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Regular Season, Updated: 8/16/18

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Legend:   Upside = Upside   Risk = Risk   ADP = Average Draft Position
FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Kerryon Johnson, DET (Bye: 6)
37
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 212   DOB: 1997-06-30   Age: 21
College: Auburn   Draft: 2018 Round 2 (11) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2018 (Projected)DET 159 667 4 34 202 0 110.9  

Outlook: I'm going to go on record and state that Johnson is going to be the first Detroit running back to rush for 100 yards in a game since 2013. The ultra-productive (led the SEC in rushing last season) 2nd round pick from Auburn is an athletic (all-state basketball player in high school) and versatile addition to the Detroit backfield. He doesn't have elite quickness or speed, but he plays fast, hitting the hole and getting to the next level of the defense quickly. Some scouts have likened his running style to Le'Veon Bell, and he has shown the ability to be a three-down player at the pro level. Basically, he has everything coaches and scouts need from a productive starting NFL back. He can generate yardage in many ways, from sheer will, elusiveness and reading the defense. But how exactly does all this translate into fantasy relevance?

I'll put it simply, I really like Johnson's outlook this year. Now some scouts were turned off by his combination of frame and running style, being concerned that he might have trouble holding up to big workloads in the NFL. Well, I don't think that's a problem in Detroit. Even though he CAN play on all three downs, he won't HAVE to with Riddick and Blount to pick up some of the dirty work. What Johnson WILL do is have the opportunity to run behind a greatly improved offensive line and a defense that will be spread out trying to stop the pass. The offensive scheme will be a lot like his college offense, and he has the intangibles to get on and stay on the field. His 20 touchdowns last season prove he has a nose for the endzone, and his 55 receptions in three years at Auburn show he's a quality receiver as well. Riddick and Blount are complementary players in this backfield, and Johnson should lead this team in rushing by a significant margin if he stays healthy. Being the 6th back taken in the draft, and playing for a team that's been the worst at running the football for years means Johnson could be a steal in early drafts. I like him as an RB3 that has RB2 upside.


 Chris Thompson, WAS (Bye: 4)
38
Height: 5’8”   Weight: 187   DOB: 1990-10-20   Age: 27
College: Florida State   Draft: 2013 Round 5 (21) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015WAS1335 216 0 35 240 2 57.6 4.4
2016WAS1668 356 3 49 349 2 100.5 6.3
2017WAS1064 294 2 39 510 4 116.4 11.6
2018 (Projected)WAS 78 345 2 56 472 3 111.7  

Outlook: A gruesome broken right fibula Week 12 prematurely ended Thompson's 2017 season, cutting short an impressive career year for the former Florida State Seminole. Despite missing six games, Thompson set career marks for receiving yards and touchdowns (510, 4), while averaging an impressive 11.6 fantasy points per game based on FF Today Default Scoring. Not only was Thompson skilled as the third/passing down back for Jay Gruden, he also earned more first and second down touches in the Redskin offense due to the injuries and ineffective running by Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine.

With the Redskins using their second-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft to select Derrius Guice, the path for touches from Thompson will likely be limited to passing and third down work. Guice is a talented runner, but he has a way to go with regards to pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield.

Despite having a set role with limited upside rushing the ball and questions surrounding his ability to return to form after the broken leg, Thompson will have flex value in PPR leagues with the upside of more work should Guice suffer rookie struggles.


 Ty Montgomery, GB (Bye: 7)
39
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 221   DOB: 1993-01-22   Age: 25
College: Stanford   Draft: 2015 Round 3 (30) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015GB53 14 0 15 136 2 27.0 5.4
2016GB1377 457 3 44 348 0 98.5 7.6
2017GB871 273 3 23 173 1 68.6 8.6
2018 (Projected)GB 99 416 2 43 316 2 97.2  

Outlook: The Ty Montgomery experiment had some high moments (Weeks 1 and 2) but mostly gets an incomplete for the season. With 18 receptions over the first three weeks it was abundantly clear Montgomery retained the ability to catch the ball after his transition from receiver. He even found the endzone twice, but from Week 4 on injuries to himself and his quarterback killed any fantasy value he may have had. Montgomery's biggest knock is his ability to prove he could handle the rigors of a starting running back, and that question mark certainly remains, as he missed a total of 11 games over the last two seasons. It looks like he's spent the offseason in Green Bay trying to build his body, but with both Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones back, and proving they have the talent to produce in the NFL, Montgomery finds himself smack dab in the middle of a muddled backfield. It's tough to gauge how this backfield shakes out, but it's clear Montgomery's best usage will come as a chess piece the Packers can move around. They are fully committed to this experiment, and if he can stay healthy he should catch 40+ passes, and his best returns should come as a strong FLEX play in PPR leagues, or in the RB3 area in standard leagues.


 Chris Ivory, BUF (Bye: 11)
40
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 222   DOB: 1988-03-22   Age: 30
College: Tiffin   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015NYJ15247 1,070 7 30 217 1 176.7 11.8
2016JAC11117 439 3 20 186 0 80.5 7.3
2017JAC14112 381 1 21 175 1 67.6 4.8
2018 (Projected)BUF 139 555 4 30 205 1 106.0  

Outlook: Ivory signed a two-year $5.5 million deal with the Bills over the offseason after two uneventful seasons with the Jaguars. The former Jet and Saint averaged a paltry 3.6 yards per carry in limited action with Jacksonville and became expendable when the Jags drafted Leonard Fournette last season.

At age 30, Ivory is clearly past his prime and was brought in by Buffalo to be the backup running back behind LeSean McCoy. An aging backup for another aging running back on a bad team is not an attractive target in any fantasy draft format. However, should McCoy miss time or get released for his pending domestic violence accusations and Ivory receives 200-plus touches, he would enter the discussion as a low-end No.2 or flex in 12-team leagues.


 Peyton Barber, TB (Bye: 5)
41
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 129 555 4 27 212 1 106.7  

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.


 Giovani Bernard, CIN (Bye: 9)
42
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 205   DOB: 1991-11-22   Age: 26
College: North Carolina   Draft: 2013 Round 2 (5) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015CIN16154 730 2 49 472 0 132.2 8.3
2016CIN1091 337 2 39 336 1 85.3 8.5
2017CIN16105 458 2 43 389 2 108.7 6.8
2018 (Projected)CIN 93 399 2 42 356 2 99.5  

Outlook: For the first 12 weeks of the season Bernard was basically a no-show, with 5-8 non-impactful touches a game. Maybe it was the sorry state of the Bengal offense, or a slow return as he worked his way back from a 2016 ACL injury, but for most of the fantasy season Bernard wasn't even worth a roster spot. But sometimes fantasy is all about opportunity, and that's what Bernard received in Week 13 when he got the start for an injured Mixon. He put up 96 total yards in a narrow loss to the Steelers, and continued to give the offense a spark with 100+ yards in two of the final four games of the season. Being quicker to the hole than Mixon allowed Bernard to find enough gaps to surpass 5 yards-per-carry four times to end the season.

Bernard has been a consistent dual threat for the Bengals since his rookie year, but it's long been clear that Cincinnati views him only as a passing game/change of pace option. With the team set to lean on Mixon, Bernard should be able to thrive in his part-time role. I know he finished strong last season, but in two of those games the Bengals were absolutely annihilated, and he was able to pick up lots of garbage time statistics. Nearly two years removed from his ACL injury, and still on a team that doesn't have many reliable passing catching options, Bernard not only makes for a strong handcuff for Mixon owners, but a real option in PPR leagues. 700 total yards and a few touchdowns makes him a tough sell in standard leagues, but he should be good value for where you can draft him.


 Javorius Allen, BAL (Bye: 10)
43
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 221   DOB: 1991-08-27   Age: 26
College: Southern California   Draft: 2015 Round 4 (26) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015BAL16138 516 1 45 353 2 104.9 6.6
2016BAL39 34 0 3 15 0 4.9 1.6
2017BAL16153 591 4 46 250 2 120.1 7.5
2018 (Projected)BAL 124 472 3 48 286 1 99.8  

Outlook: Back to play in 16 games after an injury riddled 2016, Allen proved productive despite a limited amount of touches. Piling up over 900 total yards and 6 touchdowns, Allen provided surprising value at the running back position. After starting the year off as the lead back, Allen eventually settled in as a compliment to Alex Collins as the season wore on. His 46 receptions not only set a career high, but also made him a valuable commodity in PPR leagues. Until I see otherwise, I think the Ravens continue to lean on Collins while turning to Allen as a change of pace, passing back option. He has shown he can carry the mail in a lead role if called up, and has contract year motivation. Dixon is still the wildcard in this backfield, and has the potential to make this a maddening committee, but for now view Allen is a RB3/4 that you can probably nab late in your draft.


 Frank Gore, MIA (Bye: 11)
44
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 217   DOB: 1983-05-14   Age: 35
College: -   Draft: 2005 Round 3 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015IND16260 967 6 34 267 1 165.4 10.3
2016IND16263 1,026 4 38 277 4 178.3 11.1
2017IND16261 961 3 26 234 1 143.5 9.0
2018 (Projected)MIA 149 565 4 27 182 0 98.7  

Outlook: It may surprise some fantasy owners to learn that 35-year-old Frank Gore averaged more fantasy points per game in standard scoring that Kenyon Drake last season. With 9.1 points per game and seven double-digit performances out of 16 games, Gore finished the year just outside of RB2 consideration in 12-team formats. Not too shabby for a running back with 3226 carries on his legs over ten seasons of bruising work as an NFL tailback. One of the reasons why Gore was successful was the fact that he received the ninth-most carries of any player in the NFL, giving him a volume advantage over most other backs in 2017. With Drake and rookie Kalen Ballage in the mix, that volume advantage does not appear to be in line for the former Miami Hurricane, making Gore a flex option at best in most formats.


 Latavius Murray, MIN (Bye: 10)
45
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 223   DOB: 1990-01-18   Age: 28
College: Central Florida   Draft: 2013 Round 6 (13) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015OAK16267 1,066 6 41 232 0 165.8 10.4
2016OAK14195 788 12 33 264 0 177.2 12.7
2017MIN16216 842 8 15 102 0 142.4 8.9
2018 (Projected)MIN 139 555 5 13 86 0 94.1  

Outlook: In the offseason of the 2017 season, the Vikings threw cash at Murray hoping he could be the lead back in the offense. But shortly after signing he underwent ankle surgery, and because he was slow to recover, it looked like rookie sensation Dalvin Cook would relegate Murray to being "just another guy" on the team. Eventually Murray got healthy, Cook went down, and the Vikings were forced to lean on their free agent. And lean they did. Murray averaged over 14 attempts per game during his starts, with the team going an impressive 11-0 when he carried the ball at least 15 times. Sure, he mostly got only what was blocked, as evidenced by his 3.9 yards per carry average, but he scored 8 touchdowns and was well worth the offseason investment.

Unfortunately for Murray's fantasy value, the Vikings clearly view him as a backup, as the two sides reached a restructured contract agreement in the offseason, lowering his salary. Because he provides little in the passing game (15 receptions last year), Murray is merely a handcuff for Dalvin Cook owners and would only have fantasy value should Cook go down again with an injury.


 Tarik Cohen, CHI (Bye: 5)
46
Height: 5’6”   Weight: 179   DOB: 1995-07-26   Age: 23
College: North Carolina A&T   Draft: 2017 Round 4 (13) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CHI1687 370 2 53 353 1 90.3 5.6
2018 (Projected)CHI 70 302 1 50 416 2 89.8  

Outlook: 5 foot 6 inches of dynamite, Cohen took the league by storm over the first two games of the 2017 season, catching 16 passes and totaling 201 yards and finding the endzone. Using his dynamic quickness and elite change of direction skills, Cohen was a nightmare for linebackers to cover, and he provided the Bears offense with their lone big play threat. But after Week 3 Cohen's usage inexplicably stopped, and while Chicago was totally devoid of receivers, the diminutive back from North Carolina A&T could only muster five receptions from Weeks 5-10. His usage ticked up slightly in the last quarter of the season, but it was clear the Chicago coaching staff simply couldn't find creative ways to get Cohen in the game plan.

The chatter this offseason couldn't be more different. New head man Matt Nagy has talked Cohen up constantly, comparing him to Tyreek Hill in playmaking ability and potential usage. He's never going to be a 10+ carry guy in the NFL due to his size, but his absolute reception floor is 50, and he's a big play waiting to happen. Cohen makes for a strong FLEX play in PPR leagues, but is more of a RB4/5 in standard leagues as a quality bye week fill-in.


 Bilal Powell, NYJ (Bye: 11)
47
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 119 486 3 31 235 1 96.1  

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.


 Ronald Jones, TB (Bye: 5)
48
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 200   DOB: 1997-08-03   Age: 21
College: Southern California   Draft: 2018 Round 2 (6) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2018 (Projected)TB 139 556 3 19 115 0 85.1  

Outlook: As a rookie, there's no proven NFL track record for Jones, but as a prospect, Jones draws an interesting comparison. Jones admits that he models his game after Jamaal Charles and his college production is somewhat similar.

The noticeable difference in their careers is the usage in the passing game. Charles was a much more established receiver coming out of school, but neither was used a significant amount and both averaged just over 1 reception per game during their final season. The biggest disappointment, if it can even be considered one, is Jones's slight drop in rushing efficiency under 6.0 yards per carry when his rushing attempts finally eclipsed 200 attempts.

Jones currently has an ADP of RB27 in the 5th round and it appears that he's in line for 15 to 20 touches per game, according to camp reports. Tampa Bay had an average offensive line for run blocking, according to Football Outsiders. They had a 20% stuffed rate which ranked in the middle of the pack. Luckily, it appears Jones won't be stuck behind a poor offensive line, but he's not jumping into a situation similar to Ezekiel Elliott either. At his current draft price, he's among the safest bets to have consistent volume which makes him a good bet to exceed his draft position.