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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL UPDATED RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

1.  David Johnson:  Truly insane power/speed numbers and workload no issue.
2.  Le'Veon Bell:  Threatening holdout but likely will show Week 1.  Insane PPR value but has to kick injury woes.
3.  LeSean McCoy:  Age is in clear Danger Zone but McCoy still dominating touches and is expected to see uptick in receptions.  All signs point to another monster season but it could be the last before the numbers begin to erode some.
4.  Jordan Howard:  I like Howard a bit more than most but will be rare bellcow back and was a rushing machine as a rookie.
5.  Jay Ajayi:  Dolphins plan to use Ajayi in passing game more and when combined with bellcow role, could easily vault into top four.  I have now bumped Ajayi over DeMarco Murray and Melvin Gordon.
6.  Melvin Gordon:  Still lacks in yards per carry but no doubt Gordon took step forward last season.  No more Danny Woodhead around to steal catches.
7.  Devonta Freeman:  If not for Tevin Coleman, would have Freeman top five.  In PPR though he can be moved up a bit.
8.  DeMarco Murray:  Derrick Henry could eat into more work and Murray far from durable which is why I have dropped him a bit.  Not having a good feeling about this setup.
9.  Ezekiel Elliott:  On the surface a 6-game suspension puts Elliott here but who knows how this drama plays out in the courts.
10. Kareem Hunt:  No this is not too high as a bellcow back in an Andy Reid offense.  Hunt is a terrific runner who also caught 41 passes a year ago at Toledo.  Could be the value of the year for those who got him before Spencer Ware's injury.
11. Leonard Fournette:  I am unsure here because I see some trouble here in terms of injuries and being a big back who will take a ton of hits.  Jags will ride him heavily though.
12. Dalvin Cook:  Very explosive back could be instant PPR RB 2 and now the Vikes seem set to launch him as the starter.  Rising fast.
13. Todd Gurley:  Called that one.  Said Gurley would go bust last summer and he came through in a big way to make me look smart.  That one was obvious as Rams O-line a joke and Gurley can't take a hit.  Still avoid.
14. Lamar Miller:  Man everything went wrong last season as Miller went bust.  Lots of us will be gun shy this time around but that could make Miller a value.  However his preseason has been rough and D'Onta Foreman likely will get goal-line work.  Lots of negatives.
15. Marshawn Lynch:  Tough call here as Lynch is a true BEAST but a year off and injury concerns are valid worries.
16. Carlos Hyde:  Has missed about half his NFL games with injury but Hyde actually looks like a decent value as a bellcow back who is improving as a receiver.
17. Ty Montgomery:  Not sure exactly what the Packers have in mind here for Montgomery but the advanced metrics point to how explosive a player he is.  Could go nuts or bomb out.  
18. Christian McCaffrey:  I admit I was a bit too exuberant with my initial ranking of McCaffrey and feel this is a much safer spot to place him in.  Jonathan Stewart will likely take the goal-line work and in standard that hurts him a bit.
19. Isaiah Crowell:  Those in PPR need to knock Crowell down but the guy showed last season he can run effectively.
20. Joe Mixon:  I think there is an excellent chance Mixon emerges as the starter given how slow Gio Bernard's return from torn ACL has gone and the continued ineffectiveness of Jeremy Hill (who also now has a bum ankle).
21. Bilal Powell:  The Jets are trying to shed Matt Forte via trade and may even cut him which would make Powell a high-usage PPR weapon.
22. Mark Ingram:  Is clearly the best back in New Orleans as Adrian Peterson looks to be on fumes but the usage won't be desirable here given the plans of Sean Payton.  Drafty more liberally in PPR but in standards Ingram should be avoided given the setup.
23. Ameer Abdullah:  The Detroit Lions are going to give it another shot with the speedy Abdullah but Theo Riddick remains to steal receptions and maybe goal-line work not a given.
24. Mike Gillislee:  Gillislee takes over the LeGarrette Blount role in New England and we saw with the latter last season how much potential standard league value this can carry.  Still has to fight through the Rex Burkhead threat.
25. Doug Martin:  Talk has been all over the place regarding what the Buc's will do with Martin.  He was a complete disaster last season and has to earn the coaching staff's trust again.  Far from a guarantee, Martin could be a decent reclamation project as a RB 3.
26. Frank Gore:  Gore continues to churn out yardage but count on the Colts beginning to push him aside in 2017.
27. Tevin Coleman:  Very capable handcuff to Devonta Freeman who could easily become top tier guy if injuries strike his teammate.
28. Matt Forte:  The aging veteran is clearly on the downside and should be completely passed by Bilal Powell this season.
29. Paul Perkins:  It has not been a good summer for Perkins and there is a growing threat behind him in Orleans Darkwa.
30. C.J. Anderson:  Boring as hell to own and now has to deal with a resurgent Jamaal Charles.  No thank you.
31. Darren Sproles:  With LeGarrette Blount bombing out this summer, Sproles should be used quite heavily as a pass-catcher and change-of-pace back.  60 receptions not out of the question.
32. Danny Woodhead:  Really loving Woodhead as a top RB 2 in PPR formats with Kenneth Dixon out for 2017 but he already is banged up.
33. Duke Johnson:  The Cleveland Browns have made it no secret they will use Johnson heavily int he passing game so in PPR formats that works as a nice backup.
34. Theo Riddick:  Still capable of 50-plus receptions but nothing in the way of rushing numbers.
35. James White:  The season-ending injury to Julian Edelman should open up some more work in the slot for the very capable receiving skills of James White.
36. Jonathan Stewart:  Remains a decent part of the Carolina offense and will be involved in a likely 50-50 split in work with Christian McCaffrey.
37. Jamaal Charles:  Has a chance to carve out a niche as a pass catching back in the Denver backfield and showed in preseason game 3 he has some explosion back in his legs.  Interesting.
38. Rex Burkhead:  I still can't ignore the fact Bill Belichick himself brought Burkhead aboard.  You would think big plans are in store for the guy.  
39. Adrian Peterson:  Not sure why the Saints even bothered here as Peterson looks done.
40. Eddie Lacy:  Moving up as Lacy is making weight and still has the ability that made him a first round pick not too long ago.
41. Latavius Murray:  Only question here is whether Murray knocks the fantasy football value of Dalvin Cook by stealing goal-line work.  
42. LeGarrette Blount:  Blount has been a joke all summer and really should be behind both Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles based on performance in the preseason.
43. C.J. Prosise
44. Rob Kelley:  No one wants to ever own Kelley since he doesn't passes and has little in the way of pure speed but he is a capable RB 4 who can help in a pinch.
45. Gio Bernard
46. Charles Sims
47. Samaje Perine
48. Derrick Henry:  If anything were to happen to the oft-injured DeMarco Murray, look out here.
49. Jacquizz Rodgers
50. Terrance West
51. Dion Lewis
52. Wendell Smallwood
53. Chris Thompson
54. Alvin Kamara
55. Chris Carson:  Still a very crowded backfield in Seattle which makes Carson getting tabbed for a meaningful role difficult.  Boy has he impressed however.


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