The 2018 NFL Fantasy Running Back Rankings

The money men, aka the guys you need to have in order to win your fantasy league!

Le’Veon Bell

Volume, Talent and Scheme. The 3 aspects that you should be looking for when trying to evaluate the ability of a back to be a bell-cow(excuse the pun) back in the NFL. Or any back for that matter. The name sake has it all in spades. His talent is undeniable. The scheme at the steelers leans on Bell. As for volume…this is his last year in Pittsburgh and they are going to get every last little drop of production out of him. I simply cannot find one knock on Bell for this year, which gives me all the confidence in the world to rank him number 1.

David Johnson

1000/1000. The man said it himself. He has a goal and seems determined to reach it. The talent is there, as should be the volume. There literally is no one else there. Who’s going to score touchdowns in Arizona? Larry is a high volume guy but not a TD machine. I think 15+ touchdowns is a possibility for DJ(he has done it before). The knock is that the Cards have a terrible offence as a whole this season. On top of that A.Q Shipley has done his ACL which is a big blow for DJ. I did consider dropping him down a few spots but I feel that he is the BEST pass catching back in the NFL and that his talent and volume will be enough to get him here. Number 2 overall.

Ezekiel Elliot

It’s a fact that any running back who’s QB is also a run threat in the offence benefits from it. Dak is one of the best running QB’s in the NFL. So stack the box all you want but you’re trying to stop 2 of the most talented ball runners in the NFL who also have an amazing Offensive line. The talent and volume are there for Zek and that o-line coupled with the lack of a true WR1 say that the scheme will rely on Zek doing everything he can to carry the Cowboys on his shoulders. Last year zek was the RB10 overall……he missed 6 games!!!! Add to that volume a inevitable increase in air targets and receptions, his true upside is RB1 overall.

Todd Gurley

I can feel the hate, the glares of disbelief at the screen as you read this. Gurley at 4, are you mad? Trolling perhaps? Well NO! I have carefully considered this and I do feel that all 4 of these guys (maybe even my 5th) are all I the same Tier. It would not surprise me if any one of them finished 1st overall. I have Bell 1 because I cannot fault him. I can Gurley. Like the others Gurley will get the volume, he’s just as talented as the others and plays in an amazing offence that loves to use him any way they can. So why is he 4th? He just signed a very large and long contract with the Rams. An investment in a centre piece. They did draft John Kelly though. A player who if he was on the 49ers I’d consider having in my top 20 overall RB’s. Put those two together and something inside me says when winning the Rams might manage and protect their very large investment. The Rams will win and when leading why not play Kelly. RB’s are the most injury prone players on the field. I can see the Rams defence being the best in the league which also leads to shutting down the very fast west coast offence and managing the clock. Less receptions for Mr Gurley. Taking him first is not an issue and his floor is top 10. I just wouldn’t be surprised, if come years end, Gurley is the RB8 overall. I would be if Bell was down there.

Saquon Barkley

No he hasn’t played a snap in the NFL. He doesn’t need to. All round talent, he’s better than all the guys above him. Zeks a better runner, DJ is a better pass catcher but Saquon is number 2 in both. The Football Giants O-line is serviceable and they have weapons all over the field. You cannot stack a box when OBJ, Shepard and Engram are running riot with your secondary. Pat Shurmer is only another positive for Barkley. He made cook look like a God for 3 weeks. He has the talent. He will get the volume and the offensive scheme will favour him with both running the ball as well as in the air. Add to that his draft capital in a class with 4 amazing QBs and the giants desperately needing one, yet they still took Barkley. That’s money. The Kid is going to be one of the greatest of all time.

Melvin Gordon

The best of the rest. There is a tier drop here. Where Gordon may lack in talent he more than makes up with opportunity and volume. The offensive scheme is focused around him especially for touchdowns. Kennan Allen is not a Touchdown guy. Hunter Henry is gone. Godron should have an uptick in red-zone targets and red-zone carries. People talk about a lack of efficiency. Meh he has been a top 24 RB in over 90% of his games. That sort of stability and high floor is amazing for any fantasy player. He is a guy you can get at the back of the 1st with the upside of breaking into that top five. Amazing value this year and will be Mr. Reliable.

Leonard Fournette

The foot, it scares me. They are never easy to overcome, lingering and even hindering sporting performance. If not for that, Fournette would be a top 5 RB. He is a phenomenal talent behind a beast of an offensive line on a run first team. The Jags will want to win with Fournette and their defence so the volume will be his, as much as he can handle. He can also catch the ball. He just never had to at LSU. Blake will look for him more as a receiver this year. The addition of ASJ and the loss of ARob and Hurns shows that Borts will check down a little more this year. Add to that, Bortles is a running QB(he isn’t a QB1 because of his accuracy) and that always helps the running back with space as DE’s have to look to close the edge and stop the QB breaking away. I’m loving Fournette this year and it would not shock me to see him in the contention for top 3 RB

Alvin Kamara

The 24th ranked WR last year…….wait. This guys a running back. So that’s just one side of his production. He was electric last year. Super-efficient with a very very high touch down rate. Yes regression is on the cards, hence his slightly lower ranking. However, Ingram is away for 4 weeks and might not return the same player. The Saints are an offence on the up with a genuine shot at the bowl this year and Kamara is the focal point of that offence. His talent is undeniable as displayed all over the field, through creases, speed in the middle, and catching balls outside the numbers, near the line of scrimmage and even on intermediate WR routes. Stopping Kamara is not an option, all defences can do is limit the damage he does. Drafting him in the top 10, you’re drafting the floor with an upside beyond what we saw last year.

Joe Mixon

The Saquon Barkley of last year. Mixon was very highly regarded coming out of Oklahoma. I loved him last year and drafted him EVERYWHERE. He was a workhorse true 3 down back who could run all day, take hits and catch passes everywhere. His size was proto typical and his talent elite. Yet it just didn’t happen last year. The volume wasn’t there and the Bengals offence was horrid all round. 2018, Hill is gone, the o-line is improved and hopefully the offence bounces back. He can line up all over the field and should start the season as the true bell-cow for the Bengals. The Talent is there, Volume there too….just gotta hope that the offence can get rolling and Mixon should easily be a top 10RB with top 5 upside.

Sony Michel

Over the last 6 years, running backs drafted in the first round have finished as an RB1 80% of the time. That’s a stat I read a couple of days ago. It just reaffirmed my love for Sony. I was high on him at Georgia and have drafted him everywhere so some bias may have come into this. That being said lets go to my tried and tested method. Talent – there is no question here. Both Georgia prospects are supremely talented and I think Sony has the better all round game. Scheme – he plays for the New England Patriots. You know, the blokes that seem to playing in every super bowl ever and scoring 30 points a game while making guys like Legarrette Blount and Dion Lewis RB1’s. So he will get carries, he will get receptions and he will get lots of touchdowns (the pats love to run the ball on the goal line). Finally Volume – This is the only potential knock on Sony (I’m ignoring the fumbles). He is carrying a possible injury with the knee, however he did return to camp early after a quick fluid drain which is positive. Rex Burkhead seems to be carrying an injury of his own which could limit his playtime and James White seems to only play in playoffs which means nothing for fantasy. Add that Cordarrelle Patterson (look him up) is the WR2 on the patriots atm. If he’s healthy I believe that Michel will be the bell-cow back for the NE Patriots and run riot in the NFL. The draft capital is there and if that original stat stands true then either Penny or Michel are going to finish as RB1……it’s not going to be Penny.

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dodgy doorightNomilktodayitsadundeel94SurgebusterTime For Plan B Recent comment authors
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Time For Plan B
Time For Plan B

You just convinced me to drop Penny for Michel.


Definitely the right call.

Borderline keeper

No offence but Soney Michel has no right to be mentioned with those other RBs. Won’t even be top 20

dodgy dooright
dodgy dooright

NFL is up and running on Sportsdeck for the 2019 season – 18 days till kick-off in this fun competition. Any Group or League codes??