There are always plenty of fantasy football owners who get frustrated with how their team performs on a yearly basis. But finding NFL players that can create the most upside in the coming season is important. Which fantasy running backs have the biggest upside as we head into the 2017 season? Who can improve the most following a disappointing season last year? Take a look at Salute Magazine’s first glance at players at every position that can help you win your league.
Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers
Gordon is a running back that hasn’t proven himself much; holding a career average of 3.7 yards per carry in his first two seasons. While he did rush for 10 touchdowns in 2016, he has the opportunity to have the most improvement this season. The Chargers will be playing in L.A. now, and sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to kickstart a career — even for the same team in a new city.
Marshawn Lynch – Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders
Beast Mode is back in 2017, and he is now in the Raiders‘ backfield. Following his one-season retirement, Lynch is back in the NFL and is ready to represent a team that is in between homes. Lynch had a disappointing 2015 season and decided to hang his cleats on the power lines. He only played in seven games prior to his retirement and accumulated a measly 417 yards and three touchdowns.
While he has never been much of a check down option for his quarterbacks, Derek Carr has to be excited to have Lynch lining up behind him in 2017. And fantasy owners should be just as excited.
Danny Woodhead – Baltimore Ravens
Following Woodhead’s torn ACL, he decided that it was time to head to the other coast. While coming off an injury of this nature is a bit worrisome, Woodhead has tremendous upside in a system ran by Joe Flacco. The quarterback loves throwing to his running backs out of the backfield, and with Kenneth Dixon‘s season-ending injury, Woodhead should have plenty of value. Terrence West is the only thing standing in the way of a monster season from Woodhead, but competition in the stables has never hindered Woodhead in the past.
Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin joins teammate Jameis Winston as a player with an amount of upside that leads the ranks this coming season. The running back has looked exceptional in team workouts and training camp, and he’s posed to put an end to the up-and-down nature that has gone hand-in-hand with his career. Martin has only ran for over 1,000 yards twice in his career, but the Buccaneers are stacked with talent on offense that will relieve pressure off of the five-year running back.
The only issue holding back Martin’s success in 2017 is having to serve a three-game suspension to start the year.