The ever so important fantasy running back. It wasn’t long ago that guys like LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander, Priest Holmes, and Jamal Lewis could carry whole fantasy teams to championship seasons. Those days are slowly dying as teams switch to fantasy owner’s worst nightmare, “the committee.” The adaptation of this running back strategy makes it even more important to draft quality running backs. Running Backs that will get the bulk of the carries and the goal line carries for their teams are hard to find. This is only one of many considerations I had when I made my rankings. Since running backs age by far the fastest over all other fantasy positions, age was also greatly considered. I believe all 5 guys should be first round draft picks in 12 or more team leagues.
Rank Name Age Att Yd AVG TD Rec Yd AVG TD
1. LeSean McCoy 25 259 1,287 5.0 12 70 693 9.9 7
2. Eddie Lacy 23 284 1,178 4.1 11 35 257 7.3 0
3. Giovani Bernard 22 170 695 4.1 5 56 514 9.2 3
4. Jamal Charles 27 259 1,287 5.0 12 70 693 9.9 7
5. Adrian Peterson 29 279 1,266 4.5 10 29 171 5.9 1
What isn’t there to love about McCoy, he’s at the perfect age for running backs at the seasoned age of 25. McCoy is a threat to touch the football on every down. He had 1,980 yards on 329 touches in 2013 and crossed the goal line 19 times. Bryce Brown’s departure to Buffalo should give you the confidence that the Eagles plan to stick with McCoy the next few years. Also, Sproles’s signing should be viewed more as a complimentary back to what McCoy already does well. The seasoned Sproles will allow McCoy to rest his legs on the passing downs he normally is in for. Look for McCoy to stay in the top 3 of in all formats for the next three years.
As a Viking fan it pains me to place a Packer RB up so high on the list, especially 3 spots higher than our beloved AP. The 23-year-old sophomore RB is in perfect position to be a huge fantasy back until the next decade. The Packers want to compete for a SuperBowl and to do that they need to keep their aging quarterback healthy. How do they keep Rodgers healthy? They simply run the football. Lacy is going to get big time touches and will be the focal point of the Packers offense for years to come. I’m predicting big things for Lacy in 2014, like 340 touches 1500+ yard and 15+ TD’s big. Even if he falls short of my predictions and just matches his rookie season he will be well worth your first round pick in a dynasty start up draft.
When I first ranked my RB’s I actually created the 6th spot for Mr. Bernard, but the more I think about how young he is, 22, the more I think how great it would be to have him. Giovani’s stat line wasn’t all to impressive in 2013 but his potential is through the roof. The shifty back could be the next McCoy although I don’t for see him getting the touches to be McCoy in the 2014 season the potential is still there. I believe his best seasons are still a few years away but if you don’t take him someone else is going to be celebrating future playoff births while your scouting the next year’s rookie class. If I’m taking Giovani in the first round of a Dynasty draft, I’m coming back to the running back position in round two.
Really, JC at #4? What kind of idiot who says Jamal Charles is the 4th best RB thinks he can give fantasy advice? Yah I know its crazy, when I first did my rankings I had Charles at #2 and was considering putting him at #1. The 27-year-old back damn near topped the 2k-combined yardage and the 20 TD milestones in 2013. Charles did everything for the Chiefs last year and deserves to be a high first round pick. The main reason I dropped Charles to #4 was simply his age. Sitting at 27, how many years can he possibly have left? While I would feel confident on passing on Charles to take any of the RB’s I have rated above him, I would not be surprised to see someone take him and win the league the next two seasons because of him.
If I am wrong about any of my guys I truly hope its Peterson. At 29 years old how much mileage can possibly be left on his legs? We all know Peterson is not your typical athlete and maybe once again the freak of nature can prove all his critics wrong. I have Peterson on my list only because it just wouldn’t be right not to have him on it. I still think he has enough in the tank to be a late first round pick in a dynasty start up draft, but if you don’t think the Vikings are going to limit his touches the next couple seasons I would advice passing on Peterson.
Jesse’s Value Picks
Joique Bell (27) – ADP 84
C.J. Spiller (26) – ADP 41
Trent Richardson (22) – ADP 50
When people get burned they tend to stay away. I feel that Spiller and Richardson are going to drop as previous owners will shy away from being burned again. While they drop down the charts it will be a perfect opportunity to snatch them up at bargain bin prices. Judging by their ADP’s it looks like my theory holds up. Keep in mind that these are dynasty ADP’s. Richardson is a 22-year-old who had a huge rookie season and in a 12-team league you can find him in the 4th round. Spiller is another former 1st round pick that you can land late in the 3rd round. Joique Bell is a solid back that you can find hanging way back in the 7th round.