5. Ezekiel Elliott: Zeke is a tough prediction here. I feel as if they are going to squeeze the juice out of him this year with no real number 1 wide out. The Dallas Cowboys will only go as far as Zeke takes them. Why am I bringing all this up? Simply because it is going to be a MASSIVE workload.
Injuries happen and people get dinged up and you don’t want your stud hurt at all during the year. Outside of that, he is one of the best running backs in football behind the best offensive line in football. It’s as simple as 1 + 1 = 2. No doubt that the physical ability is there, but he needs to stand the mental test too.
Off the field issues always worry me especially early in the season. Late in the season he has a pretty decent playoff schedule, so definitely try to keep that in mind.
Playoff Schedule: vs. PHI, @ IND, vs. TB
4. Melvin Gordon: Flash, the man himself. MGIII has all the talent in the world. The offensive line last year was NOT special at all when it came to run blocking, but should take a big step forward with Mike Pouncey at center.
I would like to see more consistency out of him and a full season. It’s hard to argue that Melvin Gordon doesn’t belong in the top 5. The only reason I took Melvin over Zeke is because you won’t have to worry about off the field issues, and he has talent around him that can open the field up more.
His playoff schedule isn’t too bad either. Anthony Lynn is expecting more from Gordon and wants him to be more reliable and he has answered the call consistently. First knock was, he wasn’t a pass-catching back, but with almost 60 receptions can cross that off the list. Then it was Melvin needs to put up bigger numbers, I am pretty sure over 1,100 is pretty good. So expect Gordon to take care of business again this year.
Playoff Schedule: vs. CIN, @ KC, vs. BAL
3. Le’Veon Bell: Le’Veon… well yea… I mean anyone of the next three running backs are enough to make your fantasy team. It’s crazy how much he is going to be used this year. With Bell not being able to reach a long term agreement, he will be a free agent next year. I am sure Pittsburgh will use him as much as possible if they are under the impression that he isn’t going to be coming back next season.
That in translation will mean more opportunities. Bell ranked third in the NFL with almost 1,300 yards rushing last season. He also caught 85 balls for just over 650 yards. It’s pretty incredible when you see his numbers and what he is actually capable of. It almost justifies the money he is seeking, but as for a fantasy option his playoff schedule, outside of New England, looks to be cake for a man of his stature.
Playoff Schedule: @ OAK, vs. NE, vs. NO