The running back position has always been the most important spot in a fantasy football lineup. They score more touchdowns and always seem to have the ball when it matters most. The emergence of the Running Back By Committee (RBBC) has really hurt the value of running backs in fantasy, but there are still stars out there.
To help you this season, here is my full draft analysis of the running back position.
Top 10 RB Average Draft Position (ESPN):
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings – 1.8
2. Arian Foster, Houston Texans – 3.5
3. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks – 4.8
4. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens – 5.8
5. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 7.5
6. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs – 9.1
7. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills – 9.7
8. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns – 10.9
9. Alfred Morris, San Francisco 49ers – 12.6
10. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles – 12.9
Top 5 Breakout Candidates:
1. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
2. David Wilson, New York Giants
3. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
4. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
This season there are not many workhorses out there, as more and more teams are moving to sets with multiple backs. The only true workhorses left in football are Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Alfred Morris, LeSean McCoy, Trent Richardson, Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles, and Ray Rice. If healthy, these are the only backs likely to get over 300 carries and that makes them worth the high pick on draft day.
The Injury Concern:
Guys like Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, and Darren McFadden are currently on top of this list. They have been plagued with injuries in recent seasons and have all seen their fantasy value plummet. They will still be drafted as full-time starters, but just make sure to draft them all with caution.
Drafting handcuffs has quickly become one of the best strategies to winning a fantasy title. It insures you a starting back week after week regardless of injury and that alone is worth locking up the extra back a little earlier.
Here is a list of some important handcuffs to target:
Arian Foster – Ben Tate
LeSean McCoy – Bryce Brown
Darren Sproles – Mark Ingram
David Wilson – Andre Brown
Montee Ball – Ronnie Hillman
DeMarco Murray – Lance Dunbar – Joseph Randle
Ryan Mathews – Danny Woodhead
Ahmad Bradshaw – Vick Ballard
Eddie Lacy – Jonathan Franklin
This is the year of the running back in fantasy, so don’t be afraid to reach your league max this season. After all, it never hurts to have too many running backs.
Make sure to check out my top 100 Facts to Remember Before Drafting.