2018 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs
We’re about a week into August and fantasy football preparation time is in full swing. We all want to do as much research as we can in order to maximize our drafting prowess, and I’m here to help you out.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at arguably the most crucial position in fantasy when it comes to drafting well: running backs. A consistently great fantasy running back is tough to find, so you’re always going to want to go after players who you know will produce week in and week out.
Since most 12-team league formats allow owners to start a maximum of three running backs at a time, I’ll be talking about my top 36 picks in the position for this year. These rankings are based on a .5-PPR format so as to be as neutral as possible. As I list each player, I’ll also show you their 2017-18 stats, as well as their bye weeks in this upcoming season. Perhaps more importantly, I’ll talk about why they deserve your pick, as well as a catch which might make you hesitant, because everyone’s got their caveats.
If you missed the list of our 2018 fantasy football rankings for quarterbacks, you can check that out right here.
Let’s dive in.
1. Todd Gurley, LAR (12)
15 games: 1,305 rushing yards, 13 TD; 64 receptions, 788 receiving yards, 6 TD
The Good: There’s no wrong answer to the “Todd Gurley or Le’Veon Bell first overall” debate, but I would personally go with Gurley. He came off of a sophomore slump campaign with an amazing 2017-18 season in which he led the league in both touchdowns and yards from scrimmage. He took home Offensive Player of the Year honors and I cannot tell you how many times I heard people, including myself, say, “Gurley won me a fantasy championship last season.” He’s as good as it gets.
The Catch: You could argue that his bad 2016-17 could be a turn off or that the addition of wide receiver Brandin Cooks could take the ball out of his hands a few times a game, but those can both be brushed aside rather easily.
2. Le’Veon Bell, PIT (7)
15 games: 1,291 rushing yards, 9 TD; 85 receptions, 655 receiving yards, 2 TD
The Good: While Gurley’s pure volume and explosiveness are enough to sell me on taking him first overall, Bell is probably the best all around running back in football right now. He is consistently at the top of the league in yards from scrimmage and catches the ball as well as any back in the NFL. On the ground, his patience and ability to read defenses is unparalleled, making him a bonafide top 2 pick.
The Catch: Bell has been somewhat injury prone over the course of his career and is always one failed drug test away from a suspension, but those can largely be ignored. My only real concern is his explicit discontent with his situation on the Steelers, which could potentially negatively affect his play and/or playing time.
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (8)
10 games: 983 rushing yards, 7 TD; 26 receptions, 269 receiving yards, 2 TD
The Good: When Zeke is on the field, there’s no better pure runner in football. He is crazy quick and savvy beyond his years, making him an elite RB1 option. He’s also arguably the focal point of a Cowboys offense which sees him running behind what is probably the best offensive line in football. He will always be a huge threat to produce huge fantasy numbers.
The Catch: Elliott clearly has character issues, as was made apparent by last year’s domestic violence suspension. He just needs to stay out of trouble, which he’s hopefully mature enough to do.
4. David Johnson, ARI (9)
1 game: 23 rushing yards, 0 TD; 6 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: When Johnson went down with a broken wrist in Week 1, thousands of fantasy seasons were lost, given the fact that he was widely regarded as a universal top 4 pick. And for good reason too: Johnson is as good a running back as any in the NFL. He gets a ton of yards on the ground as well as through the air, making him a PPR dream. The Cardinals offense will consistently run through him as they, presumably, work rookie quarterback Josh Rosen into life as an NFL QB.
The Catch: The season-ending injury was scary, but the wrist is very rarely the place on the body which regularly worries running backs. Johnson will likely be totally fine moving forward.
5. Alvin Kamara, NO (6)
16 games: 728 rushing yards, 8 TD; 81 receptions, 826 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: Oh my god was Kamara special last season. He exploded onto the scene in the latter half of 2017-18, acting as the top non-QB in fantasy toward the end of the season. He took home Offensive Rookie of the Year honors for his efforts, and proved himself to be among the most explosive players in the NFL on the ground and a huge threat through the air. He was nearly impossible to take down and could have the highest ceiling of anybody in fantasy this year.
The Catch: Taking a player who only saw success in the second half of their rookie season could prove to be too risky for some fantasy owners, which is understandable. Fellow Saints running back Mark Ingram is also coming off a nice season and he could steal some goal line touchdowns once he comes back from his four game suspension. However, Kamara is so insanely talented that I think it’s safe to look past both of those points.
6. Kareem Hunt, KC (12)
16 games: 1,327 rushing yards, 8 TD; 53 receptions, 455 receiving yards, 3 TD
The Good: Had it not been for Kamara’s ridiculous season, Hunt would’ve run away with Offensive Rookie of the Year. After losing a fumble on literally his first run as a pro, Hunt spent the remainder of the season as one of the best running backs in football. He was the focus of Andy Reid’s offense, and it looks to stay that way with second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes being eased into NFL life.
The Catch: A lot of Hunt’s value could ride on Mahomes. If Mahomes is great, tons of opportunities will open up for Hunt, but if he’s bad, defenses will focus mainly on stopping the run. Still, Hunt’s talent and projected volume is enough to warrant a mid-first round pick.
7. Leonard Fournette, JAX (9)
13 games: 1,040 rushing yards, 9 TD; 36 receptions, 302 receiving yards, 1 TD
The Good: Had he not missed three games, Fournette could have very well finished with better rushing numbers that Kareem Hunt did. At 6’1” and 228 pounds, Fournette is bigger than most running backs, but he’s as quick and agile as anyone. He can also pound the ball up the middle with the best of them. The Jaguars have vocally expressed their desire to be a run-first team, so expect Fournette to get a ton of touches this season.
The Catch: Fournette has had nagging ankle injuries since his days at LSU, which is never a good look for a running back. He’s fantastic when on the field, but his health could raise a bit of a concern.
8. Saquon Barkley, NYG (9)
The Good: Barkley is viewed by many as the best incoming rookie this season, and with good reason. He’s a fantastic runner, can catch the ball very well, and had one of the best combines anyone’s seen in a long time. He’s entering into a Giants offense which expects him to be the workhorse from the onset. The sky is the limit for this guy.
The Catch: No matter how great they may seem, there’s always that risk that comes along with drafting a rookie in the first round of a fantasy draft. Barkley looks as capable as anybody of having an incredible rookie season, but you can never know for sure.
9. Melvin Gordon, LAC (8)
16 games: 1,105 rushing yards, 8 TD; 58 receptions, 476 receiving yards, 4 TD
The Good: Gordon has steadily improved as his young career has worn on, increasing both his yards on the ground and through the air on a yearly basis. With quarterback Philip Rivers getting older and the team around him improving, there’s no reason to expect this trend to end this season. He’s also scored a nice 12 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons, and it’s entirely possible for him to exceed that number as well.
The Catch: Gordon had twice has many games rushing for under 40 yards (four) than he did rushing for over 100 yards (two), making him not entirely reliable on a week-to-week basis. He’s a nice early-to-mid second round draft choice, but watch out for his matchups.
10. Dalvin Cook, MIN (10)
4 games: 354 rushing yards, 2 TD; 11 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: Cook might have only played in four games in his rookie season, but he looked excellent before tearing his ACL in Week 4. Three of those four games saw him garner over 5 yards per carry, which is incredibly impressive considering his youth. His 88.5 rushing yards per game would also be good for second in the NFL, assuming he kept up that pace (his limited season makes it so that this stat doesn’t qualify among league leaders). He’s explosive, exciting, and could be in for a huge season with quarterback Kirk Cousins leading Minnesota’s offense.
The Catch: The classic fear of drafting a running back coming off an ACL tear is always warranted, especially when that player has only played in four games in his career. Cook has plenty of upside, but his career starting out this way is a bit troubling.
11. Devonta Freeman, ATL (8)
14 games: 865 rushing yards, 7 TD; 36 receptions, 317 receiving yards, 1 TD
The Good: After a pair of consecutive 1,000 yard seasons in which he scored 14 and 13 touchdowns respectively, Freeman took a bit of a step back in 2017-18, which takes him out of the first round for me. Nonetheless, he’s still the lead back in Atlanta’s high-octane offense and is a solid low-end RB1.
The Catch: Each of the past three seasons has seen Atlanta’s other key back, Tevin Coleman, take more and more snaps away from Freeman. Coleman is entering a contract year and will be playing his heart out in order to get some big money (presumably elsewhere), which could hinder Freeman’s fantasy value a bit.
12. Joe Mixon, CIN (9)
14 games: 626 rushing yards, 4 TD; 30 receptions, 287 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: It took Mixon a while to take the role of Cincinnati’s lead back during his rookie season, but he had some flashes of excellence when he finally got his chance. With Jeremy Hill now a Patriot, it’s Mixon’s time to show the Bengals that he’s their running back of the future. He’s a big fantasy breakout candidate for me this season.
The Catch: Mixon had a very up and down rookie year and didn’t show quite enough promise to consider him a definitive RB1. Fellow running back Giovani Bernard will definitely steal a lot of third down and receiving work from Mixon as well.
13. Jerick McKinnon, SF (11)
16 games: 570 rushing yards, 3 TD; 51 receptions, 421 receiving yards, 2 TD
The Good: After Dalvin Cook went down for the season, McKinnon more or less became Minnesota’s lead back and performed pretty well. He’s got some serious big play ability and thrives on the receiving end of the ball, making it so that he could have some nice fantasy value in Kyle Shanahan’s 49er offense, especially if he continues to develop chemistry with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Catch: McKinnon is entering a brand new offense, as is his quarterback, so we don’t have much of an idea of how he might adjust to his change in scenery. He’s a safe RB2 with RB1 upside, especially in full-PPR leagues, but there’s no way to tell as of right now.
14. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (4)
16 games: 435 rushing yards, 2 TD; 80 receptions, 651 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: McCaffrey was one of those guys who was kind of hard to judge going into his rookie season. He’s immensely talented, but he’s a pass-first running back entering a team with a quarterback notorious for rarely throwing to guys in the backfield. Well, Cam Newton seems to have adjusted, as McCaffrey had a pretty solid rookie season, and will now assume lead back duties with Jonathan Stewart now with the Giants. He could be in for a big year and could be huge in full-PPR formats.
The Bad: With lead back duties come lots of rushes, which wasn’t McCaffrey’s strong suit last year. His 3.7 yards per carry ranked 34th among qualified players, a number which will need to improve if he will receive the carries necessary to warrant RB1 classification, especially in non-PPR formats.
15. LeSean McCoy, BUF (11)
16 games: 1,138 rushing yards, 6 TD; 59 receptions, 448 receiving yards, 2 TD
The Good: If you like consistency, you like Shady McCoy. Whenever he’s healthy, you know he’s going to give you 1,100 yards and 7-10 touchdowns, making him a sort of high floor, medium ceiling kind of guy. This makes him a very solid RB2.
The Catch: McCoy is entering his age 30 season, which is typically the start of a running back’s decline. The uncertainty regarding Buffalo’s quarterback situation as well as McCoy’s personal legal difficulties is also pretty troublesome.
16. Alex Collins, BAL (10)
15 games: 973 rushing yards, 6 TD; 23 receptions, 187 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: For much of the latter half of the season, Collins was one of the better running backs in fantasy and was an excellent waiver-wire pickup for thousands of fantasy owners. Collins became the lead back with Kenneth Dixon injured, and still scored six touchdowns in November and December despite Javorius Allen getting a lot of the Ravens’ goal line opportunities. Collins could be primed for a real breakout campaign.
The Catch: Dixon is now healthy and the Ravens seem to like him quite a bit, so Collins could very well end up splitting carries with two other players this season (Allen being the other). This, along with quarterback Joe Flacco’s eternal mediocrity, could potentially limit Collins’s fantasy value.
17. Jay Ajayi, PHI (9)
14 games: 873 rushing yards, 1 TD; 24 receptions, 158 receiving yards, 1 TD
The Good: After a fantastic 2016-17 fantasy campaign, Ajayi got off to a very slow start in 2017-18. This can be heavily attributed to his displeasure with his situation in Miami, and his season drastically turned around after being traded away to Philadelphia midseason, as he went from averaging 3.4 yards per carry in Miami to 5.8 yards per carry in Philly. Playing the role of the feature running back behind one of the best offensive lines in football, Ajayi is a solid RB2 with potential RB1 upside.
The Catch: With Corey Clement and Darren Sproles sharing the backfield, Ajayi is unlikely to see much action in the passing game, and his third down usage could take a hit as well. He also hasn’t had quite enough fantasy success in the NFL to make him a definitive second round player, given that he really only had one great fantasy season.
18. Jordan Howard, CHI (5)
16 games: 1,122 rushing yards, 9 TD; 23 receptions, 125 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: After having a huge breakout rookie season in 2016-17, Howard came back with a solid, albeit less exciting, 2017-18 season. With second year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky taking the helm, Chicago should utilize Howard plenty as Trubisky develops as an NFL QB.
The Bad: As is the case for any running back with a relatively young quarterback, if the QB is bad, it could spell trouble for the RB. If Trubisky doesn’t live up to the hype, defenses will be able to focus mostly on stopping the run. Fellow running back Tarik Cohen is also bound to take away a lot of pass-catching opportunities from Howard.
19. Derrick Henry, TEN (8)
16 games: 744 rushing yards, 5 TD; 11 receptions, 136 yards, 1 TD
The Good: With DeMarco Murray retired, Tennessee’s lead running back role is Henry’s to lose. He played very well in the playoffs, including a great 4th quarter run in the Wild Card round to shut down the Chiefs. Playing behind an elite offensive line and an improving quarterback in Marcus Mariota, Henry could be a great value pick in the third or fourth round.
The Catch: The Titans have brought in running back Dion Lewis from the Patriots, and they’ve said that they could plan on using the two of them in a sort of committee. Even if Henry remains the lead back, he’ll lose a good amount of receptions and third downs to Lewis.
20. Kenyan Drake, MIA (11)
16 games: 644 rushing yards, 3 TD; 32 receptions, 239 receiving yards, 1 TD
The Good: With Jay Ajayi in Philadelphia, Drake took over as Miami’s feature back toward the end of last season and did not disappoint. Over the five starts in which Drake had at least 10 carries, he averaged 118.8 yards from scrimmage per game and 4.9 yards per carry. He’s extremely efficient and should easily get over 230 carries this season.
The Catch: Other than Drake, there isn’t much else to like about Miami’s offense. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is coming off an ACL tear and Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry has been sent off to Cleveland. Drake will also be conceding some carries to Frank Gore, but it’s mostly the fact that Miami doesn’t have much else for defenses to worry about that concerns me more.
21. Derrius Guice, WAS (4)
The Good: The second-round pick out of LSU enters a situation in Washington which should present him with a pretty heavy workload for a rookie. The Redskins don’t have a ton of options to run the ball, especially considering that Chris Thompson is more of a receiving back, and any offense run by quarterback Alex Smith has historically been very friendly to running backs. Guice could have a really nice rookie year.
The Bad: Guice’s rookie success will likely rely on how Alex Smith and Washington’s coaches run the offense. Smith is notoriously a system quarterback who needs to be in the perfect situation in order to succeed, so if Washington might muck things up if they can’t be on the same page as their quarterback. Guice will also be limited in PPR formats given the excellence of Chris Thompson in the passing game.
22. Lamar Miller, HOU (10)
16 games: 888 rushing yards, 3 TD; 36 receptions, 327 receiving yards, 3 TD
The Good: Miller starts off the season at the top of Houston’s running back depth chart, a spot which he has secured as of right now. He has plenty of talent and can be pretty efficient, with last season being the only one of his career in which he failed to rush for at least 4.0 yards per carry. His place atop the depth chart makes it so that he’ll get a minimum of 200 or so touches, so he has some good value as a RB2.
The Catch: With quarterback Deshaun Watson back, Houston will run heavily through their young leader under center. Watson can run just as well as he can throw it, and Miller’s volume or carries could be limited, especially given the fact that D’Onta Foreman and Alfred Blue have also shown that they can be effective in the running game. Not helping is the fact that Houston’s offensive line is still among the league’s worst.
22. Rashaad Penny, SEA (7)
The Good: Have the Seahawks finally found their running back of the future? Quarterback Russell Wilson sure hopes so. Seattle was only one of two teams in the NFL last season whose rushing leader was not a running back (the other being Carolina), and as great as Wilson is, he needs some backup out there. Penny should get plenty of work in during his rookie year, giving him some nice upside.
The Catch: Seattle didn’t do much to improve their dismal offensive line, and Penny could really struggle against opposing defenses. The Seahawks have also not had much success at running back post-Marshawn Lynch, so it’s hard to tell exactly how they would utilize Penny on a consistent basis.
24. Chris Thompson, WAS (4)
10 games: 294 rushing yards, 2 TD; 39 receptions, 510 receiving yards, 4 TD
The Good: A secret weapon which might not be so secret anymore, Thompson was the only player last season who, while playing, led his team in both rushing and receiving. Although Derrius Guice will likely get the most touches on the ground, Alex Smith-led offenses often utilize passing backs pretty heavily, so Thompson could be in for a fantastic PPR year, especially given his big play ability.
The Catch: Thompson is coming off a season-ending leg injury, which is always a concern for running backs. The high possibility losing touches to Guice will also hurt his value in non-PPR formats.
25. Ronald Jones II, TB (5)
The Good: As preseason training continues to develop, Jones looks more and more primed to take over as Tampa’s lead running back going into this season. With Doug Martin now a Raider, Jones’s only real competition for the job is Peyton Barber, who didn’t look like anything special last season. Jones should be given a nice workload to start off his NFL career.
The Catch: Quarterback Jameis Winston took a step back in his development last season, which didn’t bode well for Tampa’s running backs. Winston is also suspended for the first three games of the season, so Jones won’t have much room to do a whole lot to start the season.
26. Royce Freeman, DEN (10)
The Good: Devontae Booker is starting off the season atop the Broncos running back depth chart, but Freeman looks primed to take over the top spot as the season wears on. He was a star at Oregon and Booker wasn’t terribly impressive last season, so Denver will likely look to Freeman in order to get their offense moving behind newly acquired quarterback Case Keenum.
The Catch: The AFC West has some of the best defensive players in the NFL, so Freeman will have a lot to go up against early on in his career. He’s also not guaranteed as many carries as fantasy owners might like, but he should be sufficient as a RB2 as the season moves forward and could have some nice keeper value.
27. Mark Ingram, NO (6)
16 games: 1,124 rushing yards, 12 TD; 58 receptions, 416 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: Ingram is coming off his best season as a pro, from both practical and fantasy perspectives. Although Alvin Kamara’s insane rookie season likely plants him as the Saints’ key running back, Ingram should still get plenty of touches and goal line opportunies.
The Bad: It’s weird to list someone coming off their best season as a pro as no more than a fringe RB2/FLEX, but I can’t help but do it for Ingram. He’ll miss the first four games of the season due to a suspension, and Kamara will assume lead back duties all season. If Kamara goes ballistic during those first four games without Ingram, the Saints might limit Ingram even further as the season goes on so as to not fix what ain’t broke.
28. Dion Lewis, TEN (8)
16 games: 896 rushing yards, 6 TD; 32 receptions, 214 receiving yards, 3 TD
The Good: Lewis has serious big play ability and is supposedly going to work with Derrick Henry in Tennessee’s running back committee. He will also be the best pass-catching option Marcus Mariota has had out of the backfield to date, and given the fact that Tennessee awarded him a four-year deal worth nearly $20 million, they should utilize Lewis enough to make him fantasy relevant, even more so in PPR formats.
The Catch: Derrick Henry will likely get most of the first and second down work for the Titans, which might force Lewis’s fantasy value to rely on his big play ability as opposed to the volume one might hope for in a fantasy running back. He could be a reliable RB2, but his ceiling is pretty low.
29. Marshawn Lynch, OAK (7)
15 games: 891 rushing yards, 7 TD; 20 receptions, 151 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: Lynch disappointed last year after coming out of retirement in order to join the Raiders, putting up his worst nearly-full season statistics since 2010. However, he could improve upon last season’s numbers, with new coach Jon Gruden liking ground-and-pound type offenses, a style which suits Lynch perfectly. His value should also shoot up if quarterback Derek Carr continues to improve. He’s a solid FLEX option.
The Catch: Beast Mode is entering his age 32 season, a mark which very rarely showcases a running back’s highest capabilities on the field. His athleticism and speed are both decreasing as time moves on, and you can’t expect this season to be any better than the last in that regard. And while Gruden could prove to be a great coach for Lynch’s play style, we can’t be sure given the fact that Gruden hasn’t coached in the NFL in over a decade.
30. Sony Michel, NE (11)
The Good: With James White being a pass-first back, it’s safe to say that Michel will eventually lead the Patriots in carries, especially given the fact that New England drafted him in the first round. They hadn’t drafted a running back that early in a long time, so they clearly believe in him.
The Catch: Running backs behind quarterback Tom Brady have never had much fantasy success given their lack of volume. Brady might be 41, but the Pats are still a pass-first offense, and given White’s and Rex Burkhead’s presences in the past, Michel might not get all the touches fantasy owners might like.
31. Duke Johnson Jr, CLE (11)
16 games: 348 rushing yards, 4 TD; 74 receptions, 693 receiving yards, 3 TD
The Good: As newly acquired veteran Carlos Hyde and rookie Nick Chubb battle it out for the lead in the run game, Johnson is clearly the favorite to get most of Cleveland’s receiving work out of the backfield. Getting himself over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, he was basically the lone bright spot for Cleveland’s historically terrible offense last season. He might not get as much usage on the ground as he did last year, but Johnson could be a nice FLEX play in good matchups.
The Catch: The fact that he might not have a high volume of carries limits Johnson’s value in non-PPR formats. The Browns offense also went through a complete overhaul this offseason and it’s impossible to tell exactly who will be used and how much. Cleveland’s offense will be significantly better in one way or another, but determining what that way would be before the season starts is tough.
32. Tevin Coleman, ATL (8)
15 games: 628 rushing yards, 5 TD; 27 receptions, 299 receiving yards, 3 TD
The Good: Coleman is about a strong a handcuff as they come: he gets a good amount of playing time despite playing second fiddle to Devonta Freeman, and he plays well when he gets his chances. He’s an amazing play if Freeman goes down, and this being a contract year, he’s going to be working real hard to get some money somewhere. This makes him a super valuable keeper option.
The Catch: Coleman is firmly a backup in Atlanta’s offense and doesn’t provide real starter value unless Freeman gets hurt. He’s a decent desperation start given his high probability of scoring relative to other backup RBs, but he’s never guaranteed to produce on a week-to-week basis.
33. Marlon Mack, IND (9)
14 games: 358 rushing yards, 3 TD; 21 receptions, 225 receiving yards, 1 TD
The Good: Mack is atop Indy’s running back depth chart as of right now, making the second-year man a big favorite to lead the Colts in carries this season. With quarterback Andrew Luck back on the field after missing all of last season, Indy’s high-powered offense should be hitting opponents in full strength. This should provide Mack with plenty of opportunities to succeed, making him a solid sleeper pick this season.
The Catch: His small, relatively unimpressive sample size holds me back from listing Mack has anything more than a FLEX option as of right now. He wasn’t great last year, but that was strongly due to Luck’s absence. Mack could have some nice value in the middle rounds, but there’s no way to be entirely confident in him.
34. Tarik Cohen, CHI (5)
16 games: 370 rushing yards, 2 TD; 53 receptions, 353 receiving yards, 1 TD
The Good: Jordan Howard might be the ground-and-pound guy for the Bears, but Cohen presents Chicago with a versatile weapon who can drop out of the backfield and make plays as a receiver. He’ll be a nice dump out option for Mitchell Trubisky, making him a solid FLEX option, especially in PPR formats.
The Catch: While Cohen’s play on the field was impressive enough his rookie year, recording only three touchdowns was certainly underwhelming. Even if his number of receptions increases (which It should), Cohen needs to reach the end zone more often if he’s going to be a true fantasy asset.
35. Jamaal Williams, GB (7)
16 games: 556 rushing yards, 4 TD; 25 receptions, 262 receiving yards, 2 TD
The Good: Williams starts of the season atop Green Bay’s running back depth chart, having finished last season off as more or less the top back on the Packers. From Week 10 onward, he only had one game in which he carried the ball less than 15 times and looked pretty solid during that span. He still faces competition from Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery, but if you’re going to draft a Packers running back, it should probably be Williams.
The Catch: For all we know, there could be a three man rotation in the Packers backfield behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay hasn’t really had a solid, consistent running back throughout most of Rodgers’s tenure as a starter. This is certainly in part due to the fact that the Packers are by far a pass-first team, so it’s never easy to draft any running back playing in Green Bay as a completely reliable starting option.
36. Isaiah Crowell, NYJ (11)
16 games: 853 rushing yards, 2 TD; 28 receptions, 182 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: Crowell had a disappointing 2017-18 after he was taken in the third or fourth round by a good amount of fantasy owners, but that could be chalked up to Cleveland’s inept offense. The Jets signed him to a three-year deal worth around $12 million, a number which indicates that they have plans to use him more than a backup.
The Catch: Crowell is not currently listed as the number one running back on the Jets roster and will likely split most of his time on the field with Bilal Powell. The Jets uncertainty at quarterback, as well as a pretty bad offensive line, makes drafting Crowell as anything but a bench player tough to justify.