Fantasy Football 2017: Is LeSean McCoy Going To Finish As The No. 1 RB?

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

In the last seven seasons, LeSean McCoy has been a top-10 fantasy running back four times and’s been essentially a weekly starter in 12-team leagues (top-24 finish) in every season. The departure of Mike Gillislee, and his eight rushing touchdowns, put Jonathan Williams into a potentially fruitful role as McCoy’s backup. But Williams was cut on Sunday, which clears the way for McCoy to take back all the meaningful work in Buffalo’s backfield after finishing as the third-highest scoring fantasy running back last year.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott confirmed McCoy will have a big workload, with phrases like “whatever it takes to win” and “if he has to play every snap and he feels good, that’s what we’ll do” when talking about it. Those words are coach-speak, but McCoy played 61 percent of Buffalo’s offensive snaps last season and a solid uptick seems certain this season.

After a downturn in 2014 (28 catches) and 2015 (32 catches), McCoy had 50 receptions last season in 15 games. And after totaling eight rushing touchdowns in the aforementioned two seasons, with 19 total rushing touchdowns going back two more seasons, he had 13 rushing scores in 2016.

Mike Tolbert is now No. 2 on the depth chart behind McCoy, and he seems to perfectly fit a role as a goal line vulture. But he has just one rushing touchdown over the last two seasons, with 97 total carries despite playing all 32 possible games. The path to playing time is not as clogged as it was with the Panthers, but Tolbert could split the touches behind McCoy and be rendered irrelevant even with goal line chances here and there.

McCoy has missed five games over the last two seasons, and he is 29 years old. His ability to last all 16 games with a huge workload is a concern, and his kinetic chain of injuries over the last two seasons includes hamstring, knee and ankle issues.

Le’Veon Bell’s holdout through all of camp and the preseason adds a significant layer of risk to him this year, and David Johnson should still be great but his 2016 will be hard to fully repeat. Some fantasy analysts really like Melvin Gordon as a potential top scoring running back this year, but I’m not on board. Tolbert is now the handcuff in deeper leagues, but based on essentially unchecked touch volume McCoy is an easy choice to be the top scoring fantasy running back this year.


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Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

Brad Berreman

Brad has contributed to (or is contributing to) various websites, most notably Rotowire, Rant Sports, FanSided and Bruno Boys Fantasy Football. He joined GoingFor2 in June of this year.

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