Fantasy Football 2014: Running Back Rankings

Is the running back position a dying breed? They are not as high in demand as they used to be, there are fewer featured backs and the new dual-RB system is catching on quick in the NFL. However, they remain a crucial position in fantasy football.

There are the clear cut top five or six running backs but after that there is a bit of a drop-off. Use these rankings to sort out who you should take and where.

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

Don't forget to check out our Top 200!

Positional Rankings:

Al King: QB

Tom Downey: QB, RB

Last Update: Aug 20, 2014

Player     Notes
1. Lesean McCoy, RB, PHI Very up-tempo offense, focusing on runs and quick passes. McCoy will be an attempt monster.
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN Arguably the best RB in the game and this offense runs through him.
3. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC Got the ball more than anyone last season, expecting more of that this season with tougher schedule.
4. Matt Forte, RB, CHI Had a career high 1,933 yards from scrimmage last season, second year in offense could be even more bountiful.
5. Eddie Lacy, RB, GB Got an incredible amount of touches last season and that looks to continue again this year.
6. Marshawn  Lynch, RB,   SEA Unhappy with his contract, 987 carries over last three seasons along with more use for Christine Michael and Robert Turbin makes "Beast Mode" a risky round 1 pick.
7. Arian Foster, RB, HOU Expected to be a bell-cow type under new Head Coach Bill O' Brien. Great bounce-back candidate.
8. Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN Capable of having a huge season if he shows he can handle the heavy workload. Jeremy Hill may take goal-line work but not enough to hinder his value.
9. Demarco Murray, RB, DAL Cowboys beat writer believes Murray could have career high carries, if he can stay healthy. A big IF.
10. Zac Stacy, RB, STL Stacy is one of the more steady picks as he looks to continue his rookie year success into the 2014 season.
11. Alfred Morris, RB, WSH New offensive scheme has a lot of people questioning Morris. Should still be big part of offense.
12.Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT Easily the most talented back on the roster with Blount possibly taking an occasional TD away.
13. Andre Ellington, RB, ARI Very explosive athlete who will be plenty involved in both the run and pass game.
14. Doug Martin, RB, TB Currently the leader for carries in a crowded backfield that may want to use a rotation. But Martin could run away with job if he returns to elite form.
15. Montee Ball, RB, DEN An emergency appendectomy just 33 days before week 1 puts a question mark on Ball's opening game status.
16. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD Mathews had a career year last season and will be relied on again to lead the Chargers' backfield.
17. C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF What to do with Spiller? Draft at your own risk, could prove big dividends though.
18. Ben Tate, RB, CLE If we're being honest here, it's far too early to gauge exactly what is going to happen in the Cleveland backfield.
19. Frank Gore, RB, SF A 31-year-old running back is often undesirable and this could be the year that Gore falls off the edge, but I wouldn't count on it yet. His workload will be reduced though.
20. Reggie Bush, RB, DET Supposed reduced workload could hurt value but should see increase in receptions making him a valuable PPR asset.
21. Toby Gerhart, RB, JAC Gerhart is the lead back in an offense that should give him all the opportunities in the world.
22. Bishop Sankey, RB, TEN Titans coaching staff seems to be serious about making him earn his snaps. Currently listed with the third string behind Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster.
23. Rashad Jennings, RB, NYG Early favorite to lead the Giants in rushing attempts with Andre Williams getting the goal line work and stealing some carries away.
24. Stevan Ridley, RB, NE Ridley is still the most capable between the tackles running back in this backfield and should get enough goal-line and early down work to have value.
25. Shane Vereen, RB, NE Best receiver out of the backfield for New England but his lack of carries this preseason is concerning.
26. Chris Johnson, RB, NYJ You might want to sit down for this. The Jets OC said that he is a 'first ballot Hall of Famer.' Let the laughing commence.
27. Joique Bell, RB, DET Bell is splitting the backfield with Reggie Bush but will get the goal-line work and between the tackle carries.
28. Mark Ingram, RB, NO Have a feeling that this is the year to own Mark Ingram, but please, don't ask me why? In a contract year and could be auditioning for other teams.
29. Trent Richardson, RB, IND Richardson has averaged only 3.0 yards per carry in the NFL and has yet to live up to his potential. He's hard to trust at this point.
30. Steven Jackson, RB, ATL Jackson has already suffered a hamstring injury and is listed as out indefinitely. He is expected to be ready for week 1. Still a very risky pick.
31. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, OAK Admitted to contemplating retirement after last season and didn't look like the MJD we are used to in 2013.
32. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK Still only 26, the book is out on McFadden. Talented runner with huge injury risk.
33. Lamar Miller, RB, MIA Very shaky O-line and potential inconsistent QB play make Miller a risky bet. He has averaged 4.4 yards per carry in his NFL career up to this point.
34. Darren Sproles, RB, PHI Sproles will see a lot of work in the slot and possibly in a two-back backfield next to McCoy in special packages that will keep defenses guessing.
35. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF Bills have been working in packages where both Spiller and Jackson are on the field at the same time. Jackson could be decent value in the late rounds.
36.Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR Williams may be the starter, but I believe that Stewart will have more of an impact on the season, both in real life and in fantasy.
37. Danny Woodhead, RB, SD He is very good at what he does and should continue to work as a receiving back out of the backfield for the Chargers offense. PPR value is much higher.
38.Deangelo Williams, RB, CAR Panthers are expected to lean heavy on the run game with their lack of weapons in the passing game and Williams is the projected starter.
39. Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ Going to work as the "thunder" to Chris Johnson's "lightning" and should see the majority of the goal line work.
40. Terrance West, RB, CLE Talented rookie in an offense that should have enough rushing attempts to give two running backs fantasy value.
41. Andre Williams, RB, NYG Williams has looked very good so far this preseason and is the favorite for goal-line work, adding even more value.
42. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO Listed as the No. 3 running back behind Ingram and Robinson, Thomas is going to be used as the third-down running back.
43. Carlos Hyde, RB, SF The direct backup to the 31-year-old Frank Gore. Could force a timeshare with solid play.
44. Ray Rice, RB, BAL A two game suspension to begin the season and coming off a terrible year. Rice is a very shaky pick this season.
45. James Starks, RB, GB Eddie Lacy's handcuff who averaged 5.53 yards per carry and is the direct backup with Franklin no longer in the mix.
46. Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN Big back with loads and talent and will split time with Gio Bernard, getting most of the short-yardage and goal-line work.
47. Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL Backing up the 31-year-old Steven Jackson and could see good amount of work as the Falcon try to maintain Jackson's health.
48. Khiry Robinson, RB, NO Currently expected to split the early down reps with Mark Ingram.
49. Benny Cunningham, RB, STL Working his way up the Rams' depth chart and is currently the backup for Zac Stacy.
50. Donald Brown, RB, SD Mathews is expected to be the workhorse with Woodhead playing the part of receiving back, leaving Brown an injury away from any real value.
51. Stefan Taylor, RB, ARI Going to see plenty of short-yardage work and I believe many will be shocked by the amount of carries he will see per game.
52. Dexter McCluster, RB, TEN Could put up decent numbers as the check down target for Jake Locker. The Titans will look for ways to get him involved. Will be a better real life option than fantasy option.
53. Knile Davis, RB, KC Super handcuff: Davis is the direct backup to Jamaal Charles and will see a ton of work if Charles goes down.
54. Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN Looks to be the backup to Montee Ball who is recovering from an appendectomy.
55. Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL Ray Rice is suspended for the first two games of the season putting Pierce on the draft radar and should still see work once Rice returns.
56. Shonn Greene, RB, TEN Has the rookie Bishop Sankey and Dexter McCluster to share the backfield with. Has the makings of a true RBBC.
57. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND With Ballard now out for the year, Bradshaw is the backup to Trent Richardson.
58.Knowshon Moreno, RB, MIA Reported to camp out of shape, had to have a knee procedure done and is behind a mediocre O-line. I'm not drafting him.
59. Christine Michael, RB, SEA Lynch could begin to be phased out in the final year of his contract and Michael will be the beneficiary.
60. Robert Turbin, RB, SEA As far as Lynch's backups go, Turbin has looked to be the better of the two this preseason.

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