2014 Fantasy Football – RB Rankings/Outlook Pt 1

lesean mccoy

1 – LeSean McCoy – The Eagles Offensive Line will not be it’s best until Week 5 when RT Lane Johnson’s suspension is up. From Week 5 on, they’ll have one of the leagues best, if not best, Offensive Lines. Regardless, we expect LeSean McCoy and his 2013 League Leading 314 rushing attempts on his league leading 1607 rush yards to head the pack again in 2014. We don’t expect the acquisition of 31 year old Darren Sproles to hinder McCoy’s production as he only ran the ball 4 times a game in NOLA last year and has nowhere near the same speed. The Eagles 65.4 plays per game last year ranked 12th in the league and Chip Kelly looks to increase the tempo to result in more plays per game. The Eagles play Dallas in Week 15 (Fantasy Playoff Game) who gave up a league worst 23.0 Fantasy points per game to opposing RBs last year!

2- Jamaal Charles – Charles led the lead in receiving targets last season with 104 while also running the ball 259 times! Andy Reid wants to limit his high workload slightly in 2014 as Charles touched the ball 21.9 times per game last year. Knile Davis is a safe and talented backup and will only be in while Charles rests. You can still expect 300 touches from Charles this season in Andy Reid’s Offensive Scheme. You know what you’re getting with Charles.

3 – Matt Forte – Forte ranked 2nd in RB’s (Behind LeSean McCoy) in total touches last year at 363 total all purpose touches. Forte caught 75 passes, which is more receptions than Victor Cruz, Keenan Allen, Wes Welker and Torrey Smith to name a few. Forte will rack up Fantasy Points in Marc Trestman’s powerful offense and will remain a Top 3 PPR Monster.  The Chicago Bears look to capitalize off of their 4 PrimeTime Games, a Thanksgiving Game and their favorable strength of schedule in 2014.

4 – Adrian Peterson – Standard stuff here … If you have the ability to draft Peterson, do it. Peterson has notched double-digit TDs in every NFL Season. New Vikings OC – Norv Turner has said that he wants to incorporate Peterson more in the passing game. Whether it’s by land or by air, Peterson will turn out another dominate performance in 2014.

5 – Eddie Lacy – The new buzz around the Fantasy World is that the Packers want to run 75 plays a game this season. The Denver Broncos led the league last year at 72.1 plays per game and we all know the fantasy production out of that team. Lacy totaled a whopping 284 caries last season while catching the ball 35 times on 44 targets, however, they want to substitute him as little as possible in order to keep their fast-paced offense. If Rodgers is able to play an entire season the Packers won’t have to rely nearly as much on Lacy. In fact, Lacy still has plenty of room to grow in terms of YPC and Receptions. Green Bay plays only 4 Teams inside the Top 10 against the run this season (Seattle, Detroit, Carolina, New Orleans) – expect at least 1100+ yard season and 10+ TD’s out of Lacy again this season in Green Bays high powered offense.

6 – Marshawn Lynch – Marshawn Lynch will still be the focal point in the Seattle Seahawks Offense in 2014. The Seahawks will still be sure to implement their future RB Christine Michael  in the mix which should reduce Lynch’s load by around 50-60 carries this season.  This is not exactly a Running Back By Committee approach in Seattle, rather a lessening the load for the Beast Mode. Lynch ran for 1257/12 on 301 carries last season and should see about 260 carries this season. Due to the fact Beast Mode will still see the bulk of the goal line carries he remains a mid to low end RB1. The 28 year old still has some life, but the Seahawks want to preserve as much as possible for the Playoffs/Super Bowl. Keep in mind Lynch faces a very tough Fantasy Playoff Schedule: @PHI, SF, @ARI.

7 – DeMarco Murray – Murray surprisingly scored the 7th most Fantasy Points in the RB position last season. With the addition of OC Scott Linehan, we love Dallas for Fantasy Value. Linehan managed to get Rams Steven Jackson 90 catches in 2006. Reggie Bush caught 53 balls last year and Joique Bell caught 50+ balls in each season under Linehan. It’s safe to say Linehan will be very creative with Murray this season featuring him a lot in the passing game. This is actually good news for Murray as it will keep him healthy by limiting the running game, the same way they kept injury prone Reggie Bush healthy in Detroit. With the porous Dallas Defense expect many high scoring games and many shootouts as DeMarco Murray will be a major benefactor from this.

8. Montee Ball – The Denver RB is in store for a huge season as he is slotted as the sure-fire starting RB behind a Peyton Manning led offense that ranked 1st in plays per game (72.1) in 2013. Ball should see exposure in both the running and receiving game in 2014. With Knowshon Moreno gone, Ball will get the opportunity many thought he would run with in 2013. We see boom potential here and recommend him as he is complemented by one of the top offenses in the NFL. Keep in mind that Denver takes on 5 teams that ranked inside the Top 8 (9 within the Top 15) against the run last year. Their schedule isn’t nearly as easy as it was in 2013 as it’s one of the toughest in 2014.

9 – Giovani Bernard – Out with the old and in with the new in Cincy! Many people may not recognize that Bernard didn’t start a single game in 2013, but Marvin Lewis and the Gang expect big things as Bernard is expected to be used heavily in the Cinci Offense. Previous OC Jay Gruden allowed Andy Dalton to toss 586 passes last season (The Red Rifle averaged 543 Passing Attempts over the past 3 Seasons). New OC Hue Jackson is dedicated to the ground game and the philosophy will be adapted in 2014. Expect Bernard to be heavily utilized (touching the ball around 300 times) as a dual-threat this season with huge break-out potential. (BTW – Bernard had 56 Receptions in 2013, which was 8th amongst RB’s)

10 – Le’Veon Bell – Guess what … LegionReport.com has a FEVER and the only prescription is more Le’Veon Bell!

Whether it’s Cow-Bell or Bell-Cow, the Steelers RB is expected to hit 300 carries in 2014 and his versatility and receiving ability makes him an electric option to roster. In 2013, Bell notched 45 receptions for 399 Yards. Look for Bell to take a step forward in 2014 and don’t be surprised if he finishes the season higher than our current rankings show.

11 – Arian Foster – New Head Coach – Bill O’Brien has expressed that the Houston Texans will ride Foster hard this season, utilizing him as both a rushing and receiving back. If healthy, Foster should exceed +300 touch territory. Foster’s 2013 Season was cut short by injury as he only netted 8 Games, however it is evident that he can still produce as he averaged 4.5 YPC. At age 27, Foster still has the capabilities to produce at an alarming rate and he will most certainly slip through the cracks come fantasy draft day. If drafting Foster, you will want to surround him with other quality RBs as his health is such a continuous question mark. Andre Brown is also a handcuff must. We like Foster and think he will have every opportunity to turn out monster numbers, but his durability is why we have slid him back in our rankings.

12 – Alfred Morris – Current OC Sean McVay has expressed that the Redskins will more than likely stick with the Shanahan employed zone blocking scheme and read option with Griffin as the offense’s foundation. Gruden brings his pass happy principals to Washington which doesn’t bode well for Morris as he only notched 9 receptions last season, adding to the total of 20 receptions in his two year career. To give you an idea, under the Shananhan Boys the Washington Redskins were a team heavily concentrated on the running game as they ranked 3rd in rushing attempts in 2012 and 13th in rushing attempts in 2013. New HC Jay Gruden allowed Andy Dalton to toss is around an astounding 586 times in Cincinnati. We can expect Morris to be solid in 2014, but not a guy that will have sensational games.  With the additional weapons in the passing game, it’s evident that Gruden will take more of an aerial attack in Washington in 2014.

13 – Zac Stacy – Coach Jeff Fisher said “over time” Zac Stacy will “probably be that 70-percent of the carries guy.” Stacy will gobble up carries in 2014 and be the focal point of the offense, similar to how Fisher used CJ?K in Tennessee. Rookie Tre Mason will more than likely be used as a change-of-pace back in 2014, if you were wondering. Stacy sits on the fence between RB1/RB2, however we see solid production coming from him this season.

14 – Doug Martin – Tampa Bay is coupled with a very questionable Offensive line along with a brand new OC, Jeff Tedford that has never coached in the NFL before. Tedford has been at coaching at Cal the past 10 seasons, so it’s hard to suggest what his offense will exactly look like . ESPN Bucs reporter says “the Bucs want to use a rotation at the RB position this season,” as both new head coach Lovie Smith and Jeff Tedford are very fond of. “One running back just can’t make it through the season,” says Smith. The new regime in Tampa are not the ones who drafted Doug Martin, but they are the ones who spent a Top 70 pick on receiving back Charles Sims. Lovie Smith remains committed to Doug Martin being big part of their offense, but expect Charles Sims to replace him on passing downs while Rainey and James are also mixed within the Running Back Committee.

15 – Reggie Bush – New Detroit OC Joe Lombardi is preaching a faster tempo-ed offense this season. There’s a ton of weapons in Detroit with the newly acquired Golden Taint and recent emergence of Joique Bell. “It’s exactly the same,” claims ex-Saint, Reggie Bush, as Joe Lombardi brings the exact same Saints Offense to Detroit. Last season PT Cruiser (Pierre Thomas) caught 77 passes, which ranked 1st in the league, while Darren Sproles caught 71 in a limited role, which ranked 4th in the league. Reggie Bush won’t have the rushing attempts, yards or TD’s, but he has huge PPR value.

Part II Running Back Rankings will be released soon! Be sure to follow @LegionReport for breaking Fantasy Football news and up to date information/articles.

To catch up on some of our previous Fantasy Football Articles, check out:

2014 QB Rankings

Breakout Players

Emerging Fantasy Football Stars

Offensive Line Rankings and Stats

3rd Year Wide Receivers

Top Wide Receiver Duos

 

2013's Most Accurate Fantasy Football Experts in the nation.

16 Comments

  1. gangsterofallah@yahoo.com'

    Imad

    July 20, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    I have a keeper league what two should I keep out of these players Dez Bryant, Jammal Charles, Eddie Lacey? Standard scoring

    • Legion Report

      July 20, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      Lacy and Charles – Take keeper eligibility and rounds that you would have to forfeit to keep them into consideration as well though.

    • Legion Report

      July 21, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      We do also love Dez, but keeper rounds play a big factor in who to keep.

  2. cc.gaskell@gmail.com'

    Corky Gaskell

    July 22, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    I will have the 5th choice of where to draft in a 10 team, PPR league. 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 flex WR/RB, 1 TE. 1 K. 1 D/ST. If the past is any indication, spots 1,2,3 and 4 will be taken.. and RB will be drafted.. Charles, Mc Coy, AP and Forte.. given that.. what spot, 5-10, would you think will yield the best draft combo. Snake draft, so 5 gets 16, 6 gets 15, etc. I have no issues taking WR/WR, or RB/WR, etc.. just want the best 2 players available. Given you have Foster, Calvin and Graham at 3,4,5 does it make it better for me to slip down a couple spots to get best combo given those 3 might all be there in 7 or 8, given ADP of most other sites ?

    • Legion Report

      July 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Would try to get the earliest pick as possible. If you get 5th pick and those guys are gone, go Calvin, especially in a PPR League. I’m not concerned with the multiple weapons in DET, they’re not going to stop throwing to the best player in football. Coming back around, it’s crucial you grab a RB. We would love for you to get DeMarco Murray who’s going to catch the ball a lot this year with a new OC and bad Defense. The WR position is really deep while the RB position is very very thin. If you don’t feel comfortable and grab a RB with your first pick, grab Lacy and then coming back grab someone like Marshall or Antonio Brown.

  3. miguelb379@yahoo.com'

    Mychal

    July 22, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    General draft strategy question: 14-team non-PPR league starts QB RB RB WR WR WR TE RB/WR/TE K DST + 4 bench spots.

    Is it logical to hoard top WRs since you can start 4 and devote most of your bench to RBs (3 out of 4 slots)?

    How would you think of adjusting strategy based on how many of each position you start and how much (little) bench space you have?

    • Legion Report

      July 23, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Depends on the scoring system. If it’s standard, you have to grab at least 2 good RBs. The WR position is pretty deep this year and you can always plug in guys with great value. RB is a different story – it’s very thin and a lot of teams are going to committee this year. If your solid in the RB position we feel you’d have an edge. Obviously with the potential to start 5 WRs your going to have to grab some good ones, but with a Top pick we’d go RB.

  4. eugene.dowdell@gmail.com'

    Eugene

    July 23, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    I am in a 2 QB 1 PPR league. Should I grab a Peyton, Brees, or Rodgers in the first round or should I wait as long as I can and draft say a Stafford or Luck later?… Also is it crucial to have a top flight QB in your opinion?

    • Legion Report

      July 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      Depends on how many teams are in the league. If it’s a 10-12 team league your safe waiting around as the QB position is very deep this year. That’s the approach I recommend taking in this situation. If you can wait around and get Stafford/Luck type player, do that and feel 100% comfortable!! Since it’s a 2 QB league you’re going to want at least 1 Top/Middle Tier QB – don’t wait too long with no QBs.

  5. jsouders1@hotmail.com'

    Jarad Souders

    August 11, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Looking for advice or strategy with first 2 picks. 12 team ppr, 8th pick. QB RB RB WR WR TE WR/RB K D. Lacey, Forte, Giovani B are kept by others. I kept Jimmy Graham in 3rd and have NO 4th rd pick (got an extra 6th via trade last year). With WR being pretty deep and many top runners gone, should i go RB RB before its depleted? Or who are a few players youd target at 8 and 17?

    • jsouders1@hotmail.com'

      Jarad Souders

      August 11, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Looking for advice or strategy with first 2 picks. 12 team ppr, 8th pick. QB RB RB WR WR TE WR/RB K D. Lacey, Forte, Giovani B are kept by others. I kept Jimmy Graham in 3rd and have NO 4th rd pick (got an extra 6th via trade last year). With WR being pretty deep and many top runners gone, should i go RB RB before its depleted? Or who are a few players youd target at 8 and 17? Demarco Murray is kept too , Forgot

      • Jordan & Michael Tozzi

        August 11, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        You’re definitely going to want to go RB with your first pick. You should be in line with a pretty solid PPR back, like DeMarco Murray. Coming back around – look to take a WR with PPR value.

    • Jordan & Michael Tozzi

      August 11, 2014 at 9:29 PM

      You’re definitely going to want to go RB with your first pick. You should be in line with a pretty solid PPR back, like DeMarco Murray. Coming back around – look to take a WR with PPR value.

  6. a@a.com'

    yoyoma

    August 17, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    14 man ppr league, snake draft, QB, RB RB, WR WR, FLEX, TE, K, D. I had the 12th pick, and traded first round picks with the first pick of the draft and gave him my 3rd pick and received his 8th round pick in return. Good deal on my part? I am thinking of going with McCoy first pick, agree? Hoping to get another top tier RB in my second pick, which is pick 17. Anyone I should watch for in particular? Should I go top WR or QB if they are available at that time instead?

    • Jordan & Michael Tozzi

      August 18, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      Not crazy ab the deal. You would have got good value with 12th pick overall in a re-draft league. Not crazy about giving up your 3rd pick. Yeah, I would definitely go McCoy first pick. For your 2nd pick, if a Top Tier WR is out there grab one, but we recommend going RB due to the lack of depth this season. A lot of it depends who’s available for each position. Also, QB is also really deep – Cutler is going as the 12th QB off the board. You should be safe in waiting around for a QB!

  7. the_grey_ninja@hotmail.com'

    Ricky Byrd

    August 18, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    OMG… I can’t believe they called him Golden Taint, wow!

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