2019 Fantasy Football: Top 10 rookie running backs to target in dynasty

Ranking the top-10 rookie running backs in dynasty leagues as we inch closer to the 2019 fantasy football season.

Although we are still several weeks away from the beginning of the 2019 Fantasy Football season, it is never too soon to start thinking about your upcoming drafts.  And if you’re like me, you probably have several different leagues and settings to consider.  However, whether it be standard or PPR, the running back rankings remain pretty much the same.

Here are my top-10 rookie running backs to target in your upcoming fantasy football dynasty drafts.

1. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

When the Philadelphia Eagles selected running back Miles Sanders with the 53rd-pick in the 2019 NFL draft, I immediately took notice.  After all, Doug Pederson has been in dire need of a three-down running back since his arrival in Philadelphia.  And whether you believe in a running back by committee or not, it has started to become the norm in the City of Brotherly Love.  Furthermore, some people may be afraid of Sanders due to only one year of solid production at Penn State.

I don’t expect 2019 to be much different, especially with the acquisition of Jordan Howard this offseason.  However, these are dynasty rankings and when the dust settles, I believe Sanders will be the best back in this class.  Furthermore, I think his skill-set is the perfect fit for Pederson’s offense.  In the meantime, Sanders should be the perfect complimentary back to Howard, before inevitably taking over the starting job.

2019 Prediction: 670 yards rushing, 7 touchdowns. 350 yards receiving, 4 touchdowns.

2. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

Let me start by saying, I am a firm believer in Tarik Cohen‘s abilities and believe he is the better of the two running backs.  However, David Montgomery has the skills to be a three-down running back in the NFL.  And when you look at how well Matt Nagy’s offense looked in a short amount of time, imagine adding a running back of his caliber into the mix.

During his time at Iowa State, Montgomery rushed for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns.  He also contributed in the passing game recording 71 receptions for 582 yards.  Again, we can expect to see Montgomery get a lot of the early carries.  But the third-down work could still go to Cohen.  Nonetheless, there’s a very good chance he’s the Chicago Bears’ starting running back in 2019 and beyond.

2019 Prediction: 788 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns. 225 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns.

3. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders

As the only first-round running back selected in this year’s draft, it’s crazy to think Josh Jacobs is the third running back on my rookie running back big board.  No matter where I have him ranked long-term, no one can argue that Jacobs should see the lion share of the carries in his first NFL season.

Unfortunately, he landed on the Oakland Raiders’ offense – which I remain uncertain about.  After all, there’s a reason they had one of the top four picks in the NFL draft.  But with a new general manager at the helm in Mike Mayock, and Jon Gruden finally ready to show the world why he’s a $100 million head coach, Jacobs should be called upon to help add balance.  One thing to keep a watchful eye on is whether or not Marshawn Lynch is called upon.  If he’s signed to a contract late this summer, it could alter the impact he has in 2019.  Nonetheless, Jacobs is one of four total running backs I consider to have RB1 potential.  Don’t overthink it.

2019 Prediction: 858 yards rushing, 8 touchdowns. 315 yards receiving, 6 touchdowns.

4. Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

Darrell Henderson is a guy that by the time the season starts could be in consideration for the number one spot in your dynasty league. Particularly, if you already own Todd Gurley or just want to get a fellow league-mate upset.  Furthermore, as each passing day more and more news is made public about Gurley’s knee, making Henderson that much more attractive to fantasy owners.

Regardless of whether Gurley can play significant reps, Henderson appears to be a part of the Los Angeles Rams game plan sooner rather than later.  And I trust that one of the top offensive minds in all of football, Sean McVay, can find a way to utilize his unique skill set.  Henderson is fast, like really fast.  For example, at the combine, he ran an unofficial 4.36 that would later be changed to a 4.49 40-yard dash.  He also has the ability to make defenders miss in the open field.  I give it until midway through the season before everyone knows who Henderson is.

2019 Prediction: 630 yards rushing, 4 touchdowns. 458 yards receiving, 6 touchdowns.

5. Damien Harris, New England Patriots

Truth is, there are a ton of mouths to feed in the New England Patriots backfield.  And unfortunately, they will utilize each and every one of the backs on their roster.  Yes, Sony Michel is the number one back.  However, a guy like Damien Harris is a near perfect compliment.  And surprise, surprise, he too is an Alabama running back.

Not many people want to hear it but judging purely based on skills, he might be the best Alabama back in the draft. He’s just not on quite as favorable of a team as some of these other guys.  But his rare combination of speed and brute strength will leave the coaching staff no choice but to fabricate carries for Harris.

2019 Prediction: 484 yards rushing, 4 touchdowns. 125 yards receiving, 1 touchdown.

6. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills

The man they call ‘motor’ was one of college football’s top running backs a season ago.  During his career at FAU, Devin Singletary amassed 4,287 yards and 66 touchdowns.  And to suggest he’s a playmaker is an understatement. Ironically enough, his pro comparison is one of the running backs currently on the Buffalo Bills roster, LeSean McCoy.

Similar to the situation in New England, there are a ton of mouths to feed in Buffalo.  But investing in Singletary now will pay huge dividends later down the road.

7. Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are the last team you would expect to invest a draft pick in the running back position.  After all, the backfield is loaded with talent.  And whether you believe in Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards or Kenneth Dixon, do not forget about the potential of rookie Justice Hill.

Hill was a productive running back at Oklahoma State and proved he could be a three-down running back.  Sure, the running back group is littered with talent now.  Hill may not bring a ton of fantasy value as a rookie, but a few years down the road there will only be one running back left standing.  And I believe Hill is that guy.

8. Bryce Love, Washington Redskins

Prior to his injury, many believed Bryce Love had the potential to be one of the top running backs in this class.  But after tearing his ACL in his last collegiate game, Love’s stock greatly plummeted.  Thankfully, he ended up in a Washington Redskins’ offense with plenty of capable backs already in place.  This should allow Love to use his speed and quickness in the passing game, causing nightmares for opposing defenses.

Like some of the other backs in this class, Love will have greater potential down the road as a change-of-pace back to Derrius Guice.

9. Ryquell Armstead, Jacksonville Jaguars

After drafting Leonard Fournette in several fantasy leagues in 2018, I now know to keep a close eye on who his handcuff may be.  And with T.J. Yeldon now in Buffalo, Armstead has a chance to be the number two back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, sooner rather than later.  Furthermore, his impressive Senior Bowl showing proved to teams that he had the potential to make an impact at the next level as he looked like the best running back at this year’s event.

Ryquell Armstead is the whole package.  During his days at Temple, he proved to be capable of running between the tackles, in addition to outrunning opposing defenders.  This should translate to the next level.

10. Trayveon Williams, Cincinnati Bengals

There is no one in within the Cincinnati Bengals that can replace Joe Mixon.  After all, he is the starting running back and should be given a bulk of the carries.  But aside from Mixon, the only other viable running back is Giovani BernardZac Taylor and the Bengals’ new regime drafted two running backs in the sixth round.  They were Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams and Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson.

Although both players have the ability to be three-down running backs in the NFL, what Williams brings to the table as a receiver is more refined than that of Anderson, and therefore, is the more intriguing dynasty option.

Other notable running backs

  1. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings

  2. Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs

  3. Mike Weber, Dallas Cowboys

  4. Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins

  5. Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles