Fantasy Football 2017: Running Backs Dominate Top 3 Players

Jan 8, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs onto the field during player introductions prior to the Steelers' game against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Who are the top three players in Fantasy Football 2017? Running Backs dominate every top spot as versatility and consistency finally meet.

Last year, the top of fantasy football drafts was extremely wide receiver heavy. Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, and Julio Jones were all among the top-five players taken. These selections all worked out just fine. The running backs at the top? Not so much. Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley were the top two backs. Yikes.

Who are the top three players in fantasy football for 2017? Do wide receivers still rule the day? Not so much. It’s all running backs, so who goes with the first pick?

Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss Fantasy Football in today’s NFL Sports Debate.

Todd Salem:

Last season won’t scare people away from drafting running backs early in 2017. It probably has no impact at all. The reason is, my top three for next year are all running backs!

  • Ezekiel Elliott was a rookie last year. Folks didn’t know quite whether to trust him, though he was still a first-round pick. In 2017, we will trust him.
  • Le’Veon Bell was suspended last year. Folks didn’t know quite whether to trust him, though he was still a first- or second-round pick. In 2017, we will trust him.
  • David Johnson was a one-hit wonder entering last year. Folks didn’t know quite whether to trust him, though he was still a first-round pick. In 2017, we will trust him.

The wide receivers didn’t do anything to warrant dropping out of the top three. That trio is probably still first, second, and third at wide receiver. It’s just that we found a batch of better options for the top, especially with the lack of quality depth at the RB position. There is clearly a drop-off after that top three at running back. Elliott, Bell, and Johnson stand out in that regard.

My order for Fantasy Football 2017:

  • 1. David Johnson
  • 2. Le’Veon Bell
  • 3. Ezekiel Elliott

You can quibble with the order, but I’m not sure you can argue with the specific players this year. I like Johnson’s steadiness and consistent dominance No. 1. I prefer Bell to Elliott because of what he offers in the passing game. Fantasy football is back to being RB-dominated at the top. That one-year respite was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

Dan Salem:

You took the words out of my mouth, so I’ll find some new ones. I never bought into the “year of the wide receiver” or “year of the quarterback” because the number of high-performing players at those two positions was and still is quite high. Running back has been thin and is no different entering 2017. Fantasy football this year will be dominated by rushers once again.

There are probably five wide receivers who stand out dramatically, followed by another 10 that could easily be amazing in 2017. At quarterback, we have five guys at the top as well, but the drop off from 6-to-10 is minute. I would love to argue that Aaron Rodgers and/or Matt Ryan belong in the top three of fantasy football drafts this coming season. Yet, I would be foolish to do so. Both players were great and will likely be great once again. But the 10th ranked quarterback is still decent. We can’t say the same at running back.

My order for Fantasy Football 2017:

  • 1. Le’Veon Bell
  • 2. Ezekiel Elliott
  • 3. David Johnson

Elliott would have been first, yet he’s entering his sophomore season which could/might/probably won’t come with a few bumps in the road. Plus as you noted, Bell is much more prolific catching the football. Assuming he stays with the Pittsburgh Steelers, I prefer to draft a guy on a winning football team. T

hat makes both Bell on Pittsburgh and Elliott on the Dallas Cowboys more valuable than Johnson on the Arizona Cardinals. Winning teams score more points and pass less. Arizona may rebound in 2017, or they may be very average once again. I’m knocking Johnson slightly because of his team and quarterback situation.

We finally have a few running backs to truly rely on this coming season. The position has been the most coveted and therefore most valuable year after year, but now we can feel great about drafting them first!

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