July is an excellent time for click-bait and silly articles in the around the NFL, and this piece of sh…literature fits the bill. As is the case with any season, there are a number of story lines associated with the projected success/failure of the top players heading into 2018. Here is my attempt to pair the top ten fantasy Running Backs with a hit song pertaining to their narrative. The RB rankings used are through the Fantasy Footballers @ http://www.thefantasyfootballers.com/2018-running-back-rankings.
- Le’Veon Bell- “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers
Commonly selected as the number one overall fantasy player, your team can lean on the 3x Pro-bowl running back for stellar performances on a weekly basis. Le’Veon’s reputation as a pass-catcher is what separates he and Todd Gurley in the 1-2 conversation. Bell brought in 75 or more passes, as well as rushing for 1,250+ yards in 2014, 2016, and 2017. If the rest of your team is not strong, Le’Veon will help you carry on.
2) Todd Gurley- “How Do You Like Me Now?” by Toby Keith
After an excellent rookie season, Gurley saw his stats take a big hit during Jared Goff’s rookie season. Many fantasy owners wanted nothing to do with the Todd last season, and paid a price for their skepticism. With 1,305 rushing yards, 13 rushing TDs, and 6 receiving TDs in 2017, Gurley is staring Jeff Fisher and all of the haters in the face saying, “I only wanted your attention, but you overlooked me somehow…How do you like me now?!”
3) David Johnson- “Forgot about Dre” by Dr. Dre & Eminem
DJ finished as the number one fantasy RB in 2016; we’re talking 80/879 through the air and 1,239/16 on the ground! Now, the combination of “Glass” Bradford and rookie Josh Rosen may not be ideal at QB, but having Larry Fitzgerald on the outside provides hope that DJ won’t always be running into a stacked box. If you have the 3rd pick or later, please DO NOT FORGET about the ceiling that Johnson can reach just because of a season-ending wrist injury suffered last year.
4) Alvin Kamara- “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac
In 2017, Kamara accounted for 8 rushing TDs, 6.1 ruY/A, 81 rec, and 826 recYDS. Those numbers, along with the 4-game suspension of Mark Ingram have resulted in all eyez on Kamara for the upcoming season. So far, the team has stated that Kamara’s workload will not increase in Ingram’s absence; however, the options behind him are so lackluster that the team may have no choice but to rely on their most explosive weapon.
5) Ezekiel Elliot- “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
So now you’re back…from suspension. Last season, Zeke was suspended for 6 games and still finished with 978 yards and 7 TDs on the ground! This offseason, Dallas has lost Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, so Zeke will surely be facing ten men in the box until Dak Prescott proves to be a consistently efficient passer. In the end, the combination of talent between the offensive line and Elliot will be enough for Zeke to finish as an RB1.
6) Melvin Gordon- “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
Melvin Gordon has only been a pro since 2015, yet when you watch Gordon run, it seems as though he has already been in the league for a decade or so. In spite of the emergence of Austin Ekeler as a threat out of the backfield, Gordon actually saw his role as a receiver increase from 57 targets in 2016 to 83 in 2017. Also, the injury to TE Hunter Henry may be a positive for Gordon as well, since his red zone opportunities figure to increase. Don’t stop believing in the former badger’s role as the workhorse for the Charger’s offense. And, here’s a fun fact, Gordon really was born and raised in South Detroit…just kidding, but that would be pretty dope.
7) Saquon Barkley- “Turn Down for What?!” by DJ Snake, Lil’ Jon
Before doing my “research,” I had no idea that this song was originally made with a Redman sample, and then turned over to Lil’ Jon later on; similar to how the Giants drafted David Wilson in the first round years ago, only to select Barkley 2nd overall in 2018. Ok, that was a bit of a stretch, but my point still stands. Currently, Saquon has an ADP around pick 6, going ahead of proven stars such as Ezekiel Elliot and Odell Beckham Jr. The hype is real heading into this season, and it won’t be turned down anytime soon.
8) Leonard Fournette- “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
Watching Fournette play, you notice quickly that there is no finesse to his game. The former Bayou Bengal is a tremendous athlete with plenty of agility. However, he is also known to be generous with physicality, often giving more than he takes. The rookie pounded the rock in 2017 for 1,040/9. When Jacksonville hands the ball to their 2-down thumper, bodies are sure to hit the floor…field.
9) Dalvin Cook- “Knock on Wood” by Eddie Floyd
“I’m not superstitious about you baby, but I can’t take no chance,” are the perfect words to describe the relationship between Cook and fantasy owners. Despite playing in only 4 games as a rookie, Cook is being drafted early in the 2nd round of most PPR mock drafts. Dalvin flashed the type of dual-threat, explosive ability that football fans knew he had in 2017. If the young gun out of Florida State falls to me in the 2nd round, I’ll be more than willing to “Knock on Wood” that Cook will stay healthy and win me a ‘Chip!
10) LeSean McCoy- “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain
They said, I bet, he’ll never make it, but with 6 Pro-Bowls, 2 All-Pro finishes, and 6 seasons with 1,000+ yards, Shady is still the one I want as an RB1. That said, Buffalo’s offensive prospects are in horrible shape with unproven QBs, uninspiring WRs, and a TE with two peg legs. The only silver linings for McCoy this season are his track record as a fantasy stud and his guaranteed volume as a three-down weapon for the Bills. In fact, he saw the 2nd most passing targets of his career in 2017. There is a troubling pattern for Shady heading into this season however, as his 9 year career has consisted of two 1,000+ yard seasons following a sub-900 yard season 3 different times. If history does repeat itself, McCoy is due for a slump season, but I’ll still take a chance on him in the 2nd round.