Fantasy Football 2014: RB Rankings

The NFL has becoming a passing league, which means fantasy running backs are more valuable than ever. That may sound backwards, but with most teams throwing the ball more than ever, there are more QBs and WRs that put up big points. Plus, more teams are using running back-by-committee approaches.

There are six running backs that I consider true RB1s and you have to start at least two RBs each week (in most leagues). That means you should load up on RBs early and often.

If you have any fantasy questions or just want to chat, follow Chat Sports’ fantasy aficionados Al King (@alking906) andTom Downey (@whatgoingdowney) on Twitter.

Don't forget about our Top 200 rankings!

Positional Rankings:

Al King: QB, RB

Tom Downey: QB, RB

Updated: August 23

Player Notes
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN The offense runs through Peterson and that shouldn't change this year.
2. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC Charles is one of the "Big 3" this year at RB. He, McCoy and Peterson are a cut above the rest.
3. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI McCoy logged a ton of carries last season, so he might see a decline in touches. Still, he should be be drafted in the top 3 of any league.
4. Eddie Lacy, RB, GB Even in the Packers' pass-happy offense, Lacy racks up plenty of fantasy points. After Lacy, the RB crop drops off. He's passed Forte on my board.
5. Matt Forte, RB, CHI Forte is talented and a bond-fida No. 1 RB and Lacy passing him isn't a knock against Forte.
6. Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA Lynch has a new contract and is no longer holding out, but he is getting older.
7. DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL Murray is talented and a poor RB class (dramatically) increases his value. The question remains though, can he stay healthy?
8. Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT Bell might lose some carries to LeGarrette Blount, but Bell is the workhorse for the Steelers.
9. Zac Stacy, RB, STL I do worry that Stacy is a one-year wonder, but it's a poor class and Stacy was great last year.
10. Montee Ball, RB, DEN Ball had an appendectomy, but he should be back by the start of the year. Still, you need to monitor him and the Denver backfield just in case.
11. Doug Martin, RB, TB Martin struggled with injuries last year and it's hard for me to trust him.
12. Arian Foster, RB, HOU I suspect Foster is past his prime. Plus, he always has an injury red flag.
13. Gio Bernard, RB, CIN With Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator, expect Bernard to get a heavy dose of touches.
14. Alfred Morris, RB, WAS Morris had a down year (compared to his first year), and I have my doubts about his ability to succeed in the Redskins' new offense.
15. Andre Ellington, RB, ARI Ellington never got the touches he deserved last year, but that should change. Depending on how he looks in the preseason, he might rise up these rankings even higher. I expect big things out of him this year.
16. Reggie Bush, RB, DET Bush will give you some great games, but he has a hard time staying healthy.
17. Ryan Matthews, RB, SD  Matthews is an RB1 when healthy, but it seems like he is made of glass at times.
18. Frank Gore, RB, SF Gore is 31, meaning the wheels could come off at any time.
19. C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF Spiller is dynamic, but he splits carries with Fred Jackson and is often hurt.
20. Shane Vereen, RB, NE I loved Vereen last year and it's a shame he got hurt. He's the perfect Flex player at RB.
21. Ben Tate, RB, CLE Tate would be higher on this list if the Browns weren't saying they plan on using a tailback-by-committee approach.
22. Joique Bell, RB, DET When Bush inevitably goes down, Bell will get his carries. He'll still get plenty with Bush healthy.
23. Rashad Jennings, RB, NYG Jennings will be the team's No. 1 RB, but I expect him to see more yards on quick passes than via runs. The Giants' offensive line is poor.
24. Bishop Sankey, RB, TEN I think Sankey will win the starting job in Tennessee. I thought he was the best back in the draft and the Titans did too.
25. Stevan Ridley, RB, NE If Ridley can hold on to the ball and stay out of Bill Belichick's doghouse, he could produce RB1-type numbers.
26. Chris Johnson, RB, NYJ By this point, you know the dangers of drafting Chris Johnson.
27. Trent Richardson, RB, IND Richardson has looked like a plodder throughout his time in the NFL. Until that changes, he's not much of a starter. Still, he was the No. 3 overall pick for a reason.
28. Toby Gerhart, RB, JAC Gerhart, or "White Thunder" as I call him, should get the majority of the touches in Jacksonville. Problem is, it's the Jaguars.
29. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, OAK Will MJD bounce back after a rough year? Maybe.
30. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF The only reason Jackson isn't higher on this list is because he splits carries with Spiller.
31. Lamar Miller, RB, MIA I wouldn't be shocked if Miller wins the starting job and it's starting to look like he will.
32. Steven Jackson, RB, ATL  Jackson looked washed up last year.
33. Knowshon Moreno, RB, MIA Moreno was great for Denver, but that won't continue in Miami. He's still worth a pick, especially if you take Lamar Miller.
34. Ray Rice, RB, BAL Rice looked like a fat kid in a snowsuit last year. Draft him at your own risk. Plus, he's suspended for the first two games.
35. Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL Pierce might get more carries than Rice, but it won't matter too much because Pierce struggled last year.
36. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO Thomas has gone from the lead back to the third down back. He'll be someone to have in PPR, but don't spend a high pick on him in a standard league.
37. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR Williams is the No. 1 RB in Carolina, but Newton and to a lesser extent Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart, steal a ton of his touches.
38. Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ If Chris Johnson looks more like CJ0K than CJ2K, Ivory will help carry the load.
39. Danny Woodhead, RB, SD Woodhead gets enough carries and catches to merit drafting.
40. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK McFadden will give you some good games, but he has a hard time staying healthy.
41. Andre Brown, RB, HOU If Foster's best days are behind him, expect to see plenty of Brown.
42. Mark Ingram, RB, NO Ingram has never proven himself worth of the first and second round pick the Saints dealt for him. However, he is in a contract season.
43. Khriy Robinson, RB, NO Robinson is not well-known name, but he'll be in a battle with Ingram for No. 2 RB in New Orleans.
44. Tre Mason, RB, STL I like Mason a lot, and if Stacy turns out to be a one-year wonder, Mason might become the starter.
45. Darren Sporles, RB, PHI Sproles has name recognition, but he is not the same player he once was. Heck, Pierre Thomas caught more passes last year than Sproles did.
46. Shonn Greene, RB, TEN If Sankey is ineffective or injured, Greene will likely be the featured back.
47. Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN Hill has made BenJarvus Green-Ellis expendable. He'll take his touches and his fantasy value.
48. Andre Williams, RB, NYG Given Coughlin's penchant for benching RBs and his love for players from Boston College, Williams could see the field early and often. Plus, David Wilson's career, sadly, is over.
49. Roy Helu, RB, WAS I wouldn't be shocked if Helu slowly starts to steal carries away from Morris.
50. Donald Brown, RB, SD If Matthews continues to battle injuries, Brown will likely see more touches.
51. Carlos Hyde, RB, SF With all the injuries to the 49ers' backfield, Hyde has quickly become the likely No. 2 RB.
52. James Starks, RB, GB With the disappointing news that Johnathan Franklin's career is over, Starks has a lock on the No. 2 RB role in Green Bay.
53. Knile Davis, RB, KC Davis proved himself in Week 17. Perhaps the Chiefs will try to save Charles at times by giving Davis more touches.
54. LeGarrett Blount, RB, PIT Blount might vulture a few touchdowns, but don't expect much more unless Bell gets hurt.
55. Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR Stewart has talent, but doesn't get enough touches to merit anything more than a late round pick.
56. Jordan Todman, RB, JAC If Gerhart struggles, Todman might be asked to step up.
57. Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN If Montee Ball struggles or gets hurt, Hillman looks to be the man to take over as lead back in Denver.
58. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, ARI Bruce Arians has a thing for giving former Pittsburgh RBs more carries than they should get, so maybe that will be the case with Dwyer.
59. Christine Michael, RB, SEA If Seahawks split some of Lynch's carries, Michael is likely the back to see the most.
60. Terrance West, RB, CLE If the Browns really go to a shared backfield, expect West to be the touchdown vulture.
61. Ka'Deem Carey, RB, CHI Carey will be Forte's backup, meaning you might want him as a handcuff.
62. Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL Freeman is the future lead back for Atlanta, but unless Jackson gets hurt, he likely won't do much this year.
63. Jerick McKinnon, RB, MIN Even Adrian Peterson needs a backup, and McKinnon will fill that role.
64. Marcel Reese, RB, OAK If MJD and McFadden struggle, the Raiders might have to turn to Reese.
65. Lance Dunbar, RB, DAL Dunbar might be pressed into action if Murray battles injuries (again).
66. Mike James, RB, TB James should be the backup to Martin.
67. Robert Turbin, RB, SEA Turbin and Michael will battle to be the No. 2 RB to Lynch.
68. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND If Richardson continues to struggle, expect Bradshaw since Vick Ballard is hurt.
69. Stepfan Taylor, RB, ARI Taylor should be the No. 2 back in Arizona, but he might be stuck behind Dwyer.
70. Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR Tolbert is the classic TD vulture.
71. Brandon Bolden, RB, NE Bolden is No. 3 on the depth chart in New England, but he'll get a few touches. If someone gets hurt, he'll get more.
72. Bryce Brown, RB, BUF Brown is stranded behind Spiller and Jackson in Buffalo.
73. Jaquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL Rodgers isn't much more than a scat back, which limits his fantasy value.
74. Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA For whatever reason, Thomas has fallen out of favor in Miami.
75. Charles Sims, RB, TB I don't get why the Bucs took Sims, but they must have something planned for him.
76. Storm Johnson, RB, JAC Johnson was the best player on UCF last season and he might see the field sooner than Blake Bortles.
77. Lache Seastrunk, RB, WAS I'm a big fan of Seastrunk and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a shot if Morris or Helu struggle or get hurt.

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