Saturday, August 29, 2015


With the season fast approaching, now is the time to update our running back rankings for 2015 again. 

1.  Eddie Lacy:  Tough call between Lacy and Jamaal Charles but the Packers bruising back gets the nod due to the better chance of staying healthy with his bigger frame.
2.  Jamaal Charles:  Charles was hobbled for most of 2014 but was still ridiculously productive both running and catching the football.  Remains the focal point of K.C. offense and for career his average per carry is over 5.0 which is crazy.
3.  Marshawn Lynch:  Amazing durability and dependability here despite Lynch getting a bit up there in age.  Has rushed for 11, 12, and 13 touchdowns the last three seasons. 
4.  Adrian Peterson:  Yes Peterson is old by running back standards at 30 but he has a full season off to get refreshed and was still at the top of his game prior to 2014's suspension.  Could be primed for monster comeback.
5.  Le'Veon Bell:  Would have been the top player in all fantasy football drafts if not for the two game suspension for last year's marijuana bust.  Very tough using a first round pick on a guy who already has 3 games chopped off his mantle and getting off to a good start is extremely crucial in fantasy football where a season can be lost in September. 
6.  Matt Forte:  Forte set the running back record for receptions last season with 102 but count on that numbers being cut drastically as Marc Trestman is no longer calling the plays.  John Fox likes to run the football however so Forte will still get his numbers. Getting a bit up there at 29 but Forte should be good for another big season and is especially valuable in PPR setups.
7.  DeMarco Murray:  You might think this is a very low ranking but the track record of backs coming off such crazy usage like Murray had a year ago is almost always a big negative.  In addition, Murray will cede more than a few carries to Ryan Matthews.  Big injury risk here.
8.  LeSean McCoy:  Hamstring injury considered minor but already there is concern about whether or not McCoy can still shoulder a high workload.  Falling behind both Forte and Murray for now as a result. 
9.  Jeremy Hill:  Hill was a right there with C.J. Anderson and Justin Forsett as the best running back values in all of fantasy football in 2014.  This Marshawn Lynch clone will do a nice impersonation of his counterpart, right on down to the power running and high TD totals.  Downgrade a bit in PPR as Giovani Bernard remains to play on third down.
10. C.J. Anderson:  Continuing chatter going on in Denver about Ronnie Hillman playing more than a backup role which is concerning for all Anderson owners.  Have been on record all summer saying I am not paying for the 2014 breakout as Anderson's YPC dropped under 4.0 the last month as opposing defenses got a read on him.  Volatile. 
11. Justin Forsett:  I am a huge fan of Forsett who is now set to be the Matt Forte monster PPR back in Marc Trestman's offense for the Baltimore Ravens.  This after Forsett was a huge value play in taking over the running back job for the team a year ago.  Bid agrresively. 
12. Lamer Miller:  Miller is a guy who always seems to leave you wanting more despite some solid play both in the running and receiving game.  The Miami Dolphins also look like a passing outfit this season which keeps Miller as a RB 2.
13. Mark Ingram:  Timed his best season on the eve of free agency as Ingram's power running was impressive.  Better yet, Ingram even caught some passes to make him at least a non-zero in PPR. 
14. Frank Gore:  Gore was underutilized as a receiver with the San Francisco 49ers and he lands in a great spot to resurrect that part of his game in Indianapolis with the Colts.  The veteran back continued to run very well into his 30'as also and one more solid RB 2 season is likely. 
15. Alfred Morris:  Matt Jones has been very impressive this summer and he can catch the football unlike Morris.  However Morris has been extremely productive and durable so he will get his share.  Strictly just a standard league guy. 
16. Melvin Gordon:  Gordon is a guy we called the "next Ryan Matthews" in terms of a rookie getting way more hype than he should.  The kid has potential but he can't catch the football, has been horrendous in preseason games, and seems to lack instincts.  Could be ugly early. 
17. Carlos Hyde:  Meet the new Alfred Morris.  A power runner who can't catch the football. 
18. Jonathan Stewart:  As long as Stewart can remain somewhat healthy, the numbers will make the grade as a RB 2.  Stewart is a very good runner who also can catch the football.
19. Latavius Murray:  Intriguing. Murray has speed to burn but Roy Helu will likely get a majority of the available catches.
20. Joique Bell:  Bell is getting major heat from TWO rookies and he has been a health mess all summer.  Stock falling as fast as any other prospective number 1 back not named Arian Foster. 
21. LeGarrette Blount:  Blount has struggled everywhere but New England but his power running has been useful for Bill Belichick.  Now well into his career, Blount is who he is which is only an asset in standard setups. 
22. Andre Ellington:  We all know that Ellington can't make it physically as a full-time back due to his slight frame.  Think Giovani Bernard here as a decent enough PPR play but a bench option in standard.
23. Giovani Bernard:  Big letdown for Bernard in 2014 as the first round pick went splat as Jeremy Hill proved to be the much better runner.  Bernard still made his presence felt in PPR formats however so keep him in mind there.
24. T.J. Yeldon:  Denard Robinson did more than enough in his impressive debut as a runner a year ago to stay relevant but Yeldon is the guy who will get goal-line work and he can catch as well.  Slepeer. 
25. Todd Gurley:  It won't be until October before Gurley gets up to speed as he makes his way back from a torn ACL but meet the new Jamaal Charles. 
26. Devonte Freeman:  It will be Freeman and not Tevin Coleman who will start at running back for the Atlanta Falcons and it is deserved as the speedster can break big plays and catch the ball. 
27. C.J. Spiller:  Could be a big PPR weapon in New Orleans but Mark Ingram will handle most of the running duties.
28. Shane Vereen:  PPR plug only as Vereen will be used like a wideout in the New York Giant offense.
29. Rashad Jennings:  Was having a nice September into October before injuries derailed things.  Andre Williams did not impress in Jennings' place so the latter figures to lead the Giants in rushing with some PPR value being part of the deal also. 
30.  Arian Foster:  Remains the rare workhorse back for the Houston Texans but the realization is that Foster can only get so many carries in a game before his legs start barking.  Still Foster had a major comeback season a year ago in averaging 4.8 per carry but he did also miss three games with injury. 

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