Running Back Rankings 1.1

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Edited by Matt Hicks, Staff Writer

These rankings are based on consensus rankings between myself and Eric. Below is a table of our full rankings. In this article, I only talk about a few players; to hear our full analysis  on every RB 1-36, listen to the Running Back Rankings Part 1 (1-18) or Running Back Rankings Part 2 (19-36) on our Podcast; Top2Pod.

Team Matt Eric Average
Todd Gurley LAR 1 1 1
Le’Veon Bell PIT 2 3 2.5
Ezekiel Elliott DAL 4 2 3
David Johnson* ARI 3 4 3.5
Kareem Hunt KC 5 5 5
Melvin Gordon LAC 6 6 6
Alvin Kamara NO 9 7 8
Leonard Fournette JAX 7 9 8
Dalvin Cook MIN 8 10 9
LeSean McCoy BUF 12 8 10
Jordan Howard CHI 10 11 10.5
Mark Ingram NO 11 13 12
Kenyan Drake MIA 14 12 13
Devonta Freeman ATL 13 14 13.5
Christian McCaffrey CAR 15 15 15
Carlos Hyde SF 17 17 17
CJ Anderson DEN 16 20 18
Derrick Henry TEN 18 18 18
Dion Lewis NE 20 19 19.5
Alex Collins BAL 23 16 19.5
Jay Ajayi PHI 19 21 20
Chris Thompson WAS 21 22 21.5
Duke Johnson CLE 26 23 24.5
Lamar Miller HOU 22 28 25
Frank Gore IND 24 26 25
Isaiah Crowell CLE 25 27 26
Marshawn Lynch OAK 27 25 26
Tevin Coleman ATL 29 24 26.5
Latavius Murray MIN 28 31 29.5
Joe Mixon CIN 30 29 29.5
Jamaal Williams GB 31 33 32
Bilal Powell NYJ 34 30 32
Orleans Darkwa NYG 32 35 33.5
DeMarco Murray TEN 33 34 33.5
Rex Burkhead NE 35 32 33.5
Jerick McKinnon MIN 36 36 36
  1. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

Gurley’s breakout 2017 season gives him the nod to win a very competitive RB1 designation, to start the offseason. Gurley proved to be effective in both the rushing game (1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns) and the passing game (788 yards and 6 touchdowns).

  1. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell’s ranking is justified by his consistency; he finished as RB2 in 2017, and RB3 in 2016. Bell totaled just 11 touchdowns in 2017 but made up for it with 1,946 total yards. Bell’s ranking is likely to fluctuate throughout the offseason, as his contract discussions progress (or don’t) with Pittsburgh.

  1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

Zeke finished as RB 10 in 2016, despite playing just 10 games. He rushed for 98.3 yards/game and still has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL to rush behind. If Zeke avoids more off the field issues, it will be hard for Zeke owners to avoid fantasy championships.

  1. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

Johnson missed all of 2017, with an upper body injury sustained in the first game of the season. He had an extremely explosive 2016 season; totaling 2,118 yards and 20 touchdowns; including 879 receiving yards on 80 receptions for 4 touchdowns. Johnson’s stock will be impacted by how the Cardinals fill their quarterback void.

  1. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs

Hunt gets the early nod as the best sophomore RB for the 2018 season. Hunt finished as RB3 in 2017; finishing out a roller coaster season with 1,782 total yards and 11 touchdowns. Hunt relied on producing in the passing game; catching 53 passes for 455 yards and 3 touchdowns.

  1. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
  2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
  3. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Cook showed flashes of greatness before having his season cut short by a devastating knee injury. Cook owners should be very excited for 2018; but proceed with caution because we still don’t know exactly what we’re getting.

  1. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
  2. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

Howard is currently being disrespected in mock drafts. 2017 demonstrated his floor; as saw the end zone just 9 times on a horrific Bears offense. With the addition of Nagy, the Bears should see a jolt of production and Howard stems to benefit the most from it.

  1. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
  2. Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins
  3. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
  4. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
  5. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
  6. CJ Anderson, Denver Broncos
  7. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Henry spent much of 2017 on the bench; but Henry truthers got to see their star late in the season. He had huge games in the playoffs; but has limited upside until we see what he can do as the regular starter.

  1. Dion Lewis, New England Patriots

Lewis exploded during the second half of the 2017 season. This makes him one of the most attractive free agent running backs. Where he lands will greatly affect his value; he lands at 19 for us; assuming he ends up back in New England.

  1. Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens
  2. Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles

Ajayi disappointed in 2017, but his season was plagued by coaching disputes in Miami and a mid-season trade to the Eagles. If the Eagles scheme Ajayi into the lead back role this 24 year old deserves, he could end up much higher than 21 come season’s beginning.

  1. Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins
  2. Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns
  3. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans

Miller is consistently talked down by fantasy players; but it’s not justified. Miller finished as RB 19 in 2016 and RB 13 in 2017. With a full season of Watson, predicting Miller to finish 24th is borderline disrespectful; even though we have him higher than most.

  1. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
  2. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
  3. Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
  4. Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons

Coleman is due to hit the Free Agency market it 2019; making this season critical to the future of his career. What’s also possible (discussed in detail on the podcast) is that Coleman gets traded during this year’s draft. He’s a great piece that deserves to be a starter, and will demand that money from Atlanta if they choose to hold onto him.

  1. Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings
  2. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

Surprised to see Mixon this low? Most are but his current ranking reflects where he finished in 2017 (RB 28) and his dismal 3.5 yards/carry. His inability to produce with the ball outweighs his hyped potential, for now.

  1. Jamaal Williams , Green Bay Packers
  2. Bilal Powell, New York Jets
  3. Orleans Darkwa , New York Giants
  4. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans

DeMarco was a shell of his former self in 2017. He makes for a great buy-low candidate; depending on where he ends up because we don’t expect him to be back in Tennessee in 2018.

  1. Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots
  2. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings

Published by

Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing is focused on dynasty and devy fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @TheFF_Educator

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