Alright here goes my rankings for the Top 15 with some scorching hot takes & placements. Looking forward to the lambasting that follows:
1. Alvin Kamara - In Weeks 1-4 W/O Ingram , averaged 5 YPC with 5 TD's with 35 receptions. With Mark Ingram out the picture I see him having the highest potential ceiling for this upcoming year. Top 5 offensive line, and gameflow immune. The only potential downside in my mind is Latavius Murray jacking a couple goal line touchdowns
2. Zeke Elliott - Best Floor In Fantasy. Big D runs through him. Pretty self explanatory. Only cause for concern is that the legendary o-line is starting to show cracks for the first time in the past few years
3. Christian McCaffrey - If he can maintain the pace he had to close out the year, sky is the limit. Matt Paradis coming in could also provide some help
4. Saquon Barkley - I probably have him lower than most, and it is largely due to a gut feeling. When I look at Saquon's current situation, I see a lot of similarity to Todd Gurley's sophomore season with dearly departed Jeff Fisher, where teams would effectively stack the box and force the throw. Do I think this team has more talent than the 2016 Rams, yes, but even still the current surrounding situations of the other 3 elite RB's are more conducive to success. And that added degree of risk is why I have Saquon placed here
5. Melvin Gordon - I've been riding with Melvin Gordon for years and still don't feel he gets enough love for fantasy. He's arguably the most consistent RB in fantasy last year behind Elliott, and can rack up big numbers in any gameflow situation. In 12 games, averaged over 110 yards per scrimmage with 14 touchdowns. Downside is that he seems to get nicked up every year, but Ekeler is still a reasonably priced handcuff
6. David Johnson - In Kingsbury's offense, there is potential for massive improvement; Kyler's dual-threat ability can take some of the pressure off DJ, and historically he has performed better from the shotgun. However, the offensive line is still straight up booty cheeks. If the Cardinals can learn from Mike McCoy's issues last year and get the ball to DJ out in space it can go a long way to mitigating this issue
7. Joe Mixon - I see Mixon as a Value Brand version of what Gurley was asked to do last year. He put up consistent numbers on the field, both through the ground and air. With Jonah Williams (really liked his tape) and Zac Taylor coming in, I think he is capable of making another step forward
8. Le'Veon Bell - The time off the field is not so concerning to me as the current situation he finds himself in. The dominance in Pittsburgh's o line I think played a large part in allowing Lev Bell's style of running to be as successful as it was and I have little faith in Cocaine Cowboy (Adam Gase) being able to utilize him as effectively in New York. I would not be surprised in the slightest if this dude proved me wrong though.
9. James Conner - He fell off quite a bit towards the end of the year, but he is still in a great situation with an offense and QB that I think are coming out swinging following all the TMZ escapades of the offseason. I think Big Ben has a good shot at replicating another 5000 yard season, and Conner would serve as one of the primary benefactors
10. Aaron Jones - I understand this is a massive reach but the only thing stopping this dude from being a perennial RB1 is his timeshare with Jamaal Williams, which should hopefully be put to bed once Matt Lafleur establishes what he has on his hands. This ranking is dependent on news out of Packer camp and preseason, but if Jones can secure bellcow status in an offense sans McCarthy, I truly believe he can get a year comparable to Fat Eddie during his rookie year (1350 All purpose yards, 9 TD's)
11. Damien Williams - I feel like the Damien Williams thread will end up reaching Dion Lewis / Derrick Henry status if everything continues as it has. Watching him play last season, I have little reason to believe he loses his spot as top RB in this offense, much to the chagrin of the Carlos Hyde lovers with this forum. Still wouldn't be opposed to taking a flier on Hyde though. After watching Spencer Ware put up numbers in this offense, I don't see why he couldn't do the same if D. Will were to go down.
12. Derrick Henry - I'm still salty from losing a championship on account of this jabroni, but if his volume this upcoming season imitates the last quarter of 2018 I don't see why he can't replicate that success. If nothing else, I think he can certainly be a force in goal line situations.
13. Dalvin Cook - I really never got the hype on this guy when he first came out and I'm still on the fence now to be honest. He's hurt constantly and only recently has he put something good on tape. However, he did finish the season out strong with an Offensive coordinator that utilizes him more consistently. I figure he'll be gone before I would consider taking him in an actual draft.
14. Todd Gurley - With the news regarding his injury coming out, this is a conservative placing until I see him return to form somewhat. Unless his ADP drops in the coming months, I can't see myself taking the risk on him regardless of how dominant he was last year.
15. Marlon Mack - Loses out on 3rd down snaps to teammates with more pass-catching chops, but he's still a solid banger in a great offense with an ascending O Line. With added goal line potential, he's one of my favorite RB2 targets.
Also, before the question gets asked:
Leonard Fournette - Basically take everything I said about Dalvin Cook and just swap with a crappier offense and an OC (john Defilippo) who I have absolutely no faith in