Fantasy Running Back Studs and Duds

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Fantasy Running Back Studs and Duds
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 24: James Robinson #30 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for yardage during the game against the Miami Dolphins at TIAA Bank Field on September 24, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Last week, I went over the fantasy quarterback studs and duds. This week, I am transitioning towards the most important position in fantasy. That, of course, would be running backs, who are the most highly drafted position in the first two rounds. They carry lots of value but sometimes people draft a running back too early and they turn out to be a dud. Who were the duds of the 2020 season? Well, let’s see. Here are the fantasy running back studs and duds from the 2020 season.

Fantasy Running Back Studs and Duds

Studs

James Robinson

The first stud of running back studs and duds is James Robinson. Before the 2020 season, many people didn’t know who James Robinson was because he was an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State. He didn’t expect to get playing time, but after Leonard Fournette left the Jacksonville Jaguars and other running backs got injured, Robinson won the starting job.

As a rookie starter, Robinson was phenomenal as he rushed for over 1,000 rushing yards and had eight total touchdowns. That accumulated to 250.4 fantasy points which were seventh-highest among running backs. What is more amazing about this is that he also missed two games. So, with his consistent production, he could have been the fourth-highest scoring running back. In nine out of his 14 games, he scored 14 points or more.

There is no question that this year, he was the waiver wire pickup of the year, and there is no doubt that next year he will be drafted early.

Alvin Kamara

The biggest stud of fantasy running back studs and duds is Alvin Kamara. Many people believed that before the season, Christian McCaffrey would be the best fantasy running back. But, after this season, Kamara has brought some doubt to that.

During the season, Alvin Kamara was nothing short of amazing. He only rushed for 932 yards, but he had 21 total touchdowns and 756 receiving yards. He is a perfect example of how dual-threat running backs are the best for fantasy. Kamara was the highest-scoring running back with 377.8 points and he was the fourth-highest scoring offensive player.

Kamara really had some amazing performances. He had five games above 25 points, and one of those included a 6 touchdown game in which he scored 56.2 fantasy points. Kamara was a superstar this year, and he will be a superstar next year, so draft him early.

Dalvin Cook

The final stud of fantasy running back studs and duds is Dalvin Cook. Dalvin Cook was considered a risky draft pick due to his injuries, which is why he fell down draft boards. Those people who drafted him were very happy with the result. Dalvin Cook proved that when healthy, he is one of the best running backs in the game.

On the season, he had 1,918 scrimmage yards along with 17 total touchdowns giving him a total of 337.8 fantasy points, which was second-highest among running backs. Cook averaged 24.1 fantasy points per game, but the most important stat was that in 13 out of his 14 games, he scored more than 15 fantasy points. That is nothing short of impressive, and it shows people that Dalvin Cook is reliable every single week of the season when healthy. Due to his performance this year, Dalvin Cook will be a top-three pick next year. 

Duds

Ezekiel Elliott

The first dud of running back studs and duds is none other than Ezekiel Elliott. Ezekiel Elliott had plenty of games where he performed well, but he also had many poor consecutive weeks.

Elliott was drafted in the top five–even top three–in many leagues, and his statistics this year didn’t support his draft position. He scored 223.7 fantasy points which were ninth-highest among running backs. But, as a top-five draft pick, he should be top five in total fantasy points.

Ezekiel Elliott had a great start to the season as he scored a total of 111.7 fantasy points in his first five games. Unfortunately for him, he went on a downfall. After Week 5, he didn’t score above 20 fantasy points. The most awful thing about this stretch was his lack of production as he scored less than 10 points in five of his games after that week. What looked to be a promising season ended poorly. Next year, Ezekiel Elliott should be drafted in the first round, but not in the top five.

Kenyan Drake

Many fantasy owners expected Kenyan Drake to have a great season, therefore he was drafted in most leagues in the second round and was expected to be a very solid running back two.

Unfortunately, Kenyan Drake didn’t live up to the hype. He had 1,092 scrimmage yards including a mere 10 touchdowns. His statistics added up to him scoring a total of 192.2 which were the 16th-highest among running backs. Given his draft position, that is a horrendous number. Additionally, he scored more than 20 points only two times this season. Most shockingly, he scored less than 15 fantasy points in 11 out of his 15 games.

Due to a lack of production and him being a free agent this year, Kenyan Drake is likely at best going to be a good flex player next year. 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The final dud of fantasy running back studs and duds is Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The rookie running back out of LSU was projected to have a great season, especially as he was considered to be a perfect fit in the Kansas City Chiefs system. As a result, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was drafted in the first round; sometimes as early as the number five pick.

However, injures and poor production ended up in him resulting as a fantasy bust. He did have over 1,000 scrimmage yards, but he only had five touchdowns on the season. Additionally, he scored a total of 176 fantasy points which was 22nd-highest among running backs. That is extremely bad for a first-round pick.

Edwards-Helaire wasn’t consistent as he had two games where he scored over 20 points, while in nine out of his 13 games played, he scored less than 15 points. A healthy Clyde Edwards-Helaire for next year means he might be a very good RB2. But, at this point, he has shown he doesn’t have the caliber to be a first-round pick or an RB1. He as a chance to not be included in next year’s fantasy running back studs and duds list.

 

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