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Fantasy Football 2014: 5 Running Backs to Avoid At All Costs

5 RBs to Avoid At All Costs

Arian Foster Texans
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

It's only the first week of June, but the smell of football season is already beginning to tickle the noses of many. You can never start too early in preparing to dominate your fantasy football league(s) this fall either. With that said, let's take a look at five RBs who should be avoided like the plague come draft day.

5. Doug Martin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Doug Martin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's never a good sign for a RB when his OC comes out and announces his plans on spreading the carries around more this season. The Bucs already have two other capable RBs on their roster and just drafted another one, so there's going to be a battle for touches in Tampa. Martin's YPC went from 4.6 to 3.6 in his second season, and he's simply not worth a first- or second-round investment, which is what it would take to get him.

4. Ben Tate: Cleveland Browns

Ben Tate Browns
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ben Tate: Cleveland Browns

Ben Tate Browns
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Tate was incredible as a complementary back to Arian Foster back in 2011, as he posted an excellent 5.4 YPC and scored four TDs. He's managed just 4.3 YPC the past two seasons though, and is going to find the sledding even tougher in Cleveland. The Browns have a stinky offense that managed only 4.0 YPC and ranked 27th in rushing yards per game, and they're going to struggle again to put up points this season.

3. Stevan Ridley: New England Patriots

Stevan Ridley Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

3. Stevan Ridley: New England Patriots

Stevan Ridley Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

We all know the talent is there, but can he stay on the field? Not only does Bill Belichick love to rotate his RBs but as we found out last year, he has no problem benching his best players if they can't hold onto the ball. It's a pretty scary proposition to rely on any Patriots player outside of Tom Brady, and Ridley isn't worth the inevitable headache this fantasy season.

2. Trent Richardson: Indianapolis Colts

Trent Richardson: Colts
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2. Trent Richardson: Indianapolis Colts

Trent Richardson: Colts
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

This fantasy bust managed to regress last season after an unspectacular rookie campaign which saw him average just 3.6 YPC. Most thought his trade to Indy would light a fire under him, but he managed a meager 458 yards rushing and three TDs in 14 games. While he's technically the top back on the depth chart right now, he has shown nothing to prove he will stay there, and you would be well served to let another sucker draft him.

1. Arian Foster: Houston Texans

Arian Foster Texans
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Arian Foster: Houston Texans

Arian Foster Texans
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Those who passed on this guy last year are pretty smart cookies. Not only did he miss half the season, but managed just one TD in the games he did play in. Foster looks to be an injury risk going forward, and the Texans offense will likely be a giant mess again in 2014. A healthy Foster will probably be staring down eight-man fronts most of the season, so there simply isn't enough value here to justify a first-round pick.

Brian Davis is a fantasy sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SportsGuyBrian, ”Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.