- Cleveland Browns
Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, John Kelly, Johnny Stanton
No running back tandem is as good as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Fact. Behind them, D’Ernest Johnson has been on the Browns for two seasons, and has not yet dipped below 5 yards per carry. The Browns have hands down the best running backs in the NFL.
- Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon, Giovanni Bernard, Samaje Perine, Trayveon Williams, Jaques Patrick
Even though Chubb and Hunt are the most dominant duo, there has to be something said for the healthy combo of Mixon and Bernard. Samaje Perine was also a very strong player and has been sneaky good for every team he has been on. My big worry with this team is Mixon’s health, but hopefully that gets better in 2021.
- Detroit Lions
D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, Kerryon Johnson
D’Andre Swift is going to go berzerk in 2021, I am talking being in contention for the rushing yards champion in 2021. Jamaal Williams and Kerryon Johnson make up the best backup backfield in football, which is going to create an amazing complement for Swift.
- Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Jalen Richard, Theo Riddick
Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake. Think about that. If Kenyan Drake gets back to 2019 form that could take over Hunt-Chubb as the nastiest combo in the NFL. My big worry would be injury risk, let’s just say that Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick are not the future at all.
- Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Jake Bargas
Similar comments to the Raiders, I love the Cook-Mattison tandem but Jake Bargas has to be one of the most underwhelming backup running backs in football. If Dalvin Cook was not one of the best running backs in football, the VIkings would be much lower on this list.
- New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Dwayne Washington, Ty Montgomery, Tony Jones Jr.
It kind of helped out New Orleans to have the best running back in football. Latavius Murray is the most average running back I can think of, and is perfectly suited for the backup running back role. One other side note is that I am very surprised at how quickly Ty Montgomery has fallen off since he was a star at Green Bay. I get that he has gotten worse in his career and he has made stupid plays, but this is a pretty dramatic falloff.
- Tennessee Titans
Derrick Henry, Jeremy McNichols, Khari Blasingame, D’Onta Foreman, Darrynton Evans
Derrick Henry is part of the Henry-Kamara-Cook Godhead of NFL running backs right now, but the backup situation is pretty rough. Or is it? The Titans are hiding a very sneaky talent, the Boise State University running back Jeremy McNichols, who has been bouncing around many teams since his career’s inception. McNichols has the potential to be a beast, and if he were on almost any other team I would expect a Raheem Mostert-like comeback. Watch out for Jeremy McNichols, he is easily the most underrated backup in any position in football.
- Baltimore Ravens
J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Ty’Son Williams
J.K. Dobbins needed time to emerge, but he was great down the stretch as Mark Ingram started to fade into the ether. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill make up an excellent backup running back core. I will be honest I am not super well versed on Ty’Son Williams, but there are so many good players in front of him that it really does not matter.
- Indianapolis Colts
Jonathan Taylor, Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Darius Anderson, Benny LeMay, Paul Perkins
Sign me up! The Colts fit the mold of every running back playing a very specific role that while it may not entail stardom, it means each player strengthens the team in a very unique way. If you think about it, not many other teams do that as well at RB as the Indianapolis Colts.
- Green Bay Packers
Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Patrick Taylor Jr., Dexter Williams, Mike Weber
Thank God that the Packers opted to re-sign Aaron Jones because that offense absolutely relies on him. A.J. Dillon could be an upcoming young star, but I doubt that he will ever eclipse the greatness of Jones. I suspect that the Packers are going to sorely miss Jamaal Williams.
- Washington Football Team
Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Peyton Barber, Bryce Love, Lamar Miller, Jonathan Williams, Michael Warren, Javon Leake
Dang they are so deep at this position. It’s kind of insane. Even going all the way back to their fifth back (Jonathan Williams) you can see talent and skill at the running back position; Antonio Gibson is a favorite of NFLHeads stats master John Paul, and Peyton Barber has shown he can at least be a 1B back.
- Philadelphia Eagles
Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Jason Huntley, Elijah Holyfield, Adrian Killins Jr.
It’s not that I dislike Miles Sanders, I actually enjoyed him quite a lot when he entered the league, but in the recent past I just find him to be kind of a dull watch. Unfortunately he is all that the running game has, Boston Scott is more of an offensive utility player, and everybody behind those two is nothing but a bag of spoons.
- Seattle Seahawks
Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas, Patrick Carr, Alex Collins
By pure talent alone this is a top 5 group. However, Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, and Alex Collins have all experienced pretty major injury concerns, especially Carson who oh by the way is the starter. The Seahawks desperately need a healthy running back in their backfield.
- Houston Texans
David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, Mark Ingram, Buddy Howell, Scottie Phillips
Please do not get excited about this group because of the three big names. Phillip Lindsay is a young talent, but he has experienced a rather sudden drop off since his prolific rookie season in 2018. David Johnson is a shell of his former self and Mark Ingram was drafted back in the stone age. After that, Buddy Howell and Scottie Phillips are a couple of backups that really don’t need attention.
- Chicago Bears
David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce
This group has no depth, and Tarik Cohen seems to be eternally injured. I actually do like David Montgomery as a starting running back, but he can’t carry the load as a three down back, and the drop off from Cohen to Ryan Nall is extremely startling.
- Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliot, Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle, Sewo Olonilua
What happened to Zeke? Ezekiel Elliot had a massive downer season with the Cowboys, but then again so did every player on the Cowboys roster. It is always possible that Tony Pollard could have a massive breakout season, but it seems quite unlikely considering how many resources the Cowboys have already sunk into their star RB.
- San Francisco 49ers
Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, JaMycal Hasty, Austin Walter, Josh Hokit
It’s pretty much impossible to rank the Niners backfield because every week they bring in some random new talent to get massive yardage and touches. I would not be surprised at all if we are talking about Josh Hokit as the next Adrian Peterson in week 7.
- Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley, Darius Bradwell
I think we all collectively got a little too excited about Josh Kelley when Ekeler got injured, so let’s not forget that he and Justin Jackson are indeed backups. Austin Ekeler is a great player, and if he gets injured his backups can carry the load well enough.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Jones II, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, C.J. Prosise
I get that every human ever is a massive fan of Ronald Jones, but depth is an extremely bad issue with this backfield. Ke’Shawn Vaughn has not exactly been the Mark Ingram backup that the Bucs would want, and C.J. Prosise is C.J. Prosise.
Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, Taiwan Jones, Antonio Williams, Christian Wade
The Bills have good depth, but not too good skill. Singletary and Moss have the potential to be a one two punch but he is not quite there yet. Behind them. Taiwan Jones is a good special teams player, which is not something that helps you offensively
- Jacksonville Jaguars
James Robinson, Ryquell Armstead, Carlos Hyde, Dare Ogunbowale, Devine Ozigbo, Nathan Cottrell
The last surprise undrafted rookie star at RB is currently a backup on the Houston Texans, which gives me pause about James Robinson. There is also no depth behind him, Ryquell Armstead and Carlos Hyde are not worthy backup running backs.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson, Derrick Gore
Edwards-Helaire is probably the best of the 2020 rookie running back class, but with the cutting of Damien Williams there is no depth behind CEH. Darrel Williams makes boneheaded plays and had a drop in the Super Bowl, and Darwin Thompson is certainly not the best backup ever.
- Los Angeles Rams
Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Calais Raymond
The Rams have a good one two punch with Akers and Henderson, but Darrell Henderson is one of the most overrated running backs in football.
- Denver Broncos
Melvin Gordon III, Royce Freeman, Mike Boone, LeVante Bellamy, Damarea Crockett
Melvin Gordon and Royce Freeman feel like a B level Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, thus justifying their position under the Los Angeles Rams. Mike Boone just barely got signed, and Levante Bellamy is a nobody.
- Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey, Rodney Smith, Reggie Bonnafon, Trenton Cannon, Darius Clark
Christian McCaffrey is overhyped, and he is constantly injured. While he is still of course elite, it became kind of ridiculous how many people liked Mike Davis, who was rather terrible in comparison even for a backup. Now the Panthers have downgraded even more with Rodney Smith
- New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, Devontae Booker, Elijhaa Penny, Jordan Chunn, Taquan Mizzell
A similar argument exists with the Giants, Barkley has spent the majority of the last two years injured, and Devontae Booker is much more of a special teams player than a contributor in the run game.
- Miami Dolphins
Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, Salvon Ahmed, Patrick Laird, Jordan Scarlett
Myles Gaskin by all rights should be sitting in a fourth seed with some random seed, but he rose to power after the experiments of Matt Breida and Jordan Howard both collapsed. Gaskin did pretty good, but is not what you’d call a bona fide starter. The depth is shaky, Malcolm Brown has been an eternal average backup and Salvon Ahmed is an unproven back who showed moments in very selective spots.
- New England Patriots
Sony Michel, Damien Harris, Jakob Johnson, J.J. Taylor
This roster sucks for running backs. It really, really sucks. Sony Michel and Damien H stirth) than either of these backs. This is a huge position of need for the New England Patriots.
- Arizona Cardinals
Chase Edmonds, Jonathan Ward, Eno Benjamin, D.J. Foster, Khalfani Muhammad
Please do not misunderstand my placement of Arizona to mean I do not like Chase Edmonds. In my writing I have actually come out as one of the bigger Edmonds supporters, but he simply cannot carry the load alone, he is too inconsistent.
- Atlanta Falcons
Ito Smith, Qadree Ollison, Tony Brooks-James
Ito Smith has worse injury issues than almost any starter on this list, and is not even a three down starter when he is healthy. Teams should keep him around for depth to be sure, but another talented running back needs to be brought in to either play alongside him or start over him.
- New York Jets
LaMical Perine, Ty Johnson, Josh Adams, Pete Guerrerio
No. No no. Bad idea. The Jets are slated to start LaMical Perine if they stick to their current course. Perine was awful for the Jets, they cannot possibly be thinking of making him the starter. Aside from him, I kind of like Ty Johnson and Josh Adams, but they are just high end backups.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr.
There is nobody on this team that the Steelers should even consider elevating to the starting role