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The Top 15 Fantasy RBs, Pre-Training Camp Edition

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The Top 15 Fantasy RBs Heading Into Training Camp

Jamaal Charles Chiefs
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In reality, the NFL is a passing league, but in terms of Fantasy Football, the running game and versatile running backs are the keys to fantasy success. With NFL training camps opening in just about two weeks, now is a good time to rank the top 15 fantasy running backs for 2014. Each of these players have their pros and their cons.

15. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy Rams
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15. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy Rams
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2013 stats: 12 games, 973 yards, seven touchdowns, 26 receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown

As a fifth-round pick last year, Zac Stacy solidified a previously poor Rams backfield. He had just under 1,000 yards rushing in 12 games, but even with the addition of Greg Robinson on the offensive line, the team selected Auburn's Tre Mason in the third round. This move shows there are still some questions about Stacy's ability to carry the load.

14. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions

Reggie Bush Lions
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14. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions

Reggie Bush Lions
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2013 stats: 14 games, 1,006 yards, four TDs, 54 receptions for 506 yards and three TDs

The Detroit Lions desperately needed a playmaker last year, and they got it when they signed Reggie Bush. The former USC Trojan had over 1,500 all-purpose yards and seven total TDs. But Bush's fumbling issues cost him dearly down the stretch, and the emergence of backup Joique Bell in both the running and passing games hampers Bush's touches and production.

13. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin Buccaneers
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13. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin Buccaneers
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2013 stats: six games, 456 yards rushing, one TD, 12 receptions for 66 yards

A season-ending shoulder injury limited Doug Martin's production to just 522 total yards and one touchdown. Despite the departures of Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman, there are still more questions than answers in Tampa Bay's offense. The Bucs have other good RBs in Bobby Rainey and Mike James, and Lovie Smith's regime has no allegiances tied to Martin.

12. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos

Montee Ball Broncos
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12. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos

Montee Ball Broncos
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2013 stats: 16 games, 559 yards, four TDs, 20 receptions for 145 yards

The Denver Broncos are so confident in second-year player that they decided not to re-sign Knowshon Moreno, who had a career year last year. The former Wisconsin Badger had over 700 combined yards in just under 150 touches, but his inability to protect Peyton Manning cost him significant playing time. Ball's fumbling problems last year also won't help his cause.

11. Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Arian Foster Texans
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11. Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Arian Foster Texans
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2013 stats: eight games, 542 yards rushing, one TD, 22 receptions for 183 yards and one TD

Arian Foster's 2013 season was easily one to forget. A season-ending back injury limited him to just eight games and only two touchdowns. Given the current offensive roster right now (Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB), and Andre Johnson's distaste with the organization, Foster won't have enough help around him to prevent teams from stacking the box against him.

10. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani Bernard Bengals
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10. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani Bernard Bengals
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2013 stats: 16 games, 695 yards, five TDs, 56 receptions for 514 yards and three TDs

As a rookie who made zero starts last year, Giovani Bernard was easily Cincinnati's most productive running back. Bernard had over 1,000 all-purpose yards and eight TDs, but wasn't able to oust the over the hill Benjarvus Green-Ellis as the starter. Now that the Bengals drafted Jeremy Hill in the second round, Bernard still won't have No. 1 back-type touches.

9. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

DeMarco Murray Cowboys
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9. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

DeMarco Murray Cowboys
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2013 stats: 14 games, 1,121 yards, nine TDs, 53 receptions for 350 yards and one TD

DeMarco Murray hasn't been fully healthy in his three years with the Dallas Cowboys, but he has been as productive as anyone when he is. The Cowboys drafted Zack Martin, who should help clear holes for Murray inside. Last season, the Cowboys tended to ignore Murray, and given Scott Linehan's prior pass-happy offense, the same could happen again this season.

8. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Alfred Morris Redskins
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8. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Alfred Morris Redskins
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2013 stats: 16 games, 1,275 yards rushing, seven TDs, nine receptions for 78 yards

Alfred Morris is not among the elite running backs in the NFL despite having two great seasons. He dipped in production from his great rookie-season (1,613 yards, 13 TDs), but still finished with 1,275 yards rushing. Morris isn't ranked higher because of his low numbers in the passing game, and the departure of running back-friendly coach Mike Shanahan.

7. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell Steelers
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7. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell Steelers
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2013 stats: 13 games, 860 yards, eight TDs, 45 receptions for 399 yards

After failing with Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer, the Pittsburgh Steelers gave the starting RB position to Le'Veon Bell in week 4, and he didn't disappoint. Behind a shaky offensive line and playing in just 13 games, Bell have over 1,100 all-purpose yards and eight TDs. Bell will lose some touches to free agent LeGarrette Blount, but Blount's best days are behind him.

6. Edde Lacy, Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy Packers
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6. Edde Lacy, Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy Packers
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2013 stats: 15 games, 1,178 yards, 11 TDs, 35 receptions for 257 yards

Eddie Lacy's impressive rookie season helped get Green Bay to the playoffs. Lacy started off slowly as a rookie, but picked it up down the stretch, scoring 11 touchdowns in the final 12 games, with most of those coming without Rodgers. Now that Rodgers is healthy, Lacy won't get as many carries in the team's pass-heavy offense as he did last year.

5. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch Seahawks
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5. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch Seahawks
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2013 stats: 16 games, 1,257 yards rushing, 12 TDs, 36 receptions for 316 yards and two TDs

Marshawn Lynch is one of the most run-heavy players in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks, but that can be a double-edged sword. Given his heavy workload the past two seasons (616 regular season carries not including playoffs), it is more realistic to think that the Seahawks will cut down his carries in order to save him for another deep playoff run.

4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Matt Forte Bears
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4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Matt Forte Bears
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2013 stats: 16 games, 1,339 yards rushing, nine TDs, 74 receptions for 594 yards and three TDs

Matt Forte might be getting up there in years and number of touches, but he is a three-down back in a balanced attack that features the running back as a pass receiver. Forte is the closet player that resembles Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig in the game today. Forte is easily a top-five back because of his usage and his all-purpose ability.

3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson Vikings
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3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson Vikings
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2013 stats: 14 games, 1,266 yards rushing, 10 TDs, 29 receptions, 171 yards and one TD

Adrian Peterson fell off from his near record-setting season a year ago, but he still managed to post 10-plus touchdowns for fantasy owners for the seventh consecutive year in 2013. Peterson still continues to produce despite marginal QB play around him and the constant pounding that he has taken.

2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles Chiefs
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2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles Chiefs
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2013 stats: 15 games, 1,287 yards, 12 TDs, 70 receptions for 693 yards and seven TDs

Jamaal Charles was the best running back in terms of fantasy last season, but given the changes in Kansas City, I don't think he is the consensus No. 1 fantasy running back. Charles led the Chiefs in rushing and receiving last year, but he lost two starting-caliber guards and a Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle in Branden Albert in free agency.

1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

LeSean McCoy Eagles
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1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

LeSean McCoy Eagles
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2013 stats: 16 games, 1,607 yards, nine TDs, 52 receptions for 539 yards and two TDs

The NFL's rushing leader in 2013, LeSean McCoy is the feature back in the most explosive offense in football. McCoy's 314 carries were the most in the NFL last season, and at just 26, his best years are ahead of him. Darren Sproles will cut into McCoy's touches, but he won't be a major factor in terms of overall carries and goal line opportunities.