Choosing the No. 1 running back this coming season will be tougher than usual, but Gurley proved that he was the best fantasy back in 2017, while Le'Veon Bell was great and could take the title back. I think a lot comes down to touchdowns, and Gurley was the no-doubt No. 1 option, while in Pittsburgh, Antonio Brown is right up there with Bell in importance.
2 Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers.
Bell's contract will be a talking point until it isn't, but he will most likely be on the field for Week 1 as a Pittsburgh Steeler, and that's a good spot for him and his fantasy prospects, as his usage numbers are tremendous and his offensive line knows how to block for him.
3 David Johnson, RB, Cardinals.
We know what Johnson can do, and it's pretty amazing, but we don't know who will be the quarterback for his team and if that person can keep the offense moving. If the Cardinals get someone who isn't awful, I expect Johnson's draft stock to push Bell and Gurley.
4 Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys.
Elliott has to be in consideration for the No. 1 slot as well, as he averaged around the same amount of fantasy points per game as Bell. Elliott's only downfall compared to Bell is that he doesn't see the same amount of work in the receiving game. Thankfully for this season, he should see a boost in targets, as the Cowboys have very few talented receivers.
5 Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants.
Barkley will get all the work he can handle either rushing or receiving, which makes him fairly fantasy proof, even on a team with a bad quarterback. Eighty receptions should be the over/under for a healthy season.
6 Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings.
Cook showed us enough last season to firmly be a top-10 running back. Jerrick McKinnon will likely be gone and Latavius Murray can't do what Cook does, so as long as Cook's recovery goes well, get him.
7 Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints.
Kamara did a lot with just 202 overall touches last season, so there is, of course, a chance he will regress on his per-touch basis, but the fact that he saw over 100 targets keeps me believing he'll have trouble falling from his overall numbers. Two hundred touches, when they come at the right time and with the Saints creating space for him to work, plus four weeks without Mark Ingram, are good enough for me to feel safe about a repeat performance.
8 Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs.
Hunt had a great rookie campaign and should be set up for another season as the lead back. My hope is that a full offseason with Kansas City will help him as a blocker and receiver, allowing him more work overall.
9 Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers.
Gordon hasn't wowed anyone with his per-touch numbers, but his usage and goal-line work make him hard to get away from, especially now that Hunter Henry is done for the season, which should keep Gordon's target numbers high.
10 Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars.
I'm slightly worried about Fournette's health, but he's still young and on a team that has such a strong defense, that he will be set up for good usage game in and game out.
11 Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons.
Freeman had a down year but also missed three games. In a full season, he would have likely finished as a top-10 running back. Hopefully, the Falcons will up their offensive numbers as a whole in 2018, as this will be their second year in a new offense.
12 Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings.
McKinnon landed in possibly the best spot for his ability and fantasy value when he was signed by San Francisco. In Kyle Shanahan's offense, I expect McKinnon to share work, but also be in a position to have extremely efficient numbers. As long as the 49ers don't go after someone else, I love his upside in their offense as the lead back.
13 Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals.
Mixon wasn't good as a rookie but did show some flashes. Gio Bernard isn't going anywhere and the Bengals could always draft a running back at some point who could push Mixon, but he should be the No. 1 back.
14 Jordan Howard, RB, Bears.
Howard was all over the map last season, but it didn't help that John Fox was awful. Matt Nagy will be a step up in play calling this season, and I expect Howard to get a bit more consistency and a higher ceiling.
15 Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers.
McCaffrey was just okay as a runner, but he did show improvement in that area as the season went on. His true ability, however, lies in his receiving ability, which netted him 80 receptions for his rookie year. He should see a slightly larger workload this coming season and out-touch Jonathan Stewart for the year. McCaffrey is a no-brainer PPR stud, but he does enough to be on your radar in non-PPR as long as you factor in that he will likely never be a double-digit touchdown scorer.