Todd Gurley heads the list on Moon Man’s latest Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings. PPR leagues have it easy in 2018. The NFL is stacked at the running back position once again. There is a real possibility that I go running back in the 1st three rounds this year. In hopes of landing at least two rb #1s on my roster. For myself, the question is who to draft at number three overall through sixth. Check out these rankings and other articles on my www.ffphilosophy.com website. All year long, Fantasy Football talk!
- Todd Gurley (Rams) – Led the league with 2,093 all purpose yards in 2017. Gurley finished 5th for running backs with 64 receptions and 2nd in rushing with 1,305 yards. He led the league with 19 total touchdowns. Gurley is the #1 option on one of the best offenses in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams have Sean McVay calling plays which adds value to Gurley’s Fantasy stock. You know McVay will bring new tricks in 2018 which is imperative since opposing defensive coordinators now have a full season’s tape on the Rams offense. The Rams are stacked on defense and replaced Sammy Watkins with Brandin Cooks. Expect much more of the same gameflows in 2018. 30+ points often for the Rams offense, short fields for Gurley to find the endzone often and 340+ touches again. The floor is high and the ceiling is high for this 4th year Fantasy Football 1st overall draft pick.
- Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys) – Zeke being suspended for 6 games and all the question marks that surrounded him frustrated Fantasy Football owners in 2017. Still, Zeke produced nearly 1,000 rushing yards in 10 games and finished 10th in the league. Dallas improved their offensive line and will be depending on Zeke if they are to compete in the improved NFC East. Never a fan of Jason Garrett, one things for sure and thats the predictability of the Cowboys offense. Zeke offers consistency with 400 carry potential in 2018. Similar to Gurley, he is the focul point in a less potent offense. The main reason Gurley and Zeke go 1, 2 in my rankings is their ROI. If I can get a running back that gets fantasy points in all aspects of the offense, is the unquestioned #1 back touch wise and is a real life top notch running back. Im gonna spend my 1st and 2nd overall draft pick on them. Setting the foundation for my league team.
- Alvin Kamara (Saints) – In 2017, Kamara produced the Best Fantasy Football Season ever in regards to points per touch. His elusiveness, strength at the point of contact, ability to stay low on contact, breakaway speed and hands are quite the combination. Sean Payton sure did draft a gem. Its hard to argue against drafting Kamara at #1 overall.
He finished 2nd in receptions with 82 and 25th in rushing yards with 748. He had a 6.1 ypc, 101 targets and 13 total touchdowns in 2017. Yows-A, an absolute DFS monster in 2017. He was drafted in mid to late rounds for many leagues and produced more than Devonta Freeman did 3 years ago in leagues. Sean Payton said he wants to continue using Kamara in the same capacity as last season. Even with Mark Ingram’s 4 game suspension. The dude is enter his 8 NFL season. Kamara may need to be used more. That or another running back emerging in the Saints committee.
- Leonard Fournette (Jaguars) – Expecting Fournette to rush for 1,500 yards in 2018 has him ranked inside my top 5. I would risk a early/mid 1st round pick on him. He performed well in primetime matchups against good defenses but was inconsistent overall. I’m attributing that to being a rookie and Blake Bortles inconsistent play. Bortles combined with the #1 defense will balance itself out in terms of hurting or helping Fournette. Eight in the box due to Bortles and short fields due to the defense means redzone opportunities. Ultimately Fournette is the unquestioned #1 running back on a run first offense. His touch total and double digit touchdown potential is exciting.
- Le’Veon Bell (Steelers) – Another year and another Franchise Tag for the best Fantasy Football Running Back in the game. Le’Veon finished last season with 85 receptions which was tops among running backs. His 1,291 rushing yards were 3rd in the NFL. Add in 11 total touchdowns and Bell wrapped up another successful Fantasy season. Bell had 321 rushing attempts and 106 targets. Talk about a lock for touches. Entering his 6th year, a change in offensive coordinators and questions around Big Ben. I am pessimistic on Bell as a top 3 pick for the time being because of his holdout and usage in a new offense.
- David Johnson (Cardinals) – The 2016 all purpose yards leader is back and 100% healthy. While any injury is a red flag for Fantasy Football Owners. DJ’s wrist is full go and the Beast of Beast is back. This freak of nature is the only legit mutant running back in the NFL. His size, speed and hands are unmatched. However, the offense he is on has question marks. DJ presents boom or bust value as a high 1st round pick in 2018.
The Cardinals could easily shock the NFL and make the playoffs or finish at the bottom of the league. DJ is in for 20+ touches a game and training camp/preseason results will determine where I ultimately rank him. My main concerns are Sam Bradford’s health, the offensive lines performance and how the new receiving core gels. Using a 1-5 overall pick on an inconsistent Fantasy Stats running back is risky business. DJ might just be the Julio Jones of running backs in 2018. One week he may put up 20+ points. While the next week you”ll have a 12 point game from him.
- Saquon Barkley (Giants) – Pat Shurmur will utilize Barkley in his rookie season. Rushing, receiving and the clear cut #1 running back will provide fantasy owners with points week in and week out. His ability to run inside and outside the tackles. Combined with his pass catching ability which will be utilized in New York. Saquon is primed for 300+ touches with double digit touchdown upside.
- Kareem Hunt (Chiefs) – NFL’s 2017 rushing leader also caught 53 balls and scored 11 touchdowns. Kansas City now has Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. A formidable fantasy football group without Alex Smith. There is no doubt Hunt will produce in 2018. It is just a matter of consistency week in week out that has him ranked 8th.
- Melvin Gordon (Chargers) – Gordon proved the doubters wrong in 2017. Rushing for 1,105 yards, catching 57 balls and scoring 12 touchdowns. A solid 1st round pick in the prime of his career.
- LeSean McCoy (Bills) – Rounding out my top 10 is Shady. He finished 4th in rushing yards and added 59 receptions in 2017. Tyrod Taylor is no longer in town which means less RPO plays. Shady will produce regardless. His elusiveness, breakaway speed and ability to be a three down back have him playing at a high level entering his 10th NFL season.
- Derrick Henry (Titans) – Henry is now the lead back in a run first offense. A playoff team with a stud Quarterback. Defenses will have trouble gameplanning for the Titans in 2018.
Henry should produce the biggest “positive run yardage differential” in comparison to 2017 (not including injured players). He rushed 176 times for 744 last season. He could easily double that yardage total. I envision multiple 40+ yard runs from Henry and multiple 150 yard rushing games. Henry is trending up as he enters year 3.
- Jordan Howard (Bears) – Trending up as the season approaches. Mitchell Trubisky in year 2, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen have Bear’s fans excited. Howard should face less 8 man boxes in 2018 and will continue to progress as one of the top Fantasy Football Running Backs.
(Teams Going Off + Thoughts Flexed In) = Combination Lineups
May the Fantasy Force Be With You.
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