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Regular Season, Updated: 9/4/19

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FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Saquon Barkley, NYG (Bye: 11)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 233   DOB: 1997-02-07   Age: 23
College: Penn State   Draft: 2018 Round 1 (2) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2018NYG16261 1,307 11 91 721 4 292.8 18.3
2019 (Projected)NYG 265 1,244 10 89 688 3 271.2  

Outlook: Barkley lived up to the hype that made him the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The former Penn State star became only the third rookie in NFL history to reach 2000 total yards, joining Edgerrin James and Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson.

One of the best dual threats in the league, Barkley trailed only Christian McCaffrey in receptions out of the backfield, and he is one of only six players to reach double digits in rushing touchdowns.

His impressive rookie campaign has Barkley squarely in the midst of going first overall in most fantasy drafts. Although his receiving skills and volume in the passing game give him a floor nearly unmatched at the position, the lack of a true downfield threat with the absence of Beckham and the chance of the team turning to a rookie QB could hurt his value.

It may also be difficult for Barkley to keep up with his impressive 5.0 yard per carry average should teams stack the box more when guarding the possible short passing attack employed by the Giants.

On a positive note, the Giants improved the right side of the offensive line with Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers, and second-year guard Will Hernadez will continue to grow next to Nate Solder.

 Christian McCaffrey, CAR (Bye: 7)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 202   DOB: 1996-06-07   Age: 23
College: Stanford   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (8) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CAR16117 435 2 80 651 5 150.6 9.4
2018CAR16219 1,098 7 107 867 6 274.5 17.2
2019 (Projected)CAR 215 947 6 97 789 5 239.6  

Outlook: McCaffrey proved his naysayers wrong who doubted his ability to be a workhorse back on the ground and through the air. The former first-round pick from Stanford led on running backs in targets, receptions, and receiving yards while adding just less than 1100 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground on 219 carries. To put into context just how valuable McCaffrey was to fantasy owners last season. Owning CMC was like owning two players in one, with the rushing stats of Marlon Mark or Nick Chubb combined with the receiving stats from Calvin Ridley.

CMC will continue to be a dual-threat running back and a workhorse worthy of a top-five pick in all formats. The false narrative of Cam Newton struggling to throw to running backs was put to rest last season, as was the belief that Newton would take all of the teams' goal line carries. The Panthers boast the 10th-easiest strength of schedule with games against the Rams, Bucs, and Cardinals to kick off the season.

 Alvin Kamara, NO (Bye: 9)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1995-07-25   Age: 24
College: Tennessee   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017NO16120 728 8 82 826 5 233.4 14.6
2018NO15194 883 14 81 709 4 267.2 17.8
2019 (Projected)NO 164 804 10 86 771 5 247.5  

Outlook: After a monster season in which he averaged 6.1 yards per rush and 10.1 per reception, negative regression was a popular narrative in the fantasy community for the impressive running back for the Saints. Continuing to post video game-like numbers is difficult to do, especially once defensive coordinators get a full season of fill to study.

Kamara's yard per carry average did go down to a more reasonable 4.6, and his yard per reception average fell nearly two full yards. But Kamara's volume jumped from 120 carrels as a rookie to 194 as a sophomore, and his rushing touchdown total nearly doubled.

With two full seasons of elite-level production, Kamara is securely entrenched atop the first round in all formats. In addition to finishing second only to Todd Gurley in rushing touchdowns, Kamara was one of only four running backs to finish with over 100 targets in the passing game.

The contract holdouts of Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon will push up the value of elite running backs like Kamara, Barkley, and McCaffrey even further, making Kamara an even more valuable asset and a true dual-threat stud.

 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (Bye: 8)
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1995-07-22   Age: 24
College: Ohio State   Draft: 2016 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016DAL15322 1,631 15 32 363 1 295.4 19.7
2017DAL10242 983 7 26 269 2 179.2 17.9
2018DAL15304 1,434 6 77 567 3 254.1 16.9
2019 (Projected)DAL 264 1,189 9 57 441 2 229.0  

Outlook: The 2018 season turned out to be a combination of positive and negative trends for Ezekiel Elliott, as the former fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft finished outside the top 5 in fantasy running backs for the first time in his career.

Zeke won the rushing title over Saquon Barkley by a commanding 128 yards in one fewer game, but he managed just six rushing touchdowns and nine total TDs. The lack of rushing touchdowns appears to be an anomaly, as Dak Prescott did not see an increase in rushing TDs that would justify taking away opportunities from Zeke.

In the history of the NFL, there were 112 instances of a player rushing for at least 1400 yards on 300 or more carries in a season. Out of those 112 seasons, only seven times did a player manage to rush for six or fewer touchdowns.

Positive touchdown regression is in the mix for Zeke, especially when you consider the fact that he took a massive jump in receiving production in 2018 that should continue into 2019. After logging just 58 receptions in combined in his first two seasons, the Cowboys finally came to their senses and gave Zeke 77 receptions for 567 yards and three touchdowns last year.

It should also be noted that center Travis Frederick appears to be on the mend from missing all of last year due to effects from Guillain-Barre syndrome. His return to the middle of the Cowboy offensive line, along with an improved passing attack, should provide Zeke with ample opportunities this season.

 David Johnson, ARI (Bye: 12)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 224   DOB: 1991-12-16   Age: 28
College: Northern Iowa   Draft: 2015 Round 3 (22) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016ARI16293 1,239 16 80 879 4 331.8 20.7
2017ARI111 23 0 6 68 0 9.1 9.1
2018ARI16258 940 7 50 446 3 198.6 12.4
2019 (Projected)ARI 257 1,055 8 56 472 2 212.7  

Outlook: While many look at David Johnson's 2018 season as a bust, it should be a cautionary tale of not overvaluing players - even good players - who are in bad offenses. Even while "busting" in a way, Johnson still delivered a top-10 fantasy finish on the season in 2018. He just did it without anywhere near as many big games as we had hoped for, which often made it feel like he wasn't much of a difference-maker. The raw numbers weren't anything special, but Johnson still displayed tremendous physical skill on the field which should give us some optimism heading into 2019.

Johnson will go from one of the league's worst offensive schemes for fantasy production in 2018 to potentially one of the best in 2019, especially given that he'll be playing alongside new quarterback Kyler Murray. We've seen it countless times throughout the league that an agile quarterback might end up taking some carries from his running back, but his mere presence on the field makes defenses hesitate prior to engaging on handoffs to the back. Murray should do this for Johnson, which should help open up running lanes. The offensive line woes are still a concern, but Johnson should have more room to run in a much better, more explosive, higher-paced offense.

Johnson is locked in as a top 10 overall fantasy draft pick but some fantasy owners have completely sworn him off due to a disappointing 2018 season. Don't be that guy in your draft room. If you miss out on the top-tier of backs, there's no shame in selecting Johnson, who we're almost certain will produce RB1 fantasy numbers if he can stay healthy.

 James Conner, PIT (Bye: 7)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 233   DOB: 1995-05-05   Age: 24
College: Pittsburgh   Draft: 2017 Round 3 (41) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017PIT1232 144 0 0 0 0 14.4 1.2
2018PIT13215 973 12 55 497 1 225.0 17.3
2019 (Projected)PIT 242 1,088 9 55 412 2 216.0  

Outlook: In a longtime keeper league last season I kept Bell, and then kicked myself for "reaching" for Conner in the middle rounds of the draft. I didn't want to get left with my pants down should Bell miss the first few games. Well you know by now how things turned out. Conner went out and set the fantasy world on fire, scoring 13 touchdowns and piling up nearly 1,500 total yards. A late season injury cost him a few games, but savvy fantasy owners might have learned a lot during those missed games.

This might be controversial, especially with Conner being a borderline top-10 pick in early drafts, but I think he is an average player that had the benefit of being a bell-cow on a team with an elite line, scheme, and receiving core. While he showed more wiggle and speed than in his first season, nothing about his running style or play jumps off the page. He benefited greatly from hogging the teams running back snaps (83% of the running back touches went to Connor), and he had the 2nd most goal line carries in the NFL with 13. One of the long standing knocks against Bell was that he was simply a product of the system. It seems possible, as college h-back Jaylen Samuels was able to step right in for Conner late in the season and put up some impressive numbers.

The bottom line here is that Conner remains the RB1 on an offense that has been dominant for the better part of a decade. I just think there was a perfect storm of consequences for Conner to put up the numbers he did last year, and it's going to be very hard for him to repeat his top-10 finish.

 Le'Veon Bell, NYJ (Bye: 4)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 244   DOB: 1992-02-18   Age: 28
College: Michigan State   Draft: 2013 Round 2 (18) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016PIT12261 1,268 7 75 616 2 242.4 20.2
2017PIT15321 1,291 9 85 655 2 260.6 17.4
2019 (Projected)NYJ 247 1,064 7 61 455 2 205.9  

Outlook: Bell held out the entire 2018 season with the goal of protecting his body from injury and securing a lucrative free agent deal. While you could argue that Bell did not get the monster deal he anticipated, he did cash in with the Jets and enters 2019 with fresh legs and something to prove.

The problem for Bell is he left a team in the Steelers with a veteran QB, elite wide receivers, and one of the best offensive lines in the league to join a New York Jets squad that does not boast any of those three attributes. Like Todd Gurley in his second year, Bell may find out that even the best running backs can struggle when playing in an offense with a young quarterback and a substandard offensive line.

The saving grace for Bell is the presumed volume he will receive both the passing and ground game. The Jets did not give him $27 million guaranteed not to be used as a workhorse back, although it remains to be seen if head coach Adam Gase will use Bell like a workhorse.

Bell's supreme talent and likely elite touch volume will likely make him a first-round pick in most formats. Just don't be shocked if he does not put up Le'Veon Bell-esque numbers with Gang-Green.

 Todd Gurley, LAR (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 222   DOB: 1994-08-03   Age: 25
College: Georgia   Draft: 2015 Round 1 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016LAR16278 885 6 43 327 0 157.2 9.8
2017LAR15279 1,305 13 64 788 6 323.3 21.6
2018LAR14256 1,251 17 59 580 4 309.1 22.1
2019 (Projected)LAR 224 1,007 9 44 375 2 204.2  

Outlook: After finishing as the top-scoring fantasy running back in each of the past two seasons, there is no question that Todd Gurley is one of the absolute top fantasy players we've ever seen in this sport. Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end and that may be on the verge of happening this season for the 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Gurley's chronic knee issue led to the superstar back sitting in weeks 15, 16 and 17 of the 2018 regular season. This, many believed, was a plan by the Rams coaching staff to make sure that their tailback would be ready to play in the playoffs. The Rams had a bye week in the playoffs which meant that Gurley had a full month off prior to Los Angeles' divisional round playoff game against the Cowboys when he ran the ball 16 times for 115 yards and a touchdown against one of the league's best defenses. Unfortunately that game may have finally been the demise of Gurley's surgically repaired left knee, as the back would touch the ball just 16 times for 47 total yards in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl while taking a backseat to plodding veteran running back C.J. Anderson.

While Anderson is now in Detroit which could mean less confidence in the rest of the backfield, we still have to be very concerned that Gurley's body just can no longer physically hold up to the wear and tear of a full workload in the NFL. That concern has pushed the once-considered top overall fantasy player down draft boards, all the way to an ADP just outside the first round in most leagues.

Reports out of Rams camp are that Gurley has not suffered "any sort of setbacks" with his knee this offseason and we know that he can be a dominant producer when on the field, so the upside is certainly still there for him to produce high-end RB1 numbers once again this season. The risk, however, is that Gurley's knee problems flare up once again and we're left every week wondering if he's going to play a full snap share or be limited to just a few series. That volatility, even more so than the player simply being declared "out," can derail a fantasy team very quickly and that's why Gurley is a risk that fantasy owners have to be comfortable with if they're going to select him in drafts.

 Dalvin Cook, MIN (Bye: 12)
Height: 5’10”   Weight: 210   DOB: 1995-08-10   Age: 24
College: Florida State   Draft: 2017 Round 2 (9) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017MIN474 354 2 11 90 0 56.4 14.1
2018MIN11133 615 2 40 305 2 116.0 10.5
2019 (Projected)MIN 241 1,085 6 55 410 3 203.5  

Outlook: Despite flashing a tantalizing combination of speed and power during his first two seasons in the league, being healthy has kept Cook from approached his true statistical potential. Missing 17 games over his first two seasons due to ACL and lower leg injuries, the Vikings desperately need Cook to be the main cog in the offense this season.

After being eased in to start the season, the promotion of Stefanski might have given us a small look into the usage numbers we can expect in 2019. Cook's 46 carries over the final three games were by far the most of any 3-game stretch during the season, and he continued to display the dual-threat traits that top tier fantasy backs need with 40 receptions for 305 yards.

There is a lot to like about Cook's fantasy prospects this year. He's nearly two years removed from his ACL tear, and has absolutely no proven back-up behind him on the depth chart to lose touches to. The Vikings offense is looking to emphasize ball control offense, and the defense gives them short fields and extra chances via turnovers. Throw in the fact that the passing game is scary enough that he'll never have to face stacked fronts, and the invested draft capital and free agent dollars to strengthen the interior line, and all signs point to a major breakout potential. With everything in his corner, health is the only thing that stands in the way of a RB1 season from Cook. He's the Tier 2 back I like the most and would consider taking over guys with slighter higher ADPs. If he can play close to 16 games this year, Cook is going to win some fantasy championships.

 Nick Chubb, CLE (Bye: 7)
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 228   DOB: 1995-12-27   Age: 24
College: Georgia   Draft: 2018 Round 2 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2018CLE16192 996 8 20 149 2 174.5 10.9
2019 (Projected)CLE 239 1,125 8 41 288 1 195.3  

Outlook: Last season I advised owners to target Chubb as a mid/late season sparkplug for their teams, and I'm happy to say this was a hit (among many misses!). Chubb not only made his fantasy owners look good, but he's another gem in G.M. John Dorsey's rebuilt Cleveland roster. After flashing it Week 3, with a 3-105-2 day (yup, a pedestrian 35 yards per carry average in that one) Chubb didn't see meaningful snaps until Week 7, when he carried a career high 18 times in a narrow loss to the Bucs, which happened to be the same week Carlos Hyde was dealt to the Jaguars. Chubb remained a fantasy force down the stretch, finding the endzone 8 times from Week 7 on, while amassing 6 games of 100+ total yards.

Although this offense is teeming with talent, with Chubb being a piece, the addition of the disgraced former Chief Kareem Hunt puts a dim light on the season-long fantasy prospects for Chubb.

While Hunt is suspended for the first 8 games of the season, Chubb can and will dominate touches, but what about when the more versatile and talented Hunt returns? He will be supremely motivated to produce, as he only has a 1-year deal with the Browns, and he gives the offense a look in the passing game that Chubb has yet to display. My biggest hesitation with Chubb is watching his touches plummet during the most important part of the fantasy season, and it will simply be impractical from a value standpoint to handcuff Hunt to Chubb. The bottom line here is I love Chubb's early season value in this offense, but it's built to take advantage of three-down back like Hunt, and I can't trust the former Georgia Bulldog as anything more than a season-long fringe RB2.

 Joe Mixon, CIN (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 226   DOB: 1996-07-24   Age: 23
College: Oklahoma   Draft: 2017 Round 2 (16) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017CIN14178 626 4 30 287 0 115.3 8.2
2018CIN14237 1,168 8 43 296 1 200.4 14.3
2019 (Projected)CIN 236 1,084 7 46 337 1 190.1  

Outlook: Mixon was finally able to flash the skills than made him one of the most talented players in the country coming into the 2017 draft. Despite missing two games due to a mid-season knee scope, Mixon showed a combination of speed, power, and versatility as he rang up a solid RB1 season. Keep in mind, that this was an offense that was missing its quarterback and stud receiver for most of the year. There are a few reasons why Mixon has a good chance to be a fantasy asset again in 2019.

I don't claim to know much about the intricacies of the offensive scheme being put into place, but I can tell you it's going to look a heck of a lot more modern than what Cinci has been doing for the past decade. Expect the Bengals to use Mixon in space more this season, as his loping stride, vision, and power are miss-matches for defensive backs and linebackers. 50 receptions aren't out of the question, and he should be even more efficient touching the ball with a more spread out attack. Losing Jonah Williams is going to hurt, but this offensive line showed great improvement last season, and should be decent again this year. My only hesitation with Mixon is his durability. He's missed 4 games in his first few seasons, and lower leg injuries seem to pop up frequently. He showed no ill effects last season after coming back, but it's something to think about. If Dalton can get on track and cut down on mistakes, this offense has a chance to rebound in a big way, putting Mixon squarely in the RB1 conversation.

 Aaron Jones, GB (Bye: 11)
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 208   DOB: 1994-12-02   Age: 25
College: Texas-El Paso   Draft: 2017 Round 5 (39) 
SeasonTeamGameAtt Yard TDRec Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017GB1081 448 4 9 22 0 71.0 7.1
2018GB12133 728 8 26 206 1 147.4 12.3
2019 (Projected)GB 187 937 7 35 275 1 169.2  

Outlook: Jones, the former 5th round pick from UTEP has simply been one of the most explosive running backs in the league the last two years. He's averaged 5.5 yards-per-carry in his two seasons, leading all running backs in the NFL last year in that category. With speed to burn, and a year of development behind him, Jones ascended to the lead back role with the Packers last season, even showing up more as a receiver as the season wore on. Now more than ever Green Bay realizes that Jones gives the offense a dimension in the running game that must be respected, and with Matt LaFleur already talking about getting his running backs more involved in the passing game (something Mike McCarthy flat out failed to do), Jones might be ready to ascend into a higher tier of fantasy back.

Jones led the team in rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns last season, finally getting some distance on fellow back Jamaal Williams, but there remain some roadblocks to Jones becoming fantasy football's next big thing. The first, is durability. Remember, you can't score from the trainer's room, and Jones has had his fair share of lower leg injuries the first few years in the league. Hamstring and knee injuries cost him 4 games last year, and with such a reliance on speed and quick twitch muscles, soft tissue injuries are a major concern. As a side note, word is he's gotten in much better shape this offseason. Second, is the presence of Williams. Williams isn't going anywhere, and will likely command more work than typical back-ups. LaFleur used both Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis often last year, (at least until Henry went on a ridiculous tear in the last month of the season) and ran the ball 51% of the time. Jones doesn't quite have the frame to hold up to 200 carries, so Williams will be involved.

The bottom line here is that Jones is dripping with talent and upside. He'll never see 8-man fronts, and has a coach that uses a zone run scheme that fits his talents perfectly. With an uptick in receptions, and better health and stamina, Jones has a shot to get into RB1 territory, which would be a steal at his current ADP.