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Discussion topic: Which running back is going to be the bust of 2017?

Let’s start RB Week debating which running back is going to fail you in fantasy this year.

NFL: Chicago Bears-Training Camp Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s RB Week here at Fake Teams and while we’ll be spending all week giving you our thoughts as to which running backs are sleepers and which are going to be busts, I wanted to start the week hearing from all you readers.

Since there are only 32 starting quarterbacks in the league and even the worst of them—Blake “I throw 5 interceptions in practice” Bortles—can put up fantasy points, there’s general consensus on who will and won’t be good. But now that we’re getting into the skill positions, we can finally have a lively debate about who we think is going to absolutely ravish fantasy football and who’s going to ruin every team he’s on.

Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent more time fixated on fantasy football this year, but I’m heading into this year with a fair amount of uncertainty in my mind when it comes to the running back position. The top dogs are clear and even the two or three behind them are pretty entrenched. It’s the 7-12 section that scares me: the second round running backs. Here they are:

  • Jay Ajayi - He was amazingly productive with a healthy offensive line—perfectly broken down by Brett Kollmann—but is it worth spending a second rounder on a running back whose fantasy stock is linked to an injury prone center?
  • Jordan Howard - If not for a running back named Ezekiel Elliott, Howard’s rookie season would have gotten a lot more attention. However, the Bears’ offense isn’t great (that’s putting it nicely) and can Howard maintain his rookie year when defenses are preparing to stop him and only him?
  • DeMarco Murray - At some point Derrick Henry is going to replace him and that could come sooner than later.
  • Todd Gurley - Is he going to be the Todd Gurley of games 4-13 his rookie year (183 carries, 966 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, 8 touchdowns) or the Todd Gurley of the rest of his career?
  • Marshawn Lynch - Is he going to be BeastMode or RetiredMode?

If I were to answer the proposed question and pick which RB is going to be the bust of 2017, I think it’s going to be Ajayi. Howard is coming in a close second for me but I think the Bears’ offensive line is a) better and b) healthier. Also you know Chicago’s offense is going to be designed purely around Howard so he’s going to get plenty of touches.

Who do you think is going to be the bust of 2017? Also, what are your thoughts on the guys I listed above?

Let the discussion begin!