2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs 21-40




These 2021 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings will be updated often throughout the spring and summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other Fantasy Football Rankings articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2021 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

2021 Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs (Sept. 8):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-40 | 41-75


Other Positions: QB | WR | TE

  1. Josh Jacobs Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders. Bye: 8.

    I bet Josh Jacobs to win the rushing title in 2020, but neither he nor his offensive line could stay healthy enough for that to happen. Jacobs probably won't have better luck in 2021 because the Raiders lost three offensive linemen this offseason.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 1,230 rushing yards. 25 catches. 130 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 190.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 215.



  2. D'Andre Swift D'Andre Swift, RB, Lions. Bye: 9.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Both Dan Campbell and Duce Staley have expressed concern about D'Andre Swift's status for Week 1. Swift should be dropped a whole round from his current ADP.

    AUG. 24 UPDATE: Reports indicate that the Lions are worried about D'Andre Swift's Week 1 availability. It's unclear when Swift will return from his groin injury, so this obviously has to force him down the rankings.

    AUG. 10 UPDATE: D'Andre Swift has missed significant practice time with a groin injury. Soft-tissue injuries tend to linger, but we're still early enough into the preseason that I wouldn't downgrade Swift. It's just something to monitor for now.

    Matt Patricia was the only person in America who thought that Adrian Peterson should get carries over D'Andre Swift early last year. Good riddance. Now that Patricia is gone, the ultra-talented Swift will dominate the workload. He's my favorite of the second-year running backs, especially with Penei Sewell improving the offensive line.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 980 rushing yards. 48 catches. 370 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 189.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 237.



  3. Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos. Bye: 11.

    AUG. 29 UPDATE: Let's talk about Javonte Williams because I was worried about his fantasy outlook when he didn't start. Melvin Gordon did and looked fresh while rushing for 35 yards on just five carries. Williams didn't play with Teddy Bridgewater, so I assumed that the Denver coaching staff was resting him, which would obviously be bullish for his fantasy outlook. Then, the Broncos' broadcasters said, "We'll see Javonte Williams in the second half," which would obviously be extremely bearish. They turned out to be wrong, as Williams never played a single down. I tried searching for a reason why he didn't play, and nothing was mentioned. Thus, I'm inclined to believe that this is great news for Williams.

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: Javonte Williams enjoyed a spectacular post-draft offseason, and his NFL debut backed up what was written about him since May. Williams was stellar in his first-ever preseason game. His first carry featured a nice cutback that allowed him to pick up 10 yards. Williams then used a stiff-arm on his second rush to get to the edge and generate 13 yards. Williams ultimately broke a tackle to score a touchdown, but a hold negated it. Still, Williams was terrific in his four touches, which he turned into 28 yards. He's going way too late in fantasy drafts.

    JULY 28 UPDATE: Aaron Rodgers has agreed to return to the Packers, so he will not be quarterbacking the Broncos this season. That said, Denver could still trade for Deshaun Watson, so all hope isn't lost for these Bronco skill-position players.

    JUNE 15 UPDATE: Javonte Williams is expected to start in Week 1, according to Ryan O'Halloran of the Denver Post. Melvin Gordon hasn't shown up to OTAs at all, so with Phillip Lindsay gone, Williams is quickly becoming the favorite to handle the majority of the workload.



    Phillip Lindsay is gone, while Melvin Gordon was a disappointment last year. It could be the Javonte Williams show in the near future.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 1,050 rushing yards. 30 catches. 250 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 188.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 218.



  4. Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns. Bye: 13.

    Kareem Hunt will be an RB1 if Nick Chubb gets hurt, and he's still a flex option when serving as the second back. His upside makes him worth drafting ahead of where someone of his usual, weekly production would normally go.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 830 rushing yards. 39 catches. 320 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 185.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 224.



  5. Mike Davis, RB, Falcons. Bye: 6.

    Mike Davis proved that he can be extremely productive if Christian McCaffrey were to get hurt. Davis signed with Atlanta, where he could emerge as the starter due to a lack of competition.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 850 rushing yards. 65 catches. 440 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 177.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 242.



  6. Myles Gaskin, RB, Dolphins. Bye: 14.

    AUG. 22 UPDATE: In the preseason opener, the Dolphins shocked everyone by starting Malcolm Brown over Myles Gaskin. Brown saw lots of work, while Gaskin barely touched the ball. This week, it was all Gaskin, with some Salvon Ahmed serving as a change-of-pace back. Brown was nowhere to be seen until the second half. This is a relief for Gaskin owners, though Brian Flores told the media that the running back rotation would be situational based on the opposition.

    AUG. 14 UPDATE: Anyone who drafted Myles Gaskin should be very concerned right now. Malcolm Brown started and received most of the workload in the first quarter. He was given nine carries - which he turned into only eight yards - before Gaskin saw his second attempt. Gaskin then played with the backups in the second quarter. I don't understand this running back rotation because Gaskin is far superior compared to the pedestrian Brown. Still, the Dolphins are the ones making the decision regarding these running backs, and Gaskin's usage should be troubling for anyone who owns him.

    Myles Gaskin emerged as Miami's starting running back last year. It's a shame he didn't stay healthy because he would've had a big season. Gaskin's outlook is bright because the Dolphins didn't address the position this offseason.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 750 rushing yards. 48 catches. 380 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 159.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 207.



  7. Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals. Bye: 12.

    Kenyan Drake is gone, so Chase Edmonds is now Arizona's primary running back. Kliff Kingsbury has talked up Edmonds, so I'm a fan of his this year.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 750 rushing yards. 65 catches. 510 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 162.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 227.



  8. Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams. Bye: 11.

    Darrell Henderson's stock has risen in the wake of Cam Akers' torn Achilles. However, he's now an overrated fantasy commodity. Henderson will be drafted early, but he is not a very good player, and I don't think he can handle a full workload on his own.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 720 rushing yards. 28 catches. 240 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 142.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 170.



  9. Trey Sermon, RB, 49ers. Bye: 6.

    Kyle Shanahan is capable of turning any running back to a star, and Trey Sermon has plenty of talent. Unfortunately, he has to pass Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. on the depth chart.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 650 rushing yards. 15 catches. 100 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 141.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 156.



  10. A.J. Dillon, RB, Packers. Bye: 13.

    AUG. 22 UPDATE: A.J. Dillon was the catalyst for the Packers' first touchdown versus the Jets' starters. He was given just four carries, which he turned into 28 yards. The Packer color analyst said it perfectly, "It's lie bumper cars trying to tackle him."

    JULY 28 UPDATE: After vowing to never play for the Packers again, Aaron Rodgers has changed his mind. Rodgers has reported to the Packers, as Green Bay's front office made a deal with him so that he can leave after this season. All of Green Bay's skill-position players will get a huge bump.

    A.J. Dillon will be the No. 2 running back with Jamaal Williams gone. He played great at some points last year, so he'll need to be rostered in the event of an Aaron Jones injury.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 750 rushing yards. 8 catches. 40 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 140.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 148.



  11. Devin Singletary, RB, Bills. Bye: 7.

    AUG. 22 UPDATE: Devin Singletary started over Zack Moss against the Bears and played the entire opening quarter. Moss didn't even get a touch until the second frame. Both finished with 21 rushing yards, as Singletary scored on a 14-yard burst. He also impressively juked a defender on a reception. It's unclear if the Bills will continue to utilize these two backs this way, but it appears as though Singletary has reclaimed the upper hand.

    Devin Singletary wasn't able to parlay his impressive rookie year into a strong second season because he had to split touches with Zack Moss for some reason.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 770 rushing yards. 40 catches. 290 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 136.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 176.



  12. Ty'Son Williams, RB, Ravens. Bye: 8.

    SEPT. 7 UPDATE: I was already a big fan of Ty'Son Williams. Things got even better for him in the wake of the Justice Hill torn ACL news. There was a chance Hill would take some touches away from Williams, but not anymore.

    Two pieces of good news for Ty'Son Williams: First, he's officially been named the No. 2 running back. Second, there were rumors that the Ravens would pursue Todd Gurley, but ESPN's Josina Anderson reported that will not be the case. Make sure you get Williams on your fantasy team.

    Ty'Son Williams has emerged as a viable late-round sleeper in the wake of J.K. Dobbins' injury. The Ravens run the ball a lot, and Williams, who has been impressive in the preseason, will greatly benefit.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 600 rushing yards. 28 catches. 220 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 132.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 160.



  13. Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings. Bye: 7.

    Given what we know about Dalvin Cook's durability, Alexander Mattison could start at some point in 2021 and would automatically become an RB2 at the very least. He's one of the few backup running backs worth owning because he'll be relevant in fantasy even if the starter doesn't sit.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 620 rushing yards. 24 catches. 180 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 130.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 154.



  14. Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers. Bye: 9.

    AUG. 20 UPDATE: Bruce Arians told the media that Giovani Bernard will be a major part of the offense. This is bad news for the other Buccaneer runners in what is currently a very crowded backfield.

    Ronald Jones was a pleasant surprise last year, holding on to the starting job despite Leonard Fournette's presence. Jones should be good to hit 1,000 yards again.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 720 rushing yards. 19 catches. 120 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 120.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 139.



  15. Leonard Fournette, RB, Buccaneers. Bye: 9.

    AUG. 20 UPDATE: Bruce Arians told the media that Giovani Bernard will be a major part of the offense. This is bad news for the other Buccaneer runners in what is currently a very crowded backfield.

    The NFL installed a new rule today where all players will have to forfeit their paychecks if a game is postponed due to positive testing. Leonard Fournette, Cole Beasley and DeAndre Hopkins are some of the prominent players who have spoken out about this, even threatening to retire because the NFL is forcing its workforce to take an experimental, non-FDA approved medication that has not been tested for the long term. Hopkins will have to forfeit more than $20 million if he retires, so this is probably much ado about nothing, but it's worth noting nonetheless.

    Leonard Fournette is stuck splitting the workload with Ronald Jones. He's worth a pick later in the draft with the hope that Jones suffers an injury.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 630 rushing yards. 26 catches. 200 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 119.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 145.



  16. Larry Rountree, RB, Chargers. Bye: 7.

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: The Chargers are very high on sixth-round rookie running back Larry Rountree. He didn't disappoint in this contest. He rushed for 63 yards on just eight carries, which featured a 25-yard burst where he made a great juke in the open field once making a good read to find a big running lane. Rountree then hit a gain of nearly 30 at the end where he carried a defender toward the end of the rush. Rountree is someone I'd like to roster toward the end of my fantasy draft.

    Reports indicate that the Chargers really like sixth-round rookie Larry Rountree. It's unclear how much he'll into Austin Ekeler's workload, but he's worth a flier in the late rounds.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 560 rushing yards. 10 catches. 70 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 118.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 128.



  17. Ty Johnson, RB, Jets. Bye: 6.

    Michael Carter has gotten lots of hype as the Jets' potential starting running back this year, but he did not perform well in the preseason finale. He mustered just 12 yards on seven carries. Conversely, Ty Johnson looked much better, albeit versus Philadelphia backup defenders. Johnson gained 53 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts. He also caught two passes for 18 receiving yards.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 600 rushing yards. 24 catches. 180 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 118.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 142.



  18. Darrel Williams, RB, Chiefs. Bye: 12.

    Darrel Williams will need to be added if Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Damien Williams were to get hurt.



    Projected 2021 Fantasy Stats: 610 rushing yards. 20 catches. 130 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2021 Fantasy Points: 118.
    Projected 2021 PPR Fantasy Points: 138.




2021 Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs (Sept. 8):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-40 | 41-75


Other Positions: QB | WR | TE



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More 2021 Fantasy Football Articles:
Fantasy Football Rankings

2021 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/1 (Walt)
2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/8 (Walt)
2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/5 (Walt)
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NFL Picks - Oct. 22


2022 NFL Mock Draft - Oct. 20


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Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 8


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