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Redraft Rankings Cont.
6. Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos
The Broncos Offense will be much improved in 2018 with Case Keenum at the helm. This is not only good news for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but also Royce Freeman. The Oregon product has the talent and size to be an effective workhorse for the Broncos. CJ Anderson and Jamaal Charles accounted for 365 touches in 2017, and both are no longer with the team in 2018. Watch for Freeman to get a lot of work in his rookie season, and for him to be productive with those touches. Freeman should be viewed as a solid RB2 option this year.
7. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions
Kerryon Johnson will look to be the Lions first 1,000 yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013. If that doesn’t happen this year, Johnson will breakout eventually. Johnson is in a crowded backfield in 2018, but he will likely carve out a solid role for himself. Johnson is worth drafting in deep leagues, and has low-end RB2 potential if he wins a starting job.
8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
It is a shame that Nick Chubb landed with the Browns (from a fantasy perspective). The Georgia alum runs with exceptional power and speed, and has all the tools to be a workhorse back. Chubb is in a tough spot in 2017, and won’t likely beat out Carlos Hyde for a starting job just yet. Unless there is an injury to Hyde, Chubb will not likely have a big role in Year 1.
9. Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
Nyheim Hines is a very interesting add for the Colts. The Colts seem confident that Marlon Mack will take a big step in his second year, but besides him Hines seems like the next best RB on their roster. Hines is a relieving specialist, and he could end up being a poor-man’s Chris Thompson in 2017. Hines is a low-end RB3 in 2018, but he has some upside in deep PPR leagues.
10. Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins
Kalen Ballage is a very talented player. Ballage is entering a crowded Dolphins backfield (Kenyan Drake, Frank Gore), but he has the skillset to be a reliable three-down back. Ballage is a player to watch for in 2018, and he is worth stashing in deeper leagues. Ballage reminds me a little of David Johnson, and he could be a big-time playmaker if he gets a shot. For now, he is an RB4.
11. Mark Walton, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon is rumored to be more involved in 2018, and this is not good news for other Bengals RB’s. Giovanni Bernard is likely ahead of Mark Walton, but Walton’s talent and upside are intriguing on a lackluster Bengals offense.
12. John Kelly, Los Angeles Rams
Kelly was one of my favorite prospects, and he will carve out a role as a complementary back to Todd Gurley. If Gurley ever goes down with injury, Kelly could be a serviceable replacement.
13. David Williams, Denver Broncos
If Royce Freeman flops, seventh round selection David Williams could be the benefactor. Williams has some decent upside in 2018, but it is hard to see him carving out a long-term role with Denver.
14. Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
Edmonds is the handcuff to David Johnson. That is his value in 2018.
15. Jordan Wilkons, Indianapolis Colts
Wilkons is another new addition to a young Colts backfield. Wilkons likely won’t find himself in a big role unless there is an injury to Marlon Mack or Nyheim Hines.
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