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Regular Season, Updated: 8/17/17

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 Adrian Peterson, NO (Bye: 5)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 217   DOB: 1985-03-21   Age: 32
College: Oklahoma   Draft: 2007 Round 1 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014MIN121 75 0 2 18 0 9.3 9.3
2015MIN16327 1,485 11 30 222 0 236.7 14.8
2016MIN337 72 0 3 8 0 8.0 2.7
2017 (Projected)NO 139 582 5 18 116 0 99.8  

Outlook: Adrian Peterson has made a living out of proving people wrong his entire career. So it's not out of the ordinary that he will be picking up right where he left off entering 2017. Injury and off-field issues have devolved Peterson from being a consensus top fantasy player to a total crapshoot. He is slated to be Mark Ingram's backup so fantasy owners shouldn't expect more than 150 touches. Can a part-time Peterson be useful to fantasy owners? Absolutely. In shallow leagues, Peterson is a quality handcuff to those investing in Ingram. In twelve team and deeper leagues he is on the fringes of being worth the risk of a roster spot due to opportunity, not talent. Two years ago the former Viking produced a 4.5 YPC and over 1,700 total yards. He has plenty of motivation to succeed and a team that loves to put the ball in the hands of its playmakers. The downside is that unless the team departs from their pass happy ways, Peterson is not a lock to see double-digit touches with Ingram atop the depth chart or enough goal line carries to become a dependable touchdown vulture. New Orleans will undoubtedly give Peterson every attempt to add a few receptions to his stat line but that only adds to his upside not his projections. If you can stomach the risk, Peterson is only a few opportunities away from being a quality fantasy asset.

 LeGarrette Blount, PHI (Bye: 10)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 247   DOB: 1986-12-05   Age: 30
College: Oregon   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014NE15125 547 5 10 54 0 90.1 6.0
2015NE12165 703 6 6 43 1 116.6 9.7
2016NE16299 1,161 18 7 38 0 227.9 14.2
2017 (Projected)PHI 163 685 6 4 34 0 107.9  

Outlook: Blount led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (18) and set a career high in rushing yards (1,161) in 2016 as a member of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. As is often the case with the Patriots, who are masters of maximizing production while not paying for past performance, Blount was rewarded with a lowball offer and a free agent signing for below market value with the Eagles.

Although Blount is big and relatively agile for his size, he is not elusive and only excels as a powerful between the tackles running back (as evident to his subpar 3.9 YPC average last season.)

In Philadelphia, Blount joins a crowded group of running backs in which four running backs combined to carry the ball 353 times for first-year head coach Doug Pederson. The former Chiefs offensive coordinator proved that he prefers to use a backfield by committee, which could limit Blount's effectiveness for fantasy owners in 2017, as Blount received 299 carries in New England last year.

Despite these concerns, Blount will have significant value in standard leagues if he is given the majority of goal line carries in what appears to be a much-improved Eagles offense. If the team does not release Ryan Mathews and the two players share duties, Blount will be a nightmare for fantasy owners, as Pederson is unpredictable in how he uses his running backs.

 Duke Johnson, CLE (Bye: 9)
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 207   DOB: 1993-09-23   Age: 23
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
2017 (Projected)CLE 77 345 1 61 522 2 104.7  

Outlook: Other than being slightly more efficient on the ground last year, Duke Johnson has been the exact same player during his two years in the league. Drafted in 2015 to be a receiving threat out of the backfield, Johnson has lived up to the role, finishing with the 4th and 6th most receptions among running backs in his two years with the Browns. With Isaiah Crowell handling the early down and goal line work, Johnson is left to fight for scraps. A more direct route to playing time could come in the slot, where he's worked at times this off-season. Cleveland doesn't have a reliable slot receiver, and Johnson is comfortable running routes. An uptick in targets and receptions could definitely make him more attractive in PPR formats, but his lack of touchdowns (3 career) and consistent backfield work make him a FLEX player at best in standard formats.

 Darren Sproles, PHI (Bye: 10)
Height: 5’6”   Weight: 190   DOB: 1983-06-20   Age: 34
College: Kansas State   Draft: 2005 Round 4 (29) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014PHI1557 329 6 40 387 0 107.6 7.2
2015PHI1683 317 3 55 388 1 94.5 5.9
2016PHI1594 438 2 52 427 2 110.5 7.4
2017 (Projected)PHI 89 392 2 48 385 2 101.7  

Outlook: As part of the running back-by-committee last season, Sproles posted the most rushing yards (438), attempts (94), and receiving yards (427) in his three seasons with the Eagles. His relatively low touchdown total of only four combined scores limited his effectiveness in standard leagues, but his usage in the passing game made up for his shortcomings (pardon the pun) in PPR formats.

At age 34, the diminutive running back continues to prove his detractors wrong by delivering productive seasons well into his 30's. The addition of Donnell Pumphrey is a significant threat to Sproles, as Pumphrey is a talented pass catching back that could take the third-down duties away from the ageless one.

For this reason, Sproles should only be considered in deep PPR formats and not standard leagues. The addition of Blount to an already crowded backfield will certainly limit Sproles' usage in the red zone, and Pumphrey could take the receiving back lead in training camp.

 Kareem Hunt, KC (Bye: 10)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 216   DOB: 1995-08-06   Age: 22
College: Toledo   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (22) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017 (Projected)KC 101 455 3 28 236 1 93.1  

Outlook: One of the hottest players to watch in training camp has to be rookie Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt is getting a ton of hype right now with some sources close to the team even indicating that he will not only be a major part of the backfield to start the season, but could have the inside edge to finish with the highest number of running back touches in 2017. Running back coach Eric Bieniemy has been specifically praising Hunt's skills as a pass catcher, which could lead to Hunt getting the majority of work on third downs as long as he can pick up his pass protection assignments. Hunt was highly productive in college at Toledo, including rushing for over 100 yards in each of his final five games. He caught four or more passes in six of his 13 games as a senior.

 Jacquizz Rodgers, TB (Bye: 11)
Height: 5’6”   Weight: 196   DOB: 1990-02-06   Age: 27
College: Oregon State   Draft: 2011 Round 5 (14) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014ATL1658 217 1 29 173 1 51.0 3.2
2015CHI514 41 0 1 10 0 5.1 1.0
2016TB10129 560 2 13 98 0 77.8 7.8
2017 (Projected)TB 103 455 2 17 121 0 69.6  

Outlook: The Buccaneers scooped up Rodgers in Week 2 of the 2016 season shortly after the Bears released him. He quickly provided quality depth for a Bucs team that had just lost Doug Martin. Rodgers had previously played in Dirk Koetter's offense while in Atlanta so it wasn't a surprise to see him make an impact once he his number was called. The perfect storm for Rodgers occurred when Charles Sims joined Doug Martin on the sidelines creating ample opportunities for touches over the middle of the year. When the dust settled, Jacquizz set career highs in rushing attempts, rushing yards and perhaps most importantly yards per carry. Rodgers' 4.3 ypc was a big reason the Bucs extended a two-year deal to Rodgers this spring. Rodgers wasn't asked to do much in the passing game last year but he has two 50-catch seasons to his credit so there is potential for more fantasy output if the Bucs tap into that element of his skill set. He's set to enter the year as the starter while Martin serves the rest of his four-game suspension and figures to provide the team with a quality backup once Martin returns to action.

 Danny Woodhead, BAL (Bye: 10)
Height: 5’8”   Weight: 200   DOB: 1985-01-25   Age: 32
College: Chadron State   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014SD315 38 0 5 34 0 7.2 2.4
2015SD1697 335 3 81 756 6 163.1 10.2
2016SD219 116 0 6 35 1 21.1 10.6
2017 (Projected)BAL 77 316 2 52 385 2 94.1  

Outlook: The plan for Danny Woodhead has likely changed greatly from the day he was signed by the Ravens in the off-season. Coming off a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2016 season, Woodhead was brought in to spell young runners Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West, and provide a reliable 3rd down target. Since then, Dixon has been lost for the year with a torn up knee, and the road to meaningful snaps only goes through a guy who was dumped by the Cleveland Browns.

During his entire career, teams intend for Woodhead to only be a role player, but when coaches see the kind of consistency and ability he provides, he ends up being a big part of an offense. Take 2015 for example. The Chargers took Melvin Gordon with a high draft pick, but Woodhead out-touchdowned him 9-0 and had over 1,000 total yards to Gordon's 813. Even in the one full week he played last year, Woodhead scored a touchdown and had over 100 total yards while Gordon was barely noticeable.

John Harbaugh is a coach who respects veterans who can get the job done, even if they don't provide game breaking ability. Terrance West is a better running back than Woodhead, but the little dynamo from Chadron State is a better football player. In standard leagues Woodhead's lack of rushing attempts will hurt, but in PPR leagues I think he provides tremendous value. The big knock on Woodhead is age, and the fact he's missed most of the games in two of the last three years, but I'll be more than happy to snap him up in my drafts and have a high floor guy at a low price.

 Darren McFadden, DAL (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1987-08-27   Age: 29
College: Arkansas   Draft: 2008 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014OAK16155 534 2 36 212 0 86.6 5.4
2015DAL16239 1,089 3 40 328 0 159.7 10.0
2016DAL324 87 0 3 17 0 10.4 3.5
2017 (Projected)DAL 97 446 5 16 136 0 88.2  

 Rex Burkhead, NE (Bye: 9)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1991-11-22   Age: 25
College: Nebraska   Draft: 2013 Round 6 (22) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014CIN49 27 1 7 49 0 13.6 3.4
2015CIN124 4 0 10 94 1 15.8 1.3
2016CIN974 344 2 17 145 0 60.9 6.8
2017 (Projected)NE 132 582 5 19 142 1 108.4  

Outlook: A special teams ace who flashed some talent last season in spot play for the Cincinnati Bengals, Burkhead joins the crowded Patriot backfield along with Mike Gillislee, Dion Lewis, James White, James Develin, D.J. Foster, and of course, Brandon Bolden.

Despite having only 97 career carries, Burkhead owns somewhat of a cult following with fantasy analysts, with the hope that the former Nebraska Cornhusker will emerge as the every down back for Bill Belichick. The more likely scenario is Burkhead will continue to be a fixture on special teams and work in periodically at running back depending on the matchup. He's worth a dart throw late in the double-digit rounds of your draft.

 James White, NE (Bye: 9)
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 204   DOB: 1992-02-03   Age: 25
College: Wisconsin   Draft: 2014 Round 4 (30) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014NE39 38 0 5 23 0 6.1 2.0
2015NE1222 56 2 40 410 4 82.6 6.9
2016NE1639 166 0 60 551 5 101.7 6.4
2017 (Projected)NE 58 244 1 62 452 3 93.6  

Outlook: The main receiving back in the New England passing game, White finished 2016 with 60 catches for 551 yards and five touchdowns. His role appears to be clearly defined heading into 2017, but as is always the case with Bill Belichick teams, expecting a certain amount of volume for a running back is an exercise in futility.

White's extensive usage in the Super Bowl is often cited as a reason to think he may see more action in the 2017 regular season. But that narrative is flawed due to the fact that the Patriots were down for most of the game and an injury to Dion Lewis gave White exclusive work in the backfield on passing downs. White is more of a target in PPR leagues and can typically be had early in Round 10.

 Thomas Rawls, SEA (Bye: 6)
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 215   DOB: 1993-08-18   Age: 24
College: Central Michigan   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015SEA12147 830 4 9 76 1 120.6 10.1
2016SEA9109 349 3 13 96 0 62.5 6.9
2017 (Projected)SEA 119 486 4 13 102 0 82.8  

Outlook: When Marshawn Lynch walked away from the game, Seahawks fans believed that they were in good hands with Thomas Rawls stepping into the role as the team's top running back. After compiling just 54 yards on 15 touches in Week 1 however, Seattle fans, and fantasy owners alike, got the bad news that the young tailback had broken his leg. When he did finally return, it was not in the capacity that many had hoped as Rawls put together just one game of real fantasy production (Wk 13 vs. CAR) for the remainder of the regular season before a big game against the Lions in the playoffs.

Still just 24 years old, Rawls now finds himself in a battle for snaps with veteran tailback Eddie Lacy heading into his third season as a pro. It's hard to write him completely off given that his 2016 season was so injury-riddled, but all reports out of Seattle suggest this is Lacy's job to lose. We've seen Rawls put together some impressive fantasy performances in the past, but his value is tied to the health and production coming from Lacy. Pass-catching specialist C.J. Prosise is likely to get plenty of playing time, but Rawls could find himself getting fewer than 10 touches per game early in the season, which really limits his upside for fantasy purposes.

If things pan out how the Seahawks seem to want them to with Lacy, there will likely be many fantasy leagues where Rawls gets drafted and then dropped not long into the season. He then becomes a player to watch on waiver wires as the team could very well opt to go in his direction if they're not getting what they want from Lacy. That's not necessarily a given, however, as Prosise is not built to be only a "pass catching specialist." There's a real chance that if Lacy does not get the job done that the team could opt to implement a shared workload between Rawls and Prosise, or even one that favors Prosise. This Seattle backfield is a mess right now for fantasy purposes, especially given the team's poor offensive line, and unfortunately Rawls seems to offer the least upside of the group at the moment.

 Latavius Murray, MIN (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 223   DOB: 1990-01-18   Age: 27
College: Central Florida   Draft: 2013 Round 6 (13) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014OAK1082 424 2 17 143 0 68.7 6.9
2015OAK16267 1,066 6 41 232 0 165.8 10.4
2016OAK14195 788 12 33 264 0 177.2 12.7
2017 (Projected)MIN 109 437 4 11 85 0 76.2  

Outlook: Signed to a big off-season deal to help fill the gaping hole left by the release of Adrian Peterson, Murray was, for about a month, at the top of the Vikings running back depth chart. But after his recovery from ankle surgery went slower than expected, the Vikings couldn't pass up nabbing Dalvin Cook in the 2nd round. Murray quickly went from having a shot at 200 carries to being the goal line back in a flat three-way timeshare.

Murray was money in the redzone last season for the Raiders, scoring a career high 12 touchdowns. The rest of his stats were a supreme disappointment after his strong 2015 season. Despite playing for one of the league's best offensive lines, Murray failed to generate big plays in the run game, topping off at 4.0 yards per carry in both 2015 and 2016. Even before getting hurt early in the year, he was beginning to cede passing down work to a young duo of back-ups. Murray simply didn't give Oakland a consistent big play threat in the run game, and they felt he was a replaceable talent. Minnesota seemed like a great landing spot, but now with the off-season a virtual wash, Murray will be in an uphill battle with Cook and McKinnon to grab the lion's share of touches. Murray might be best suited for work inside the 20s, as he lacks the elusiveness of McKinnon and Cook, and doesn't get many yards after contact. I really do think Cook and Murray are going to cancel each other out if they both remain healthy, and therefore can't see drafting Murray as anything better than an RB4/FLEX.