NFL’s Top 5 Running Backs Heading into 2020

Written by on June 18, 2020

NFL’s Top 5 Running Backs Heading into 2020

By: Joe Borek (@jjborek26)

 

1. Christian McCaffrey

This man is just unfair for opposing defenses. He can run the ball as well as he can catch the ball, leading to frustrating any defense in his path. The proof is in the pudding. His numbers last season were off the charts. McCaffrey had 1,387 rushing yards last year, but that’s not all. On top of that, he had 1,005 receiving yards adding up to 2,392 yards from scrimmage. This man could be a receiver for a few weeks if you need due to injuries then go right back to his regular job as the best two-way back (catching combined with running) in the league. He also has a new, more proven QB in Teddy Bridgewater coming in this season, who at very least is a great game managing quarterback. Of course, I mean more proven compared to Kyle Allen, not Cam Newton. Lastly, McCaffrey, just like Elliott, Barkley, and others, is a jack of all trades who just so happens after last years’ stellar season, to for now at least separated himself some from the rest of the pack. Below McCaffrey can be seen torching other defenses in a highlight reel from last season.

2. Ezekiel Elliott

First, I must say get well soon. As many know, Elliot was one to come down with Covid-19, but per reports is doing well. Now on to his big-time career. Once you get to number two through four on the list, it gets to a toss-up between Barkley Elliott, and Henry. Henry, of course, being the pounding downhill runner style whereas said above, Elliott just like Barkley and McCaffrey, is a jack of all trades. Moreover, he is a hair notch above the other two backs, therefore, landing him second place on the list. When Elliott goes good, the Cowboys go good, including who they hope to be their QB Dak Prescott still. Prescott plays above average to good when Zeke is in compared to when he is out he plays more similar to a later round pick or average QB. However, we have to remember their offense is designed not to run just through Dak. It’s; designed to make Zeke a major factor to then take away defensive eyes from others; therefore, opening up the field. Well, for a guy who had 1,357 rushing yards and 420 receiving yards, that’s a great motto to have as an offense and one that new coach Mike McCarthy should look to keep around. Highlights of Elliott’s spot in 2019 can be seen below.

3. Derrick Henry

Normally, I tend to have a bias for two-way backs; however, that is not the case here. Henry put the Titans on his back last season. Yes, Ryan Tannehill helped that revive as well turning into one of the games’ best game managers last year, only throwing six interceptions to 22 touchdowns. Let’s face it though, we all know who the catalyst of that offense was, and that’s Derrick Henry, who runs like a bus coming right at you. Henry could not be stopped last season, amassing 1,500 rushing yards with 1,540 to be exact leading Henry to the NFL rushing title. So yes, normally, I do have a bias towards backs that catch it and run it with the best of them, but Henry is a different breed of a bruising back. Plus, he also shows he can snag the ball some as well when needed in the video below. As long Henry can stay healthy, he is going to continue to wreak havoc on most if not all in his path, leading to more rushing titles in his future. Henry can be seen running through defenses like their Swiss cheese down below in his 2019 highlight reel with a top-notch tune in the background.

4. Saquon Barkley

Barkley is another jack of all trades and generational talent. The only thing that could keep him from being the best he could be is the Giants O-Line plus, Daniel Jones staying pat rather than showing progress. No matter what, Barkley is going to put up remarkable numbers. All I’m saying is, as an overall fan, it would be nice to see just how nasty his stats would be if the Giants were also set to compete as a whole. Barkley last season while playing with a declining Eli, who is now a great follow on twitter, and Daniel Jones, who needs to control his fumbles then is set, was still elite.  The only reason he is fourth on the list is the uncertainty of the Giants and how long Jones will take to limit turnovers, therefore potentially bringing Barkley’s stats below the three above. Although just a notch below. Barkley had 1,003 rushing yards last season with 438 receiving yards to pile on top of it, giving him 1,441 yards from scrimmage. Keep in mind that it is in a year. His team was, to say the least, in a state of figuring things out. Barkley can be seen destroying opposing defenses in the highlight reel below.

5. Chris Carson

Carson, a former 7th round pick, compared to all first-round selections mentioned above, has earned the right to be mentioned in this conversation. He has continued to get better and better each year, working his tail off to make his way all the way up from the bottom. After only playing some in 2017, Carson was set loose in 2018 and ran 1,151 yards to then surpass that mark this season with 1,230 yards. He also had a combined 429 receiving yards the last two years improving in that category as well last season. All Carson has to do is stay healthy and maybe, get talked about more other than just among fantasy owners. If he can stay healthy, with his continued improvement each season, Carson could look to challenge one of our top four backs for their position on the list next year. Carson has become a true steal for the Seahawks, and I am here to tell you there is likely more to come. He is entering his third season starting this year, which is usually when we usually see highly talented backs take off. Carson is one of those players who is going to surpass 1,000 yards consistently, in my opinion, as long as he can stay healthy, with next season set up to be his best campaign yet potentially. Below Carson can be seen creating nightmares for his opponents as they try to bring him down.

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