UA-59049186-1 2017 Fantasy RB Rankings - Good if it Goes

2017 Fantasy RB Rankings

1. David Johnson, Cardinals: The Cardinals superstar should be in for another elite season. He lead all non QB fantasy players last season and is expected to do so again.

2. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers: If Bell can actually stay on the field all 16 games (assuming he ends his holdout soon) then he could challenge Johnson. However the Steelers have far more weapons around Bell than Arizona does around Johnson which means he will not be as heavily relied on as Johnson.

3. Melvin Gordon, Chargers: Gordon finished fourth among RBs in points per game and with Elliott suspended six games that opens up the three spot for him. The Chargers offensive line was horrible last season and Gordon still played well and it’s expected to be a little better this season.

4.  LeSean McCoy, Bills: The Bills lost a lot at receiver which could have a negative impact on McCoy but the Bills still have a strong line and McCoy is still the most elusive back in the league so he should be in for another great season.

5. Todd Gurley, Rams: Gurley was a disappointment last season but the Rams improved the offensive line and the receiving corps and should have a better passing game with a more competent offensive coaching staff and decent QB play from Jared Golf in his second year. All of that should spell significantly less 8 man boxes for Gurley to have to deal with.

6. Devonta Freeman, Falcons: Freeman has been one of the top producing backs in fantasy in back to back seasons and with just about everybody from the Falcons offense back in the fold I would expect the run to continue.

7. Jay Ajayi, Dolphins: Ajayi’s production might not be as consistent as others but his highs were even better than the top guys on this list thanks to three 200+ yard games last season. He clearly has the ability to go nuclear and with defenses having to respect Jay Cutler’s arm a lot more than Tannehill it should open things up for Ajayi even more.

8. Jordan Howard, Bears: Howard was very productive as a rookie last season but he could see a slight dip this season if Mike Glennon is the quarterback. However, the offensive line is still very good and thus Howard should remain a top 10 producer.

9. DeMarco Murray, Titans: I love everything about Murray this season. He will be running behind an elite offensive line and have the support of quality QB play. My only knock is that his backup Derrick Henry is actually pretty good too and could garner even more touches in his second season.

10. Lamar Miller, Texans: Miller had a down year last season but a lot of that had to do with arguably the worst QB play in the league. Whether its Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson both figure to be an upgrade over Brock Osweiler. The combination of a better passing game and better O-line play should result in Miller having a very good season.

11. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys: Zeke is going to be suspended six games but I’ve done the math. If you took his average points per game and totaled it out over just ten games last season then he would have finished as the 10th ranked back in terms of total fantasy points. I know it may be hard for some to justify drafting a guy in the second round who will not play until his seventh game but he is one of only three non QBs capable of getting you nearly 20 points per game. Just close your eyes and figure it out for six weeks until he comes back.

12. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders: It is hard to know what to expect of a player who took an entire year off but Lynch is coming back to a team with one of the best offensive lines in the game and a passing attack that will keep defenses from focusing so much on him. Overall unless Lynch is just washed up expect him to put up big numbers in Oakland.

13. Carlos Hyde, 49ers: Hyde was 10th in points per game among running backs last season and now is in a situation with a terrific offensive coach and he is expected to be utilized more in the receiving game this year. He may very well find his way into the top 10 again and could be a very good value pick near the end of the second round or top of the third.

14. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars: I do not expect Fournette to be the next Zeke but at best he could be as productive as Jordan Howard was in his rookie season. With Bortles struggling at QB one would expect the Jags to hand it to Fournette as much as possible. However, given the Jags QB situation combined with question marks on the offensive line give I have concerns that Fournette could run into the same issues Gurley did with the Rams last season.

15. Isaiah Crowell, Browns: Crowell had a big year for the Browns last season nearly rushing for 1,000 yards on 4.8 yards per carry. The Browns improved the offensive line and could be a little better at QB which all adds up to Crowell being even better in 2017.

16. LeGarrette Blount, Eagles: Blount was the seventh ranked fantasy back last season and will be running behind an even better offensive line in Philly this season. I expect him to be good again but the 18 rushing TDs he had a year ago are most certainly going to come down which means there will be regression in points scored even if he is still a productive runner.

17. Ty Montgomery, Packers: It is hard to know exactly what to expect from a full season of Montgomery playing running back. However, last season in a very small sample size he was terrific averaging nearly six yards per game. That most likely will drop some but  if he can averaged five yards per game on 200 carries that equates to 1,000 yards rushing not to mention what he can bring as a receiver.

18. Bilal Powell, Jets: Powell thrived once the Jets really turned him loose last season. He has always had some value as a receiver but last season he proved he can run as well. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry and with even more carries in 2017 could be in for a breakout season.

19. Dalvin Cook, Vikings: Cook was one of the best running backs in a loaded rookie class and is expected to be utilized a lot both as a runner and receiver by the Vikings.

20.Christian McCaffrey, Panthers: It is hard to predict the fantasy value of McCaffrey given the fact that Jonathan Stewart will still be in the mix but this kid is just too special to not be ranked in the top 20. At some point this is a guy you just have to close your eyes and take because of how gifted he is.

21.  Doug Martin, Buccaneers: Martin only played in eight games last season but in the games he did play he was not very good. However, I am expecting the entire Bucs team to be very good this season and if he stays healthy I would expect a season closer to the level he played at back in 2015 when he was one of the top fantasy running backs.

22. Ameer Abdullah, Lions: Abdullah only played in two games last season but was very effective in those two games rushing for 101 yards on 18 carries. He was a high second round pick by the Lions in 2015 and has a lot of talent and if he can just stay healthy should be very productive this season.

23.  Paul Perkins, Giants: One of the biggest fantasy sleepers in 2017 is Paul Perkins. For all of the talk about how the Giants cannot run the ball they actually had some semblance of success on the ground when they gave it to this guy.

24. C.J. Anderson, Broncos: The Broncos are typically a back by committee kind of team which hurts Anderson’s value but he is talented and after the first 20 or so backs are off the board he should definitely be in the mix.

25. Spencer Ware, Chiefs: Ware honestly is not overly talented to me but he is a capable starting back and will get the bulk of the Chiefs carries which makes him an option for fantasy football.

26. Robert Kelly, Redskins: Kelly showed flashes in his rookie season with the Redskins and rushed for 704 yards on 4.2 yards per carry. He is not great but with the Redskins losing two starting receivers I would expect them to look to run the ball more.

27.  Tevin Coleman, Falcons: If Coleman were on another team as the lead back he would be in the top 10 discussion for fantasy. But unfortunately he plays behind Freeman so that limits his value even if he is very talented. He might not be a starting running back but that did not stop him from finishing 14th in points per game last season.

28. Darren McFadden, Cowboys: McFadden will be the Cowboys starting back for the first six games and that alone warrants him being one of the first 30 backs taken even if his production completely falls off a cliff after Zeke falls back. As a matter of fact the perfect strategy would be to draft Zeke and then snag McFadden later on if possible.

29. Frank Gore, Colts: I am not a fan of Gore as a running back at his point at all. However, he is a starting running back and for some reason the Colts have not attempted to go out and get another one. Combine that with the fact that Luck will miss some games and you have a guy in Gore that should get a lot of touches. He will not be spectacular but he can get you 10 points per game.

30.  Mark Ingram, Saints: Ingram’s fantasy value took a huge hit when the Saints signed Adrian Peterson. The fact of the matter is there just is simply no way to predict or know what to expect from Ingram or Peterson as far as workload until the actual games start so it is hard to rank either of them any higher than this.

One Comment

  1. Thesis writing service

    June 19, 2018 at 1:19 am

    FOX Fantasy way-too-early 2017 fantasy football running back rankings. Can the Steelers Le’Veon Bell knock David Johnson out of the top .It used to be easy to come up with a fantasy football draft strategy for the running back position: Get a couple in the first three rounds, a couple .Thank you for such a well written article. It’s full of insightful information and entertaining descriptions. Your point of view is the best among many.

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