Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, today I will be looking into the most stable fantasy Running Backs heading into the 2020 NFL season. These guys are the cream of the crop for weekly stability, we are not talking yearly here, so big games matter less than if you are scoring good week in and week out.
But, before we look at the numbers I want to take a second to remind everyone to speak out against the injustices black people have faced and are facing in the world. Take a moment to picture yourself in a situation where something out of your control is impacting how people perceive you and how they view you.
One Game Floor: I take the performances of all the Running Backs 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 floor" or just "Floor". Example: Kenyan Drake has a 4.2 one game floor, that means that there is only a 16% risk that he will score less than that on any given game. Let's dig in!
Mark Ingram of the Baltimore Ravens starts us off today and I am shell shocked of how disrespected he still is in the fantasy community. He still has the 16th highest floor in PPR but is going in the 5th round right now. Sure I understand that Joe Mixon has more upside and that Singletary comes with an unknown factor that is interesting but Mark Ingram is a proven commodity in the most run heavy team in the league. The addition of J.K. Dobbins doesn't scare me, they still had plenty of backs last year that could have taken carries from Ingram but didn't. No, Ingram is still a great pickup in the 5th round as a RB2 on your fantasy team and he will help you win plenty of games for a cheap price in 2020.
It is always easy for a rookie Running Back to come in and play a big role on a talent poor offense, think Joe Mixon, Melvin Gordon and to an extent Christian McCaffrey so I am impressed with Josh Jacobs to have such a high floor even if his sample size is on the smaller side. A high floor doesn't necessarily come in connection with talent or with how good an offense is but with how good a situation as well and Jacobs situation going into 2020 is a great one. The Las Vegas Raiders are very interesting for fantasy for next year with Josh Jacobs leading the way ahead of Darren Waller and my sleeper Quarterback in Derek Carr.
The old guard has it's own tier here in this article which is very fitting. All three of have been fantasy studs for years but have now switched teams and we aren't as certain about their production that we used to be. Le'Veon Bell is the only one I haven't done a Video on of these three and funnily enough he's the one I am most interesting in drafting. He is still on the same team as last year and has the least amount of competition when it comes to skill players on his team. Todd Gurley has Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the Atlanta Falcons that need their targets. Melvin Gordon has Philip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, a rising Noah Fant and Jerry Jeudy coming in for the Denver Broncos. Who will take targets and carries away from Le'Veon Bell for the New York Jets, well Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims, don't get me wrong I like both but the level of competition just isn't there for Bell in comparison to the other two.
That Alvin Kamara is 5th on this list seals his fate as my fourth highest ranked Running Back going into 2020. I am still super excited to draft him but the other three in my top four are all in the tier below giving them a massive edge over Kamara. However, I do believe that he has a bounce back season with positive regression when it comes to touchdowns taking him back to the top 5 but I can't justify drafting him above Barkely, Elliott or CMC when they are the safer bet week to week.
If you listen in on the Fantasy Rabbit Hole Podcast on a weekly basis you know my hate for Leonard Fournette is real but I will concede a bit here. A floor of 10 in PPR is pretty darn good and going in the 3rd round is a steal for someone that is ranking this high. This is eye-opening for me and I will have to start drafting Fournette this year, it might be the last year I do so but the value in the 3rd is 100% there even with a questionable offense with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
These three will be by three highest ranked players going into 2020, it is decided and it looks like it actually will be a top 2 with Barkley being right behind Elliott and McCaffrey. I have talked about it a ton on the Fantasy Rabbit Hole Podcast that I believe Elliott is a generational talent in the same mold as Adrian Peterson when it comes to year in and year out production. There has been so many Running Backs that have two good years and fall off, Elliott is not one of them. In his four years in the NFL he's scored over 300 fantasy points in PPR three years, and the odd year he only played 10 games and still finished as RB12. There is just so much security in drafting Elliott that keeps doing it over and over again, until he proves me otherwise I have a hard time seeing me going with another player as my consensus nr:1 overall pick as we get closer and closer to draft season.
This weekend the YouTube channel is back with the Head-2-Head series and I will be looking at Dak Prescott from the Dallas Cowboys vs. Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles.
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Till next time! // CSD