When Fantasy Football players begin to prepare for their upcoming leagues, the running back position is the first to spring to mind. Rightfully so. The running back position has always made a difference in determining your league champion. If you can find that league-winning back, and there are 1-2 every year, you will be a cut above the rest. Pull up a chair, and let’s dive into the backs you want in your DFS lineups this fall.
THE TOP SHELF
Breece Hall: Iowa State Cyclones
Breece Hall should be the top back selected in virtually every college fantasy football league; and will likely be the most expensive option at the position on DFS. Hall is worth every penny. Rushing for 1,570 yards and finding the endzone TWENTY-FIVE times will place you in a tier to yourself. With quarterback Brock Purdy returning to Ames, IA rejoining Hall, the Cyclones will score plenty of points. Don’t be surprised if Iowa State is a sneaky National Title contender as well.
Bijan Robinson: Texas Longhorns
There may not be a more talented running back in all of college football than Bijan Robinson. As a freshman a year ago, Bijan Robinson averaged 100 total yards of offense per game. The feeling is that Robinson is about to leap in production entering his sophomore season. Coach Steve Sarkisian recently stated that Robinson should expect upwards of 20 plus touches per game, making him the bell cow in the Longhorn backfield. Catch a rising star on Bijan Robinson before the price gets too high.
Jahmyr Gibbs: Georga Tech Yellow Jackets
Another sensational sophomore, Jahmyr Gibbs displayed the explosiveness that one would expect from a former four-star recruit during his freshman season. Totaling over 100 total yards per game, Gibbs quickly emerged as the top offensive threat for Georgia Tech. What may have been the most impressive was the 300 yards receiving in just seven games. A dual-threat option out of the backfield, the sky is the limit for Jahmyr Gibbs as he moves into a more featured role in 2021.
Isaiah Spiller: Texas A&M Aggies
There is no questioning the talent of Isaiah Spiller. According to most college football analysts, Isaiah Spiller is one of the top backs in the country. The only issue for Spiller is that Texas A&M likes to spread the ball around rather than feature one playmaker. Still buy Isaiah Spiller, as long as the price is right.
Tank Bigsby: Auburn Tigers
When you watch the film, Tank Bigsby jumps off the page. A size/speed freak, Bigsby bulldozes would-be defenders with ease. For Tank Bigsby to fulfill his potential, he will need additional volume in the Auburn offense. The only true knock against Bigsby is his lack of pass-catching out of the backfield. The talent is here to overcome the lack of pass-catching, just don’t get carried away.
Kyren Williams: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Kyren Williams may be the most complete running back in the nation. Operating in space, Williams is a nightmare for the defense. Thirty-five receptions and over 300 yards receiving a season ago, Williams has three-down versatility. With Ian Book departing for the NFL, I would expect the Fighting Irish to lean even more heavily on Kyren Williams in 2021.
Mohamed Ibrahim: Minnesota Golden Gophers
Mohamed Ibrahim may not be the sexiest back stylistically, but he certainly gets the job done. A better ‘floor’ play than a ‘ceiling’ play. Ibrahim will not give you very much out of the backfield as a receiver. With not one but two 1,000 yard seasons under his belt, you know what you are getting from Mohamed Ibrahim.
Eric Gray: Oklahoma Sooners
Eric Gray is the true enigma at the running back position heading into the 2021 season. Eric Gray is a rare talent at the position. His addition to the Sooners offense via transfer certainly makes Oklahoma a better football team. His usage in the Lincoln Riley offense will ultimately tell the story of what type of fantasy factor he can become. For the time being, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to see how the reps play out.
Jalen Berger: Wisconsin Badgers
Sometimes in DFS, the situation matters as much, if not more, than the talent. We have decades of history that suggests if a running back can emerge as the bell cow for the Wisconsin Badgers, there will be ample opportunity for production. The table is set in Madison for Jalen Berger to step into the lead role and take over the Badgers backfield. If the talented sophomore can do just that, you will have an early-season DFS bargain on your hands.
Kevin Harris: South Carolina Gamecocks
Kevin Harris took a gigantic leap from his freshman season to his sophomore season. With off-the-charts production, paired with a ferocious running style, Kevin Harris has the makings of a fantasy phenom. Several question marks abound when you consider Kevin Harris in 2021. Kevin Harris had a minor procedure on his back this summer. The reports are positive that Harris should be good to go for the opener, but the Gamecocks could ease some of the workload off his plate. Marshawn Lloyd is a very highly thought of running back with an excellent pedigree. I have to imagine that Lloyd will get his share and make this a backfield by committee approach.
Ty Chandler: North Carolina Tar Heels
There was not a more productive backfield in college football a season ago than North Carolina. The bad news is that the Tar Heels will be without Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, both of which are heading to the NFL. There is a void to fill here; enter in Ty Chandler. Chander is a transfer from the University of Tennessee. If you are looking for an off-the-radar DFS selection, Ty Chandler is your back.
Brian Robinson Jr: Alabama Crimson Tide
As is the case every season, the Crimson Tide backfield is LOADED. We know that Alabama will be one of the best teams in America. As of now, it sounds like Brian Robinson Jr. is in the pole position to be lead back in 2021, so don’t be afraid to start ‘Bama back in your DFS lineups.