Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

Stud Running Backs You Should Worry About in 2020

The 2020 fantasy football season is going to be unlike any other. With 2020 being such a volatile year and knowing the risks of playing fantasy in a year where any player could be shut down for weeks if they test positive for COVID, I am looking to take as few risks as possible early on.

In fact, I have detailed my fantasy strategy for this season, and it is all about building a safe base in the early rounds and then chasing upside later. But there are a number of RBs that go early that do come with larger concerns than others. The bust factor is something that very much needs to be considered when targeting players in the early rounds.

There are three running backs that are all going off the board as RB2 that come with a lot of bust potential, all for different reasons. I am not saying I will flat out not draft these players, but I do think you have to consider the bust factor before doing so.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

Carson is an RB that is always undervalued when healthy. He simply just puts up RB1 numbers when he’s on the field. The issue is he has not been able to stay healthy for long. Carson finished as the RB12 last season and the RB15 the year prior, all while never having played 16 games in his career. Carson’s rookie season was cut short when he fractured his ankle. Carson missed time in 2018 due to a hip sprain and left another game later that season due to a hip injury. The scariest injury occurred last season, when Carson fractured his hip. It forced him to miss the final game of the regular season and the playoffs. He did not have surgery on the hip, rather choosing to rehab in the offseason.

The Seahawks are saying all good things about Carson and his hip (would you expect anything less from Pete Carroll?). But they did go out and sign an insurance option in Carlos Hyde (and were in talks with Devonta Freeman too). If we see a healthy Carson in the preseason and he is back to looking like himself then you will not have much to worry about. But, just knowing the amount of injuries that have plagued Carson during his NFL career and that he is coming off of a very severe injury is enough for me to include him as a potential bust. Especially when you add in that he goes in the third round on average but sneaks into the second round at times. That is a lofty price to pay for a back coming off a severe injury. Carson is included here because of injury, not talent or his performance. You don’t have to avoid him completely, but just know that you’ve been warned!

Here is what RotoBaller’s own Physical Therapist, Aaron Burger, says about Carson’s hip:

“It was actually reported as a hip fracture, which would be a serious concern, but Pete Carroll came out and said that he avoided a fracture as well as surgery. Within that hip there is a ball and socket joint, there's also a labrum which is a cartilaginous ring which helps to keep the ball in the socket. He could have injured that if there wasn't a fracture, but the fact that he didn't have surgery is definitely promising. His injury concerns through the years are actually a little bit more serious to me given his running style. The fact that he's had any type of injury to that hip increases the chances that he could have arthritis there sooner than someone that didn't have a hip injury.”

Speaking of concerns with arthritis…


Todd Gurley II, Atlanta Falcons

Gurley has been my favorite player basically since he entered the NFL. I drafted him as a rookie in my favorite home league and was able to keep him throughout his historic run. In another league, I traded a still-in-his-prime AP for a rookie Gurley and rode him ever since. We won titles together, I own a Gurley player shirt, and I can’t tell you how many great fantasy memories he’s given me. Last year was the first season I threw him back in each of those leagues and I was fearful I would regret it. But the Gurley we saw last year was a shell of his former self.

Gurley averaged just 14.6 PPR PPG last season after averaging 26.6 the year prior. The only year he fared worse was the Jeff Fisher-ruined season of 2016. But history states that last year was the beginning of the end for Gurley. His decrease of 12 fantasy PPG from one season to the next was a huge drop-off. Since 2000, no player has had a decrease in PPG that large and ever averaged 15 fantasy PPG in a season again. Only three times had a player ever averaged over 10 fantasy PPG again.

Could Gurley once again rewrite the history books like we saw him do routinely during that historic run? Maybe. But I am not sure that version of Gurley exists anymore. His knee clearly hampered him last season as his efficiency as both a runner and receiver decreased. He saw massive decreases in his targets, receptions and receiving yards. In fact, so much of what salvaged his season last year was the 14 touchdowns he scored. Gurley scored 38 percent of his fantasy points last year off touchdowns. That is an insanely high number. In fact, it was the highest of all RBs who finished inside the top 65 fantasy RBs. A Falcons RB has not scored 14 touchdowns since Devonta Freeman did so in 2015.

Spending an early pick and hoping that Gurley’s decrease in production was more about the Rams and not his arthritic knee is something I just can’t get myself to do. We had a great run Gurley, but I will be avoiding you this season. And just know, it’s not me, it’s you.


Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

Here is a running back that I fully expected to be all over this season. He finished as the RB7 last year despite scoring just three touchdowns. I expected positive touchdown regression and was hopeful the rest of his usage would remain the same. But I do not expect that to be the case this season.

First, the Jags have a new offensive coordinator in Jay Gruden. His offenses have finished in the top-15 in the NFL in rushing touchdowns in just three of nine NFL seasons. That is definitely concerning if you are relying on a bounce-back in touchdowns. Another reason why Gruden is scary to me - throughout his NFL career, his offenses have become more pass-reliant. In his tenure with the Redskins, it was a 60/40 split in favor of passing. When you consider that the Jaguars are expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL, you would rightfully expect them to trail often and therefore have to throw more.

During his time with the Bengals and Redskins he only once had an RB top 200 PPR points and that was Gio Bernard in 2013. Under Gruden, no running back has rushed for 1,100 yards. That is scary for Fournette. Additionally, last season Fournette had 100 targets and 76 catches. Fournette supporters are anticipating him to remain heavily used in the passing game but I cannot get behind that. Gruden has never had an RB top 55 catches. That could be because Chris Thompson just couldn’t stay healthy in Washington.

Thompson had at least 54 targets in each of the last four seasons under Gruden. He’s had 35 or more catches in each of the last five seasons. That is all with Thompson playing 11 games or fewer in the past three seasons. So, we know Thompson is a favorite of Gruden. I think Thompson was brought here because of Gruden and I expect Thompson to be utilized in the passing game and eat into Fournette’s work. It is also very possible we see Laviska Shenault Jr. catch some passes out of the backfield. As you can see there is a lot to worry about with Fournette here. And that is before you even consider that they were rumored to be shopping him and the fact that he may be one off the field incident away from the Jags moving on. To me, the risks greatly outweigh the reward here.

Here is a thread on Fournette that breaks down how many touchdowns he would need to score to make up for the loss of targets. I did so to figure out what he would need to finish as the RB7 (last year’s production) and as the RB15 (his FFPC ADP).

Who are RBs that you are afraid will bust this season? Make sure to hit me up on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio and let me know!

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts


Steven Kwan1 hour ago

Plates Five In Win Over Seattle
Tee Higgins9 hours ago

Not Concerned About Contract Situation
Jeff Skinner9 hours ago

Scores Game-Winning Goal In Overtime
Devon Levi9 hours ago

Earns Victory In NHL Debut
A.J. Puk11 hours ago

Picks Up Save For Marlins Friday
Rhys Hoskins11 hours ago

Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery
Nick Solak11 hours ago

Mariners Acquire Nick Solak From Reds
Justin Verlander11 hours ago

Does Some Throwing On Friday
Justin Verlander11 hours ago

Does Some Light Throwing
Luis Urías11 hours ago

Luis Urias Reportedly Heading To Injured List
Joey Wiemer12 hours ago

Reportedly Will Be Called Up
Anthony Rendon12 hours ago

Being Investigated By MLB
Willson Contreras12 hours ago

Receives Good News On Friday
Seattle Seahawks13 hours ago

Ryan Neal Becomes Free Agent
Pharaoh Brown14 hours ago

Joins Colts
Darrynton Evans14 hours ago

To Meet With Colts
Laquon Treadwell14 hours ago

Working Out For Cowboys
Zach Collins14 hours ago

Out Against Golden State
De'Andre Hunter14 hours ago

Out With A Knee Injury On Friday
Oscar Gonzalez14 hours ago

Starting On Friday
Obi Toppin14 hours ago

Will Start Against The Cavs
Jarrett Allen14 hours ago

Downgraded To Out On Friday
Nelson Cruz15 hours ago

Batting Cleanup On Friday
Mike Moustakas15 hours ago

Remains Out Again
Michael Brantley15 hours ago

Takes Batting Practice
Andrew Vaughn15 hours ago

Sitting On Friday
Gavin Sheets17 hours ago

Oscar Colas Starting On Friday
Paul Sewald17 hours ago

Picks Up Win On Opening Day
Garrett Whitlock17 hours ago

Making Rehab Start Friday
Josh Rojas17 hours ago

Hitting Leadoff Against Dodgers
Corey Julks17 hours ago

Making MLB Debut Against White Sox
Bryan Reynolds17 hours ago

Opt-Out Clause The Sticking Point For Bryan Reynolds Extension
Portland Trail Blazers17 hours ago

LaMarcus Aldridge Officially Retires From The NBA
Jamal Murray18 hours ago

Considered Questionable Against Phoenix
Nikola Jokic18 hours ago

Could Miss His Second Consecutive Game
Kenyon Martin18 hours ago

Jr. Uncertain To Play Against Detroit
Tobias Harris18 hours ago

Could Miss Friday's Game Against Toronto
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander18 hours ago

Upgraded To Questionable On Friday
Al Horford18 hours ago

Uncertain To Suit Up On Friday
Jaylen Brown18 hours ago

Tagged As Questionable With Lower-Back Pain
Jayson Tatum18 hours ago

Listed As Questionable Against Utah
Kelly Olynyk18 hours ago

Is Available Against Boston On Friday
De'Andre Hunter18 hours ago

Downgraded To Out On Friday
Trayveon Williams20 hours ago

Bengals Have High Hopes For Trayveon Williams
Joe Burrow20 hours ago

Bengals Begin Extension Discussions With Joe Burrow
Mac Jones20 hours ago

Bill Belichick Still Non-Committal On Mac Jones
Sammy Blais22 hours ago

Extends Point Streak To Six Games
Cam Talbot22 hours ago

Makes A Winning Return
Matthew Beniers22 hours ago

Logs Two Points Against Anaheim
Stuart Skinner22 hours ago

Grabs A 43-Save Shutout
Tristan Jarry23 hours ago

Records His Second Shutout
Matthew Tkachuk23 hours ago

Rolls To Four Points Versus Montreal
T.J. Oshie23 hours ago

Exits With An Upper-Body Injury
Mikey Anderson23 hours ago

Injured On First Shift Thursday
CJ McCollum23 hours ago

Drops 23 Points In Easy Win Over Denver
Jamal Murray23 hours ago

Salvages Solid Performance In Loss
Brandon Ingram24 hours ago

Secures A Triple-Double Against Denver
Jaylen Brown24 hours ago

Collects Another 30-Point Game
Jayson Tatum1 day ago

Drops 40 Points In Blowout Win
Naz Reid1 day ago

Set To Miss Significant Amount Of Time
Linus Ullmark1 day ago

Allows One Goal In Overtime Victory
David Pastrnak1 day ago

Scores Game-Winning Goal
Baltimore Ravens2 days ago

Ravens Have Been Active In Receiver Market
Baker Mayfield2 days ago

Kyle Trask To Compete In Training Camp
Courtland Sutton2 days ago

Broncos Could Still Trade Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton
DeAndre Hopkins2 days ago

To Stay With Cardinals?
Odell Beckham Jr.2 days ago

Jets The Most Likely Landing Spot For Odell Beckham Jr.
Carolina Panthers2 days ago

Panthers Not Settled On One QB For No. 1 Pick
Lamar Jackson2 days ago

Not Seeking Fully Guaranteed Deal
Nathan Peterman2 days ago

Re-Signs With Bears
Ryan Lindgren2 days ago

A Game-Time Decision Against New Jersey
Seth Jones2 days ago

Expects To Play Thursday
David Savard2 days ago

A Game-Time Call Thursday
Kirby Dach2 days ago

Set To Miss At Least One Week
Adam Boqvist2 days ago

Not Expected To Play Thursday
Matt Grzelcyk2 days ago

Sits Out Thursday's Game
Michael Hutchinson2 days ago

Tending Twine Against Boston Thursday
Stuart Skinner2 days ago

Gets The Nod For Edmonton Thursday
Petr Mrazek2 days ago

Between The Pipes Versus Blues
Dre Miller2 days ago

Kendre Miller Ahead Of Schedule
Buffalo Bills2 days ago

Bills Re-Sign Jordan Phillips
Las Vegas Raiders2 days ago

Alex Bars Returns To Raiders On One-Year Deal
Dallas Cowboys2 days ago

Johnathan Hankins Re-Signs With Cowboys
NFL2 days ago

Wanya Morris Getting Close To 100%
Brendon Todd3 days ago

Has Success At TPC San Antonio
Ben Martin3 days ago

Has Value At TPC San Antonio
Nick Taylor3 days ago

A Boom-Or-Bust Option At Valero
Taylor Pendrith3 days ago

A Sleeper Option At TPC San Antonio
Chris Kirk3 days ago

A Good Option At The Valero Texas Open
Matt Kuchar3 days ago

Loves Playing TPC San Antonio
Will Gordon3 days ago

Offers A Wild-Card Option At Valero
Cam Davis3 days ago

Can Keep His Current Form At TPC San Antonio
Mark Hubbard4 days ago

A Low-Risk Value Option At Valero
Tyler Duncan4 days ago

Start Tyler Duncan At TPC San Antonio
Emiliano Grillo4 days ago

Not Recommended At Valero
Patrick Rodgers4 days ago

Don't Give Patrick Rodgers A Shot At Valero
Adam Schenk4 days ago

Wants To Keep Momentum Rolling At Valero
Ryan Moore4 days ago

Cannot Get Past The Cut Lately
Stephan Jaeger4 days ago

Could Warm Things Up At Valero
Si Woo Kim4 days ago

A Possible Contender At Valero
Taylor Montgomery4 days ago

Attempting To Find Weekend Consistency
Corey Conners4 days ago

Trying To Recreate A Little Magic
Thomas Detry4 days ago

Continues To Impress In Rookie Season
Aaron Rai4 days ago

Brings Positive Momentum To Valero Texas Open
Akshay Bhatia4 days ago

Looks To Stay Hot In Texas
Todd Gilliland5 days ago

Impressive At COTA
Ty Gibbs5 days ago

Finds His Footing At COTA
Chris Buescher5 days ago

Continues To Shine On Road Courses
NASCAR5 days ago

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Finishes Seventh
Austin Cindric5 days ago

Has A Solid Day
Marlon Vera5 days ago

Has Four-Fight Winning Streak Snapped
Cory Sandhagen5 days ago

Dominates Striking Department
Yana Santos5 days ago

Dominated In Decision Loss
Holly Holm5 days ago

Dominates In Co-Main Event
Austin Lingo5 days ago

Suffers Submission Loss
Nate Landwehr5 days ago

Shines With Second-Round Submission Win
Andrea Lee5 days ago

Suffers Defeat In Close Matchup Saturday
Maycee Barber5 days ago

Takes Close Matchup On Saturday
Chidi Njokuani5 days ago

Takes Close Loss In Split-Decision Showing
Albert Duraev5 days ago

Holds Off Opponent In Tight Split Decision
William Byron5 days ago

Rounds Out Top Five At COTA
Ross Chastain5 days ago

Caught Up To Fourth At COTA On Sunday
Alex Bowman5 days ago

Brings Home Third Place Finish At COTA
Kyle Busch5 days ago

Scrambles Up To Second At Austin
Tyler Reddick5 days ago

Dominates And Wins At COTA