Choosing the No. 1 running back this coming season will be tougher than usual, but Gurley proved that he was the best fantasy back in 2017, while Le'Veon Bell was great and could take the title back. I think a lot comes down to touchdowns, and Gurley was the no-doubt No. 1 option, while in Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown is right up there with Bell in importance.
2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers. Bye: 8.
Bell's contract will be a talking point until it isn't, but he will most likely be on the field for Week 1 as a Pittsburgh Steeler, and that's a good spot for him and his fantasy prospects, as his usage numbers are tremendous and his offensive line knows how to block for him.
3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys. Bye: 7.
Elliott has to be in consideration for the No. 1 slot as well, as he averaged around the same amount of fantasy points per game as Bell. Elliott's only downfall compared to Bell is that he doesn't see the same amount of work in the receiving game. Elliott does get a healthy amount though and is about as locked in as a top target as a player can get.
4. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals. Bye: 9.
We know what Johnson can do, and it's pretty amazing, but we don't know who will be the quarterback for his team and if that person can keep the offense moving. If the Cardinals get someone who isn't awful, I expect Johnson's draft stock to push Bell and Gurley.
5. Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs. Bye: 5.
Hunt had a great rookie campaign and should be set up for another season as the lead back. My hope is that a full offseason with Kansas City will help him as a blocker and receiver, allowing him more work overall.
6. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints. Bye: 5.
Kamara did a lot with just 202 overall touches last season, so there is, of course, a chance he will regress on his per-touch basis, but the fact that he saw over 100 targets keeps me believing he'll have trouble falling from his overall numbers. Two hundred touches, when they come at the right time and the Saints create space for him to work, are good enough for me to feel safe about a repeat performance.
7. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers. Bye: 11.
Gordon hasn't wowed anyone with his per-touch numbers, but his usage and goal-line work makes him hard to get away from.
8. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars. Bye: 5.
I'm slightly worried about Fournette's health, but he's still young and on a team that has such a strong defense, that he will be set up for good usage game in and game out.
9. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills. Bye: 10.
McCoy gets a year older, but he also hasn't shown that he's slowed down much. The Bills will have a new quarterback and coaching staff, but the addition of Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator should help their running game and McCoy in turn.
10. Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings. Bye: 6.
Cook showed us enough last season to firmly be a top-10 running back. Jerrick McKinnon will likely be gonem and Latavius Murray can't do what Cook does, so as long as Cook's recovery goes well, get him.
11. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints. Bye: 5.
Ingram and Alvin Kamara make an insanely good one-two punch and are set up to see a similar workload as they did in 2017. There will be some inconsistency due to the paired backfield, but it will often be more because if we have Ingram and Kamara goes off, we think that Ingram was a dud even if he had a strong game.
12. Saquon Barkley, RB, FA. Bye: n/a.
Barkley is the best back in the 2018 NFL Draft, and whichever organization he goes to will use him as its every-down back from Week 1 on. His landing spot will of course help focus his projections for this season, but his ability and usage will push make him a strong fantasy player from Day 1.
13. Jordan Howard, RB, Bears. Bye: 9.
Howard was all over the map last season, but it didn't help that John Fox was awful. Matt Nagy will be a step up in play calling this season, and I expect Howard to get a bit more consistency and higher ceiling.
14. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons. Bye: 11.
Freeman had a down year but also missed three games. In a full season, he would have likely finished as a top-10 running back. Hopefully, the Falcons will up their offensive numbers as a whole in 2018, as this will be their second year in a new offense.
15. Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers. Bye: 8.
Hyde put up good numbers for a bad football team last season even while his usage was all over the map. So much will depend on his landing spot, but he's been good enough to command a starting job and with his ability, I expect he will be a good target in fantasy this year.