The NFL preseason is officially in the books. Before you draft your players, you may want to read this article on the top five running backs you should start in your fantasy football league this season.
Let’s be honest, fantasy football is by far the best fantasy sports competition out there. I mean, who doesn’t love fantasy football and the bragging rights that can be won with it?
Running backs have seemingly become the be all end all of fantasy football leagues, and the NFL’s recent explosion in dominant running backs is the reason why.
It used to be all about what quarterback you selected when it came to fantasy. Not that quarterbacks don’t matter now, it’s just the fact that running backs can score an incredible amount of points.
Running backs that can pass catch are even more crucial when it comes to fantasy football. Why? Because that means these specific players are on the field more and they are placed in more opportunities to get you that +6 points with a touchdown.
Here at The Jet Press, we want you to be the one who claims those bragging rights at the end of your fantasy football season. So, don’t be afraid to dive into this top five running backs list as you sit down to do some last-minute research on what players to draft in order to grab the title.
5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Determining who would be number five on this list was tougher than figuring out who number one should be, mainly because there is a hand full of running backs that could compete for the fifth spot. However, the incredibly dynamic New Orleans Saints running back, Alvin Kamara, takes the spot. He was an absolute force to be reckoned with in his rookie season in 2017.
Kamara is the subject of speculation. No, nothing bad. Rather, he is under speculation simply because we have to see if he can be consistent in his second season. Usually, a player who had the stats he did would be an easy top 5 pick.
Well, here’s my take on why Kamara will follow up his rookie season well. Mark Ingram, the running back he split time with last season, is suspended the first four games. Therefore, Kamara will have the opportunity to get a lot of reps.
The second-year player won the 2017 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award after he ran for 728 rushing yards, had eight rushing touchdowns, as well as 826 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns. He has the potential to be one of the best players in fantasy football if he replicates what he did last year.
Next: 4. Ezekiel Elliott
4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott tore up the NFL in 2016 on his way to being named an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler. He ran for 1,631 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, and he racked up 363 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.
Elliott was a game-breaking player for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016 and he played a large part in getting the team to a 13-3 record. Although, his 2017 season was cut short and highly controversial.
As we know, Elliott was the center of a domestic violence investigation. He was handed a suspension, which resulted in him only playing in 10 games in 2017. The former Ohio State Buckeye still got his reps in, as he nearly ran for 1,000 rushing yards in limited action.
This year you can expect big things from Elliott because he can focus on the game and not worry about any impending suspensions. He will be highly used and relied upon in the Cowboys’ offense.
Next: 3. David Johnson
3. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
Like Elliott, David Johnson had to watch many games on the sideline last season. Unlike Elliott, Johnson didn’t miss time due to any off the field issues. The Arizona Cardinals running back only dressed for one game before he had to miss the remainder of the season with a wrist injury.
Johnson’s absence proved to be too much to handle for the Cardinals. But, could you blame the team for struggling when you lose a player as productive as Johnson?
Johnson had a breakout season out in the desert in 2016 when he had a Madden type year. He rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Oh, yeah, he also racked up 879 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.
ESPN has Johnson ranked as the third overall player in the top-300 players list. Therefore, it would appear people aren’t too concerned that he won’t come back healthy.
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Next: 2. Todd Gurley
2. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
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Gurley was the catalyst for the Rams resurgent 2017 campaign. The 24-year old was a Pro Bowler, an All-Pro, and the 2017 AP Offensive Player of the Year.
Gurley’s value is through the roof, which is why staring him is an absolute must. He gathered 1,305 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Like most of the players on this list, he also was a handful in the passing game with 788 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
The former Georgia Bulldog shows no signs of stopping after he struggled to get much going in 2016. He is also a huge piece to the Rams success, so lock him into your lineup and enjoy the ride.
Next: 1. Le'Veon Bell
1. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming in at number one is a player who is undoubtedly the most dynamic, dominant running back in football. Yes, I’m talking about Pittsburgh Steelers’ stud Le’Veon Bell.
Bell is a testament to the idea that you only get better with age. This is because the 26-year old has the most experience out of any player on this list.
Of course, Bell also has the numbers to prove he is the best running back in football. He has run for over 1,200 rushing yards in three of his five seasons in the NFL, and he has accumulated over 600 receiving yards in three of those five. That’s dominance.
Bell’s presence on your team means one thing: you must have had a very early pick. However, there is a catch. He and the Steelers have been in a contract standoff that has been highly talked about.
Meaning, there seems to be some cause for concern that he may not be in shape or mentally into it this season. But, on the other hand, he may look to have the best season of his career in order to secure a big contract.