The running back position is one of the most difficult ones to evaluate when it comes to Fantasy Football. It is usually the spot that will make or break a manager’s season, as an early-round pick not living up to expectations could doom your team. But, some players come out of nowhere during the NFL season at the position that can save your season. Or, you can take a shot on established running backs, including Ezekiel Elliott, Miles Sanders, and Antonio Gibson.
As we head into 2021, there are a few players that will be looking to bounce back in the NFC East. Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys and Sanders of the Philadelphia Eagles had tough 2020s but are hoping a new year brings better results.
One of their rivals in the NFC East, the Washington Football Team, has a running back in Gibson looking to truly break out in 2021 after coming on strong at the end of his rookie season.
What can we expect from these players this season? Let’s try our hand at some predictions for the 2021 season.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys were hit hard by injuries in the 2020 NFL season. Dak Prescott went down in a Week 5 matchup with the New York Giants, which set the offense back. Not having their offensive line healthy also hurt.
It resulted in the worst season of Ezekiel Elliott’s career, as he ran for a career-low 979 yards. He played in 15 games but was never able to get things going as the offensive line didn’t open up the holes he was used to running through and without Prescott teams keyed in on stopping Elliott.
Tony Pollard has earned some reps himself, which will cut into Elliott’s touches, but the former Buckeye will bounce back in 2021. Elliott will rush for at least 1,100 yards and continue being a factor in the passing game with a career-high 600 yards through the air. He will add 10 total touchdowns to round out his state line.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
2020 was a disappointing season for Miles Sanders as he was unable to stay on the field, as he suited up for only 10 games. He was getting it done on the ground, but his involvement in the passing game shrunk from his rookie season.
For Fantasy Football managers, it would be nice to see Sanders get more involved in the passing game like he was during his rookie NFL season. That would raise his weekly floor, as he has been splitting reps in training camp with Boston Scott.
Timeshares are always a difficult thing to manage in Fantasy Football. It is a headache trying to pinpoint which running back in any given week will be the one that produces the most.
With the Eagles expected to lose a lot of games, there is some appeal in Sanders as a bounceback, especially if he is the main passing game running back. Competing with Jalen Hurts for carries will also hurt him, but he will manage 1,300 total yards with seven total touchdowns.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team
If there is one player that everyone seems to be high on heading into the 2021 NFL season, it is Washington Football Team running back, Antonio Gibson. Gibson will be looking to carry the momentum over from the end of his rookie season into his sophomore season.
The Memphis product ended the season with 795 yards on 170 carries, scoring 11 touchdowns on the ground. He added 36 receptions on 44 targets for 247 yards as well. Those are good numbers for a rookie and he produced that playing only 37 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
As the unquestioned first option at running back and with the expected improved quarterback play, Gibson and the entire Washington offense will take off. If the passing game work he received in the first preseason game continues, he could be one of the best running backs in Fantasy Football this season.
Gibson will explode in his second season, as he will average over 100 total yards per game. He will surpass 1,800 total yards and score 14 total touchdowns, making him one of the best running backs in Fantasy Football in 2021.