Knowing the transition from college to the NFL is easiest at running back, it’s vital to keep rookie running backs top-of-mind as you head into your drafts. Without proven NFL track records there is certainly risk in drafting rookie running backs; not knowing how their game will translate or how they will fit into an existing backfield. Because these players usually aren’t household names though it’s possible to find extra value, especially when drafting against less savvy fantasy GMs. So roll the dice and check out our top 5 rookie running backs for 2020.
5. Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ke’Shawn Vaughn is basically just a guy. Vaughn’s lack of talent or athleticism should excite no-one, not to mention the fact that he is coming into the season as the ‘Bucks backup behind Ronald Jones. What gives Vaughn value though is Jones’ own mediocrity. Jones has done little in two seasons in Tampa Bay and being a particularly poor pass-protector, he could be one missed block away from riding the proverbial pine, making Vaughn the starter. Yawn.
4. J.K. Dobbins
Dobbins will start the season as the handcuff to Mark Ingram, and while the talented running back could still offer standalone value, should something happen to Ingram, Dobbins would become a top-5, league winning running back. Those guys don’t grow on trees, making Dobbins a worthwhile gamble midway through your fantasy drafts.
3. D’Andre Swift
Not even Swift knows his role going into the 2020 football season but hopefully this will become more clear as the season approaches. At this point it is probable that Swift will share backfield work with Kerryon Johnson, and behind a rebuilt Lions offensive line, that could still yield value as a consistent RB2/FLEX play.
2. Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor is a talented running back but he is not without question marks due to the heavy workload he received while at Wisconsin and the crowded Colts backfield in which he may be sharing touches with Marlon Mack and Neyhiem Hines. Still, he’s easily the most talented Colts running back and with his second round draft capital, the job is his to lose.
1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Kansas City Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Haire is a dominant three-down back who is sure to become the starter in the high octane Chiefs offense. There is some early season risk with former starter Damien Williams still on the roster, but teams don’t draft running backs in the first round if they don’t intend to use them, so draft Edwards-Helaire with confidence.