2017 NFL Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 20 Running Backs


Fantasy team owners took a punch to the gut last week with the wrist injury to David Johnson. The news must have felt like a Triple G or Canelo body shot to the ribs. Thankfully, we drafted no. 4 in our league and didn’t get a chance to pick the top projected running back for the 2017-18 season. Johnson was a rare throwback player, a running back that plays every down. He gets a consistent number of carries and catches the ball out of the backfield. In Johnson’s absence, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell should move up the season rankings. He should take over as the best fantasy football running back of this season. Here’s hoping that Bell can shake off the pre-season rust and get back to being a dominant playmaker. Let’s take a look at the 2017 NFL Fantasy Football rankings of running backs.

Overall, the running back position in 2016 was all about youth being served. Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys and Jordan Howard of the Chicago Bears were rookies and the league’s leading and second-leading rushers respectively. The top-scoring fantasy option, David Johnson, was in his second season in the NFL.


Running Backs Toting the Rock

Tailbacks aren’t the unquestioned kings of fantasy football they once were. However, the number of every-down backs is dwindling. Finding a ball-carrier who can both stay healthy and average 20-plus touches a game is a key to winning your league.

Sleeper Special: Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks: Lacy’s weight will no doubt be a big (pardon the pun) topic of conversation in fantasy circles this summer. He’s a great fit in the Seahawks’ power running game if he’s in shape and can maintain his weight throughout the season.

Buyer Beware: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys: The reigning rushing king has now carried the ball over 270 times in three straight seasons dating back to his time at Ohio State, and he had over 300 carries last season. That’s a red flag. We would drop him lower in the rankings of Top 20 NFL Fantasy Football rankings. But we are a little bias against Cowboys players.

1David Johnson (IL)Arizona Cardinals
2Ezekiel ElliottDallas Cowboys
3Le'Veon BellPittsburgh Steelers
4Devonta FreemanAtlanta Falcons
5Melvin GordonLos Angeles Chargers
6DeMarco MurrayTennessee Titans
7Jordan HowardChicago Bears
8Jay AjayiMiami Dolphins
9Lamar MillerHouston Texans
10Todd GurleyLos Angeles Rams
11Isaiah CrowellCleveland Browns
12Leonard FournetteJacksonville Jaguars
13Carlos HydeSan Francisco 49ers
14Mark IngramNew Orleans Saints
15Eddie LacySeattle Seahawks
16Spencer WareKansas City Chiefs
17Marshawn LynchOakland Raiders
18C.J. AndersonDenver Broncos
19Tevin ColemanAtlanta Falcons
20Frank GoreIndianapolis Colts