Madden 19 HB Ratings: All the best running backs (RB)

We’ve got ALL the best running backs (RBs) with the highest ratings in Madden 19’s Franchise Mode.

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Running the ball is less and less popular in the NFL these days, and yet thanks to the number of quality athletes entering the league at the position of late, it’s still an incredibly successful strategy in Madden 19.

How to choose the best running backs on Madden’s Franchise Mode

If you have your heart set on building your team around a star running back, then you have to consider age. Players start to lose physical traits on Madden at around 28, so taking a RB over that age will limit your window for success. However, an old running back on a cheap contract can still be a more valuable player than a younger one on an expensive deal thanks to the salary cap. We look at all the best running backs on Madden 19 with an OVR rating of 83 and above.

Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers (OVR 96)

Age: 26

Development Trait: Superstar

Contract: 1yr/$14.5m

2018 Cap Hit: $14.5m

Best stats: Speed (90), Acceleration (93), Catching (75), Pass Block (65), Break Tackle (92)

Le’Veon Bell is understandably the best running back on Madden 19. He amassed 1,291 rushing yards last season, and added 655 yards on 85 catches too. He hasn’t been a touchdown-getter for the Steelers, with just 20 in the last two years, but in Madden he is the most complete back since LaDainian Tomlinson.

Bell has brilliant traditional stats for a back. His speed (90), acceleration (93), and agility combine to make someone that can burst through the smallest gap in the defense, and his contact stats are ridiculous. A 96 juke move, 92 stiff arm, and 90 spin move give users plenty of ways to beat defenders. But then there is his 75 catch rating, the second-best among every-down backs, and he has the best pass blocking (65) stat too, just in case you need to audible to pick up a blitz. Le’Veon Bell is the perfect weapon for the modern NFL, and for Madden 19.

David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (OVR 93)

Age: 26

Development Trait: Superstar

Contract: 1 year/$720k

2018 Cap Hit: $720k

Best stats: Speed (92), Elusiveness (93), Catching (78), Short Route Running (81), Break Tackle (96)

If Bell is tough to stop in the passing game and open field, then David Johnson is down-right impossible. The Cardinals back may only have one full year under his belt, but it was one year of brilliance. In 2016 Johnson took over the full-time gig at running back and dominated defenses. He picked up 1,239 yards on the ground, caught 80 passes for 879 yards and led the NFL in touches, yards from scrimmage, and total touchdowns with 20.

Unfortunately, he broke his wrist in the first game of the 2017 season and ended up missing the rest of the year, but he returns to the field this season and looks ready to destroy defenses once again. His catching rating (78) is the best among every-down backs, his route running is exceptional, and his burst is remarkable. Johnson is a superb option for any kind of offense you want to run and provides a legitimate focal point for your Madden 19 gameplan.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (OVR 93)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Superstar

Contract: 2 years/$12.77m

2018 Cap Hit: $6.01m

Best stats: Speed (92), Acceleration (91), Agility (95), Juke Move (92), Carrying (89)

Elliott is the best “traditional” running back in the NFL. That is, if you want to hand the ball off to someone 25 times and really lean on the running game week in, week out, then Elliott is your guy. That isn’t to say that he can’t play a part in the passing game, he certainly can. But he isn’t going to dominate defenders if you motion him out wide like Bell and Johnson. He can certainly catch the ball on a wheel route and go the distance though.

Elliott’s strength on Madden 19 is his physical stats. He has the best combination of top-end speed (92) and ankle-breaking agility (95). He can burst through the hole and then run away from defensive backs in the open field. Between injury and suspension Elliott only played 10 games last year, and he took a step back from his All-Pro rookie season of 2016, but he still picked up nearly 100 yards per game and caught 26 passes for the Cowboys.

Todd Gurley II, Los Angeles Rams (OVR 93)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Superstar

Contract: 2 years/$11.9m

2018 Cap Hit: $5.84m

Best stats: Speed (92), Agility (94), Catching (72), Break Tackle (93)

Todd Gurley had a monster 2017 campaign as the Rams returned to the playoffs. He led the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,093 and in total touchdowns with 19. He was a monster on the ground despite having a poor offensive line in front of him, and that performance is reflected in his Madden 19 stats.

He is a physical specimen just like those listed above him, and while his juke move and spin moves aren’t quite as powerful as Bell and Johnson, he has better trucking (84) than Elliott, making it easier to get tough yards with Gurley. 

Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (OVR 91)

Age: 26

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 5 years/$28m

2018 Cap Hit: $4.36m

Best stats: Speed (92), Agility (95), Elusiveness (91), Juke Move (95), Catching (73)

Freeman is something of a forgotten man by many fans when it comes to who the best running backs are, but Madden 19 hasn’t forgotten about the Falcons man. Freeman has similar physical stats as those above him, the only difference is that he isn’t as good in the passing came and can be somewhat one dimensional when it comes to beating defenders.

Freeman’s stiff arm (74) is considerably worse than most of the top backs, and while that juke move is elite, when you only have one move in your arsenal defenders can start to anticipate just how to stop you. He comes into 2018 after a solid 2017 season in which he averaged 4.4 yards per carry and picked up 865 yards in 14 games. Unlike the other backs Freeman was a rare contributor in the passing game for Atlanta, but his catch rating is good enough for you to feel confident incorporating him more into your Madden 19 offense.

LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (OVR 90)

Age: 30

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 2 years/$20.17m

2018 Cap Hit: $8.27m

Best stats: Speed (90), Agility (96), Juke Move (92), Catching In Traffic (76), Short Route Running (82)

McCoy is the old man of running backs now, and yet he still has terrific physical attributes that will allow him to run away from defenses for a few more years. McCoy’s best trait is his agility (96), which allows him to dart away from would-be tacklers. His juke move is still strong, but running to contact with McCoy is not a good idea (trucking 54, stiff arm 65).

McCoy’s 2017 campaign was strong as he posted his sixth 1,000+ yard season, and his second with the Bills. He finished the year with 1,138 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, and added 59 catches, 448 yards, and two more scores as a receiver.

Melvin Gordon III, Los Angeles Chargers (OVR 90)

Age: 25

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 2 years/$7.49m

2018 Cap Hit: $3.66m

Best stats: Speed (92), Carrying (94), Juke Move (94), Catching (72)

After two years of disappointments, Melvin Gordon finally stayed healthy and productive, and that’s shown in his Madden 19 stats.

Gordon has some of the safest hands in the business right now, having fumbled just three times across 637 touches in the last two years. That means players can use him freely in short-yardage and goal line situations without fear of losing a big fumble. His trucking (77) isn’t great, but an 85 stiff arm means he can take on tackles fairly well, and he has the speed (92) and burst to run away from defenders.

2017 was his first 1,000+ yard season in the NFL, and he added 58 catches too. He can do everything you’d want a back to do, he just isn’t quite as good at it as the others.

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs (OVR 89)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 3 years/$2.49m

2018 Cap Hit: $750k

Best stats: Speed (90), Carrying, (97), Juke Move (91), Catching (71)

Kareem Hunt burst onto the scene as a rookie last year when he destroyed the New England Patriots on opening night to the tune of 246 total yards and three touchdowns. That kind of performance became Hunt’s calling card, as he racked up two 150+ yard rushing games, and two 50+ yard receiving games later in the year. He ended up leading the NFL in rushing yards last season with 1,327, scored 11 times, and fumbled just once.

All of that is reflected well in Hunt’s stats on Madden 19. He has the best carrying stat (97) of all the running backs to go along with good speed (90) and agility to dodge defenders and run away in the open field. His route running needs work, but at just 23,  you’ll have plenty of opportunity to develop those stats and turn him into the next David Johnson.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (OVR 88)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 3 years/$2.95m

2018 Cap Hit: $960k

Best stats: Speed (90), Elusiveness (92), Juke Move (93), Short Route Running (83), Medium Route Running (76)

Like Hunt, Kamara had a brilliant rookie season. The Saints paired him with Mark Ingram to create a two-headed monster in the backfield, but it was their rookie that was the most deadly. Kamara averaged 6.1 yards per carry, caught 81 passes for 826 yards, and scored 13 touchdowns.

Kamara has the best short and medium route running stat of any running back in the game, pair that with his speed (90), elusiveness (92), and that killer juke move (93) and you have a player that is nearly impossible to tackle in the open field.

Kamara lacks the power to consistently and successfully run between the tackles and pick up short yardage, but that’s fine because he is a home run threat once he gets onto the edge either from sweeps or being released as a receiver.

LeGarrette Blount, Detroit Lions (OVR 87)

Age: 31

Development Trait: Normal

Contract: 1 year/$1.1m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.1m

Best stats: Acceleration (91), Strength (86), Carrying (90), Stiff Arm (93), Trucking (97) 

Blount is an old-school a running back. A true bulldozer of a back, he has the third-best strength rating (86) and the best trucking (97) among running backs. Blount has enough burst to get to the line in a hurry, and when he makes contact with a defender he will almost always go through them.

With a speed rating of just 85 and a catching rating of 58 you aren’t going to get many big plays from Blount, but if you want a bruising running game that forces safeties to creep down toward the line of scrimmage then he is your guy.

Other star running backs

Name Team OVR Development Trait Contract 2018 Cap Hit
Leonard Fournette Jacksonville Jaguars 87 Star 3yrs/$20.64m $6.61m
Dion Lewis Tennessee Titans 87 Quick 4yrs/$17.5m $4.17m
Christian McCaffrey Carolina Panthers 87 Star 3yrs/$13.17m $4.1m
Jay Ajayi Philadelphia Eagles 86 Quick 1yr/$600k $600k
Tevin Coleman Atlanta Falcons 86 Quick 1yr/$900k $900k
Derrick Henry Tennessee Titans 86 Star 2yrs/$2.84m $1.27m
Mark Ingram II New Orleans Saints 86 Quick 1yr/$4.99m $4.99m
Dalvin Cook Minnesota Vikings 85 Star 3yrs/$4.85m $1.51m
Jordan Howard Chicago Bears 85 Star 2yrs/$1.34m $620k
Marshawn Lynch Oakland Raiders 85 Normal 1yr/$5.2m $5.2m
Jerick McKinnon San Francisco 49ers 85 Quick 4yrs/$28m $6.79m
Lamar Miller Houston Texans 85 Quick 2yrs/$12.22m $5.39m
Giovani Bernard Cincinnati Bengals 84 Normal 2yrs/$5.36m $2.39m
Theo Riddick Detroit Lions 84 Normal 2yrs/$5.25m $3.25m
Chris Thompson Washington Redskins 84 Quick 2yrs/4.23m $2.02m
Tarik Cohen Chicago Bears 83 Quick 3yrs/$2.27m $680k
Duke Johnson Jr Cleveland Browns 83 Quick 4yrs/$10.9m $2.6m
Darren Sproles Philadelphia Eagles 83 Normal 1yr/$1.01m $1.01m
Jonathan Stewart New York Giants 83 Normal 2yrs/$4.54m $2.24m
James White New England Patriots 83 Quick 3yrs/$5.43m $1.75m


Toby Durant