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Should be another interesting year for running backs in fantasy football. Here’s my top five preseason rankings for the running back position.
1.) David Johnson/Arizona Cardinals – One of the best running backs in the game and just as dangerous as a receiver. Johnson suffered a knee injury during the end of last season but he’s healthy and ready to roll now. Don’t worry about the Cardinals overusing him as coach Arians said back in March that he wants to get Johnson at least 30 touches per game. If that’s true, Johnson will be the number one overall pick in fantasy.
2.) Le’Veon Bell/Pittsburgh Steelers – Here’s another fantasy favorite who will go number one or two overall in every league due to his running and catching ability. Here’s a fantasy fact – Bell drew 86% of the Steelers carries over his 12 games last year which was tops in the league. My only issue with Bell is his durability but his talent is undeniable.
3.) Ezekiel Elliott/Dallas Cowboys – It’s crazy to have the league’s leading rusher last season as the third best overall but he wasn’t effective as a receiver with only 32 receptions compared to David Johnson’s 80 and Le’Veon Bell’s 75. Elliott rushed for 90 yards or more in nine straight games and 11 of 12 from Week 3 through Week 12. Coach Sean Garrett said that he wants “Zeke” to catch the ball more so I expect another great fantasy season from Elliott. He’s known to have some off the field problems (Nightclub incident, Saint Patrick’s Day slip up, and a domestic violence dispute) that may cause the league to suspend him a game or more. He’ll still be a top five pick in all draft formats.
4.) LeSean McCoy/Buffalo Bills – The man known as “Shady” has been a consistent fantasy player throughout his career and shows no signs of slowing down. His carries per game have declined in each of his two Bills seasons but he’s very influential in the passing game. With the departure of coach Mike Gillislee, expect McCoy to get even more goal line work which makes him a top five running back
5.) Melvin Gordon/Los Angeles Chargers – What a surprise Gordon was last season once Danny Woodhead went down with an injury. He should be the bell cow for the Chargers who was ninth in scoring last year. Backup Brandon Oliver is healthy and may steal a few carries but Gordon is in for another heavy work load despite suffering knee and hip injuries that shut him down late last season.