2017 Outlook: Detroit's 2015 second-round pick, Abdullah accrued 597 yards on 143 carries (4.2 YPC) as a rookie and was impressive over a small sample in 2016, with 18 carries for 101 yards (5.6 YPC, 3.2 YAC) before suffering a season-ending foot injury early in the season. Abdullah is a near-lock to share Detroit's backfield with passing-down specialist Theo Riddick and, to a lesser extent, short-yardage back Zach Zenner. It's realistic, though, that the shifty Abdullah will emerge into feature-back duties. He is only 23 years old and makes for a terrific post-hype target.
2017 Outlook: Kelley went undrafted last year, but by midseason he had taken over as Washington's workhorse back. A 220-pound bruiser, Kelley played more than 13 percent of the team's snaps for the first time in Week 8. From that point on, he appeared in nine games, was on the field for 54 percent of the team's offensive snaps and handled 74 percent of the designed runs (16.8 per game) and 6 percent of the targets (1.9 per game). Only 14 running backs scored more fantasy points in that span. For the year, Kelley averaged 2.2 yards after contact (ninth best). Kelley will compete for early-down duties with rookie Samaje Perine and defer passing-down duties to Chris Thompson. He's barely in the RB2 discussion in non-PPR leagues.
2017 Outlook: Forte spent most of his first season in New York as the Jets' lead back, but he went down with a knee injury in Week 14 and Bilal Powell quickly proved to be a more effective back. Forte averaged 3.7 YPC, including 1.5 after contact, both of which were his worst marks since 2009. He finished a career-worst 21st at the position in fantasy points and has now missed five games because of injury over the past two seasons. Forte is now 31 years old and on the short end of a committee in what is likely to be one of the league's lowest-scoring offenses.
2017 Outlook: Seattle selected Prosise in the third round of last year's draft with the expectation that he'd handle change-of-pace and passing-down duties. A converted wide receiver, he was limited to 47 touches as a rookie because of injuries but was impressive when called upon. Prosise averaged 5.7 YPC on 30 carries and hauled in all but one of his 18 targets for 208 yards. The 23-year-old clocked a 4.48 40-yard dash at 6-feet, 220 pounds last year and has tremendous playmaking and receiving ability. He figures to push for 8-10 touches as a complement to Eddie Lacy and/or Thomas Rawls, but there's upside here.
2017 Outlook: White has quickly emerged as one of the game's premier pass-catching backs. Prior to racking up 139 yards and three touchdowns against Atlanta in the Super Bowl, White finished third among backs in targets, receptions and receiving yards during the regular season. He paces all backs with nine receiving touchdowns over the past two seasons. White's fantasy upside is capped by a near-nonexistent role as a rusher (career-high 39 carries last season) and he'll face competition for snaps from Dion Lewis and newcomers Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead. White is only a flex option in PPR formats.
2017 Outlook: Bernard had racked up 673 yards and three touchdowns on 130 touches before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in Week 11 last season. He was averaging a career-worst 3.7 YPC, but he was well on his way to another strong PPR campaign. He finished 20th at the position in receptions in 10 games after finishing top 12 each of the previous three seasons. Bernard doesn't score many touchdowns and lacks upside as a result of his role, but he certainly does enough to warrant flex consideration. The ACL recovery and the progress of rookie Joe Mixon will determine how much we can expect from Bernard in 2017.
2017 Outlook: Blount had some highlight moments during his time with New England, but it all came together for a career year in 2016. The perpetually underrated big man ran for a league-high 18 touchdowns during 16 regular-season games. Of his 299 carries, an NFL-high 24 came inside the opponent's 5-yard line. Blount averaged 3.9 YPC but faced a league-high average of 8.3 in-box defenders. Blount is now 30 years old and has never eclipsed 15 receptions in a season. Now in Philadelphia, Blount will slide in as the team's primary early down and short-yardage back, but won't see many targets. He's best-viewed as a flex and should be upgraded in non-PPR.
2017 Outlook: Martin's 2016 season was a disaster from all angles. He entered the year off a 1,673-yard bounce-back campaign that landed him a five-year, $35.75 million extension. He went on to appear in only eight games due to injury and suspension and posted a 2.9 YPC (fourth worst). Of course, in his defense, Martin was afforded 1.1 yards before contact per attempt, which was second lowest in the NFL and down from 2.8 in 2015. Martin has now missed at least five games during three of the past four years and averaged 3.7 YPC or worse during those three seasons. He's also suspended three games to start 2017 and is thus worth no more than a mid-round pick.
2017 Outlook: A torn meniscus limited Peterson to three games last season, which means he has now failed to eclipse 40 touches during two of the past three years. Of course, bookended by those two seasons was a 2015 campaign in which Peterson racked up 1,707 yards and 11 touchdowns on 357 touches. Peterson has scored double-digit touchdowns during all eight seasons other than the aforementioned 2014 and 2016 disasters. Of course, now 32 years old and sharing backfield duties with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara in New Orleans, Peterson won't come close to the 325 touches he averaged during his 'full' seasons in Minnesota. He's a flex option who offers little as a receiver and should thus be upgraded slightly in non-PPR.
2017 Outlook: Johnson has spent most of the first two seasons of his career dominating as a pass-catcher, but he quietly took a sizable step forward as a rusher last season. The Miami product improved his 3.6 rookie-season YPC to 4.9, which was 12th best in the league. Since entering the league via the third round of the 2015 draft, Johnson ranks fourth among backs in receptions (114) and third in receiving yards (1,048) but has caught only two touchdowns. Johnson's lack of scoring (three in two years) has limited him to a grand total of one top-10 fantasy week. Johnson enters 2016 as the passing-down complement to Isaiah Crowell, but it's still possible the 23-year-old eventually jumps Crowell on the depth chart.
2017 Outlook: The ageless Sproles announced last year that 2017 would be his last in the NFL. He's coming off yet another strong campaign in which he caught at least 40 passes for the eighth consecutive season. That includes at least 52 receptions during each of the past two years and six of the past seven seasons. After posting a 3.8 YPC in 2015, Sproles bounced back to 4.7 (17th) last year. Sproles will spend his final season handling 10 or so touches per game as a complement to Wendell Smallwood and rookie Donnel Pumphrey.
2017 Outlook: Stewart had a quality 2016 campaign for Carolina, although a lot of his fantasy success was tied to touchdowns. He ranked fifth among backs in carries inside the opponent's 5-yard line (16) and was eighth in rushing touchdowns (9). He was limited to 3.8 YPC, but only 1.9 of that came before initial contact (15th lowest). Stewart offers close to nothing as a pass-catcher, recording just eight receptions for 60 yards last season. That's a major detriment to his fantasy production. His offseason contract extension suggests he'll maintain a role in 2017, but Christian McCaffrey is now the fantasy back to own in Carolina. At best, Stewart is a touchdown-dependent flex in non-PPR leagues.
2017 Outlook: Dixon surprisingly fell to the fourth round of the 2016 draft, but it appears the Ravens might have landed a nice value. He spent most of his rookie season rotating with journeyman Terrance West, but Dixon was impressive when called upon. He averaged 4.3 YPC, including 2.2 after contact (seventh). Per Pro Football Focus, Dixon forced a missed tackle on 26 of his 88 carries. That 0.30 rate was best in the league among backs with at least 40 attempts. Dixon is also a competent receiver and makes for an intriguing breakout candidate, but his four-game suspension reduces him to no more than a late-round flier. Upon his return, he'll need to beat out West for carries and will still defer to Danny Woodhead on passing downs.
2017 Outlook: Hunt isn't the most explosive back, but his tape shows a versatile player who is extremely hard to bring down. Per Pro Football Focus, the 5-foot-10, 216-pound back forced an FBS-best 100 missed tackles on 303 touches during the 2016 season. In turn, he ended up as the site's highest-graded FBS running back. Despite a high 4.6 average depth of target, he caught 93 percent of his targets. Hunt is a potential three-down back at the NFL level and landed in a terrific situation in Andy Reid's running back-friendly offense. Hunt will start out behind Spencer Ware, but he's one injury away from flirting with RB1 numbers.
2017 Outlook: Murray, 27, joins the Vikings after spending the first four years of his career with Oakland. A 2013 sixth-round pick, he stepped into a full-time role in 2015 and went on to rack up 461 carries for 1,854 yards (4.0 YPC) and 18 touchdowns, as well as 74 receptions for 496 yards (5.6 YPR) during the 2015-16 seasons. Murray scored 12 touchdowns, thanks to 16 carries inside the opponent's 5-yard line last season, both of which were fifth-most in the league. In Minnesota, Murray, who is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, will work as power back and pass blocker alongside Jerick McKinnon and intriguing rookie Dalvin Cook. Murray may get first crack at early-down and goal-line work, but it's only a matter of time until the superior Cook takes full control. A Minnesota offensive line that allowed 1.9 yards before initial contact last season (second worst) only furthers the concern. Murray is unlikely to provide starting-caliber fantasy production throughout the season.