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2018 Fantasy Football Rankings – Running Backs

A list of the top running backs to draft for the 2018 fantasy football season.

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1. Todd Gurley (LA)

  Rushing Stats Receiving Stats
Year Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg
2018 Projections View Todd Gurley's 2018 projected stats.

Along with the rest of the Rams offense, Gurley thrived in 2017 under new head coach Sean McVay, leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,093) and touchdowns (19), scoring five more TDs than second-place Alvin Kamara despite sitting out a meaningless Week 17 contest. In fact, Gurley's name is all over the leaderboards for running backs; first in goal-line carries, second in red-zone touches, fifth in runs of 15 yards or more and fifth in receptions, just to name a few categories. A physical specimen at 6-1 and 227 pounds, Gurley dominated defenders all over the field, as his sluggish form from the season before was replaced with the speed, explosiveness and elusiveness that were the hallmarks of his college days before he tore his ACL in November 2014. The Rams didn't rest on their laurels in the offseason, either. The team's offense could be even more dangerous after replacing Sammy Watkins with Brandin Cooks and improved their depth along the offensive line in the draft. Defenses forced to choose between letting Jared Goff or Gurley beat them are likely to find that there are no right answers. Barring another injury, there doesn't seem to be much that can slow Gurley down heading into 2018.

2. David Johnson (ARZ)

  Rushing Stats Receiving Stats
Year Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg
2018 Projections View David Johnson's 2018 projected stats.

Coming off his breakout 2016, expectations were sky high for Johnson last year, which made it all the more devastating when his campaign lasted all of 11 carries before a broken left wrist landed him on injured reserve. Healthy once again, the 26-year-old will become an even bigger focus of the Cardinals offense with Carson Palmer no longer around, but he should be up to the task. His speed and elusiveness are both elite, and Johnson also has the size and explosiveness to blow through arm tackles and gain yards after contact, along with outstanding receiving skills that make him a genuine three-down threat. New coach Steve Wilks is more defensive-minded than Bruce Arians, but with former Chargers boss Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator, there shouldn't be much loss of effectiveness in the Arizona attack. Moreover, McCoy knows how to get the most out of pass-catching backs. While it might be tough to repeat the 20 total touchdowns Johnson scored in 2016 he needed 58 red-zone carries and 14 red-zone targets to get there another season with over 2,000 yards from scrimmage is possible given his likely workload. The biggest question mark for Johnson in 2018 will be health-related not just for him, but for a veteran Cardinals offensive line that lost both its starters on the left side to injury last year and remade its entire right side in free agency this offseason.

3. Le'Veon Bell (PIT)

  Rushing Stats Receiving Stats
Year Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg
2018 Projections View Le'Veon Bell's 2018 projected stats.

Yet another contract dispute caused Bell to sit out the entire preseason last year and this time the layoff and missed reps seemed to have an impact on his performance. He collected 100 yards from scrimmage only once in his first five games, and while Bell's year-end totals were up to his usual standards, his efficiency (4.0 YPC) wasn't. That decline may well have been due to fatigue. The Steelers rode him as hard as they could for 16 weeks and the 26-year-old ended up leading the league with a massive 406 touches, posting career highs in both catches and carries. The history of backs who get that kind of workload isn't encouraging. The last to top 400 touches was DeMarco Murray in 2014 and while there were extenuating circumstances, his follow-up campaign was brutal. Bell has made a habit of defying the odds, though, and his elite skill set highlighted by preternatural vision, patience and anticipation when it comes to finding holes allows him to avoid the punishment that would typically accompany 400-plus touches. Another huge workload seems inevitable in what could be his final season in Pittsburgh and if Bell can avoid breaking down under the strain, he should once again be among the most productive backs in the league.

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Offensive Line Rankings

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