Fantasy Football Quarterback Preview: Value of Rushing Yards
Ryan Hallam opens up the fantasy football QB preview with those who will add to their value with rushing yards during the 2020 NFL season.
Welcome to the 2020 quarterback preview for the upcoming fantasy football season! Each week there will be a new article breaking down the position in different ways. We will start with added value through rushing yards.
Most fantasy leagues award one point for every 10 rushing yards and six points for a rushing touchdown for a quarterback. For some players, this really adds to their value. For others, it makes them drop in the rankings. Obviously, Lamar Jackson is the poster child for this. He added 162 fantasy points to his totals just from running the football during his 2019 record-breaking season. No one else is on his level. But let’s take a look at some quarterbacks who will be able to get you those extra points with their legs.
Josh Allen , BUF (510 RuYd, 9 TD) -- We all know Allen often struggles with accuracy, but there is no denying his ability to run the ball. Over two seasons in the NFL, Allen has run for over 1,100 yards and scored 17 touchdowns on the ground. He rewarded his fantasy owners with 102 added points with his ground work, which made him the QB6 in 2019 despite only throwing for 3,089 yards and just 20 passing touchdowns. Allen got a great new receiver in Stefon Diggs this offseason, which only means the defense is going to have to try to stop the pass and not sell out on the run. There is a chance Allen could even run for more yards in 2020, and he should be a mid-range QB1 this season.
Kyler Murray , ARI (544 RuYd, 4 TD) -- Last year’s No. 1 overall pick in the draft struggled at times, but by the end of the season it was clear he made some real strides. He had five games in which he ran for at least 40 yards and added four touchdowns on the ground. His rushing ability made him the QB7 for the 2019 year. It was a strange season for Murray as he was learning a new offense and acclimating to the NFL. The Cardinals will look different to an extent in 2020. They will have Kenyan Drake for the entire season, and the team just added one of the best receivers in the game in DeAndre Hopkins . Drake will make defenses focus on him, and the addition of Hopkins means that opposing secondaries aren’t going to be able to spy on Murray when they have three nice receivers. This should be an even better year for Murray as he has a year under his belt now, a better grasp on the offense, and improvements on the offense. Murray ran for 544 yards last season, and could easily top 600 yards in 2020.
Deshaun Watson , HOU (413 RuYd, 7 TD) -- He has been a starter for three years, and in that time has run for a combined 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns. Watson is one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the league, but it remains to be seen how the passing game will run with DeAndre Hopkins now in Arizona. The Texans likely grab a receiver in the draft, but they will still likely run more with David Johnson and Deshaun Watson . You shouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he runs for 525 or more yards and finds the end zone five or six times with his legs. Watson’s passing numbers will likely suffer a little bit this season, but his rushing totals could increase above his already impressive numbers.
Russell Wilson , SEA (342 RuYd, 3 TD) -- He still had an additional 50 fantasy points from running the football, but at 31 years old, his rushing numbers are starting to diminish. However, his offensive line is so porous that a lot of time Wilson is forced to run because of pressure and no one getting open. He remains a magician who continues to get it done despite a lack of weapons at time. You’d think that as he ages that Wilson would hit a wall at some point but he is still one of the best in the NFL. However, he is the one guy on this list whose rushing stats could trend down this season as he can’t afford to be taking big hits and needs to run less or get out of bounds when he can. He will remain a top tier fantasy quarterback because of his ability to throw, but his additional points for running could start to lessen.
Dak Prescott , DAL (277 RuYd, 3 TD) -- It was a bit of a down rushing year for Dak, as it was the first time in his career that he didn’t have exactly six rushing touchdowns. The Cowboys offense is certainly still potent, and the reliance on both Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper may have had Prescott’s running production down. His rushing attempts were very similar to other years in his career, he just wasn’t quite as effective running in 2019. You also have to wonder if he was a little more hesitant to put his head down and plow into a defender knowing that he would be in contract negotiations this offseason. You have to look at Prescott’s career as a whole and he has topped 50 fantasy points from running in every season except last year so it is very reasonable to expect him to score more points in 2020 on the ground.
Daniel Jones, NYG (279 RuYd, 2 TD) -- Sure, those numbers aren’t as impressive as some others in this article, however, remember that Jones didn’t start the first two games of the year and he suffered a high ankle sprain late in 2019. Jones absolutely showed mobility in his rookie season, and when he got in the open field he was impressive at times. Over course, Jones showed a penchant for fumbling the ball, and that is something that he is going to have to correct. Many, including myself, are very bullish on Jones this season not only for his passing, but for his running as well. He won’t be elite this year as far as running the ball is concerned, but he easily could top 400 rushing yards and four or five rushing touchdowns.
Tyrod Taylor , LAC (427 RuYd, 4 TD) -- I have to admit that I find it hard to believe that the Chargers plan on sticking with Tyrod as their starter long term. You have to believe that they are in the market for a quarterback in the draft. However, as we sit here in the Spring, that is what they are telling us, so that is how we shall prepare. It has been three years since Taylor was a starting quarterback in the league, but he always showed a great ability to run the ball. He ran for over 550 yards in both 2015 and 2016, and from 2015-2017 he ran for 14 touchdowns total. The Chargers will have a totally different feel this year without Philip Rivers , but as long as Taylor is under center he will bring extra value running. Even with that he will still be on the QB2 landscape, as he isn’t an elite option at fantasy quarterback.