There is no question that your team’s strength at the Running Back position will play a major factor in determining how far your team will go this season.
This year it seems a bit trickier to choose since there are a ton of question hanging over a lot the Elite Running Backs. The issues range from the threat of injury, suspension, players returning from injury and suspension, and change of scenery for a couple of the top Backs.
All of these factors can play a major role in how these players perform on a weekly basis, and throughout the year.
What I look for in a Back is Dependability and Consistency, and although it seems like he is never the sexy, there is one player that sticks out in my mind.
He is be approaching the 30 year old threshold, which scares a lot of people, but it is becoming obvious that he is just entering his prime. Over the last three years he has played in all but one game, and is improving steadily, and becoming more versatile on his way to turning into a PPR beast.
He finished last season with over 100 receptions, 1000 yards rushing, and 10 total TD’s. With the Bears go-to receiver moving to a different team, I think Forte has an opportunity to play an even bigger role in the offense.
Many Fantasy Team Owners will probably hesitate to take Forte with the first pick, but if you want a solid performer who you can count on to be the foundation of your team, I believe this is the one guy you can draft with confidence.
Even though he is facing a possible suspension the next RB you can rely on is…
The third year back is an integral part of the nastiest offense in football, and seems to make a statement every time he touches the ball. The missed time may hurt his overall stats, but he should be there for you when you need him the most.
The Steelers were very inconsistent last year and still managed to make the playoffs. With two years under his belt, and a few games to consider his actions, I expect him to come out hot, and come very close to replicating his numbers next year.
He may not have the same offensive line in front of him, but the third back I’d pick is…
Because of injuries he incurred early in his career fans seem to forget that the Cowboys started their resurgence around the time Murray won over the starting spot and took the NFL by storm. Now everyone seems to credit all of the brilliance of last season on his O-line.
Murray is a punishing back, and has proven it with a 4.8 YPC career total. I believe he can be successful behind any line, and if the Cowboys front five should be credited with anything, it would be the fact that they kept him relatively healthy for an entire season.
Chip Kelly’s offense may not be able to provide him with that, but it does provide him with a quick hitting approach that will lend him the element of surprise.
Murray is hard enough to bring down when you have time to prepare for him, imagine the advantage he will have when the defense barely has time to get set. He has also improved steadily as a pass catcher, and that should help him fit very nicely into the Eagles attack.
Next we have a guy who I expect to go off like a time bomb.
He is no stranger to adversity, and no matter what team he plays for, I don’t think any defender is prepared for what could happened when Peterson finally gets a chance to play with a chip on his shoulder.
This freak of an athlete has had almost a full year to stew over the type of vengeance he plans to unleash on the league, and I believe he can do it in record setting fashion.
He has already stamped his name among the best in history, and I wouldn’t see any reason to not allow him the chance to put that same stamp on your fantasy team.
Then there is…
“Beast Mode” is a devastating force, a human wrecking ball who can carry his real team, and your team on his back.
The only two questions I have, are how much longer can he tolerate his team, and how much will the newly acquired Jimmy Graham affect his production.
There is no question however, that as long as he takes the field he will continue to boost your team.
The next guy is going from a star studded offense to being the brightest star on a new team.
He has always shown to be undoubtedly explosive, and versatile in an high octane offense. Now he is going to a rebuilding team with questions at key positions, and will be expected to be the stabilizing force on a team trying to rebuild through the chaos.
Running back is probably the easiest position for a player who is expected to adjust, but I think this year will be extremely challenging for Shady. Not only does he have to acclimate to a slower team, but he will have to do it while dealing with are. Ryan.
He will still produce in a big way. It may just not translate as brightly in his fantasy stats.
Now that they have some certainty at Running Back, the Broncos have the opportunity to run their offense similarly to how they did at the end of Elway’s career.
If they do it could mean big numbers for Anderson and your fantasy team. This young, undrafted back showed potential to be one of the good ones.
The only problem with that is Manning is not Elway, and I don’t see him giving up control until the last cleat is pried from his feet.
Until then, you can expect similar or slightly better numbers then last year.
What could be worse as a Running Back then being injury prone, or a Chief.
Even though his team seems strongly committed to being slightly better than mediocre, Jamaal Charles is an incredibly gifted athlete.
As long as he can stay on the field, he could be the top player at his position. That’s the risk you will have to take.
Almost the same can be said about…
Lights out when he healthy, a gaping hole in your lineup when he’s not.
If fantasy points were given for effort on every play there would only be one choice.
This guy puts more into one yard than most backs do for 100, and even though it’s fun to cheer for, it doesn’t do any favors for his fantasy stats or longevity.
The Packers finally found the perfect back to complement their passing attack, but as long as Aaron Rodgers is calling the shots that is all he’ll be.
He will score points and maybe even win you a game or two, but it would seem from his two years in the league, that when you need him the most he is nowhere to be found.