Fantasy Draft Rankings 2018: RB


Back at the pre-draft grind. Checking out the running backs today. Standard league rankings shown below. Rankings for half-PPR and PPR will be coming soon. [name – team, bye week]

  1. Le’Veon Bell – PIT, 7: Teams won’t be as quick to stack the box against Big Ben and Antonio Brown as they will be against Goff. Expect him to ball out in another contract year and get the long-term deal he deserves next year.
  2. Todd Gurley – LAR, 12: Has one of the toughest schedules for RBs this year. We’ll see how Goff looks when teams force him to make plays. Barely edged out by Bell because of the aforementioned reasons.
  3. Ezekiel Elliott – DAL, 8: Focal point of the offense. My bet to lead the league in carries this year. He will be fed all game, even against 8 man fronts.
  4. David Johnson – ARI, 9: Missed all last year after his Week 1 wrist injury. He will be rusty out of the gates but I think he will trend back to his 2016 form. Don’t sleep on the Cardinals.
  5. Leonard Fournette – JAC, 9: Slimmed down to his college playing weight so should be even more explosive this year. Jaguars are going to grind teams down by running the ball and playing defense. Leonard will be at the center of it getting every goal line carry he can handle.
  6. Melvin Gordon – LAC, 8: Melvin should get 20+ touches in what should be a higher-powered, more balanced offense than what we saw last year.
  7. Kareem Hunt – KC, 12: Led the NFL is rush yards as he broke out in his rookie season. Now as a sophomore KC should be looking to establish the run game early and often to set Mahomes up for success.
  8. Alvin Kamara – NO, 6: A little lower on him than most people. He is a special player and every time he touches the ball he has a chance for a huge play. That being said, he doesn’t get as many touches with the split backfield and oh yeah, Mark Ingram will be taking most of the goal line work after the first 3 games.
  9. Saquon Barkley – NYG, 9: Another player I am a little lower on than most. Few concerns here that limit my appeal… First, the O-line is better than it was last year but only on the left side. Secondly, are the Giants going to be competitive enough to be able run the ball for 4 quarters or will they be playing catch-up and passing every down in the 2nd half? Lastly, Jonathan Stewart was signed this offseason and will be getting some carries himself.
  10. Dalvin Cook – MIN, 10: Injury limited him last year as he was shaping up to be one of the steals in the draft. New offense as Shurmur moved on to the Giants but I still expect Cook to be a huge part of it.
  11. Jordan Howard – CHI, 5: Borderline sleeper pick here as no one talks about this guy. He’s the clear number one back in an offense that looks to be more balanced with improvements made to the passing game.
  12. Jerick McKinnon – SF, 11: Great fit for the Shanahan offense but I am not completely sold yet. Potential is there to put up RB1 numbers but Breida will be sharing more time than you think.
  13. Devonta Freeman – ATL, 8: Running back by committee pushing him down my draftboard. Should be a solid RB2.
  14. Christian McCaffrey – CAR, 4: Mismatch nightmare no matter where he lines up. Will share some work with C.J. Anderson but look for him to build on the year one performance.
  15. LeSean McCoy – BUF, 11: Shady will be running behind what could be the worst offensive line in the league this year. The offense should still be ran through him but teams are sure to load up against the run to test the quarterbacks.
  16. Joe Mixon – CIN, 9: Giovanni Bernard was the more efficient running back last year in this committee. I’d rather pass on him and take someone who has a clearer path to handling a majority of the carries.
  17. Alex Collins – BAL, 10: Last year, from week 8 and on, Collins was putting up borderline RB1 numbers. The only worry is Kenneth Dixon and if he’ll eventually steal some carries and limit the upside.
  18. Derrius Guice – WAS, 4: **UPDATE** Guice tore his ACL and is done for the season… One of the rookies that look to have a shot to handle most of the backfield work. No real competition with the lack of running game his peers have shown over the last couple years.
  19. Kenyan Drake – MIA, 11: Was higher on him until they signed Frank Gore.. Need to see how the backfield shapes up after his addition. Not worth a 3rd round pick.
  20. Jay Ajayi – PHI, 9: Supposedly they are going to move away from the RB committee and feed Ajayi more. I’ll believe it once I see it. From here out it is more draft and stash picks.
  21. Lamar Miller – HOU, 10: Looked like a cut candidate at one point for the Texans but now may be taking most of the backfield work. His numbers have direct correlation to playing alongside Deshaun; if Watson stays healthy he could put up solid RB2 numbers.
  22. Derrick Henry – TEN, 8: Finally was going to be unleashed… and then they signed Dion Lewis. Probably in the 15-17 touch per game range.
  23. Ronald Jones II – TB, 5: Another rook who has a chance to take control of the backfield. Draft and stash.
  24. Rashaad Penny – SEA, 7: Backfield is too crowded to make me want to draft him any higher. Another draft and stash candidate until we see how it plays out.
  25. Mark Ingram – NO, 6: The suspension pushed him down about ten spots. Good flex candidate who should put up consistent numbers once he’s back.
  26. Marlon Mack – IND, 9: Hearing good things in training camp about this kid. He should be poised for a good year but also has some competition brewing with Hines and Turbin.
  27. Dion Lewis – TEN, 8: Replacing Demarco Murray in the RB committee.. nothing too exciting here.
  28. Carlos Hyde – CLE, 11: Crowded backfield on a shit team. I’ll pass.
  29. Aaron Jones – GB, 7: Suspended for 2 games but then should fight his way back and take over the lead duties in Green Bay. Sleeper pick on a high-powered offense that will need some running back production.
  30. Royce Freeman – DEN, 10: Similar to above. Devontae Booker is actually listed as the starter but I suspect Freeman to take the reins eventually.
  31. Marshawn Lynch – OAK, 7: Lots of mouths to feed. Might not even be the best RB in the Raider backfield this year.
  32. Isaiah Crowell – NYJ, 11: Another shit team with a crowded backfield. Crowell is an average running back but could be a bright spot for the Jets.
  33. Sony Michel – NE, 11: It is running back roulette trying to pick who Belichick chooses to feed on a week to week basis. 4 to choose from this year so be my guest.
  34. Nick Chubb – CLE, 11: Looks like he could be a beast but as mentioned above the Browns are shit and they still have Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr. looking for carries too.

Injuries will shape out some of the crowded backfields but you don’t base your draft picks off of injuries. There are even deeper picks and players we could get into but it just really isn’t worth any of our time. We can get into waiver wire pickups once the dust settles. Until then..

Good luck and good talk.



Photo Credit: Raiders at Redskins 9/24/17 by Keith Allison.
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