by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
There haven’t been any significant injuries to the running backs (thankfully), and we hope that continues through the most important weak on the preseason schedule. That said, there have been some minor moves throughout the rankings (mostly due to usage concerns). Let’s take a look at how things currently stack up (the number in parenthesis is our previous rankings):
- Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs (1)
- Lesean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles (2)
- Matt Forte – Chicago Bears (3)
- Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings (4)
- Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers (5)
- Arian Foster – Houston Texans (6)
- Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals (7)
- Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneer (9)
- Montee Ball – Denver Broncos (8)
- Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams (10)
- Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks (11)
- Demarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys (12)
- Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers (13)
- Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals (15)
- Bishop Sankey – Tennessee Titans (16)
- Reggie Bush – Detroit Lions (14)
- Toby Gerhart – Jacksonville Jaguars (17)
- Rashad Jennings – New York Giants (18)
- Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins (19)
- Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers (21)
- Joique Bell – Detroit Lions (22)
- Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens (23)
- C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills (20)
- Chris Johnson – New York Jets (24)
- Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills (30)
- Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers (25)
- Ben Tate – Cleveland Browns (26)
- Danny Woodhead – San Diego Chargers (27)
- Trent Richardson – Indianapolis Colts (29)
- Khiry Robinson – New Orleans Saints (NR)
- With the injury to Chris Sims, Doug Martin gets a slight boost in value. While there are some who are going to be concerned about a rotation of backs, as well as Martin’s poor play prior to his injury in 2013, there’s no question that he’s the lead dog in Tampa Bay. It’s an offense that should have success and we’ve seen what he’s capable of, as long as the offensive line can open up some holes.
- We had Le’Veon Bell outside of the Top 10 prior to his recent arrest, but now there’s an extra shadow of doubt over his 2014 campaign. We’ll have to see how things play out, so we aren’t making any adjustments yet, but they could be coming.
- There’s obviously concerns about Arian Foster, who missed significant time in 2013 due to back surgery and a lot of training camp due to a hamstring issue. While we have him ranked ahead of Bernard, Martin & Ball, the difference between them is less than a touchdown. You can reorder that group however you’d like, so draft them accordingly.
- There should be enough opportunities for both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to be productive backs. While Spiller continues to have the greater upside, the coaching staff seems hesitant to let him loose. Look for the two to nearly split carries, but with Jackson getting the short yardage/goal line carries he’s going to be nearly as valuable despite being less explosive.
- Looking for a running back who is currently outside the Top 10 that could emerge as one of the “elite” by year’s end? We dubbed Andre Ellington and Rashad Jennings as the most likely candidates. Click here to find out why.
- Considering using a Top 15 pick on Demarco Murray? It’s a personal preference on whether to make that type of investment, so make sure you know the risks. Click here to get all the details.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: