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The Ultimate Fantasy Football Guide to Running Backs (2021)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Aug 25, 2021

I’ve already delved into the exciting world of wide receivers, so today, I’m tackling fantasy football’s favorite position – running backs. I’ll provide my favorite sleepers, players to avoid, must-have targets, draft strategy, and rankings with notes to round out this guide. Let’s get right to it!

The Ultimate Fantasy Football Guide to Wide Receivers 

Rankings and Notes

If you’re looking for my complete RB rankings, you can find them here. In this article, I’ve included the best of the best – my top-24 RBs with notes:


Must-have targets: Austin Ekeler, Darrell Henderson, Mike Davis, Javonte Williams, James Robinson

Players to avoid at ADP: Chase Edmonds, Michael Carter, Ronald Jones, David Johnson, David Montgomery

Sleepers: Damien Harris, Phillip Lindsay, Tarik Cohen, Jerick McKinnon, Malcolm Brown, Kenneth Gainwell, Trey Sermon


I’m a firm believer in snagging at least two running backs with my first three picks. I prefer to go RB/RB/WR or RB/TE/RB. In the first build, I load up on the two best available backs in the first two rounds and draft around this core. In the second build, I grab the best available back, snag an elite TE, then circle back for another RB in the third round.

In either case, I like to focus my attention on the RB position because there is a clear drop-off after the first 12-15 and a noticeable drop-off after the top-25. There are plenty of viable WRs available into the final rounds of fantasy drafts, but if you wait until Rounds 4 or 5 to draft your first RB, you’ll be up a certain creek without a paddle. Build a strong core of RBs early, and never look back.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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