Fantasy Football: The TRUTH About RBs in 2017, Part 1
Every year The Fantasy Footballers take a deep dive into the TRUTH behind fantasy football finishes from the previous year. Which players were actually consistent? Who provided week-winning performances, and who killed fantasy football teams everywhere? All this and more revealed!
Get the full RB breakdown from Andy, Mike, and Jason on the podcast: Part 1 / Part 2
The TRUTH Scoring
Player finish, fantasy points, and consistency percentages are based on Half PPR scoring.
Great Games are more than 22 points (top 5 on average)
Good Games are more than 10 points (top 24 on average)
Bust Games are fewer than 7 points (outside top 50 on average)
Below are the Top 10 RBs for 2017. For the rest of the pack, see Part 2.
1 Todd Gurley (351.30 points) – Consistency Rank #1
15 games — 279/1305/13 — 64/788/6 on 87 targets
Great 53% | Good 93% | Bust 7%
Defenses: +0.5 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +2.6 at Home
Todd Gurley was absolutely brilliant this year, finishing the as the most consistent and top-ranked running back on the season. His usage in this new look Sean McVay offense proved to be fantasy gold as he 2,093 total yards from scrimmage and 19 TDs. The Rams’ ability to use Gurley in both the running and passing game made him matchup proof, providing both a high floor and ceiling regardless of his opponent. With the Rams being one of the best up and coming offenses in the league, expect to see Gurley around the top of the list again next year.
2 Le’Veon Bell (299.10 points) – Consistency Rank #2
15 games — 321/1291/9 — 85/655/2 on 107 targets
Great 40% | Good 93% | Bust 7%
Defenses: -0.8 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +1.0 at Home
Le’Veon Bell got off to a slow start this season after holding out for the majority of training camp, posting just 6.2 and 11.1 fantasy points during Week’s 1 and 2 of the season. However, the rest of the season, he was the same Le’Veon Bell we all drafted in the top 5 of drafts, finishing as the RB2 overall and the second most consistent back in the league. Like Gurley, Bell offered week-winning performances while also serving as a reliable top-end option at the running back position.
3 Alvin Kamara (273.90 points) – Consistency Rank #6
16 games — 120/728/8 — 81/826/5 on 100 targets
Great 31% | Good 81% | Bust 19%
Defenses: -5.9 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +1.0 at Home
Alvin Kamara‘s “bust” percentage is a bit misleading as two out of his three bust performances came during the first two weeks of the season. At that time, Adrian Peterson was still on the Saints, and the team was still trying to figure out how to appropriately use him in the offense. For the rest of the season, Kamara only busted in one more game, and that was the game where he suffered a concussion. His consistency ranking could be even higher if it weren’t for three games, but in general, Kamara owners could rely on his services for reliable top-end production week in and week out.
4 Kareem Hunt (268.70 points) – Consistency Rank #10
16 games — 272/1327/8 — 53/455/3 on 63 targets
Great 25% | Good 63% | Bust 6%
Defenses: -5.2 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +1.3 at Home
Kareem Hunt came out of the gates on fire, posting double-digit fantasy points in each of the first seven weeks of the season. However, he failed to post “good” performances for five straight games, leaving owners very disappointed after his incredible start. Then, during the fantasy playoffs, he exploded once again (21.3 points, 36.1 points, and 18.6 points). Hunt had a fantastic rookie season overall, but when owners look back on 2017, they will likely remember the roller coaster of emotions that went along with owning the tenth most consistent back in the league.
5 Melvin Gordon (259.10 points) – Consistency Rank #7
16 games — 284/1105/8 — 58/476/4 on 83 targets
Great 19% | Good 81% | Bust 19%
Defenses: -4.4 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +1.2 at Home
Melvin Gordon finished 2017 as the RB5 but was the seventh most consistent running back. He would have finished even higher on the consistency list but injured players like Dalvin Cook and David Johnson pushed his rank down. Gordon offered reliable “good” performances 81% of the time, making him an every week surefire starter, but he didn’t put up “great” performances quite as frequently as some of the other guys listed in the top 10.
6 Mark Ingram (249 points) – Consistency Rank #12
16 games — 230/1124/12 — 58/416/0 on 71 targets
Great 25% | Good 56% | Bust 6%
Defenses: -5.1 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +6.0 at Home
Like his teammate, Alvin Kamara, Ingram’s numbers are skewed by a slow start. Mark Ingram didn’t post more than 10 fantasy points in a single game until the sixth week of the season. From Week 6 on, Ingram was a fantastic option at the running back position, especially when playing at home, where he averaged 6 more fantasy points.
7 LeSean McCoy (234.10 points) – Consistency Rank #11
16 games — 287/1138/6 — 59/448/2 on 77 targets
Great 25% | Good 69% | Bust 13%
Defenses: -2.7 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +6.7 at Home
LeSean McCoy showed no signs of slowing down in 2017, finishing as the RB7 overall. However, he did lack some consistency compared to other top backs, primarily because of his home/road splits. In games played at home, the Bills were a much more competitive team, allowing them rely more heavily on Shady. He averaged 6.7 more points per game when playing in Buffalo.
8 Leonard Fournette (212.20 points) – Consistency Rank #5
13 games — 268/1040/9 — 36/302/1 on 48 targets
Great 15% | Good 85% | Bust 15%
Defenses: -0.2 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: -2.4 at Home
Due to the fact that Fournette missed three games due to injury, it may be surprising that he finished as the RB8 in 2017. In games where he did play, Fournette was extremely consistent, posting a “good” performance in all but two games, making him the fifth most consistent back this year. Bottom line – when Fournette was active and healthy he was a reliable option at the running back position but he lacked the week-winning “great” performances that some of the other guys on this list offered.
9 Carlos Hyde (204.50 points) – Consistency Rank #9
16 games — 240/938/8 — 59/350/0 on 87 targets
Great 13% | Good 75% | Bust 19%
Defenses: -4.6 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: +1.3 at Home
Carlos Hyde played in all 16 games for the first time in his career, allowing him to finish as both the ninth best and ninth most consistent back in the league. Considering he played for a bad team in San Francisco, it was a very good season for Hyde. He didn’t offer many “great” performances, but this isn’t too surprising given that the Niners were playing from behind for the majority of the season. Hyde will look to build on his best statistical season of his professional career in 2018 either with the Niners or another team, as he is a free agent this off-season.
10 Ezekiel Elliott (190.20 points) – Consistency Rank #4
10 games — 242/983/7 — 26/269/2 on 38 targets
Great 30% | Good 90% | Bust 10%
Defenses: -9.7 vs Top 16
Home/Road Split: -3.2 at Home
The fact that Ezekiel Elliott still finished as the RB10 after missing six games tells you all you need to know about his season. In the games that he played, he busted just once, making him the fourth most consistent running back this season. Week in and week out, Elliott was a very reliable option, posting a “good” performance in all but one game. Zeke offered big-time upside against weak rushing defenses, but his numbers took a hit (-9.7 points) against tough run defenses.
Editor’s Note: For the rest of the running back TRUTH see Part 2, and read up about the TRUTH on other positions