HERE’S THE RUNDOWN
We look at the top 50 running backs you should consider for your fantasy draft
A strong running back or two can go a long way toward winning your fantasy league. It’s also a position with a lot of turnover, thanks to a large number of injuries and backups often thrust into big situations.
1 David Johnson, ArI 1239 rushing yards, 879 receiving yards, 20 TDs, 327.8 points Despite the Cardinals’ struggles last season, Johnson led the league in total yards by 124 and TDs by four. He was also one of two non-QBs in the top 20 of overall scoring.
2 le’Veon Bell, PIt 1268 rushing yards, 616 receiving yards, 9 TDs, 242.4 points Due to suspensions and injuries, he has only played 18 games in the past two years. But when he’s on the field, he’s incredible.
3 Devonta Freeman, Atl
1079 rushing yards, 462 receiving yards, 13 TDs, 230.1 points Has become more efficient every year and now has backto-back 11-TD seasons. Signed huge extension in the off-season, too.
4 lesean mcCoy, BUF 1267 rushing yards, 356 receiving yards, 14 TDs, 248.3 points Was third in the league in yards per carry, but the big worries are his age (29) and a coaching change in Buffalo.
5 melvin Gordon, lAC
997 rushing yards, 419 receiving yards, 12 TDs, 209.6 points Went from no TDs in his rookie season to 12 in his sophomore campaign, but still hasn’t played an entire season.
6 Jordan howard, ChI 1313 rushing yards, 298 receiving yards, 7 TDs, 201.1 points Finished second in the league in rushing yards despite only becoming the starter in October.
7 Jay Ajayi, mIA 1272 rushing yards, 151 receiving yards, 8 TDs, 188.3 points An astounding 420 of his rushing yards came in his two games against the Buffalo Bills.
8 Demarco murray, teN 1287 rushing yards, 377 receiving yards, 12 TDs, 240.8 points Bounced back from disappointing 2015 in Philly and claimed feature role over highly touted pick Derrick Henry.
9 leonard Fournette, JAC 2017 rookie The fourth-overall pick is going to get plenty of opportunities, but he’s already nursing a foot injury and has a spotty history.
10 todd Gurley, lAr 885 rushing yards, 327 receiving yards, 6 TDs, 155.2 points After a strong rookie season, Gurley struggled. His yards per carry fell from 4.8 to 3.2, and his longest run was just 24 — the same as Alex Smith.
11 lamar miller, hoU 1073 rushing yards, 188 receiving yards, 6 TDs, 160.1 points Hit the 1,000-yard mark in his first season with Houston, seeing more usage than he ever did in Miami, despite missing two games.
12 ezekiel elliott, DAl
1631 rushing yards, 363 receiving yards, 16 TDs, 293.4 points One of the biggest dilemmas in your draft will be where to take Elliott. In his rookie season, he led the league in rushing and was second in total yards, touches and touchdowns. But, he’s going to miss the six weeks due to suspension — which is unlikely to be overturned or reduced, so don’t bet on it — and the Cowboys’ bye week. His offensive line also took a couple of hits in the offseason. The end of the second round could be a good spot to grab him, but there’s always a Cowboys fan that may pull the trigger early.
13 Dalvin Cook, mIN 2017 rookie The second-rounder took his opportunity and looks to have earned a featured role over free-agent addition Latavius Murray, at least early on.
14 Carlos hyde, sF 988 rushing yards, 163 receiving yards, 9 TDs, 165.1 points He might be the only Niner taken in your fantasy draft and can be a solid RB2, though Hyde’s injury history is worrisome.
15 marshawn lynch, oAK Did not play in 2016 (retired) At the very least, he’ll be involved around the goal line, but you have to be wary of a 31-year-old back returning after a year of retirement.
16 Kareem hunt, KC 2017 rookie The third-round pick will be thrust into the spotlight after Spencer Ware’s season-ending knee injury.
17 Joe mixon, CIN 2017 rookie Technically, the second-rounder is behind Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard on the depth chart, but he has been the most impressive back in camp and has incredible upside.
18 Isaiah Crowell, Cle 952 rushing yards, 319 receiving yards, 7 TDs, 155.2 points He’s highly dependent on the amount of touches he gets, but when the ball’s in his hands, he’ll score some decent points.
19 Christian mcCaffrey, CAr 2017 rookie Has a lot of added value in PPR leagues and could see some action in the slot. We wouldn’t count on a lot of
20 ty montgomery, GB 457 rushing yards, 348 receiving yards, 3 TDs, 96.5 points Last season’s darling WR/RB hybrid, Montgomery is listed as only an RB now, but has value as the top dog for the Packers.
21 C.J. Anderson, DeN 437 rushing yards, 128 receiving yards, 5 TDs, 86.5 points A strong camp has him coming into the season as Denver’s top back, but a timeshare with Jamaal Charles and De’Angelo Henderson seems likely.
22 mike Gillislee, Ne 577 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, 9 TDs, 116.7 points If he takes LeGarrette Blount’s old role, he has a ton of potential, but Belichick doesn’t seem impressed, going off early indications.
23 Mark Ingram, NO 1043 rushing yards, 319 receiving yards, 10 TDs, 196.2 points Has seen his carries per game go down by the season and it looks like there’s going to be a committee in New Orleans, again.
24 LeGarrette Blount, PHI 1161 rushing yards, 38 receiving yards, 18 TDs, 225.9 points Eleven of his 18 TDs came from the oneyard line — a number that will certainly regress this year.
25 Frank Gore, IND 1025 rushing yards, 277 receiving yards, 8 TDs, 176.2 points The veteran continues to press on and is riding an incredible streak of 11 straight seasons with at least 1,200 yards from scrimmage.
26 Bilal Powell, NYJ 722 rushing yards, 388 receiving yards, 5 TDs, 139 points Was second in the league in yards per carry and was one of the best receiving backs, too, catching 58 passes.
27 Danny Woodhead, BAL 116 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards, 1 TD, 21.1 points Ravens backs had 26.9% of the team’s receptions and Baltimore had the most pass attempts in the league. That could add up to PPR gold for Woodhead owners.
28 Adrian Peterson, NO 72 rushing yards, 8 receiving yards, 6 points He is definitely the superstar he was in the past, but has some upside as a midround pick that will likely see goal-line work.
29 Paul Perkins, NYG 456 rushing yards, 162 receiving yards, 61.8 points Has the starting role locked down for now, but a big committee is expected in New York.
30 Ameer Abdullah, DET 101 rushing yards, 57 receiving yards, 1 TD, 21.8 points He’ll be Detroit’s primary rushing back, but the Lions had the least rush attempts as a team last year.
31 Tevin Coleman, ATL 520 rushing yards, 421 receiving yards, 11 TDs, 160.1 points Scored a TD on 7% of his touches and had the most fantasy points per touch at 1.13 last year. Perhaps the league’s top handcuff.
32 Eddie Lacy, SEA 360 rushing yards, 28 receiving yards, 38.8 points The big RB was one of the biggest fantasy busts last season and his role in Seattle is unclear, though we’d bet on him getting goal-line work.
33 Rob Kelley, WAS 704 rushing yards, 82 receiving yards, 7 TDs, 120.6 points After taking over as a starter in Week 8, he was a top-10 fantasy RB over the rest of the season.
34 Derrick Henry, TEN 490 rushing yards, 137 receiving yards, 5 TDs, 92.7 points Remains behind Murray on the depth chart and doesn’t have much fantasy value other than as a handcuff to start the season.
35 Doug Martin, TB 421 rushing yards, 134 receiving yards, 3 TDs, 71.5 points He’s From left: Cardinals’ David Johnson, Colts’ Frank Gore, Falcons’ Devonta Freeman and Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott. suspended for the first three games, but should get a heavy workload when he returns. Martin was fourth in touches per game in 2016.
36 Terrance West, BAL 774 rushing yards, 236 receiving yards, 6 TDs, 137 points Had a respectable 4.0 yards per carry last year and is in line for all of the Ravens’ early down work.
37 Jonathan Stewart, CAR 824 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards, 9 TDs, 138.4 points He’ll split time in the backfield with McCaffery, but he still has fantasy potential and a split workload may help with injury issues.
38 Thomas Rawls, SEA 349 rushing yards, 96 receiving yards, 3 TDs, 62.5 points The Seahawks list him as their starting RB, but that’s merely a formality with a running-back-by-committee approach looming.
39 Theo Riddick, DET 357 rushing yards, 371 receiving yards, 6 TDs, 108.8 points Averaged the most catches per game by a RB and should continue to be a key piece in Lions pass-first offence.
40 Duke Johnson Jr., CLE 358 rushing yards, 514 receiving yards, 1 TD, 91.2 points A PPR darling, Johnson will see most of his use in the passing game, which we should see a lot of in Cleveland.
41 Darren McFadden, DAL 87 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards, 10.4 points For as long as Elliott is suspended, Run DMC should be a solid fantasy option.
42 Matt Forte, NYJ 813 rushing yards, 263 receiving yards, 8 TDs, 153.6 points A hamstring injury has sidelined him through much of camp, but the Jets’ starter will be fine for Week 1.
43 James White, NE 166 rushing yards, 551 receiving yards, 5 TDs, 101.7 points Had the game of his life in the Super Bowl and should be set for most of the receiving work out of the Pats backfield.
44 Jeremy Hill, CIN 839 rushing yards, 174 receiving yards, 9 TDs, 155.3 points He’s the Bengals’ starter, but for how long with Mixon looming? Hill does have an impressive 30 TDs in three seasons, though.
45 Jacquizz Rodgers, TB 560 rushing yards, 98 receiving yards, 2 TDs, 77.8 points He’ll start the first three weeks of the season, but then likely slides into a backup role with Martin returning.
46 Samaje Perine, WAS 2017 rookie Fourth-rounder has some sleeper potential, but will have to earn his carries in Washington early on.
47 C.J. Prosise, SEA 172 rushing yards, 208 receiving yards, 1 TD, 44 points Won’t get many carries, but could be a solid PPR player with his good playmaking ability on third down.
48 Darren Sproles, PHI 438 rushing yards, 427 receiving yards, 4 TDs, 110.5 points In his final season, Sproles remains a good option in PPR leagues and is on punt returns.
49 Jamaal Charles, DEN 40 rushing yards, 14 receiving yards, 1 TD, 11.4 points Coming off another big knee injury, Charles has a chance to be the ‘1B’ back in Denver with Anderson.
50 Shane Vereen, NYG 158 rushing yards, 94 receiving yards, 1 TDs, 27.2 points Had his season end early due to injury, but should be a big part of Giants offence, especially in the passing game.
From left: Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell, Dolphins’ Jay Ajayi, Bears’ Jordan Howard and Bills’ LeSean McCoy.