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Regular Season, Updated: 8/17/17

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 Jamaal Charles, DEN (Bye: 5)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 199   DOB: 1986-12-27   Age: 30
College: Texas   Draft: 2008 Round 3 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014KC15205 1,039 9 40 291 5 217.0 14.5
2015KC571 364 4 21 177 1 84.1 16.8
2016KC312 40 1 2 14 0 11.4 3.8
2017 (Projected)DEN 83 365 2 24 177 0 66.2  

Outlook: Once an elite fantasy player, the wheels seem to have finally come off veteran running back Jamaal Charles. After spending his entire nine-year career in Kansas City, Charles and the Chiefs parted ways this off-season. Injuries led to Charles playing in just eight total games over his past two seasons, but the Broncos seem to believe that there is still some life left in the legs of this once superstar talent. After two knee surgeries,the 30-year-old has a long road back to getting on the field, let alone getting back to fantasy stardom. Not only that, but he's going to have to fight for carries in a crowded Denver backfield. While neither C.J. Anderson nor Devontae Booker looked particularly great in 2016, both players know the Denver offense and they're both back this season. The upside here is tremendous, but drafting Charles is not without some serious bust potential. However, if Anderson and Booker look like they did last season, Charles could get an opportunity to show that he's still the same guy who once won his owners fantasy championships.

 C.J. Prosise, SEA (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1994-05-20   Age: 23
College: Notre Dame   Draft: 2016 Round 3 (27) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016SEA630 172 1 17 208 0 44.0 7.3
2017 (Projected)SEA 46 214 1 37 326 1 66.0  

Outlook: While he's been shoehorned into being a "Darren Sproles-like" player comparison by many fantasy analysts due to his ability in the passing game, the truth is that there is much more than meets the stat sheet for this talented young tailback. At 6'1" and 225 lbs, Prosise does not fit the mold of a traditional pass catching specialist at the running back position. Most of those players are undersized and are used sparingly as runners in order to keep them from taking a beating. But in Prosise's case, that's not really a concern. Prosise is built like a feature back who simply also has the skills to take the majority of the backfield work on passing downs.

With that said, there is obviously a reason why the team opted to sign veteran Eddie Lacy and not simply hand over the job to Prosise and Rawls. In Prosise's case, health concerns come into play. A former wide receiver in college, Prosise's body has not held up well to the wear and tear of playing the running back position. He suffered a concussion and a high ankle sprain in his senior year at Notre Dame, then followed it up with hip, hand and shoulder injuries as a rookie. These injuries caused him to much the majority of the season and have to give the coaching staff pause about whether or not he can physically stand up to the beatings that NFL running backs take.

It's certainly possible that Prosise's injury history is just a string of bad luck and all reports out of Seahawks camp seem to be that he is fully healthy and ready to take on a significant role for the team in 2017. Projected to be the team's primary back on passing downs, Prosise's value is obviously boosted significantly in PPR formats as he might only touch the ball a handful of times per game to start the season. There is concern that his PPR value might be inflated as the Seahawks have not proven to be committed to passing the ball to their running backs in the Pete Carroll era. The player who has caught the most passes out of the backfield since Russell WIlson took over at quarterback is Marshawn Lynch and the most he ever caught in a season was 40 passes. Of course, the team hasn't been loaded with many pass catching specialists in the backfield, but the concern is still there.

Rawls and Lacy are expected to battle for the early down work, but if Prosise can remain healthy while showing the flash and excitement that he did at times as a rookie, there's no reason to believe that he can't work his way into some early down work. His ADP makes him a cheap investment for those in PPR formats, but he might just have the highest upside of any player in this Seattle backfield while also providing the highest, most consistent floor due to his work in the passing game.

 Robert Turbin, IND (Bye: 11)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 222   DOB: 1989-12-02   Age: 27
College: Utah State   Draft: 2012 Round 4 (11) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014SEA1674 310 0 16 186 2 61.6 3.9
2015DAL1050 199 1 7 23 0 28.2 2.8
2016IND1547 164 7 26 179 1 82.3 5.5
2017 (Projected)IND 86 336 2 19 126 1 64.2  

Outlook: Prior to scoring eight touchdowns last year, Robert Turbin had three career touchdowns. Consequently, there is tepid enthusiasm surrounding his chances of making a larger impact in his second year with the team. With the Colts looking to keep Gore upright for another season, the coaching staff is undoubtedly hoping one of the younger running backs steps up this preseason to earn more carries. Turbin will have the first shot to impress during training camp as Frank Gore gets the "veteran" treatment this summer. Proving he can be effective inside the red zone could lead to a fantasy friendly "vulture" role. Rookie Marlon Mack will also be in the backfield mix so fantasy owners will want to pay attention to this battle over the course of the preseason. If Turbin emerges as the primary backup, he would offer mild upside as a handcuff making him a worthwhile stash in deep leagues.

 Jerick McKinnon, MIN (Bye: 9)
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 209   DOB: 1992-05-03   Age: 25
College: Georgia Southern   Draft: 2014 Round 3 (32) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014MIN11113 538 0 27 135 0 67.3 6.1
2015MIN1652 271 2 21 173 1 62.4 3.9
2016MIN15159 539 2 43 255 2 103.4 6.9
2017 (Projected)MIN 67 266 1 25 192 1 57.8  

Outlook: The clear odd-man out of the Vikings backfield, McKinnon is the sole returning starter from the 2016 Minnesota backfield. Oozing athletic ability, McKinnon fell flat last season in his bid to replace AP. Constantly dodging defenders who had broken through the sieve-like line, McKinnon had a hard time flashing the speed and playmaking ability he had shown his first two seasons. His 3.4 yards per carry average was down nearly two yards from 2015, and was a nonexistent part of the passing game before compiling 28 receptions over the final five games of the season. McKinnon now sits squarely behind Cook and Murray for touches in this backfield, and is going to need an injury to one, or both to return any fantasy value. At present he's a late round flier as a handcuff for Cook/Murray owners and nothing more.

 Zach Zenner, DET (Bye: 7)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 223   DOB: 1991-09-13   Age: 25
College: South Dakota State   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015DET417 60 0 2 11 0 7.1 1.8
2016DET1188 334 4 18 196 0 77.0 7.0
2017 (Projected)DET 72 265 3 19 166 0 61.1  

Outlook: Let's make this quick. While young and athletic, neither Zenner or Dwayne Washington should be on your re-draft radar. Although each showed flashes at times last year, these guys are the RB3/4 on their own team at the moment, and baring a serious injury to either Abdullah or Riddick (which is a distinct possibility) they simply won't get enough meaningful touches to be rostered players. For what it's worth, I do feel that Zenner is the player with more upside, and the guy I'd go with if I was an Abdullah or Riddick owner who needed insurance. He was the Lions "workhorse" in the most important games at the end of the season, and delivered 21 and 17 point games in Weeks 16 and 17. He's entering his third season, and showing more polish after playing at South Dakota State. He's the guy the Lions would trust if they had to.

 Jeremy Langford, CHI (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 208   DOB: 1991-12-06   Age: 25
College: Michigan State   Draft: 2015 Round 4 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015CHI15148 537 6 22 279 1 123.6 8.2
2016CHI1262 200 4 19 142 0 58.2 4.9
2017 (Projected)CHI 73 301 2 13 105 1 58.6  

Outlook: Honestly, there's Jordan Howard and then everyone else. I want to preface this section of the preview by stating it's likely that these guys are fighting for two roster spots. Langford and Cunningham have the upper hand, as they both were hand-picked by the current front office. Carey has mostly been a special teams player during his career and offers very little upside as a runner. Langford was the starter last season before going down, and at least has some decent rookie year tape to fall back on. Cunningham was brought in to be a reliable 3rd down back and that's it. If I had to make a guess, I'd say that if he sticks, Langford falls in as the back-up runner. Should Howard go down for an extended period, this situation would fall into a full blown committee attack, so essentially there really isn't a reliable handcuff on this roster for fantasy owners. Let's hope for Chicago's sake and yours, Howard plays all 16 games.

 D'Onta Foreman, HOU (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 233   DOB: 1996-04-24   Age: 21
College: Texas   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (25) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017 (Projected)HOU 91 355 4 13 72 0 66.7  

Outlook: When the Texans drafted D'Onta Foreman in the third round of the 2017 draft, they had hoped they might have found a solid between the tackles runner ideally suited for HC Bill O'Brien's offense. Foreman's skills could help him earn short yardage duties where he could become a touchdown vulture. Unfortunately, Foreman has failed to impress the coaching staff. Poor conditioning and off the field allegations of drug related matters have not made it easy for the youngster. At this point, he is likely behind Alfred Blue in the pecking order but he could still work his way into the number two spot by the time the season opens. Expect him to be worked into the offense slowly and be the favorite to see carries should Miller miss any time with injury during the year.

 Tim Hightower, SF (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 222   DOB: 1986-05-23   Age: 31
College: Richmond   Draft: 2008 Round 5 (14) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015NO696 375 4 12 129 0 74.4 12.4
2016NO15133 548 4 22 200 1 104.8 7.0
2017 (Projected)SF 72 286 2 12 96 0 50.2  

 Wendell Smallwood, PHI (Bye: 10)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 208   DOB: 1994-01-29   Age: 23
College: West Virginia   Draft: 2016 Round 5 (14) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016PHI1277 312 1 6 55 0 42.7 3.6
2017 (Projected)PHI 87 375 2 12 89 0 58.4  

 T.J. Yeldon, JAC (Bye: 8)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 226   DOB: 1993-10-02   Age: 23
College: Alabama   Draft: 2015 Round 2 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015JAC12182 740 2 36 279 1 119.9 10.0
2016JAC15130 465 1 50 312 1 89.7 6.0
2017 (Projected)JAC 57 216 1 34 245 1 58.1  

Outlook: It wasn't long ago when T.J. Yeldon was inspiring optimism on a Jacksonville team that hadn't had much success since the departure of Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jags relegated Yeldon to being a passing down specialist in 2016 where he reached the 50-catch plateau on only 68 targets. Yeldon has failed to impress near the goal and offers little touchdown upside. The new coaching staff will certainly put his receiving skills to work again this season but he will have a tough time reaching the century mark in carries now that he has moved further down the depth chart. Chris Ivory's injury history could create more touches for Yeldon during the regular season but that doesn't guarantee that he will see more carries if Fournette is getting the job done. As a result, Yeldon's fantasy value coming into his third year has been reduced to deeper PPR leagues.

 Alvin Kamara, NO (Bye: 5)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1995-07-25   Age: 22
College: Tennessee   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017 (Projected)NO 57 246 1 23 186 0 49.2  

 Chris Ivory, JAC (Bye: 8)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 222   DOB: 1988-03-22   Age: 29
College: Tiffin   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014NYJ16198 820 6 18 123 1 136.3 8.5
2015NYJ15247 1,070 7 30 217 1 176.7 11.8
2016JAC11117 439 3 20 186 0 80.5 7.3
2017 (Projected)JAC 62 240 2 17 106 0 46.6  

Outlook: Chris Ivory was brought in to be the answer to Jacksonville's rushing attack but durability issues and ineffectiveness led to his lowest total touches since injuries limited him to six games in 2013. Jacksonville gave him the rock at least 15 times in only two of his eleven games played in 2016 and the addition of Leonard Fournette is telling of the team's confidence in Ivory moving forward. Ivory gets the job done when healthy so there is a chance he starts the year splitting carries with Fournette. However, it is more likely that Ivory serves as a caddie to Fournette and sees his touches per game dwindle into single digit territory. Unless an injury or off-the-field issue with Fournette occurs, Ivory is probably not worth owning in all but the deepest leagues.