Fantasy Football Player Rankings: RB

2017 Regular Season - Preseason Redraft

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Running Back
Updated Sep 8, 2017
Tier 1
1David Johnson, ARI1.0120.7Usually drafted first overall, my only small concern is Johnson's aging QB. If Carson Palmer goes down or is plain terrible, things could unravel quickly in the desert.
2Le'Veon Bell, PIT 1.0220.2Hasn't signed his franchise tender yet so he isn't obligated to show up for training camp, which is a little concerning. There is some history of players holding out of camp and getting injured early in the season, but we will see how long this goes on before worrying too much about it.
Tier 2
3Melvin Gordon, LAC 1.0616.4The anti-Ajayi? Gordon was ridiculously consistent last year scoring or topping 100 yards in 10 of 13 games played. Now entering his third season it is a good time to bet Gordon raises his game to the Jamaal Charles comparisons he received as a rookie draft prospect.
4Jay Ajayi, MIA1.1112.7Only topped 100 yards four times last season, but three of those were 200 plus, which is pretty weird. Bottom line Adam Gase is one of the best offensives coaches in the league right now, and I feel he will ride Ajayi hard this season. Expect more 25 touch games and that production to even out more week-to-week.
5Ezekiel Elliott, DAL2.0319.7Zeke gets 6 games as of me writing this. He can appeal and we might see a reduction but for now assuming 6 games. That is big. Would still love to have him and willing to hold and be patient I am not dropping him too, too much. Still ranked a top 10 RB considering his projected PPG when he is active.
6LeSean McCoy, BUF 1.0516.4It was a big bounce back year after a rough start to his career in Buffalo in 2015. In line for a lot of carries and he is super talented, but low expectations for this team overall has me a bit skittish drafting McCoy. Quite possibly leads the team in receptions with Sammy Watkins trade.
Tier 3
7DeMarco Murray, TEN 2.0114.9Talented veteran who posted big numbers in the past, on a run-first team trending upward, what is not to like? The wear and tear for one thing, and young Derrick Henry nipping at his heels for another. There is opportunity for both to succeed here in a shared backfield, and Henry even helps Murray stay healthy. Don't be afraid to add him, but understand the risks.
8Todd Gurley, LAR 2.059.8This was not pretty last season after he made things looks pretty easy as a rookie. A new coaching staff provides some optimism Gurley's production will land more in line with his talent.
9Jordan Howard, CHI2.0213.5This is similar to the McCoy story, but likely worse as the Bears are in the throws of a total rebuild. Still the team wasn't much good last year and he hammered out 1,600 yards and still has fresh legs entering only his second season. A buy at the right price.
10Devonta Freeman, ATL1.0814.5Freeman was a great pick last year, an undervalued RB in a time share where more fantasy guys preferred to draft teammate Tevin Coleman. The Falcons and Freeman himself almost certainly overachieved last year, and OC Kyle Shanahan is gone. Do you really want to take the risk on a repeat at this price? Look to another position at this point in your draft.
Tier 4
11Leonard Fournette, JAC ®2.10A rookie walks into the starting role on a team that is capable of putting points on the board. Still a rookie. Not a pick for the risk averse.
12Dalvin Cook, MIN ® 3.04If I was going to draft a rookie RB, Cook would be my primary target, although his price has shot up considerably in recent weeks. Latavius Murray is not a tough test for Cook to surpass, putting him in line for major carries on a better team than the Jaguars.
13Lamar Miller, HOU3.0711.6Miller shows enough to get us excited but at the end of the day tends to leave us wanting for more. Good defense, competitive team, undisputed feature RB, questionable QB. Three of four ain't bad, and that is likely what he gives you. Pretty good, not great.
14Isaiah Crowell, CLE3.0210.6His 40 receptions last year surprises me a little. Crowell does his job and produces pretty well given his team and a tough division. Neither a must-have nor avoid pick, usually drafted about right.
15Joe Mixon, CIN ®4.01Lots of positive news out of the coaching staff but are they really going to relegate Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard to minor and nothing roles right away? That is a little hard to believe.
16Marshawn Lynch, OAK 2.12Over 30 and out of football since the middle of the 2015 season, I do not have a ton of faith in Marshawn, but he is in a good situation and has an impressive track record proving his doubters wrong. I just feel the cost is a little high for the risk-reward.
Tier 5
17Kareem Hunt, KC ® 4.03Hunt is very appealing now as the primary ball carrier with Spencer Ware injured and likely out for the season.
18Ty Montgomery, GB 4.017.6The Packers did little in the off-season to bolster their RB situation, saying goodbye to Eddie Lacy and drafting two late round rookies, showing considerable faith in Montgomery. He will need help shouldering the load, and it is still primarily a passing team. A good PPR add thanks to what the Pack call long handoffs. Don't get too overexcited by his prospects.
19Doug Martin, TB 4.099.2Tough to rank a player with a known suspension, and in this case need to ride out 3 games to start the season. Bucs offense looks very good and unless someone really surprises Martin is clearly better than the placeholders Tampa is using until he returns. I would be willing to draft and hold to reap the rewards later.
20Ameer Abdullah, DET5.0110.9Pretty talented all-around RB, but ability to stay healthy dog his prospects. He plays in a good offense and is suitably discounted he could turn out to be a good value.
21C.J. Anderson, DEN 4.0812.4A good situation if he can hang on to it. The Broncos haven't shown tremendous faith in CJ. Devontae Booker could challenge in his second season but it won't be during training camp as he required surgery on his wrist. If Jamaal Charles can capture 80% of what he used to be then that could be enough to get in the conversation.
22Bilal Powell, NYJ 5.128.8The split of touches between Powell and Matt Forte is a pretty big unknown. Powell appears healthier and was a monster when Forte faded and was then sidelined late last year, so he gets the edge in the rankings. Still, this is going to be a bad team. A good PPR add but I wouldn't race out to acquire him.
Tier 6
23Mark Ingram, NO5.0512.3I feel Ingram is a lot like I've felt about Jonathan Stewart over the years. He would get used more in other systems (and maybe break down more, but that is beside the point). Not so much that the Saints brought Adrian Peterson into the mix, but Sean Payton will always rotate his running backs, capping their fantasy value. Ingram should still be the main man.
24Danny Woodhead, BAL8.0210.6The Ravens offense is a bit of a mystery right now. Woodhead was a great value play in 2015 and looked to repeat last season before getting placed on IR after Week 2. He could recapture that glory. Definitely worth taking the chance in PPR leagues. Not easily startable in standard scoring leagues.
25Mike Gillislee, NE 5.077.8A lot of promise if Gillislee can take over the LeGarrette Blount role from a year ago. Dealing with a hamstring injury currently and the Pats depth at the position we need to temper expectations a little.
26Carlos Hyde, SF3.0813.0One of your more volatile players for fantasy because he could light the world on fire under new OC Kyle Shanahan or just as easily get cut because he doesn't fit the 49ers' plans. He is a good not great talent and media coverage out of camp has been much more positive to Hyde than anyone who could unseat him. Could be a nice value pick.
27Christian McCaffrey, CAR ®3.03Early returns looks good in preseason but I am not even close to wanting to add McCaffrey to my team at his current draft cost. A great example of rookie hype getting out of control.
28Paul Perkins, NYG7.044.8I reached a little on Perkins in the Scott Fish Bowl draft because I feel confident he is going to garner a large bulk of carries in the Giants backfield and is generally under-priced for what those carries should produce. Obviously an aggressive ranking at this point, try to grab him as your RB3 or late drafted RB2.
Tier 7
29Eddie Lacy, SEA 8.047.8I thought Thomas Rawls was pretty decent before the leg injury sidelined him. Rawls appears healthy and C.J. Prosise looks good, I'm not sure why the Seahawks felt much need to acquire Lacy.
30Frank Gore, IND 7.0911.1Great career. Frank Gore is one of those players I feel is going to be very hard to win a fantasy championship with. He gets his stats over the course of a season, but is never going to produce RB1 numbers for a stretch of games Weeks 14-16.
31Derrick Henry, TEN 6.066.6Henry could be a huge lottery pick winning ticket for your fantasy team if DeMarco Murray goes down, but it is a big price to pay for that. Henry could be fairly productive even in the same backfield with Murray. We've seen examples of both over the years. Judge the risk-reward before you spend the pick.
32Terrance West, BAL7.118.6Kenneth Dixon is undergoing season ending knee surgery so he is no longer a threat to Terrance West's primary down carries. Danny Woodhead is the key pass catcher out of the backfield.
33Jonathan Stewart, CAR 8.1011.0Everyone is very excited about rookie Christian McCaffrey but Jonathan Stewart will still have a good share of touches and is getting drafted at a pretty deep discount.
34LeGarrette Blount, PHI 6.0514.2He scored practically every week last year making the start-bench decision pretty easy. Prior to that it tended to be a roll of the dice he scores or gives us bupkes. This isn't the Patriots. Expect more weeks of bupkes.
35Robert Kelley, WAS 6.108.6Kelley is pretty average but turning into a value pick because fantasy experts were quick to write him off and tag rookie Samaje Perine the projected starter. Lacks receiving skills but starter touches in a pretty good offense is nothing to sneeze at.
Tier 8
36Theo Riddick, DET10.0810.9Big red zone target Anquan Boldin leaves town plus starter Ameer Abdullah is pretty fragile and will be in tough around the goal line, meaning Riddick could prove fairly useful.
37Thomas Rawls, SEA8.056.9As mentioned in my comments about Eddie Lacy, I thought Rawls was pretty decent so I am not sure why the Seahawks felt the need to sign Lacy. All signs look good for Rawls so far returning from a broken leg. I am adding him where I can as RB depth with upside.
38Tevin Coleman, ATL 7.0212.3If I am down on Devonta Freeman who overachieved last year, then I am similarly down on Coleman unless Freeman get injured. Systems with two productive RB do not typically last very long.
39Duke Johnson, CLE 10.095.8Johnson may play some slot receiver, adding to his potential targets.
40James White, NE13.046.4Pick your poison, I mean... pick your Patriots RB. Is it White next man up? Or Dion Lewis? Or Rex Burkhead? No one really knows. White is the next best bet.
41Darren Sproles, PHI 13.097.4I am very cool on LeGarrette Blount's possibly contribution to the Eagles, but that doesn't also mean Sproles will light up the scoreboard. He will get some receptions but can't handle many carries at this point in his career.
Tier 9
42Darren McFadden, DAL6.053.5Ezekiel Elliott is currently suspended 6 games. While his shelf life might be short, DMac should be an every week starter those weeks working as primary ball carrier behind the Cowboys offensive line.
43Jamaal Williams, GB ® 9.05Opens training camp as the backup to starter Ty Montgomery.
44Samaje Perine, WAS ® 9.10Rookie hype coupled with desire by fantasy players for the Redskins to replace Rob Kelley pushed Perine much higher in drafts than he deserved. Kelley is holding him off through preseason. Not that it couldn't change in-season.
45Jacquizz Rodgers, TB9.017.8The expected replacement for Doug Martin while he is serving his 3-game suspension to start the season.
46Adrian Peterson, NO 5.042.7Sad as it is to say, I am not a believer in Adrian Peterson to be fantasy significant any more. I don't consider the Saints a good fit for him either.
47Matt Forte, NYJ 11.0711.1It looks like Forte is taking a back seat to Powell. On a bad team and little upside, hard to pull the trigger adding Forte.
48Shane Vereen, NYG6.2
49Jeremy Hill, CIN10.0110.4Is it Joe Mixon or is it Jeremy Hill the starter? Fantasy people say Mixon. The team says Hill. It could very well be Hill to start the season and transition to Mixon. Even with a slightly rising ADP, it is worth taking a later round shot on Hill.
Tier 10
50Matt Breida, SF
51D'Onta Foreman, HOU ® 13.07
52Alvin Kamara, NO ® 13.09
53Rex Burkhead, NE10.126.8
54De'Angelo Henderson, DEN ® 14.02
Tier 11
55James Conner, PIT ®14.03The rookie is competing with Knile Davis and Fitzgerald Toussaint as the primary backup to Le'Veon Bell.
56Charles Sims, TB6.6
57Latavius Murray, MIN11.0512.7
58C.J. Prosise, SEA12.077.3
59DeAndre Washington, OAK13.035.4Training camp reports indicate Washington is receiving 2nd-team reps ahead of Jalen Richard.
60Jalen Richard, OAK5.4Training camp reports indicate DeAndre Washington is receiving 2nd-team reps ahead of Richard.
61Marlon Mack, IND ®12.01
62Tarik Cohen, CHI ®14.05
63Giovani Bernard, CIN14.048.5Bernard is returning from a torn ACL suffered last season, but is expected to be cleared for the start of training camp.
64Chris Ivory, JAC 7.3
65Devontae Booker, DEN 7.4Slightly bullish on Booker previously as a handcuff to oft-injured C.J. Anderson on what could be a pretty good offensive team, he is now out for up to 6-8 weeks with a wrist injury. Jamaal Charles should claim the backup role now for as long as he can stay healthy.
66Jamaal Charles, DEN11.023.8Charles is C.J. Anderson's main competition with Devontae Booker sidelined, but Charles still has a ways to go to prove he's back and able to handle much of a workload.
67Branden Oliver, LAC
68Dion Lewis, NE 13.105.4
69Zach Zenner, DET7.0
70Kenyan Drake, MIA2.7
71Aaron Jones, GB ®
72Kerwynn Williams, ARI7.1Is it recently re-signed Chris Johnson or Kerwynn Williams as the handcuff to Cardinals David Johnson? Difficult to say at this time, and you would likely have better options on your bench than either if DJ is sidelined.
73Robert Turbin, IND5.5
Tier 12
74Spencer Ware, KC 6.0811.9The primary RB for a the Chiefs is usually a pretty hot commodity but Ware might be the exception. He usually logged under 20 carries and hovered around 60-70 yards with 2-3 receptions, and rarely scored. He needs to do better or won't be long for the job if rookie Kareem Hunt is capable. Upside but a little overvalued.

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