In each fantasy season we see running backs that were projected to be top 10 performers come up incredibly short and conversely, we see certain RBs come out of nowhere to become a top fantasy option at the position.
Last season, for example, Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Jerick McKinnon and Jordan Howard were all ranked as top 15 RBs in preseason lists. But looking at the rankings at the end of the season, we saw them replaced by players like James Conner, James White, Phillip Lindsay, Chris Carson and Nick Chubb.
So, who is ranked too low this season?
Two names that immediately jump out are Patriots RB Sony Michel and Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette.
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Last year the Patriots ran the ball more than they had in 15 years as it become clear that Bill Belichick wants the Pats offense to be more balanced with Tom Brady now on the wrong side of 40. Belichick often rewards players the following season if they finished the previous season strong and Michel was the Pats’ most consistent offensive performer late in the year.
He had a 116 yard rushing performance in Week 16 against Buffalo and he had at least 94 yards rushing in all three of the Patriots playoff victories.
Belichick has also been praising Michel’s pass catching ability this summer, which should mean less opportunities for James White out of the New England backfield.
As for Fournette, the Jags RB has bounceback year written all over him.
He posted 1,040 yards rushing and nine TDs in just 13 game played in his rookie season and he still managed 439 yards on the ground last year in just eight games played. Injuries are surely an issue with Fournette, but truth be told injuries are going to be an issue with any RB you take.
Fournette is currently listed as the 16th or 17th best RB on most lists right now, but he should wind up having a better year than the Kerryon Johnsons and Marlon Macks of the world.
Pencil in both Michel and Fournette as top 10 fantasy RBs for this coming season.