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FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT KIT

2013 Player Rankings: Running Backs
Updated: September 4, 2013   Print this page Print 
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Montee Ball - DEN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 27
Keeper: 18
Auction 10: 7%
Auction 12: 7%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj DEN   1150 7   1050   7 15 100  

(+Upside) There is a new Ball in town and this one was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011 when he finished with a staggering 307 carries for 1,923 yards and tied the all-time record held by Barry Sanders with 39 total touchdowns scored. Changes in the offensive line did not help Ball as a senior when he rushed 356 times for 1830 yards and 22 touchdowns. There is no debate that Ball is anything less than a natural runner who excels as a workhorse. He merely scored an NCAA record 83 touchdowns in his four years in Wisconsin. But there is a legitimate concern that the heavy load (924 carries) will make for a shorter NFL career and open him more to injuries. The Broncos did opt for Ball over Lacy because he seemed more durable. The expectation is that Willis McGahee will be released and that gives Ball the chance to be a full-time back for a offense that will never, ever face an eight man front. This is a golden opportunity for a big rookie year.

Vick Ballard - IND YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 38
Keeper: 37
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 4%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 IND 16 966 3 211 814 3.9 2 17 152 1
Avg   16 966 3 211 814 3.9 2 17 152 1
Proj IND   790 3   680   3 17 110  

Ballard made good on his rookie season opportunity by grabbing the feature back role and ended with 814 rushing yards. He also caught 17 passes and scored three total touchdowns. The Colts are not going to turn to the running game any more this year than last and that limits what Ballard is able to contribute. He makes nothing better than a low-end RB2 and is not above turning in a clunker every so often.

06-11-13 Update: The addition of Ahmad Bradshaw hurts Ballard in what will be a committee backfield.

Kenjon Barner - CAR YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 64
Keeper: 71
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj CAR   410 1   300   1 14 110  

The Panthers sixth round pick this year is only 5-foot-9, 196 pounds and only ran a 4.52/40 at the combine. He was the workhorse back for Chip Kelly at Oregon. He'll likely see duty on special teams and could see some third down work but the expectations is that he mainly serves as depth and won't produce fantasy relevant stats at any point.

Le'Veon Bell - PIT YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 33
Keeper: 31
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 5%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj PIT   900 6   800   6 14 100  

(+Upside) Bell is a big back who led the Big Ten last year with 1,793 rushing yards and ended with 671 carries for 3,346 yards in his three seasons with Michigan State. He could end up as the next incarnation of Jerome Bettis and OC Todd Haley has already talked up Bell as a three down back and workhorse runner. He can catch the ball and pass block. His downside is his size which limits his speed and has even caused him to wear down later in games. When the offensive coordinator says "He's not a guy that you'd shy away from giving it to him 30 times a game." you have to take notice. Bell should end up as the leading scorer for the Steelers this year and will compete to be the most productive rookie if only because his team appears willing to throw a saddle on and ride him.

08-20-13 Update: Bell sprained his mid-foot but it was not reported to be a Lis Franc injury. At this point, he is expected to be done for the preseason but may be back as early as week one. It is troublesome that he has already suffered a sprained knee and now a foot sprain in camp. He carries a little more risk now but still has upside.

08-24-13 Update: It is now described as a very small tear and that he could be back as early as week four. The week 5 bye means he's not likely to be back before week 6 and even then - a risk to assuming when he is back and how healthy he will be then.

Joique Bell - DET YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 40
Keeper: 51
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2010 PHI 8                  
2011                      
2012 DET 16 899 3 82 414 5.0 3 52 485  
Avg   12 450 2 41 207 2.5 2 26 243 0
Proj DET   710 4   600   4 12 110  

Bell remains merely depth for the Lions and no better than #3 on the depth chart. The only good thing here is that the Lions running backs always get injured. Bell played third downs last year and caught 52 passes for 485 yards. Now that Reggie Bush takes the lead, Bell falls back down the depth chart and will try to play special teams.

07-28-13 Update: Bell has started training camp ahead of Mikel Leshoure as the #2 back behind Reggie Bush. That's hardly any guarantee that Bell will remain the handcuff for Bush and mostly just makes backing up Bush unclear so far in training camp.

Giovani Bernard - CIN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 26
Keeper: 19
Auction 10: 7%
Auction 12: 8%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj CIN   1210 6   850   4 34 360 2

(+Upside) The Bengals made Bernard the first back drafted and the electric runner from North Carolina leaves school with two years of eligibility left. Had he elected to remain, he was expected to become a Heisman Trophy candidate for 2013. Playing in the spread offense last year saw him lead the ACC with 122 rushing yards per game. He missed all of 2010 with a torn ACL and lacks top end speed despite being a smaller player. The early expectation is that he will be a complementary runner to BenJarvus Green-Ellis that could make the backfield much more of a committee. He is as talented as any rookie back and more so than Green-Ellis so it is more a matter of time to see him take over the majority of work. There is much speculation surrounding his use and different sources have expectations from just a third down back to becoming the primary in week one. Training camp will help determine his role but regardless he is the more desirable back in Cincy.

LeGarrette Blount - PIT YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 77
Keeper: 76
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 TBB 13 1021 6 201 1007 5.0 6 5 14  
2011 TBB 14 929 5 184 781 4.2 5 15 148  
2012 TBB 13 153 2 41 151 3.7 2 1 2  
Avg   13 701 4 142 646 4.3 4 7 55 0
Proj PIT   220 1   200   1 3 20  

Blount came over from the Buccaneers and agreed to reduce his salary from $1.25 million to the league minimum for a four year player of $630,000. He's no better than the #5 back entering training camp and may not make the final roster. Blount was limited to only 41 carries last year and had only 3.7 yards per carry but HC Bill Belichick said they got good value on Blount and wanted him. No reason to draft.

Ahmad Bradshaw - IND YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 31
Keeper: 35
Auction 10: 5%
Auction 12: 6%
2010 NYG 16 1549 8 276 1235 4.5 8 47 314  
2011 NYG 12 926 11 171 659 3.9 9 34 267 2
2012 NYG 14 1260 6 221 1015 4.6 6 23 245  
Avg   14 1245 8 223 970 4.3 8 35 275 1
Proj IND   930 6   750   5 18 180 1

Bradshaw is twiddling his thumbs hoping some team wakes up and decides they need a veteran back on the roster. His injury history means his days as a primary are over.

06-11-13 Update: Bradshaw was picked up by the Colts despite still wearing a walking boot from his surgery in January. He is expected to be ready for training camp. His presence only serves to ruin what Vick Ballard might have been.

Ronnie Brown - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 87
Keeper: 88
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 MIA 16 976 5 200 734 3.7 5 33 242  
2011 PHI 16 136 1 42 136 3.2 1      
2012 SDC 14 591   46 220 4.8   49 371  
Avg   15 568 2 96 363 3.9 2 27 204 0
Proj FA   90     90          

The 32-year old Brown hangs on for one more season but the addition of Danny Woodhead will decrease the third down work that he received last season. Brown only holds mild interest when Ryan Mathews is injured, yet again. But Woodhead will be there to help out and Brown only signed a one-year deal to remain. No fantasy relevance until later in the season when he fills in and still doesn't offer much.

Donald Brown - SDC YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 79
Keeper: 70
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 IND 13 702 2 129 497 3.9 2 20 205  
2011 IND 16 731 5 134 645 4.8 5 16 86  
2012 IND 10 510 1 108 417 3.9 1 9 93  
Avg   13 648 3 124 520 4.2 3 15 128 0
Proj SDC   180 1   140   1 5 40  

Brown was lost for the season in week 13 last year thanks to a high ankle sprain but he's already been passed by Vick Ballard as the feature back. Brown only ran 108 times for 417 yards and one score last year. He'll still figure in as the small side of a committee but has minimal fantasy value.

Bryce Brown - BUF YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 41
Keeper: 44
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 PHI 16 620 4 115 564 4.9 4 13 56  
Avg   16 620 4 115 564 4.9 4 13 56 0
Proj BUF   640 5   560   5 10 80  

(+Upside) Brown not only gets to play on the much anticipated Eagles new offense, but a rise in the number of carries is a lock. The West Coast offense is gone and replaced by one that will want to generate as many plays as possible and focus on a solid ground game. That not only leaves room for Brown to get carries helping out LeSean McCoy, but McCoy has always been injured each of the last three years. Brown stepped in last season and in two games he ran for over 160 yards and two scores. Brown is only a depth pick on a fantasy team and more of interest to the McCoy owner. But he's a little more "steal- able" in a draft than most #2 backs. There is upside here to be sure and Brown turned in a 4.9 YPC last season as a rookie.

Rex Burkhead - CIN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 81
Keeper: 74
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj CIN   160 1   140   1 4 20  

The Bengals spent their 6.22 pick on the Nebraska back and he is likely to become more than merely depth. Burkhead will compete for third down work and has been a good receiver and pass blocker. His role is unlikely to produce fantasy relevant stats this year but he has a better chance of being the #2 next year when Green-Ellis may be gone. A decent final pick in dynasty leagues but otherwise merely a watch player for now.

Reggie Bush - DET YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 17
Keeper: 14
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 12%
2010 NOS 8 358 1 36 150 4.2   34 208 1
2011 MIA 15 1382 7 216 1086 5.0 6 43 296 1
2012 MIA 16 1278 8 227 986 4.3 6 35 292 2
Avg   13 1006 5 160 741 4.5 4 37 265 1
Proj DET   1440 7   800   4 55 640 3

(+Upside) Bush spent two seasons as the primary runner in Miami and turned in seasons of 268-1086 and 227-986 as a runner. That is not what is going to happen in Detroit where they intend to return him to his most dangerous as a receiver. The Lions have completed 90 to 100 passes to running backs in recent years and Bush could see up to 80 catches according to HC Jim Schwartz. Bush won't be the run-first back that he was in Miami and that should help him to remain healthy. Bush becomes a very attractive pick in reception point leagues.

Michael Bush - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 59
Keeper: 69
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 OAK 14 849 8 158 655 4.1 8 18 194  
2011 OAK 16 1395 8 256 977 3.8 7 37 418 1
2012 CHI 13 494 5 114 411 3.6 5 9 83  
Avg   14 913 7 176 681 3.8 7 21 232 0
Proj FA   360 4   300   4 8 60  

Bush suffered with a shoulder injury last year and then was out the final three games with a rib injury. His workload - 114 carries for 411 yards (3.6) remained below fantasy relevance all year and was far too inconsistent to consider him for a start. Now with a new West Coast offense being installed that should favor the rushing and receiving skills of Matt Forte even more, it is less likely that Bush is used any more and he becomes more of just a back-up handcuff for the Forte owner.

Jamaal Charles - KCC YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 3
Keeper: 3
Auction 10: 23%
Auction 12: 25%
2010 KCC 16 1935 8 230 1467 6.4 5 45 468 3
2011 KCC 2 92 1 12 83 6.9   5 9 1
2012 KCC 16 1745 6 285 1509 5.3 5 35 236 1
Avg   11 1257 5 176 1020 6.2 3 28 238 2
Proj KCC   1850 12   1350   9 58 500 3

(+Upside) This should be a big year for Charles who is in his prime at 27 years old and now becomes the full-time back in an Andy Reid offense. Charles was coming off a blown knee last year and merely racked up 1509 rushing yards and a 5.3 YPC. His career best reception total was in 2010 when he caught 45 passes for 468 yards and three touchdowns. The WCO offense installed by Reid and OC Pat Shurmur never failed to throw at least 90 passes to running backs each year. Just last season, Philly completed 120 passes to tailbacks. Sean McCoy hauled in 54 and he only played in 12 games. Charles is set for a nice season and as the offense is installed, it's a fair expectation that Smith is going to want to dump off to Charles often in the early stages of the season if not the entire year. In a reception points league, Charles will be one of the first backs taken. Make that any kind of league.

Tashard Choice - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 80
Keeper: 81
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 DAL 16 352 3 66 243 3.7 3 17 109  
2011 DAL 13 276 1 57 152 2.7 1 19 124  
2012 BUF 11 202 1 47 193 4.1 1 4 9  
Avg   13 277 2 57 196 3.5 2 13 81 0
Proj FA   160 1   150   1 3 10  

Choice remains a #3 in the offense and offers little outside of special teams. He should make the team but remain nothing more than depth.

Knile Davis - KCC YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 66
Keeper: 59
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj KCC   240 3   210   3 5 30  

This is the handcuff for Jamaal Charles but one that likely only the Charles owner will care about. Knile was the 3.34 pick by the Chiefs but one that most thought was too early. He is a bigger back at 5-11, 227 and ran a 4.37/40 at the combine. He was a monster in 2010 at Arkansas but then missed 2011 with a fractured ankle. In 2012, he only ran 112 times for 377 yards (3.4 YPC) and scored twice. He has all the measurables you could ever want. He was prolific in 2010. He has done nothing else in the last two years. He's dinged as being just a straight-line runner who has a surprising lack of burst or power. He'll compete with Shane Draughns to be the backup and will likely win that. But this won't be a committee in KC and only Charles has any fantasy starts in him.

Lance Dunbar - DAL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 53
Keeper: 48
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 DAL 12 108   21 75 3.6   6 33  
Avg   12 108 0 21 75 3.6 0 6 33 0
Proj DAL   560 3   380   2 22 180 1

No analysis available.

Andre Ellington - ARI YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 90
Keeper: 90
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj ARI   30     30          

The Cards 6.19 pick is a bit small at 5-9, 199 lbs. but he is a big-play threat with likely the best speed of any back in Arizona. He also had durability issues at Clemson until last year. His drafting smacks of nothing more than special teams play and running back depth.

Justin Forsett - BAL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 62
Keeper: 56
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 SEA 16 775 2 118 523 4.4 2 33 252  
2011 SEA 16 273 1 46 145 3.2 1 23 128  
2012 HOU 16 412 1 63 374 5.9 1 3 38  
Avg   16 487 1 76 347 4.5 1 20 139 0
Proj BAL   430 1   280   1 20 150  

Forsett signed with the Jaguars to become the change of pace back and he'll offer some third down duty along the way as an excellent receiver. His fantasy outlook will remain as nothing but depth unless Maurice Jones-Drew is injured but he is a prudent handcuff.

Matt Forte - CHI YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 9
Keeper: 6
Auction 10: 15%
Auction 12: 18%
2010 CHI 16 1616 9 237 1069 4.5 6 51 547 3
2011 CHI 12 1487 4 203 997 4.9 3 52 490 1
2012 CHI 15 1434 6 248 1094 4.4 5 44 340 1
Avg   14 1512 6 229 1053 4.6 5 49 459 2
Proj CHI   1670 11   1150   8 55 520 3

(+Upside) The new west coast offense being ushered in by HC Marc Trestman and OC Aaron Kromer should be tailor-made for the skills of Forte. The rushing effort may not change so much but Trestman has already pointed to Forte's past as a receiver as a skill set that will be exploited. Installing a new offense that is predicated on timing and shorter throws should be all about Forte. He's been consistently a solid fantasy draft pick, especially in reception point leagues. This new offense has the potential to yield Forte's best fantasy season yet.

Arian Foster - HOU YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 8
Keeper: 8
Auction 10: 15%
Auction 12: 18%
2010 HOU 16 2220 18 327 1616 4.9 16 66 604 2
2011 HOU 13 1841 12 278 1224 4.4 10 53 617 2
2012 HOU 16 1641 17 351 1424 4.1 15 40 217 2
Avg   15 1901 16 319 1421 4.5 14 53 479 2
Proj HOU   1620 12   1300   12 35 320  

(-Risk) The Texans have ranked in the top four in rushing yardage by running backs for each of the last three years. They have also never had fewer than 16 rushing scores in that time. That has a 1:1 relationship to when Foster became a starter. Last season was not his best so he ended up only ranked #3 in his position instead of #1. He has never been worse than #3 in any year as a starter. Where he declined slightly was in catches with only 40 for 217 yards. His two previous seasons produced over 600 receiving yards each. The plan is to have Ben Tate help out more and reduce the incredible workload that Foster has shouldered but they have said as much the last two seasons. Foster is as low-risk of a pick as there is in fantasy football.

07-25-13 Update: Foster opened camp on the active/PUP list because of a calf strain he suffered in spring practice that still has not healed after two months. It is a cause for concern for a back that has been ridden hard and put away wet for three straight years.

08-18-13 Update: Foster remains out and is taking injections for pain in his back. There is speculation by HOU reporters already that he may miss the season opener if not more. He's more risky than before and not a recommended draft pick. Let someone else take the risk.

Johnathan Franklin - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 57
Keeper: 57
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   580 1   380   1 20 200  

The Packers used their 4.28 pick on Franklin even though they had burned their 2.29 pick on Eddie Lacy. Franklin set UCLA records for rushing yards in a season (1734), career rushing yards (4403) and all-purpose yards (4920). At 5-10 and 205 pounds, he is the smaller complement to Eddie Lacy but brings more speed and agility than Lacy. His running style led to his nickname "Jetski". He'll offer both rushing and receiving to the equation and should be the third down back and more than just relief for Lacy. The split in workload between Lacy and Franklin may evolve as the season progresses. Franklin looks more attractive in reception point leagues. He is a great handcuff for Lacy owners but may be worth stealing since his role cannot be certain.

08-21-13 Update: Franklin has not had a good camp and looks to be the #3 back going into the season.

Toby Gerhart - JAC YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 67
Keeper: 64
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 MIN 15 489 1 81 322 4.0 1 21 167  
2011 MIN 16 721 4 109 531 4.9 1 23 190 3
2012 MIN 16 324 1 50 169 3.4 1 20 155  
Avg   16 511 2 80 341 4.1 1 21 171 1
Proj JAC   350 1   200   1 20 150  

He's nothing more than relief for a player who will not leave the field. He is of interest only to the Adrian Peterson owner.

Mike Gillislee - MIA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 74
Keeper: 60
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj MIA   200 2   180   2 4 20  

The Fins did not bother drafting a RB until Gillislee was taken with the 5.31 pick. The Florida product had "career backup" grades by most scouts but the Fins are hoping that down the road he may develop into something more. He is an accomplished pass blocker which will help him get on the field as a rookie and potentially bypass Daniel Thomas who has fallen from favor. No one said the 14th back taken was a good value and Gillislee may never produce fantasy relevant stats. Worth a watch in the summer to make sure, but likely best left on the waiver wire.

Mike Goodson - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 65
Keeper: 80
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 CAR 16 762 3 103 452 4.4 3 40 310  
2011 CAR 4 4           1 4  
2012 OAK 12 416 1 35 221 6.3   16 195 1
Avg   11 394 1 46 224 3.6 1 19 170 0
Proj FA   380 1   300   1 10 80  

(-Risk) Goodson enters his fifth season and his one year stint in Oakland never amounted to much. His three seasons in Carolina was spent largely waiting for either Jonathan Stewart or DeAngelo Williams to get injured. Now he travels to New York where it appeared he had a legitmate shot at being a primary back. Up until the Jets acquired Chris Ivory who is considered odds-on favorite to be the main runner. Goodson could see an uptick in work from his previous four years but that still doesn't mean he'll have fantasy value beyond being a handcuff for Chris Ivory. Goodson can be a capable receiver as well and should see the field at least in some passing situations. His job with the Jets is tenuous at best after being arrested for drug and gun charges.

Frank Gore - SFO YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 18
Keeper: 32
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 12%
2010 SFO 11 1305 5 203 853 4.2 3 46 452 2
2011 SFO 16 1325 8 282 1211 4.3 8 17 114  
2012 SFO 16 1448 9 258 1214 4.7 8 28 234 1
Avg   14 1359 7 248 1093 4.4 6 30 267 1
Proj SFO   1320 9   1100   8 27 220 1

Gore turned 30 in April and has already grabbed the franchise record for all-time rushing. He is bound to start his decline soon but so far - no real signs. In each of the three playoff games he ran for 90+ yards and at least one touchdown. His regular season totals included a second best mark for rushing yards (1214) and he gained 4.7 yards per carry despite facing more eight man fronts than any other runner. Gore continues to have only a marginal role as a receiver and his eight rushing scores last year was the second best of his career. That limits his upside and he did just turn 30 years old. But he lasted a full 16 games for the last two seasons while having nearly mirror-image years. He remains consistently good and yet almost never great.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis - CIN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 35
Keeper: 40
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 4%
2010 NEP 16 1093 13 229 1008 4.4 13 12 85  
2011 NEP 16 826 11 181 667 3.7 11 9 159  
2012 CIN 15 1198 6 278 1094 3.9 6 22 104  
Avg   16 1039 10 229 923 4.0 10 14 116 0
Proj CIN   780 6   640   6 15 140  

(-Risk) This will be a situation that may not be clear until well into the regular season. It may be an evolving situation. And not because of Green-Ellis. He remains the same average player he has always been. He gained 1094 yards on 278 carries for the Bengals last year which was only a 3.9 YPC. He was basically no different than what Cedric Benson had given them. Cedric Peerman and Brian Leonard both ran around 50 times each but they offered little improvement. Bernard Scott was lost last year to an ACL tear but he never grabbed any real workload. The Bengals drafted Giovani Bernard with their 2.05 pick as the first back taken and his success will dictate the role that all others will play. Early word is that he's likely destined for the third down role of the committee and likely some work that is more than merely relief of Green-Ellis. Until there is clarity here, and there simply may not be, Green-Ellis deserves a major downgrade and is a risk to rely on for anything beyond short yardage and goal line carries.

Shonn Greene - TEN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 50
Keeper: 49
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 NYJ 15 886 2 185 766 4.1 2 16 120  
2011 NYJ 16 1265 6 253 1054 4.2 6 30 211  
2012 NYJ 16 1214 8 276 1063 3.9 8 19 151  
Avg   16 1122 5 238 961 4.1 5 22 161 0
Proj TEN   450 6   400   6 8 50  

Greene ends his four seasons in New York and now becomes the #2 in Tennessee where he will provide some change of pace (from really fast to pretty slow apparently) and the goal line/short yardage carries. That will help to keep Chris Johnson fresher and healthier and play more into what strength Greene does have. Greene can't move the pile too far, but he can move it and he should pick up a few scores along the way. The question is if he'll merit any fantasy attention and the early reply would be - probably not. Sure, Lendale White racked up 15 touchdowns to Johnson's nine back in 2008 but this is an entirely different team in every regard. Last year the Titans ranked dead last in running back rushing attempts (306) and only scored nine times via the run. The line is better and that will help. But the quarterback situation may well deny many goal line opportunities. Greene is a reasonable draft pick for the Johnson owner but he'll look more attractive in your draft than he'll likely end up being. Even in New York, he only averaged four touchdowns per season.

Roy Helu - WAS YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 63
Keeper: 68
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 WAS 15 1019 3 151 640 4.2 2 49 379 1
2012 WAS 3 47   2 2 1.0   7 45  
Avg   9 533 2 77 321 2.6 1 28 212 1
Proj WAS   430 1   250   1 19 180  

Helu was a complete flop last year and witnessed Alfred Morris steal away the entirety of the running back work load. Helu has proven to be fragile and is coming off toe surgery. No reason to draft this year and likely any. He moment came and went in 2011.

Peyton Hillis - NYG YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 83
Keeper: 84
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 CLE 16 1654 13 270 1177 4.4 11 61 477 2
2011 CLE 10 717 3 161 587 3.6 3 22 130  
2012 KCC 13 371 1 85 309 3.6 1 10 62  
Avg   13 914 6 172 691 3.9 5 31 223 1
Proj NYG   100 1   100   1      

Hillis signed with the Buccaneers in late July and will add into the motley mix of potential backups for Doug Martin. Hillis may end up competing for either running back or fullback depth and has no real fantasy value barring a surprise in training camp.

Ronnie Hillman - DEN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 42
Keeper: 45
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 DEN 14 389 1 84 327 3.9 1 10 62  
Avg   14 389 1 84 327 3.9 1 10 62 0
Proj DEN   690 4   500   3 22 190 1

Hillman's rookie year was largely a wash and by the end of the year his weight was down to only 180 pounds - hardly enough to withstand a RB workload much less move any pile. He was expected to play a bigger role as a third down back and relief player but only ran 85 times for 330 yards (3.9) and caught just 10 passes for 62 yards. A full off season of conditioning should see him better this year but his use is so sporadic that he doesn't really carry much fantasy value. The intention is to use him more and in particular on passing downs. But he's a marginal pick so far and not even reliable for anything should the #1 back get injured as we saw last year.

Kendall Hunter - SFO YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 46
Keeper: 42
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 SFO 16 668 2 112 473 4.2 2 16 195  
2012 SFO 11 431 2 72 371 5.2 2 9 60  
Avg   14 550 2 92 422 4.7 2 13 128 0
Proj SFO   600 4   420   3 24 180 1

Hunter missed the final five weeks of 2012 because he a torn Achilles tendon that required surgery. He's not expected to be able to participate in OTA's and mini-camps but he is reported to be ready for the opening of training camp. This will make the third season that he acts as the primary backup for Gore. That role has yet to offer any real fantasy value and while he is the handcuff for Gore, these last two seasons have seen Gore remain healthy in every week. Hunter's outlook will change if he is not ready in training camp or suffers a setback, but in the best case he still makes sense to draft only for the Gore owner.

Mark Ingram - NOS YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 32
Keeper: 30
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 6%
2010                      
2011 NOS 10 520 5 122 474 3.9 5 11 46  
2012 NOS 16 631 5 156 602 3.9 5 6 29  
Avg   13 576 5 139 538 3.9 5 9 38 0
Proj NOS   810 8   780   8 5 30  

Two seasons in New Orleans and Ingram so far has displayed no real progress or positive change. A full season in 2012 only resulted in 156 carries for 602 yards (3.9) and he scored five times. He has no real role as a receiver and in most weeks ended up with around 10 touches. Ingram saw an unusually heavy load in the final weeks of last year when he was running 14+ times per game but that still only had a moderate yardage as a runner, no receptions and only occasionally a touchdown. This time the Saints are more optimistic that Ingram is over toe and knee injuries of the past and is finally completely healthy in an offense that at least says it wants to run more in 2013. He's not going to be a true primary back in this committee offense but this should be his best year so far - how much better remains to be seen.

Chris Ivory - NYJ YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 28
Keeper: 24
Auction 10: 7%
Auction 12: 7%
2010 NOS 12 733 5 137 716 5.2 5 1 17  
2011 NOS 6 374 1 79 374 4.7 1      
2012 NOS 6 232 2 40 217 5.4 2 2 15  
Avg   8 446 3 85 436 5.1 3 1 11 0
Proj NYJ   1190 6   1000   6 25 190  

(+Upside) No doubt that Ivory will be a very common "sleeper" for many and likely overdrafted in many leagues. On the face of it, what is not to like? He inherits the softest running back schedule in the NFL. He has little competition for carries though Joe McKnight misguidedly thinks publicly that he has some shot at being the primary. The Jets will want to run the ball as much as they can. And Ivory has a career rushing average of 5.1 yards. A bit of reality here - Ivory never had more than 137 carries for the Saints in any season. He has never played more than 12 games in any year and the last two seasons only showed up in six games each. And he is the #4 running back in New Orleans for a reason. Oh yes, and it is rather doubtful that the defenses cared when Chris Ivory trotted onto the field when they were facing the #1 passing attack in the NFL. This year, Ivory goes from being a little used #4 from the best passing team in the league to being a primary back for one of the worst passing teams in the league. Ivory will discover what it is like when half the defenders don't automatically start sprinting backwards at every snap. That all said though - who else are Jets going to use and the schedule is really kind.

Steven Jackson - ATL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 13
Keeper: 23
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 15%
2010 STL 16 1624 6 330 1241 3.8 6 46 383  
2011 STL 15 1478 6 260 1145 4.4 5 42 333 1
2012 STL 16 1363 4 257 1042 4.1 4 38 321  
Avg   16 1488 5 282 1143 4.1 5 42 346 0
Proj ATL   1420 10   1040   10 42 380  

Jackson remains the elder statesman of running backs with far more carries than any other starting back. He's also 30 years old with those balding tires and has slowed down for the last two seasons when he was limited to around 260 rushes in both. But he has an eight-year streak of 1000 yard rushing seasons and has been good for around 35+ receptions each year. He replaces Michael Turner which is significant because the Falcons have been producing double-digit rushing scores. Even last season, Turner accounted for 800 rush yards and 10 touchdowns. Jackson is on the decline but he should be a lock to repeat the 10+ touchdowns. Turner rushed for 1300+ yards in the two previous seasons. Jackson doesn't have a lot of upside but should be safe for an RB2 level of production.

Fred Jackson - BUF YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 39
Keeper: 73
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 3%
2010 BUF 16 1142 7 222 927 4.2 5 31 215 2
2011 BUF 10 1376 6 170 934 5.5 6 39 442  
2012 BUF 10 654 4 115 437 3.8 3 34 217 1
Avg   12 1057 6 169 766 4.5 5 35 291 1
Proj BUF   770 3   550   3 25 220  

(-Risk) Jackson finally showed his age last year when he suffered from the right LCL sprain and right MCL sprain that ruined his 2012 season. He sprained his right LCL in week one and missed three games and then again in week 14 when he had a Grade 2 MCL sprain. He claimed to never really get over that week one injury and his 3.8 ypc agrees he was not the same. He was limited to only 115 runs for 437 yards and scored just four times. He will be part of a committee again with C.J. Spiller but at the age of 32, there is no reason to expect him to be more than the minor player last year. He's worth a pick as a Spiller owner but is not expected to have enough fantasy value himself to merit a start otherwise.

Mike James - TBB YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 56
Keeper: 54
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj TBB   480 3   380   3 12 100  

The Bucs traded up to grab James with the 6.21 pick and there is a need to find a new #3 now that Blount left. James will compete with the Michael Smith to take the #2 role but even the winner is not fantasy relevant other than an insurance pick for the Doug Martin owner. Last year all Tampa Bay besides Martin combined for only 200 yards. There is not any real value here aside from covering an injury and a good chance that the Bucs end up grabbing a veteran back for backup before the season starts.

08-18-13 Update: He has looked terrific in preseason games but he'll still be no better than a handcuff for the Martin owner.

LaMichael James - SFO YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 72
Keeper: 66
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 SFO 4 154   27 125 4.6   3 29  
Avg   4 154 0 27 125 4.6 0 3 29 0
Proj SFO   310 1   230   1 10 80  

James enters his second season and has yet to display any of the open field skill that made him so dangerous at Oregon. He started to play only once Kendall Hunter was injured and even then he never gained more than 49 yards in any game and scored only once during the playoffs. James remains the #3 back and even if Kendall Hunter is injured and James moves up the depth chart, the 49ers are not going to ever give a full workload to the 5-9, 195 pound back.

Rashad Jennings - NYG YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 45
Keeper: 65
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 JAC 13 682 4 84 459 5.5 4 26 223  
2011 JAC                    
2012 JAC 10 413 2 101 283 2.8 2 19 130  
Avg   8 365 2 62 247 2.8 2 15 118 0
Proj NYG   690 3   450   3 38 240  

Jennings comes over from the Jaguars where he finally got the change to be a starting running back. He replaced Maurice Jones-Drew and after gaining a whopping 283 yards on 101 carries (2.8 YPC), he was benched and allowed to leave. Darren McFadden will get injured and will need someone to take his place. Nothing says Jennings will do anything with that opportunity either.

Chris Johnson - NYJ YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 12
Keeper: 11
Auction 10: 13%
Auction 12: 16%
2010 TEN 16 1609 12 316 1364 4.3 11 44 245 1
2011 TEN 16 1465 4 262 1047 4.0 4 57 418  
2012 TEN 16 1475 6 276 1243 4.5 6 36 232  
Avg   16 1516 7 285 1218 4.3 7 46 298 0
Proj NYJ   1690 7   1300   6 42 390 1

Johnson had a bounce back year of sorts after a horrible 2011 campaign. He rushed for 1243 yards and added 36 catches for 232 more yards but only scored six times. His reception total was also the lowest of his career and a product of the new offense installed last year. And now Shonn Greene is on board to reprise the same "Lendale White" role from Johnson's rookie season. The offensive line has improved and the schedule is about average. But the Titans are still limited with a shaky quarterback situation. Johnson may improve incrementally in yardage, but he is not being used as a receiver as much in this offense and will lose at least some carries and most of the shorter touchdowns to Greene.

Felix Jones - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 85
Keeper: 79
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 DAL 16 1250 2 185 800 4.3 1 48 450 1
2011 DAL 12 796 1 127 575 4.5 1 33 221  
2012 DAL 16 664 5 111 402 3.6 3 25 262 2
Avg   15 903 3 141 592 4.1 2 35 311 1
Proj FA   110     100     1 10  

Jones latches onto the Eagles for a paltry $780,000 one-year contract. The Eagles intend on running more but unlikely that will mean much to Jones with LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown entrenched. Jones could end up with special teams duties.

08-31-13 Update: With Jonathan Dwyer released, Jones will have at least a minor role.

Maurice Jones-Drew - OAK YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 14
Keeper: 16
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 14%
2010 JAC 14 1641 7 299 1324 4.4 5 34 317 2
2011 JAC 16 1980 11 343 1606 4.7 8 43 374 3
2012 JAC 6 500 2 86 414 4.8 1 14 86 1
Avg   12 1374 7 243 1115 4.6 5 30 259 2
Proj OAK   1450 9   1300   8 18 150 1

Jones-Drew will be an interesting one this season and a risky draft pick. Last year he held out until right before the season, came back with his tail between his legs and then was lost for the season six games later because of a LisFranc injury. The injury is hoped to be completely healed by training camp but once again Jones-Drew will need to learn a new offense. OC Jedd Fisch is installing a zone blocking scheme that will at least take the offensive line some time to learn. The Jags say they will revisit MJD's contract after the season so he needs to show up big this season to get a big contract - with whatever team it ends up being. MJD turns 28 and has just one more decent contract left to sign. But it will be tougher with a new offensive scheme as we saw in Oakland last year. One advantage with MJD - he has three straight home games during weeks 14 - 16.

Eddie Lacy - GBP YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 21
Keeper: 20
Auction 10: 6%
Auction 12: 7%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj GBP   1220 8   1000   7 25 220 1

The Packers used their 2.29 pick on the player some expected to end up with them in the first round. Despite falling to be the 4th running back drafted, the needle is certainly pointing up for this Alabama bruiser who finished 2012 with 1,322 rush yards on 204 carries (6.5 YPC) and scored 17 touchdowns. He fell on concerns with his health – he was a big back who picked up foot and ankle injuries in college plus a concern that he has been a workhorse and could wear down earlier in his career. But he is also considered a very tough runner with some moves and is an accomplished receiver out of the backfield. More than all that, he ends up in Green Bay where the Packers already mention him as an every down back and he won’t ever face an eight-man front thanks to Aaron Rodgers. But he won’t run 25 times in any game and maybe not even 20 but he will get goal line opportunities. The Packers also drafted the highly ranked Johnathan Franklin who could end up as the complement to Lacy as the smaller, third-down back. It won't take much for Lacy to be considered successful. The Packers have ranked no better than 30th in running back rushing yardage for the last three seasons.

Marcus Lattimore - SFO YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 92
Keeper: 92
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj SFO   10     10          

There is some speculation that Lattimore will never completely recover from the horrific knee injury that ended his college career. He had already torn an ACL in 2011 and then he shredded his right ACL, PCL, and LCL last October in a much- replayed "highlight". Had Lattimore never injured a knee, he was considered a lock to be a top ten pick in the draft and a star in the NFL. The 49ers are almost certain to let him recuperate all year and then see what he can do in 2014 - not unlike they did when they drafted Frank Gore. Lattimore is not to be drafted in a redraft league but has some speculative value in a dynasty league. His risk means don't spend anything more on him that you can afford to throw away.

Mikel Leshoure - DET YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 60
Keeper: 53
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 DET                    
2012 DET 14 1012 9 215 798 3.7 9 34 214  
Avg   7 506 5 108 399 1.9 5 17 107 0
Proj DET   450 2   300   2 16 150  

The addition of Reggie Bush affects all running backs but less so LeShoure who will still handle a lot of the rushing work while the Lions employ Bush more in the Saints mode where he is primarily a receiver. That will cap with Leshoure does as a receiver to be sure, but his 215 carries of last year could happen again. He never gained more than 20 yards on any run and averaged just 3.7 yards but ran in nine touchdowns.

07-28-13 Update: LeShoure has been playing behind Joique Bell in camp and may not even remain the #2 behind Reggie Bush despite his heavier use last season. LeShoure offers a different style of running to Bush though while Bell is more like Bush.

Marshawn Lynch - SEA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 5
Keeper: 9
Auction 10: 18%
Auction 12: 22%
2010 BUF 16 882 6 202 737 3.6 6 22 145  
2011 SEA 15 1416 13 285 1204 4.2 12 28 212 1
2012 SEA 16 1786 12 315 1590 5.0 11 23 196 1
Avg   16 1361 10 267 1177 4.3 10 24 184 1
Proj SEA   1740 12   1500   12 30 240  

Lynch turned in a dominating performance last year, rushing for a career best 1590 yards and averaging 5.0 per run. He scored 12 touchdowns in all and added 23 receptions for 196 yards. At the age of 27, Lynch is in his absolute prime and in an offense that loves to turn him into a workhorse. He was a top 5 back in most fantasy scoring rules and is granted one of the softest rushing schedules in the league again this year. He should be a lock for another great year that offers consistent production every week. His lack of receptions compared to other elite backs is balanced by his scoring and heavy load every game.

Doug Martin - TBB YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 2
Keeper: 1
Auction 10: 23%
Auction 12: 27%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 TBB 16 1926 12 319 1454 4.6 11 49 472 1
Avg   16 1926 12 319 1454 4.6 11 49 472 1
Proj TBB   1960 13   1500   12 50 460 1

Martin had a rookie season that harkened back to the glory days of running backs. He ended as the #2 fantasy back trailing only Adrian Peterson. He ran for 1454 yards and added 49 catches for 472 yards with a total of 12 touchdowns. He got better as the season progressed, running for over 120 yards in five of his final ten games. Martin once again gets one of the softer rushing schedules and his role as a receiver ensures that there is never a week that he doesn't turn in good stats.

Ryan Mathews - SDC YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 24
Keeper: 27
Auction 10: 7%
Auction 12: 8%
2010 SDC 12 823 7 158 678 4.3 7 22 145  
2011 SDC 14 1546 6 222 1091 4.9 6 50 455  
2012 SDC 12 959 1 184 707 3.8 1 39 252  
Avg   13 1109 5 188 825 4.3 5 37 284 0
Proj SDC   1180 7   980   7 24 200  

(-Risk) (+Upside) Mathews no longer has running back guru Norv Turner around. His 2012 campaign was billed by the team as the breakout year for a new workhorse back. It never happened. Mathews once again is being called a talented back that the Chargers are looking to get more involved and even become a "bellcow" (Part IV). No one is buying it anymore. Mathews started out last year with a broken clavicle and missed the first two games. He ended 2012 by breaking the very same clavicle and missed the last two weeks. In three seasons, he's never missed fewer than two games and comes off a 3.8 YPC with just one touchdown. 2011 was a year that may end up legendary for Mathews who ran for 1091 yards, caught 50 passes for 455 yards and scored a total of six times. And he only missed two games. The only move the Chargers made that impacts the backfield was adding Danny Woodhead who probably would have been out of the league by now had he not played for the Patriots. Woodhead will be seeded in during the season and Mathews is more likely part of a committee and that is when he is healthy. He has some upside if only because he would wildly exceed expectations if he could ever remain healthy and meet the promise his first round draft pick suggested. The line is being upgraded but is still a work in progress.

Dexter McCluster - TEN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 89
Keeper: 86
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 KCC 11 280 1 18 71 3.9   21 209 1
2011 KCC 16 844 2 114 516 4.5 1 46 328 1
2012 KCC 16 522 1 12 70 5.8   52 452 1
Avg   14 549 1 48 219 4.7 0 40 330 1
Proj TEN   460 1   60     35 400 1

McCluster can play a number of roles in the new Andy Reid WCO offense and his official designation may be RB or WR. He'll play special teams. He'll be moved all over the field. And in the end he still won't have any real fantasy value you can count on. It is the curse of the 'tweeners'.

LeSean McCoy - PHI YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 10
Keeper: 10
Auction 10: 13%
Auction 12: 16%
2010 PHI 15 1672 9 207 1080 5.2 7 78 592 2
2011 PHI 15 1624 20 273 1309 4.8 17 48 315 3
2012 PHI 12 1213 5 200 840 4.2 2 54 373 3
Avg   14 1503 11 227 1076 4.7 9 60 427 3
Proj PHI   1540 12   1210   10 34 330 2

(+Upside) McCoy certainly looks more attractive this year in a high- powered offense (on paper anyway) that wants to seriously increase the number of plays which only means good things in fantasy football. How this plays out with McCoy is not 100% certain. He may lose a few of the 60+ receptions he received each year in Andy Reid's west coast offense. Not that it is 1:1 by any means, but at Oregon the lead back never had more than 20 receptions in any of his four seasons (Kenjon Barner). This offense will seek to increase the amount of rushes at least incrementally and possibly significantly. HC Chip Kelly's offense averaged 39 carries per game last year. That is not to say Kelly won't use what works best, but heavier workload for McCoy may not play out well. He has missed one to three games per season since 2009 and he has never carries more than 273 times in a year. In fact, he has only 2011 when he ran more than 207 times. While there are unknowns and some concerns, McCoy in this offense should be very productive as long as he remains healthy. Taking McCoy and doubling down with Bryce Brown could end up a very strong play likely to exceed their draft slots. One caveat here - the Eagles have the toughest rushing schedule in the league this year. That will have some effect.

Darren McFadden - OAK YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 20
Keeper: 13
Auction 10: 9%
Auction 12: 10%
2010 OAK 13 1664 10 223 1157 5.2 7 47 507 3
2011 OAK 7 768 5 113 614 5.4 4 19 154 1
2012 OAK 12 965 3 216 707 3.3 2 42 258 1
Avg   11 1132 6 184 826 4.6 4 36 306 2
Proj OAK   1400 6   1050   5 40 350 1

(-Risk) (+Upside) McFadden's stats took a nosedive last year when the zone- blocking rushing scheme was the opposite of the "hit the hole and go" skill he has. His average run went down from 5.4 YPC to only 3.3 YPC. That was the lowest in franchise history for any team runner with 150+ carries. He also missed four games with an ankle sprain making it all five years in the NFL that he has failed to play a full season. His best year so far was 2010 when he lasted a career high 13 games and ran for 1157 yards on 223 carries with seven scores. He also added a career best 47 catches for 507 yards as well. The power rushing game being installed will be better suited to the skills of McFadden. But despite his occasional teasing performance, he has to be expected to miss at least a handful of games. The passing game for Oakland doesn't look particularly threatening either. The situation is better this year but his risk is undeniable.

Rashard Mendenhall - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 30
Keeper: 29
Auction 10: 5%
Auction 12: 7%
2010 PIT 16 1440 13 324 1273 3.9 13 23 167  
2011 PIT 15 1082 9 228 928 4.1 9 18 154  
2012 PIT 6 244 1 51 182 3.6   9 62 1
Avg   12 922 8 201 794 3.9 7 17 128 0
Proj FA   1090 5   900   5 22 190  

Enters his sixth season and comes off a very bad 2012 when he struggled to get over his knee injury of 2011. He’s not been healthy for two years but that is – hopefully – no longer an issue this year. Mendenhall peaked in 2010 with 1273 rush yards and 13 touchdowns but that season now stands out as an aberration. His problem too is that the Cardinals have ranked in the bottom five in rushing attempts and yards for as long as they have made pencils to record it. As a team, they only managed a paltry 3.1 yards per carry last year. Mendenhall reunites with his PIT OC Bruce Arians who is now the Cards head coach and was there for all of the successful years for Mendenhall. It is largely a motley crew in Arizona with the ever-injured Ryan Williams as the #2 and two rookies on board to contend for playing time. Mendenhall is not in a great place historically but he’s likely to be drafted low enough to be a value pick. He’s only averaged 3.9 yards per carry over his career. The Cards did spend their first pick on OG Cooper and the line play is expected to improve this year.

Christine Michael - SEA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 55
Keeper: 47
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj SEA   550 2   350   1 20 200 1

The Seahawks used their 2.30 pick on Michael simply because he was the highest rated player on their draft board and they were not looking to fill immediate needs. Robert Turbin will continue to be the #2 back and Michael's value to the team won't be seen for at least a year or two thanks to a durable Marshawn Lynch. He's a safe bet to make the team and figure in later but he's expected to be just running back depth this year.

Lamar Miller - MIA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 25
Keeper: 22
Auction 10: 7%
Auction 12: 8%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 MIA 13 295 1 51 250 4.9 1 6 45  
Avg   13 295 1 51 250 4.9 1 6 45 0
Proj MIA   1160 7   900   6 30 260 1

Miller is expected to win the starting job this summer if only because he is not Daniel Thomas who ran 91 times last year and only gained 325 yards (3.6) and lost two fumbles. Miller only ran 51 times but gained 250 yards (4.9 YPC) and the team likes him enough that they did not get any real competition to the primary rushing job. He will have to win it this summer but it is almost a foregone conclusion that he will be replacing Reggie Bush. There is some upside here but the offense overall does not appear that upgraded so expecting more rushing opportunities may be optimistic. Miller won't be any better than a very low-end RB2.

08-21-13 Update: According to OC Mike Sherman, Miller has not won the job outright against Daniel Thomas so he carries more risk now. Miller is the better back and that should be proven again, but Sherman is more than kind talking about Thomas.

Knowshon Moreno - MIA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 78
Keeper: 82
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 DEN 13 1151 8 182 779 4.3 5 37 372 3
2011 DEN 7 280 1 37 179 4.8   11 101 1
2012 DEN 8 695 4 139 528 3.8 4 21 167  
Avg   9 709 4 119 495 4.3 3 23 213 1
Proj MIA   180 1   150   1 4 30  

Moreno was a surprise at the end of last season when he replaced - rather capably - the injured Willis McGahee. But he ended the year with a badly sprained knee right when they needed him the most. He'll return to being just a depth player once again and in most weeks last year he was not even active for games. He is coming off arthroscopic surgery on his knee but that is not expected to be the reason why he is not a starter again.

Alfred Morris - WAS YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 11
Keeper: 12
Auction 10: 14%
Auction 12: 19%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 WAS 16 1690 13 335 1613 4.8 13 11 77  
Avg   16 1690 13 335 1613 4.8 13 11 77 0
Proj WAS   1480 13   1400   12 12 80 1

Morris was one of the bigger surprises last year and yet another "gotcha" foisted on fantasy football by Mike Shanahan. The sixth-round pick ended up second in the NFL with 1613 rushing yards and ranked in the top 5 among fantasy backs in most leagues. He rushed for more yards than any rookie since Eric Dickerson in 1983. He has almost no role as a receiver but with around 20 carries in every game he provides consistent points each week and scores in half of his matchups. His totals were no doubt helped by a week 17 beat down of the Cowboys when he rushed for 200 yards and three scores. Morris worked hard in the offseason to avoid a sophomore slump and the only things working against him will be the health of Robert Griffin and his schedule shapes up to be tougher in 2013 when he doesn't face any of the top 20 easiest venues until week 14 and week 15. He doesn't have a lot of upside above what he did last year but then again the Skins love to ride him and that creates very little downside.

DeMarco Murray - DAL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 19
Keeper: 17
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 10%
2010                      
2011 DAL 13 1080 2 164 897 5.5 2 26 183  
2012 DAL 10 914 4 161 663 4.1 4 35 251  
Avg   12 997 3 163 780 4.8 3 31 217 0
Proj DAL   1300 8   1000   8 35 300  

(-Risk) Murray fell to the third round in 2011 thanks to a history of injuries at Oklahoma. Never a major injury, just constant dings and dents. So far in two seasons, Murray has averaged 4.8 yards per carry and been a decent receiver as well. And he continues to be injured. After missing three games as a rookie, he was gone for six last year. His lack of durability is a fantasy killer because he is not reliable. The rushing schedule for the Cowboys is also one of the worst ones they faced in years. Murray was a top runner in the NFL for a four game stretch in midseason of 2011 when he turned in three of four games with 130+ rushing yards and even set a Cowboys record with 253 yards against the Rams. But he only managed one 100 yard game last year and that was in the opening week. Even when Murray was playing last year he was battling a sore foot. By this point, he is a risky choice for a RB1 though he usually delivers a few nice games. If he ever strings 16 straight games healthy, he could easily be top ten. So far that has not happened and the schedule is tougher this year than in his previous two seasons.

Isaiah Pead - STL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 49
Keeper: 46
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 STL 15 70   10 54 5.4   3 16  
Avg   15 70 0 10 54 5.4 0 3 16 0
Proj STL   650 3   450   3 18 200  

The Rams used their 2012 2.18 pick on Pead to be the change of pace back and future replacement for Steven Jackson. Pead is smallish at 5-10, 198 lbs but was an electrifying runner with a 4.4/40 and an accomplished receiver and blocker in college. He was the first running back drafted by then new HC Jeff Fisher. But Pead was almost never used, ending with only 10 rushes for 54 yards. The Rams went more with seventh rounder Daryl Richardson in part because he was better at pass protection. But Fisher has already said that he still has confidence in Pead and that he was in the mix for 2013. He is comfortable with the backs already on the roster and that should end up with a committee between Pead and Richardson. Fisher doesn't have much of history using committees and as such training camp will be of great interest. The Rams backfield is still developing but Pead is not to be forgotten. He essentially red-shirted last year.

05-31-13 Update: It was just announced that Pead will serve a one-game suspension for some unknown violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. This should have no real bearing on his role and place on the team.

08-18-13 Update: Pead has fallen back in the race for the starting role that will go to Daryl Richardson. Pead remains just the #2 in STL.

Adrian Peterson - MIN YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 1
Keeper: 2
Auction 10: 25%
Auction 12: 28%
2010 MIN 15 1639 13 283 1298 4.6 12 36 341 1
2011 MIN 12 1109 13 208 970 4.7 12 18 139 1
2012 MIN 16 2314 13 348 2097 6.0 12 40 217 1
Avg   14 1687 13 280 1455 5.1 12 31 232 1
Proj MIN   1880 17   1550   15 35 330 2

What to think? He blows three ligaments in his knee and eight months later he embarks on one of the greatest seasons by any running back in NFL history. He runs 348 times and gained 2097 yards. He averaged a career best 6.0 yards per carry. He basically was the entirety of the Vikings offense. Now he says he wants to rush for 2500 yards this year. Why not? He is not bound by the laws of nature. Peterson does have a tougher rushing schedule than he did in 2012 but he's far bigger than his schedule. He's bound to see a decrease this year but he's already proven everyone wrong before.

Bernard Pierce - BAL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 44
Keeper: 43
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 BAL 16 579 1 108 532 4.9 1 7 47  
Avg   16 579 1 108 532 4.9 1 7 47 0
Proj BAL   720 3   670   3 8 50  

(+Upside) Pierce was a big surprise when he really came on strong after mid-season of 2012. Through week eight, he accumulated only 23 runs for 122 yards. The next nine games served up 85 runs for 410 yards and he ended with a 4.9 yard per carry average. Ray Rice takes care of all goal line work and is the receiving back as well. But Pierce came on strong and even topped 100 rush yards in two of the final three games. He still remains outside of a fantasy starter and his lack of any work as a receiver limits him even further. But he is a must-have handcuff for the Ray Rice owner and should see at least incremental increases this year.

Bilal Powell - NYJ YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 43
Keeper: 58
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2010                      
2011 NYJ 2 28   13 21 1.6   1 7  
2012 NYJ 14 577 4 110 437 4.0 4 17 140  
Avg   8 303 2 62 229 2.8 2 9 74 0
Proj NYJ   810 2   580   2 25 230  

Powell is the #2 RB to start camp and has little competition. His upside is almost non-existent but with Chris Ivory injury- prone, the Jets could be looking for more than a few relief carries during the season.

Bobby Rainey - TBB YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 58
Keeper: 72
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj TBB   430 3   350   2 10 80 1

No analysis available.

Joseph Randle - DAL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 61
Keeper: 63
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj DAL   440 2   300   2 15 140  

Randle remains a Cowboy, leaving Oklahoma State for Dallas where he's already been appointed as the #2 back behind perpetually injured DeMarco Murray. Randle fell to the 5.18 pick despite having second to third round grades by many scouts. While Randle ran for 1417 yards and 14 scores last year replacing the punch lost by Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon leaving for the NFL, he did that in a wide-open spread offense. He does leave college with 108 receptions and can provide both third down and relief work for Murray. He was also dinged for running with an upright style that doesn't fare as well at the next level. But he plays behind a back who has been missing games every year and with that is a must draft for the Murray owner. Knowing the history of Murray, Randle is not a bad steal later in the draft.

Isaac Redman - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 37
Keeper: 55
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 4%
2010 PIT 16 319 2 52 247 4.8   9 72 2
2011 PIT 16 557 3 110 479 4.4 3 18 78  
2012 PIT 14 654 2 110 410 3.7 2 19 244  
Avg   15 510 2 91 379 4.3 2 15 131 1
Proj FA   740 4   500   4 20 240  

Most speculation has Redman now in front of Jonathan Dwyer for the #2 role but that won't be as productive a spot as in recent years. The addition of rookie Le'von Bell has sparked a willingness to just ride one back and reduce the committee approach. Redman has really never been good for much more than spot duty and now becomes just a handcuff for the Bell owner. Should Bell go down, the Steelers might end up back with their split backfield of Dwyer and Redman anyway.

Ray Rice - BAL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 6
Keeper: 5
Auction 10: 17%
Auction 12: 22%
2010 BAL 16 1776 6 307 1220 4.0 5 63 556 1
2011 BAL 16 2068 15 291 1364 4.7 12 76 704 3
2012 BAL 16 1621 10 257 1143 4.4 9 61 478 1
Avg   16 1822 10 285 1242 4.4 9 67 579 2
Proj BAL   1830 9   1200   7 63 630 2

Rice was no worse than the #2 overall draft pick in most fantasy leagues last year. He was coming off a season with 2068 total yards and 15 touchdowns. What happened in 2013 was less about him and more about Bernard Pierce getting so much work. Rice had a lower yards per carry (4.7 to 4.4) and yards per catch (9.3 to 7.8). He still ended up around 5th best or so for running backs depending on the scoring rules used. His problem was that he slipped from being a huge difference maker to being just a really good fantasy running back. The same offense is in place and the Ravens will want to run no less. The schedule strength is not good here but it rarely is anyway. Rice has less upside with Pierce around but still remains a solid pick - just one that is less likely to outperform his draft spot. The absence of Anquan Boldin may end up giving Rice more receptions.

Daryl Richardson - NYJ YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 23
Keeper: 28
Auction 10: 7%
Auction 12: 8%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 STL 16 638   98 475 4.8   24 163  
Avg   16 638 0 98 475 4.8 0 24 163 0
Proj NYJ   1220 7   970   6 26 250 1

Richardson stepped in to provide a complement to Steven Jackson last year though by week 13 his use almost entirely faded. He still ended with 475 yards on 98 carries and notched a 4.8 yard per carry average. He added 24 receptions for 163 yards. He was a low-end bye week filler for as long as he lasted but never scored. He'll now be in a committee with Isaiah Pead to some measure and may not be the primary back. Training camp should help sort this out and there will be a darkhorse in the race with rookie Zac Stacy also a potential factor. For now - the Rams backfield looks less fantasy relevant than it has in more than a decade but that could change if Fisher elects to ride just one back as he usually ends up doing.

08-20-13 Update: Named the starter for week one, he has already outplayed Pead. There will still be some amount of committee present.

Trent Richardson - IND YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 4
Keeper: 4
Auction 10: 22%
Auction 12: 24%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 CLE 15 1317 12 267 950 3.6 11 51 367 1
Avg   15 1317 12 267 950 3.6 11 51 367 1
Proj IND   1710 13   1220   12 53 490 1

(+Upside) Both Richardson and Doug Martin reversed a decade long trend that said rookie running backs did not matter. Both ended up top ten in the league and in the case of Richardson, he did it despite playing for one of the worst offenses. He ran 267 times for 950 yards and 11 rushing scores and added 51 receptions for 367 yards and one score. Bringing in Norv Turner to be the offensive coordinator can only mean even bigger and better things for Richardson. He's already a top ten back and that's going to remain for many years.

Theo Riddick - DET YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 91
Keeper: 91
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj DET   30     30          

The Lions 6.31 pick was the lead back for the Fighting Irish last year and turned in a 4.8 YPC on his 190 runs. At 5-10, 201 he is not as big as most straight-line runners are and he only managed a 4.68/40 at the combine. He's no lock to make the team.

Stevan Ridley - NEP YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 15
Keeper: 15
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 14%
2010                      
2011 NEP 14 454 1 87 441 5.1 1 3 13  
2012 NEP 16 1314 12 290 1263 4.4 12 6 51  
Avg   15 884 7 189 852 4.8 7 5 32 0
Proj NEP   1360 10   1200   10 21 160  

Ridley is a prime example of how important it is to land on the right team. The third-round pick of 2011 easily outdistanced all his other class mates when his second season produced 1263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Those came in 11 different games and he had a six game touchdown streak going at one time. His role as a receiver is minimal. But he's a near lock for 70+ rush yards every week and there were only six regular season games when he didn't score. Shane Vereen is a threat to share more carries but that was true the last two years with little results. Vereen is the only thing standing in the way of Ridley and a big year. This should - should - be a great year for Ridley with the Patriots enjoying a very light rushing schedule and the passing game needing to find a new chemistry and tempo with so many new receivers. There will always be some risk with a NE back, but Ridley paid off handsomely last year.

Denard Robinson - JAC YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 68
Keeper: 67
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj JAC   280 2   230   2 4 50  

(+Upside) Robinson was the fifth-round pick by the Jaguars and it has been settled that he'll be a running back. At Michigan, Robinson played quarterback but he was a running quarterback who ran for 4495 yards and scored 42 touchdowns. He was destined to become either a wide receiver or a running back in the NFL. He is only 5-10, 199 pounds but has 4.4/40 speed and is considered a gifted athlete who could play many roles. He could be shifted to receiver at some point but he already impressed in the rookie minicamp. He could become a very dangerous runner in the NFL but has to make that transition.An interesting deep pick in both redraft and dynasty leagues.

Jacquizz Rodgers - ATL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 52
Keeper: 36
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 ATL 16 393 2 57 205 3.6 1 21 188 1
2012 ATL 16 764 2 94 362 3.9 1 53 402 1
Avg   16 579 2 76 284 3.8 1 37 295 1
Proj ATL   650 2   350   1 35 300 1

The speedy back out of Oregon State enters his third season and there is still no reason to expect more than a third down role. He has never rushed for more than 3.9 yards per season or more than 94 times in a year. He has only two scores per year and his role as a receiver has been the only fantasy relevant aspect for him. In 2012, Rodgers caught 53 passes for 402 yards. He remains nothing more than a bye week filler in a league with reception points. Should Jackson become injured, Rodgers would not be the one with goal line carries or even much change in his workload.

Evan Royster - WAS YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 84
Keeper: 75
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 WAS 6 396   56 328 5.9   9 68  
2012 WAS 16 197 2 23 88 3.8 2 15 109  
Avg   11 297 1 40 208 4.9 1 12 89 0
Proj WAS   130     50     10 80  

Royster is the favorite to be the primary backup to Alfred Morris but last year that mean nearly nothing. The durable workhorse only left Royster run 23 times all year. There were only 39 carries that did not end up with Morris so there's no real handcuff here.

Da'Rel Scott - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 69
Keeper: 33
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 NYG 11 29   5 16 3.2   2 13  
2012 NYG 4 9   6 9 1.5        
Avg   8 19 0 6 13 2.4 0 1 7 0
Proj FA   280 2   250   2 6 30  

Injury to Andre Brown now thrusts Scott into being the #2 behind David Wilson. The third year player has only 11 career carries so far and the Giants may not stand pat on him being the #2.

Michael Smith - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 89
Keeper: 86
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj FA   60     50     2 10  

The seventh round pick out of Utah State never had a single carry last year. With Blount moved on, Smith will compete with the rookie Michael James to take the #2 role but even the winner is not fantasy relevant other than an insurance pick for the Doug Martin owner. Last year all Tampa Bay besides Martin combined for only 200 yards. There is not any real value here aside from covering an injury.

C.J. Spiller - BUF YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 7
Keeper: 7
Auction 10: 17%
Auction 12: 20%
2010 BUF 14 440 1 74 283 3.8   24 157 1
2011 BUF 16 830 6 107 561 5.2 4 39 269 2
2012 BUF 16 1703 8 207 1244 6.0 6 43 459 2
Avg   15 991 5 129 696 5.0 3 35 295 2
Proj BUF   1800 9   1300   7 60 500 2

(+Upside) This should be a banner year for Spiller who finally gets all the stars aligned. Fred Jackson is 32 years old and coming off major injuries. He's unlikely to take a prominent role though he will continue to figure in. Plus Spiller gets a new offense brought in by HC Doug Marrone and his OC Nathaniel Hackett both fresh from Syracuse. The offense should be much more of a fast-paced, no-huddle scheme that should really play into the speedy, open field ability of Spiller. Last year they allowed Spiller a heavier load once Jackson was out and he ended with 1244 yards while averaging a full six yards per carry. Add in his 43 catches for 459 yards and this should be a very nice season indeed. The Bills also get one of the lighter rushing schedules. Expect Spiller to be taken in the first round this summer.

08-08-13 Update: While troublesome that Spiller has never had more than 252 touches in any NFL or college season, the intention is to work him hard and he'll respond with big fantasy stats if he remains healthy.

Darren Sproles - PHI YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 22
Keeper: 26
Auction 10: 7%
Auction 12: 10%
2010 SDC 16 787 2 50 267 5.3   59 520 2
2011 NOS 16 1313 9 87 603 6.9 2 86 710 7
2012 NOS 13 911 8 48 244 5.1 1 75 667 7
Avg   15 1004 6 62 371 5.8 1 73 632 5
Proj PHI   1070 10   360   2 71 710 8

Sproles is 30 years old now and unlikely to do much as a rusher. Other than 2011, He's been stuck at around 200 to 300 rush yards every year. But two seasons with the Saints have produced 86 and 75 catches respectively with around 700 yards both years. He may start a down turn in a year or two but Sproles should be good to go for one more of the same.

Zac Stacy - STL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 70
Keeper: 62
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj STL   330 1   300   1 4 30  

The Rams used their 5.27 pick on the Vanderbilt runner. Stacy is a burly one at 5-8, 216 pounds and ran for a 5.7 yard average in college while scoring 24 touchdowns in total. He is considered a decisive runner but one who lacks burst and top end speed. He'll start out at the #4 back behind Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson and Terrance Ganaway but the depth chart is in development and any runner has the opportunity to step up and claim the primary role. Training camp watch for Stacy as a long-shot but one with potential and opportunity.

James Starks - GBP YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 76
Keeper: 89
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 GBP 3 116   29 101 3.5   2 15  
2011 GBP 13 794 1 133 578 4.3 1 29 216  
2012 GBP 6 286 1 71 255 3.6 1 4 31  
Avg   7 399 1 78 311 3.8 1 12 87 0
Proj GBP   220 1   180   1 5 40  

Starks time in Green Bay is expected to end via a trade or even a possible release. Drafting two running backs in April is plenty good enough of a sign that the Packers are looking to change up their rushing game which has been one of the worst for many years.

LaRod Stephens-Howling - FA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 71
Keeper: 83
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 ARI 13 224 1 23 113 4.9 1 16 111  
2011 ARI 14 401 2 43 167 3.9   13 234 2
2012 ARI 14 462 4 110 356 3.2 4 17 106  
Avg   14 362 2 59 212 4.0 2 15 150 1
Proj FA   320 1   200   1 15 120  

Stephens-Howling ends up in Pittsburgh but he'll be focused on special teams where he has the greatest value. No real fantasy value here.

Jonathan Stewart - CAR YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 54
Keeper: 34
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 CAR 14 873 3 178 770 4.3 2 8 103 1
2011 CAR 16 1174 5 142 761 5.4 4 47 413 1
2012 CAR 9 493 2 93 336 3.6 1 17 157 1
Avg   13 847 3 138 622 4.4 2 24 224 1
Proj CAR   600 2   500   2 15 100  

Stewart is the starting tailback here but DeAngelo Williams wasn't traded and is not yet released. He may remain with the Panthers and if so more of the committee is certain. Stewart comes off a bad year where ankle injuries dogged him the entire season and resulted arthroscopic surgery on his ankle in January. Stewart was unable to play after week 12 and entered the season injured anyway. OC Rod Chudzinski was fired and replaced by QB Coach Mike Shula hoping to return the rushing effort to being a strength instead of a weakness. Last year the Panthers ranked 28th in RB carries (323) and 27th in RB rushing yardage (1256). Stewart was coming off a 2011 season where he averaged 5.4 ypc. The schedule is about average here and the intent is to get a better rushing effort using Stewart at least as the primary. Until and unless Williams is gone, Stewart will continue to be limited from what he could do.

07-25-13 Update: Stewart opened camp on the active/PUP list with his right ankle still being an issue. This is going to remain a murky situation likely through camp.

08-21-13 Update: HC Ron Rivera says that Stewart may start the season on PUP. Just stay away from the situation.

08-27-13 Update: And on PUP he goes

Jeremy Stewart - OAK YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 73
Keeper: 77
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 OAK 4 163   25 101 4.0   8 62  
Avg   4 163 0 25 101 4.0 0 8 62 0
Proj OAK   270 1   250   1 3 20  

Stewart will battle with Rashad Jennings to be the primary backup to oft-injured Darren McFadden. He gained 101 yards on 25 carries as a rookie for a 4.0 YPC and caught eight passes. If Stewart emerges from training camp as the primary backup, he'll be worth drafting since McFadden always misses a few games.

Ben Tate - CLE YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 34
Keeper: 39
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 5%
2010                      
2011 HOU 15 1040 4 175 942 5.4 4 13 98  
2012 HOU 11 328 2 65 279 4.3 2 11 49  
Avg   13 684 3 120 611 4.9 3 12 74 0
Proj CLE   930 5   730   5 20 200  

Tate missed his rookie season with an ankle injury but then racked up 942 rush yards and four scores in 2011. Last year he was beset with hamstring and foot issues all year and was rarely used for more than five touches a game if he even played. This is the final year of his rookie deal and as such plenty of rea$on$ to play well. He is always a prudent handcuff to the Foster owner and in 2011 was worth a fantasy start on his own. 2013 should see his value return to 2011 levels assuming he can remain healthy.

08-18-13 Update: Tate's stock cannot help but rise with Foster still out and a question mark by week one. If you draft Foster - and you probably should not at this point - you MUST acquire Tate. Also said - Tate makes a really attractive steal with upside.

Stepfan Taylor - ARI YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 75
Keeper: 61
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012                      
Avg   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Proj ARI   160 2   140   2 2 20  

(+Upside) The Cards used their 5.07 pick to pick up the Stanford workhorse. Taylor is a burly runner at 5-9, 215 lbs. and leaves Stanford as their all-time leading rusher. He fell in the draft because he doesn’t do any one thing that greatly and lacks speed but is a solid rusher and good goal line back with 45 touchdowns in college. He’ll have to fight past Ryan Williams to become the #2 on one of the worst rushing teams of the last decade. His outlook is not great so far but a new offense brings optimism and change in Arizona. And neither Mendenhall nor Williams are exactly paragons of durability.

Pierre Thomas - NOS YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 51
Keeper: 38
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 NOS 6 470 2 83 269 3.2 2 29 201  
2011 NOS 16 987 6 110 562 5.1 5 50 425 1
2012 NOS 15 827 2 105 473 4.5 1 39 354 1
Avg   12 761 3 99 435 4.3 3 39 327 1
Proj NOS   730 1   400   1 40 330  

Thomas is yet another Saints back with some marginal fantasy value but never much. He ran for 473 yards last year - slightly lower than most 0 and only scored once. But he added 39 catches for 354 yards and another score. He never has a big game and is never a difference maker. But he offers 30 to 50 total yards in almost every week.

Daniel Thomas - MIA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 47
Keeper: 50
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 MIA 13 653 1 165 581 3.5   12 72 1
2012 MIA 12 481 4 91 325 3.6 4 15 156  
Avg   13 567 3 128 453 3.6 2 14 114 1
Proj MIA   590 4   480   3 14 110 1

Thomas has not been formally passed by Lamar Miller but that will happen in training camp. Thomas was only able to gain 325 yards on 91 carries last year as the primary backup and relief player. That's a 3.6 YPC and he lost two fumbles while doing it. Thomas also missed four games because of a couple of concussions and a knee sprain that landed him on injured reserve. His stock is dropping and he's nothing more than the deepest of fantasy depth.

08-21-13 Update: Amazingly OC Mike Sherman says Thomas and Miller are neck and neck. That means more than Miller has risk now than it does that Thomas has value.

Robert Turbin - SEA YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 88
Keeper: 87
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 SEA 16 535   80 354 4.4   19 181  
Avg   16 535 0 80 354 4.4 0 19 181 0
Proj SEA   60     60          

Turbin will remain the primary backup to Marshawn Lynch but this is no committee in Seattle. Last year Turbin only ran 80 times and topped five carries only three times all season. He's just the handcuff to Lynch and of no other value unless Lynch was injured.

07-25-13 Update: Turbin started camp on the active/PUP list because of a foot injury. His outlook remains no different.

Shane Vereen - NEP YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 29
Keeper: 25
Auction 10: 5%
Auction 12: 7%
2010                      
2011 NEP 5 57 1 15 57 3.8 1      
2012 NEP 13 400 4 62 251 4.0 3 8 149 1
Avg   9 229 3 39 154 3.9 2 4 75 1
Proj NEP   990 8   420   5 54 570 3

(+Upside) There is some upside on Vereen this year thanks in part to the departure of Danny Woodhead and the fact that Stevan Ridley is never a factor as a receiver. No doubt Vereen did himself a big favor when he exploded in the HOU game in the second round of the playoffs. He totaled 124 yards, five catches and three touchdowns. It was almost entire season doubled. It was far more than his rookie totals. Vereen was a good receiver out of the backfield at CAL and should get first shot at that role. He is worth a fantasy backup role in a reception point league.

Ryan Williams - DAL YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 86
Keeper: 78
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010                      
2011 ARI                    
2012 ARI 5 208   58 164 2.8   7 44  
Avg   3 104 0 29 82 1.4 0 4 22 0
Proj DAL   100     80     3 20  

(-Risk) So far he is an injury waiting to happen. He missed his rookie year after blowing out his patellar tendon that summer and last season he took a golden opportunity and only played five games before fracturing his left shoulder. He has a 2.8 yard rushing average, never scored in the NFL in two years and has a total of 164 rushing yards on 58 carries. With a new coaching staff in Arizona, he’s even less likely to be valued on his potential. He’ll provide the #2 role at least until he is beaten out by either of the rookie backs.

DeAngelo Williams - CAR YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 36
Keeper: 52
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 4%
2010 CAR 6 422 1 87 361 4.1 1 11 61  
2011 CAR 16 971 7 155 836 5.4 7 16 135  
2012 CAR 16 924 7 173 737 4.3 5 13 187 2
Avg   13 772 5 138 645 4.6 4 13 128 1
Proj CAR   870 4   720   4 20 150  

(-Risk) Williams turned 30 in April and despite rampant rumors, he was not traded prior to the NFL draft. He is a drag on the Panthers with a $9.6 million cap hit that can be halved and spread over two seasons if they release him. He continues to be productive with a 4.3 ypc last year and he ended as the leading rusher for the Panthers thanks to Jonathan Stewart's balky ankles all year. Williams still has something in the tank despite hitting 30 and he has only been given a split workload these last three seasons. He'll play the #2 in Carolina but will be a risk to be traded or released up until week one.

07-15-13 Update: With Jonathan Stewart not able to practice at the start of camp, Williams is going to have a chance to be the #1 back in week one and potentially beyond. The backfield has offered marginal fantasy value anyway, but at least Williams may actually have some value if Stewart remains out.

08-21-13 Update: HC Ron Rivera says that Jonathan Stewart may start the season on the PUP list so Williams would be the #1 for however long it would last. Still not an attractive situation.

08-27-13 Update: Williams will now be the primary back in one of the worst rush attacks in the league.

David Wilson - NYG YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 16
Keeper: 21
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 14%
2010                      
2011                      
2012 NYG 16 392 5 71 358 5.0 4 4 34 1
Avg   16 392 5 71 358 5.0 4 4 34 1
Proj NYG   1360 9   1160   9 26 200  

(+Upside) No doubt that Wilson will be considered one of the players most likely to improve. He only ran for 358 yards on 71 carries and added just four catches for 34 yards. He scored five total touchdowns. But he gained 5.0 yards per carry and Ahmad Bradshaw is out of the picture now. Bradshaw ran for more than 1000 yards in two of the last three years (injured in 2011) and added 20 to 30 receptions in each year. Wilson was finally allowed some work in the final weeks of 2013 when he rolled up almost all his stats. He even gained 100 rush yards on only 13 carries when the Saints visited. How big a jump that Wilson makes will be at least partially limited by a tough rushing schedule. He'll also witness Andre Brown steal most of the touchdowns as well. But the upside is there for the most talented back on the Giants roster.

08-29-13 Update: Andre Brown was lost to yet another fractured left leg and that means Wilson is the clear #1 and full-time back. His backu-up is third year player De'Rel Scott at least until the Giants make any other moves.

Danny Woodhead - SDC YEAR TM GMS TYD TTD CAR RYD YPC RTD CAT CYD CTD
Huddle Rank: 48
Keeper: 41
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2010 NYJ 15 926 6 97 547 5.6 5 34 379 1
2011 NEP 15 508 1 77 351 4.6 1 18 157  
2012 NEP 16 747 7 76 301 4.0 4 40 446 3
Avg   15 727 5 83 400 4.7 3 31 327 1
Proj SDC   590 4   310   3 30 280 1

The Chargers acquired the free agent Woodhead who enjoyed minor success in the Patriots offensive system. He only averaged around 250 rushing yards per season there and offered more use as a third down back with up to 40 catches per season. He's never been more than a desperation bye week filler in a reception points league. The Chargers claim to want to use him more than merely third downs but the 5-8, 200 pound back would almost certainly struggle with inside rushing. And he'll also learn the difference what is it like when Tom Brady does not have the entire defense running backwards at the snap of the ball. Marginal fantasy relevance at best.

   
 
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