Fantasy 2014: RUNNING BACKS

August 04, 2014

2013 STATS

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RANK NAME TEAM BYE AUCTION ATT YD 100-YD G TD REC REC YD TD
1 Jamaal CharlesChiefs 6 $62 259 1,287 4 12 70 693 7
Last year's No. 1 fantasy back has as good a chance of keeping that title as anyone in recent years—a rare feat.
2 Matt ForteBears 9 $58 289 1,339 5 9 74 594 3
His playmaking ability as a receiver is vital to Chicago's offense and makes him a compelling fantasy choice.
3 Adrian PetersonVikings 10 $58 279 1,266 5 10 29 171 1
That last year could be considered a down year is just about all you need to know about Peterson.
4 LeSean McCoyEagles 7 $56 314 1,607 7 9 52 539 2
His skill set (explosive, pass-catching ability, deadly cutback runner, good on the goal line) is perfect for Chip Kelly's O.
5 Eddie LacyPackers 9 $54 284 1,178 4 11 35 257 0
He had a monster rookie season, and that was without Aaron Rodgers's stretching defenses for half the year.
6 Marshawn LynchSeahawks 4 $48 301 1,257 3 12 36 316 2
This isn't an exciting pick, but Lynch stays healthy, owns the Seattle backfield and finds the end zone often.
7 Montee BallBroncos 4 $45 120 559 1 4 20 145 0
With Knowshon Moreno in Miami, Ball inherits one of the best situations for any running back in the league.
8 Le'Veon BellSteelers 12 $45 244 860 1 8 45 339 0
A top-tier back must be a dangerous receiver these days, and Bell (three-plus catches per start) fits that profile.
9 DeMarco MurrayCowboys 11 $43 217 1,121 3 9 53 350 1
If he were likely to play at least 14 games (which he's done once in three years), he would be three spots higher.
10 Arian FosterTexans 10 $37 121 542 2 1 22 183 1
It might surprise you to learn Foster averaged 4.5 yards per carry last year—and that he's just 27 years old.
11 Doug MartinBuccaneers 7 $35 127 456 0 1 12 66 0
His '13 struggles can largely be chalked up to a lackluster offense and a torn left labrum. Both are better.
12 Giovani BernardBengals 4 $33 170 695 0 5 56 514 3
Even though Cincinnati drafted LSU's Jeremy Hill in round 2, Gio should see a huge uptick in touches this year.
13 Andre EllingtonCardinals 4 $31 118 652 1 3 39 371 1
The backfield is Ellington's and Ellington's alone; all he needs is 16 to 18 touches per game to be a fantasy RB2.
14 Alfred MorrisRedskins 10 $31 276 1,275 3 7 9 78 0
He isn't a threat catching the ball, but he has quietly rushed for 2,888 yards and 20 TDs over his first two years.
15 Reggie BushLions 9 $28 223 1,006 3 4 54 506 3
Even if Joique Bell gets more involved this season, Bush remains the primary back in a high-volume offense.
16 C.J. SpillerBills 9 $27 202 933 4 2 33 185 0
While he may never completely shake off Fred Jackson, Spiller must get more touches if the Bills are to compete.
17 Ryan MathewsChargers 10 $25 285 1,255 6 6 26 189 1
He had his best year despite sharing duties with Danny Woodhead. Expect the duties to be similarly divided in '14.
18 Rashad JenningsGiants 8 $25 163 733 2 6 36 292 0
At 29, Jennings is finally getting a chance to start. His track record suggests he can break out.
19 Frank Gore49ers 8 $25 276 1,128 3 9 16 141 0
Three consecutive seasons with at least 1,100 yards and eight TDs make Gore appear ageless. He's not. He's 31.
20 Zac StacyRams 4 $22 250 973 4 7 26 141 1
He's a volume back who lacks explosion and brings nothing to the passing game. Major bust potential.
21 Toby GerhartJaguars 11 $21 36 283 0 2 13 88 0
Now that he's a starter, he certainly has a higher ceiling. But he has to prove himself before he's worth an early pick.
22 Shane VereenPatriots 10 $21 44 208 1 1 47 427 3
Vereen's a running back in name only, which doesn't matter to fantasy owners, who'll gladly take his receiving stats.
23 Joique BellLions 9 $19 166 650 0 8 53 547 0
He should be up for a bigger role in Detroit's offense, but understand: Bell is still the backup to Bush.
24 Ben TateBrowns 4 $19 181 771 1 4 34 140 0
The excitement surrounding Tate is understandable, but we've never seen him shoulder a full load.
25 Stevan RidleyPatriots 10 $18 178 773 1 7 10 62 0
Last year's stint in the doghouse is far behind him, and Ridley is still the most talented runner in New England.
26 Bishop Sankey*Titans 9 $16 327 1,870 9 20 28 304 1
This is lower than you'll see Sankey on most lists. Why? A general distrust of Tennessee's offense.
27 Chris JohnsonJets 11 $16 279 1,077 2 6 42 345 4
He's still capable of putting up RB2 numbers, but be aware that Chris Ivory will be heavily involved in this offense.
28 Steven JacksonFalcons 9 $15 157 543 0 6 33 191 1
Jackson was a major disappointment in his first season in Atlanta, and the Falcons will always pass first.
29 Trent RichardsonColts 10 $13 188 563 0 3 35 316 1
Last year's biggest bust will be given every opportunity to prove 2013 was a fluke. There's value to be had here.
30 Ray RiceRavens 11 $13 214 660 1 4 58 321 0
He's clearly on the downside; even after his two-game suspension, Rice could lose the top spot to Bernard Pierce.
31 Lamar MillerDolphins 5 $11 177 709 1 2 26 170 0
The type of athlete who can get on the edge, Miller is already inching ahead of Moreno on the depth chart.
32 Bernard PierceRavens 11 $9 152 436 0 2 20 104 0
This ranking largely reflects his early-season opportunity to supplant Rice as the primary ballcarrier.

*2013 college stats

Auction value based on $100 pot

PHOTOAL TIELEMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDCHIEF WITH NO CONCERNS Charles was among the top five backs last year in rushing yards, TDs, catches and runs of more than 10 yards.

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