Britt’s Early Projections: Running Backs

We are back for the second leg of our early rankings. On Tuesday, we took a look at the top ten Quarterbacks, today we will look at the top twenty running backs. As we will be doing more in depth analysis later, I’ll talk a little about the top ten and then list 11-20. Here we go!

  1. Todd Gurley: I’m hesitant to rate him this high given his ‘disappointing’ (207 fantasy points) 2016 campaign, consistency has not really been his calling card but the expectations in LA are high, the talent is deep and the Rams are a favorite in some circles to win their division. As long as he stays on the field and the pieces around him fit, he is inline for another major season. I’ve got him pegged for about 21 fantasy points per game.
  2. Le’Veon Bell: Sigh. The never ending saga of Bell drama has continued this offseason. ESPN is reporting that the team is bracing for him to show up only when he absolutely has to unless the Steelers give him an extension worth a minimum of 14.5 million per year. The fact is, when he plays, he produces. The only year he has had under 300 points was his injury shortened 2015. But at some point, the headache eventually outweighs the worth, when do we hit that point will be a key thing for fantasy owners. I’m gonna steer clear of him this year if I have other options, but honestly, there are few of them.
  3. David Johnson: I’ve been on record as being very ‘bearish’ on Johnson. The guy has sustained injuries in consecutive games and while the latest is a wrist injury, unlikely to effect performance, he is setting a trend of being fragile. Yet, here he is at #3. Many folks have him in their top five and the disagreement over who is actually ranked above him has elevated him to this spot in my rankings. The recent news that he intends to hold out has to be taken into account and unless that is resolved in the next two weeks, he is likely to slide down my rankings a bit. Coming back from injury is hard enough, a hold out makes his value tenuous.
  4. Ezekiel Elliott: Suspension behind him and a hopeful Cowboy team ready to go, this could be a big year for Zeke. I honestly think he has the potential to eventually sneak into the three spot or maybe even the two spot if the circumstances are right. I am hoping to get a few shares of him and think he could be good for 23 points a game.
  5. Alvin Kamara: Craig’s favorite player in 2017 and a big part of the Saints plan in 2018, Kamara will look to shoulder the majority of the load particularly with Ingram suspended the first four games. I’m definitely going to suggest a handcuff here though, if you get Kamara, definitely look at the ADP and try to get Ingram later. If Kamara falters, they will go to Ingram after the suspension. Sophomore slumps happen (ask Todd Gurley) and while I don’t think it will happen here, I’m not going to say that Kamara has my complete confidence.
  6. Saquon Barkley: If there has ever been a situation built for a rookie to come in and make instant impact, its here! I think he will succeed here and I think he is good for about 15 points a game when its all said and done, but I would be surprised if its a smooth transition. I personally expect a fast start with a few lumps in the middle and then a strong finish. If he is what the Giants need him to be and I think he ultimately will be, both Barkley and the Giants are in for a big year.
  7. Kareem Hunt: As a Kansas City fan, I am obviously a huge fan of this kid, but I also think that Matt Nagy leaving will have an impact on the type of offense the Chiefs won. In fairness, Eric Bieniemy is not exactly the new kid, he coached the running backs last year and knows how to get these guys moving, but will the departure of Nagy push them toward the Andy Reid offense that has become well known and predictable.
  8. Leonard Fournette: The issue with Fournette has been durability. Craig talks a lot about how he was not reliable in college and experienced issues in his rookie season. Fournette appeared in 13 games last season but was constantly on the injury report and was a game time decision far too often to rely on him more. If he can get his health together and doesn’t fall victim to a Second Year jinx, he could easily be a top five back. If he doesn’t, then be prepared for disappointment.
  9. Dalvin Cook: A second year running back coming off a major injury that cut short a promising start. I got nothing, I’ll project him here for now and I hope he has a great bounce back but I want to see some camp before I make a final assessment.
  10. Melvin Gordon: Injuries chased him until last year when he finally played a full season and finally rushed for over 1000 yards. I dont know what to do with Melvin Gordon, so let’s stick him here for now.
  11. LeSean McCoy
  12. Christian McCaffery
  13. Devonta Freeman
  14. Jerrick McKinnon
  15. Joe Mixon
  16. Jordan Howard
  17. Kenyan Drake (Hey I’m surprised too)
  18. Rashaad Penny
  19. Alex Collins (really? well, ok.)
  20. Dion Lewis

So theres my early top twenty. Catch the episode tomorrow and prepare for WRs coming next Tuesday! Thanks for reading, don’t forget to leave us a review wherever you listen to the podcast.

Author: fignutsdfs

Just a couple of guys who love fantasy football and love sharing their knowledge with the world. Also love Beer! You gotta have beer!

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