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With many NFL teams using a running back by committee approach Youth Matt Nieto Jersey , the "bell cow" back who carries the ball 20 times per game has become a hot commodity in fantasy football.

According to consensus draft rankings in point-per-reception (PPR) scoring formats, 10 of the first 15 players taken in typical drafts are running backs. If you want to field a competitive lineup this season, focus on RBs early.

Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson are usually the first running backs selected in typical drafts.

Gurley flourished in Rams coach Sean McVay's revamped offense last season, leading all RBs with 13 rushing TDs, and he posted 64 receptions. He's the major cog in a top offense.

Bell has been a top 3 fantasy RB three of the past four seasons, but he's expected to miss his second straight training camp due to a contract dispute with the Steelers. Missing camp last season may have contributed to his slow start. He'll likely have another productive season, but buyer beware; Bell's played the most snaps of any NFL RB since the 2013 season.

Elliott led all RBs in 2017 with 98.3 rushing yards per game and will be the centerpiece of a depleted Cowboys offense. He'll also likely play a bigger role in the Cowboys pass offense this season.

Johnson missed most of the 2017 season due to a wrist injury, but he'll be the focal point of the Arizona offense. He rushed for 1,239 yards, scored 20 total TDs and registered 80 receptions in 2016. He'll run behind a fullback this season to minimize injury risk. Expect him to approach 2016 rushing and pass-catching stats.

Alvin Kamara caught 81 passes last season, but the Saints may need him to play more snaps than he's accustomed to while Mark Ingram serves a four game drug suspension. He may not match last season's combined 13 TDs, however he'll play a big part in the Saints passing game.

Saquon Barkley is expected to have a big impact in his rookie season, both in the Giants run game and in their passing offense. He was going to have a big role anyway Tanner Pearson Jersey , but Barkley's pass protection abilities will ensure he'll be on the field for the majority of the Giants' offensive snaps.

Kareem Hunt led NFL RBs with 1,327 rushing yards and added 53 receptions last season. He'll be the Chiefs' primary back in 2018 and may see a slight uptick in receiving targets with inexperienced QB Patrick Mahomes potentially using him as a safety valve in pressure situations.

Melvin Gordon's 3.8 career yards per carry (YPC) may not impress, however he had the third-most red zone carries among RBs last season and has scored 24 TDs in his last 29 games. TDs are hard to predict, but the Chargers consistently provide Gordon with a high volume of scoring opportunities. Gordon caught 58 balls out of the backfield in 2017 and his reception totals have increased in each of the past three seasons.

The Jaguars run-first offense will provide Leonard Fournette plenty of opportunities. He rushed for 1,040 yards and scored 10 total TDs in his 2017 rookie campaign, but wore down as the season progressed. He's had a history of foot related injuries dating back to his college days, and may not have prolific ball-catching skills, but if Fournette's health holds up, he should post another 1,000-yard rushing season.

Dalvin Cook is recovering from a torn ACL, but should be ready for Week 1. Although Latavius Murray will have a role in the Vikings backfield, Cook will be their primary back. Barring setbacks, pencil him in for 1,000-plus rushing yards and about 40 catches.

Although he'll still have fantasy value in standard (non-PPR) leagues, Christian McCaffrey's 80 receptions from 2017 make him extra valuable in PPR. The Panthers have suggested he could get 25 to 30 touches per game. That sounds optimistic considering that C.J. Anderson is now in the mix Zemgus Girgensons Jersey , but if he approaches that workload, McCaffrey can possibly outplay his expectations of being a top 12 fantasy RB.

Falcons RB Devonta Freeman landed in the NFL's concussion protocol twice last season. He also sprained both his MCL and PCL. When healthy he is one of the top RBs in all scoring formats.

Jerick McKinnon never had more than 159 carries in a season, but he'll be the featured back in the 49ers offense. His outstanding pass-catching abilities make him valuable in PPR leagues, however his lack of experience as a bell cow back and smallish frame makes you wonder if he can withstand the rigors of a 16 game NFL season.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon has immense talent, however inconsistency, a bad offensive line and uneven usage contributed to his underwhelming rookie season. As the Bengals' primary back, if his offensive line improves its level of play he could enjoy a breakout season.

Jordan Howard has an outstanding career 4.6 YPC, however he's had problems catching the ball. The Bears insist he'll be their featured back, however Tarik Cohen's abilities as a pass catcher could cut into Howard's snaps.

LeSean McCoy's offseason troubles and the anemic Bills offense make him risky. Jay Ajayi may break some runs this season but he's an injury risk in a crowded Eagles backfield. Avoid the Seahawks backfield until there is more clarity regarding Rashaad Penny's and Chris Carson's playing time. Sony Michel is expected to miss the rest of the preseason due to a knee injury that could also affect his availability to start the regular season.

Royce Freeman is a very talented RB who may end up being Denver's featured back. Keep an eye on De'Angelo Henderson as well. Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch is a mid-level RB2 who is being drafted as an RB3.


David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

Saquon Barkley Madison Bowey Jersey , New York Giants

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal While NFL owners were busy unanimously approving the sale of the Carolina Panthers to hedge fund owner David Tepper in Atlanta, his new team was taking the field for the first time together this season 250 miles away in Charlotte.

Tepper inherits a team that will have a noticeably new look for 2018.

Sure, many of the veteran core players including Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Greg Olsen, Ryan Kalil and Kawann Short are back, but Carolina has an unusually high influx of new players this offseason via free agency, trades and the NFL draft following a year in which they lost in the first round of the playoffs to New Orleans.

The Panthers replaced all-time leading rusher Jonathan Stewart with free agent C.J. Anderson from the Broncos and added three wide receivers. They acquired Torrey Smith in a trade with the Super Bowl champion Eagles, signed free agent Jarius Wright and drafted D.J. Moore from Maryland in the first round.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera hopes free agent Russ Cockrell and second-round pick Donte Jackson provide long-term stability at cornerback while Da’Norris Searcy can fill the shoes of Kurt Coleman at safety. Carolina also invested $28 million in free agent defensive tackle Dontari Poe to replace Star Lotulelei.

”We wanted some veteran guys who have a feel for what it takes,” Rivera said Tuesday.

That includes Smith and Anderson, who recently won Super Bowls.

It’s early yet, but Rivera likes what he’s seen from the newcomers.

”I feel very comfortable about the veteran guys that we brought it and now it’s about the young guys,” Rivera said. ”Not just this year’s rookie class but last year’s rookie class. A group of those guys have got to step up.”

Tepper stepped up and bought the Panthers last week for an NFL-record $2.2 billion in cash Womens Charlie McAvoy Jersey , setting the stage for a new era to begin in Carolina.

The hedge fund owner was formerly a minority owner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, although he will have to sell that share now that he is running the Panthers. His agreement to purchase the team ended a five-month search for new ownership after franchise founder Jerry Richardson announced he was selling amid allegations of improper sexual and racial behavior at the team’s headquarters in Charlotte.

”For a lot of people I am sure they are ready for some closure and for that transition to start,” Olsen said. ”… I think this transition has been inevitable for a little while since it was announced that the team would be sold. I think for a lot of people in the building, the players, the team, just to put all of this to rest and move forward in the new direction that the team is going with.”

Rivera said he’s met Tepper a couple of times in passing and presented a formal presentation to him – and other potential owners – during the bidding process.

He likes that Tepper has been around the NFL as a part owner.

”He has a sense and a feel for football and he has been around it,” Rivera said. ”… Eventually I know we will sit down and talk some football and talk about this team.”

Meanwhile, Newton was the on the field throwing during the first day of OTAs. He missed all of the spring workouts last year because of surgery on his right shoulder.

Rivera said having a healthy Newton for these camps is essential because he sets the tone and tempo for the team during practice. He also said it is ”critical” that he has a chance to get on the same page with his new group of receivers.

”I am excited about having him out here and throwing the ball and developing that” chemistry, Rivera said.

Newton is in the midst of learning a new offensive system.

Norv Turner replaced Mike Shula as offensive coordinator this offseason. Shula was Newton’s coordinator since 2013 and had a close relationship with him. Rivera said at first Newton was nervous about the change, but has now started to settle down.

The quarterback seemed relaxed Tuesday, running and smiling and trading his normal barbs with linebacker Thomas Davis after big plays.

”I think Cam gets that Norv is here to help,” Rivera said.


posted Sep-29-2018 @ 06:12 by linchao