This article is part of our Football Draft Kit series.
The 2017 season felt like a referendum of sorts for the fantasy football universe, following the "Year of the Wide Receiver" in 2015 and the "Running Back Revival" in 2016. Chalk it up as a decisive win for running backs, despite the best efforts of Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins.
An increase in backfield receiving production allowed the position to dominate the fantasy landscape for a second straight year, even as league-wide scoring (43.4 points per game) dropped to its lowest level since 2009 and rushing efficiency (4.08 yards per carry) hit its lowest point since 2007. The dip in YPC didn't stop offenses from trading throws for carries, with passing volume hitting a six-year low of 68.3 attempts per game, a 4.4 percent drop from 2016.
Yard per pass attempt dropped from 7.15 to 7.01 and passing TDs from 781 to 746, backed by a dip in completion percentage (63.0 to 62.1). An increase in negative passing outcomes was another part of the low-scoring equation, with interception rate rising from 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent and sack rate from 5.8 to 6.4 percent (though both marks were similar to 2014-15 after hitting all-time lows in 2016).
It wasn't the year of the running back so much as the year of the defense, as a 3.3 percent uptick in carries wasn't enough to prevent a huge drop in rushing TDs, which fell from 443 in 2016 to 380 in 2017, moving back to what had been the normal range