Fantasy Football Rankings- Running Backs (10-1)
The top ten running backs are the guys that demand a first round selection. Because of their high price tag in the draft, owners want to be absolutely sure they are going to produce. These players become the center pieces of a fantasy team. It is very important that an owner known exactly what they are getting when they make this pick.
Typically top ten running backs are determined by their production in the previous season. However, when you are looking at the top five, you want a long history of great production. At anytime a player can make a jump, but once again, you want to ensure your first round pick will be a sure thing.
No matter which running back you are thinking about selecting in the first round you need to know their entire history. There is nothing worse than selecting a player and having them sit out a couple games when you really need them in the starting lineup. You also do not want a guy who is going to put up a goose egg in the fantasy points column. Those types of players take a lot of courage to spend a very high draft pick. Sometime you have too due to where your pick falls in the first round, but if this is the case make sure you have another strong running back.
So here they are: the running backs that are most likely to lead your team to a fantasy football championship in 2014. Once again, please note these ranking are for standard scoring formats only. A rankings list for running backs in PPR leagues will be posted in the future.
10. DeMarco Murray
DeMarco Murray is one of those guys who can have a huge game at any given time. When he is in the lineup, the Cowboys use him in as many ways as possible. Unfortunately, his durability is an issue. He has been known to miss a game or two here and there. Murray is an excellent starting running back on any roster. Make sure you have a strong backup if you draft him.
9. Reggie Bush
Like DeMarco Murray, Reggie Bush has some durability issues. He is still a very strong option for any team. His versatility sets him apart from a lot of backs. Because he is used so much in the Lions’ passing game, he has the potential to put up some monster weeks. If you decide to take a chance on Bush, consider grabbing Joique Bell as well. When Bush sat out last season, Bell put up some great stats.
8. Zac Stacy
Zac Stacy was probably the best running back to own at the end of the 2013 season. Once he took over the main starting role for the Rams he did not look back. There is one glaring stat though. He only put up eye popping stats during games where he had at least 20 carries. This shows that he takes time to get in a rhythm during games. If the Rams decide to share carries with multiple running backs; it would greatly affect Stacy’s value. However, it appears he is the only solid back for the Rams. It would not be surprising if he could finish in the top ten or even top five running backs in terms of fantasy points by the end of the season.
7. Eddie Lacy
The best thing for Eddie Lacy is that Aaron Rodgers is back at full strength for the 2014 season. When Rodgers was in the lineup, Lacy was as good a running back as anyone in the league. His value diminished a bit when Rodgers went down because defenses could focus much more attention on the Packers’ run game. Even when this was the case, Lacy still performed very well. He is going to be a top fantasy running back for many years to come.
6. Arian Foster
Arian Foster may be the best value at the running back position in fantasy drafts this season. Whenever a player suffers a season ending injury, he is sure to drop in fantasy drafts. Foster was leading the league in rushing yards when he went down. Unfortunately, he had only scored one touchdown at this time. This should not be the case since the Texans plan on using and abusing him. He should be able to return to form. The only question is if his injury will lag. Whether it does or does not, he should still be a top ten running back.
Marshawn Lynch is called Beast Mode for a reason. Some games are just absolutely amazing and some games he leaves you wishing you had gotten more out of him. This is really his only knock. If it was not for how inconsistent he is, he would be higher. Statistically he should end up as a top three running back, but if he puts up a few goose eggs throughout the year he cannot be considered a top three running back.
4. Matt Forte
Matt Forte is the most well rounded running back in the league. He can run the ball to the outside, up the middle, and can catch the ball out of the backfield better than anyone. He should do even better than he did last year because of the development of Alshon Jeffery. With Marshall and Jeffery at the wide receiver positions, defense can no longer focus in as much on Forte. The only downside is that Marshall and Jeffery are both big targets in the red zone and could take away some touchdowns from Forte.
3. LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy was the 2013 NFL Rushing Champion. Had it not been for the addition of Darren Sproles, he could have been the top ranked running back heading into this season. However, nobody knows exactly how Chip Kelly is going to use Sproles. No matter what, it will affect McCoy’s production. McCoy is still worthy of a top five pick, but do not expect him to lead the NFL in rushing again.
Jamaal Charles was arguably the most valuable player in fantasy football in 2013. The Chiefs made no huge additions to their offense this off season, so it would stand to reason that Charles will once again be the team’s main focus. The problem with Charles is the schedule. Last season, the Chiefs had the easiest schedule in the NFL. In 2014, they will have to play some of the best defenses in the NFL. Being the best running back in fantasy football may not prove so easy for Charles this season.
When you are talking about a number one overall running back, you want to be absolutely sure he is going to produce. Adrian Peterson is that guy. He may not end up as the best running back in the league, but he will be in the top three and you can count on that without any real concerns. Think about it this way: he rushed for 1200 yards and 10 touchdowns and it was considered a down year.