The top 24 scoring RB’s in 2019 contains a lot of the names that you would expect, (in this article we will look at 13-24) but how did they get there? We take a look at how they performed, and their outlook for 2020.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to use the scoring in the default version of the Stats Database (0.5 PPR). That is available in our shop. Remember if you want to chat about any of the player values for next year- reach out! You can find us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #13 Joe Mixon
Rushing Stats: 278 att, 1,137 yards, 5 TDs
Receiving Stats: 35 recs, 287 yards, 3 TDs
Mixon‘s impressive season is even more impressive when you consider just how bad the Bengals were last season. They had one of the worst offensive lines, but Mixon was able to overcome that handicap.
2020 Outlook: Mixon is a great selection for owners next season. I believe that his floor is what we saw last season, and if the offense is able to improve with the return of A.J. Green and the expected drafting of Joe Burrow, then he could have a top-10 ceiling.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #14 Todd Gurley
Rushing Stats: 223 att, 857 yards, 12 TDs
Receiving Stats: 31 recs, 207 yards, 2 TDs
Gurley‘s ability to play this season was the biggest talking point last offseason. It had people scrambling to take Darrell Henderson in the mid-rounds. However, that wasn’t to be. Gurley played the majority of the season, but in a season where the Rams stalled Gurley wasn’t able to impose himself on the league as in previous seasons.
2020 Outlook: Gurley has now been released by the Rams, and signed by Atlanta. Gurley should be a great fit for the Falcons offense and will be the lead back. That offense combined with the talent of Gurley means that a top 10 finish is a realistic outcome, barring injury.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #15 Miles Sanders
Rushing Stats: 179 att, 818 yards, 3 TDs
Receiving Stats: 50 recs, 509 yards, 3 TDs
Sanders was given the starting reigns right at the start of the season but was unable to be effective. However, he bounced back mid-season and became an important part of the Eagles offense.
2020 Outlook: If there was one area that Sanders was unable to succeed in, it would be in goal-line work. However, with the departure of Jordan Howard, that role is up for grabs.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #16 Kenyan Drake
Rushing Stats: 170 att, 817 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving Stats: 50 recs, 345 yards
Kenyan Drake, the forgotten man. After struggling to make an impact in Miami, he was traded to Arizona midway through the season. Drake then soon made the starting role his, with David Johnson struggling to be effective on the field.
2020 Outlook: Drake has been brought back by the team for next season, and Johnson has been shipped out of town. That means that Drake is likely to be given the starting job next season- something that was valuable in Arizona last season.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #17 Josh Jacobs
Rushing Stats: 242 att, 1,150 yards, 7 TDs
Receiving Stats: 20 recs, 166 yards
Jacobs‘ rookie season was great. Despite only playing 13 games, he was able to finish solidly as an RB2, and he had the most forced missed tackles behind a great offensive line.
2020 Outlook: Jacobs was fully trusted on the ground to move the chains, but wasn’t entrusted with the passing game opportunities which continued to go to Jalen Richard. Jacobs has the skillset to be a three-down back, but until the team uses him like that his value will be capped.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #18 Le’Veon Bell
Rushing Stats: 245 att, 789 yards, 3 TDs
Receiving Stats: 66 recs, 461 yards, 1 TD
Bell certainly didn’t live up to the fantasy heights he did in previous seasons for the Steelers, with no big performances last season. However, the volume that he was able to get in the offense meant that he was a consistent finisher.
2020 Outlook: Bell gets a significant volume in the New York Jets offense, but he is unable to be the same efficient runner he was in Pittsburgh. There have been strong rumors that he will be on a different team next season, but his volume should mean that he is a safe RB2 for this season.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #19 Phillip Lindsay
Rushing Stats: 224 att, 1,011 yards, 7 TDs
Receiving Stats: 36 recs, 196 yards
Lindsay returned to Earth after breaking out as a great value in the previous season. The biggest block to his value in games was his fellow running back Royce Freeman, who broke into the rotation.
2020 Outlook: The Broncos are in rebuild mode, but potentially coming out of the other side of it- at least on offense. Lindsay is a big part of the offense, but now with Melvin Gordon in town, Lindsay may find himself being sidelined.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #20 Marlon Mack
Rushing Stats: 247 att, 1,091 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving Stats: 14 recs, 82 yards
Mack became the lead RB for the Colts in a season that felt like it was pulled together in a hurry. After Andrew Luck retired, the team had a big hole to fill. Mack was an effective runner behind one of the league’s best offensive lines, without much competition.
2020 Outlook: Mack‘s lack of competition in the backfield means that he is likely to be given a decent workload. And with Philip Rivers now signed to play next season, expect plenty of dump-offs out of the backfield. Mack could be a great value for next season.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #21 Devonta Freeman
Rushing Stats: 184 att, 656 yards, 2 TDs
Receiving Stats: 59 recs, 410 yards, 4 TDs
The Atlanta Falcons season was almost de-railed from the start. The team invested heavily in their offensive line but didn’t see the benefits last season. Freeman was a major casualty of that poor unit, being stuffed in the backfield often. That led to his low rushing production in the year.
2020 Outlook: Freeman is currently without a team, having been released by Atlanta. However, based on his last season he still has the ability to be an effective RB. Depending on his landing spot he could be an effective RB2 for 2020.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #22 Melvin Gordon
Rushing Stats: 162 att, 612 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving Stats: 42 recs, 296 yards, 1 TD
Outside of Gurley‘s fitness, the other big talking point was Gordon‘s holdout. Once he returned to the team he took a bit of time to get up and running, but then was a borderline RB1/2.
2020 Outlook: Gordon has been picked up by the Denver Broncos, likely destroying the value of at least one of the RBs on that roster (most likely Royce Freeman). Gordon should walk into a major role in that offense, which started to have success at the end of the season.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #23 James White
Rushing Stats: 67 att, 263 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Stats: 72 recs, 645 yards, 5 TDs
White has long been a confusing running back because he rarely has a significant amount of rushing production. and 2019 was no different. White operated as a check-down option for Tom Brady, while Sony Michel took the majority of the backfield touches.
2020 Outlook: White has had value as a check-down option for his quarterback since he entered the league. However, with Brady out of the fold in New England, his value is up in the air until the new QB is known. If that new QB is mobile, then White‘s value will decrease significantly.
2019 Top 24 RB’s 13-24: #24 Raheem Mostert
Rushing Stats: 137 att, 772 yards, 8 TDs
Receiving Stats: 14 recs, 180 yards, 2 TDs
Mostert managed to sneak into the top 24, as part of a huge timeshare that the 49ers operated for the majority of the season. Mostert ultimately won the job towards the end of the season and in that time was a fantastic running back to own.
2020 Outlook: Mostert‘s outlook really depends on his ability to get a lions share of the touches out of the backfield. Or at least how much of the touches he will be able to get given the volume that the 49ers rush the ball
And that concludes our review on running backs from 2019. Stay tuned as we look at the wide receiver position next!
Image Credit Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports