1. Adrian Peterson– I don’t necessarily think he’s going to finish as the top RB. I also know he’s been getting banged up by the end of the year. ADP is, however, the most talent running back in the league, and you can count on him scoring double digit TDs and putting up some huge weeks.
2. Matt Forte– He belongs in the top tier of running backs, and the offense he’s in makes him such a safe pick. Forte is so consistent and perhaps the least injury prone out of the top 4.
3. LeSean McCoy– He’s young and showed last year he can thrive in the Eagles offense. I don’t see risk here, but touches in this offense can be inconsistent on a weekly basis. McCoy, however, is surely the best bet to get the most consistent production on a weekly basis.
4. Jamaal Charles– Pretty much same thing as McCoy. Can’t go wrong.
5. Eddie Lacy– Green Bay wants to run the ball, and they surely did last year when Rodgers was hurt. Even with Rodgers back, the Packers are going to continue to pound the rock, and last time I checked Lacy is the only running back of relevance on the roster.
6. DeMarco Murray– Huge injury risk, but when he plays he is fantasy gold. He’s going to get his fair share of touches each week he plays, but just be ready for him to miss a few games throughout the year.
7. Monte Ball– How did Knowshon Moreno do what he did last year? Peyton Manning. Who is Monte Ball’s quarterback this year? Yeah. Ball could even be more talented than Moreno, so I feel safe putting a guy that has shown almost nothing in the NFL this high in my rankings.
8. Alfred Morris– After some of the big studs, you want to go safety. Alfred Morris isn’t going to catch any balls or light it up with big runs, but he’s going to get his touches each and every week. The offense could be dynamic if everything works out, so he will get plenty of running room.
9. Marshawn Lynch– The critics may have gotten a little too much traction in peoples’ rankings. He’s might not get the amount of work as he usually does, but he’s going to be fine. Not much upside, but as sure of a pick as any running back in this area.
10. Doug Martin– Last season I wrote a piece on how Martin is no sure thing to be great once he came back from injury. With that being said, he has no competition for carries after Charles Sims’ injury, so even if he isn’t great, his workload will pay off as a top10 RB.
11. Giovani Bernard- He’s probably not going to be the guy who racks up a lot of carries, but Bernard is dynamic and will catch enough balls along with his handoffs to be fantasy gold. Big upside pick.
12. Zac Stacy– Promising rookie year, but reports from Rams camp are saying Stacy is on a short leash with the starting role.
13. Reggie Bush– I don’t understand all this speculation that Joique Bell will limit his production. They both will be fine, and Bush is the better fit for the pass happy Lions.
14. Le’ Veon Bell- The potential suspension now looms, and the more I look at him the more I see some Trent Richardson in this guy. I still like his chances to be the main guy for the Steelers who I think will have a great offense this year.
15. Arian Foster– I’m personally avoiding Foster in my drafts because of all the question marks on his career, but there is always a chance he returns and performs like a great RB he was a couple years ago. Risky pick.
16. Andre Ellington– If Bruce Arians let’s Ellington become the work horse for the Cards, then he very well could be a top10 RB. It’s just risky to pick him as such because Bruce Arians has been indecisive in saying he will be.
17. Frank Gore– I think this is the 4th year now that critics are saying Gore is done. Ha.
18. Steven Jackson– His ADP has plummeted. I had him as top 14 RB before the injury in the preseason. It’s a risk to take him now because of the injuries, but when healthy he’s going to start, and I think any running back in this offense will be productive.
19. Rashad Jennings– While the Giants offense dinks and dunks it’s way through the preseason, Jennings is finding himself getting plenty of touches rushing and catching. Tom Coughlin loves a running back that can run, block, and catch. Jennings fits his offense perfectly.
20. Joique Bell– Everyone is predicting Bell to take over Bush’s role as the main guy in the offense, yet I can’t seem to figure out why. Bush and Bell both did well last year as fantasy options, but I’m not sold on putting Bell over Bush.
21. Ben Tate– Terrence West hype is out of hand. This guy was the #1 handcuff during his time in Houston because he had talent with a assumption he would get a steady workload. Now he has that opportunity in Cleveland. Injury risk for sure, but he should be a solid RB2 when healthy.
22. Ryan Matthews– Doesn’t catch the ball, and it’s concerning that the Chargers went out and signed another RB this year in Donald Brown. I don’t think Matthews starting role is in jeopardy, but his touches are a concern.
23. Shane Vereen– Proving to be one of Brady’s top options in the preseason. Love his PPR value. Could be an RB2 in standard leagues.
24. Pierre Thomas- 77 catches last year with Sproles on the roster. With Sproles gone, Thomas’ workload can only increase.
25. Fred Jackson– The oldest running back in the NFL this year, but he continues to show his value every year in an offense that relies on running the ball.
26. CJ Spiller- The Bills are hinting that Spiller is not going to be used as the weapon he has been in his NFL career. That greatly depreciates his upside, but he also could be traded. We will see.
27. Chris Johnson– People are sleeping on Chris Johnson. He’s durable, very fast, and still in an offense that will rely on running the ball early and often. You can count on Johnson to give you some production every week, it’s just a question of how much.
28. Danny Woodhead– Over 1000 total yards and 8 TDs last year in San Diego. A PPR stud.
29. Toby Gerhart– The #1 option in Jacksonville. Positives from that sentence: #1 option. Negatives? Jacksonville. Don’t get your hopes up that he’s going to change this offense.
30. Chris Ivory– Huge injury concern, and Chris Johnson is now in the system. Regardless, he’s a very talented player. Jets could be a dangerous running offense with this duo.
31. Knowshon Moreno– He’s looking like the better RB in Miami so far, but who knows if he or Miller will be the go-to guy. My bets are on Moreno
32. Shonn Greene– Nothing exciting, but I don’t buy Sankey as the starter to begin the season.
33. Bishop Sankey– Everyone wants to get excited about rookies, and Bishop Sankey leads the rookie running back hype train in 2014. He landed in a position where he could taking the starting role, but the preseason hasn’t been convincing. I don’t like drafting a guy when their first reason to get excited is “there is nobody else”. I don’t expect much from Sankey in 2014.
34. Andre Williams– Has looked good in the preseason, but so has Jennings. The opportunity isn’t as clear as Sankey’s, but the fact he’s showing his worth so far is a reason to actually be excited about this rookie.
35. Stevan Ridley– Rumors Ridley may be cut by the Patriots? That could potentially be a good thing. If he lands in a place like Indianapolis, he could be a top 20 running back.
36. Ray Rice– Suspended the first two games, and last year was a huge disappointment for Rice, but he looks good right now in preseason. The offensive line has improved, so there’s a chance he bounces back, but I don’t like his chances.
37. Bernard Pierce– He just suffered a concussion which could leave him out for week 1. That would ruin his potential for fantasy owners, but if he is ready to go in time of the opener, then Pierce could establish himself as a running back that deserves carries even when Rice returns.
38. Devonta Freeman– Backing up an injury prone player in Steven Jackson, Freeman could be the lead back in Atlanta sometime during the year. Even when he’s not, he has potential to get a little work in a prolific offense.
39. Darren Sproles– I think he will be valuable in PPR leagues, but I’m worried about consistency for Sproles. I don’t think you can count on production week to week from Sproles.
40. Maurice Jones-Drew– I want nothing to do with Raiders players.
41. Darren McFadden- Read Jones-Drew’s note.
42. Ahmad Bradshaw- If the Colts don’t sign anyone else, I think Bradshaw gets the majority of carries.
43. Lamar Miller- Overhyped last year, and he’s again getting some talk as the go-to back in Miami. Why would they bring in Moreno if 1. they believed in Miller and 2. if they weren’t going to use Moreno? No love here for Lamar Miller.
44. Jeremy Hill- A Bernard injury away from being something interesting. Could fill the Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis role this year which means small, consistent production.
45. Khiry Robinson- If your name isn’t Pierre, I’m not too interested in you if you play running back in New Orleans.
46. DeAngelo Williams– Not a bad pick if you want a bench spot taken for a guy that is good for 4-7 points a game. Not exciting, but a passable fill-in when desperate.
47. Jonathan Stewart- He could be the main guy this year, but he’s more than likely to get hurt and not play very much.
48. Carlos Hyde– Rookie hype and in a run-heavy offense. Frank Gore is still there, and I believe in him. Handcuff.
49. Terrance West– If Ben Tate goes down, I might be interested.
50. Christine Michael- If Marshawn Lynch goes down, I’m extremely interested.