Just in case you weren’t fully convinced about the validity of the Fantasy Assembly Running Back Rankings I took the liberty of providing some nonsensical (but strangely valid) justifications for those ranks.
1. Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams
He’ll get you a bunch of touchdowns, rushing yards and receiving yards which is nice…if you’re into that sort of thing.
2. Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell tweeted that this is going to be his best season ever and he’s never lied to me before.
3. Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys
On a points per game basis it’s hard to argue with this ranking. It’s the suspensions per season number that is bothersome.
4. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals
Since Sam Bradford’s max throw distance is equivalent to a swing pass in the backfield, David Johnson should get roughly 99% of the offensive touches for the Cards this year.
5. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints
I’m not normally one to point to off-season workouts as a justification for fantasy success, but Alvin Kamara carrying a weight rack while towing a Jeep takes away my questions about him handling the workload of a feature back.
6. Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs
Don’t bet against Andy Reid in a pie eating contest, don’t bet against his running backs in fantasy.
7. Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers
Possibly the most physically imposing gentlemen ever named Melvin.
8. Saquon Barkley – New York Giants
The Giants chose to let Eli Manning stick around for another season by drafting Barkley with the 2nd pick in the draft. If they are willing to put up with another year of Eli, you know Barkley has to be a special player.
9. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Someone has to be ranked 9th.
10. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars
We all know how important volume is in fantasy football, and since the alternative offensive option to giving the rock to Fournette is letting Blake Bortles throw it’s safe to assume Leonard will be getting his fair share of carries.
11. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons
He’s certainly capable of providing this type of value, or maybe more, at least until Tevin Coleman starts sabotaging him by spiking his water bottle with laxatives or paying the O-line to only block for him.
12. Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears
I feel like he was ranked this high just to enrage everyone who rostered him last year.
13. Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers
With what the 49ers are shelling out for him he better be good.
14. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers
Ron Rivera, with a straight face mind you, said it would be ideal to get McCaffrey 25-30 touches per game. If you believe that’s happening then I have some beach-front property in Arizona I’d like to sell you. But really, any uptick in touches for McCaffrey will be a huge help.
15. Joe Mixon – Cincinatti Bengals
A talented second-year back running behind a completely revamped offensive line? Sign me up…Oh wait, it’s the Bengals.
16. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills
Guilty or not the NFL usually finds a way to make life miserable for running backs with legal issues.
17. Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens
He’s going to be the player who everyone says, “Oh yeah, that guy” when someone drafts him below his value.
18. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans
The guy is roughly the size of a Hyundai Santa Fe, can’t they just give him the damn ball and let him work?
19. Derrius Guice – Washington Redskins
An ambitious rank for a guy who is scheduled to miss the entire season. We might want to update this.
20. Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks
Either the next player that Pete Carroll will groom for stardom, or the next Post-Marshawn Lynch Seahawks running back to flame out. With this ranking it looks like we’re trusting Pete, and I’m fine with that.
21. Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins
If you like your running backs value to lie almost completely in one play a game, I would like to introduce you to Kenyan Drake.
22. Lamar Miller – Houston Texans
If a healthy Deshaun Watson throwing to DeAndre Hopkins can’t open up some running lanes for Miller then nothing can.
23. Jay Ajayi – Philadelphia Eagles
No, we didn’t forget about him, we just appear to have lost faith in him.
24. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints
Looking for a new contract while Alvin Kamara is literally running away with his job – it’s not surprising Ingram got suspended for taking a banned substance. However, he could provide a nice boost to your team when he comes back in week 5 with fresh legs.
25. Sony Michel – New England Patriots
I guess we are at a point where someone can be named after a successful Japanese electronics company and no one bats an eye.
26. Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons
As I suggested earlier, Coleman’s ranking could immediately skyrocket should he spring a Wile E. Coyote inspired trap on Devonta Freeman. Should he choose not to subvert his backfield partner then he is still an elite level flex play as this ranking suggests.
27. Ronald Jones II – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He doesn’t have the unbelievable agility of Reggie Bush, or the punishing power that LenDale White had when they left USC, but they were both horrible disappoints in the NFL, so maybe Ronald will actually be good.
28. Marshawn Lynch – Oakland Raiders
With Jon Gruden at the helm, Michael Crabtree in Baltimore and the possibility that Amari Cooper will still have problems catching the ball the only impediment to Marshawn getting 280 rushing attempts is the outside chance of Doug Martin playing well.
29. Dion Lewis – Tennessee Titans
The Titans seem adverse to the idea of getting Derrick Henry the touches he needs to excel, which is great news for Dion Lewis fans, not so much for Henry.
30. Royce Freeman – Denver Broncos
Sorry to anyone who was rooting for Devontae Booker to be the lead back in Denver.