Running back is the most position to get right in your fantasy team. You can find a late round Wide Receiver or Quarterback, but finding a pair of bell cow running backs is the key. Because you’re trying to find the guys that will get 20-25 touches every game, they tend to break down quicker than the other positions. Forecasting wear and tear is far from an exact science, but there are some rules to follow. Guys over the age of 30 rarely perform at an elite level. Once the soft tissue injuries start, they tend to hang around. And touchdown dependent backs normally regress the following seasons. But like all fantasy football rankings, RB included, tiers matter.
The running back position keeps evolving at the NFL level, and knowing your league’s scoring system is imperative. A guy like Austin Ekeler with the Chargers has way more value in PPR formats vs. non-PPR formats. For the most part, guys don’t get 25 carries a game any more. Even a talented back like Ezekiel Elliot in Dallas split carries with a solid backup just a year after signing a massive contract.
Each of the last 9 top performing running backs in fantasy fit within a very specific framework. They were 25 years-old or younger, drafted in the top-12 ADP, and haven’t been back-to-back since 2007. Taking those data points, there are only 4 players to fit within that criteria. Najee Harris, DeAndre Swift, Saquon Barkley, and Jevonte Williams. I am not saying take these guys as your top 4 picks, but if it’s close then lean with one of these guys. Here are the fantasy football RB rankings by tier.