, but has a lot of variance in projecting his NFL usage prior to the draft. With the Eagles, Gainwell will push Boston Scott in year one behind Miles Sanders.
55. Giovani Bernard: Joining the Bucs, Bernard will turn 30-years-old during the 2021 season. Bernard has not been fantasy relevant outside of games Joe Mixon has missed the past three seasons, but Tampa Bay did target their running backs 19% of the time last season, which was 11th in the league. At minimum, Bernard is a thorn in this backfield as a pass catcher, but is only a floor option in PPR formats with both Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette ahead of him in the running game.
56. Rashaad Penny: After a late-season ACL injury in 2019, Penny appeared in only the final three games of the 2020 season. Penny flashed in 2019 prior to injury with 6.2 yards per touch, but in the final season of his contract and Seattle extending Chris Carson, Penny is stuck as a handcuff.
57. Darrynton Evans: In a throwaway rookie season in which Evans dealt with injuries, he appeared in just five games and received just 16 touches. He is strictly a zero-RB/upside bench play that needs elevation from Derrick Henry missing time, but Henry is coming off seasons with 409 and 418 touches.
58. Phillip Lindsay: After back-to-back seasons with 1,200 yards, Lindsay took a back seat to Melvin Gordon in 2020, rushing just 10.7 times per game with one touchdown. Lindsay has moved to Houston on a 1-year deal to share touches with David Johnson and Mark Ingram.
59. Joshua Kelley: Kelley handled 134 touches in his first season, but averaged just 3.7 yards per touch and lost time as the season wore on to Ballage, playing 19 snaps or fewer in his final six games active on the season. If the new regime continues to use Austin Ekeler sparingly near the goal line, Kelley can be and handcuff and touchdown vulture.
60. Malcolm Brown: As a 200-pound back, Myles Gaskin struggled near the goal line in 2020, converting 3-of-9 carries inside of the 5-yard line for scores. Brown has converted 8-of-15 carries inside of the 5-yard line for touchdowns while ranking second in the NFL in third down touches last season.