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Running Back Ceiling Rankings 16-1 2020

Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, on the Memorial Day we are focusing on the highest performing Running Backs out there. These guys can really carry your team on their shoulders for a week by themselves while some of them might be a bit more volatile from week to week there is no denying that when they are on top of their game they are fantastic to have on your Fantasy Team!


If you are new to the Ceiling Rankings read on below before you dig into the actual rankings so you know what the numbers stand for.


One Game Ceiling: I take the performances of all the Quarterbacks from the last three years, or as many games as the player have been in the league in the case that he has not played for three years. I also add a weight to the latest season so it is worth more than previous seasons to account for a decline in a players production or for the increase in his production. With this we get an average amount of fantasy points that the player has scored and a standard deviation.


The standard deviation is used to describe how much variation a sample size has. It tells you how far away outcomes are from the average (mean).


By combining these two numbers, (standard deviation and average) we arrive at a number that has a 16% probability of being outscored each week, that is, the player's scoring variation is not very likely to land above this number and this is why I call this the "one game ceiling" or just "ceiling". Example: James Conner has a 24.3 one game ceiling, that means that there is only a 16% chance that he will score more than that on any given game. Let's dig in!

Austin Ekeler has slowly but surely risen up the draft order as people realize that he's a great back in a system that promotes the running back. The Los Angeles Chargers lacks a great passer at the Quarterback position but Running Backs who has played with Tyrod Taylor in the past has done well. This is unfortunate for us who have been fans of Ekeler and his low ADP, we are not going to be able to get him in the 5th in 2020 and in turn have to look at other guys or hope he falls. For instance, both Fournette and Conner has higher ceilings and are drafted after Ekeler.

I am currently working on a Video on Melvin Gordon so my full take on him will be available on the YouTube channel this weekend.


Nick Chubb is currently going in the 1st round and if it wasn't for Kareem Hunt I would have to agree that the 1st round is the place for him. But, with Hunt that you see down below still is ranked 9th, is on the team this causes a problem. Last year Kareem Hunt was suspended and this year there is no sign of him missing games, this will eventually lead to stolen carries and touchdowns at the end of the day. This factor lowers Chubb's ceiling enough for me to not get him in the 1st while being OK with drafting him in the 2nd.

Derrick Henry has always been a high ceiling player with high fluctuation in his scoring. One week he's the highest scoring Running Back of all time and the next he's a RB4. This changed in 2019 and he's now been more consistent. Doing that in 2019 and having his best season yet reminds me too much of DeMarco Murray and I am not touching Derrick Henry in 2020.


No, instead I am looking at Dalvin Cook as a high 1st round Running Back. The Minnesota Vikings are looking more and more like a running team and Dalvin Cook is of course the lead back there. His rushing patters are fantastic and with a high ceiling and a team that wants to run the football he's a great option to be your 1st round pick for next year unless you can grab one of my top four.

Speaking of top four, both Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara will rank in the top four in 2020. They don't have ceilings to match a top four but Aaron Jones is so far down the floor rankings that he'll eventually be a none factor at the top of drafts.


You should eye both Elliott and Kamara for different reasons. Elliott for the simple fact that he's the most consistent Running Back in the league over the last four years and even with the Cowboys throwing the football more he still finished as RB3 in PPR last year.


Kamara is bound for massive positive regression in touchdowns. He had one of the lowest touchdown rates in 2019 and well below his career average. He didn't look any worse and the team didn't run the ball any differently, he just didn't see the end zone as much as he's known to do. Primed for this positive regression he should score a lot more touchdowns in 2020 and still be a top four back in PPR.

Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey are the two backs that I see have the most week carry ability going into 2020. I will say this about McCafrey, I don't expect him to be as good as last year and you should be careful in expecting the same production. We saw Todd Gurley having a season of a lifetime in 2018 for a drop down to RB15 in 2019. I am not saying the CMC will drop 14 spots but you should not expect him to outscore RB2 by 150 points in 2020.


Saquon Barkley had injury issues in 2019 and a rookie Quarterback, perfect storm for his fantasy points to go down but he was still incredibly productive when he was on the field and to me he still should be considered a top four fantasy Running Back.


I am yet to finally settle on my final order in the top four but it will be Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey. In the next two weeks we will look at their floors and come to a final conclusion.


For my take on Todd Gurley, check out the Video below.

Check out the Fantasy Rabbit Hole Podcast on Wednesday live on YouTube and Periscope or wherever you get your Podcasts by going Anchor.

https://anchor.fm/fantasyrabbithole


My next Video will come out this weekend and focus on Melvin Gordon and his move to the Denver Broncos.

Like and Re-tweet, everything is appreciated!

Till next time! // CSD