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ADP FACE-OFF: Running Backs

Numbers in parentheses are the MFL10s current ADP for that player.

Le’Veon Bell (2) vs. Todd Gurley (1)

Ultimately, both of these running backs are the cream of the crop at their position. Bell has been a Top-3 fantasy running back in three of the past four seasons and in my opinion is the best fantasy football player out there. Gurley was the best fantasy running back in 2017 and is the focal point of the Los Angeles Rams offense, but until he proves he can be a Top-5 fantasy running back year-after-year like Bell has, I’m taking Bell over Gurley. Don’t get me wrong, both are bona fide studs through-and-through, but when it comes down to it, it’s still Bell over Gurley.

David Johnson (3) vs. Ezekiel Elliott (4)

Both of these running backs will be the focal points of their respective offenses this season. Johnson is two seasons removed from being the best fantasy running back, while Elliott has been an elite fantasy running back on a points per game basis since he entered the league in 2016. When all is said and done, I’m more concerned about the Dallas Cowboys facing stacked front-sevens so I’m taking Johnson. Especially in a PPR format.

Alvin Kamara (6) vs. Kareem Hunt (9)

These two second-year running backs went above and beyond in their rookie seasons in 2017. Kamara led all running backs with 826 receiving yards and Hunt led the NFL with 1,327 rushing yards but the return of Spencer Ware will have an impact on Hunt’s production this season. Not a drastic impact, but an impact nonetheless. I believe Kamara will be a more consistent fantasy option on a week-to-week basis and because of that, the choice is Alvin Kamara.

Saquon Barkley (8) vs. Melvin Gordon (11)

Barkley’s expectations for his rookie season are astronomically high. I mean, I get it, he is arguably the best prospect to come out of the draft since Adrian Peterson. However, I paired Barkley with Gordon here to demonstrate that rookie running backs don’t always come into the NFL and produce elite fantasy numbers from the get-go. While Gordon was not the highly touted prospect, Barkley is, he struggled mightily in his rookie season and did not become a reliable, Top-10 fantasy running back until his second season in the league. The question is, do you go with the massive upside but potentially poor ROI (return on investment) in Barkley or the security and safety of Gordon? Personally, I’m taking the latter and not doubting myself for a minute.

Dalvin Cook (14) vs. Leonard Fournette (12)

Man, that 2017 rookie running back class was a special one. Cook excelled in limited action last season and is fully entrenched as the starting running back for Minnesota in 2018. For the most part, Fournette was a reliable, high-end fantasy running back in his rookie season. An injury in the middle of the season hurt Fournette’s final overall-ranking, but his 17.7 points per game proves he is among the best in the business. This one is super close but give me Fournette for the simple fact that Jacksonville’s plan of attack will feature Fournette more than Minnesota’s approach will feature Cook.

About Evan Reardon

An avid Boston sports fan, Evan has been a Patriots and NFL fan since the 1990's. Fantasy football runs in his family. He grew up in the 90's watching his father and uncles play in a 6-team, Touchdown-only league. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000's and has been writing fantasy sports content since 2014.

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