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Top-5 Fantasy Football Running Backs For 2014

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2014 Fantasy Football: Top-5 Running Backs

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Running backs may have more importance than any other position in fantasy football because they are the most likely to consistently put up a high number of points. Finding the right RB-1 can be critical towards competing for a championship in your fantasy league. Before the list gets started there are a few players who are deserving of an honorable mention. These players had amazing seasons and could potentially challenge the players on the list for the right to warrant a top-5 selection.

The NFL Rookie of the Year, Eddie Lacy had a breakout rookie season. He piled up over 1,178 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. After superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with injury, defenses began stacking eight in the box against Lacy and he kept on finding ways to move the chains. He will be high on many fantasy football owners' wish-lists this upcoming season.

What if I told you before the start of the 2013 season that Knowshon Moreno would finish the season the No. 5 ranked running back in terms of fantasy points and seventh overall? You would probably have called me crazy, right? Well, Moreno did just that as he amassed 1,586 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns. These numbers were quite shocking for a guy who started in just 15 games in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Moreno’s value will completely be determined by whether the Denver Broncos re-sign him or not. Owners should monitor Moreno’s contract talks with Denver very closely.

Let’s not forget that special players coming out of college may be able to have their own impact on this list. Depending on where they will be drafted, running backs like Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde and Auburn’s Tre Mason have the potential to put themselves on the list.

It is never too early to start planning for next season. Fantasy football never stops. What separates an average fantasy football player from a successful player is that successful players always try to get an early competitive advantage. You can never be over-prepared heading into next season, so here is the list of the top-5 fantasy running backs for the 2014 NFL season.

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5. Marshawn Lynch

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Marshawn Lynch lived up to his nickname of “Beast Mode” and enjoyed another solid year in the Seattle Seahawks' potent offense. He finished the regular season with 1,573 all-purpose yards and racked up 14 total touchdowns. The one factor that fantasy owners should be aware of is that Lynch has carried the ball 1,753 times in his career to this point. Lynch doesn’t appear to have any signs of slowing down just yet, but Seattle will continue to ride him hard next season so it's possible all that mileage will catch up to him soon.

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4. Matt Forte

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The Chicago Bears' offense is a finely-tuned machine that was very exciting to watch in 2013. One of the main reasons behind that excitement was running back Matt Forte. He ended the regular season with 1,933 all-purpose yards and 12 total touchdowns. Forte fit well into first-year coach Marc Trestman’s system and had the best season of his career catching passes out of the backfield. Fantasy owners should expect more of the same production out of Forte in 2014.

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3. Adrian Peterson

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Considering all of the problems the Minnesota Vikings had this year, Adrian Peterson still had a nice season. The perennial No. 1 overall fantasy pick of 2013 produced nowhere near the numbers he had in 2012. Heading into next season, the Vikings will have a new head coach and a little more stability at the quarterback position. This should allow them to take a little bit of the pressure off of Peterson, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him easily surpass the 1,437 all-purpose yards and 11 total touchdowns he had in 2013.

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2. LeSean McCoy

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LeSean McCoy finished the 2013 as the all-purpose yards leader in the NFL. He managed 2,146 yards with 11 total touchdowns. McCoy flourished under offensive guru Chip Kelly and should be poised for a repeat performance in 2014. Also, it appears that the Philadelphia Eagles have finally committed to Nick Foles being their quarterback which would create more stability for McCoy. The only thing keeping McCoy from being the No. 1 overall pick is the fact that this season marked the first year he played in all 16 games since his rookie season. Fantasy owners would prefer a little more consistency, however, McCoy will still be a fantastic pick this upcoming season.

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1. Jamaal Charles

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Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles enjoyed an explosive fantasy season with 1,980 all-purpose yards and 19 total touchdowns. These numbers are severely inflated by his career year receiving out of the backfield where he posted 70 receptions for 693 yards and seven touchdowns. A major reason why Charles had those numbers is due to the fact that quarterback Alex Smith has a weak arm. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem for Charles considering that Andy Reid has installed a system that is designed specifically to his quarterback’s deficiencies. The number of touchdowns may dip slightly for Charles, but he should enjoy another monster season in 2014.