After winning the Offensive Player of the Year last season, Todd Gurley has been named the No. 1 overall fantasy player this year.
Gurley finished last season as the most valuable fantasy player as well after a campaign of 2,039 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. Should he live up to this top-billing, Gurley would be the first player to finish first overall in back-to-back seasons since Shaun Alexander did in 2005 (and Priest Holmes did it in 2003).
Only a select few players ranked in the top 10 (let alone the No. 1 player) repeat their success the next season.
Last season, LeSean McCoy was the only carryover from the 2016 top 10 players. Before that, Devonta Freeman had top 10 campaigns in 2015 and 2016. Antonio Brown had back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015, and three players carried over that momentum from the 2013 season.
Gurley’s place at the top puts him one spot above Le’Veon Bell. The two finished first and second respectively last season. Should the two finish No. 1 and 2 respectively this season, they’d be the first pair to repeat their success since Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James were the top two players in 1999 and 2000.
Part of Gurley’s success last season came off his league-leading 13 rushing touchdowns. No running back has led the league in consecutive seasons since Priest Holmes in the 2003 season, and Emmitt Smith before him in 1995.
Interestingly enough, NFL.com senior analyst Michael Fabiano predicted earlier that Gurley won’t touch his 19 total touchdowns. There are only for instances that a running back has scored as many or more touchdowns the next season after scoring at least 18 the prior season.
Gurley has his work cut out for him and will have to pile on the yards to make up for any lost scores.