This week we continue our fantasy football rankings rundown with a look at the Running Back position. Join Andy Germani, Tommy Landseadel, Joe Mica, Dan Marcus and Neil Schnurbach as they help you prepare for your rapidly approaching football drafts.
All of our rankings assume standard scoring:
- 6 points for TDs
- 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
- 1 point for 25 yards passing – no PPR
Without further ado, let’s check out the ranks! N/R denotes a non ranking for that particular player.
|Honorable Mentions: Giovany Bernard, Marlon Mack, Jamall Williams|
|One Hit Wonders: Appearing on only one set of rankings|
|Terrance West, Darren Sproles, D’Onta Foreman, Alvin Kamara, DeAndre Washington, Dion Lewis, Robert Turbin, Devontae Booker, Chris Thompson, T.J. Yeldon|
Which RB are you most willing to reach for?
Andy: I feel like I have been a big Carlos Hyde fan few years now, and after him I see a pretty significant drop to the next group of backs. Yes, the 49ers are not good, but this team isn’t all that much different than the team he totaled nearly 1,200 yards from scrimmage for last year in just 13 games.
Joe: Jordan Howard did not become the starter until week 3 last season. With new QB Glennon at the helm (and Trubisky in the wings), I expect the Bears to once again lean on him exclusively.
Tommy: I am buying the hype that Jay Ajayi will be used more in the pass game this season, and I believe he could lead all RBs in total touches this season. I would take him as early as 6 overall. My second reach pick is Isaiah Crowell. The Browns have a very strong O-line and Crowell has emerged as the clear lead back there. He could be in for a breakout year.
Dan: Jordan Howard already requires a lot of draft capital, but there is a discount on his talent thanks to the Bears ineptitude. However, their offensive line is actually very strong for production in the running game, which pairs nicely with Howard’s breakaway speed. There’s not much competition behind him so he should be in line for plenty of volume.
Neil: While this is not a huge reach, I like LeSean McCoy ahead of Ezekiel Elliott as my #3 overall running back and possibly my #3 overall player. McCoy was excellent last year, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He should be healthy this year, and does not have Mike Gillislee behind him any longer. This could be a banner year for McCoy.
Which RB will you be looking to avoid?
Andy: There is no chance I will end up with Christian McCaffrey in any league. I am really happy that some mainstream places have him as a RB2 so I can scoop up guys I like so much more. I think he will be an interesting player, but I wouldn’t expect an immediate impact from week one.
Joe: All Patriots RB including Mike Gillislee and James White. In the Belichick era (17 seasons) only 7 RB have had over 1,000 yards all-purpose yards. Too rare for my taste. I also have a very conservative outlook on this year’s rookie RB which I feel are all being overvalued, which means that I’ll probably miss out on all of them.
Tommy: I strongly dislike Carlos Hyde this year. Shanahan drafted “his guy” in Joe Williams. There is a very strong possibility that Hyde loses his starting job before midseason. I won’t own Hyde on any of my teams unless the price drops substantially.
Dan: I’m avoiding Marshawn Lynch. The upside is clear as we saw what Latavius Murray accomplished with the offense last season, but Lynch played only six games in 2015 and didn’t play at all in 2016. That alone is enough risk for me to pass on him as a mid-second round pick.
Neil: For a guy who did not top 90 yards rushing in a game last year, and only topped 80 yards in a game once – when he was given 27 carries – Todd Gurley is going awfully high in mock drafts. He will probably be better than he was last year, but I would much rather take a chance on this year’s crop of fantastic rookie backs.
Which mid-round pick do you see
producing the biggest profit?
Andy: I will need at least one back from my 19-22 range (Ware, Ingram, Powell, Gore) and wouldn’t mind getting two. All of these guys are being looked over for varying reasons; Ware fell out of favor a little late in the year, Ingram-the Saints added Peterson, Powell-the Jets haven’t ditched Forte yet, and Gore is 87 years old. These guys will be solid RB2s and if you go receiver heavy early, pairing two of these guys as your RBs should be fine.
Joe: Fantasy owners burned by Todd Gurley last year will probably stay away. But he played on 74% of the Rams’ offensive snaps (Only 2 other RB played on more). He essentially has no competition on the depth chart. Plus I doubt that Jared Goff will make the Rams focus more on the passing game.
Tommy: Samaje Perine should be the lead back in a pretty dynamic offense. There is some risk here, but he could legitimately end the season as a top-10 back if everything goes right. I also love the values for Kareem Hunt and Joe Williams.
Dan: Kenneth Dixon will return value despite his four-game suspension. Danny Woodhead joined the team in the offseason, but has surpass 100 carries only once in his career. Meanwhile, Terrence West has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry over his career. That leaves the starting role open for Dixon once he returns, and will give him an excellent chance to build on his 4.3 yards per career of his rookie season.
Neil: When Eddie Lacy is motivated and keeps his weight in check, he is an elite NFL running back. All indications are that he is ready to play well for the Seahawks this year. I am hoping he falls into my lap as a RB2 in my drafts.
Who are your favorite end-draft picks
to round out your roster with?
Andy: I won’t give up on Jamaal Charles yet. We will likely know how that is going to go early too, and I like late picks like that. If after week one they aren’t doing much ditch them. I also like trying to get Jacquizz Rodgers late as an early season running back option while Doug Martin is suspended.
Joe: Devontae Booker – Perhaps not a trendy name that jumps out at you. But with game managers Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch at the helm, you can’t tell me that the Broncos will not rely heavily on the run game. Plus both C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles are injury risks.
Tommy: Jamaal Williams and D’Onta Foreman (barring a league suspension) each has upside and a pathway to fantasy relevance in the event of an injury. Robert Turbin is the 2nd in line in Indianapolis behind an aging Gore, yet Marlon Mack seems to be getting more of the hype there. I think any of these guys make for strong lottery ticket selections.
Dan: DeAndre Washington is a late-round target due to the aforementioned uncertainty of Marshawn Lynch in the Raider’s backfield. Marlon Mack is another late-round target because Frank Gore has to slow down eventually, and Mack may finally be a competent alternative for the Colts to turn to.
Neil: People might shy away from Doug Martin because he is suspended for the first 4 games of the year, or Jacquizz Rodgers because he will lose playing time when Martin comes back. I like both as roster fillers as they can both potentially reap tremendous reward, with very little risk.