5 fantasy running backs who could bust in 2017

Every year, some running backs end up as fantasy disappointments. Brandon Marianne Lee identifies some prime candidates for 2017.

| 3 months ago
DeMarco Murray

(Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

5 fantasy running backs who could bust in 2017


Running backs need volume. Whether that volume comes in the form or carries or targets, the results are indisputable.

Every single running back who landed in the top 10 in terms of fantasy scoring in both standard and PPR leagues carried the ball at least 205 times. The only running back with more than 200 carries who ended the season outside of the top-20 RBs in both standard an PPR leagues was Jonathan Stewart, and he only played in 13 games while still landing in the top 27 in both formats. Duke Johnson is the only running back with more than 60 targets who finished outside of the top 25 in PPR leagues.

Volume is all about the back’s role on the team. In April, it’s hard to know who will have what role because the draft can change everything. Regardless, we can start to look for warning signs. Even if you’re not in one of those leagues, here are five potential running back busts that you should keep your eye on as we move into the 2017 fantasy season.

All ADP data comes from FantasyFootballCalculator.com

DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans (Overall ADP: 13, eighth RB)

I was very high on Murray going into the 2016 season, but at that point his average ADP made him the 37th overall pick. He was a fourth-rounder going into a new season with a new team that believed in him. Despite recent reports suggesting that they still believe Murray is the bell-cow back, there will be some sort of time share with Derrick Henry in 2017. I’m making this call due to Murray’s torn plantar plate from last season and the 1,032 total touches he accumulated over the last three seasons. Each of his 100-yard games came before Week 11. Over the last four weeks of the season, Murray only averaged 3.8 yards per carry and none of his 64 carries went for over 15 yards. Murray will get looks and will be a top 20 player, but not top 10.

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Brandon Marianne Lee is a PFF Fantasy contributor, a SiriusXM host, co-founder of Her Fantasy Football and was a finalist for FSWA's Newcomer of the Year in 2014.

  • Mike R Waisome

    I mostly agree with all of them, but I think Spencer Ware’s concussion had a lot to do with his decline in play in the 2nd half of last year which I thought was worth mentioning. Since it was a concussion, and playing the RB position, it could happen again. I had Ware in a league last year and he was great for the 1st half of the year until he got the concussion which sapped his production for the rest of the season.