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Regular Season, Updated: 9/3/18

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Legend:   Upside = Upside   Risk = Risk   ADP = Average Draft Position
FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Kenyan Drake, MIA (Bye: 11)
25
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1994-01-26   Age: 24
College: Alabama   Draft: 2016 Round 3 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016MIA1333 179 2 9 46 0 34.5 2.7
2017MIA14133 644 3 32 239 1 112.3 8.0
2018 (Projected)MIA 165 725 4 38 275 1 130.0  

Outlook: Drake proved to be a productive fantasy asset in the playoff run last season with double-digit performances from Weeks 12 through 15, including a 23-carry for 120 yards and one touchdown performance against the Broncos Week 13. When given the opportunity to be the bell-cow running back for head coach Adam Gase, Drake responded well with a 4.8 yard per carry average in his final five games.

Despite his solid performance, Gase and the Dolphins front office opted to bring in veteran Frank Gore via free agency and rookie Kalen Ballage to compete with Drake for carries. At 6'1", 210 pounds, Drake is on the smaller size compared to other three-down backs, but according to PlayerProfiler.com, his breakaway run rate, yards per touch, and juke rate all rank in the top ten among qualified RBs from last season.

It appears reasonably clear that owners expecting Drake to be an every-down back to start the season will be hugely disappointed, as the Dolphins coaching staff did not bring in a veteran like Gore to not use him, and Ballage's talent will earn him carries and receptions as well. But that does not mean Drake will not have value this season on a team that could be a sneaky source for fantasy production in 2018.


 Royce Freeman, DEN (Bye: 10)
26
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 234   DOB: 1996-02-24   Age: 22
College: Oregon   Draft: 2018 Round 3 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2018 (Projected)DEN 194 776 5 29 194 1 133.0  

Outlook: Reports out of Denver are that the team is still not sure who will lead the team in touches out of the backfield, but that's exactly the type of news that we expect to hear from the majority of NFL coaching staffs that play the "rookies need to learn the system" game rather than just admitting that, on game day, they'll be putting the best players on the field in the majority of situations. For the Broncos, that's clearly rookie running back Royce Freeman.

Denver selected Freeman in the third round of April's NFL Draft, securing themselves a college workhorse who put together over 6,400 total yards of offense and 64 touchdowns during his four-year collegiate career at Oregon. He finished his career as college football's seventh-leading rusher all-time. Freeman was a high-level high school recruit and stepped right into the Marcus Mariota-led Ducks offense, producing 1,365 rushing yards along with 19 total touchdowns as a freshman. The moment was not too big for Freeman as a freshman stepping into a high-level program and it won't be too much for him when he gets onto the field for the Broncos early this season.

Only Devontae Booker and Carlos Henderson stand in the way of Freeman who, at 6-0 and 229-pounds, can lower his shoulder and deliver a boom to defenders or use his upper-percentile size/speed combination and agility to simply evade tacklers. Freeman is also a solid pass protector which should earn him at least some passing down work and is he's a decent enough pass catcher, something that has been missing out of the Denver backfield for a long time.

It would be too bold to predict that Freeman will be the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year this season with fellow running backs like Saquan Barkley, Darius Guice, Sony Michel and Rashaad Penny all being drafted ahead of him, but Freeman should be given a big role this season in Denver and it would not be at all surprising to see him finish among the top rookie performers in fantasy football this season.


 Peyton Barber, TB (Bye: 5)
27
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1994-06-27   Age: 24
College: Auburn   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016TB955 223 1 5 28 0 31.1 3.5
2017TB11108 423 3 16 114 0 71.7 6.5
2018 (Projected)TB 164 705 5 27 212 1 127.7  

Outlook: After Doug Martin left in the offseason, the door was opened for Barber who ended the season with five straight games with more than 12 carries. During that stretch, he scored double digit fantasy points twice and he added one other double digit game because of two scores.

However, his fantasy value immediately dropped after the team used an early second round pick in the NFL draft on Ronald Jones. With the early reports that Jones is expected to become a workhorse back, this likely limits Barber to a pure handcuff option with limited upside even if he starts. Unless Jones is injured in the preseason, Barber is a player that can safely be ignored during most drafts.


 Isaiah Crowell, NYJ (Bye: 11)
28
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1993-01-08   Age: 25
College: Alabama State   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015CLE16185 706 4 19 182 1 118.8 7.4
2016CLE16197 944 7 40 319 0 168.3 10.5
2017CLE16206 853 2 28 182 0 115.5 7.2
2018 (Projected)NYJ 172 686 5 31 205 1 125.1  

Outlook: Crowell signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Jets after an uninspiring 2017 season with the Browns. The former Alabama State star rushed for a mere 853 yards on 206 carries, with only two touchdowns on 234 total touches.

Crowell burned fantasy owners last season who bought into the hype of the RB building off a 2016 season in which he nearly reached 1000 rushing yards while scoring seven touchdowns. One narrative for Crowell apologists is the argument that the Browns offensive line was terrible last season with the loss of first ballot hall of fame left tackle Joe Thomas. However, that argument holds little water as the Browns offensive line finished as the No.14 overall unit in run blocking according to FootballOutsiders.com.

As the first and second down running back for the Jets, Crowell will run behind an offensive line that ranked second to last according to ProFootballFocus in 2017. Also, the former Brown will share the backfield with second-year back Elijah McGuire and veteran Bilal Powell, both of whom are more skilled as pass catchers than Crowell.

Despite the negative factors working against Crowell, the amount of volume he will likely garner at the start of the season makes him an attractive draft pick as a flex, or very low-end No. 2 running back. There is always touchdown upside for a bruising RB who will likely get goal line work.


 Mark Ingram, NO (Bye: 6)
29
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 215   DOB: 1989-12-21   Age: 28
College: Alabama   Draft: 2011 Round 1 (28) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015NO12165 767 6 50 405 0 153.2 12.8
2016NO16205 1,044 6 46 319 4 196.3 12.3
2017NO16230 1,124 12 58 416 0 226.0 14.1
2018 (Projected)NO 134 615 5 27 217 2 125.2  

Outlook: Following the trade of Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram joined the elite running backs despite sharing the load with breakout rookie, Kamara. Early in the off-season, it became clear that Ingram would remain with the team in 2018 and while Kamara was likely to see his role increase, Ingram still appeared to be a highly sought after fantasy asset. And then the four-game suspension came down.

If there was a certainty that Ingram walks back into his job in Week 5, he's a RB2 in all formats and should remain a target in the early rounds. But after 2017, there's some evidence that he may be left on the sidelines. Willie Snead's return from suspension in 2017 and subsequent lack of production should give drafters enough pause to pass on Ingram for known commodities in the middle rounds, but his ADP should be tracked. If he falls into the low-end RB3 price range, he could be a sneaky stash pick (if your league has a deep bench) that helps with a late-season run, but tread carefully because expectations should be limited and Ingram will only play in one game during the first six weeks as New Orleans has a Week 6 bye.


 Carlos Hyde, CLE (Bye: 11)
30
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 230   DOB: 1991-09-21   Age: 27
College: Ohio State   Draft: 2014 Round 2 (25) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015SF7115 470 3 11 53 0 70.3 10.0
2016SF13217 988 6 27 163 3 169.1 13.0
2017SF16240 940 8 59 350 0 177.0 11.1
2018 (Projected)CLE 160 656 5 29 177 0 113.3  

Outlook: Walk into my living room on a random evening and there's sure to be a home improvement show on in the background. At the pace they worked in the offseason, Cleveland's offense could be featured on any one of them. They've basically remade the personnel from top to bottom, and Hyde, the former 49er, is one of the fancy new additions. Hyde, the touchdown scoring dual threat, has long been a top flight asset for fantasy teams. Staying on the field has generally been his only problem, as he's produced for some bad teams when given the opportunity. He was the lone threat for a team that started 0-10 last year, compiling 8 touchdowns and over 1,400 total yards over the course of his first 16-game season. Yup, entering his 6th season in the NFL, 2017 was only the 1st he's been healthy enough to play a full 16 games. Unfortunately health, the 2nd round selection of Nick Chubb, and the presence of Duke Johnson has greatly devalued Hyde for 2018, as this has the makings of a full blown RBBC.

The Browns coaches have already talked up the dreaded "hot hand" situation, meaning that the value of all three guys could fluctuate on a weekly basis. If it means anything, I do think Hyde has the best overall game of the bunch, and when things equally shake out, should lead the backfield in touches. Chubb figures to be the banger, and Johnson the receiver, but Hyde is the vet, and thus is the current leader with the coaching staff. Marrying yourself to any of these guys is probably a mistake, but Hyde could return some serious value should health and opportunity stay consistent. Hyde has produced for some far worse offensive teams, and Cleveland didn't give him a chest of cash to ride the pine. At his current mid-round price I don't like the value, but should his ADP continue to fall into the summer, I wouldn't hesitate to snap him up him up as my RB4 and pray he pulls away from the pack.


 Jamaal Williams, GB (Bye: 7)
31
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 212   DOB: 1995-04-03   Age: 23
College: Brigham Young   Draft: 2017 Round 4 (28) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017GB14153 556 4 25 262 2 117.8 8.4
2018 (Projected)GB 152 608 4 25 196 1 110.4  

Outlook: After being totally invisible for the first 9 weeks of the season, Williams turned it on after injuries to Montgomery and Jones. While the yardage numbers don't jump off the page and the average was well under 4 yards per carry, Williams proved to be a chain mover and a guy who had a nose for the endzone, as he tallied 6 total scores over the final 9 weeks of the season. He more than held his own in the passing game, picking up 25 receptions for 262 yards. Considering how long it took him to earn meaningful snaps his 800+ total yards is fairly impressive. The biggest problem I have with Williams is he lacks the speed and elusiveness to generate yardage on his own, and that was evident last year when the Packer passing game imploded without A-Rod. Williams should have many more running lanes with his QB back under center, and is the Packers running back with the best overall skill-set. With all three guys healthy I think Williams settles in as the most consistent fantasy prospect, especially in standard leagues where he has a chance at low-end RB2 value.


 Devontae Booker, DEN (Bye: 10)
32
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 219   DOB: 1992-05-27   Age: 26
College: Utah   Draft: 2016 Round 4 (38) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016DEN16174 612 4 31 265 1 117.7 7.4
2017DEN1379 299 1 30 275 0 63.4 4.9
2018 (Projected)DEN 163 636 4 33 256 1 119.2  

Outlook: An early-season wrist injury cost Devontae Booker significant playing time this past season, which is disappointing because many believed that he would end up out-scoring veteran C.J. Anderson in the Denver backfield if he was given the opportunity. Despite playing in 13 games, Booker failed to reach even 300 yards on the ground and faded into relative obscurity as the season went on.

Booker is likely considered the "starter" heading into camp but don't be fooled by that. The Broncos selected Royce Freeman in the third round of the draft and there's really no question that he's the preferred option for fantasy purposes. Booker simply lacks the size, speed or strength to be an every down workhorse and despite his production in the passing game, he's not good enough there to completely keep Freeman off the field in all passing downs.

Booker is a late-round PPR option at best but he would almost certainly take over as the top back on the roster if Freeman were to go down with an injury, so there's some upside there as well.


 Duke Johnson, CLE (Bye: 11)
33
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 207   DOB: 1993-09-23   Age: 25
College: Miami   Draft: 2015 Round 3 (13) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015CLE16104 379 0 61 534 2 103.3 6.5
2016CLE1674 366 1 53 514 0 94.0 5.9
2017CLE1682 348 4 74 693 3 146.1 9.1
2018 (Projected)CLE 79 341 2 64 565 2 114.6  

Outlook: One of fantasy's most underrated backs put together a fantastic overall season on an 0-16 team. Compiling a career high 1,041 total yards and 7 touchdowns, Johnson also led the team in receptions with 74 and yards with 693. Johnson has been the most consistent offensive threat on this team for several seasons, but the Browns don't seem to view him as anything more than a plus passing down back. The additions of Hyde and Chubb mean he's third in line for carries at best. Jarvis Landry, and the development of 2nd year tight end David Njoku mean even Johnson's short routes could be eaten into. Cleveland certainly showed how much they value Johnson's versatility by signing him to a good money extension, but their personnel decisions say otherwise. I can't envision a non-injury scenario where Johnson leaps both Chubb and Hyde for carries, but he still garners plenty of value in the passing game. The season he put together last year made him a solid RB2 in standard leagues, but it's going to be close to impossible to beat that in 2018. With Cleveland hopefully in more positive game scripts, he could lose passing game work. I think he drops down a few pegs and falls in as a low-end RB3, with RB2 upside in PPR leagues.


 Chris Carson, SEA (Bye: 7)
34
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 218   DOB: 1994-09-16   Age: 24
College: Oklahoma State   Draft: 2017 Round 7 (31) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017SEA449 208 0 7 59 1 32.7 8.2
2018 (Projected)SEA 135 555 4 23 185 1 104.0  

Outlook: Some reports are that second-year running back Chris Carson has been the most impressive player at Seahawks OTAs. Carson was also considered by many to be the team's best runner in 2017, as he rushed for 4.2 yards per carry prior to getting injured. Injuries have plagued him throughout his college and now professional careers but Carson reportedly added 10 lbs of muscle this offseason which should help with the durability issues.

He could've been in line to be the team's primary early down back had Seattle not invested a first round pick in Rashaad Penny. It shouldn't be all that surprising that Carson is giving his all at OTAs, considering he will likely need to put on a show to make the case that he should be given an opportunity over Penny. As things currently stand, Carson will likely start the season splitting early down carries with Penny as a best case scenario.

While not truly a "handcuff" due to the nature of the backfield, Carson would likely be the primary beneficiary should Penny go down this season and that could make him a worthwhile stash in deeper leagues as he could slide in as an every week RB2 if given a decent workload.


 Bilal Powell, NYJ (Bye: 11)
35
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 204   DOB: 1988-10-27   Age: 29
College: Louisville   Draft: 2011 Round 4 (29) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015NYJ1170 313 1 47 388 2 88.1 8.0
2016NYJ16131 722 3 58 388 2 141.0 8.8
2017NYJ15178 772 5 23 170 0 124.2 8.3
2018 (Projected)NYJ 143 586 4 31 235 1 112.1  

Outlook: Powell has quietly been the best running back for the Jets over the past three seasons and a viable fantasy asset while averaging 8.5 fantasy points per game dating back to 2015. Although the seven-year NFL vet has yet to rush for more than 1000 yards in a season or receiver more than 178 rushes in a campaign, he continues to be a reliable flex option with excellent receiving skills.

Despite his success running the ball during that span (4.7 yard per carry average), the New York front office and coaching staff do not view Powell as an every-down back, as evident by the signing of Isaiah Crowell this offseason to a three-year contract. Crowell will be the first and second down back, with Powell acting as the change of pace and sharing passing down duties with Elijah McGuire.

Should Crowell continue to underwhelm as he did last season in Cleveland, Powell and McGuire could see a more active role as the season progresses. Until that occurs, neither player has much value outside of a flex start, and the New York ground game might be better off avoided.


 Alfred Morris, SF (Bye: 11)
36
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 219   DOB: 1988-12-12   Age: 29
College: Florida Atlantic   Draft: 2012 Round 6 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015WAS16202 763 1 10 55 0 87.8 5.5
2016DAL1369 243 2 3 11 0 37.4 2.9
2017DAL13115 547 1 7 45 0 65.2 5.0
2018 (Projected)SF 171 717 6 8 59 0 113.6