1.  
RB  NYG
Rush Att
283
Rush Yds
1377
Rush TD
12
Rush Avg
4.9
Rec
81
Rec Yds
677
Rec TD
4
Rec Avg
8.4
While the debate still rages over whether it's ever worth taking a running back with a top-5 draft pick in the modern NFL, Barkley could hardly have done more to make the case for his position. The second overall pick in 2018 became just the third rookie to eclipse 2,000 scrimmage yards (joining Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James) while breaking Reggie Bush's rookie record for catches by a running back. In fact, Barkley's 91 catches tied Odell Beckham Jr.'s franchise record by a rookie, to say nothing of all the other Giants records he set. His unreal blend of power, elusiveness and wheels (at 21.91 mph Barkley recorded the third-fastest speed of any 2018 rushing TD) makes him the top big-play threat in the league. His seven runs of 40-plus yards were the most since Adrian Peterson had eight in 2012, and Barkley and Randy Moss are the only players in NFL history to score five TDs of 50-plus yards in their debut campaigns. Barkley could see more stacked fronts this season with the team's quarterback play potentially hitting rock bottom (he faced eight-man fronts on just 23 percent of his carries last season), but an improved offensive line will help mitigate the impact, and the Giants still have a decent receiving corps even without Beckham. The bottom line is simple: in terms of his production floor and ceiling, Barkley can't be touched.
2.  
RB  DAL
Rush Att
291
Rush Yds
1366
Rush TD
12
Rush Avg
4.7
Rec
68
Rec Yds
522
Rec TD
2
Rec Avg
7.7
Elliott emerged as a truly complete back last season. In addition to earning his second rushing crown in three years and improving his YPC from 4.1 in 2017 to 4.7 in 2018, Elliott exploded as a receiver with more receptions than the previous two years combined. His 2,001 scrimmage yards ranked second only to Saquon Barkley, who had 2,028. Despite all that production, Elliott fell short in the touchdown department --- thanks to a career-low six rushing TDs, he needed three receiving scores to match in 15 games what he totaled for touchdowns in 10 games the previous year. The difference was at the goal line where he converted just two of 11 attempts inside the 5-yard line (18.2 percent after 33.3 and 50 percent the previous two years). The goal-line struggles may have been partially caused by playing without stud center Travis Frederick all season, but Elliott also ranked 33rd among qualified rushers with a broken tackle percentage of 7.6. Still, Elliott displayed elite vision and patience, and once he found space he remained extremely dangerous, leading the NFL in runs of 10-plus (41) and 15-plus yards (25). That skill also allows him to avoid some of the bigger hits one might expect from a high-volume running back, though his workload is a long-term concern --- 381 touches paced the league by a margin of 29 over Barkley. Tight end Jason Witten returns this year and could take a few of Elliott's targets, but with Frederick potentially back as well, the running game will remain front and center, and Elliott the engine of the team's offense. There is some potential for discussions on a contract extension to become contentious, though Elliott is under team control through 2020.
3.  
RB  NO
Rush Att
213
Rush Yds
1000
Rush TD
11
Rush Avg
4.7
Rec
77
Rec Yds
711
Rec TD
3
Rec Avg
9.2
As great as Kamara has been through his first two NFL seasons, it's possible he's only scratching the surface of his potential. His carries jumped by more than 60 percent last year without taking anything away from his role in the passing game, resulting in 18 total TDs. The Saints weren't afraid to use him in short-yardage situations (his 16 carries inside the 5 tied for fifth in the league) and the decision to let Mark Ingram walk this offseason and replace him with Latavius Murray suggests Kamara's role on the ground could expand further in 2019. The extra volume did result in lower efficiency, but the third-year back possesses top-shelf elusiveness and speed in the open field, and he consistently runs with toughness. Drew Brees' knack for finding Kamara in space doesn't hurt, either. Some time soon, New Orleans might have to reckon with a decline from its legendary QB, but Kamara will help cushion that blow when it eventually falls. If he joins the 300-touch club, he could take a run at 2,000 scrimmage yards.
4.  
RB  ARI
Rush Att
260
Rush Yds
1133
Rush TD
9
Rush Avg
4.4
Rec
68
Rec Yds
567
Rec TD
3
Rec Avg
8.3
Johnson was healthy in 2018, but the same can't be said for the offense around him. Josh Rosen's introduction to the NFL was brutal, and the offensive line was made up of revolving doors --- 11 players took at least 100 snaps at guard or tackle. Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald were the only players defenses had to worry about much of the year, so it's no surprise the running back's production suffered in that environment, with his 3.6 YPC a career low. Even with the train wreck around him, Johnson compiled 1,386 scrimmage yards and 10 TDs on 308 touches, displaying his usual speed on the rare occasions when he had room to run. Now he gets to play for coach Kliff Kingsbury, whose offense should spread out the field for both Johnson and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. While the offensive line still looks subpar, Murray's speed can help keep defenses honest if Kingsbury installs rollouts, run-pass options and read-options. There's also hope the offense can establish a vertical presence to shift attention from Johnson, as Christian Kirk showed promise before his season-ending foot injury and is now joined by rookie wideouts Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler. The setup for Johnson might not be ideal, but it's at least a step forward from last year, and backup Chase Edmonds doesn't pose much of a threat to the workload.
5.  
RB  NYJ
Rush Att
287
Rush Yds
1233
Rush TD
9
Rush Avg
4.3
Rec
64
Rec Yds
544
Rec TD
1
Rec Avg
8.5
After Bell sat out the 2017 preseason in a contract dispute, it looked like the same scenario would come to pass last year between him and the Steelers. But when the team had no interest in meeting Bell's price on a long-term contract and the running back had no interest in risking his health with another 400-touch season without job security, his preseason holdout became a season-long impasse. Bell signed a four-year deal with the Jets on the first day of free agency and now heads into 2019 as a bit of a mystery. Elite athletes have returned from long layoffs without missing a beat (Adrian Petersonâ's MVP 2012 campaign comes to mind) but the change in offense around Bell could be a bigger problem than any rust. Sam Darnold shows promise but is no Ben Roethlisberger (at least not yet), and there's no Antonio Brown in the receiving corps. The Jets offensive line doesn't inspire much confidence, nor does an offseason report about coach Adam Gase opposing the decision to spend big money on a running back. Regardless, Bell doesn't have much competition in the backfield, and his receiving skills along with all-world patience and vision will serve him well in any system. Just don't expect him to challenge for 2,000 scrimmage yards again.
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