Projections Week rolls along with the all-important running backs. Keep in mind that while projections can be a useful tool when used right, there are issues with boiling down all the factors that influence a player’s expectation into a single number.
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That can be especially true at running back, where workload is key. Since projections typically assume reasonable health, high-upside backups are frequently projected for workloads that represent their worst-case scenario. By comparison, pass-catching backs with defined roles will often be projected at a spot where they don’t have a ton of upside, if they aren’t the type of back who would likely assume more carries should an injury occur (think Theo Riddick). Because projections are inexact, a good way to look at them is in tiers, grouping together the players that came out with Fantasy point totals within the same ballpark. Below are Heath Cummings’ and Ben Gretch’s projections tiers for running backs for both PPR and non-PPR scoring systems. Heath and Ben also join Adam Aizer on Fantasy Football Today all week, going division by division through all 32 teams in four episodes of projections to help you think about targets, pass attempts, backfield splits and much more as we continue to get closer to our Fantasy drafts. On Tuesday’s show, they covered the AFC East and NFC East, including discussions on Le’Veon Bell’s workload, Dak Prescott’s upside, whether Miles Sanders can emerge in a crowded backfield, and much more. Email the show at firstname.lastname@example.orgIt’s important to remember these aren’t Draft ranks, just projections of the “most likely” scenario. Make sure to factor in upside and downside, plus injury risk, before making any Draft Day decisions. You can always check out our full rankings on the Draft Prep page.Heath Cummings’ PPR RB projection tiersHeath Cummings’ non-PPR RB projection tiers280-plus points250-255 points230-235 pointsEzekiel ElliottChristian McCaffreyJoe MixonSaquon BarkleyMelvin GordonJames ConnerAlvin Kamara 205-220 points180-195 points165-175 pointsNick ChubbKenyan DrakeChris CarsonDavid JohnsonTodd GurleyMark IngramLe’Veon BellDerrick HenryJosh JacobsDalvin CookKerryon Johnson Leonard FournetteDevonta Freeman Marlon Mack Aaron Jones Phillip Lindsay Damien Williams 150-160 points120-145 points70-120 pointsLamar MillerRashaad PennyIto SmithDavid MontgomeryLatavius MurrayJamaal WilliamsTevin ColemanDerrius GuiceD’Onta ForemanSony MichelMiles SandersChris ThompsonTarik CohenAustin EkelerNyheim Hines LeSean McCoyJalen Richard Jordan HowardAlexander Mattison Dion LewisDuke Johnson James WhiteCarlos Hyde Royce FreemanJustice Hill Jerick McKinnonBruce Anderson Peyton BarberRonald Jones Darrell HendersonDamien Harris Kalen Ballage Ben Gretch’s PPR RB projection tiers340-plus points330-335 points315-320 points275-285 pointsChristian McCaffreyAlvin KamaraEzekiel ElliottDavid JohnsonSaquon Barkley James Conner Melvin Gordon 250-275 points205-225 points175-195 points155-170 pointsLe’Veon BellKerryon JohnsonKenyan DrakeSony MichelDamien WilliamsAaron JonesMarlon MackRonald JonesLeonard FournetteJames WhiteDerrick HenryChris CarsonDalvin CookDevonta FreemanTarik CohenDavid Montgomery Joe MixonNick ChubbLamar MillerRashaad PennyTodd GurleyJosh JacobsPhillip Lindsay 135-155 points120-135 points95-115 points80-95 pointsDarrell HendersonIto SmithRex BurkheadDevontae Booker Latavius MurrayRoyce FreemanDuke JohnsonRyquell Armstead Miles SandersTevin ColemanGiovani BernardJordan HowardLeSean McCoyMatt BreidaJaylen SamuelsTheo RiddickJalen RichardAustin EkelerJamaal WilliamsC.J. AndersonMark Ingram Peyton BarberAdrian PetersonDion Lewis D’Onta ForemanAlexander Mattison Derrius Guice Kalen BallageElijah McGuireChris Thompson Jerick McKinnonDevin SingletaryNyheim Hines Justice HillBen Gretch’s non-PPR RB projection tiers245-plus points220-230 points200-210 pointsEzekiel ElliottJames ConnerLe’Veon BellSaquon BarkleyMelvin GordonDamien WilliamsChristian McCaffreyDavid JohnsonLeonard FournetteAlvin Kamara Joe Mixon Todd Gurley Dalvin Cook 185-190 points165-180 points145-160 pointsNick ChubbKerryon JohnsonSony MichelAaron JonesDevonta FreemanLamar Miller Josh JacobsKenyan Drake Derrick Henry Marlon Mack 125-140 points105-120 points80-100 pointsPhillip LindsayDerrius GuiceDion LewisJames WhiteDarrell HendersonMatt BreidaChris CarsonMiles SandersAustin EkelerDavid MontgomeryLeSean McCoyJalen RichardRonald JonesRoyce FreemanNyheim HinesRashaad PennyTevin ColemanChris ThompsonMark IngramIto SmithPeyton BarberLatavius Murray D’Onta ForemanTarik Cohen Jordan Howard Kalen Ballage