Throughout the 2018 NFL Offseason we’ll be releasing positional rankings along side our mock drafts. 2017 saw amazing performances from running backs. The RB position, especially in PPR scoring formats, is becoming increasingly more popular with NFL teams choosing to run screen plays or dump off on deep plays. With that said, here are my top 10 running backs heading into the 2018 Fantasy Draft.
These rankings do not include possible retirements or rookies that may be drafted in 2018, and are based on current 2018 mock draft ADP’s.
# 1. Todd Gurley
The questions regarding whether Gurley could bounce back from a terrible sophomore year were answered. While Gurley didn’t rush for the most yards in the NFL, he lead the league in Fantasy Points scored with 383.3.
Gurley has more value for me right now due to the uncertainty around Le’Veon Bell.
# 2. Le’Veon Bell
It’s almost not worth having Gurley and Bell compete for the number one spot. In my opinion if Gurley is 1A, then Bell is 1B. Whether or not Bell or Gurley goes number 1 will be completely personal preference.
It’s worth noting that Bell had over 400 touches in 2017. However, Bell is currently in a contract dispute with the Steelers, just like last year. Whether or not he stays with them could impact his fantasy value.
# 3. Ezekiel Elliott
Zeke is going to eat next year. Count on that.
Ezekiel Elliott finished 10th in rushing yards in 2018 despite only playing 10 games due to suspension. Elliott, who averaged 24 rushes a game, runs behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Elliott got wrongfully suspended by the league in my opinion, but that’s in the past now and in 2018 he’ll be able to focus on simply running the football.
# 4. David Johnson
If you were unfortunate enough to grab David Johnson last year with one of your early picks. I’m sorry. Nobody likes seeing a person, let alone a star miss an entire year due to injury.
David Johnson is a fantasy stud. There’s a new coaching staff, new quarterbacks and the possible departure of Larry Fitzgerald. David Johnson might have to carry the entire offensive workload for the Cardinals.
# 5. Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara burst onto the scene as a rookie this year becoming a true dual threat back. Kamara and Ingram became the first running back teammates in league history to both have 1,500 yards from scrimmage in the same season.
Expect teams to game plan more for Kamara next year – but also expect for the Saints to utilize him even more in the pass game due to him being a true playmaker.
# 6. Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon is pretty much the bell cow in Los Angeles. He’s a huge part of the Charges offence, garnering almost 350 touches last year. Gordon was blanked in his rookie season when it came to TD’s but since then he’s found the end zone 18 times in 2 seasons.
It’ll be important to keep an eye on Austin Ekeler to see if his 18.5% snap percentage increases as he’s showed moments of brilliance.
# 7. Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt had an interesting year to say the least. He began the year on fire, rushing for more than 100 yards in 4 out of 5 games. He then went 8 games before reaching that 100-yard mark again. It’s annoying as a fantasy owner, because you get glimpses of what Hunt can do on a week to week basis.
I’m not expecting him to rush for 100 yards every game. I’d like to see him get rid of the low outliers (21, 37, 17) and become a more consistent back.
# 8. Leonard Fournette
Fournette finished 8th in NFL rushing during his rookie year, a year in which he missed three games for multiple reasons. Fournette’s leg injuries could be worrying year to year if they continue to be a trend.
When healthy Fournette is a stud, rushing for 9 TD’s in his rookie year while having 5 100-yard rushing games. Jacksonville clearly loves using him, it’d be nice to see him become more involved in the passing game.
# 9. Mark Ingram
The second head of the two-headed dragon in New Orleans. Ingram is a phenomenal talent and deserves to be a bell cow. While the addition of Kamara in the backfield has worked extremely well for the Saints. Ingram shared carries with Hightower in the past, who I believed was getting more snaps than he deserved.
I’d like to see the damage Ingram could do if he consistently got 20+ carries a game. Sadly, if he remains on the Saints we will never see that.
# 10. LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy has been a fantasy stud basically his entire career. McCoy however will be turning 30 before the 2018 NFL season and will have to start dealing with father time. I’m going with pure volume ranking him at 10.
McCoy sees an incredibly high percentage of the Buffalo offense and while Tyrod Taylor is the Quarterback in Buffalo, I don’t see that changing.
Honorable mentions. Dalvin Cook, Jordan Howard, Devonta Freeman.
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You can see previous content from Arik like his 2018 Offseason mock draft by clicking HERE