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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 FANTASY FOOTBALL RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

We continue our last call of the fantasy football season by taking a quick summary early look at how things could look for 2014.  Today we delve into the running backs which has become a very top heavy unit.

1.  Jamaal Charles:  Flip a coin between Charles and LeSean McCoy.  Can't go wrong with either.  McCoy a tab durable but Charles has more TD potential.
2.  LeSean McCoy:  See above.
3.  Matt Forte:  What took so long to have Forte be the goal-line back to go with all of his other awesome attributes.
4.  Marshawn Lynch:  Beast Mode is the best power back in football right now.  And don't overlook his 30-plus catches.
5.  Eddie Lacy:  Terrific rookie debut as Lacy looks like a Lynch clone.
6.  Adrian Peterson:  Increasing injuries could portend a dropoff as Peterson gets close to the danger zone age for a back.  I would avoid.
7.  Zac Stacy:  Love this kid.  Stacy was a huge asset the second half of the season with his running and knack for collecting touchdowns.  Also can contribute some in receiving game.  Be aggressive with him in the draft.
8.  Doug Martin:  Boy he was pretty bad at times before injuring his shoulder.  Looked nothing like he did as a rookie but willing to try again at a cheaper price next season.
9.  DeMarco Murray:  Yes he annoys the heck of you due to his injuries but when on the field last season Murray averaged more than 5 yards a carry which is golden.  Also could catch 60-plus if he plays at least 14 games.  Risky pick though always.
10. Alfred Morris:  I never draft him since I play in a PPR format but in standard leagues Morris's numbers stack up with anyone.
11. Le'Veon Bell:  Really played well down the stretch once he made it back from injury as he scored 8 touchdowns and was also a receiving threat.  Could be the next Forte if all breaks right.  Upside.
12. Giovani Bernard:  This me betting the Bengals unleash Bernard as their main guy next season.  Bernard has dynamic all-around ability like a McCoy, Forte, or Charles so this is one stock that is pointing north.
13. Frank Gore:  Been scared to invest in him the last two years and both times Gore had a Pro Bowl season.  Another year older.  Will this be the year he fades?
14. Arian Foster:  Going in the wrong direction stat-wise and now injuries a big issue.  Could be another Priest Holmes deal where a guy was the top back for three years but crazy workloads led to early decline.
15. Ray Rice:  I keep saying to myself Rice can't be as bad as he showed last season but his slight frame has me worried he is already fading.  I am not buying.
16. Reggie Bush:  Plays well when on the field but his injury history is vast.  Also fumbled more than usual last season.
17. Ryan Matthews:  At this point in the rankings all of these guys have some sort of red flag and Matthews' is injuries as well.  Got to admit he played very well though in 2013 but that could just be a setup for a disastrous 2014 which would go with his career script.
18. Shane Vereen:  Sizable asset in PPR formats as Vereen could catch 80 balls if he plays 16 games.  And if Bill Belichick makes him the primary runner than Vereen gets moved into the top 10 easy in these rankings. 
19. C.J. Spiller:  What a joke Spiller was in 2013 but I warned you.  Can't depend on him as anything more than a RB 2 with upside going forward.
20. Knowshon Moreno:  Moreno was having a top ten season until he gradually lost carries and goal-line work to Montee Ball along the way.  This backfield must be watched closely all offseason.
21. Montee Ball:  I think the Broncos are phasing Ball in to be their main guy for 2014.  Just a hunch.
22. Rashad Jennings:  Jennings shocked me with how good he ran and caught the football taking over for Darren McFadden since he never showed that ability before.  Will move him up if McFadden gets released.
23. Stevan Ridley:  Ridley has to get traded out of New England to climb back up these rankings.  Talent is obviously there but he just can't hold onto the football.
24. Chris Ivory:  The guy can really run the football with power but there are clear limitation such as no receiving ability and a long list of leg injuries.
25. Darren Sproles:  Same story, different season.  Will catch a lot of passes and do not much running.
26. Pierre Thomas:  I bet you didn't know Thomas caught 77 passes last season.  Needs to run for more than 549 yards and 2 touchdowns though to be more than a third back.
27. Chris Johnson:  Has lost more than a step and has bad attitude to go with it.  Getting cut and it is anyone's guess where he winds up next season.
28. Andre Ellington:  Lots of potential flash here but Bruce Arians is not on board completely.AGAIN!
29. Andre Brown:  Showing good ability when given the chance the last two seasons but constant leg issues conspiring to ruin his outlook.
30. Steven Jackson:  Sorry but he looks done finally.  Move on.
31. Lamar Miller:  Did next to nothing in 2013 that would make me want to look here again.
32. Rashard Mendenhall:  The knee injury ruined what was looking like a decent career.
33. Trent Richardson:  You would have to think Richardson should get another shot to claim the starting running role after the Colts stupidly gave up a first round pick for him.  I can't stand his game anyway.
34. Joquie Bell:  Like this guy a lot but for now is only a bench option with Reggie Bush still in town. 
35. Darren McFadden:  What a bust his career has been.  No telling what the next phase of it will be.

There you have it.  As always let us hear what you think.

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