Fantasy 2014: RUNNING BACKS

Aug. 04, 2014
Aug. 04, 2014

Table of Contents
Aug. 4, 2014


Fantasy 2014: RUNNING BACKS

2013 STATS

This is an article from the Aug. 4, 2014 issue

View this article in the original magazine

1Jamaal CharlesChiefs6$622591,287412706937
Last year's No. 1 fantasy back has as good a chance of keeping that title as anyone in recent years—a rare feat.
2Matt ForteBears9$582891,33959745943
His playmaking ability as a receiver is vital to Chicago's offense and makes him a compelling fantasy choice.
3Adrian PetersonVikings10$582791,266510291711
That last year could be considered a down year is just about all you need to know about Peterson.
4LeSean McCoyEagles7$563141,60779525392
His skill set (explosive, pass-catching ability, deadly cutback runner, good on the goal line) is perfect for Chip Kelly's O.
5Eddie LacyPackers9$542841,178411352570
He had a monster rookie season, and that was without Aaron Rodgers's stretching defenses for half the year.
6Marshawn LynchSeahawks4$483011,257312363162
This isn't an exciting pick, but Lynch stays healthy, owns the Seattle backfield and finds the end zone often.
7Montee BallBroncos4$4512055914201450
With Knowshon Moreno in Miami, Ball inherits one of the best situations for any running back in the league.
8Le'Veon BellSteelers12$4524486018453390
A top-tier back must be a dangerous receiver these days, and Bell (three-plus catches per start) fits that profile.
9DeMarco MurrayCowboys11$432171,12139533501
If he were likely to play at least 14 games (which he's done once in three years), he would be three spots higher.
10Arian FosterTexans10$3712154221221831
It might surprise you to learn Foster averaged 4.5 yards per carry last year—and that he's just 27 years old.
11Doug MartinBuccaneers7$351274560112660
His '13 struggles can largely be chalked up to a lackluster offense and a torn left labrum. Both are better.
12Giovani BernardBengals4$3317069505565143
Even though Cincinnati drafted LSU's Jeremy Hill in round 2, Gio should see a huge uptick in touches this year.
13Andre EllingtonCardinals4$3111865213393711
The backfield is Ellington's and Ellington's alone; all he needs is 16 to 18 touches per game to be a fantasy RB2.
14Alfred MorrisRedskins10$312761,275379780
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.
15Reggie BushLions9$282231,00634545063
Even if Joique Bell gets more involved this season, Bush remains the primary back in a high-volume offense.
16C.J. SpillerBills9$2720293342331850
While he may never completely shake off Fred Jackson, Spiller must get more touches if the Bills are to compete.
17Ryan MathewsChargers10$252851,25566261891
He had his best year despite sharing duties with Danny Woodhead. Expect the duties to be similarly divided in '14.
18Rashad JenningsGiants8$2516373326362920
At 29, Jennings is finally getting a chance to start. His track record suggests he can break out.
19Frank Gore49ers8$252761,12839161410
Three consecutive seasons with at least 1,100 yards and eight TDs make Gore appear ageless. He's not. He's 31.
20Zac StacyRams4$2225097347261411
He's a volume back who lacks explosion and brings nothing to the passing game. Major bust potential.
21Toby GerhartJaguars11$21362830213880
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.
22Shane VereenPatriots10$214420811474273
Vereen's a running back in name only, which doesn't matter to fantasy owners, who'll gladly take his receiving stats.
23Joique BellLions9$1916665008535470
He should be up for a bigger role in Detroit's offense, but understand: Bell is still the backup to Bush.
24Ben TateBrowns4$1918177114341400
The excitement surrounding Tate is understandable, but we've never seen him shoulder a full load.
25Stevan RidleyPatriots10$181787731710620
Last year's stint in the doghouse is far behind him, and Ridley is still the most talented runner in New England.
26Bishop Sankey*Titans9$163271,870920283041
This is lower than you'll see Sankey on most lists. Why? A general distrust of Tennessee's offense.
27Chris JohnsonJets11$162791,07726423454
He's still capable of putting up RB2 numbers, but be aware that Chris Ivory will be heavily involved in this offense.
28Steven JacksonFalcons9$1515754306331911
Jackson was a major disappointment in his first season in Atlanta, and the Falcons will always pass first.
29Trent RichardsonColts10$1318856303353161
Last year's biggest bust will be given every opportunity to prove 2013 was a fluke. There's value to be had here.
30Ray RiceRavens11$1321466014583210
He's clearly on the downside; even after his two-game suspension, Rice could lose the top spot to Bernard Pierce.
31Lamar MillerDolphins5$1117770912261700
The type of athlete who can get on the edge, Miller is already inching ahead of Moreno on the depth chart.
32Bernard PierceRavens11$915243602201040
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.