2017 Fantasy Football: Running Back Rankings

By John Leinweber
Jul. 18, 2017

Running back is always a tough position to draft in fantasy because of the volatility of production and injuries. Just because a running back is being drafted in the first round, doesn’t mean he will return that value. In fact, many experts firmly believe that running backs should not be drafted until the later rounds of the draft. This allows fantasy players to load of wide receivers, and address Quarterback and tight end earlier than other owners. Just look at the top ten running backs for this season, only six of my top ten ranked running backs went in the first rounds of drafts last season. That doesn’t even necessarily mean that provided top 30 pick value, but that at their ceiling that is the value they should produce this season.

Now even amidst the strategies of waiting on running backs, I feel we have to continue to draft running backs highly. There are only a few running backs who are considered true bell cow backs, and they provide great fantasy value. Last season, the best wide receivers went first overall in drafts, but the outstanding production from Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, and Ezekiel Elliott has shot them up to the top of draft boards. Because there are so few bell cow backs in the league, they are all being drafted in the first two or three rounds. Even though the position is the riskiest in fantasy, missing out on this kind of production can badly hurt your fantasy season because of the number of running back committees in the league.

Now with all this analysis out of the way, below are my running back rankings standard and ppr scoring.

Top 50 Running Backs for 2017 (Standard Scoring)

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
  3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
  4. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
  5. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
  6. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
  7. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins
  8. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
  9. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
  10. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
  11. Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
  12. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
  13. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
  14. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
  15. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
  16. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
  17. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
  18. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
  19. Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots
  20. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers
  21. Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs
  22. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
  23. LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles
  24. Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins
  25. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
  26. Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks
  27. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  28. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
  29. Bilal Powell, New York Jets
  30. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions
  31. Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
  32. Paul Perkins, New York Giants
  33. Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints
  34. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens
  35. James White, New England Patriots
  36. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions
  37. Danny Woodhead, Baltimore Ravens
  38. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  39. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles
  40. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
  41. Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders
  42. Matt Forte, New York Jets
  43. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
  44. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
  45. Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins
  46. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
  47. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
  48. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
  49. Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings
  50. Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens

Top 50 Running Backs for 2017 (PPR Scoring)

  1. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
  3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
  4. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
  5. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
  6. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
  7. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
  8. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
  9. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins
  10. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
  11. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
  12. Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
  13. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
  14. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
  15. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
  16. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
  17. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
  18. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers
  19. Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs
  20. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
  21. Bilal Powell, New York Jets
  22. Danny Woodhead, Baltimore Ravens
  23. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
  24. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions
  25. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions
  26. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
  27. Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
  28. Paul Perkins, New York Giants
  29. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
  30. Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks
  31. Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots
  32. Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins
  33. Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland Browns
  34. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  35. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles
  36. James White, New England Patriots
  37. LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles
  38. Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders
  39. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
  40. C.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks
  41. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens
  42. Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints
  43. Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins
  44. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  45. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
  46. Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins
  47. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
  48. Matt Forte, New York Jets
  49. Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots
  50. Shane Vereen, New York Giants