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Early 2015 Fantasy Football RB Rankings

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Other Rankings: QB/WR/TE

Running backs are supposed to be the bell-cows of fantasy football teams. Unfortunately many times you’ll get burned by a top 10 pick that was supposed be a consistent source of fantasy points. With six months to go here are very early fantasy football RB rankings.

1. Jamaal Charles
After suffering an ACL injury in 2011, Charles has been relatively durable playing at least 15 games in the three seasons since. Charles’ yards per carry is always on point, but in 2014 he only had 206 carries. Part of that had to do with leaving games early due to some minor injuries, but it’s still something to keep in mind. Charles is a factor all over the field, but as he ages the team could look to get Knile Davis more involved.

2. Eddie Lacey 
Lacey was horrible for the first four weeks of the season, but righted the ship following a two touchdown, 137 yard effort. Lacey finished the season with nine rushing touchdowns, and as long as he can avoid an early season slump he could approach 15 rushing touchdowns.

3. Marshawn Lynch
There is always this odd idea circling that the Christine Michael is going to steal carries from Lynch, but after signing a big contract in the offseason that isn’t going to happen. Though I do think Lynch’s workload could be lessened, it won’t be much, and he’ll do his usual damage. Lacy and Lynch are very similar, but I’d just rather take a risk on Lacey.

4. LeSean McCoy
McCoy didn’t have the year many were expecting in 2014, but he is now the feature back for the Buffalo Bills. McCoy’s yards per carry probably will continue to be in the low fours, but I expect him to touch the ball 350 or so times. Greg Roman will force the ball in McCoy’s hands each week.

5. Matt Forte
Forte is getting to the point where age is a concern, but when a running back has 102 receptions it’s hard to knock him. With Brandon Marshall out of the picture it’s likely that Forte continues to be an elite receiver at the position.

6. Arian Foster
Foster is one of the smoothest runners in the business, but his injury history makes him near undraftable. Foster only needed 13 games to reach 1600 total yards, and 13 touchdowns. You can be that he won’t play 16 games, but when you do have him he is elite.

7. C.J. Anderson
No running back did more over the last eight weeks of the season than Anderson. To better his case, Gary Kubiak has been a running back whisperer over the years after leading Arian Foster and Justin Forsett to successful seasons. It’s obvious that Peyton Manning only has another year or two left which could lead to more of a focus on the running game.

8. Adrian Peterson
Who knows what is going on with him, but if he gets his way and goes to do Dallas, Peterson will rise up these rankings. The Cowboys ran all day with DeMarco Murray, and Peterson could perform similarly in the same environment. However, right now Peterson is still on the Vikings, but it seems they really don’t want him.

9. Le’Veon Bell
Bell is the top running back in fantasy football, but the recent three game suspension really hurts his value. It’s obvious drafting him is a risk, and when he returns he will be his usual self, but if you draft him in the first round you lose out on a top 10 running back or receiver for the first three weeks of the season. I assure you I won’t be drafting him at this point because someone will in the late first or early second round.

10. DeMarco Murray
I honestly don’t know how to rank Murray right now. The Cowboys ran him into the ground last year, and the Eagles also signed Ryan Mathews. In all likelihood one of the two gets hurt, but knowing fantasy owners luck they’ll both play 16 games. Regardless, Murray is the better of the two, he has the bigger contract, so you’d expect him to lead the rushing attack.

11. Lamar Miller
Miller doesn’t get enough love, and should have his best season yet as long as the Dolphins don’t bring in another running back. Miller is a speed back, but offers size at 220 pounds, and can be a factor in the passing game. The Dolphins have an up-and-coming offense, and this ranking is predicated upon the unit taking the next step.

12. Jeremy Hill
Hill is a powerful workhouse back that also has to deal with Giovanni Bernard. I like Hill as much as the next person, but Bernard is going to be the primary pass catcher in the backfield which will also lead to stealing carries from Hill. No doubt Hill will get his yards, and touchdowns, but he isn’t alone in the backfield.

13. Alfred Morris
Is there a running back more boring than Morris? Probably not. Despite his lack of fantasy sex appeal, Morris just gets the job done. He won’t be a factor in the passing game, but without Roy Helu he could get a little bit more work.

14. Jonathan Stewart
Finally! The Panthers released DeAngelo Williams which clearl gives Stewart full ownership of the backfield. Unfortunately, Stewart is severely injury-prone, and it will take a miracle for him to play 16 games. If he wasn’t a risk to get injured he would be much higher on this list, but right now he’s one of the riskier options.

The Rest:

15. Justin Forsett
16. Joique Bell
17. Carlos Hyde
18. Melvin Gordon
Gordon was just drafted in the first round by the Chargers, and I fully expect him to handle a majority of the carries. Branden Oliver was nice for a few games, but quickly fell apart. Gordon destroyed college football to the tune of 2587 rushing yards his senior year, and should have no problem tearing apart the NFL. However, there will be a learning curve, but 1300 total yards and eight touchdowns isn’t out of the question. As the offseason moves along Gordon’s fantasy stock could rise.

19. Frank Gore
20. Andre Ellington
21. Mark Ingram
22. Latavius Murray
23. Giovanni Bernard
24. Isaiah Crowell
25. C.J. Spiller
26. Tre Mason
26. Rashad Jennings
27. Doug Martin
28. Todd Gurley
The Rams drafting Gurley puts a humongous damper on Tre Mason’s value. It’s really quite upsetting. Does anyone remember when Chester Taylor was the running back for the Vikings then Adrian Peterson came around to steal the job, and destroy NFL defenses? I expect something similar to happen with Gurley, but I don’t know when he’s going to be ready to play. Right now, I think they’ll sorta cancel each other out, but if Gurley gets a clean bill of health sooner rather than later his stock will go up. I’m not necessarily high on either right now though.

29. Chris Ivory 
30. Shane Vereen
31. Devonte Freeman
32. Jerrick McKinnon
33. Bishop Sankey
34. Branden Oliver

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Written by Chris

Creator of Bigfoot Sports. When I’m not hunting for Bigfoot I’m usually checking my fantasy team.

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