Fantasy football, at its core, is about minimizing risk and maximizing value, and one of the better ways to do both is avoiding the teams with crowded or complicated background situations. Whether it’s the uncertainty of a new offense or the dreaded backfield-by-committee, here are the top 5 backfields to avoid in 2020.
5. Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson are both talented, efficient players but with so many question marks surrounding the Chargers’ offense and how it will perform with their new quarterback Tyrod Taylor under center, it’s hard to draft either player with confidence.
4. Los Angeles Rams
It appears the Rams are intent on employing the dreaded running back-by-committee (RBBC) approach to their backfield this season, with Cam Akers as the starter, Darrell Henderson in the change-of-pace role, and Malcolm Brown receiving the short yardage work. While it is possible Akers could take over the backfield, until the dust settles it would be wise to steer clear of this mess.
3. New York Jets
What do you do when you have one of the league’s best running backs signed to a massive contract? You play him. What Jets coach Adam Gase does, despite having Le’Veon Bell and not much else, is employ a running back-by-committee (RBBC) with Bell, the timeless Frank Gore, and their 4th round pick, La’Mical Perine. It’s generally best to avoid players coached by Adam Gase, and this is no different. Stay away.
2. New England Patriots
Drafting Patriots running backs outside of James White is a crapshoot most seasons, but with Tom Brady gone it’s hard to trust even White. Don’t touch Sony Michel and his degenerative knee condition with a ten foot pole and while Damien Harris has sleeper potential, there are far too many question marks surrounding this offense, even with Cam Newton now at the helm, to take the plunge. Don’t do it.
1. Denver Broncos
Denver’s backfield was already crowded last season with Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman (it was no picnic trying to guess the week one of these guys was going to go off), but with the Broncos inexplicably adding Melvin Gordon through free agency in the off-season, Denver’s is easily the most crowded in the NFL. No bueno.
We’ll continue to update this list weekly throughout the off-season, so refer back frequently.