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Running Back Ceiling Rankings 15-1

Updated: Jun 22, 2019

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Today I will be looking at the Running Backs with the highest one game Ceiling. These Running Backs are usually similar to the Floor rankings but I prefer the higher Floor over higher Ceiling in the early rounds. It still is a massively important value as you still want your back to be able to carry your team from time to time.


One Game Ceiling: New for this year is a tweaked Floor and Ceiling formula so if you are unfamiliar with the new formula please head over to the Quarterback Rankings and check out the first couple of paragraphs where I explain it all. In case you are fully aware, stay here. Let's dig in!

Nick Chubb is still a bit of a question mark for me, how high of a draft pick am I willing to spend on a second year Running Back that wasn't the number one guy for the entire last season? Furthermore, he freaking has Kareem Hunt to contend with after week 10. There are a lot of questions that make me hesitant to draft him at 18 overall. Without Hunt in the picture I'm all in even with the other questions, but now, he's a B+ in my book.


Mark Ingram on the other hand is one of my absolute favorites to draft for 2019. He has plenty of game winning ability with a Ceiling this high and I believe he can raise that as the number one back on the Baltimore Ravens. He's now going 41st overall which is not that bad for what you are getting. For instance, Kenyan Drake goes six picks later and I wouldn't draft him if I got paid to do so.

David Johnson has finally been getting more respect over the last couple of weeks in mock drafts. His ADP is now 5th overall and I think that is in the realm of where he should be. Last time I talked about David Johnson he was going 10th overall and that too me is a fantastic spot to draft him in. He has the 10th highest one game Ceiling but you have to take into consideration the floor and that some of the guys higher on this list has off the field issues making them bigger question marks in my book.


Sony Michel is behind David Johnson in the Ceiling rankings but I don't think they should be this close to each other when you look at the big picture. Michel has a lot more competition in New England, he has a coach that you never know with, he might give Michel 25 carries one game and 4 in the next and has a small sample size. All this should scream red flag and make you a little bit concerned with spending the 39th overall pick on him.

I was a little surprised seeing James Conner this high on this list. His Floor is so much lower than any of the other top Running Backs that I actually forgot that he put up good numbers last year. I still will never draft a Running Back 10th overall based on his Ceiling being in the top 10, that's just not gonna happen for me. However, I had a conversation with a guy on twitter that went totally opposite of my strategy. He said he goes straight for upside in the early rounds and want the boom or bust candidate. With that strategy I think if you can get Conner in the second round he's a great pick for you. He has the chance to fall into the second and has huge game winning upside compared to guys that I like such as Phillip Lindsay or Joe Mixon.

For the top guys it doesn't really have to come down to what you are looking for as Saquon Barkley has the highest Floor and highest Ceiling if we exclude the three top guys as they all have two asterisks next to their names. The only thing that will decide if you want Barkley or Elliott is who you trust more? For me Elliott is still my highest rated player going into 2019 thanks to more experience and a team that is all about running the ball. Barkley is an amazing player and has an improved offensive line but with a small sample size and a team that lacks other weapons he has more questions.


Alvin Kamara sneaks along with the 6th highest Ceiling and 7th highest Floor. However, that was with Mark Ingram on the team. I do rate Ingram a lot higher than Latavius Murray so I can see Kamara even raising his numbers a bit in 2019. Kamara is currently being drafted Barkley and Elliott and I think this is the right move. Even if he does raise his numbers a bit, the other two are just a tad better.

When I was running the numbers and saw that these three ended up as the trio to finish out this list I was very disappointed. All three of them have major concerns going into next season and Kareem Hunt won't even take the field until week 10! They are the guys that have had the biggest impact on single games over the last three years but with all that has been going on I can't justify spending a high draft pick on them.


Well, for Hunt I can't even see myself drafting him for anything before the 12th round. At that rate I am willing to stash him in the hopes that Chubb just is not up to the task or I hate to say it cause I never wish for a player to get hurt, but that he is not able to play.


Bell is the only one I would consider drafting right now and even then it has to be the right price. I won't spend a first round pick on a guy that sat out a year and I won't do it for Gurley either as he might not be the same guy no more. It is all very disturbing and I guess what I am trying to say is that go with the other guys on this list. You are looking for upside and game winning ability but that does not necessarily mean a higher risk.

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The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD