Mike Tagliere’s Early Top-10 Running Back Rankings (2021 Fantasy Football)
We’ve turned the calendar to June, and that means fantasy football draft season is just around the corner. Mike Tagliere is here to offer his early top-10 running back rankings for half-PPR leagues.
Christian McCaffrey (CAR)
There have been 109 running back performances that have netted 25-plus half-PPR points over the last two years. Despite missing essentially the whole 2020 season, McCaffrey has accounted for 9.2 percent of them. He's somehow managed to score 25-plus points in 10 of his last 19 games, and has scored fewer than 19 fantasy points in just two of them. He's basically posting quarterback numbers as a running back. He should be the No. 1 pick in 2021 drafts.
Alvin Kamara (NO)
You won't find a bigger Kamara fan than me, and that's going back to his college days. However, with the way Sean Payton rotates his running backs, it's going to be mighty hard for Kamara to live up to his draft cost now that Drew Brees is gone. Brees targeted his running backs at least 28 percent of the time in each of the last four years. Meanwhile, Jameis Winston hasn't targeted running backs more than 18 percent of the time in each of his last four seasons as a starter. The offense is also not nearly as likely to be scoring as many points without Brees.
Najee Harris (PIT)
Running backs are at their prime when they enter the NFL, which makes them the most valuable their rookie season, unlike quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends. Because of that, Harris, who takes over as the Steelers' lead back, is someone you want to have on your roster. The Steelers are a team that hasn't been shy about giving running backs 18-plus touches per game with Mike Tomlin at the helm. You don't draft a three-down back like Harris in the first round and put him in some timeshare. I wouldn't be surprised to see him average 20-plus touches per game, which puts him smack dab in the middle of the RB1 conversation.
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