Welcome back to another installment into the 2017 Running Back PPR Cheat Sheet. Here is my Top 41-66 Rankings with 2017 Projection and Outlook insight. Please feel free to like, share, and subscribe to my content as we here at fantasyisntfun aim to produce free fantasy football content for you every day. Keep in mind this is for point per catch formats – my standard scoring cheat sheets will be releasing soon!
41. Matt Forte, NYJ
2017 Projection: 120 attempts / 420 rushing yards / 5 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 200 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdowns (123 points)
Outlook: Matt Forte returns for his second year in New York and appears to hae been overtaken in the backfield by Bilal Powell, who looks something like a young Matt Forte. The New York offense isn’t scaring anyone, and as the most proven threat on offense, defenses will be keying in on Forte early in most games, forcing the Jets to beat them through the air. I think this projects as a tough year for Matt Forte. Powell looks to snare the #1 role at running back.
42. Legarrette Blount, PHI
2017 Projection: 170 attempts / 680 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 25 yards / 0 touchdowns (123 points)
Outlook: LeGarrette Blount finally found a home in Philadelphia after a long portion of the offseason was spent on the street. Last year’s leader in rushing touchdowns, Blount brings his newfound scoring prowess to a Philadelphia offense that hasn’t been set at the position in many years. Blount has always played poorly on good teams outside of New England, and I expect a bit of a regression for Blount now that he has earned himself some money. I also expect him to split plenty of time with the younger, fresher backs on the Eagles roster, along with Darren Sproles. Don’t buy.
43. Jonathan Stewart, CAR
2017 Projection: 180 attempts / 666 rushing yards / 8 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 35 yards / 0 touchdowns (122 points)
Outlook: The Panthers brought in a new backfield mate for Stewart this offseason, investing their first round pick in the dynamic Christian McCaffery. McCaffery will eat into Stewart’s time in the backfield, and he projects to take over completely if the brittle Stewart suffers an in-season injury. I expect the time to be split pretty evenly between the two of them, with Newton stealing red zone and goal line opportunities from both. I think Stewart still has some scoring upside left to his name, but the yards may not be there. He will be valuable at the right price.
44. Thomas Rawls, SEA
2017 Projection: 100 attempts / 500 rushing yards / 6 rushing touchdowns; 16 receptions / 120 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (120 points)
Outlook: Rawls returned from a broken leg in 2016 only to experience more complications which ultimately torpedoed his fantasy season. After showing off some serious skills in a limited sample size in 2015, Rawls returns to split backfield work with free agent signee Eddie Lacy. I expect Rawls to form the smaller part of the committee but still have some value. He also has to contend with receiving specialist C.J. Prosise. This is an ugly backfield and though talented, I think Rawls will struggle for relevance.
45. Darren Sproles, PHI
2017 Projection: 70 attempts / 280 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 40 receptions / 280 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (120 points)
Outlook: Sproles had a pretty serviceable year last year in Philadelphia, but the Eagles brought in LeGarrette Blount and Donnel Pumphrey, and return Wendell Smallwood to this crowded backfield. Sproles is a hit-or-miss option in most leagues, but could have PPR value in weeks that the Eagles project to be behind. I’d avoid Sproles in most leagues unless you want to stream him in tougher matchups.
46. Kenneth Dixon, BAL
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 320 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 35 receptions / 210 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (118 points)
Outlook: Kenneth Dixon showed us he could play in the NFL last year. The problem is, I believe Terrance West is a better overall back. Dixon is suspended for the first four weeks of the 2017 season, and I believe West cements himself as the top option in the backfield during his absence. The Ravens signed somewhat of a redundant pass-catching talent in the offseason by bringing in Danny Woodhead, who is more likely to eat into Dixon’s snaps than West’s. Overall, I think Dixon does well with his opportunities, but I also think they are limited.
47. Tim Hightower, SF
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 440 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 18 receptions / 162 receiing yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (114 points)
Outlook: Hightower revived his career down in New Orleans, and parlayed it into a new deal with the 49ers. A pass-protecting dynamo with some receiving skills as well, I project Hightower to get some work near the goal line and on long yardage downs. He can clearly still play and the time off seems to have served him well. A trade or injury to Carlos Hyde will have him playing much more than he currently projects to. A great real-life player and a mediocre at best fantasy option.
48. Rex Burkhead, NE
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 352 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 24 receptions / 240 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (113 points)
Outlook: Rex Burkhead is very quietly an excellent player. He literally does everything you need a third-string running back to do, and he does it well. He is also an excellent athlete. Landing in New England, there are a ton of mouths to feed and Burkhead finds himself in a position battle with Mike Gillislee. If Burkhead wins, he will smash these projections. I just don’t expect him to. A great third-down option and special teams ace who will have opportunities due to the mismatches he creates. The hype could be justified.
49. Danny Woodhead, BAL
2017 Projection: 25 rushes / 100 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown; 50 receptions / 350 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (113 points)
Outlook: Woodhead left San Diego for Baltimore this offseason, and with him he brings his excellent passing game skills. However, he is 31 and coming off of a torn ACL, which could hamper the start he is able to get with the Ravens. There is a crowded backfield in Baltimore, and it’s possible that Dixon beats out Woodhead for passing down work. In any case, West is the lead dog and Woodhead’s role remains to be seem. I think we’ve seen the best from Woodhead already and that he becomes a small part of the offense as a result. Too small of a role for fantasy.
50. Zack Zenner, DET
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 320 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 225 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (109 points)
Outlook: I think Zack Zenner is an excellent football player. He just isn’t as athletic as the other players at his position on the Lions roster. Riddick is a great pass catcher, and Abdullah is a better pure runner. He will still get his opportunities, as the Lions like to spread the love at the position, however he will struggle for relevance unless there is an injury in front of him.
51. Marlon Mack, IND
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 440 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 150 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (108 points)
Outlook: The Colts drafted Mack in the fourth round of this year’s draft as Frank Gore’s successor in the near future. However, Robert Turbin had a mega-efficient year last year when carrying the ball near the goal line, and is a proven commodity in the league. Mack will get his share of chances, but Turbin would be the back to own if you were looking to handcuff Gore.
52. Shane Vereen, NYG
2017 Projection: 40 attempts / 180 rushing yards / 0 rushing touchdowns; 40 receptions / 340 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (104 points)
Outlook: Vereen is the most competent pass catcher ona team that throws the ball a ton. Unfortunately, he’s about the fifth option or so on passing downs. He will get a few targets per game and be playing when the Giants are behind, but ona team that projects to be pretty good, I find it hard to believe that Vereen grasps fantasy relevance as a pass catching specialist on an offense so loaded.
53. Giovanni Bernard, CIN
2017 Projection: 60 attempts / 228 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 30 receptions / 240 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (100 points)
Outlook: A once highly thought of prospect is now an afterthought in the Cincinnati offense, especially due to the fact that Bernard is coming off of a torn ACL. A close call for Week 1, he will be eased back in and have even more limited opportunities with the drafting of Joe Mixon. He needs a change of scenery to return to fantasy relevance.
54. Joe Williams, SF
2017 Projection: 100 attempts / 380 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 28 receptions / 224 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (100 points)
Outlook: A favorite of the new regime, the front office talked up Joe Williams all offseason long. However, reports out of 49ers OTAs state that UDFA Matt Breida is performing better, and with Carlos Hyde and Tim Hightower still in tow, it’s going to be hard for Joe Williams to make a rookie year impact. He could factor into things on passing downs, but I’d ignore him for fantasy purposes.
55. Adrian Peterson, NO
2017 Projection: 100 rushes / 500 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 60 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (96 points)
Outlook: A lot of websites and cheat sheets have Adrian Peterson ranked pretty high. However, I don’t really like him in New Orleans. I don’t think he fits the offense too well, and I believe his skills and durability have really declined badly. Mark Ingram is the best running back in New Orleans – a hot take? Yes, but there is certainly truth to it. He knows the offense, catches the ball well and can protect Drew Brees from the blitz. I think Peterson contributes in small batches, but don’t feel like he still has the skills or durability necessary to become a reliable, weekly fantasy option.
56. Eddie Lacy, SEA
2017 Projection: 120 attempts / 576 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 50 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (96 points)
Outlook: The Seahwks signed Eddie Lacy to a one-year deal this offseason, and he is now firmly entrenched in a committee with Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise. Lacy’s motivation has always been in question, however he is now reportedly as committed to the game as he has ever been. Unfortunately, he’s in a committee behind the worst offensive line in the game. I don’t expect much from the Seahawks ground attack this year. Let someone else worry about Eddie Lacy.
57. Samaje Perine, WSH
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 440 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 80 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (92 points)
Outlook: A lot of people are high on Perine, but a rookie running back needs to nail down pass protection if they are going to get playing time. Rob Kelley does it better and proved himself to be a competent running back last year. I think Perine gets opportunities in certain spots, but struggles to find consistent playing time. An injury to Kelley puts him firmly on the map, however. I just don’t buy the hype on this kid at this point in the offseason.
58. Jacquizz Rodgers, TB
2017 Projection: 110 attempts / 450 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 15 receptions / 120 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (90 points)
Outlook: The projected starter for the first 3 weeks of the season until Doug Martin returns, Rodgers is a servicebale NFL backup. He won’t break many tackles or kill you with speed, but he will get the yards that are there. He needs 25+ carries in a game to have a great day. I don’t see him having much relevance once Martin comes back from suspension. He could help you in Weeks 1-3 as long as the cost associated isn’t too high. Afterwards, he will be waiver wire fodder.
59. Jamaal Charles, DEN
2017 Projection: 70 attempts / 280 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 22 receptions / 154 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (83 points)
Outlook: Charles’ knees are shot. I think he finds a small healthy window this season, but as the distant third of a committee behind CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker, Charles won’t be able to be relied upon as a fantasy starter. He’s near the end. He will make a few plays for the Broncos for sure, but not enough to warrant serious consideration as a rosterable guy.
60. Jerrick McKinnon, MIN
2017 Projection: 50 attempts / 190 rushing yards / 0 rushing touchdowns; 25 receptions / 150 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (71 points)
Outlook: McKinnon had his chance last year to run away with the Vikings starting running back job and rolled over. He isn’t an NFL caliber running back. Behind Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook, McKinnon is closer to being out of the league than to grasping fantasy relevance. The SPARQ freak can be left on the wire.
61. Robert Turbin, IND
2017 Projection: 40 attempts / 140 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 20 receptions / 100 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (68)
Outlook: The handcuff to own behind Frank Gore, Turbin is deadly efficient on the goal line. The problem is that he doesn’t get too many cracks at it. Marlon Mack is the better all around running back, but Turbin has proven that he can do most things at least at an average rate. He will vulture touchdowns in this backfield, but it will take an injury for him to gain relevance in the fantasy world.
62. Damien Williams, MIA
2017 Projection: 30 attempts / 102 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 18 receptions / 162 receiving yards / 2 receiving touchdowns (68 points)
Outlook: Kenyon Drake is the handcuff to own in Miami. Williams chips in in spots and around the goal line, but Drake is the guy to cuff Ajayi with. I expect Drake to be very good if Ajayi goes down, however if he doesn’t I expect Drake to have similar stats as Williams here. Not a very messy fantasy situation, which is good.
63. Chris Ivory, JAX
2017 Projection: 60 attempts / 234 rushing yards / 4 rushing touchdowns; 10 receptions / 90 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (66 points)
Outlook: A huge free agent miss by Jacksonville, Ivory’s role has now been stolen by Leonard Fournette. Will still get carries here and there when Fournette needs a breather, but totally avoidable for fantasy purposes for anything other than handcuffing Fournette.
64. Jonathan Williams, BUF
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 320 rushing yards / 3 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 35 receiving yards / 1 receiving touchdown (64 points)
Outlook: Hasn’t shown much yet and couldn’t find his way into any meaningful time in the Buffalo backfield last season. McCoy will dominate work in Buffalo, and again, this is only a player you take as a handcuff, if you want to burn a roster spot. Avoidable.
65. Charcandrick West, KC
2017 Projection: 60 attempts / 216 rushing yards / 1 rushing touchdown; 18 receptions / 144 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (59 points)
Outlook: An afterthought on offense, West will only be usable if there is an injury in the KC backfield. He’s a fringe NFL prospect and could get cut by the end of camp.
66. Jamaal Williams, GB
2017 Projection: 80 attempts / 300 rushing yards / 2 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions / 50 receiving yards / 0 receiving touchdowns (52 points)
Outlook: I’m pretty high on Ty Montgomery as the Packers running back, so while many think Williams can be a sneaky pick-up, I’m of the opposite opinion that he won’t have much value this season unless Montgomery completely face plants as the starter. Could have huge value with an injury, so he isn’t a bad stash if your handcuffs get scooped up.