I’m just in awe. The amount of elite talent we have at the running back position is absolutely astounding. It would be different if we were talking about a bunch of four or five-year veterans playing in their best years, but that’s not the case for this group. With one rookie and five backs entering their second year, we should have several incredible years to come from these guys.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get into our Top Ten Dynasty Fantasy Football Running Backs!
This series will take us through the top ten of the four major positions and will be updated every July and January. Consider this the 2018 Pre-Season Edition.
1) Todd Gurley, RB LAR | 2017 Finish: RB 1 | Age: 23
Todd Gurley may share tier one with Ezekiel Elliott, but there’s no doubting who gets the top spot. The Ram was head and shoulders above the rest of the league last season. Now we just want to see consistency. It’s easy to forget that just two years ago, Gurley rushed for an extremely uninspiring 3.2 yards per carry. He has clearly left that season in the dust, but if he wants to hold on to that number one rank going forward, he’s going to have to impress once again in 2018.
2) Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL | 2017 Finish: RB 12/Suspension | Age: 22
If Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t suspended for six games last season, is he in consideration for the number one rank? I think so. Nevertheless, Zeke enters the upcoming season in rarefied air. His DLF ADP hasn’t dropped below 10 since October of his rookie year, and if I had to guess, he won’t be leaving anytime soon. Elliott’s what we call the whole package. With youth and all the talent he could ever need, he’s a tremendously safe way to start your dynasty team.
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3) Saquon Barkley, RB NYG | 2017 Finish: N/A | Age: 21
I’m officially all in on Saquon Barkley. I really tried to hold back until he stepped foot onto an NFL field. Suffice to say, his enticing talent was stronger than any lingering doubts I had. Barkley is consistently a top ten back in redraft leagues. That was the case with Elliott as a rookie, and he more than lived up to the lofty billing. Barkley shouldn’t have any trouble following in the Cowboy’s footsteps.
4) Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT | 2017 Finish: RB 2 | Age: 26
Le’Veon Bell is rolling into 2018 fresh off yet another top-five season. That’s a memorable year for just about any back. For him, it’s run of the mill. Is anything going to change for the 2013 second rounder? Probably not. For the handful of prime years that he has left in the tank, we can safely expect Bell to continue to be the most valuable piece in fantasy.
5) David Johnson, RB ARI | 2017 Finish: Injury | Age: 26
Barkley, Bell, and Johnson could have easily all been tied for third. They’re really that close. We’ve heard the cases for Barkley and Bell, so what makes Johnson so special? DJ burst onto the scene as a rookie, and then broke down the walls of what we thought he could be in 2016. It’s just too bad we only got to see him play one game a season ago. I think we’re all excited for Johnson to be back in full for 2018. Once he finds his groove, we should be single-handedly carrying teams to playoff berths.
6) Alvin Kamara, RB NO | 2017 Finish: RB 3 | Age: 22
Alvin Kamara will be the undoubted lead back for New Orleans until week five. We’re about to see greatness right before our eyes. Is anyone else ecstatic to get a glimpse of what could be his future? Mark Ingram will turn 29 before the season concludes, and we have to think that as the seasons go on, Kamara’s role will only grow as Ingram’s declines. As for the season at hand, we certainly can’t expect Kamara to follow up on his league-leading 6.1 ypc. Even so, don’t be surprised if he’s a top-five back once again.
7) Kareem Hunt, RB KC | 2017 Finish: RB 4 | Age: 22
I still remember watching Kareem Hunt’s simply remarkable week one performance. I actually happened to be was playing against the Toledo rookie, but still, it was incredible to watch. Hunt’s following 16 weeks weren’t as flashy as his onslaught in New England. Nevertheless, he was able to lead the NFL in rushing and netted a top three finish at RB. Look for Hunt to continue turning heads with more highlights this fall.
8) Leonard Fournette, RB JAX | 2017 Finish: RB 9 | Age: 23
Wouldn’t this group of three make the perfect backfield? Dalvin Cook as the all-around, Christian McCaffrey as the pass catcher, and Leonard Fournette as the power. Wow. Talking about Mr. Power, Fournette is a lot more than a goal-line superstar. The LSU product was the RB8 a year ago and should have many more top-ten seasons ahead of him. Fournette was fairly inefficient as a rookie (3.9 yards per carry). Even if he doesn’t ever become a 5.0 ypc rusher, he should be able to produce at a very valuable level.
9) Dalvin Cook, RB MIN | 2017 Finish: Injury | Age: 22
Dalvin Cook’s torn ACL was supposed to be the end of the Vikings playoff hopes. That obviously wasn’t the case, but it still says a lot about how good the rookie was through his first four weeks. Although his time in the NFL has been brief, Cook’s 4.8 ypc and 88.5 yards per game point to a pretty darn bright future. He enters 2018 as one of the more valuable backs in dynasty. That should continue to be the case for several years ahead.
10) Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR | 2017 Finish: RB 10 | Age: 22
I’ve fallen in love with Christian McCaffrey. The second-year standout is fresh off an impressive rookie season, and may just revolutionize the running back position as we know it. I just can’t wait to see where his career goes. In only ten games started, McCaffrey has already established himself as one of the best receiving backs in our game. As long as he can improve as a rusher as he matures, there’ll be nothing keeping him from elite level production.
Have a question about your team, a current player, or a potential trade? Please leave a comment below. I’m always glad to interact with readers. If you have a more specific and in-depth question, or would like advice for your team that you want to talk more about, just shoot me an email at [email protected] I hope you enjoyed the article!