Derrick Henry- At the end of last season we FINALLY started to see Henry hit a level we thought he would get to in his first 2 seasons in the league. In the final 4-weeks of the season, Henry rushed the ball 87 times for 585-yards and 7 touchdowns. This offseason GM Jon Robinson said they will continue to put a heavy workload on Henry throughout the season. Right now he is seen as an RB2, but this is an RB2 who can turn into an RB1 with the right amount of touches.
Kerryon Johnson- Johnson started 2018 in a split role with LaGarrett Blount, but after an effective week-3 performance where he was the first Lions RB in almost 5 years, Johnson took over as the premier running back in Detroit. Johnson’s season was cut short in week 11 with a knee injury. Johnson is a ture 3-down back with most of his value coming as a pass catcher in the Lions offense. I fully expect Johnson, who is viewed as an RB2 right now, to turn into an RB1 by the end of the first month.
Tevin Coleman – Coleman signed a 2-year/$10 million dollar deal to reunite with Kyle Shanahan this offseason. Going back to Coleman’s last year with Shanahan in Atlanta, the backup running back gained 628 yards on 156 rushes with 5 touchdowns. He added 27 receptions for a total of 299 yards and another 3 touchdowns. Jerrick McKinnon is coming off an ACL tear, and Matt Brida was a nice fill-in last season but doesn’t have to talent Coleman has. I am not telling you that Coleman is a workhorse back, but by the middle of the season, I fully expect Coleman to get 70 percent of the RB touches in San Francisco.
Jordan Howard– Last year Howard came into a tough situation with Matt Nagy’s offense. Nagy likes his running backs to be able to catch out of the backfield- that is not something Howard does very well. With that said, he still had 935 yards on 250 carries with 9 touchdowns. Howard is a very soled RB3, and looks like to “workhorse” back in Philly for 2019, although he will almost certainly come off the field in passing situations.
Adrien Peterson– This comes with a caveat- Peterson should not be drafted as a plug and play starter every week. There is just too much value with AP when you compare last season’s output with where he is being drafted this season. Yes, Darrius Guise is the running back of the future. Yes, Darrius Guise is going to be the feature back in Washington. But, Guise is coming off an ACL tear, and there is great value for AP. Also, the Skins could have let AP walk this offseason… instead, they signed him to a 2-year/$8 million dollar deal.
3 Running Back “Stiff Arms”
LeSean McCoy- This is more of a PSA for all of you who didn’t see the atrocious 2018 season for Shady. His total fantasy points were cut in half from 2017 to 2018, and with Buffalo signing T.J Yeldon, Frank Gore and newly drafted Devin Singletary, the Bills backfield is going to very crowded. Don’t get caught up in the name- Shady ain’t Shady anymore.
Kenyon Drake- This is going to upset my fellow Fins fans, but Drake has Running back by committee written all over him. Kalen Ballage came on strong at the end of 2018, and with the Fins drafting Myles Gaskin and bringing in Mark Walton, the Dolphins backfield is something to stay away from in 2018. All add to that actually- the Dolphins 2019 offense is something to stay away from in general this season.
Leonard Fournette- Fournette followed up a productive rookie season with a sub-par sophomore season. His fantasy output was nearly cut in half, and he seemed to have many issues with the front office throughout the season. I don’t think a guy like Tom Coughlin is going to put a guy on the field who has consistently shown a lack of focus on and off the field. With Nick Foles coming into town, this is going to become a passing team, I fully expect his number to be the 2018 version and not the 2017 version.