2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs




These 2017 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time.

Also, be sure to check out my other 2017 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2017 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.

Follow me @walterfootball for updates.




2017 Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs (Sept. 6):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-40 | 41-75


  1. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals. Bye: 9.
    Cardinals GM Steve Keim called David Johnson the best receiving back he's ever seen. Keim cited that many compare Johnson to Marshall Faulk. Those comparisons seem to be right on the money thus far. In addition to rushing for 1,239 yards and scoring 20 total touchdowns, Johnson caught 80 balls for 879 receiving yards. He's currently the favorite to be the No. 1 overall fantasy pick this year.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,310 rushing yards. 72 catches. 750 receiving yards. 16 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 302.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 374.

  2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers. Bye: 9.
    Le'Veon Bell has played just one full season in his career. It's always a worry if he can stay clean, but when he plays, he's terrific. Bell accumulated 1,268 rushing yards and 75 catches last year - in just 12 games! It's a debate as to whether Bell or David Johnson should be the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy drafts this summer.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,480 rushing yards. 86 catches. 770 receiving yards. 12 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 297.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 383.





  3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers. Bye: 9.
    Melvin Gordon had an awful rookie campaign, failing to find the open hole and gaining just 3.5 yards per carry. He also dealt with a lingering knee injury that clearly affected him greatly because he was incredible in his sophomore campaign. Gordon just missed out on 1,000 rushing yards, and he also caught 41 balls for 419 receiving yards. He scored 12 touchdowns as well, doing all of this in just 13 games. Gordon's numbers would've been much better had his offensive line stayed healthy. There's a better chance of that happening in the wake of the Chargers selecting two talented guards early in the draft.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,190 rushing yards. 40 catches. 350 receiving yards. 12 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 226.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 266.

  4. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams. Bye: 8.
    AUG. 20 UPDATE: Todd Gurley looks like he's going to have a huge year. He struggled in 2016, but ran behind one of the worst offensive lines we've seen this decade. The Rams made improvements to their blocking, and Sammy Watkins' presence will make it difficult for teams to put eight men in the box. Gurley tallied 38 yards and a touchdown on eight carries against the Raiders. He also caught a 12-yard pass. Gurley ran impressively, picking up multiple short-yardage opportunities. He also churned his legs to move the pile nine yards on a second-and-1 play.

    AUG. 11 UPDATE: As Facebook friend Chad B. pointed out, I forgot to include Todd Gurley as a stock up. He'll face fewer eight-man fronts with Sammy Watkins on the team. Given that, as well as the improved offensive line, Gurley seems poised for a huge year.

    Todd Gurley was a huge disappointment last year, as he was arguably the greatest fantasy bust in 2016. Gurley has tons of talent and should rebound, and there's a chance that could happen with Andrew Whitworth on the roster to improve the blocking. However, it doesn't help though that Jared Goof is extremely incompetent, allowing opposing defenses to play close to the line of scrimmage.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,370 rushing yards. 40 catches. 310 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 222.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 262.

  5. Jordan Howard, RB, Bears. Bye: 9.
    Jordan Howard replaced the ineffective Jeremy Langford as the starter in Week 4, and he never looked back. Howard registered 1,313 rushing yards, 29 catches and seven total touchdowns despite not doing much in the first three weeks of the season. Chicago's offensive line figures to once again be strong, so Howard could be even better in his sophomore campaign.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,380 rushing yards. 28 catches. 260 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 218.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 246.



  6. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills. Bye: 6.
    LeSean McCoy had a great year, gaining 1,267 rushing yards and catching 50 passes for 356 receiving yards. He also scored 14 touchdowns. McCoy was fantastic in 2016, but he's 29 now, so regression could come soon. There's more risk this year, so I wouldn't reach for him.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,220 rushing yards. 40 catches. 290 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 217.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 257.

  7. Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins. Bye: 11.
    AUG. 25 UPDATE: The star of the Dolphins' dress rehearsal was Jay Ajayi. Despite battling a fearsome front seven without some of his starting offensive linemen, Ajayi exploded for 53 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. A chunk of this came on a 26-yard burst when Ronald Darby missed a tackle. Ajayi showed tremendous power, and it's very promising that he was able to do so well without some of his starters.

    AUG 16 UPDATE: Jay Ajayi has cleared concussion protocol, according to Adam Beasley, Miami Herald. Ajayi missed two weeks in total. It's great that he's back, but if he missed two weeks with his previous concussion, he could be out longer with his next one.

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: Jay Ajayi has yet to clear concussion protocol. It's been two weeks so far, yet Ajayi has yet to receive the green light. This is becoming a bit concerning. If Ajayi returns, but suffers another concussion during the regular season, he could be out much longer.

    MAY 24 UPDATE: Adam Gase told the media that Jay Ajayi could see as many as 350 carries in 2017. That's a lot of carries, as Ajayi had 260 in 2016. In fact, it's too many; his 2018 campaign could be adversely affected if he receives such an enormous workload. However, it's great for his 2017 fantasy owners. There's some concern with his offensive line, but Ajayi's volume should make up for it.

    It's amazing that Jay Ajayi was benched at the beginning of the year. He eventually took over the starting job, and the Dolphins certainly didn't regret it. Ajayi gained 200-plus yards in consecutive games, and the only reason he slowed down at the end of the season was because center Mike Pouncey left the lineup. Ajayi will be a solid RB1 this upcoming season, as he gained 1,272 yards in 2016 despite not being a full-time player until Week 6.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,220 rushing yards. 33 catches. 240 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 212.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 245.

  8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys. Bye: 6.
    SEPT. 1 UPDATE: The NFLPA has filed a temporary restraining order in Texas to get the courts to block any suspension upheld by the NFL arbiter. This appeals process could get ugly, and I think one of two things will happen. Either this will drag out forever like the Tom Brady hearing did, or Elliott will accept a plea to have his suspension reduced to four, or maybe even two games. Either way, Elliott is looking much better right now, and I'd consider him atop the second round now.

    AUG. 11 UPDATE: Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games. He's obviously not a first-round fantasy pick anymore. I think I'd take him anywhere between the middle of the third round and the end of the fourth round. Not having him for six games will hurt, but if you can survive with a 3-3 record, you'll look great with Elliott down the stretch.

    JUNE 11 UPDATE: Adam Schefter said that he would be hesitant to draft Ezekiel Elliott this summer. Schefter is an avid fantasy player, and he notes that there's a chance Elliott is suspended for domestic violence. Of course, this could all be a ruse so that Schefter can land Elliott late in the first round of his fantasy leagues.

    MAY 24 UPDATE: Ezekiel Elliott injured his head during a car accident Sunday night, and he will be held out of practice for the time being, as reported by Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com. Elliott was the passenger during the accident, but this is his second off-field incident during the offseason, and he's still under investigation for assault. Elliott is a great player, but comes with more risk this season, including the projected decline of Dallas' offensive line.

    So much for Ezekiel Elliott not being worth a first-round pick because he was a rookie! Elliott put together one of the best performances from a rookie running back ever. It could be argued that he should be taken first overall in standard fantasy drafts this summer, but David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell definitely have him beaten in PPR formats. It's worth noting that Elliott lost guard Ronald Leary, so his blocking won't be as good.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,200 rushing yards. 35 catches. 250 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 211.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 246.



  9. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons. Bye: 5.
    Despite splitting touches with Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman was able to rush for 1,079 yards and catch 54 passes, scoring 13 times in the process. As long as Atlanta's terrific offensive line is intact, I'd expect Freeman to approach those figures once more, though his touchdown total could drop because of variance.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,000 rushing yards. 53 catches. 390 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 205.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 258.

  10. DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans. Bye: 8.
    AUG 16 UPDATE: DeMarco Murray has returned from his hamstring injury, per Jim Wyatt, Titans Online. Murray missed two weeks. Hamstring issues are tricky, and it could resurface. Murray certainly hasn't been the most durable running back over the years, and given that his ADP is 1.12 this year (4.01 in 2016), I would stay away, as there is too much risk.

    AUG. 4 UPDATE: DeMarco Murray is dealing with a hamstring tweak. It might end up being minor, but the injury is a reminder of how fragile Murray can be. Murray provided nice value last year, but it seems awfully risky to take him in the second round this year.

    One of many examples of Chip Kelly's utter incompetence was when he tried to turn DeMarco Murray into an east-west runner when Murray is better slamming the ball in between the tackles. The Titans knew this, and they used him correctly. As a result, Murray gained 1,287 yards, scored 12 touchdowns and caught 53 passes for 377 receiving yards. The Titans have one of the top offensive lines in the NFL, so Murray, 29, won't regress too much because of age. However, he will split more of a workload with Derrick Henry, limiting his potential.

    Projected 2017 Fantasy Stats: 1,080 rushing yards. 46 catches. 300 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
    Projected 2017 Fantasy Points: 192.
    Projected 2017 PPR Fantasy Points: 238.


2017 Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs (Sept. 6):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-40 | 41-75





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More 2017 Fantasy Football Articles:
Fantasy Football Rankings

2017 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/6 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - 8/28 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/6 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings - 8/28 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/6 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings - 8/28 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 9/6 (Walt)
Chet Gresham's Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings - 8/28 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 8/18 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 8/18 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings - 5/12 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 5/12 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 5/12 (Chet)



2017 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 9/1 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/31 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 2-QB, PPR - 8/25 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/24 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/17 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/10 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/3 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/27 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/26 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/20 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/14 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/13 (Walt)



2017 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2017 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 9/6 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 PPR - 9/6 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 2-QB - 9/6 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 Touchdown League - 9/6 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Custom - 9/6 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football: Dynasty Rankings - 9/6 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football PPR Rankings - 8/16 (Chet)
2017 Fantasy Football Spreadsheets - 9/6 (Walt)

2017 Fantasy Football Articles:
2017 Fantasy Football Stock Report: OTAs, Training Camp - 9/6 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 9/2 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Busts - 9/2 (Walt)
2017 NFL Preseason Game Recaps - 9/1 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Preseason - 9/1 (Walt)
2017 Fantasy Football: Running Backs with the Most Carries - 1/31 (Walt)






NFL Picks - Sept. 23


2019 NFL Mock Draft - Sept. 23


2018 NFL Mock Draft - Sept. 21


Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 6


2018 NBA Mock Draft - Aug. 23


NFL Power Rankings - May 5


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Rank higher in PPR (points per reception) leagues
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