Three second year running backs crack the Top 20 Fantasy Football Rankings. The 2018 receptions leader finds his ranking and Mark Ingram finds himself still relevant after he serves his 4 game NFL suspension.
Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings (PPR)
13. Joe Mixon (Bengals) – He shakes defenders, runs between the tackles, displayed breakaway speed at times, catches the ball and has one season under his belt. Joe Mixon is primed for a big season in Cincy. Their offensive line is drastically improved and Im projecting Mixon for 6 to 9 one hundred yard games currently.
14. Devonta Freeman (Falcons) – Will he produce his normal touchdown spree within a 4 game span? Most likely! But what about the other 12 games? Freeman is still the lead back in a good offense. Fourteen is a fair ranking as I expect the ball to be spread around in Atlanta. His upside is limited in my opinion.
15. Dalvin Cook (Vikings) – Passing the eye test in the beginning of 2017. Cook was the talk of the NFL and rightfully so. His is on a stacked team playing indoors, with an upgrade at the quarterback position. He showed he can do it all in 2017. Health is the only question. Im ranking Cook #14 for now and it certainly is tentative. Health risk is a huge priority in my drafts. I like sure bets with my early round picks.
16. Christian Mccaffrey (Panthers) – Mccaffrey improved as the season progressed and found the endzone. His 80 receptions were on 113 targets. Expect a high floor, low ceiling for this guy in 2018. I do anticipate some big games with multiple touchdowns for him in 2018. His redzone usage should increase, he is a 3rd down option and his ability to line up at any position is valuable. All in all, a statline of 500 rushing yards, 800 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns is possible. I value the consistency he offers week in and week out.
17. Jerick McKinnon (49ers) – McKinnon will certainly be a top 5 running back in receptions come season’s end. Im all for drafting him in round 3 and need to tap the clock button if he is available in round 2. He may be the leading wr on the squad by season’s end. I anticipate the 49ers improving 2018. However, 8-8 is realistic and considered good for them in my book as the team should experience growing pains. An unproven defense with a young and talented front 7 will be far better than last year. Jimmy G is not Tom Brady, defenses will gameplan better as footage develops on him and the 49ers will take their lumps as they grow. This means more receptions for Jerick in the 4th quarter garbage time. I have no concerns with him staying healthy for the duration of the 16 games because Matt Breida and Joe Williams are a good options in the rotation. McKinnon should go off for a couple games in 2018. Hoping to play him in Daily Fantasy Sports when it happens. Y.O.L.O.
18. Kenyan Drake (Dolphins)
Finishing the 2017 season as one of the top fantasy backs in the game. Drake showed he is ready to be the bell cow in Miami. I like the versatility he offers as a three down running back. His pass blocking needs to improve but with a lack of options in Miami. Drake is trending upwards. Feed the Man!
19. Mark Ingram (Saints) – The 4 game suspension will force fantasy owners to adjust if they draft Ingram. Ingram is not Zeke though and there is uncertainty around his usage when he returns. He did perform in 2017. Entering year 8, Ingram has found his groove in the Saints offense these past two seasons. After years of inconsistency and uncertainty on whether the Saints would resign him. Ingram is now a staple for 1,000 yards, 50 receptions and 6-12 touchdowns? Not so fast. Sean Payton is sure to find another running back to cut into Ingram’s touches in 2018. Still, drafting Ingram if he drops would be wise with his recent track record and the Saints top notch offense. Im going back and fourth on this guy, not selecting him in rounds 1-3 and lingering on him in round 4. TBD.
20. Alex Collins (Ravens) – The lead back in Baltimore, a strong finish in 2017 and a stout defense. The Ravens must commit to the run in 2018 and Alex Collins will benefit from this. Kenneth Dixon is not a sure bet to return and is unproven when he returns. The Ravens with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have a deeper receiving core, potential at the tight end position for double tight end sets and Alex Collins getting 300+ touches in 2018. The pieces are there to run the ball, playaction pass and Flacco’s deep ball. So why is he only 20th in my rankings? Well, I need to see what Lamar Jackson does and I don’t trust Joe Flacco just yet.
(Teams Going Off + Thoughts Flexed In) = Combination Lineups
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Check out Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings #1-12: