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Bold running back predictions for the 2018 season

If I can hammer in one thing, don’t get too fancy here.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With the recent trends of Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette showing that rookie RBs can be all-stars, it’s all too easy to forget some of the work horse RBs who have produced year in and year out. You will likely notice a trend with my bold predictions, in most of these cases you can find some series potential value.

Prediction 1

Frank Gore lands in the top 15 in rushing yards for a fifth consecutive year.

Rational: For years the story has always been, this is the year Frank Gore is done. It was said in 2014 when he went up against Carlos Hyde, in 2015 when he went up against Ahmad Bradshaw, in 2015 when he went up against Robert Turbin and in 2016 when he went up against Marlon Mack. I know he is going against

Kenyan Drake and Jeremy Langford and Sanorise Perry but in a sport where certainty is near non-existent, this seems like a good stat to back. Frank Gore is the ONLY RB who has landed in the top ten each of the last four years in attempts.

Prediction 2

Jeremy Hill lands in the top 10 in rushing touchdowns.

Rational: He was a touchdown machine in 2014 (3rd), 2015 (1st) and 2016 (8th) before being ururped by Joe MIxon last year and only playing in 7 games (then getting an ankle injury). He is now on a New England roster which has Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, Mike GIllislee just to name a few but they also had the fifth most rushing touchdowns as a team last year and will know how to bring out Hill’s strongest asset this year.

Prediction 3

LeSean McCoy is a top 7 RB this year. Since all leagues have their own point systems, I’ll elaborate. He will land in the top 5 in rushing yards and the top 10 in touchdowns.

Rational: LeSean has landed in the top 6 in rushing yards three of the last four years. In terms of touchdowns, he was 4th in 2016 and 14th last year. His offseason incident has people avoiding him like the plague but that could result in a suspension (although it’s looking less and less likely). He’s going to bet a lot of carries (over the last three years only Todd Gurley and Frank Gore got more) and he will be with AJ McCarron who saw the running game improve each of the three games he started in 2015. Most importantly, he stays healthy, he’s played at least 15 games in seven of his nine years in the pro (he’s started at least 12 EVERY season).

Prediction 4

Saquon Barkley is not a top ten fantasy RB. By this I mean, he falls outside the top 5 in rushing yards AND TDs and falls outside the top 15 in one of those as well (I’m just not sure which). I don’t think he is the HOF all-star that he is praised to be…yet.

Rational: Remember when, for years no one touched a rookie RB because more often than not they were busts? I’m not saying Barkley is a bust but I am saying I think he has some work yet to go before he’s glorified as high as he is. I saw him break free for a 40 yard rush on his first carry last week but that’s also the first carry of a season when teams are still figuring out things. Furthermore, I also saw his next 3 carries which amassed 4 yards. He is entirely dependent on one big play to produce numbers, if he doesn’t break through it’s likely he has a few games with 40 yards or less. There is also the possibility of injury which happens to many RB’s, he was healthy in college (mostly) but the NFL is a whole separate thing.

Prediction 5

Three RBs will land in the top 10 in all of these three categories: Touchdowns, Total Yards, 20+ Yard Runs: one of them will be Jordan Howard.

Rational: I’m not even sure if he will be a top 5 fantasy RB but he will be a top 10 and he will likely sit in the 6-10 rankings on all three of those categories. The Bears are going to give him every opportunity to carry the ball (11th most attempts in 2016, 5th most last year) and he does not blow all of the competition away but he also does not disappoint. He was 2nd in rushing yards in 2016, 6thin 2017, 18th in TDs in 2016, 3rd last year and 3rd in 20+ yard runs in 2016, 14th in 2017). FakeTeams rankings have him at 13 right now, I’m a bit more bullish.

Poll

Which prediction is the boldest?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Gore a top 15 rusher
    (92 votes)
  • 22%
    Hill top 10 in rushing TDs
    (74 votes)
  • 11%
    McCoy a top 7 fantasy RB
    (38 votes)
  • 29%
    Barkley a freshman bust
    (99 votes)
  • 9%
    Jordan Howard is a versatile RB
    (32 votes)
335 votes total Vote Now