The idea behind these “tiers” is to provide an outline and plan of attack, essentially. Knowing the tier drop-offs will help you either ride the wave of a certain positional run during your drafts, or get well out ahead of the wave. All rankings will be updated throughout the offseason on the home page under the “Rankings” tab. Cheers, my pals.

Tier 1:

Christian McCaffrey, CAR: Pass-catching abilities push him over the top in PPR formats. 1000/1000 season in the crosshairs.

Ezekiel Elliott, DAL: Assuming the off-field “stuff” is behind him, again, the volume should continue to be there. More than doubled his catches last season, too.

Saquon Barkley, NYG: Special talent stuck in a bad offense. Volume won’t be a concern, and we know how effortless he is through the air, but the “stability” of the Dallas offense vs. the Giants puts him in the three spot.

Alvin Kamara, NO: Could push for a 1000/1000 campaign as Drew Brees relies more heavily on the running game and Kamara’s services out of the backfield.

David Johnson, ARI: We probably won’t see 2016 again, but I’m betting on the talent in addition to the uptempo and improved Arizona offense.

Tier 2:

Melvin Gordon, LAC: Noteworthy injury history but an elite, bell-cow runner when on the field; now holding out.

Le’Veon Bell, NYJ: Finally paid. New York is a step back from Pittsburgh talent-wise, but he should be featured given the coin.

Damien Williams, KC: No problem betting on Andy Reid’s RB1.

Dalvin Cook, MIN: Recovered from the injuries, which are hopefully behind him now for good. Backfield to himself, and retooled offensive line.

Aaron Jones, GB: Aggressive ranking for a player who I believe is clearly talented, on an elite/revamped offense, now sitting in the RB1 driver’s seat.

Derrick Henry, TEN: Coming off a scorching-hot end to the 2018 season (97-625-8 line, averaging 6.44 yards per touch over the last five scrimmages), the Titans plan to keep that same approach.

James Conner, PIT: Some early panic over the idea of splitting work, which Conner says is not the case.

Joe Mixon, CIN: Thought he belonged at the top of this tier before the offensive line injuries started to pile up. The Bengals’ offense as a whole feels undervalued at the moment; the big Mixon weeks will still be there to an extent.

Tier 3:

Marlon Mack, IND: Teed up the RB1 in potent Colts’ system behind one of the league’s more stable offensive lines.

Nick Chubb, CLE: Elite college talent on ascending offense, but perhaps hit with workload concerns given the personnel.

Todd Gurley, LAR: I’m not a doctor. Nobody is questioning his talent or usage when available.

Leonard Fournette, JAX: Three-down role but off-field concerns (vs. front office and/or staff), durability, and pass-catching ability cap upside.

Kerryon Johnson, DET: Detroit wants to emphasize the run game in 2019.

Josh Jacobs, OAK: Polarizing college prospect but immediately slots in as Oakland’s featured runner.

Tier 4:

Devonta Freeman, ATL: Atlanta offense is loaded once more; offensive line is improved but worry about Freeman’s body and durability moving forward.

David Montgomery, CHI: Should have a relatively clear path to RB1 work in a Matt Nagy-coached offense.

Tevin Coleman, SF: Crowded backfield but Coleman figures to get first crack at things. Can he hold on?

Derrius Guice, WAS: Believer in the talent, can’t say the same about the Washington offense. The injury history isn’t exactly encouraging either.

Tier 5:

Kenyan Drake, MIA: Pass-catching upside but held back in a bad offense.

Phillip Lindsay, DEN: Regression to be expected; looking more like a true timeshare in Denver.

Ronald Jones, TB: Gained weight, which is always a risky proposition. Could bounce-back under new staff/new offense. Can he catch now?

Rashaad Penny, SEA: Draft capital is on his side, but currently stuck in a committee backfield.

Royce Freeman, DEN: See above. Should gain on backfield partner Lindsay, and close the volume gap.

Darrell Henderson, LAR: League-winning upside when/if Gurley misses time. ADP quickly spiraled out of control.

Lamar Miller, HOU: Texans’ offense should be deadly under DeShaun Watson‘s controls, but Miller’s grip on the RB1 spot isn’t very tight.

James White, NE: Still a solid PPR play, and gets an obvious boost if Julian Edelman misses any significant time. New England’s backfield stays stocked (“cheap man” always wins).

Miles Sanders, PHI: Early reports aren’t great, but has draft capital, athleticism, and plays in a good offense. I’m buying all day.

Sony Michel, NE: Chronic injury (knee) issues; Patriots drafted a running back in the third round.

Chris Carson, SEA: See Penny; committee runner. Might tick up in standard leagues, or heck, even as we work through this offseason. Fact is, he’s a good player that will stay involved.

Tier 6:

Tarik Cohen, CHI: Pure PPR play in upbeat offense; another backfield with an early-round rookie investment.

Mark Ingram, BAL: Ravens will run the offense through the ground game, but Ingram isn’t very exciting.

LeSean McCoy, BUF: Possible cut candidate in Buffalo as the odd man out?

Justice Hill, BAL: Another league-winning candidate in run-heavy Baltimore offense.

D’Onta Foreman, HOU: Could (finally) usurp Miller.

Austin Ekeler, LAC: Gordon holding out.

Nyheim Hines, IND: PPR play that would take a big leap if Mack missed time.

Damien Harris, NE: See White; Harris is the “cheap man” this year.

Latavius Murray, NO: Takes over the “Ingram role” behind Kamara. Bigger bump in standard leagues as he could stare down goal line work.

Tier 7:

Ito Smith, ATL: Freeman handcuff who may mix in sparingly as a low-end PPR option.

Jaylen Samuels, PIT: Conner handcuff who should siphon enough work, notably through the air, in order to provide standalone value in spots.

Matt Breida, SF: Pectoral injury but battling McKinnon for RB2 (or “RB1b”?) duties in a versatile backfield.

Dion Lewis, TEN: PPR option a la Cohen.

Jerick McKinnon, SF: See Breida; camp battle should ensue.

Chris Thompson, WAS: Perhaps a forgotten name in a questionable Redskins’ attack, and some red flags given the injury history; PPR play.

Peyton Barber, TB: Jones insurance.

Chase Edmonds, ARI: Johnson handcuff who will still get run in fast-paced Arizona attack.

Jordan Howard, PHI: Offers little-to-nothing through the air; Eagles drafted Sanders early.

Justin Jackson, LAC: See Ekeler; monitor Gordon situation.

Tier 8:

Ryquell Armstead, JAX: Jacksonville offense isn’t great, but the Fournette handcuff I’m willing to own.

Jalen Richard, OAK: Jacobs will eat into his catches.

Duke Johnson, CLE: Free him.

Dexter Williams, GB: Better than the other Williams, and the Jones handcuff as such.

Adrian Peterson, WAS: He has to slow down at some point, right?

Giovani Bernard, CIN: Mixon should take a big step forward, even with mounting offensive line concerns in mind.

Kalen Ballage, MIA: Trying to stay away from the Miami offense in general, although I really like Ballage’s hands.

Theo Riddick, DET: Still catching passes, probably.

Kareem Hunt, CLE: Eligible after the half-way point.

Tier 9:

C.J. Anderson, DET: Johnson, the better player, should get all the volume in Detroit.

Jamaal Williams, GB: The lesser-Williams, now in a new offense.

Gus Edwards, BAL: Saved some teams off the waiver wire last year, now left for dead.

Devin Singletary, BUF: Fun college player, bad tester, in what appears to be an underwhelming-but-loaded Buffalo backfield.

Tony Pollard, DAL: The Elliott handcuff after fellow rookie Mike Weber went down.

Rex Burkhead, NE: Once an exciting, do-it-all back, now lost in the depth chart.

Darwin Thompson, KC: Great athlete and a plus-pass catcher, but needs a Williams injury for relevancy.

Carlos Hyde, KC: Boring, but in Kansas City.

Malcolm Brown, LAR: RB3/4ish?

Elijah McGuire, NYJ: Personal favorite, but now borderline irrelevant with Bell’s arrival plus Powell/Montgomery.

Alexander Mattison, MIN: Cook back-up, and in-line for borderline-RB1 workload if he goes down.

Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR: Dairy Sanders handcuff, maybe.

Frank Gore, BUF: Old Man Frank is still playing, somehow.

Tier 9 is filled with late-round dart throws obviously. A few names stand out and may pique your interest, but nothing worth spending too much time over. Check out who occupies spots 76 through 100 on the Rankings page. Hit the jump and enjoy.

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