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 Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers.
Brown beats out the other top receivers due to his consistency and extremely high floor. Beckham and Hopkins have just as much upside as Brown, but they just haven't proven they have that consistency yet.
6 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.
7 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans.
Nuk has had bad luck with quarterbacks, but last season, he still put up huge numbers with rotten quarterback play, while also showing that a healthy DeShaun Watson can only help him.
8 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.
9 Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings.
Cook showed us enough last season to firmly be a top-10 running back. Jerrick McKinnon is gone and Latavius Murray can't do what Cook does. With no dedicated receiving back, Cook should be able to garner upwards of 70 targets. *
10 Julio Jones, WR, Falcons.
What do you do with a talent like Jones, who can't seem to score touchdowns? You rank him high because he still put up great numbers without the touchdowns, plus he can sometimes, once in a blue moon, will get into the end zone. And, Jones' three touchdowns last season were an outlier even for him, so expect 6-8, which are around his average. If he would have gotten just six touchdowns this season, he would have finished as a top-four fantasy receiver.
11 Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers.
Allen had a great rookie season and then two seasons marred by injury. Last season, we finally got to see what Allen is capable of outside of that rookie year, and he was great. Even with just six touchdowns, Allen finished as the third-best fantasy wide receiver in PPR leagues. There's no reason to believe things will change in 2018.
12 Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants.
Beckham Jr. probably has more upside than all of these guys, but a not-that-effective Eli Manning and a packed receiving corps is what knocks his ranking down. It is nice to have such a strong group of receivers and running backs to pick from for the first round.
13 Michael Thomas, WR, Saints.
Thomas had trouble getting into the end zone in 2017, as the Saints had great luck at getting their running backs in the end zone, but he's the no-doubt No. 1 receiver on a top offense. I expect we'll see an increase to better touchdown numbers moving forward.
14 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.
15 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.