The top three running back picks and probably the top three picks in any Fantasy Football draft will be David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell. After that, things become a little cloudy. LeSean McCoy, Jordan Howard, Melvin Gordon, Jay Ajayi, Lamar Miller, Todd Gurley, and possibly rookie running back Leonard Fournette would round out the top ten. These players won’t tend to be time share running backs, and they will get most of their team’s carries.
Devonta Freeman and DeMarco Murray could also be in that top ten, but they have competition in their backfield with Tevin Coleman and Derrick Henry. Marshawn Lynch looks to be the main back in Oakland, but he hasn’t played football in over a year. He retired from Seattle, but this year he is coming back and playing for Oakland. The New Orleans Saints high-powered offense now has Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram in their backfield. Peterson, 32 years old, thinks he has “a lot of years left”, but he is coming back from a meniscus tear. Peterson only played in three games last year, and didn’t play too well in those games.
The Denver backfield is also a little crowded with CJ Anderson, Devontae Booker, and recently acquired Jamaal Charles, who is also coming off a knee injury. Charles also only played three games last year and had lingering effects from his meniscus injury from the prior season. The Cincinnati Bengals also have a three-headed monster in their backfield with Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill and Joe Mixon.
The Minnesota Vikings, after not re-signing Peterson, signed Latavius Murray from Oakland and then drafted Dalvin Cook with the 41st pick. The Seahawks acquired Eddie Lacy in the off-season and still have Thomas Rawls and CJ Prosise. The Carolina Panthers drafted versatile Christian McCaffrey and have Jonathan Stewart as their other back.
We believe this year, more than ever, we will want one of the top three picks and definitely one of the top ten running backs in one of the first couple of rounds. It looks like there are going to be a lot of questions going into the season in several team’s backfields. We will be watching closely at this year’s training camps and pre-season games in order to get a good read on the running back situations.